One coin to rule them all.
From next month, collectors will be able to get their hands on official Hobbit coins and stamps, but the best of them won't come cheap.
The top coins, made from one ounce of near-pure 0.9999 gold, are priced at $3695 a pop, or $10,995 for a set of three.
They feature images of characters Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield, with the words "New Zealand Middle Earth" in English and Dwarvish.
New Zealand Post yesterday released details of its Hobbit collectables, which are on sale from November 1.
The coins start at $23.90, and the stamps from 70c to the "Ultimate Collection" at $385.
New Zealand Post stamps and coins spokesman Simon Allison said the memorabilia, like that from the Lord of the Rings in the early 2000s, would go to buyers around the world.
"It's about New Zealand Post representing The Hobbit and New Zealand as Middle Earth around the world. Obviously millions of those stamps will be sent around the world and they say 'New Zealand Middle Earth' on them, and that for us is the key."
But the collectable coins may prove the most desirable option.
Comparable New Zealand Post coins from The Lord of the Rings, minted in 2003, are now being listed online for more than triple their original value. One of the 24-carat gold coins, which sold for $1500, was listed on eBay in the United States yesterday for NZ$5660.
The latest coins and stamps have received the nod of approval from Hobbit star Ian McKellen, who plays wizard Gandalf in the films.
"To put Gandalf on these splendiferous coins is a wizard idea,' he said from England this week.
The merchandise follows the first official Weta Workshop collectables, revealed last week. The 19 Weta collectables include figurines, map reproductions and replica weapons, ranging from $30 to $546.
New Zealand Post says more stamps and coins will be released for each film in the Hobbit trilogy. The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, premieres in Wellington on November 28.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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