$9.5 Million for Rare Postage Stamp

1856 British Guiana One-Cent Stamp Sets New World Record

June 17, 2014
By James Massey

(Source: WhatSellsBest.com) - A rare British Guiana postage stamp has set a new world record by fetching $9.5 million (after buyers premium) at auction.

Why's It Rare?

British Guiana was one of the very first countries to issue postage stamps. But, in 1856 they actually ran-out and the postmaster had to ask the local newspaper printer to print a contingency supply (full story in video). This stamp is an extremely rare survivor from that contingency supply.

According to Sotheby's auction description; "The One-Cent Black on Magenta is unique—the sole surviving One-Cent of the entire 1856 issue produced in Georgetown, British Guiana. The survival, rediscovery, and subsequent chain of ownership of the unique example of the One-Cent Magenta is just as serendipitous and captivating as the story of its creation."

The British Guiana: The World's Most Famous Stamp (Source: Sotheby's)

Auction Information & Sales Estimates

The Stamp was sold by Sotheby's Auction House (New York) on June 17, 2014. The pre-sale estimate was $10 - $20 million.

Prior to the auction, the stamp had eleven previous (documented) owners.

For more information see; Sotheby's auction listing (note: auction links may expire without notice).

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