New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar as its circulation currency for daily transactions. The country also issues a number of commemorative and collector coins, including in the large five ounces of silver format (abbreviated as 5 oz Ag, where "Ag" comes from the Latin word for silver, Argentum). Authorised by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the official issuer of these coins is NZ Post - which also issues the country's postal stamps. Manufacturing of the coins is commissioned to various foreign mints.
The coins are "Non-Circulating Legal Tender" (NCLT) and not bullion because they are issued at prices much higher than their intrinsic value and are targeted at collectors who appreciate them for their artistic or sentimental value, and not at bullion investors.
December 2021 marked 20 years since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. A fantasy story of epic proportions, the film invited a new generation into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved mid-century novels. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand, whose unique landscapes provided a bounty of spectacular scenery. One of modern cinema's greatest achievements, the film earned 13 Academy Award nominations and grossed US$897.7 million worldwide, putting New Zealand on the map as a beautiful place to visit and a brilliant location for film making.
This coin features the nine characters who form the Fellowship in The Fellowship of the Ring. In the film, wizard Gandalf, men Boromir and Aragorn, elf Legolas, dwarf Gimli and hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin set out on a dangerous journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the One Ring can be destroyed to bring peace to Middle-earth. Behind the characters the coin shows a glimpse of the Misty Mountains (the South Island’s Southern Alps). Dwarven runes surround the central image, and the coin is finished with elegant gold plating on the rim.
The obverse of the coin features "Middle-earth" alongside "New Zealand", acknowledging New Zealand's role in the films as the fictional land.