Photo (cc) by Rob & Jules
Even if you haven’t read “The Hobbit,” you probably know the basic story: A bunch of short people (hobbits and dwarves) adventure across the continent to fight a dragon and reclaim a mountain full of treasure.
Now, you can have a little bit of hobbit gold yourself – for about $3,000 U.S. dollars. New Zealand, where both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed, has minted 1,000 gold coins with the likeness of Bilbo Baggins, the titular character. They have an inscription in English and Dwarvish, are pure gold, and are legal tender if you’re crazy enough to spend one. (They cost $3,695 NZ dollars, but the coin denomination is $10.)
They’re available for preorder now – if any are left when you read this – and will be delivered in mid-November. And if they’re too rare and expensive for your taste, there are cheaper Hobbit coin options, including a silver version ($149 NZ) and gold-colored coins with different designs: Bilbo, various dwarves, and the wizard Gandalf ($30 NZ each, or three for $85).
And if there’s any doubt remaining that New Zealand takes hobbits pretty seriously, the New Zealand Herald reports the country’s capital city of Wellington will be officially renamed Middle of Middle-earth for the week of the film premiere.