This glittering mask made of solid gold is now on display at the GINZA TANAKA jewelry shop in Ginza.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars movie franchise (heavens, has it been that long?), and Walt Disney Japan has made sure that there’s some serious bling surrounding the anniversary.
That’s right, some very special Star Wars items will be released for sale on May 4, the internationally designated Star Wars Day, including a solid gold, life-size Darth Vader mask worth 154 million yen (US$1.4 million).
We heard that the precious mask was being displayed at the GINZA TANAKA jewelry store in Tokyo’s Ginza district and promptly decided to go take a look at the rare item.
When we arrived at the shop, sure enough there was a sign indicating that a special exhibit of the gold mask was taking place on the third floor of the building.
When we got to the third floor, we also found some other delightful glittering items on display, like the flat oval gold coin (koban) below made from 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of 24-karat gold, available in the “Luke Skywalker VS Darth Vader” design and “Yoda” design.
Each are priced at 132,000 yen, which at around $1,200 is still a hefty price tag, but doesn’t look so bad when compared to the $1.4 million of the mask.
▼ If you can afford both designs of the coins, you can put them
together into a display with a lovely illustration in the center.
They also had another commemorative set of three koban gold coins, of which they will be selling just 77 sets, in honor of 1977, the year the first Star Wars movie was released.
▼ The set includes one 40 gram coin, two 30 gram coins, and comes in a
beautiful acrylic case. It costs 1,225,000 yen ($11,000).
The slightly larger 40-gram coin comes engraved with the release date of the first Star Wars movie in kanji characters, along with the title “A NEW HOPE.” The two 30-gram coins are engraved with an image of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker respectively.
The backside of the collection has a collage of concept art and scenes from the series. The back of the 40-gram coin shows the 40th anniversary logo and has the kanji characters expressing the title Star Wars (Seikan Taisen 星間大戦).
The back of the 30-gram Luke Skywalker coin comes with the kanji characters for “jedi” (kyōwa kishi 共和騎士) on it, while the Darth Vader coin has the kanji characters for “dark lord” (ankokukyō 暗黒卿). The concept is to express what koban coins might have looked like if they existed in the Star Wars universe.
And finally, we approached the glittering Darth Vader gold mask.
▼ The poster from the first movie 40 years ago was displayed next to it.
▼ We came face to face with the dark lord himself,
except he was shiny and golden in this case — not dark at all!
The mask is a glorious creation weighing 15 kilograms (33 pounds) in sold gold. It combines a shiny mirror-like finish with other parts having a matte finish, giving it a popping, three-dimensional look. Not surprisingly, at US$1.4 million, it’s the most expensive Star Wars-related item released from the Ginza-based jeweler.
▼ And here are a few more shots from different angles.
The detail is amazing, it truly is like seeing a Darth Vader mask in real life.
The mask was absolutely dazzling and breath-taking, and should be a delight for any Star Wars fan to see. If you’re going to be in the Ginza area, the gold mask will be on display at the GINZA TANAKA shop until May 28. Just be careful not to be blinded by the shining gold!
With GINZA TANAKA having showed off solid gold version of Godzilla and Mt. Fuji before too, we’re wondering what insanely expensive gilded creations they’ll have on display next.
GINZA TANAKA Ginza main branch (GINZA TANAKA 銀座本店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-7-7
Open 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Reference: Nikkei news release