Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Star Wars Coins Issued By Pacific Island Nation 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the judge-this-coin-by-its-size-would-you? dept.
19061969 wrote in with a link about how the Pacific Island of Niue is issuing a set of commemorative Star Wars coins. While the $2 coins can be used as legal tender on the island, the government hopes they'll be bought by collectors and help increase tourism to the tiny nation. From the article: "The coins, which will show a Star Wars character on one side and the Queen of England on the other, will be worth NZ$2, but made of NZ$117.25 worth of silver, meaning that if you're looking for practical tender, these aren't the coins you're looking for. 'You wouldn't want to go and spend them because they're only worth $2, but the value is much more than that,' Chris Kirkness of the New Zealand Mint told the Australian Associated Press."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Star Wars Coins Issued By Pacific Island Nation

Comments Filter:
  • melt them... profit, and buy the dvd... sounds good :)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2011 @11:44AM (#37095110)

      Except that the coins are being sold for a considerable premium over the spot price of silver.

      A set of 4 1-ounce coins is £239.80.

      Spot price of silver is about £25 per ounce, or 100 for 4. So there's about a 240% premium for the coins.

      • If GP poster could afford it maybe he means buy all the coins, melt half of them or so, then sell the rest on ebay as "rare" and see how much the price goes up.

        Not that that's what the GP wrote, but there is a way to make that plan work.

    • by superwiz (655733) on Monday August 15, 2011 @12:53PM (#37096110) Journal
      No, you don't want to melt them. Since they are legal tender, they can be declared at their face value for tax purposes. The moment you melt them, you'd "gain" the difference in price of the metal and the nominal value of the coin and owe taxes on it. This is different from US issuing golden eagle and such. The golden eagle is "circulated". So it cannot be used as legal tender.
      • by superwiz (655733)
        Sorry, I meant, of course, that golden eagles are "uncirculated".
      • by _0xd0ad (1974778) on Monday August 15, 2011 @01:03PM (#37096220) Journal

        American eagle gold coins are legal tender [usmint.gov].

        • I'm going to ask my employer to pay me $1 an hour - in gold eagles. We'll all save big on taxes.

          • Google for Robert Kahre legal saga.

            First attempt to prosecute him resulted in testifying high-level IRS representative saying that he does not know if gold eagles should be reported at face value or market value for IRS purposes, would have to consult -- of course if he did not know, how defendant was supposed to know? ;-)

            They finally got him ( http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=23766 [campaignforliberty.com] ) -- on reporting his income selectively depending on what he wanted to achieve!

            Paul B.

            • Wow, great story. Thanks!

              In the case of most of us, getting paid in eagles could only make sense for take-home pay. Taxes and Pre-tax deductions have to be accounted for in Monopoly money.

              Even then, if we traded any eagles for paper money we'd get hit for it in capital gains like Kahre.

              Methinks that somewhere along the line a black/gray market will emerge where goods and services can be bought for eagles and bullion.

              • by PaulBu (473180)

                Yeah, interesting story, is not it?

                Methinks that somewhere along the line a black/gray market will emerge where goods and services can be bought for eagles and bullion.

                I am wondering if there is a black market equivalent of Rule 34? ;) If not, can I be credited for that meme: "If someone think that there could be a black market in something, it's pretty probably that it already exists!".

                Though, I am sure that it is happening right now, maybe more in silver coins than in gold for smaller transactions, even p

        • by superwiz (655733)
          The particular issue described on that page might be. But, in general, American Eagle issues are "surplus" issues on "uncirculated" coins. It is also possible that the page put up by the mint is plain wrong (from the legal stand point). I don't know about your employer, but if they were true legal tender, you'd be able to buy a car with a dozen of them and only owe a sales tax on the face-value of the coins.
          • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

            No, in general, US mint American eagle gold [usmint.gov] and silver [usmint.gov] bullion coins are also legal tender, like the proof coins are.

            Produced from gold mined in the United States, American Eagles are imprinted with their gold content and legal tender "face" value. ... When purchased in the form of legal tender bullion coins, gold can be affordable, as well as easy to buy and store.

            American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins are affordable investments, beautiful collectibles, thoughtful gifts and memorable incentives or rewards. Above all, as legal tender, they're the only silver bullion coins whose weight and purity are guaranteed by the United States Government. They're also the only silver coins allowed in an IRA.

            Now, regarding your other point:

            if they were true legal tender, you'd be able to buy a car with a dozen of them and only owe a sales tax on the face-value of the coins

            I don't know whether or not that would work, but when the seller of the car tried to convert the coins to their real value (rather than their face value) you can be sure they'd be expected to pay taxes on the increase.

            • by superwiz (655733)

              I don't know whether or not that would work, but when the seller of the car tried to convert the coins to their real value (rather than their face value) you can be sure they'd be expected to pay taxes on the increase.

              Unless, of course, he deposited them in his IRA account at face value and then sold them from the IRA account. Come to think of it, if they are legal tender isn't this a way to get around the $16000 a year IRA contribution limit? Contribute the entire amount in gold eagles at face value? And then (once they've been deposited) sell them at whatever the market will bare?

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Great racket by the government, isn't it?

        Gold and silver coins are still legal tender in USA, but if you hold gold/silver the government will want you to pay capital gains tax if you sell, but the only reason why the nominal prices in USD are going higher is due to the inflation that the Fed creates.

        So in reality they want this capital gains tax from you because you managed not to be affected by the government created inflation and they are pretty pissed about it.

        The correct thing to do of-course is to move

  • news for nerds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hjf (703092) on Monday August 15, 2011 @11:32AM (#37094936) Homepage

    Slashdot is finally honoring its slogan!

  • by Millennium (2451) on Monday August 15, 2011 @11:34AM (#37094954) Homepage

    Isn't this really just a set of bullion coins, up to and including the fact that they're technically legal tender but you'd have to be out of your mind to actually spend them? Or are they hoping that value to collectors might push the value of these things up even further than the cost of the silver itself?

    • Yes. Yes exactly.
      • by mikkelm (1000451)

        What happens when DNA breaks?

        • You get "cancer", which is like a car getting rusted.

        • This is hilariously off-topic, but I'll bite. I guess I can burn the karma for a curious mind.

          The cell has many, many different DNA repair mechanisms and backups. For starters, each of the 23 human chromosome pairs is actually RAID 1+1: two copies per pair, and each copy is made out of two complementary strands that contain negative images of each other. If one of these strands gets damaged, it's trivial to repair; all the cell has to do is slough off the bad side and re-copy the good side. This happens
          • by mikkelm (1000451)

            I got the gist of it, but I think it's short the necessary car analogies to really make it click. In any case, I'm impressed with the prompt and thorough reply. You certainly follow through on your claims.

            • Sadly, the number of contortions necessary to make a viable car analogy would basically obliterate the meaning. I'm happy to help with any missing vocabulary items or concepts necessary to comprehend the actual information, though.
          • It's the complexity of things like this that lead me to believe that the fundamental laws of nature just kind of naturally lead to life, given time and sufficient raw materials. If you leave a big enough puddle of water sitting around long enough eventually something is going to crawl out of it.

            • Well, you have to leave an entire universe sitting around, and it has to be set up properly going in, but that's the general idea.
              • What I'm getting at, though, is that with the laws we have here, you don't need anything like the size of even the observable universe. If things this complex can survive (or emerge enough times after being wiped out) and evolve, then they must be extremely common. So common that life must be pretty much everywhere that has puddles of water sitting around coupled with a proper energy source.

                • Abiogenesis is a complex enough topic that we still don't know if that's true or not. It certainly seems that, yes, once life got started it was pretty darn good at surviving, but we still don't have answers to basic questions like "how common are small rocky planets with fast-spinning iron cores and nitrogen-based atmospheres?" Further, Earth has undergone a lot of potentially unlikely events: like this [wikipedia.org], this [wikipedia.org] (which, if true, gave us our iron core), and this [wikipedia.org]. We can't even detect Earth-like exoplanets yet
    • Re:Bullion? (Score:4, Informative)

      by vlm (69642) on Monday August 15, 2011 @11:53AM (#37095252)

      Isn't this really just a set of bullion coins, up to and including the fact that they're technically legal tender but you'd have to be out of your mind to actually spend them? Or are they hoping that value to collectors might push the value of these things up even further than the cost of the silver itself?

      The value of "legal tender" bullion coins over a private mint, is at least theoretically, the worlds legal forces will treat copies as counterfitting vs simple copyright infringement.

      If I took a R2D2 action figure (for the foreigners, "action figure" = "doll for boys") and did some lost wax casting action and sold little $2K gold R2D2s, there is only wimpy copyright law preventing others from gold plating lead and tungsten R2D2s and marketing them as my own product for, say, $1900.

      On the other hand, even counterfeiting foreign currency is a quick trip to jail...

      Also public mints usually have some law about only minting true dates or something like that. Stamp all the pennies you want, more or less, as long as they're stamped "2011". On the other hand, a private mint could notice that proof grade 1909-S-VDB pennies sell for slightly more than pennies from a 2010 proof set, and there is really nothing stopping a private mint from making a new run of "model 1909-S-VDB psuedopennies".

      I am told that a large number of "collectable" coins are manufactured/faked in China. Supposedly most 1909-S-VDB "proof" pennies are fake, but we can't / won't enforce the law. Its more of a "in theory" rather than "in practice" argument.

      In summary : At least in theory, public minted coins are less likely to be counterfeit than private mint coinage.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Well, a bit more than copyright. If yours were sold as solid gold, and then the competitor sold theirs as gold, it could also be fraud.

        But you're right, the counterfeiting laws are a lot stronger and a lot more enforced.

        • by Yamioni (2424602)

          But you're right, the counterfeiting laws are a lot stronger and a lot more enforced.

          Which really just makes sense. If the government allowed just anyone to spend $5 worth of material and effort to produce a $100 bill then inflation would run out of control and wreck the economy. That and the government gets extremely jealous of anyone doing something better than them; they prefer to retain their monopoly on printing money (literally.) Actually, come to think of it, it's probably a lot more the latter than the former...

      • by mingot (665080)

        On the other hand, a private mint could notice that proof grade 1909-S-VDB pennies sell for slightly more than pennies from a 2010 proof set, and there is really nothing stopping a private mint from making a new run of "model 1909-S-VDB psuedopennies"

        Except that it's counterfeiting and illegal in the US. Law does provide for re-strikes which are stamped with the word "COPY" to be created and distributed, though.

        I am told that a large number of "collectable" coins are manufactured/faked in China.

        China is chu

    • When it comes to commemorative coins there are 2 values for them. You are correct that there is the melt value (the value of the coin) but then there is the collector value as well. The US government does the same thing and is still producing silver dollars as commemorative coins [usmint.gov] that are actually legal tender some are even are bullion coins [usmint.gov] as well. This similar to other coinage from such countries as South Africa [wikipedia.org], Canada [wikipedia.org], and China [wikipedia.org]. Some of these coins carry a substantial premium above their melt value, o
  • As the title says - is Lucas literally making money now?!

  • Commemorative of what, exactly? Does Niue have anything to do with Star Wars?

    And technical question: it looks like they are printing the images in color, which means non-silver inks. How fast will those degrade when the silver tarnishes etc.? Why wouldn't they just use an engraving like most coins, especially for a near-pure silver coin like this? I would be much more tempted to buy it, too. This just looks like a (not so) cheap gimmick.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Commemorative of the fact that the bank accounts Star Wars nerds have basically been Lucas' ATM for nearly 25 years now?

    • > Commemorative of what, exactly?

      Nothing, Niue heros moved no coins, so they melted the bullion and struck new ones with Vader, Wookie and Leia. All of a sudden even Slashdot is interested.
    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      And technical question: it looks like they are printing the images in color, which means non-silver inks. How fast will those degrade when the silver tarnishes etc.? Why wouldn't they just use an engraving like most coins, especially for a near-pure silver coin like this? I would be much more tempted to buy it, too. This just looks like a (not so) cheap gimmick.

      I'm curious about that myself - the NZ mint page for the coins yields no information on the matter.

    • by vlm (69642)

      And technical question: it looks like they are printing the images in color, which means non-silver inks. How fast will those degrade when the silver tarnishes etc.? Why wouldn't they just use an engraving like most coins, especially for a near-pure silver coin like this? I would be much more tempted to buy it, too. This just looks like a (not so) cheap gimmick.

      Coin collectors kind of laugh at painted coins, they're supposed to appeal to the general public, but they even fail at that.

      Its a complicated tradeoff. On one hand, they make "coins" look like "toy tokens" which should strongly not appeal to the coin collectors, but should appeal to the pop culture collectors. On the other hand, you never really know whats under the paint, maybe they're fakes. On the other hand, maybe its easy to stamp fakes, and easy to paint fakes, but stamping and painting fakes is p

    • Commemoration a movie with top of the line special effect and a mediocre plot, That has chance the thoughts and minds of generations. Which made people believe if they focus enough they could get that remote control from the other end of the couch without getting up. And teach us such important moral lessons like.
      Running away from your home to talk to a stranger is a good idea.
      Allie yourself with criminals.
      Join a religion which only has a few followers.
      Do, not think.
      Its OK to quit just as long as you get b

      • by kenj0418 (230916)

        I find your lack of faith disturbing.

      • by AP31R0N (723649)

        3/10

  • It isn't December 25th. wtf.

  • when I could just order them from home? I mean, I obviously am not going to go there and spend the coins or something. Perhaps they don't allow overseas orders?
    • How would not allowing overseas orders boost tourism? The point of this is to raise awareness of the island so that people will come. This is basically a huge publicity stunt taking advantage of the popularity of Star Wars to get an almost unheard of island country into the headlines.

    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      You can buy them directly from the NZ mint.

  • I thought here I'd escape those late light ads about special issue coins and stamps from little countries. Are these GOLD-plated with 99.99% pure gold? [wikipedia.org]

    • Well given that it is being minted by an actual real government mint (New Zealand [nzmint.com]) and not some dodgy place (New York Mint [newyorkmint.com] I'm looking at you and your "uncut sheets of $2 bills" that only have 4 bills instead of the full 32) I wouldn't be too worried. If you want to see if something is valid wait for it to show up at a coin shop. The people there are knowledgeable and can spot 99.999% of fakes from a mile away. Personally I wouldn't trust any place that advertises on late night TV or with full page ads in t
      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Aaaaactually, not. The New Zealand Mint is just the legal name of a company that makes bullion coins. Sometimes, they do so under the authority of a government, but they are not in fact contracted to provide minting services to any government nor are they owned by a government. For New Zealand, the actual government mint is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand [rbnz.govt.nz], and government issue commemorative currency is issued by New Zealand Post [nzpost.co.nz].

        • Ok I didn't know that as I mostly deal with US, Canadian, or Mexican, coinage. Now I do wonder about the quality (are they really 999 coins) and if they are similar to companies like the Franklin Mint or the New York Mint.
    • Also you picked a really poor coin as the American Buffalo Coin from the US mint isn't plated but is a pure gold coin. The US mint tends to stay away from the dodgy crap like that as there is a reputation that they need to maintain. Unfortuantly there have been copies offered for sale by dodgy companies that are gold clad so the true American Buffalo coin isn't as highly valued in the market [coinsonline.com] as that the American Gold Eagle Coins [wikipedia.org] are even though the American Gold Eagle coins are only 91.67% (22 Karat).
  • How does this increase tourism?

    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      I'm guessing they're theorizing people might go to see Niue, having now actually heard of it.

      • Yeah, that was all I had. I was wondering if there was more. Actually, I'm wondering if I should add it to my grand "overseas retirement" target list. There was talk in NZ about tuning the whole thing into a retirement village.

      • I heard about it watching the Holy Grail.

        We are the knights that say "Niue".
  • Woo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LordStormes (1749242) on Monday August 15, 2011 @12:05PM (#37095474) Homepage Journal

    I got the Palpatine coin! And it's got R2-D2 on the other side! Wait... that's not Palpatine... *mulph*

  • Pobjoy mint and others do this kind of thing all the time. For example for Harry Potter [coins4me.com] Isle of Man coins. I expect its an easy way for the mint and the host country to make money because only collectors would buy these things.

    In earlier times it used to be commemorative stamps. Islands used to print out sheets of these phoney baloney stamps for collectors. The sheets even had fake post marks printed on the stamps so they couldn't be inadvertently used to post letters with.

  • How much is that in bitcoin? Are cheesy "collectible" coins the new push on Slashdot? Maybe Slashdot's parent corporation will do a deal with Franklin Mint. Home Shopping Channel, here we come!

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Are cheesy "collectible" coins the new push on Slashdot?

      The Slashdot Coin Collection - now featuring Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, and more! Now with limited-edition $2.56 Donal Knuth coin!

      • If /. really wanted to produce and sell them it could contact a company like Paridise Mint [paradisemint.com] or Sunshine Mint [sunshinemint.com] and have some 999 silver rounds cast. Now /. couldn't have actual dollar amounts put on them so maybe they could be called mod point tokens.
    • Fortunately or unfortunately it would take and infinite amount of Bitcoins to acquire one of these bullion coins as the people who buy bullion as a value store are the ones who want to have a real tangible asset and not some random bits on a computer. Also thank you for reminding me about the Franklin Mint and the cheesy crap they sell which is similar to that which is sold by the New York Mint. I had forgotten about the Franklin Mint until you brought them up. These coins seem to be similar to the collecta
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Just to prove you wrong I would go and sell two of my bitcoins to acquire one of the silver coins and have change left over. But frankly, I'd rather just have the bitcoins.
  • Are you saying the Queen looks like Yoda? To the Tower...
  • Until the Queen appears in a blockbuster film wielding a light sabre... I don't think she belongs on the coin... even if she is a member of the darkside Royal family.

    ... Charles, I am your fa... errm Mother
    • Probably because there is a legal requirement, like in most of the Commonwealth countries, that the head of state must appear on the legal tender.
      • Is there any law saying she is not to be depicted wearing a wookie costume?
      • Probably because there is a legal requirement, like in most of the Commonwealth countries, that the head of state must appear on the legal tender.

        I know you didn't claim otherwise, but I wanted to point out that Queen Elizabeth II is not the head of state of most countries in the Commonwealth. Of the 54 independent countries in the Commonwealth, she is head of state of 16 of them. (A majority of the Commonwealth countries, 33 of them, are republics.)

        Also, Niue is not technically a Commonwealth country, because it is not a fully independent sovereign state - it is in free association with New Zealand, which provides defence and conducts foreign a

  • Some facts about Niue [wikipedia.org]
    • It makes a substantial amount of money selling its .nu domain, which apparently means "new" in some European languanges.
    • The entire country has free wifi and all students have a OLPC machine.
    • The coastline is limestone cliffs and caves, good for eco-tourism but not for most tourists that want to lay on a beach. If you want to go plan to spend some time as there's only one flight a week.
  • Why not just print up some DVD's and sell those!

  • The coins, which will show a Star Wars character on one side and the Queen of England on the other...

    There hasn't been a Queen of England since 1707 when England ceased to exist as an independent kingdom. Referring to her in this story as the "Queen of the United Kingdom" or the "British Queen" would have been a much better way to let most readers know who is on the obverse of the coins without being completely wrong as "Queen of England" is.

    And, technically, it is the Queen of New Zealand [wikipedia.org] who is on these coins, because Niue is in "free association [wikipedia.org] with New Zealand and, although it is not part of the c

  • 1. Buy coins at face value.
    2. Sell coins at content value.
    3. ...
    4. Profit!

    You get it??? 3 is irrelavant!!! It's awesome and I finally understand every single other post that includes it!

    Bill
  • I've been to Niue, I recommend the ice cream shop slash yacht club... Say hi to Mamata if you drop by :)

  • I went to the site, added two sets of the 999 silver coins to my Cart. Went to pay for it, and noticed the website was NOT secure. No "https" in the address line. This NZ Mint appears to be completely clueless about security OR the entire thing is a giant SCAM. It's actually hilarious: the place in NZ that MAKES THE MONEY does not know how to secure an online order form. Maybe they don't have criminals down there? BUYER BEWARE. I canceled my order, and my 11-yr-old will never know what he almost got
  • Another pacific island nation Tuvalu has a set of proof Transformer coins. Again like the star wars coins, these are made out of silver but stamped with some token face value. The coins portraying the characters of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron.
    • by Skywings (943119)
      Just forgot to add you can get them from the Perth Mint. The Perth Mint [perthmint.com.au] works out of Perth Australia so for those carbon footprint conscious out there, just be aware its being shipped from one of the most remote cities in the world.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Working...