Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 4:36 PM UTC

New Zealand issues Hobbit coins as legal tender

The golden hobbit coins go on sale Nov. 1.

Screen Shot 2012-10-10 at 11.57.15 AM

 (Credit: NZPost)

New Zealand, the backdrop of sweeping cinematic scenes from “The Lord of the Rings” and the upcoming trilogy “The Hobbit,” is issuing a series of Hobbit coins. The coins are a sort of genius marketing move meant to generate “strong international interest in the build up to the premiere” of the “Hobbit” premiere on Nov. 28. (Is “The Flight of the Conchord’s” band manager Murray Hewitt behind the idea?)

The 99.99 percent gold coins retail for NZ$3,695 ($3,027 U.S.), but are worth just NZ$10 at face value. It looks pretty much like a gold coin but with a rim inscribed, in both English and Dwarvish, with the words ‘Middle-earth – New Zealand.’

Intense, right? More relaxed fans can spring for the the cheapest coin, a NZ$1 coin that sells for NZ$29.90, which features “The Hobbit’s” Bilbo Baggins. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pre-order yours now.