What is an old Bibles
Value? How much is my
An old Bible may
important family heirloom with significant personal value. However, the
Bible is also the most printed book in history and many old copies have
survived. Consequently, few old Bibles have any monetary or collectible
value on the rare book market, but there are exceptions.
Value is based on many factors:
Market Demand: Do
collectors want to buy this edition?
Factors influencing market damand are...
- Is it an
historically important printing? Did someone famous sign it?
- How many
- Is it a
(or early) printing of its type?
- Does it
deaths) of a historiclly important family?
- Age, ie:
is this printing?
the outside in good condtion? is a restoration or rebinding needed?
- Are the
are any pages missing? how many?
|Lets start with Market Demand, or in
other words, does anyone
want to buy it? On
between the Old and New Testaments, old Bibles often contain hand
written records or births and deaths. If the Bible contains information on several
generations of a family, it may be useful for genealogical research or
valuable to the family mentioned in its genealogical pages. If your Bible originally
belonged to the family of a historical figure, it could be quite
valuable. If it was signed by someone famous, or if it was an early
printing of a significant edition, it could be valuable.
The second factor effecting
value is Condition. Just as
"location, location, location" is the
mantra in the real
estate world, condition makes or breaks the value of a collectible
Bible. Look at your Bible as a collector would. A Bible collector scrutinizes
a 100 year
old antique Bible for the same flaws as a brand new Bible. Bible collectors
and professional sellers prefer to use one of five categories
regarding condition: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, or
Poor: Bible is in sad
condition. Pages maps or boards may be missing, or torn, Bible may
badly soiled or scribbled on by a child.
Fair: Loose pages,
soiled, loose spine, etc. The Bible is complete, all pages & maps present.
Good: A Bible that is clean inside,
complete and all pages present and
attached. Nothing torn. Spine is fairly strong.
Very Good: A
clean Bible, some shelf wear, perhaps only a neatly written previous
owner signature inside.
Fine: An attractive
Bright pages, no writing, no bumps or wear. It looks new.
Value: The value
old leather Bible in very good condition with no family records or
other factors that would increase its value might be worth about $10 to
$20 dollars. If the Bible contains family records, or other important
factors it could be worth from $20 up to a large amount. But don't sell
your Bible yet! Yours could be worth alot more - be sure to research
its value by comparing its features to copies on the internet.
|Here are sites to research the market of a Bible.
These sites will
give you a sense of what sellers are asking and how many copies are
Keep in mind the condition of your Bible and its edition (First
printing, later printing, etc.)
used books. No-frills. One
of my favorite sites for gauging marketability of a Bible. This site
allows you to
sort your results in several different ways.
marketplace of used book dealers on their site.
Ebay.com searching Ebay
auctions is a great to find out
much your edition
has sold for.
there's always the tried and true price guides. Check
large selection of price
for rare and collectible books here.
Help Research the Used Book Market and Identify
Many book publishers indicate
"First Edition" in their own unique way.
The following books will arm you with years of knowledge found nowhere
you buy, collect or sell books, these should be your first
3rd Edition: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books Ian
Paperback 2006. A good first hand account of book buying and book
bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used books on
Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site Steve Weber. Paperback 2005.
A super book, one of the best rated books by Amazon readers regarding selling books on-line.
Official Price Guide to books, 5th Edition
Tedford & Pat Goudey.
Paperback 2005. Although used book prices fluctuate, sometimes its good
to have a book you can refer to when the computer's not turned on.
Guide to the Identification of First Editions - Sixth Edition
McBride. Paperback 2000 Very useful little book. Publishers each have
own way of identifying the first edition (or more correctly - first printing
) of any book they produce. This little book lists most publishers and
uses a simplified code system based on the author's experience
handling actual first editions.
of Issue : A Compendium of Points of Issue of books by 19th-20th
Authors. Bill McBride. Paperback 1996. Another pocket-sized
to the Guide listed above, it's also very useful. This is a list of
specific books which have details (points of issue) that determine a
Editions : A Guide to Identification- Edward N Zempel (Editor).
Hardcover 4th Edition (November 2001). A compilation of publishers
about their methods of identifying first editions. Covers nearly 1700
and academic publishers in the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia
New Zealand. For all bibliophiles.