Have you ever wondered just how many hours you’d need to work to afford Harry Potter’s unicorn hair wand from Ollivanders? Well, wonder no more. Thanks to one impressive fan, we now know how much wizarding money is actually worth IRL.
On Tuesday (Feb. 2), dedicated Muggle aubieismyhomie posted an in-depth analysis of the wizarding world’s economy on Reddit — specifically how the money used in “Harry Potter” translates to U.S. currency today.
In “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Hagrid explains how wizard money works to Harry when the pair visit Gringotts Wizarding Bank: 17 sickles is one galleon and 29 knuts is one sickle, meaning that 493 knuts is one galleon. After analyzing all of the prices mentioned in the “Harry Potter” books, aubieismyhomie came up with the following exchange rate:
So the seven galleons Harry paid for his wand at Olivander’s? That would be $175. Given the wand’s significance in the series, that’s relatively cheap. Besides, it’s not like Harry couldn’t afford it. At the World Cup, Harry spent $750 to buy Ron, Hermione and himself Omnioculars. He also gave Fred and George his Triwizard Tournament winnings (which was roughly $25,000) to start their joke shop.
Compared to the Weasley family’s vault, which consisted of 1 galleon and a pile of sickles (aka $50 to $75), the Boy Who Lived was pretty well-off.
“Based on this, a Butterbeer from the Hog’s Head would be about $3 (as would hot chocolate on the Knight Bus), Harry bought about $18 of candy on the Hogwarts Express in his first year, and a high-level textbook costs about $225 (which Harry complained about how expensive it was),” aubieismyhomie adds.
However, there is one major problem with this theory. As several Redditors quickly pointed out, back in 2001, J.K. Rowling revealed that one galleon was equal to around five British pounds, which was about $8 in 1997 at the time of the first book’s publication. Given Rowling’s exchange rate, plus inflation, that would mean that one galleon would equal approximately $12 today. Maybe. (Tbh, math was never my favorite subject.)
Then again, why would wizards experience inflation? Their money is managed by goblins. GOBLINS.
Regardless, one thing is clear: Harry Potter was The Boy With Loads O’ Money.