How to buy the new 'Hobbit' coins

New Zealand is adding Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf coins to its national currency starting next month. Not that anyone would actually use them to buy anything, though.

By Kim Peterson Oct 12, 2012 2:56PM
Credit: Reuters/Handout
Caption: A New Zealand $10 coin with an image of The Hobbit film trilogy character Bilbo Baggins, with its rim inscribed with English and 'Dwarvish' with the words 'Middle-earth - New Zealand'New Zealand, continuing to get as much "Hobbit"-related mileage as it can, will feature characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's epic on its national currency and postage stamps starting next month.

Residents will be able to pay with coins showing likenesses of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the wizard. Not that anyone would actually do so, since the worth of the coins is expected to far exceed their face value. The most expensive coin will be made from about 28 grams of pure gold, according to AFP, and will cost about $3,020. Its face value, however, is just 10 New Zealand dollars.

The cheapest coin, with a face value of 1 New Zealand dollar, will sell for about $24. The hardcore "Hobbit" fan can buy a set of three gold coins featuring Gandalf, Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield for about $9,000. Each coin will have the words "Middle-Earth -- New Zealand" inscribed in English and Dwarvish, according to the CBC.

And if you want to cradle the coins and whisper, "My precious," well, no one will hold it against you.

The coins will be available for international orders. Interested buyers can head to the New Zealand Post website, which is offering preorders.A Post spokesman says that the coins "fit in with the mythology of Middle-Earth," The Wall Street Journal reports.

New Zealand isn't exactly Middle Earth, but the country is all but renaming itself for the weeks surrounding the release of the first installment of "The Hobbit" trilogy. The country's capital, Wellington, will be unofficially renamed "The Middle of Middle-Earth," Time reports. The film is slated to debut Nov. 28 in Wellington.Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via:
Caption: Five of the Six available New Zealand stamps featuring key characters from ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

New Zealand cashed in on "Hobbit"-related tourism for years after director Peter Jackson filmed large parts of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy there, and saw a huge business between 2001 and 2004. Check out this very Hobbit-esque New Zealand tourism commercial. But "Hobbit" fans have lost interest lately, and the country is hoping the new films will spark its tourism business again.

The New Zealand Post reached a deal with Warner Bros. for the use of images from the film series on its stamps. The Post thinks it will easily get a return on the money it's putting into the effort, since its "Lord of the Rings" stamps were the biggest stamp issues in its history, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The Post is issuing six stamps, presentation packs and a collection book. The collection book will sell for about $315.

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Oct 12, 2012 4:57PM
And if you want to cradle the coins and whisper, "My precious," well, no one will hold it against you.
Oct 14, 2012 5:12PM
Looks nice. But nothing minted in mithril or silmaril? How gauche...
Oct 13, 2012 12:20PM
I am a Kiwi living in the States and I think it is great.  When I was growing up in New Zealand we never did much of a job of marketing.  One of the things that drives me nuts here is how every holiday is totally over marketed.  So I think the Kiwi's are entitled to cash in on the Tolkien thing and they will still have a long way to go before they catch up to the US in terms of milking something for all it is worth.
Oct 13, 2012 1:40AM
JRR Tolkien must be turning in his grave at all the lost royalties....................
Oct 12, 2012 5:16PM

I want one of each coin but there's no way in hades i will ever be able to afford them much less get them into the us with added costs  like taxes

 but if anyone wants to send me one  for Christmas for free  i would accept it without hesitation.

Oct 12, 2012 9:04PM
For $9000 you could fly to New Zealand, tour the spots where they made the movie and just buy them there... for face value or close to it.
Oct 12, 2012 5:22PM

wow..looks like frodo  or whoever is on the coin  was caught in a meteor shower  :(

Dec 29, 2012 9:56PM
Hi i am Jöran Oostra from Holland, i want to have a set of "Hobbit" coins, who can deliver me a set? Contact me at
Oct 15, 2012 11:04AM

A 28 gram gold coin?? Do they not weigh gold using the Troy Ounce in NZ or are they trying to rip people off by selling them an "ounce" of gold that is 3 grams short??


Or did they say the coin would weigh an ounce and the author of the article just thought it would sound "smarter" to convert it to grams not realizing an ounce of precious (pun intended) metal isn't the same as an ounce of anything else

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