It is true that our Hobbit heroes bow to no one, but we here at Nerdist must bow to the majesty that has been NZ Post’s collections of coins, stamps, and prints celebrating the various 20th anniversaries of The Lord of the Rings‘ three movies. It has truly been a journey of epic proportions as we went there and back again to The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and now The Return of the King with creations that can be described as nothing short of precious artworks. But like all good journeys, there must be an ending to this quest, however bittersweet.
Before we sail west, though, NZ Post’s final The Lord of the Rings collection, celebrating The Return of the King is here to take our breath away one more time.
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Commemorative Stamps (Don’t Miss the Hidden Messages)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King always makes me feel emotional. Has there ever been a finer ending to a trilogy? And somehow, NZ Post manages to encapsulate everything powerful and wonderful about the movie in six incredible stamp designs. This time around, we are treated to stamps that depict Arwen’s grief and fading time, Gandalf’s realization of the eagles’ arrival at the Battle at the Black Gate, Frodo’s fight against Shelob with the beautiful light of Eärendil gifted to him by Galadriel, Aragorn calling upon the Army of the Dead with Legolas and Gimli at his side, Eowyn defeating the Witch King of Angmar, and, of course, Frodo and Gollum’s last stand in the heart of Mount Doom.
Basically, these The Lord of the Rings stamps show all our favorite characters in their most epic moments from Return of the King. Phew, it gives me chills. And, our favorite part— if you look closely at the designs of the stamps, you can see secret messages embedded in the gorgeous artwork by Sacha Lees. For example, if you really peer at Eowyn’s Shieldmaiden stamp, you can see small letters spelling out, “I am no man.” See if you can spot them all below.
You can order these stamps today.
Return of the King Commemorative Coins
In addition to exquisite stamps, NZ Post has also been creating The Lord of the Rings Commemorative Coins. We know Gollum and dwarves alike would be absolutely entranced by this latest set. There are four Return of the King coins in total, one set of three and one that stands alone. In the set of three, aptly titled “The Lighting of the Beacons,” we see the lighting of the Beacons of Gondor scene come to life in silver and gold. The artistry of these is just beyond incredible. And, in our solo coin is the King of Men himself, Aragorn, being crowned by Gandalf.
These epic coins can soon be yours. The Lighting of the Beacons of Gondor set is now available for purchase and will ship by January 24, 2024. Meanwhile, The Coronation coin is available for pre-order and will ship by February 14, 2024.
The Lord of the Rings Art Prints
If you’d like to enjoy this glorious artwork on a bit of a larger scale, some of the concepts for The Return of the King‘s stamps are also available in print form.
But you had better not delay at the Prancing Pony because these are limited edition and selling out. Prints of Gandalf and Eowyn are still available and cost $32.44 each.
About the Artist, NZ Post, and More
Artist Sacha Lees
These gorgeous The Lord of the Rings creations come from the glorious mind and fingers of artist Sacha Lees. A release shares, “The artist behind the stamps and pins is New Zealander Sacha Lees, who began her career at Wētā Workshop working on The Lord of the Rings trilogy as an illustrator, creature designer, and airbrush and concept artist.” What a true talent. You can check out Lees’ other work on her website, here. Trust us, you will not feel sorry you did.
New Zealand and The Lord of the Rings
We also wanted to extend a big round of applause to NZ Post. NZ Post has taken the time to honor The Lord of the Rings because of its incredible relationship with New Zealand. The company shares, “The 2003 release saw a world premiere bring Wellington to a standstill, and scored notable breakthroughs for the local film industry. Held in Wellington, the world premiere of The Return of the King saw a parade begin at Parliament and featured two hundred extras in costume, and demonstrated the growing profile of Aotearoa New Zealand’s film industry on the world stage… As Nancy Swarbrick notes in Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, the film’s stunning financial and critical success further increased international interest in Aotearoa New Zealand as a place to make big-budget movies.”
Of course, New Zealand played no small role in making the films look and feel incredible. We love this symbiotic relationship.
NZ Post’s Collectables
Finally, if you’ve loved NZ Post’s The Lord of the Rings collectibles as much as we have, make sure to check out its Collectables page for more excellent surprises. You never know what you might find. We’d also like to say a special thank you to NZ Post Head of Stamps and Collectables, Antony Harris, for keeping Nerdist informed about the latest in NZ Post news.
We’re crossing our fingers to see a 25th anniversary The Lord of the Rings collection or two someday soon.