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How Much A $20k Isaac Newton-Owned Book Actually Sold For On Pawn Stars

History can be incredibly fascinating — "can be" being the operative phrase. One boring middle school teacher, one dull museum tour, or one oversaturated story can be (again the operative phrase) enough to turn someone off to history completely. It's sad, because exploring and understanding history can help us appreciate the present and plan for a better future. That's why Pawn Stars tries its utmost to make history fun and interesting — a task it arguably succeeds at, since it's remained on air since 2009.

The show is structured in such a way that you could watch an episode, not watch another for a year, then come back feeling like you never left, and yet there are still surprises around every corner. Why? Because of the items patrons bring in. Without them, there would be no Pawn Stars. It's because of the patrons that viewers get to see things like an antique flintlock pistol a la Pirates of the Caribbean, a fossilized Elephant Bird egg, and a 1932 Lincoln Roadster.

Many of the items brought in were once owned by prominent historical figures. In the season 3 episode "Put Up Your Dukes," a prospective seller brings in something he believes belonged to the father of physics himself: Isaac Newton.

A price that drops like an apple from a tree

Bob, the seller, shows the geology and mining-focused book, apparently printed in 1546, to an impressed "Old Man" Harrison and Chumlee. He claims that it once sat on a shelf in Newton's library, the proof being the bookplate (i.e., an individual's sign of ownership) on the inside cover and the doggy-eared pages the physicist was well known for. Though written in Latin — not a language just anyone can read these days — Old Man posits the book should be worth quite a bit if Newton really did own it, and so he calls in an expert to verify the claim.

The expert's assessment: the book was actually printed in 1546 (written by a famous alchemist of the time to boot), and the reference number above the bookplate indicates that it was indeed Newton's. However, the binding was redone sometime in the 1700s, devaluing what the book would have otherwise been worth. Even so, he appraises it at $20,000, which shocked Bob.

The seller starts at $15,000 just to play it safe, but Old Man immediately says "Ain't no way," and the haggling tug-of-war begins. After a tense back and forth, they shake on $7,000. It's a fairly steep price drop after the expert's high appraisal, but Bob seems relatively happy with the deal. Whoever ended up buying the book was no doubt even happier to own such a rich piece of scientific history.