Here’s how to tell if your old copy of Harry Potter is worth up to £30,000

Could your copy that's been hidden away actually be worth a fortune? (Photo: Shutterstock)Could your copy that's been hidden away actually be worth a fortune? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Could your copy that's been hidden away actually be worth a fortune? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Harry Potter was one of the best selling book series in the world, and now those old copies could be worth something.

Now a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is to be sold at auction, and the price will range between £20,000 and £30,000. So could your Harry Potter books be worth the same kind of money?

A £30,000 book?

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Forums Auctions will see Lot 535 auction a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

An ‘ex-library copy with ink stamp’, this book is part of the first batch of printed copies of the best seller. Printed in 1997, the book is set to go to auction on Thursday 30 May.

If you want to bid on the rare edition of the book, you can head to Forums Auctions.

As one of 500 copies printed, another copy sold for over £60,000 earlier this year.

How can I tell if my book is worth something?

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The Harry Potter books are currently still in print, which means that your old copies will need to have something different about them to make them valuable.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

With only 500 copies of the first edition printed, and 300 going to libraries, it’s highly unlikely that you have the ultra rare version - but it’s always worth checking.

Here’s what you need to check:

Go to page 53 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - if “1 wand” appears twice in the list of things Harry should bring to Hogwarts, you’ve got yourself a rare copy.

Check the print line in the front of the book - you’re looking for the code ‘1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1’.

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Also, if it credits Joanne Rowling instead of JK Rowling, you’re in the money.

However, those checks are just for the ultra rare edition - other versions of the books could still fetch you anything from £20 into the thousands:

A signed copy of a book is always worth something. If you happen to be in possession of a full collection of first edition books that have been signed, you could be looking at more than £28,000 coming your way.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

It’s not just the Philosopher’s Stone that’s in demand - a first edition of Chamber of Secrets has an impressive price tag. Published in 1998 in small numbers, Rowling was still a budding author and not yet a worldwide superstar.

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Hardcover editions of a first print of the second book can go for thousands of pounds. There have been other early print versions which have gone for a few hundred as well.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The initial print of the third book in the series ran, it had to be stopped midway through due to an error on the copyright page. It was discovered that Joanne Rowling had been printed rather than JK Rowling.

Books attributed to Joanne Rowling can start at around £1,000 and can go up to £8,000 for a signed copy.

The number line you’re looking for is ‘10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1’ and additionally you’re looking for a block of text on page seven that has been misaligned.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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By this point in the Harry Potter series, Rowling was signing fewer books, which means if you have a signed first edition copy of the fourth installment then you’re in luck. Signed versions have sold for up to £7,200.

If you managed to get a copy which has been signed by the illustrator, you could still be looking at a four figure price tag.

Buyers are also interested in accompanying items, such as entrance wristbands or golden tickets from events where Rowling signed books - after Goblet of Fire, these events became pretty rare.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

If you have a first edition copy that was signed by Rowling at the midnight launch event in Edinburgh, 2003, you’re looking at money in the thousands.

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A book signed by the illustrator will also bring in a few hundred as well.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

With this book published when Potter-mania was in full swing, the seventh book in the series doesn’t hold as much value to it.

But with her book tour days behind her, a copy with Rowling’s signature will automatically enhance this books value into the thousands.

Similarly, copies with illustrator Mary GrandPré signature can go up into the hundreds.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Millions of the finale of the Harry Potter series were published with everyone eager to find out how the story ended.

While a signature from Rowling herself adds considerable value to previous Harry Potter books, the same isn’t quite true for the Deathly Hallows.

She signed copies of the book 1,700 people who won tickets to the launch event in 2007.

These signed copies do have some value though, with prices starting at £720 and going up.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News

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