Happy New Year!
I tried, but I failed yet again…
I didn’t manage to leave my stamps alone during the festive break!
When I should have been spending valuable time with my family, I found myself drawn to my home office any chance I could get.
I was excited to play with my new philatelic presents.
You see, in December, I went shopping for some new exciting acquisitions.
And, I managed to acquire some crackers!
So, I used the downtime to study, research and describe these new acquisitions for you.
In total, I added over 100 new major stamp rarities to our website last week.
My sales team haven't got their hands on them yet.
So, you’re getting first dibs on these lovely new stamps…
As always, there were a few stamps which excited me even more than all the others.
Below, I’ve picked out for you my Magnificent Seven.
They are magnificent because:
- They are very scarce
- They are of beautiful quality and, in many cases, the finest quality I have ever seen
- They are the kind of stamps I am just as happy to have as an investment on our balance sheet for the next 10 years as I am to sell them to you today
- They look magnificent value at their current valuations
1. One of the most handsome stamps in exquisitely fine condition
Saint Lucia 1949-50 12c claret, perforations 14½x14, SG153a.
A fine unmounted mint example with full original gum.
A very scarce and handsome King George VI stamp in such exquisite unmounted mint condition.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £800.
2. Very rare as a pair, fantastic quality and with an eye-catching printing variety
Bahamas 1942 'Landfall of Columbus' 6d olive-green and light blue, SG169a.
Commemorative stamp issue on the 450th anniversary of the landing of Columbus.
Used pair with top stamp showing 'COIUMBUS' (R.5/2) printing variety, cancelled by fine strike from ''NASSAU BAHAMAS'' circular date stamp dated ‘MAY 43’.
Other than a few short perforations, mentioned for accuracy, a fine quality example particularly pleasing with such fresh colour.
Used examples are rarer than mint examples for this difficult to find variety and scarcer as part of a pair.
The SG catalogue price is £1,500.
3. All-important centering for this US rarity and exceedingly scarce
USA 1875 10c deep bluish green ‘Washington’ (Reprint), SG47.
A wonderful fresh unused (without gum as issued) example of this scarce 1875 production reprint on white paper by the Continental Bank Note Co. for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
Much better centering than most examples.
This stamp is a reprint of the 10¢ stamp from the series of 1857-61. It was issued for collectors only and not for postal use. Only 516 were produced with just 43 stamps being sold.
The remaining examples were destroyed. As a result, this is an extremely scarce stamp and insufficient examples exist to satisfy collector demand.
The paper on this issue is harder and whiter than the original. The perforations are also different. (The first issue was perforated 15½.)
Accompanied with a 1987 Philatelic Foundation, New York (PF) Certificate of Authenticity.
4. One of only 3 and one of the most under-valued QEII errors
Great Britain 1999 Solar Eclipse miniature sheet, SGM2106a.
A superb unmounted mint imperforate example with full original gum.
Very rare, Pierron (the recognised authority on QEII British stamp errors) records only 3 mint imperforate examples.
Accompanied with a 2011 British Philatelic Association (BPA) Certificate of Authenticity.
This stamp was previously listed at a value of £18,000 in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue. Its current valuation of just £5,000 is plain nonsense. Whether the fair market value will ultimately prevail, time will tell, but for now it is yours for…
5. An important Chinese rarity almost never seen so fine
China 1897 12ca orange-yellow '60th Birthday of the Dowager Empress', from the unissued second printing, SG32.
A fine mint example with large part original gum, which is lightly toned as is common.
A rare and classic Chinese stamp and the 'Key value' of this issue.
This printing was made for surcharging in the new currency. Genuinely used examples are unknown.
6. The Royal Family’s Penny Blacks
Great Britain 1865 1d Black "Royal reprint" Plate 66 (watermark inverted), SGDP35a.
A very fine unused close to large four margin imperforate block of four lettered
'MC-ND' with original gum. Light gum wrinkles as usually seen in this issue and nevertheless an attractive and scarce multiple.
This special unissued printing in September 1865 was requested by young members of the Royal Family for examples of the 1d Black. The full background behind this exclusive issue of the penny black remains a philatelic mystery.
GB Specialised Catalogue No: DP35a.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £10,000+.
7. An exceptional quality example of the ever-popular “King’s error”
Great Britain 1935 2½d Prussian Blue, SG456a.
A superb unmounted mint, with full original gum, left hand marginal example of this key King George V famous error of colour. An exceptional example.
Accompanied by a 2001 British Philatelic Association (BPA) Certificate of Authenticity.
King George V (known as the “Stamp King”) was a passionate stamp collector. So, on June 6th 1934, when he was asked for his permission for a commemorative stamp issue to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his Accession to the Throne, he was delighted to say “yes”.
The designers put forward 12 different design ideas but the King was not impressed by any of them. So, on October 2nd 1934 the designers were sent back to the drawing board…
On October 25th 1934, a further 22 designs were submitted. Finally, the design of Mr Barnett Freeman was accepted.
On January 7th 1935, the King approved the final design. Just one question remained… what colour did he want the stamp to be?
Given the choice of “Prussian blue” or “blue”, the King opted for the latter.
But, all didn’t go to plan…
Why this stamp is so rare
The printers, Harrison & Son, printed some sheets in the “Prussian blue” colour in error.
They realised their mistake and quickly destroyed the erroneous sheets, except for six sheets sent to the Post Office Stores for inspection.
The Superintendent Warehouseman was asked to destroy the six sheets apart from a block of four to be retained for reference purposes.
However, a further mistake was made and only two of the sheets were destroyed. The other four were accidentally placed with the correct colour sheets by a busy worker.
Three of these sheets were sent to the Edmonton Post Office in North London. The other sheet was issued to an unknown Post Office.
As a result, we know that only 480 of these stamps were ever issued.
This is the maximum possible number in existence. The actual number of surviving examples is much lower.
A Profitable Trip to the Post Office
On June 2nd 1935, a collector, Mr A J Stavridi, sent his secretary to buy the new Silver Jubilee stamps from the Post Office in Upper Edmonton.
On inspecting the stamps, Mr Stavridi noticed that some of the stamps were different from the others.
Some were blue… others were “Prussian blue”.
Mr Stavridi quickly returned to the Post Office and purchased the remainder of the “Prussian blue” stamps.
Of the 360 stamps at Edmonton Post Office, 41 had already been sold. Mr Stavridi bought the remaining 319 stamps.
He mailed some of the stamps to his friends as souvenirs.
Of the 41 sold copies, ten were used on magazines sent to Australia, of which one survived; two were sent to a collector in Tonbridge. One other was used on a letter sent to Holland and was discovered in 1937.
To this day, the 2½d Prussian blue remains one of the rarest and most famous stamps from Great Britain. Quite simply, it should not have been printed.
[NB. We are offering this on behalf of a client who is open to negotiation on the price.]
Your first philatelic purchase of 2023
To make your first philatelic purchase of 2023, simply:
- Place your order directly through our online store by clicking on the “CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW” icons
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call on +44(0)1534 639998
- Message us to +44(0)7700702962
Your purchase from us comes with our lifetime moneyback guarantee of authenticity and FREE fully-insured delivery to anywhere in the world.
I look forward to helping you in the year ahead to build your wonderful stamp collection. The feeling of pride of ownership, achievement in securing the most elusive rarities and potential for future profit makes it a very fulfilling pastime indeed.
Looking forward to a successful 2023…
PS. Have you read my article in our collecting magazine where I discuss the most valuable substance on earth – STAMP GUM!