Having Fun With Postage Stamp Errors
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People have been collecting things most likely since the beginning of time. A quick internet search and you will find that what some people view as strange to collect; others are passionate about their favorite items. As diverse as people are, so are their collections. You can find people who collect mugs, buttons, cookie jars, toys, traffic signs, air sick bags, candy wrappers, and of course postage stamps, to name a few. Postage stamps are by far the most collected item around the world. They can show a bit of history and often times tell a story of their origin.
Last Friday a fantastic postage stamp collection went up for auction in New York City. By far, it is touted as one of the most amazing collections of President Lincoln stamps ever to be created. In total, the collection has more than 10,000 stamps depicting President Lincoln.
First the actual Olympics and now the “Olympics of stamp collecting” is gracing the land of China. Beginning on April 10th and running through April 16, 2009, the 2009 World Stamp Exhibition is the place to be to see top philatelic issues from around the globe.
Jim Ford, a stamp collector from Scotland, is mourning the loss of his precious stamp collection. The collection was originally started by his grandfather when he was a boy. The first stamps obtained were from letters from family members and friends who were scattered around the world. After his grandfather’s death, his uncle inherited the extensive stamp collection. Being confined to a wheelchair because of Multiple Sclerosis afforded him quite a bit of time to add to the already large collection of stamps from around the globe.
Labels: rare stamps
Saint Helena is located in the South Atlantic, near the island, Tristan de Cunha. Saint Helena is best known for being the place of exile of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1815 through 1821.
There are so many rare stamps in the world. These gems can acquire their value for any number of reasons, be it a limited edition release or an oldie from the antique love letters of one’s grandparents, tucked away in the attic. As with almost anything, including and especially stamps, rarity can often be found in mess-ups. When an edition is flawed or, for whatever reason, must be taken off the market, the value shoots up immensely. Possibly one of the most famous goof-ups in the history of American philately was the Inverted Jenny stamp.
Ever want to know what the most valuable stamp in the world is? Well, it is the “Treskilling” Yellow. If this stamp was a steak and its value was based on how much it costs per pound, as of 2004 the Treskilling Yellow would have cost you about 35 billion dollars per pound!
The Treskilling Yellow is a stamp that was one of Sweden’s first stamps. It was printed in 1855 as part of a set of a five stamp series that depicted the Swedish coat of arms. These stamps had values from 3 to 24 skillings (a denomination of Swedish money similar to the British shilling). What is unusual about this stamp is that most other 3-skilling stamps of this age were blue-green in color. The 8-skilling stamp was the one that was yellowish orange.
No one is sure what happened, but people suspect that the 8-skilling printing plate either was broken or got damaged and the 3-skilling plate was used in its place, resulting in 3-skilling stamps that were yellowish-orange instead of blue-green. No one knows how many of these “mistake” color stamps were printed. In fact no one even noticed the 3-sikilling stamps had a strange color. In 1858 the stamp design was changed and plates retired.
It was not until 1886 that a stamp collector going through his grandmother’s attic found one and sold it to a dealer for 7 Kronor (which is like the British coin called the Crown). In1894 another collector bought it for almost 1,000 times that amount because by that time, although people had looked for more, no others were ever found and this was the only surviving stamp of its kind.
The last time the stamp was sold, if it went up for sale today, it would probably fetch $2.5 million dollars!! Talk about a good investment!
Labels: rare stamps
In addition to those we talked about in the last blog, there are other famous stamps that are rare and wonderful. Some of these are:
1855 Treskilling Banco Yellow – Probably the most famous of all stamps. This one was a printing mistake. The stamp was first noticed by a 14-year old kid who was looking at his grandfather’s stamp collection. There is only one known to exist, making it the rarest stamp in the world!
1856 British Guiana One Cent Black on Magenta – Like the Treskilling Yellow, this stamp from the British colony of Guiana is extremely rare. There were so few stamps in Guiana at that time that they were hand-initiated by the post-office employee. The stamp itself is unusual in that it is a rectangle with clipped corners. One of these stamps sold 25 years ago for $935,000!
1867 Z-Grills – These stamps are from the US and have a picture of Benjamin Franklin the first US postmaster on an ornately imprinted “grill” of what looks like “Z’s”. The pattern was to stop people from counterfeiting the stamps, like the fancy filigree printing found on US paper currency. Only two of these stamps are known.
Just like Hollywood and the movies, the stamp world has its set of superstars. These are stamps that are super rare, those that have interesting stories associated with them, and those that bring the highest price when auctioned off. Below we list some of the most famous of the famous.
Labels: rare stamps