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Pay For Your Lunch with Darth Vader's Face

| 12 Aug 2011 20:46
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Star Wars coins can be used as actual currency, thanks to the New Zealand Mint

Star Wars is full of dynamic pairings: Han Solo and Chewbacca. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yoda and Queen Elizabeth II. Thanks to a collaboration between the New Zealand Mint and the South Pacific island nation of Niue, a series of 40 coins with Star Wars designs will be available from late 2011 through 2014. Since these coins come from the New Zealand mint, they are actual legal tender with a value of $2 NZ ($1.66 USD) each - and yes, each coin has a picture of Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse side.

Niue, which is home to only 1,400 people, might seem like an odd place for these items to crop up. However, a financially-unsteady government combined with a keen eye for the collector's market makes Star Wars and Niue go together like C-3PO and R2-D2. "Traditionally, who would buy these would be coin collectors," said Chris Kirkness from the New Zealand Mint, discussing the issue with the Fairfax Newspapers (New Zealand) website. "But this product opens up the market as a gift product and for enthusiasts of Star Wars. You know Star Wars if you're seven or 70."

Even though the coins are worth only $2 NZ, don't expect to start receiving them as change at grocery stores. Each set of four coins contains an ounce of silver and will retail for $469 NZ ($388.71 USD). "They're only worth $2, but the value is much more than that," explained Kirkness. "No one is going to go buy an ice-cream with them." Nevertheless, since the coins are products of the New Zealand Mint, any enterprising New Zealander could pay for his next bottle of soda with a Darth Vader coin.

Interested numismatists (coin-collectors) can find more information at the New Zealand Mint's website. As usual, Princess Leia called this one back in 1977: "If money is all that you love, then that's what you'll receive."

Source: The Telegraph

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