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Star Wars Coins Used as Real Money on Polynesian Island

While 'Star Wars' collectibles have always had some degree of value, shops on the small Polynesian island of Niue, 1,500 miles off the coast of New Zealand, have taken it a step further, accepting coins with embossed Star Wars characters as actual currency.

The special commemorative coins have a face value of one or two New Zealand dollars, but spending them as cash would be a loss because the trinkets cost up to eleven New Zealand dollars to buy from the New Zealand Mint. The coins were created in the same way as a British pound coin, giving them a 3D embossed effect.

And like the pound, the reverse side of the 'Star Wars' coins features the head of the Queen of England, who is also the monarch of Niue.

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The coins feature C-3PO, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader and Yoda.

The George Lucas-inspired coins are limited to 50,000 of each design and set of coins comes with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity.

A spokesman from the New Zealand Mint said: "The coins are legal tender. However, they are more suited as a collectors piece as the value of the metal content is higher than the face value. We expect these coins to be popular with both coin collectors and 'Star Wars' fans, who will certainly be 'wowed' by them."

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The complete 'Star Wars' saga was released on Blu-ray earlier this month and 'Episode I: The Phantom Menace' will be released in 3D in February.

There are 500,000 worldwide members of the 'Jedi religion,' named after the 'Jedi Knights,' the zen-like warriors of the film series. Fans in Australia and England joined an internet campaign by putting Jedi as their religion on census forms, whcih apparently is illegal in New Zealand.


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