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The Empire Strikes Blanks: Star Wars Duos

Designed by The Royal Mint and Lucasfilm, the first coin in the Star Wars™ collection is dedicated to the lovable droid pairing of R2-D2™ and C-3PO™.

Two of the most famous movie robots in cinematic history, the metallic double act is synonymous with the Star Wars brand and comprises two of the most recognisable characters in the entire franchise. What’s more, these robotic rebels have appeared in more Star Wars movies than any other characters, all of which makes them a worthy subject matter for our first Star Wars coin.

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An official Star Wars product created in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd., the coin includes artwork based on imagery taken directly from Lucasfilm’s official library. The result is two extremely detailed portraits of these legendary characters, portrayed just as they appear on screen. Better still, the advanced laser technology used by our engravers has allowed us to recreate these images accurately and faithfully, right down to the finest detail.

With a number of her designs appearing on commemorative coins in recent years, Ffion Gwillim, a product designer at The Royal Mint, was no stranger to coin design when the Star Wars brief landed on her desk. In fact, she was arguably one of the top candidates for the task having previously provided the artwork for our Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter coins, which required transforming third-party imagery and illustrations into numismatic designs.

A stickler for detail, her coin designs habitually involve a lot of research, with each chosen image the result of meticulous planning and deliberation. Naturally, the Star Wars project was no different. Meanwhile, product manager Joshua Smith-Thomas is a self-professed Star Wars superfan, which made him the perfect partner to the product designer’s diligent design process.

Those efforts paid off considerably in the final design. From R2-D2’s numerous buttons, ports and attachments to C-3PO’s various sensors, receptors and emitters, both droids are instantly recognisable in the final design, looking as iconic as ever on the small surface of a UK coin. Meanwhile, the background features the unmistakable interior of the Millennium Falcon, displaying its distinctively cylindrical hallways complete with various appendages decorating its rounded walls.

Capping off the design is the iconic Star Wars logo, which features at the base of the design in its classic font, completing this wonderful numismatic tribute to this famous mechanical twosome. As this coin is a special commemorative release that has been high on the wish list of movie buffs for some time, our team added an additional design feature to enhance the coin.

Originally developed in Spain, and first included on the 500 pesetas coin of that same year, latent imagery has appeared on coins across the world since 1993. Since then, a variety of mints have used the technology, which made its way to The Royal Mint in 1998, when it was introduced to UK coinage through the bimetallic £2 coin.

When viewed from different angles, latent images provide a hologram effect that alternates from one image to another. In the case of the R2-D2 and C-3PO coin, the designs that sit within the latent image are the emblem of the Rebel Alliance alongside an understated outline of Tatooine, which is instantly recognisable by its rolling hills, uniquely shaped housing and its two suns, which memorably appear in the original 1977 movie.

Both the logo and the landscape are synonymous with the Light side of the Force, and Tatooine is the boyhood home of Luke Skywalker™, whilst the Rebel Alliance emblem, also known as the ‘Starbird’ logo, memorably features on the helmets of the X-wing pilots that stormed the Death Star.

Latent imagery can also act as a safety feature, often discouraging forgery attempts. As a result, it has been a permanent feature of the £1 coin since the introduction of the dodecagonal design in 2017, whilst our Britannia bullion coins have carried this feature since 2021. A cleverly intricate addition to the overall design, the latent feature adds another layer to the coin and acts as a unique ‘Easter egg’ for avid fans of the franchise.

Fortunately, you won’t need to infiltrate the Death Star or endure the rigours of training in Dagobah to get your hands on this highly anticipated release. You can take home the inaugural coin in the Star Wars Duos series today by placing an order here.

Sign up to the full collection today and ensure you don’t miss out on a single Star Wars Duos coin. Sign up now and be one of the first to own each coin as soon as they land in our galaxy.

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