Tetris 35th Anniversary Silver Coin

Last year’s NZ Mint commemorative Space Invaders 40th Anniversary Silver Coin totally blew us away. Luckily for us, there is another classic video game anniversary this year which NZ Mint will help us celebrate and commemorate with one of their beautiful and special silver coins.

35 years ago, a puzzle game was born from the imagination of computer programmer, Alexey Pajitnov. That puzzle game was Tetris! Inspired by Alexey’s favourite puzzle board game, Pentominos, Pajitnov created an electronic version that let players arrange puzzle pieces in real time as they fell from the top of the playing field. The resulting design was a game that used seven distinctive geometric playing pieces, each made up of four Tetriminos. The genius of Tetris is in its simplicity which hooks you in immediately, but to master it you need the precision of a skilled surgeon and the reflexes of a cat.

Tetris was dubbed the first ‘killer app’ when it was bundled in with Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld system. We easily spent thousands of hours playing Tetris all those years ago and the passion to play it till this day still burns brightly as the first time we made four lines vanish on screen! That fun little puzzle game from 1984 has been responsible for hooking people into playing video games.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Tetris on June 6, NZ Mint has released a limited edition 1oz silver coin. The silver coin features the Tetris game’s iconic Tetrimino shapes on a chequered, proof background, arranged in a way to make it appear as if they are falling, much like in the game itself – very clever and iconic! The coin is housed inside a specially designed Tetris-themed arcade cabinet and includes a colourful image of the Kremlin, paying homage to the game’s Russian origins. The cushioned black felt base which holds the coin can be slipped out by lifting up the arcade cabinet, revealing the gorgeous coin. The entire package, from the coin, the felt cushion and arcade cabinet housing oozes quality and gets the nostalgic juices flowing.

If you are a coin collector or you loved (and still love) playing Tetris, then the Tetris 35th Anniversary limited-edition silver coin is the perfect memento for you.

Disclaimer: NZ Mint kindly provided the Tetris 35th Anniversary silver coin for this article.


Space Invaders 40th Anniversary Silver Coin

Special occasions like anniversaries usually come about a few times in a lifetime, so what better way to commemorate and remember a special anniversary than a beautiful and awesome memento to mark the occasion!

There were a few arcade games that came before it, but in 1978 Taito’s Space Invaders single-handedly propelled arcade games into mainstream popular culture and helped kick off the golden age of arcade video games.

When Tomohiro Nishikado created Space Invaders we bet he wouldn’t have thought that it would become such a global hit. With its legacy well and truly cemented in arcade video gaming lore, we wonder then what Mr Nishikado-san would make of New Zealand Mint’s commemorative Space Invaders 40th Anniversary 1oz Silver Coin? If we were to guess, he would be most impressed, just like we were.

The first thing that struck us when opening the package was the beautifully recreated (to scale) Space Invaders arcade cabinet. The base of the cabinet carries the numbered (out of 3,000 units) Certificate of Authenticity. The precious cargo is housed inside the arcade cabinet, which can be opened by lifting the cabinet off its base to reveal the gorgeous 1oz silver coin, cushioned in black felt.

Removing the coin we were impressed with its size – it is bigger than we imagined! On one side of the coin you will find Space Invaders engraved on a proof background and lenticular printed coloured aliens that move as the coin is rotated at different angles. The other side of the coin has Queen Lizzie (just like on all of our Australian and NZ legal tender). Holding the coin feels special as it connects us via nostalgia for the video game that kickstarted the arcade scene in the late 70s.

Rotate the coin to move the aliens, just like in the actual game!
 image source: NZ Mint

If you do want this beautiful and officially licensed limited edition memento to commemorate one of the greatest arcade games, then you may want to act fast, as there are only 3,000 coins available worldwide! This coin is a great investment for any gaming fan. Long live Space Invaders!


  • Metal: 999 Fine Silver
  • Finish: Proof / Lenticular
  • Weight: 1 TROY OZ
  • Nominal Diameter: 40mm
  • Edge: Milled
  • Denomination: $2
  • Country of Issue: Niue
  • Year of Issue: 2018
  • Mintage: 3,000 only

Disclaimer: NZ Mint kindly provided the Space Invaders 40th Anniversary silver coin for this article.