11 Aug 2011

Star Wars coins a good earner for Niue, says Premier

6:32 pm on 11 August 2011

New Zealand Mint will release coins depicting Star Wars characters next week that can only be used as legal tender in Niue.

Lucas Films and New Zealand Mint have signed an agreement to produce seven-thousand-five-hundred copies of each coin to be sold in two sets of four.

The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, says Niue signed a contract with New Zealand Mint in 2008 that allows it to mint coins on the island's behalf.

The coins are then sold on the numismatic markets around the world.

Mr Talagi says the coins are a good money earner for the island, but won't reveal details, saying it's commercially sensitive.

"It doesn't affect people in Niue. It's legal tender in Niue but it has never been used in Niue. I suppose it's a way of making money out of one of our sovereign assets."

The one-ounce silver coins include images of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and the Death Star.

Each set retails at 399-US-dollars.