1980 Year of the Monkey stamps make $162,000

A sheet of 80 1980 Year of the Monkey stamps from China has sold for $162,180.

The lot headlined a sale at Zurich Asia in Hong Kong on August 23-24.

Year Monkey stamps
The 1980 Year of the Monkey issue is highly prized among Chinese collectors

While the issue is far from being the rarest stamp in China (around 5m were printed), it's become extraordinarily popular with collectors and laypeople alike.

This is partly due to the fact that it is printed in red and displays the number eight, both of which are lucky in Chinese culture.

The world record for a full sheet stands at $192,251 - set at a Chinese auction in 2011.

A 1947 cover from the Liberated Areas displaying two Chairman Mao $10 light blue stamps sold for $103,205.

The stamps were issued at north-east China local posts.

Zurich Asia explains: "It set a world auction record for a cover from the Liberated Area. This extremely unusual offering is tied by a 'LIAONING/FENGDONG' circular date stamp and a 'KIREN/29.11.47' arrival date stamp."

Other lots included a 1936 cover displaying a Chairman Mao $5 scarlet stamp that made $56,026.

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