Hobbit coins are legal tender in New Zealand


A series of commemorative “Hobbit” coins are being released in New Zealand to celebrate the upcoming “Hobbit” films and they are actually legal tender. Photo Credit: Michael Goetter/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

New Zealand is issuing a new series of coins to honor one of the most significant things to come out of that country besides Russell Crowe and their rugby team. A series of gold “Hobbit” coins are being issued to honor the “Lord of the Rings” and the prequel, which have been a boon to that country.

The Hobbit coin shall pass as legal tender

Commemorative coin collectors who are also sci-fi/fantasy fans or movie buffs take note, as the nation of New Zealand is releasing a series of coins that ought to be interesting to them. The coins range, according to the Huffington Post, in value from NZ $1 to NZ $10 (around $8.20) at face value, but the face on the coins is what is so interesting.

The coins all feature the likeness of a character from the J.R.R. Tolkien book “The Hobbit,” which as many people know, has been made into a film by famed Kiwi director Peter Jackson. The first installment of a three-part film, titled “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is being released this Christmas.

The Hobbit coins are gold and acceptable in New Zealand as legal tender.

Commemorating a fruitful relationship

The Hobbit coins aren’t actually currency entering circulation, rather an official commemorative set. The lowest denomination, the NZ $1 gold coin, according to the New Zealand Herald, retails for NZ $29.90. The NZ $10 coin retails for NZ $3,695 or NZ $10,995 for a set of three. There are also gold-plated silver coins, silver coins and stamps.

The Hobbit coins, according too CBS, are being released to celebrate the relationship between New Zealand and the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film series. Peter Jackson’s films spurred a boom in tourism to the country after the release of “The Fellowship of the Ring” in 2001, though tourism to New Zealand declined from 2008 on, according to the Toronto Star.

The tourism boom helped further invigorate that country’s economy, but some malaise has set in since tourism dropped off. A temporary boost occurred during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which the home team, the New Zealand All Blacks won. Reports from New Zealand media, such as articles on TVNZ.com, New Zealand’s BBC, and Stuff.co.nz, both indicate many are hoping “The Hobbit” provides a similar shot in the arm.

Rare birds

The “Hobbit” coins are a bit of a rarity, as commemorative film coins usually aren’t legal tender. In the United States, for instance, commemorative coins are only legal tender if issued by the U.S. Mint. The closest to commemorative movie coins that are legal currency was one honoring Thomas Edison in 2004.

Fox and the Franklin Mint, a private company, tried pulling a fast one by printing pictures of the Silver Surfer on the back of real quarters as a promo for the “Fantastic Four” sequel, according to the U.S. Mint. The quarters are technically unusable as money and the film was barely watchable.


Huffington Post


New Zealand Herald

Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1268139–new-zealand-needs-wizard-s-magic-to-revive-flagging-economy

TVNZ: http://tvnz.co.nz/hobbit-news/tourism-nz-gagged-over-lodge-owner-5124235

Stuff.co.nz: http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7721788/Tourism-blitz-to-lure-fans-of-Hobbit

U.S. Mint: http://www.usmint.gov/consumer/?action=archives#silverSurfer

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