Guiana stamp sold for US$9.5m

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A stamp described as the world’s rarest sold for a record US$9.5 million at auction earlier this week.

The New York-based auction house Sotheby’s said the “British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta” went to a phone bidder, who chose not to be publicly identified.

The Washington Post said the previous auction record for a single stamp was US$2.2 million, set by a stamp called the “Treskilling Yellow” in 1996.

The price of the stamp was below Sotheby’s pre-auction estimate of US$10 million to US$20 million, the Post said.

But Sotheby’s vice-chairman, David Redden, said he was, nonetheless, “thrilled with tonight’s extraordinary, record-setting price of US$9.5 million”.

He said in a statement it was “truly great moment for the world of stamp collecting”.

The stamp was printed in 1856 by a newspaper publisher in Guyana after the local post office ran out of stamps shipped from London, England.

“You’re not going to find anything rarer than this,” Allen Kane, director of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum told the AP.

“It’s a stamp the world of collectors has been dying to see for a long time.”


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