R2-D2 is the fourth character to be released as a part of this officially licensed coin collection. The current release brings the total up to twelve coins, as three coins are released for each character features so far. The previous coins have featured Darth Vader, Han Solo and Yoda. Each character from the iconic Star Wars series have featured on two gold coins as well as a pure silver coin, and that trend holds for the R2-D2 design as well.
As an astromech droid R2-D2, pronounced as Artoo-Detoo, is a skilled starship mechanic in addition to serving as a fighter pilot's assistant. He can often be seen in the company of the fussy humanoid protocol Droid C-3PO with whom he has forged an unlikely friendship. The two droids are the only two characters who have made an appearance in every single on-screen Star Wars property.
As he appears in so many films he has several different owners throughout the series including Queen Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker as well as Bail Organa (the adoptive father of Princess Leia). The little droid is brave, inventive, loyal to a fault and easily one of the most beloved characters from the Star Wars universe.
The reverse of the coins feature the image of R2-D2 as he is being sold to Luke Skywalker and his step-uncle Owen Lars by the Jawas in a scene taken directly from Star Wars: A New Hope. The scene is meticulously detailed and recreated on the coin, with R2-D2 featuring prominently in the centre of the coin. The only text that appears on the reverse of the coin is discreet lettering along the upper right rim that describes the metal weight and content of the coin(“1oz 999 Fine Silver” or 1oz 9999 Fine Gold” ). This is followed by the words “ & Lucasfilms Ltd.”
The obverse is the standard design for these coins featuring the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the legend that details the country of issue, denomination and date of issue for the coin.
The first of the three coins is a 1oz pure silver coin, struck from pure .999fine silver. The coin measures 40mm(1.57 Inch) and is denominated as a $2 legal tender coin for Niue. The coin carries a limited mintage of 10 000 pieces and is issued in a stylish black display case replete with Star Wars insignia and branding.
The second item is a $25 denominated 1/4oz gold coin, measuring 22mm(0.866 Inch) in diameter. All of the coins have a proof finish. The gold coins come encapsulated in a similar display case to the silver coin, only here the plain black is replaced with a wood-like appearance instead. The contrast of the cold silver against the stark black packaging works beautifully. However the warm glow of gold finds a far better home in the softer wood-like finish, and was a wise aesthetic choice by the New Zealand Mint. The 1/4oz $25 gold coin has a limited mintage of only 1000 coins.
The final coin is a 1oz pure gold(.9999 Fineness) coin that measures 32mm(1.26 inch), and is denominated as a $250 coin. All of these commemorative coins are issued as legal tender under the authority of Niue. A total mintage of only 500 1oz coins has been issued.
The coins can be ordered directly from the New Zealand Mint's website, or contact your trusted international coin dealer if you'd like to add these to your collection. The $2 1oz silver coin is currently listed for US$85.00 each. The Gold 1oz and ¼ oz coins are selling for US$2 500.00 and US$600.00 respectively.
With plenty of characters to still choose from, and some of the first coins in the series having long since sold out at the mint, I have little doubt that we will see many more of these coins in the near future. After all Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and C-3PO have yet to make an appearance in the series. And what about an X-wing or Death Star coins?
To View the other coins in the Classic Star Wars Collection in the WNN Gallery section simply click HERE now.