New Zealand Mints Precious Hobbit MoneyS

The entire population (hooray for gross generalizations!) of New Zealand is currently having nerd spasms over the the upcoming November 28 release of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Not only is there a movement afoot to rename the country's capital of Wellington "The Middle of Middle Earth" for a three-week bracket before and after The Hobbit's premiere, but, according to the AFP, the country is minting some commemorative funny-money bearing the faces of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Gollum.

The coins (ranging from $1 NZ to $10 NZ in value), will be accepted as legal tender because currency really needs to stop taking itself so seriously. Of course, each one of these little gems will be worth way more than its face value — the most expensive coins, made from an ounce of pure gold, retail for 3,020 American dolla-dolla bills. When asked for his sentiments about having his warlocked image appear on money, the academy-award winning actor Sir Ian McKellan said something hilarious: "To put Gandalf on these splendiferous coins is a wizard idea."

Hobbit Currency To Be Legal Tender In ‘Lord of the Rings'-Obsessed New Zealand [HuffPo]