The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled (12th May) a new series of coins celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television debut of Star Trek, which aired its first episode in September of 1966.
The series, now considered a cult-classic with tens of millions of admirers worldwide, was created by screenwriter Gene Rodenberry (1921 – 1991); it told the story of the crew aboard the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, whose mission was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The fictional space travelers were headed by Captain James “Jim” Tiberius Kirk, who was born in the year 2233 and was portrayed by Canadian-born actor William Shatner.
Kirk’s character was often balanced by the presence of Mr. Spock, a First Officer whose calm, rational personality and demeanor was attributed to his half-human/half-Vulcan background. Mr. Spock was portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, who donned pointed ears and eyebrow enhancement to distinguish himself as half alien.
The Starship Enterprise traveled through the Milky Way galaxy, roughly during the 2260s. The ship’s crew included a chief medical officer by the name of Dr. Leonard McCoy, portrayed by DeForest Kelley; Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, a chief engineer and second officer portrayed by James Doohan; Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, a communications officer portrayed by actress Nichelle Nichols; and Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman played by George Takei.
The show was praised by civil rights activists at the time for including both a black actress and Asian actor as leading or recurring cast members, something that had not occurred previously on any mainstream American television show.
The first season of Star-Trek aired on the NBC network and was produced by Desilu Studios, who found the costs of production beyond their means. The second and third seasons were taken over by Paramount Studios; although the story lines were exciting and the production was often cited as first-rate, the ratings were low and after a total of just seventy-nine episodes, the series was cancelled.
Star Trek’s following continued to grow, however, as the show was broadcast in syndication. Eventually, the popularity of the syndicated series resulted in significant franchises consisting of five additional television series, no less than twelve feature films, numerous books, games, and toys — and now a series of colorful and precious metal Proof coins. The original Star Trek is now considered as one of the most popular and influential television series of all time.
This coin the world’s first delta-shaped coin. Detailed engraving and contrasting finishing instill this unusually shaped coin with an inspiring, nostalgic feel. Its arrowhead shape mimics that of the iconic Delta Shield Insignia, which was worn by the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise and became the identifying emblem of Starfleet.
Composition: 99.99% pure gold
Weight (g): 16.2
Diameter (mm): 28.68 (H) x 17.50 (W)
Face value: 200 dollars
Artist: Susanna Blunt (obverse)
This delta-shaped coin is only available in gold and is sold out at the Mint.
TV Series description courtesy of Coin Update (http://news.coinupdate.com/canada-celebrates-golden-anniversary-of-star-trek-on-new-silver-coin/)
Coins Specifications and Design description courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint (http://www.mint.ca/store/coins/pure-gold-coin-%E2%80%93-emstar-trekemsuptmsup-delta-coin-%E2%80%93-mintage-1500-2016-prod2680041?rcmiid=link|categorypage|Pure_Gold_Coin_Star_TrekTM_Delta_Coin_Mintage_1500_2016|Sold-out&#.V-wHcyErLIU)
Image courtesy of The Trek Collective (http://www.thetrekcollective.com/2016/05/canadian-star-trek-coins.html)