$475k Chinese stamp sets world record

A Chinese stamp pulled from circulation in 1968 was sold for a record price at auction in Hong Kong on Sunday (November 1).

The stamp was sold for HK$3.68m (US$475,000) to an anonymous Asian buyer. Originally, it was withdrawn on the day it was issued for failing to show Taiwan as a part of China.

The sale is a world record for a Chinese stamp.

World-record 1968 Chinese stamp ($475,000)
The 1968 stamp was withdrawn because Taiwan isn't coloured-in

Six smaller stamps of the same design sold as a combined lot for HK$2.93m. They were each designed by Wang Wei Sheng, who attended the auction.

"For a long time I was really worried that I would be jailed," revealed Wang, according to the news agency AFP.

The stamps date from China's decade-long cultural revolution, a period of social and political upheaval beginning in the mid-1960s.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after civil war. But, despite being ruled separately, Beijing still considered it part of China, awaiting reunification.

Wang's critical mistake was to leave Taiwan uncoloured on the stamp's map design.

"Officials told me that it was a really big mistake, but in the end nothing happened," he said.

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