A special set of coins commemorating the release of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit trilogy are to become legal tender in New Zealand.
The coins, due for release on November 1 (2012), feature the faces of characters including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Gollum. Some of them have been minted from pure silver and pure gold.
The most expensive coin will be available to buy for NZ$3,695 (£1,887), while the cheapest will cost NZ$30 (£15.30). However, the coins’ value as legal tender will be far less, ranging from NZ$1 (51p) to NZ$10 (£5.10).
New Zealand Post, which owns the worldwide exclusive rights to mint The Hobbit coins, said that they “reflect New Zealand as the home of Middle Earth, and are destined to be collectables for years to come”.
The first film in The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled An Unexpected Journey, will have its worldwide premiere in Wellington, New Zealand on November 28. To mark the occasion, the capital city is being renamed “The Middle Of Middle Earth” for three weeks. The film arrives in UK cinemas on December 14 and you can watch the trailer below.
Jackson’s second film, The Desolation Of Smaug, will follow in December 2013, before the trilogy concludes with There And Back Again in July 2014. The films star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and boast an ensemble cast including Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Bret McKenzie, Orlando Bloom and Benedict Cumberbatch.