The die-hard Harry Potter fans have done it again. On Tuesday, Redditor aubieismyhomie posted an in-depth analysis of the economics in the world of Harry Potter — specifically, how wizards’ coins translate to U.S. currency.
Hagrid explains wizard money to Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 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. From there, aubieismyhomie compiled a list of the common products of which the books mention prices (three Butterbeers for six sickles, one hot chocolate for 2 sickles, a ride on the Knight Bus for 11 sickles, and more) and came up with a conversion rate:
Using this rate, fans of the book series can get a bit more insight into the objects and characters of J.K. Rowling’s magical world. For instance, the seven galleons Harry paid for his wand at Olivander’s was probably priced around $175. According to the conversion rate, he gave Fred and George Weasley $25,000 to start their joke shop. The rate also reveals that Dobby’s salary of a galleon a week means he makes around $25 each week, and that the 100,000 galleons reward for Potter’s capture in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is a whopping $2.5 million.
J.K. Rowling has not revealed the exchange rate for the wizarding world currency, so this theory cannot be considered canon. More discussion on the Reddit thread pointed out that this rate meant a secondary school book would cost £150 (~$220) and expressed disbelief. Another commenter brought up a 2001 interview with Rowling in which she said a galleon was “about five pounds, though the exchange rate varies,” to which the original Redditor defended the theory with inflation.