I know nothing about stamps, so if there are any ATS’ers that want to chime in, please do.
I’m not sure why, but I have always been interested in really valuable and rare antiques, artifacts, machines, etc.. I guess it’s the story and
history behind the objects that really sparks my interest. I came across an article today about the most valuable stamp in the world to be auctioned
Known as “The Magenta”, it is the only remaining 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp, the rarest in the world. It’s the only stamp
missing from the British Royal Family’s private collection. It’s about one and a quarter inches with an image of a three-masted ship and the
colony’s motto: “We give and expect in return”.
It hasn’t been on display since 1986 and has been in the private hands of John E. du Pont until his death in 2010. Interestingly, du Pont died in
prison. Apparently he murdered world class wrestler David Schultz, whom du Pont had sponsored.
This stamp is projected to go for 10-20 million. That’s millions.
Got me thinking what are the top five most valuable stamps thus far? Here’s what I have found.
1. Treskilling Yellow
Estimated value: Much higher than US$3.14 million
The normal three-skilling stamp, printed in Sweden, should be green, whereas the eight-skilling stamp was printed in yellow. However, due to an
unknown error in 1855, (most likely because the three-skilling plate was accidently replaced by an eight-skilling one), the three-skilling stamp was
printed in yellow, creating the precious Treskilling Yellow stamp. The only known copy in existence of the Treskilling Yellow, was discovered by a
schoolboy named Georg Wilhelm Baeckman in 1886, while going through his grandparents' attic.
2. Penny Black
Estimated value: US$5 million
The UK's 1840 issued Penny Black is the first stamp in the world. It was designed by Rowland Hill, who proposed the reform of the British postal
system. He was called the Father of the Postage Stamp.
Only two pieces of the early issue can be found now and these are regarded as real treasures. A few years ago, a rich businessman bought a copy from a
US auction house at the price of US$5 million.
3. Inverted jenny
Estimated value: US$3 million
Even if not a stamp collector, I think most everyone has seen the image of this famous stamp. The 24-cent Jenny stamp was the first stamp for
air-delivery issued in 1918. The stamps were printed on sheets of 100, but each sheet had to be fed through the printing machine twice. Therefore, it
was very easy to accidently flip the sheet on the second pass, and this is exactly what happened. One of these sheets was printed with the jenny plane
upside down, and sold before the error was noticed. This was how the Inverted Jenny got created.
Only 100 pieces of the Inverted Jenny can be found in the world nowadays. A block of 4 stamps was purchased in 2005, for US$3 million.
4. Post Office Mauritius
Estimated value: US$1.67 million
Post Office Mauritius is an error postal stamp issued in Mauritius. There are only 26 known pieces of the Post Office Mauritius stamps that have
survived to this day, including several 14 one-penny and 12 two-penny pieces. In 2011, a blue two-penny Post Office Mauritius was auctioned off for
1.05 million pounds (US$1.67 million) in the UK.
5. Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head
Estimated value: US$824,648
The Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head, printed in 1864, is the most expensive historical postage stamp of Hong Kong. The face value of the stamp was
96 Hong Kong cents (12 US cents) and it should have a brownish-grey tone. However, due to a printing error, 52 sheets of the stamp were printed in
olive color. The watermark was wrongly styled, and the word "CC" was printed in the wrong place. Among all 40 pieces of the Olive-colored Queen
Victoria's Head that can be found in the world nowadays, there is only one block of four such stamps existing.
edit on 28-2-2014 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)