Sex Pistols’ Original “God Save the Queen” Single Sells for Almost $17K at Auction

A copy of the track on original label A&M is among the world’s rarest records.

There are rare records, and then there’s the Sex Pistols’ legendary debut single, “God Save the Queen.”

A copy of the 7″—pressed on the band’s original label, A&M Records—recently pulled a cool £13,000 at auction, which is almost $17,000 in U.S. dollars.

The band, originally signed to A&M, was quickly dropped by the label in March 1977 due to their public perception and growing notoriety. While most of the records were destroyed once the Sex Pistols were snapped up by Richard Branson and Virgin Records, a handful survived.

Martin Hughes of Wessex Auction Rooms in England told the BBC that a scant nine copies were gifted to label employees when the imprint shuttered in 1998. So he was more than a little skeptical when he received an email from a potential seller claiming he had a copy of the disc. That’s when the seller sent over some proof.

“He sent me pictures and it was undeniably the right thing,” Hughes explained. Among the pictures was something known as the “golden handshake” letter from A&M, to the lucky employees who were given record copies. It was the letter that “just blew my mind,” he said. “It’s a holy grail item… and as far as I can tell it’s never been played.”

The anonymous online bidder will pay £15,652 ($20,170 U.S.) for it, including the buyer’s premium. See a photo from the BBC’s story below.

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