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The Rarest Harry Potter Book You'll Never Own

For a certain segment of Harry Potter fans, just reading the books and watching the movie adaptations a million times isn't enough. Even noting small details that only die-hard Harry Potter fans understand and reading J.K. Rowling's biggest Harry Potter revelations since finishing the books don't fill the hole that opened when the final page was turned.

Fortunately, there's a whole world of Harry Potter merch to help. You can fill your house (or your cupboard under the stairs) with action figures, games, t-shirts, bedspreads and pretty much anything else you can imagine. There's really no better way to show off your connection to the series that taught millions of children the pleasure of reading, however, than with an extra-special book.

Finding a copy of any of the books in the original Harry Potter series is easy; just go anywhere books are sold. There are some Harry Potter books out there, however, that are rarer than unicorn blood. Unlike unicorn blood, they do occasionally turn up at auctions, giving us a tantalizing glimpse into a world of merch on which we'll never get our hands unless we're willing to pay the price of a car.  Check out the rarest Harry Potter book galleons can't buy, and how to tell if you already own one worth thousands.

J.K. Rowling created a miniature Harry Potter book for charity

One of the most magical things about J.K. Rowling — other than her imagination — is her commitment to charity work. In 2004, she joined other celebrities, including Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney, to create miniature books to be sold at auction, with the proceeds going to London-based homeless charity the 999 Club. Rowling's 31-page book has a green and gold cover, measures 1.6 inches by 2.4 inches, and includes her signature, a handwritten list of all the things a first year Hogwarts student needs for school, and accompanying sketches hand-drawn by the author.

The tiny book sold for £10,000 ($12,000) at auction in 2004. It went back on the block on March 26, 2020, on auction site Just Collecting, which estimated that it would fetch between £100,000 and £150,000 ($123,340 and $185,010).

You don't need a time turner to have a chance of snapping it up: Just Collecting told us that the book ultimately didn't sell (March 2020 was not exactly a great time for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars). If you start saving now, it could be yours next time around.

This first edition could be a goldmine

Rowling isn't the only one making big bucks off the Boy Who Lived. If you have a certain edition of the first book, it could be the best accidental investment you ever made.

Once Harry Potter became a huge success, the publishers printed thousands of copies, but there are only 500 hardbacks that are first edition and first impression — the first Harry Potter books ever printed — and 300 of those went to libraries. To be clear, we're talking about the original British version, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

If you still have your old hardback copy, look at the title page. If it has the numbers ten to one printed in descending order from left to right, it's a first edition. What's more, we get annoyed with mistakes that are hard to ignore in Harry Potter movies, but finding two specific mistakes in your first edition of Harry Potter is a very good sign meaning you have one of these super rare copies. Flip to page 53, and that list of things first-year Hogwarts students need. If "1 wand" is printed twice — and it's a first edition — you're in luck. This error was corrected in the second print run, but slipped back in later. Now, turn the book over: On the back cover, it should read "Acclaim for Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone."

Without a crystal ball or some tea leaves, you can't tell what will happen at auctions, but there are good omens. In December 2018, a signed copy of one of these books sold for $162,500. On July 31, 2019 (Rowling's and Harry's birthday), another made its owner £28,500 ($35,152). Three months later, another copy in better condition sold for £46,000 ($56,736). Hey, you never know!