12:31 14 October 2012
Newly minted golden coins featuring characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe will soon be considered as legal money in New Zealand. The ‘Hobbit’ coins, as they are now called, will feature beloved characters such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf.
According to the New Zealand Post, the ‘official legal tender commemorative coins from Middle Earth’ will be released ahead of the premiere of the first installment of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy. The new film trilogy will make up the prequel to Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise. The story, as all Middle Earth fans already know, will revolve around Bilbo’s early journey and how the Ring of power came to be in his possession.
The legal tender Hobbit coins come in different kinds. The most expensive is one made from an ounce of pure gold. Although its legal value is just £5, those who want to get their hands on these precious coins will have to pay NZ$3,695 or £1,890 for them. The cheapest coin, on the other hand, will set you back NZ$29.80 or £515.
The coins will be made available starting on the 1st of November, but it is likely that collectors will not be spending them like normal money. In fact, their higher value is expected to soar even higher as they become prized collectibles.
This sign of commemoration is New Zealand’s way of recognizing the role that the Lord of the Rings series played in the country’s tourism after Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy was filmed there. Since then, the country has used the branding “100% Middle Earth” and is thus expecting more visitors now that the Hobbit trilogy is about to begin.
The first film, which will tell of Bilbo’s unexpected journey, will be released at the end of this year. Martin Freeman has been chosen to play Bilbo, and will act alongside Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett, veterans in the Rings franchise.
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