Sideways watermark Penny Red valued at $100,000

An Australian King George V Penny Red that was printed with a sideways watermark has been valued at $100,000, after a collector failed to sell it for 99c on eBay.

Australia King Geroge V Penny Red sideways watermark
Ordinary examples of the Penny Red, such as this one, can be bought for as little as 10 cents

The anonymous collector identified the stamp's flaw soon after purchase and immediately made it available on the internet auction site with a reserve of just 99c.

However, he was scoffed at by stringent philatelists, who dismissed his claims that it was a hitherto unknown variety.

Undeterred, the enthusiast took it to a Scottish dealer, who then brought it to the 2013 World Stamp Expo in Melbourne, where it was given its astonishing valuation.

With over a billion King George V Penny Reds issued, ordinary examples can be bought for as little as just a few cents.

It is one of the most collected of all Australian issues and therefore a rush to find similar flawed stamps will undoubtedly ensue.

The current world record for a King George V Penny Red stands at $41,041, after a mint block of four sold at a 2001 auction. Should the anonymous collector decide to part with his extraordinary rarity, it will surely break all records.

In March, part of the collection of notorious millionaire John du Pont crossed the block in the UK, with a unique 1909-1910 Australia 2d postage due selling as top lot.

Not only do we provide you with all the latest news and market analysis on stamps, we also have a magnificent holding of British and Commonwealth stamps in our online store, such as this stunning example of the 1913 £1 King George V seahorse.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock