13p stamp error sells for £85k
It was billed as 'the most important stamp error of the 20th Century'...
The 1976 British stamp issue for the Centenary of the Royal National Rose Society featured four individual stamps.
The 8½p 'Elizabeth of Glamis' named after the Queen Mother
The 10p 'Grandpa Dickson'
The 11p 'Rosa Mundi'
But it's always been the 13p 'Sweet Briar' that has attracted the attention of rare stamp collectors around the world.
Whilst millions of these stamps were printed only three exist with the value omitted; ie the 13p face value doesn't appear on the stamp.
During the printing process, during repairs to the cylinder, the face value was temporarily covered with copper. This covering was inadvertently left in place during printing.
The error was discovered before issue and all copies of the stamp should have been destroyed.
However three examples exist to this day.
Two are held in The Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The third has just been sold by dealers Stanley Gibbons for £85,000.
Mike Hall CEO of Stanley Gibbons commented:
"The demand for the rarest stamps has increased in recent years. We are seeing more and more collectors & investors fight for the best stamps."
An even rarer investment grade stamp is currently on the market. The Tyrian Plum dating from 1910 is one of Britain's most sought after stamps.
You can read about it here.
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image: Stanley Gibbons