Rare Stamp Sells For Record £5.6m
An extremely rare postage stamp dating back to the 19th Century has been sold for a record £5.6m at an auction in New York.
The British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp was sold in less than 2 minutes to an anonymous bidder.
This is the third time this particular stamp has been sold, each time setting the record for being the most expensive stamp in the world.
Measuring just 1x1inches, the stamp had not been seen since its previous owner John du Pont, heir to the du Pont chemical empire, bought it back in 1986
The auction house where it was sold, Sotheby’s, said “it is also the most expensive item by weight and size ever sold – Every collecting area has its Holy Grail. For stamps it is The British Guiana,” Sotheby’s wrote on its website, adding the stamp is often described as the “most famous” and “most valuable” in the world.
The stamp, printed on magenta paper, bears a three-masted ship and the colony’s motto, “We give and expect in return”.
The stamps initially went into circulation when a shipment of stamps was delayed from London and the colony’s postmaster asked printers to make three stamps until the shipment arrived.
The three stamps; one-cent magenta, four-cent magenta and four-cent blue were created, but only the one-cent stamp is believed to still exist.
The previous record was an 1855 Swedish stamp that sold in 1996 for £1.3m.