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The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2019-10-22 10:20:24

One of Britain’s Rarest Stamps - As featured in The Sun Newspaper

Today’s stamp is so famous it even featured in an article in The Sun newspaper. 

The article was published in February this year. 

So, why would this little piece of paper attract the attention of Britain’s most popular newspaper?

The headline read:

“GOOD FORTUNE: Most valuable and rare stamps in the UK that could be worth up to £500,000”. 

This is what The Sun newspaper had to say about the stamp I would like to share with you today:

“This 1884 stamp is one of the rarest from the Victorian era. Those that feature the original gum – the adhesive on the back that helps it stick to an envelope or package – are the most coveted”. 

No bones about it… this is a real heavyweight of British philately.

You see…

  • It is widely considered the brightest Victorian stamp issue with an eye-catching ornate design
  • Its unique horizontal format caused a great stir when it was first issued in 1884
  • It was printed by the famous De La Rue printers renowned for their quality printing methods
  • The stamps were ridiculously expensive at the time costing more than the average weekly pay of many workers
  • The stamps were only in circulation a short time making it an elusive stamp missing from most British stamp collections
  • It is extremely difficult to find mint examples of this rare stamp in good condition

It is a real honour to hold such an important rarity.

It takes us back to a time when Britain was changing the world… 

By establishing an efficient postal system throughout the British Empire, the foundations were laid for the national systems still in existence today. 

It is all about Quality

As I said, this an elusive stamp. Highly coveted, but rarely found.

But, I have some good news…

We have just secured one for our Prestige Collectibles Auction, which takes place next month.

What has me more excited than normal though…

This is the best quality example of one of Britain’s rarest stamps I have ever handled.

Take a look…

Queen Victoria Surface Printed 1884 £1 Brown-lilac (Watermark Three Crowns). A Very fine unused original gum example of this great rarity lettered KC, SG185.

It is exquisite and of extreme rarity because of its quality:

  1. It possesses a marvellous overall freshness, with a rich colour and as clean as when it was first printed
  2. It is a mint example never used for postage, an anomaly considering its value in 1884
  3. It is attractively well-centred, particularly desirable to US collectors
  4. Most importantly, it benefits from possessing its original gum making it the most coveted of all
  5. It is guaranteed authentic accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the British Philatelic Association (BPA)

It will likely be years before I ever see an example of this quality again.

You will soon have the chance to experience the same pleasure I have enjoyed in my all too brief affair with this stamp.

It will only be when you have it in your hands that you will fully appreciate its qualities the way I do.

A short history

The £1 brown-lilac was first issued as a definitive stamp on April 1, 1884.

It is now often referred to as “The Long One Pound” and revered as a stunning feature to Great Britain’s postal history.

The unique horizontal format marked an important moment in this innovative period of British stamp design.

The paper contains three horizontal watermarks (the Imperial Crown) for security.

Printed in sheets of 80, the ornate design and corner letters were also aimed to deter forgers. This was a common problem at the time, which is no surprise considering how much £1 was worth in 1884. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work… 

The brown-lilac colour could be reproduced too easily photographically.

So, they were replaced in 1991 with the £1 green stamp. 

It's short lifespan, together with its innovative design, created a stamp legend. 

What’s it worth

As you would expect, a stamp this rare and almost unattainable in this quality, doesn’t come cheap. 

A six-figure sum would not seem unreasonable for a key British philatelic rarity in such pristine condition.

Yet, it is currently listed in the Stanley Gibbons “Great Britain Specialised Queen Victoria” catalogue at a price of just £32,000.

I remember attending an exciting New York stamp auction on June 11, 2007.

It was the sale of the British stamp collection belonging to Bill Gross, the famous investor, fund manager and philanthropist.

A similar example of the £1 brown-lilac sold from his collection that day for $25,000 + buyer’s premium = $30,000.

 Just next to that came an example with unique “JC” position with a broken frame which realised $130,000 + buyer’s premium = $156,000. 

More recently, at another US auction in 2015, an example with original gum and only slight hinge marks realised over $40,000.

WARNING: Poorer quality examples sell for much, much less than these prices, proving the importance of buying only the highest quality. 

The £1 brown-lilac is such an important stamp it is included in the Great Britain 30 Rarities index. Its price in the index provides an interesting historical insight into pricing…

The year I was born – 1970 – it was recorded in the index at a price of just £300!

With an index value of £32,000 today, this works out at a 10% compound annual return for the past 49 years. 

If only my parents had bought this little Victorian gem for me the day I was born and put it somewhere safe for me to inherit one day.

Place your bids NOW 

This high quality example of one of Britain’s rarest stamps is not yet available for sale.

Instead, it will be appearing in our Prestige Collectibles Auction next month.

We are all really excited here about being able to offer the famous £1 brown-lilac stamp at our auction.

To summarise:

  • One of Britain’s rarest and most coveted stamps
  • In pristine condition
  • Proved an attractive rare tangible asset investment throughout the past half-century 

If you would like the chance of securing this stamp at our auction, please reply to this blog to place your bid.

Alternatively, call us on +44(0)1534 639998.

Chances like this don’t come around often. Act Now…

 Kind regards

Mike Hall CEO Just Collecting

PS. We will soon send you further details of the timing of our Prestige Collectibles Auction. You will also have the opportunity to bid on this stamp directly through our online auction platform. Good Luck!

 Enjoyed this blog? Try these:

May 17, 2019: The Weird and Wonderful World of Stamps

May 10, 2019: Don't overlook the most obvious investment in stamps 

April 26, 2019: 10 Secrets to Successful Stamp Investing 

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