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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 27 January, 2020

New (legal) 'Star Wars' currency...and 5 other unusual coins

Queen Elizabeth II will be joined by Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker on the legal tender of a Pacific island nation. Will these be the weirdest coins in the world?

We're not sure if the Wookiees will get their own commemorative coin in Niue's special collection.
We're not sure if the Wookiees will get their own commemorative coin in Niue's special collection.
Image: Brich/AP/Press Association Images

THE SOUTH PACIFIC island state of Niue usually uses New Zealand currency but it has just commissioned a new set of coins that will feature a host of Star Wars characters.

According to The Telegraph, a set of 40 coins adorned with colour images of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Yoda and other characters from a galaxy far, far away, will be minted as legal tender.

The coins have a face value of NZ$2 but will be worth more than that because of the silver content of each. A set of four will be sold for NZ$469 as part of a fundraising effort by the cash-strapped island nation.

The movie characters will be joined by an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse of each coin.

Think that is strange? Here’s another five very unusual coins that are legal tender somewhere in the world:

New (legal) 'Star Wars' currency...and 5 other unusual coins
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  • Unusual Coins

    Formerly known as Pleasant Island, the Government of Nauru (a Pacific island nation) decided to commemorate the introduction of the euro with its own specially-commissioned Europe-shaped coin. Minted in 2002, the coin was made from .999 fine silver and has a denomination of 10 Australian dollars (the island's usual currency).
  • Unusual Coins

    Zambia went all out to celebrate the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, issuing Australian- and Zambian-shaped coins. The silver proof 5000 Kwacha coin shows the two countries joined together but you would never know by the design that Australia is about ten times the size of Zambia! The front of the coin shows six athletes on a track, while the back is adorned with Queen Elizabeth II, the Zambian coat of arms and the Sydney Opera House.
  • Unusual Coins

    Palau - an island nation in the Pacific Ocean - has a whole host of unusual coins, including one that doubles as a dealer button for poker games. However, this has to be one of the strangest coins in the world. The coloured coin depicts a female surfer with the slang word 'onoliscious' (surfer slang for great). The weird thing? Sniff it - it is part of the 'Scent of Paradise' coin collection. This one supposedly smells like a Sea Breeze.
  • Unusual coins

    Somalia has produced various sets of commemorative coins to sell to collectors and investors to raise funds over the years. In 2004, the African country minted coins in the shape of various guitars to celebrate rock-and-roll music and mark the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.
  • Unusual Coins

    Bermuda doesn't shy away from the mystery of its infamous triangle. Instead, it used its notoriety in a set of special-edition coins in 1996. The $9 and $30 (numbers divisible by three - get the theme?) silver and gold triangular coins have portraits of ships on the front and Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse.

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