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Emma Swanepoel of Durban writes: I have a first edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; is it of any value?

Ainsley Taylor of Stephan Welz & Co. replies: While it’s true that first editions of the Harry Potter series have become quite collectable, the most valuable is the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published by Bloomsbury in London on 30 June 1997.

A first edition copy – also known as the first impression or first printing – means it’s from one of the very first batches of books off the press. The first printing of The Philosopher’s Stone was bound in two different ways: a hardback issue with a cover of laminated boards of which only 500 copies were made, and a regular paperback version of which a few thousand copies were printed. Naturally, these hardcover issues are now the most valuable.

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