$85 billion per kilo and it would have fitted in my wallet



2015-06-26 12:00:27

$85 billion per kilo and it would have fitted in my wallet

This time last week I was standing one inch away from the most valuable commodity in the world

I told my friends this story.

One of them guessed that I was at Fort Knox surrounded by gold as it reached a record high of $1,200. He was wrong.

After checking our website another friend thought I might have been in a Swiss bank vault viewing the millennium diamond, a 204 carat beauty worth $5.8m. He was wrong, too.

I kept them guessing, it became a little like a local pub quiz.

Another friend called. He'd really given it some thought and came up with the idea of a single head of hair from the head of Elvis Presley that sold for $1,750. Not even close.

The most valuable commodity on earth is actually a humble postage stamp.

Treskilling Yellow

It's a Swedish stamp called theTreskilling yellow.

Only one example is known to exist and it last sold for $2.33m in 1996.

Weighing just 0.02675 grams it's worth a staggering $85.98 billion per kilo, easily making it the most valuable commodity on earth by weight.

Now, admittedly it's not the prettiest of stamps. Even King Carl Gustav XVI, the Swedish King, said "Doesn't it look rather shabby?" when he viewed the stamp in Stockholm in 1986.

But the stamp has a great history. It was actually found by a Swedish schoolboy in his grandmother's attic. So there's hope for us all yet.

The Treskilling Yellow has been housed in the collections of many renowned philatelists throughout the years. One notable owner was the Baron Philippe de la Renotire von Ferrary, another being King Carol II of Romania.

The stamp has proven to be a great investment. In 1984 the stamp sold for 977,500 Swiss francs, and again in 1990 for $1m. Before selling to the current owner for $2.33m in 1996.

It has been said the current owner has remained anonymous for the last 14 years for fear of kidnapping.

The Treskilling yellow is once againfor sale atauction on Saturday 22 May.

The auction estimate is 1.5m - 2m. And last Wednesday I was standing inches away from the stamp with only a piece of glass between me and an international incident.

Treskilling YellowThe Treskilling yellow with three fans

The stamp was on show at the London International Stamp exhibition. The show was free to enter meaning that anyone could have walked in and witnessed this world record breaker.

That's one of the attractions of stamp collecting. It's open to all. Regardless of budget you can view the rarest and most expensive stamps up close and in person.

In fact stamp collecting is generally acknowledged to be the most popular hobby on earth.

There are an estimate 48 million stamp collectors around the world. 18m of these are in China where there are 50,000 Government sponsored philatelic societies.

If you're looking to build a valuable collection for the future then stamp collecting could be for you.

It's also a great educator, especially for children. The opportunity to learn about history and geography is on the face of every stamp.

It's good to seestamp collectingbenefiting from a resurgence in interest. It's also going some way toshaking off any preconceived ideas of a stereotypical stamp collector, with Maria Sharapova, President Sarkozy and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood alltalking publicly abouttheir stamp collections.

As a past owner of Stanley Gibbons, the world's oldest stamp dealers,I know this market better than most.

And I know that there are very few stamp collectors that have ever sold their collections at a loss making it an ideal area for investing for the long term, whilst gaining pleasure at the same time.

If you're interested in building a rare stamp collection please let me know. I'd be delighted to share my experiences with you.

+44 (0) 117 933 9500




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