$10 million stamps in one day
And… your chance to own a piece of the most famous stamp collection in the world
Remember the date: Wednesday, October 3rd 2018…
Two weeks ago today, philatelic history was made.
At 6:30pm, 135 people eagerly made their way into an ornate drawing room in the landmark Lotte New York Palace hotel:
The anticipation in the room was electric.
Everyone there was about to participate in what the auctioneer had dubbed, “the opportunity of a lifetime”.
This was the auction they had all been waiting for. This was an opportunity for collectors to get their hands on some of the finest rarities not to have seen the light of day for 20 years or more.
The sale did not disappoint.
All but three of the 106 lots sold. The sale realised $10 million, beating the previous record set in 2007 of $9.1 million for the highest realisation on a single day stamp auction.
United States Stamp Treasures
The eagerly awaited sale represented the first in a series of auctions of the famous Bond billionaire Bill Gross' entire $42 million-estimated collection of US stamps.
The sale on the 3rd of October comprised stamp treasures from the most comprehensive collection of US stamps ever assembled.
This was indeed an exciting opportunity for collectors…
You see, since 1992 one man had cornered the market. He had big pockets and the desire to build the best collection of US stamps in the world.
Other collectors could not get a look in. Bill Gross was determined and willing to pay the price to get what he needed for his collection.
And, he succeeded in his goal to build the most complete collection of stamps issued by the US postal service.
Bill Gross had achieved what he set out to do. So now what?
Gross believed it was time to give others the opportunity to experience the joy from his stamps. He said:
“I have had the privilege and enjoyment of acquiring many of America’s most iconic stamp rarities over the past 25 years or so. During that time, I have always thought I was a temporary curator of these treasures and that one day, others should have the opportunity, honor, and responsibility of becoming the new collectors.”
He also decided that all proceeds from the sale of his collection would be donated to charity. The $10 million proceeds from this sale went to “Doctors Without Borders” and the “New York Times Neediest Cases Fund”, both very worthy causes.
Bill Gross had already built and sold several top stamp collections in the past, raising $27 million for charity. They included his British stamps collection, which he sold 10 years ago.
At the end of that sale, Gross famously said: "If is four times profit. It is better than the stock market".
The highest realisation was the 24-cent 1869 Pictorial Inverted Center, which went for almost $750,000:
There was an abundance of impressive realisations in the sale. This shows us the high level of competition in the upper echelons of the US stamp market.
This was evident from the credentials of some of the bidders in the room…
Gordon Eubanks, a tech entrepreneur, spent more than $1.2 million on the evening, including the unique Bible Block of six unused 10-cent 1847 First General Issue stamps, for which he paid $590,000. This has been acclaimed an icon of US philately since it was first discovered in a Bible more than a century ago:
Another whale in the room was Arthur Pryzbyl; Chief Executive Officer of Ani Pharmaceuticals Inc. sat in the front row. He won the night’s second prize and the final lot of the evening: a blue Hawaiian missionary stamp from 1851, which he bought for $619,500:
An illustration of the investment potential in rare items was evident in the sale of an 1864 presidential campaign card signed by Abraham Lincoln for $53,100:
This turned out a shrewd investment by Gross. He paid $10,000 for it when he bought it in 1995 (431% growth in 23 years).
So, what does this mean for the stamp market?
There’s nothing better than a high profile successful sale to give a boost to the market.
It creates confidence, encouraging new participants to get involved in the market for two key reasons:
- Tangible confirmation that buying rare stamps as a long term investment can prove a sound diversification strategy
- Clear evidence of current liquidity in the market
I would not be surprised if we look back on this auction 10 years from now and think of the prices realised as “bargains”.
Now that Gross is out of the way, other collectors can again have a realistic chance of buying these rarities, creating a more competitive and vibrant market.
This landmark sale serves to increase awareness worldwide of the investment qualities of rare stamps. This should attract new wealthy collectors and investors to get involved in our market.
This high profile sale could prove a key catalyst for a strong market in the next few years.
Your chance to own a piece of the Bill Gross Collection
A stamp once belonging to the collection of the most famous man in philately carries huge prestige.
I am delighted to be in a position to offer you a one-off opportunity to get your hands on one of the philatelic treasures from the Bill Gross collection. It is a lovely piece:
Newfoundland 1859 (Cover) SG4 St John's to Baltimore
Price: £6,250 ($8,419)
1859 (AP 1) outer wrapper from St Johns to Baltimore, 'Tucker' correspondence, endorsed 'pr Mail via Halifax', franked by 1857-64 4d scarlet-vermilion, good to very large margins except a little close at foot, tied by light barred oval, with red despatch circular datestamp (overstruck by '5/BOSTON/BR.PKT.' entry circular datestamp dated 'AP 10') alongside.
Vertical filing folds (clear of stamp and postmarks), but very fine for this usage, the stamp a particularly attractive example with lovely colour.
Ex Bill Gross, Hubbard and Carey Fox with Royal Philatelic Society (1968) and V.G. Greene (2001) Certificates of Authenticity.
This is your opportunity to own a philatelic treasure with the highest possible provenance.
To secure it today, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can call us on +44(0)1534 639998.
You will need to act fast to be successful in securing this item from the most famous collection in the world.
CEO, Just Collecting
PS. Please let me know if you have a specific interest in buying rare US stamps, so that I can help you. If you are keen to add rare US stamps to your collection or investment portfolio, drop me an email at email@example.com.
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