Lord of the Rings Coins for Isle Of Man - Isle Of Man Online
As hype over the first Harry Potter film reaches fever pitch a memorabilia salesman has come up with a wizard idea to cash in on the Island's merchandising scheme.
The unidentified salesman is offering a set of coins produced for the Island to mark the launch of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for sale on an internet auction site for more than £100 of their value.
The sterling silver coins, featuring six designs based on characters and stories in the best-selling novels, can be bought from UK-based Pobjoy Mint, which produced the coins for Treasury, for £239.70, but on website ebay they are being offered for more than £360.
Although set to become collector s items, which will boost their value, the coins have not sold out. Pobjoy produced 15,000 sets of the silver coins and still have plenty available.
The film, which goes on general release on November 16, is set to be the biggest movie of the year and may become the most successful film ever.
Fevered fans of the schoolboy wizard, created by author J. K. Rowling, are eager to snap up any merchandise featuring bespectacled hero Harry.
Treasury struck a deal with Pobjoy which sees royalties from international sales of the coins, which are legal tender in the Island, paid to the Island and exclusive rights to sell the coins in the Isle of Man handed to the government department.
Treasury Minister Richard Corkill said he understood the eagerness to snap up merchandise, but advised fans not to pay inflated prices while coins were still available from suppliers.
"If someone is chancing their arm it's a matter for them, but obviously we would advise people to purchase them from the official suppliers, which are Pobjoy and the Treasury in the Isle of Man, to avoid paying over the odds," he said.
The coins, which have been advertised all over the world, have proved a huge hit. Although the limited edition gold and silver six coin sets are still available, Treasury has sold out of the cupro-nickel coin featuring Harry casting a spell and Pobjoy has seen a rush on the collectible coin.
Fans gripped by Pottermania will have another treat in time for Christmas, all six designs will be released in cupro-nickel on December 1 for less than £60.
That means fans can have all six designs in a special presentation pack for much less than the gold and silver sets which will set buyers back more than £200.
Mr Corkill denied the Island has struck a deal with Pobjoy to produce coins ahead of the launch of the year's other major blockbuster, Lord of the Rings.
The epic film of J.R.R. Tolkein's much-loved book is released in December and could rival Harry Potter as the year's biggest hit.
Pobjoy is rumoured to be in talks with the film's producers to secure international rights to produce coins ahead of the film.
There is speculation Pobjoy could offer the Island the chance to have its name on the coins. The Isle of Man already has links with the film through Island resident John Rhys-Davies, one of its stars.
Mr Corkill said no approach had yet been made.
"I think they are so busy with Harry Potter that they haven't had a chance yet," he said. "If they did we would consider it on the basis of Harry Potter being so successful. We would seriously look at it.'