Decades ago, physicist Albert Einstein signed a Bible and then gifted it to a friend.

Eighty years later, that Bible with an inscription by the German-born scholar was sold for $68,500.

The Bible was part of a fine books and manuscripts auction at Bonhams on Tuesday. Einstein and his wife signed it in 1932 and gave it to an American friend named Harriett Hamilton.

The auction house says Einstein writes in the German inscription the Bible "is a great source of wisdom and consolation and should be read frequently."

The Bible's final price far exceeds its pre-sale estimate of between $1,500 and $2,500. The final price includes the auction house's commission.

The auction house hasn't said who bought the Bible.

Einstein formulated the theory of relativity and won a Nobel Prize in physics. He died in 1955.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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