Rare ‘Harry Potter’ book bought for under $1 may be worth thousands

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Accio money.

A worn-out original copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” purchased for less than $1, is now estimated to be worth a whopping $6,300.

Experts confirmed the novel was one of only 500 copies of the beloved book published in 1996 by Bloomsbury and one of only 300 sent to libraries around the UK, according to South West News Service.

Much like Harry Potter at the start of the beloved series, staff at the Wolverhampton Library were unaware of its magical properties and thought it was too damaged for people to borrow anymore — and decided to sell it instead.

An eagled-eyed buyer recognized the book’s value, purchasing it for under a solitary buck and storing it in a box at home.

However, it’s believed the unnamed man lost the novel when his collection got too big, reported SWNS.


Rare first edition 1996 Bloomsbury publication of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone."
The book was one of just 500 original copies published.
Richard Winterton Auctioneers / SWNS

Auctioneer holding Harry Potter novel.
Auctioneers estimate the book is now worth thousands.
Richard Winterton Auctioneers / SWNS

Inside Harry Potter cover.
The well-read book was sold for under $1.
Richard Winterton Auctioneers / SWNS

The J. K. Rowling book was forgotten about until the man died earlier this year at age 55, which was when family members rediscovered the rare book.

“When he moved house four years ago, he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers,” the man’s sister, who asked not to be named, told SWNS. “We knew that he had got the book but if you asked him to pinpoint, it he couldn’t.”

According to the woman, the man had spent his entire life collecting books and memorabilia.

“He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics,” she recalled.


Front cover of Harry Potter book.
The book had originally been in the library until it was determined to be too damaged to lend out anymore.
Richard Winterton Auctioneers / SWNS

“He would then take them to a second-hand shop in Hednesford to sell or take them into school to swap with friends,” she said.

Experts believe the well-read novel is set to spark a bidding war at Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques on July 10, with its worth estimated between $3,800 and $6,300.

“What an amazing find. Withdrawn and discarded from the library, bought for 30p [about 38 cents US] and now worth thousands of pounds,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton.

“The book still bears its library identification, spine sticker with the letter J, subsequent withdrawal stamp and 30p selling price,” he continued.

“It has clearly been well-read, which is most befitting of one of the initial run of books which helped fuel the early popularity of Potter – which, of course, rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon,” Winterton added.

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