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'Eyebrows, these coins may be raising' - Yoda

With the potential for controversy, Queen Elizabeth II will be joined by selected characters from Star Wars on a collection of coins issued by the South Pacific island state of Niue.

The collection is being produced by the New Zealand Mint - details were recently released on their website.

As legal tender, the coins will have a face value of around a pound, but the silver content in each is worth considerably more than that.

The coins are primarily aimed at collectors and investors around the world and sets of four, each containing 1oz of silver, and will sell for approx £235 online. Others struck in silver-plated base metal will cost much less.

Darth Vader

"While they are a relatively low denomination, the true value of the coins is so much more than that," said Chris Kirkness, Director of International Sales and Marketing at New Zealand Mint.

"These would normally be extremely desirable to coin collectors, but with the Star Wars association it opens up the market to them being used as either a gift or collected by enthusiasts," Kirkness continued.

While the Star Wars characters are depicted in colour on one side of the new coins, a traditional embossed effigy of the Queen by the sculptor Raphael Maklouf is found on the other.

It is expected that fans of George Lucas's classic films will be enthusiastic about this and following releases, planned for 2014.

Niue, is a remote Polynesian state of 1400 people and normally uses New Zealand currency. In April 2011, the island nation attracted controversy with a commemorative stamp it issued to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and a poorly placed perforation ... story here.

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