It's non-numismatic, but readers may be interested to learn about a new price record in our sister field of Philately. Thanks to Arthur Shippee and Eric Schena for passing along the story.
A very rare 19th Century postage stamp from a former British colony in South America has sold for a record $9.5m (£5.6m) at auction in New York.
It took only two minutes for the British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp to be sold to an anonymous bidder,
The stamp had been sold three times before, each time setting the auction record for a single stamp.
It measures just 1in by 1in (2.5cm by 2.5cm), and had not been publicly exhibited since 1986.
Sotheby's auction house said that apart from setting a new world record price for a stamp, it was 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".
It 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.
A one-cent magenta, four-cent magenta and four-cent blue were created, but only the one-cent stamp is believed to still exist.
The last owner of the famous stamp was John du Pont, heir to the du Pont chemical empire, who was convicted in 1997 of murdering an Olympic champion wrestler and died in prison in 2010.
To read the complete article, see:
Rare British Guiana stamp sets record at New York auction
To read the Sotheby's lot description, see:
THE BRITISH GUIANA ONE-CENT BLACK ON MAGENTA
Wayne Homren, Editor
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