Rare ‘Harry Potter’ Book Auctioned Off, Snatched Up For A Whopping £56,250 ($74K)

The sum came close to a world record for the highest price anyone has ever paid for a unsigned work of fiction.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Book Cover
Alex Wong / Getty Images

The sum came close to a world record for the highest price anyone has ever paid for a unsigned work of fiction.

One lucky woman just sold an incredibly rare Harry Potter book for a huge sum. In fact, the unnamed seller of the book, who most likely lives in the UK, was able to get a whopping £56,250 from an American buyer at Bonham’s auction house, according to RTÉ. That’s roughly about $74,300.57 to us Yanks, and that’s none too shabby.

The rare and valuable fantasy novel was the first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. The work of fiction is the first novel in the seven-part fantasy series, and it was J.K. Rowling’s debut novel. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997 by Bloomsbury and later published in 1998 in the U.S. under the name of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by the Scholastic Corporation.

There were three main factors that led to the Harry Potter novel being so valuable. One was that it was one of a group of 500 copies that was released in 1997 during its debut print run. What’s more, 300 of those copies were to go to libraries in Britain. Another is that those 1997 editions of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone had spelling errors that were rectified in following editions. Lastly, the now-famous author of the fantasy series about the young wizard was billed as “Joanne Rowling” at the time the uncommon editions were printed.

Image of JK Rowling
Famed author of the Harry Potter seven-part Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling. Rob Stothard / Getty Images

The unnamed seller bought the book at Harrogate Railway Station when she was an 11-year-old schoolgirl. She probably had no idea that the book had such a magical value until 21 years later when she most likely researched the subject of the worth of rare books in order to find out how to properly auction hers off. AbeBooks, an online bookseller, is one such resource and has a guide that teaches you how to find out if your book is junk or a valuable treasure.

This wasn’t the first time that the limited edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone fetched a hefty sum, either. Fine Books & Collections reported in September 2017 that one of the limited series of 500 original copies was sold for a world record-breaking £60,249 ($81,250) in Dallas, Texas.

The Harry Potter novel, which was maintained in perfect condition, sold for 5,000 times its original price of £10.99. The sale which was brokered by rare book specialist, Heritage Auctions, set the world record for the largest sum ever received “for an unsigned work of fiction.”

James Gannon, Director of Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director said,

“We have sold great Harry Potter titles – not to mention chairs – in the past, but we never really paid attention to such a thing as a world record.”