A lot of these links come from the main coin page on the Collectors Archive, but I think these are the ones that are good for someone starting out to get a good overview on the coins and collecting them.
Entire Production Process
A good place to start, is learning how the coins are actually made in the first place. There is a great article written on theswca called:
A Coin is Born: Kenner’s Power of the Force Coins, from Concept to Mass Production.
While that article is well written, it can be kind of hard to grasp all the concepts in one reading. The video below on youtube shows the process of making a coin which is very simular to how the POTF coins were made. I’ve found that after watching the video and then going back to the article, that it is much easier to follow.
Luckily, many of the items involved in the preproduction process in making the coins have survived today. Here are a few items that exist in collections today.
Preliminary Coin Art
Creatures Stage 1 Hardcopy
Creatures Text Master
Creatures Coin Dies
One of the first things that I think can confuse people is the Category system. Gus Lopez has written two articles that use the system. For the person just starting out I think his original article has a little more information about it and what his resoning was for why certain coins fall into their respective category.
Original Coin Category Article
A little while after a new guide was written which included other coins like the Droids, Ewoks, and Prototype coins. Some of the catagories were also changed a little bit.
Comprehensive Guide to POTF, Droids, and Ewoks Coins
Recently, a new category system was created with letters in the book Coining the Galaxy. It has yet to be seen if this system will replace the old one, but it is worth noting and I recommend picking up a copy before it is sold out.
There are a lot of different coins out there that fall into this category. These are the most recognized ones that I feel a coin collector starting out should know about. Many more can be found at the main coin archive link.
Certainly, at the top of the list is the Pitch coin. This coin was believed to have been used to pitch the idea of collectors coins to Kenner/Lucasfilm. It is very different than the final coins that we ended up with.
One of the easiest coin prototypes to obtain is the Luke X-Wing smaller coin. The archive states only 400, but that number is believed to be a lot higher than that now. This is also one of the cheaper prototype coins to buy.
Small Luke X-Wing Prototype Coin
Probably the most sought after prototype coins is the 63rd coin. It was to be included as part of a mail away offer for a coin binder on the 93 back card. The coin can be found in both gold and silver colors.
The A-Wing pilot coin can also be found in the same color of gold as the 63rd. It is a lighter shade of gold than the Droids coins. This is believed to have been a coin to test the gold color for the 63rd.
Mail Away Album
Gold A-Wing Pilot
Most reproduction coins are very easy to tell if they are fake or not. The majority out there are not made of aluminum and are one sided. Most of these end up on recarded figures. However, there are at least some convincing fakes of Boba Fett and Anakin. These coins were discussed on this thread on rebelscum.
The restrikes are a completely different matter. They were produced by one of the original coin companies that did half of the original coins, as a test for Hasbro when they were planning the Millennium Minted figure series. These coins are thicker than original coins and also weigh more. The following is a list of coins to watch out for possible restrikes which has been copied from this thread on rebelscum.
Power of the Force
Han Trench Coat
Droids & Ewoks
Here’s some followup discussion about the weight of these coins, which is a solid indicator on wether you have a restrike or not:
One of the big dilemmas with coins is how to display them. Some collectors simply use pog pages and keep them in a notebook or a stack of coin holders. Many others choose to make/have made custom frames. A lot of the frames out there base their design on the Executive set. These were sets that were sent to Lucasfilm/Kenner Executives that were framed with two complete sets of coins showing front and back. Here is a great guide that was made a couple years ago and some of the ideas that have been done before.
Adam Burges’ Frame Guide
Boba Fisher POTF Coin Frame
Boba Fisher Droids and Ewoks Frame
Jim Skoi Frame
The Guv Frame
Framed Coin with Mailer Envelope
The other option are airtite cases. These can be found on ebay or coin supply websites.
The size of case needed for the standard size coins is 39mm and the small Luke proto coin is 32mm. Most collectors use the cases with a black foam ring, but a white version is available as well or no ring at all.
The coin size also is roughly the same as a U.S. size poker chip. I recently found some cheaper display options originally made for poker chips, but should also work with POTF coins.
63 Coin Insert
12 Coin Insert
3 Coin Display Case
The prices on coins have fluctuated a lot over the years. A complete set can take a long time to piece together and requires some patience when you get to the later category coins. If cost is a factor, but you still want some coins, I feel that collecting just the Category 1 and 2 coins is a very feasible goal. It was mine originally, but for some reason I just couldn’t stop there. 🙂 I use a thread on rebelscum that works very well as a general price guide. This seller has broken up and sold several coin sets over the last few years.
FS: PotF coins for sale, all Categories!
Also, myself and a few other collectors have started work on a spreadsheet to keep track of coins. It is embedded below and will be updated with new prices as coins come to the collector market.