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What The Pawn Stars Paid For An Amelia Earhart-Signed Book

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, pilots were celebrities. Charles Lindbergh was Time Magazine's first Man of the Year in 1928 for flying from New York to Paris, and Amelia Earhart inspired the world by becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Her disappearance during an attempt at a circumnavigational flight is still something people talk about today, almost 80 years later. Amelia Earhart is a notable enough historical figure, in fact, that Rick Harrison paid a pretty penny for a signed copy of one of her books on "Pawn Stars." The Season 18 clip can be watched on YouTube.

The seller, James, came into the shop with a signed first edition of Earhart's 1928 book "20 Hours, 40 Minutes," a memoir about being the first female passenger on a transatlantic flight. He's an aircraft mechanic by trade, so he's especially fond of Amelia Earhart. He found the book "in an old pile of books" at a property he bought, and he held onto it for 12 years before he came into Gold & Silver Pawn Shop looking to unload it. He wanted $8000.

Rick didn't know if that was a fair price, though he thought it might be high due to the condition of the book, so he called in book expert Rebecca Romney, CEO of Type Punch Matrix (and rare book specialist), to take a look at it.

The price plummeted like, well, you know

Rebecca Romney explained that "20 Hours, 40 Minutes" was Earhart's first book, and so it was "just the beginning of everything that she was going to accomplish," which included setting numerous records in distance and altitude and becoming the first person to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland.

Romney agreed that the book was in poor condition, but confirmed that Earhart's signature appeared to be authentic. She said it's not an uncommon book unsigned, so the biggest contributor to the value is the signature. The fact that it's a first edition helps, too. But the condition, which includes a big nick taken out on the spine, brings the price down a bit. Romney placed the value at around $2000. That was a big drop from $8000, but James took it pretty well. His new offer to Rick was $1000. Rick countered with $900. James winced about that for a moment, but ultimately decided that was a fair price.

Rick was happy with how the negotiation for the aviation pioneer's book turned out. "I'm flying kind of high on this deal," he quipped to the camera. Ba-dum-tss!