So bright, so beautiful. Ah, precious! 'Hobbit' coins to be legal tender in New Zealand
Something as shiny, but not quite as precious, as the ring from the film adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series could soon be used to do your weekly shopping – if you live in New Zealand, that is. Newly minted ‘Hobbit’ coins, featuring characters such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, are to become legal tender in the country.
The New Zealand Post (the equivalent of Britain’s Royal Mail) has revealed it will issue the “only official legal tender commemorative coins from Middlie-earth” ahead of the release of the first of The Hobbit trilogy, a series of prequels to Peter Jackson’s cinematic Rings franchise.
The most expensive coin, made from one ounce of pure gold, will set you back NZ$3,695 (£1,890) despite having a face value of around £5. The cheapest single coin costs NZ$29.80 (£15).
The coins will be available to buy from 1 November, but it is unlikely such coins will be spent like normal money with collectors expected to boost their face value sky high.
New Zealand, where the Rings trilogy and upcoming Hobbit movies were filmed, experienced a massive boost in tourism after Jackson’s Oscar-winning original trilogy came out. It has since branded itself “100% Middle Earth” ahead of first Hobbit movie’s release at the end of this year.
Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf and Martin Freeman, most famous from The Office television series, will play the central character Bilbo Baggins in the latest film. It is a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the clutches of the evil dragon Smaug.
Cate Blanchett, Stephen Fry and Billy Connolly will also feature in The Hobbit which hits cinemas on on 14 December.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Taylor Swift, 1989 - album review: Pop star shows 'promising signs of maturity'
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational but still sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth sent home in double firing
Russell Brand's Revolution - book review: Witty banalities aside, the comic has an authentic voice
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are