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In 1966, Gene Roddenberry took a generation of Americans on a journey “where no man had gone before.” He first introduced his Star Trek franchise to the world on television that year with Star Trek: The Original Series. Though it was short lived in its own right, that simple television series ignited a fervor for science fiction in America and around the globe. As Star Trek approaches its 50th anniversary, Australia’s Perth Mint is celebrating the franchise with a series of impressive Star Trek Silver Coins.
Roddenberry first developed his concept for a futuristic Sci-Fi series in the early 1960s, making his first pitch to television producers in 1964. In 1966, The Original Series hit the airwaves with William Shatner playing the role of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, and Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock. Although the series only ran for three seasons from 1966 to 1969, it merely wet the thirst for Sci-Fi fans.
After the cancellation of The Original Series, a number of spinoffs were launched that included feature films, an animated series, and four subsequent television series on American television. In the realm of feature films, a total of four films were released between 1979 and 1986. Star Trek returned to television in 1987 with the introduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Throughout The Next Generation run on television and after its cancellation, three more feature films were released in 1989, 1991, and 1994. Subsequent TV spinoffs include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise. Two more movies were released in conjunction with The Next Generation in 1998 and 2002.
In 2009, the franchise got a reboot with prequel movies produced featuring a brand-new cast of characters portraying the famous roles of Captain Kirk, Spock, and others in the franchise. Star Trek hit theaters in 2009, followed by Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013. On the 50th anniversary of the franchise, a 13th movie will hit theaters with Star Trek: Beyond.
The Perth Mint is celebrating the milestone for the franchise with a series of silver proof coins honoring the various installments in Star Trek. The coin series was first announced in January 2015, with coins released in order of the character’s appearance in the franchise. First up was Captain James T. Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.
The reverse side of the Captain James T. Kirk coin features William Shatner in his title role as Captain Kirk. Shatner is shown in full color in his uniform from The Original Series. The Star Trek motif behind him is common on all the captain’s coins in the series, and engravings include the coin’s weight, purity, and metal content.
The U.S.S. Enterprise coin in this series features a wreath around the central image of the Enterprise, with a colorized background of outer space offering a stunning contrast between the coin’s primary design and its background field. Again, this side has the weight, purity, and metal content engraved.
In the second coin set released by the Perth Mint, Star Trek: The Next Generation is honored with a coin for Captain Jean Luc-Picard and his starship, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The Captain Picard coin features actor Sir Patrick Stewart in full character and brilliant color as Captain Picard. A similar background motif was used from the Captain Kirk coin, with the identifying characteristics engraved on this side.
The complementary coin to this set features the advanced U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Again, it is the background of the galaxy that features brilliant hues of blue, green, and black, while the starship itself remains finished in fine silver.
One of the recent releases in the series are the Captain Sisko and Deep Space Nine coins honoring the third television spinoff, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Set two centuries after The Original Series, this coin features actor Avery Brooks in the leading role of Captain Benjamin Sisko. Like his predecessors, Brooks is featured in full color and in character as Captain Sisko on the reverse, with a motif of his space station in the background.
The additional coin in this set focuses on the Deep Space Nine space station commanded by Captain Sisko. The similar motif of colorizing the Milky Way galaxy in the background, rather than the space station, is used on this coin, as well.
On the obverse side of all coins in the Star Trek Silver coin series is the common image of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s right-profile portrait is featured in the middle of the coin, with the nation of issue, her name, year of minting, and the face value of the coin engraved around the outer edge of the surface.
Each of the Star Trek Silver Coins is struck in 1 oz of .999 fine silver. These coins bear a face value of $1 that is backed by the government of Tuvalu. All coins are products of the Perth Mint in Australia. All of the coins in this series have a limited mintage of just 6,500 in total. Of those, 5,000 are released for individual sale, while 1,500 are reserved for use in two-coin proof sets.
The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest operating facility. It was originally opened in 1899 as the third and final facility in the Royal Mint system under British control. Following the closure of the facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, the Perth Mint stands as the nation’s oldest mint. Even though it is not associated with the Royal Australian Mint, as a state-owned entity of Western Australia, the Perth Mint’s coins are considered legal tender in Australia under the Currency Act of 1965.
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