Your change, sir: two gandalfs and a gollum

New Zealand Post is issuing official legal tender commemorative coins celebrating the trilogy of films based on The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins will appear on the $10 gold coin, and in a set of six $1 silver coins along with Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield, Gollum, Radagast and Elrond. The rim of each of these coins is inscribed in both English and Dwarvish with the words ‘Middle-earth – New Zealand’

There also an ambitious US$900,000 plan to mark the first Hobbit movie’s premiere in Wellington, NZ as part of the country’s larger tourism campaign to rebrand the country under the tagline “100% Middle-earth.”

Every DVD and download of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will feature a Jackson-directed video promoting New Zealand as a tourist and filmmaking destination.

From the release of the first Lord of the Rings movie until 2006, New Zealand tourism increased 40%. They’re determined to capitalize on a similar opportunity with The Hobbit trilogy.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

One thought on “Your change, sir: two gandalfs and a gollum

  1. I had a lavish brochure for LotR coins produced by New Zealand at least three years ago… they may have begun issuing them every year quite a long time ago, in fact, shortly after the first movie. A serious collector shuns this sort of thing — it isn’t really money. Despite the value struck on them, only a fool would spend a $10 coin that cost him $40 or $75 or possibly a great deal more (if gold) to get from the mint. Since they don’t circulate, the Tolkien strikes aren’t money, only “tokens.”

    They are pretty though, and I would throw a set of them out of my bed if they crawled in.

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