On a recent episode of the British television show Antiques Roadshow, a schoolteacher brought in her two copies of J.K Rowling’s 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets', and 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone', both first editions.
Antiques Roadshow evaluator Justin Croft discovered that not only were the books first editions in good condition, but they were signed by J.K Rowling herself – making them an even rarer find as the author limited the number of books she signed after she became a household name.
He valued them at $37000 and $5500 each.
But even if your books aren’t signed, if you have some first edition Harry Potter books laying around, you might be sitting on a gold mine.
According to collectable book site Abe Books, a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone could fetch you a neat $600 to $3300. If you have a hardcover first edition, then you’re in for an even greater win.
How to identify a valuable Harry Potter book
Want to know if your books are worth something? The website explains that the usual characteristic of a 1997 (UK) first edition Philosopher's Stone print is a print line that reads ‘10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1’ and the crediting of ‘Joanne Rowling’ not J.K.
First editions of the deluxe Philosopher's Stone from 1999 can also fetch a pretty penny from the right buyer.
Australian first editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets fetch around $400 to $820.
A first edition print of The Prisoner of Azkaban usually has a print line sequence of 10 to one, and a block of misaligned text on page seven.
Anything signed by the author is also worth more than what you would have paid for it brand new.
US first editions of the Chamber of Secrets will have the number line of '1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02' on the copyright page along with "Printed in the U.S.A.23" and "First American edition, October 1998".
Any first edition of The Goblet of Fire with a signature from J.K Rowling can fetch a four-figure price-tag. Look out for the limited editions with original watercolour illustrations by Giles Greenfield (Bloomsbury's UK edition) and Mary GrandPre (Scholastic's super rare US edition of only 25 copies).