Just when you thought Star Wars couldn’t be any bigger of a cultural influence… An island nation called Niue has announced that they’re issuing legal tender coins with Star Wars characters emblazoned on them.
I have to be honest: I’d never heard of Niue before I wrote this article. I turned to Google Maps to show me where it is. Turns out it’s a teeny-tiny island nation in the South Pacific, several hundred miles east of Australia. It boasts just 1,400 citizens. Here’s a map to give you an idea of where it’s at:
Niue was once a territory of New Zealand, so they still use the New Zealand dollar as their currency. Hence, the New Zealand Mint is producing this planned set of 40 coins, which will have a face value of NZ$2 (about $1.66 in the US), using silver-plated base metal. Just 7,500 copies of each coin will be pressed. On one side will be the island’s queen, while a Star Wars character or vehicle will be on the other side — in color.
Collector’s edition coins made entirely of silver (10 oz.’ worth) will be sold in sets of four for NZ$469 (US$390). The first coin in the collection will be shown off starting tomorrow at the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago. Pre-ordering is available, but the coins won’t be delivered until November.
Even the boxes the coins come in are geekalicious: a planned Darth Vader coin will come in a box that gives off Vader’s hissing/breathing sound when you open it. The Millennium Falcon coin’s box will make the sound of the ship taking off when you open it.
Geeky fun fact: in 2003, Niue was the first country to ever provide free nation-wide WiFi to all its citizens.