Star Wars coins to become legal tender on South Pacific island

Imagine you’re in a store having just made a purchase, and the cashier hands you your change. Just before pocketing it you notice the coins have Star Wars characters on them. Understandably, you might well be moved to say, “Excuse me, is this some kind of joke?”

But it’s a situation that could very well happen – if you happen to be holidaying on the South Pacific island of Niue, that is.

From November, the tiny nation, with a population of just over 1300, will introduce a set of $2 coins celebrating the Star Wars movie franchise – and they’ll be legal tender, too. The coins are being issued by New Zealand Mint.

The 1oz silver coins, no doubt of interest to coin collectors as well as fans of the movie, can be ordered online, and include the Darth Vader Coin Set (imagine, Darth Vader on one side and the nation’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, on the other), the Millennium Falcon Coin Set and a collection of ten separately-sold silver-plated base metal coins featuring characters from the 1977 hit movie.

The Darth Vader Coin Set comprises four coins with images of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Death Star and a Stormtrooper. The packaging for this set is novel, to say the least – when you open the unique Darth-Vader-head case containing the coins, you’ll be treated to the somewhat disturbing yet familiar sound of Darth Vader’s heavy breathing.

Looking at the Millennium Falcon Coint Set, you have characters paired up on four colored coins: Luke Skywalker with Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi with Yoda, R2-D2 with C-3PO, and Han Solo with Chewbacca. Each set will be limited to a mintage of 7,500.

Of the individually sold coins, also featuring popular characters from the George Lucas movie, no more than 50,000 of each will be issued.

The 40-mm diameter coins don’t come cheap, with the sets costing an astronomical $384.53 each. The individual coins are available for a more affordable $19 each. All coins are delivered complete with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity issued by New Zealand Mint.

It’s not the first time the Ploynesian island has hit the headlines. In 2003 it became the first nation to provide free Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the entire country, which, incidentally, covers about the same area as Washington DC.

[via The Register]

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