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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 47, November 5, 2005, Article 4

MOST EXPENSIVE STAMP TRADE

Arthur Shippee sent us this New York Times article about
a recent trade of some very rare and valuable U.S. stamps:
"In a swap reminiscent of childhood trades of years past,
a block of four rare United States airmail error stamps
worth nearly $3 million is to be traded today for a stamp
that is equally rare and far more obscure. With the trade,
the block's owner, the bond investor Bill Gross, will
finish what is believed to be the first complete collection
of 19th-century United States stamps ever assembled."

"The four stamps he is trading today are a block of the
famous 24-cent airmail stamps from 1918 that are known to
collectors as the Inverted Jenny because the Curtiss JN-4
biplane depicted in the center was accidentally printed
upside down."

"The prize for which he is trading it is a rare 1-cent
Z-grill, a blue stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin that
was issued in 1868 and is so named because of an experimental
security grill, pressed into the back, whose purpose was
to bar reuse by keeping the cancellation from being washed
off. It belongs to Donald Sundman, president of the Mystic
Stamp Company of Camden, N.Y."

"The Z-grill is like the Hope Diamond of American philately,"
said Mr. Sundman, whose company sells stamps to beginners
and advanced collectors alike."

Mr. Sundman bought his Z-grill at auction in 1998 for
$935,000, a record price for a single American stamp. With
today's trade, its value implicitly jumps to $2.97 million,
the amount paid for the Inverted Jenny block two weeks ago.
That is a world-record price for any stamp, surpassing the
$2.2 million paid in 1996 for a unique Swedish stamp known
as the Treskilling Yellow."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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