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Rare books dealers advise that the typo in question appears in other, later editions of the book which may not command the high prices that the very earliest ones might.

“To have any real collectable value, it has to be a copy of the first edition, first impression (also known as the first printing),” Pom Harrington of Peter Harrington writes.  

The book has several other identifying features that distinguish it from later printings.

Galleon grubbers 

A new wave of excitement over the book arose after Bonhams announced a copy would appear at their Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on November 9. They have estimated the hardbound copy, which is in good condition, could bring £15,000-20,000 – though specialists expect it may go higher still.

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has a special place in the affections of millions of readers across the world, and the proof-reading error about the wand in the first edition has, of course, become a treasured piece of Harry Potter arcana,” said Matthew Haley, Bonhams head of books and manuscripts.

The typo in question the repetition of “1 wand” in the list of supplies that Harry is required to buy for school on page 53 of the book.

Magical misprints and where to find them 

The resulting public excitement over the typo editions of the book led to dealers such as Harrington being “inundated” with emails from people enquiring about the value of their own copies.

“The repetition of ‘1 wand’ on the list of Harry’s required equipment for Hogwarts does indeed appear in true first editions, but was also present in several later printings that are relatively common,” Harrington says.

The most basic signifiers that the book is the valuable edition are the cover, the Bloomsbury publisher (rather than Ted Smart) and a publication date of 1997. The book must also be printed in the UK.

Beyond these signifiers, the first printing is identifiable from a distinctive line of descending numbers (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) on the reverse of the title-page. However, this number line may also appear on the gold-embossed “Celebratory” first editions which sell for only around £20 – the other conditions must also apply.