It was announced in mid-September that New Zealand planned to release a series of stamps and coins to celebrate the release of the upcoming Hobbit films. Now the New Zealand Post has revealed numerous photos and details about the stamps, coins, and related postcards! These collectibles will not be officially on sale until November 1, 2012, but can be pre-ordered through the main New Zealand Post website.
Sir Ian McKellen had this to say about the stamps, especially the one depicting his character, Gandalf:
To put Gandalf on these splendiferous coins is a wizard idea. The pointy hat, the beard and the illuminated staff – the $1.90 NZ stamp is pure Gandalf.
New Zealand is the only country with the legal right to put Hobbit-related images on such legal tender, which continues to help remind the world about its major role as Middle-earth in the films. In fact, spokesman Simon Allison commented:
It’s not just about money for us – for Warner Bros, Peter Jackson and NZ Post, it’s all about positioning New Zealand as Middle Earth. Millions of these stamps will be put on envelopes and sent around the world.
Here are further details from the official descriptions:
- Gold coins, $1 face value, priced at $29.90. Depict Bilbo Baggins, in the presence of Thorin Oakenshield, signing the contract which will lead him on his adventures; a set of three others also available for $85 showing Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and dwarves.
- Silver coin with gold plating, $1 face value, priced at $149. Shows Bilbo Baggins setting out at the start of his epic quest.
- Silver coin set, $1 face value, priced at $889 for a set of six. Limited to 1000 sets and shows Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Gollum, Thorin Oakenshield, Elrond and Radagast.
- Premium gold coins $10 face value. Single coin depicting Bilbo Baggins, priced at $3695, 1000 available; or a set of three for $10,995, limited to 250 sets depicting Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield.
Six stamps showing:
- Bilbo Baggins (70c)
- Gollum ($1.40)
- Gandalf ($1.90),
- Thorin Oakenshield ($2.10)
- Radagast ($2.40)
- Elrond (2.90)
- Presentation packs cost $29.90 and collection book $385
- Each card features imagery from the film and has a corresponding self-adhesive stamp affixed
- Each card includes information about the character featured on the stamp
- Pre-paid postage is included for sending from Middle-earth to anywhere in the world
Collectors can invest in one coin for as little as $29.90 or buy sets rising in value to $10,995 for pure gold currency in $10 denominations. Each coin will be inscribed in English and “Dwarvish” and come in a collectible folder, case or box with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity.