The coins featuring characters such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the wizard will be legal tender in the country, New Zealand Post said, although their face value will be only a fraction of the cost collectors will be expected to pay.

The most expensive, made from 28.3 grams of pure gold, will set Tolkien enthusiasts back NZ$3,695 (Rs 1.6 lakh) but has a face value of just NZ$10, while the cheapest is a NZ$1 coin retailing for NZ$29.90. The coins go on sale from November 1 and New Zealand Post said it expected strong international interest.