'Star Wars' Characters Set to Grace Legal Tender

'Star Wars' Characters Set to Grace Legal Tender

Aug 11, 2011

Star Wars Collectible CoinIn what sounds like a match made in monarchy heaven, the Galactic Empire and the British Empire are about to team up – on currency.

The South Pacific Island state of Niue is ready to produce a set of legal tender coins featuring not only the Queen of England, but characters from George Lucas’ Star Wars films. The entire collection will total 40 coins in all and be produced by the New Zealand mint. Each coin has a face value of NZ$2 (£1), but don’t expect to see them floating around in circulation – the silver content in each piece of currency makes them worth far more.

The series will be sold in sets of four coins, each containing 1 oz. of silver, and will sell for NZ$469 (£235). Clearly, this aimed at collectors. If that price is to steep (is there really such a thing when it comes to Star Wars collectibles?) there will also be more affordable coins – albeit ones struck in a silver-plated base metal.

The move was inspired not so much by Niue’s love of Star Wars (we couldn’t find any factual data corroborating how the island’s 1400 citizens feel about the films or George Lucas), but by a need to fill the government’s bank account. The Star Wars coins are the second attempt to do that this year – coming hot on the heels of a stamp featuring Prince William and his new bride. That release stirred controversy because the perforation line between stamps actually split the Prince and his wife – and while divorce rates are high, no one wants to think of that every time they go to mail a letter.

No word yet on how George Lucas feels about this – but we’re guessing his lawyers are currently drafting up some sort of missive on the topic. Meanwhile, we’ll get our first look at the coins (no, that picture is not one of the new set...) at the American Numismatics Association's show in Chicago next week. Future coins in the set will be released through 2014.

[via The Telegraph]

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