How to figure out if your Harry Potter book is worth thousands of pounds


A rare first edition copy of Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone has just been sold for £28,500 ($34,500) – after the owner initially purchased the second hand library book for £1.

Only 500 exist of the rare first edition and it is distinguished by its two typos.

The book, which is the first in a seven-part-series, was purchased some 20 years ago and remained in a cupboard for 20 years before the owner took it out to get it appraised in the hopes that it might help pay for her new bathroom.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, invited Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire to take a look at three boxes of books, one of which contained the manuscript.

Jill Gallone, head of media at Hansons Auctioneers, told CNN:

You get the book in your hand and you can immediately see these basic typos.

Do you have a rare Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone book?

Books from the first print are very rare and can be identified by looking for two very specific types.

  • First, the word “philosopher” is spelled wrong on the back cover, and the phrase “1 wand” is repeated in a supply list on page 53.
  • Other indications that you may have a rare copy is that Rowing is identified as “Joanne” rather than "J.K".
  • The publisher must be Bloomsbury.
  • The latest date on the copyright page must be 1997.
  • The print line on the page must read: “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.”

These first editions are so rare because most went to schools and libraries.

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