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It’s Official: Ringo Starr’s White Album Is Most Expensive Vinyl Ever

John Pratt, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
John Pratt, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Last year, Ringo Starr auctioned off his rare copy of the Beatles‘ White Album. It’s now been named the most expensive vinyl record ever sold at auction.

According to NME, the drummer’s personal copy of the group’s self-titled 1968 album — a U.K. pressing stamped No. 0000001 — sold for $790,000 in December. Previous reports had the sale a bit higher, at  $910,000, but Guinness World Records have now confirmed the sale and naming it the “most expensive vinyl record sold at auction.”

The mint copy of the LP had been stored in a vault by Starr for the past 35 years.

Early pressings of the album were individually stamped on the cover, and Starr’s copy, which was rumored to belong to John Lennon originally, was one of the first manufactured. (Because of the different numbering systems used by various plants, there are several copies of the White Album with a No. 0000001 stamp.) The Beatles received four chronologically stamped copies of the White Album; a copy marked No. 0000005 was sold at a 2008 auction for around $30,000.

Starr’s album was sold by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles on Dec. 5 along with 1,300 other items belonging to him. Many of the pieces were artwork and other family heirlooms, not all of them having to do with the Beatles. Proceeds from the sale went to the Lotus Foundation, a London-based charity group founded by Starr and his wife Barbara Bach.

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