Middle-earth will be creeping into stamp and coin collections with images of the new Hobbit movie to adorn the collectibles.

New Zealand Post today unveils its designs for the world's only legal tender coins and stamps to celebrate the upcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie - with the first in the trilogy set to hit screens in December.

Sir Ian McKellen, who reprises his role as wizard Gandalf the Grey in the series, is depicted on a new stamp, which he said captured the essence of his character.

"The pointy hat, the beard and the illuminated staff - the $1.90 stamp is pure Gandalf."


Collectors can invest in one coin for as little as $29.90 or, for the more extreme fan buy a limited set for $10,995.

NZ Post spokesman for stamps and coins Simon Allison said New Zealand was the only country with the rights to produce the coins.

They were due to go on sale from November 1, alongside a set of six stamps celebrating the film.

"The items announced today are appropriate mementoes of the film and fit in with the mythology of Middle-earth - New Zealand.

"We're committed to honouring the legacy of Sir Peter's films by creating stamps and coins of the highest quality," Mr Allison said.

Each coin is inscribed in English and Dwarvish and comes in a collectable folder, case or box with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity.

The collection
Gold coins, $1 face value: Priced at $29.90 - depicts Bilbo Baggins, in the presence of Thorin Oakenshield, signing the contract which will lead him on his adventures; a set of three others also available for $85 showing Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and dwarves.

Silver coins with gold plating, $1 face value: Priced at $149 - shows Bilbo Baggins setting out at the start of his epic quest.


Silver coin set, $1 face value: Priced at $889 for a set of six. Limited to 1000 sets and shows Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Gollum, Thorin Oakenshield, Elrond and Radagast.

Premium gold coins, $10 face value: Either a single coin depicting Bilbo Baggins, priced at $3695, with only 1000 available; or a set of three for $10,995, limited to just 250 sets and depicting Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield.

Six stamps produced show Bilbo Baggins (70c), Gollum ($1.40), Gandalf ($1.90), Thorin Oakenshield ($2.10), Radagast ($2.40) and Elrond (2.90).

Available as gummed and self-adhesive, with covers available.

Presentation packs for $29.90 and collection book on sale for $385.