The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2018-07-13 11:05:45

The World’s 2nd Official Postage Stamp

The Penny Black is the world’s most famous stamp. 

Yet, the Twopenny Blue, issued just two days later, is much rarer.

Issued for just a year, it is 10 times scarcer than the Penny Black.

The Twopenny Blue was used for posting packages weighing over half an ounce.

At the time, sending a letter by post was a new concept to most people. Sending a parcel by post was maybe a bit too alien for most folks back in the Victorian era.

As such, the Twopenny Blue was rarely used and issued in much smaller quantities than the Penny Black.

What I have for you today is even rarer than a normal Twopenny Blue…

A Very Special Twopenny Blue

The initial printing of the Twopenny Blue took place from 1 May 1840. In all, 6,460,000 were printed from two printing plates until 29 August 1840. In comparison, over 68 million Penny Blacks were printed. 

Officially, the Twopenny Blue stamps were valid for postage from 6 May 1840 (the same day the first Penny Blacks were used). However, they were only made available from 8th May.

The design of the Twopenny Blue is exactly the same as the Penny Black and was struck from the same die.

By 1841, the colours were being revised. The inks chosen were red-brown to replace the black for the penny value and a new blue ink for the two pence value.

The new ink for the Twopenny Blue looked the same as the original issue. It was, therefore, decided to add a horizontal line at the top and bottom of the label so the newer printings could be easily identified.

In 1851 a few sheets of the new Twopenny Blue were printed and something went wrong…

The printing ink reacted with a bleaching agent in the paper creating the rarest shade of the 2d Blue – “The 2d Violet Blue”.

There are less than 20 known surviving examples of this very rare stamp.

You can see the comparison to the original 1840 2d Blue below (along with the difference in price!)

SG15aa 1851 2d violet blue – price £28,000 ($38,018)

SG15aa 1851 2d violet blue – price £28,000 ($38,018)

SG5 1840 2d blue – price £38,000 ($51,596)

SG5 1840 2d blue – price £38,000 ($51,596)

I consider it erroneous that the much rarer 2d violet blue I have available for you today is valued £10,000/$13,578 (26%) lower than the normal 2d blue. A bargain rarity, if ever I saw one. 

The 5 Golden Rules

In awarding our 2d violet blue 5 stars, I return to my golden rules. As you know, I only sell high quality stamps. Even so, there are still very few stamps that I reward with a 5-star rating.

To get 5 stars a stamp must excel in my “5 golden rules” assessment: 

1. Rarity 

As I said, there are less than 20 known examples of the 2d violet blue. It is a very difficult stamp to find and considered one of the rarest stamps in British philately. 

2. Condition 

This is the best quality example we have ever seen of this beautiful stamp. It is a superb unused example with its original gum fully intact. Furthermore, it has four “large to enormous” margins, lettered SE. 

3. Authenticity 

It should go without saying that all stamps I sell pass this test. Everything we sell comes with a lifetime moneyback guarantee of authenticity.

The stamp also comes with an independent certificate of authenticity from the British Philatelic Association (BPA), dated 2001.  

4. Desirability 

The 2d violet blue is, without doubt, one of the classics of British philately. It is listed in the Stanley Gibbons GB Concise catalogue. Listings in that catalogue are not excessively specialised in nature and, therefore, the collector base for the stamp is much wider.

Owning the best quality example of such a rare stamp is an aspiration to the discerning collector and a privilege to the owner. 

5. Price 

The current catalogue price of the 1851 2d violet blue seems anomalous. It is currently listed at a price of £28,000 ($38,018). This compares to a price of £38,000 ($51,596) for the more common 1840 2d blue.

In my view, the current price for the violet blue does not do its value sufficient justice. Time will tell whether I am proven right.

Despite being priced at £10,000 ($13,578) below its counterpart (the 1840 2d blue), the 1851 2d violet blue shows a stronger historic growth rate than the 1840 2d blue:

The 1851 2d violet blue shows growth of 75% over the past 10 years.

The growth rate over the 64-year period serves to illustrate how rare stamps can work as a long term investment. The astronomic sounding total growth rate over the 64-year period of 279,900% equates to anaverage compound annual increase of 13.2%. 

How to buy this 5-Star British Rarity 

Let me just show you one more time how stunning this stamp is:

Great Britain 1851 2d Violet blue (Thicker lavender tinted paper) Plate 4, SG15aa. Superb unused original gum example with four very large to enormous margins lettered SE. The best quality example we have ever seen of this beautiful and very difficult stamp to find. Accompanied by a 2001 British Philatelic Association (BPA) Certificate.

Price: £28,000 ($38,018)


In summary: 

  • An exceptionally rare and desirable British stamp
  • The best quality example we have ever seen
  • Selling at a 26% discount to the more common 1840 2d blue 

To secure this 5-star British stamp, call us today on +44(0)1534 639998.

Or email me at mike@paulfrasercollectibles.com.

Kind regards


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting Limited

PS. One you may have missed…

My personal favourite example of the 1840 2d blue on cover:

You can read the full article here.

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