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Harry Potter First Editions

First edition Harry Potter books have become very valuable. Here is how you can tell if you have an original and what it may be worth:

Identifying a first edition Harry Potter book:

The first Harry Potter book to be published was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone." Bloomsbury Publishing first printed the book in 1997. A true first edition can be identified using a printing number, which can be found at the very beginning of the book. Bloomsbury Publishing use a reverse number system to identify when a book was printed. If the number ends with one ( for example 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) you may have a first edition

First edition "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone" books with laminated pictorial boards that are not bound in cloth and feature a shiny cover are very valuable, as only 500 of these books were printed

What effects the value of a first edition?

The value of a first edition depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Is the book a hardback? Hardback editions are more valuable than paperback editions
  • What condition is the book in? The higher the condition of the book the more it will be worth
  • Which book is it? Earlier Harry Potter books are more valuable than later books, so a first edition "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone" will be more valuable than a first edition "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
  • Is it signed? If you have a first edition signed by J. K. Rowling the value of the book can be more than three times higher than an unsigned book!

How much is a first edition worth?

The prices listed below are a rough guide only and should not be taken as a price list for Harry Potter first editions! Only an expert can truly identify the value of a Harry Potter first edition. If you think you have a first edition contact a well-known auction house, such as Sotheby's or Christie's

  • An unsigned first edition copy of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone" may be worth between 3,000 and 4,000. A signed copy may be as much as 10,000. One of the first edition "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone" hardbacks was sold for 10,575 at a Sotheby's auction in early 2002
  • An unsigned first edition copy of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" may be worth between 400 and 600. A signed copy may be worth 1,500
  • An unsigned first edition copy of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" may be worth 1000. A signed copy may be worth between 2,000 and 3,000. Note: This book will only be worth this amount if it contains a printing error in the first chapter, where a line was mistakenly placed between "burnt" and "so much" in the extract from "A History of Magic"
  • First editions of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" are not particularly valuable because so many were printed
  • An unsigned deluxe edition set of the first four books may be worth 1,000 with a signed set worth between 2,000 and 3,000

 

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