Secret Rarities That Fly Under The Radar

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2018-06-21 10:54:14

A Collection of British Empire “Bargain” Rarities

One of my buying strategies in stamps is very similar to my stock market investment strategy. 

The teachings of the father of value investing, Benjamin Graham, represent the backbone of my investment strategy.

In its most basic form, this involves buying shares in companies that I think are undervalued. Buying cheap is always a good start. The second part of the equation is buying companies that I believe have the potential to grow over the long term. 

This strategy does not always work. Sometimes there will be a mistake made in my analysis (eg. dishonest management). Other times things don’t work out because of a negative future event I did not predict (eg. new regulations being introduced killing the business model).

But… I am not here to talk to you about the stock market. There are far more experienced and talented people out there for you to listen to on that subject.

What I would like to share with you today is how I apply a similar strategy to this in buying rare stamps - buying high quality rarities that are undervalued.

One thing is for sure…

The stamp market is an imperfect market. It is not always the case that very rare fine quality stamps command a high price.

For whatever reason, there are some rare stamps out there you can buy for much less than their rarity would suggest would be a fair price.

In assessing whether a rarity is a bargain, I calculate the market capitalisation of the stamp. In other words, a stamp where there are 100 known examples selling for £10,000 would have a market capitalisation of 100 x £10,000 = £1 million.

To illustrate this by way of a real example, there are 306 known mint examples of the famous “King’s error”, the Prussian Blue stamp, which has a catalogue value of £18,500. The market capitalisation of the Prussian Blue is therefore £5.7 million. This is a famous stamp, however, and worthy of its premium value. 

What I look for is situations where there are a relatively small number of possible examples yet the current price remains modest.

The “Bargain” Rarities Collection

I have taken the time to collate an attractive selection of “bargain” rarities to create a collection for you.

These stamps fly under the radar and are available at a price way below their rarity factor.

As always, all examples I have purchased are of high quality and well above the average quality you would find on the market.


You will note the low market capitalisations of these stamps (between £700/$922) and £252,000/$332,000). 

As you can see, in some cases the price you can buy these stamps for seems utterly ridiculous. A few notable examples as follows: 

  • The largest possible multiple of the Ceylon 1912-35 1000r is unique yet is priced in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue at just £4,500 ($5,930) 
  • The South Africa – New Republic 1886-87 1d violet on blue granite paper is priced at only £140 ($184), yet there are only 5 recorded examples known to exist
  • The New Zealand 1899-1903 2½d blue “Lake Wakatipu” is a beautiful stamp. There are only 12 known examples of the horizontal pair with the error imperforate between. Its catalogue value is just £1,500 ($1,976), despite being a famous stamp error from a popularly collected country

There are 17 stamps in the “Bargain” Rarities Collection with a total catalogue value of £29,005 ($38,216). The collection is available to you today for the price of £22,580/$29,743 (22% discount).

So, not only are the stamps (in my opinion) undervalued by the market, you are buying in at a further discount to the Stanley Gibbons listed catalogue prices. To coin a well-used phrase from Benjamin Graham, this gives you an added margin of safety.

You will see that some stamps are priced at catalogue price, whereas others I offer at various discounts to catalogue price. It is not always possible for me to buy at a price enabling a discount. Overall though, the collection offers a discount of 22%.

And now for the stamps…

The Stamps

South Africa - New Republic1886-87 1d violet on blue granite paper, dated '20 JAN 86', upright embossed arms, brilliant large part original gum. The earliest printing date known with embossing. A rarity of which Jonkers recorded only five examples. Mint. SG 52

PRICE: £140 ($184)      


Seychelles 1890 8c brown-purple and blue, die I, overprint 'SPECIMEN', showing constant variety 'Broken M' (pos. 41 of setting), very fine original gum. One of only 7 possible! Specimen. SG 3s var 

PRICE: £110 ($145)     


Gibraltar 1912-24 ½d blue-green, watermark MCA, overprint 'SPECIMEN', Samuel type D12, fresh large part original gum showing variety 'broken 'M'' (position 41). A maximum of 7 are possible with this variety. Specimen. SG 76svar

PRICE: £150 ($198)      


Ceylon 1912-35 1000r purple/red, opt 'SPECIMEN' (type D16) for UPU distribution, HORIZONTAL STRIP OF THREE (the largest possible multiple).

Tied to ledger piece from the Madagascar archive by two light strikes of the large red 'POSTES ET TELEGRAPHES/COLLECTION DE BERNE/MADAGASCAR' circular receiving hand stamp.

One shortish perforation but a unique and magnificent item.

An ex Stanley Gibbons stock item. Cat £1,500 ($1,976) each as singles.

PRICE: £4,250   BUY NOW

New Zealand 1899-1903 2½d blue "Lake Wakatipu", no watermark, perf 11, HORIZONTAL PAIR ERROR IMPERFORATE BETWEEN, large part original gum, with lovely fresh colour.

One faintly toned perforation tip mentioned purely for accuracy, still very fine and rare. Probably only 12 pairs existed, and not handled by us before. Clear British Philatelic Association certificate (2017). 

[N.B. Much rarer than the vertical pairs, imperforate horizontally (SG 260b), of which a whole sheet may have existed]. Mint. SG 260a

PRICE: £1,400 ($1,844)      BUY NOW

Rhodesia 1966 'Independence' 1s, vertical strip of six being the left column of a sheet with full margins showing '183' sheet number, error OVERPRINT OMITTED on bottom four stamps (save for a tiny fleck of overprint ink on stamp 6), unmounted original gum.

Only 10 strips possible from the one sheet that is believed to have existed, and first reported in Stamp Collecting Weekly in April 1966.

Illustrated on p. 491 of The Rhodesian Philatelist no. 28 (January 2009).

Accompanied by a British Philatelic Association Certificate of Authenticity (2013).

An ex Stanley Gibbons stock item.

PRICE: £4,500 ($5,928)    


New Zealand 1898 (5 Apr) 2s grey-green "Milford Sound", Waterlow printing, no watermark, perf 15, VERTICAL PAIR ERROR IMPERFORATE BETWEEN, part original gum. Some gum faults (small thins and slight disturbance) but fine appearance and a great rarity. Possibly 10 pairs existed, but this is the first example we have seen, with another in the Royal Collection. 

Accompanied with British Philatelic Asssociation certificate (2017). (SG catalogue price: £5,500/$7,245). Mint. SG 258a

PRICE: £2,500 ($3,293)     BUY NOW

British East Africa 1897 'On Zanzibar' 2½ on 1a indigo and red, type 13 surcharge, tied to piece by Mombasa circular date stamp. Only 500 printed. Used. SG 87

PRICE: £120 ($158)


Tanganyika 1915 (Sept) 3a orange, type M4 'MAFIA' handstamp in green, brilliant original gum. Only 512 issued. Unmounted Mint. SG M38 

PRICE: £130 ($171)     


Batum British Occupation - 1920 7r yellow, upper marginal horizontal pair, the right stamp error 'BPITISH', fine unmounted original gum. Only 660 possible. (R1/19 on the sheet of 308). Unmounted Mint. SG 49/a

PRICE: £110 ($145)      


Canada 1937-38 $1 violet 'Chateau de Ramezay', VERTICAL PAIR ERROR IMPERFORATE HORIZONTALLY, with fresh original gum. Very fine appearance and a major King George VI rarity. 

Only one pane of 50 existed, from which just 12 pairs, 6 strips of 3 and the unique plate block of 6 survive. Unmounted Mint. SG 367a

PRICE: £4,950 ($6,520)      


Dominica 1886-90 4d grey, watermark CA, lower right corner marginal (R10/6) showing variety malformed 'CE' in 'PENCE', very fine original gum. Only 832 possible, and scarce in this positional form. Unmounted Mint. SG 24a 

PRICE: £160 ($211)      


Fiji Postage Due. 1917 (1 Jan) 3d black, from right of sheet with imperforate margin, fine used with part sunburst cancel. Only 1,116 issued. Dues. SG D4

PRICE: £120 ($158)      


British East Africa 1896-1901 5r sepia, showing the prominent pantograph variety 'Thin U in RUPEES', brilliant large part original gum. Only 84 possible, from R3/2 on the sheet (first printing only), and a rarity in such fine condition. Mint. SG 79a

PRICE: £1,800 ($2,371)     


Bermuda 1938-53 12s6d grey and pale orange, ordinary paper, lower right corner example showing variety 'Broken lower right scroll' (R5/12), unmounted original gum. 

Faint toning on reverse of right margin, still fine fresh appearance. Rare, only 91 possible, from March 1943 printing. (SG catalogue price: £2,250/$2,964) Unmounted Mint. SG 120e 

PRICE: £1,750 ($2,305)    


Bushire 1915 (15 Aug) 10kr rose and bistre-brown, very fine used with part circular date stamp. Only 866 issued. Used. SG 14 

PRICE: £250 ($329)      


Bahamas 1918 'WAR TAX' 1s grey-black and carmine, type 10 overprint, brilliant unmounted original gum. Very scarce thus. Only 1,800 issued. Unmounted Mint. SG 95 

PRICE: £140 ($184)      


The Collection of “Bargain” Rarities you can own today 

To summarise: 

  • A collection of rare stamps that fly under the radar in terms of their price relative to their rarity 
  • Available at a 22% discount to SG catalogue value 
  • A very difficult to assemble collection in this quality

The entire collection can be yours today for a price of £22,580 ($29,743).

To secure this collection at this price, please e-mail me at

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

Buying stamps that are very difficult to find but not expensive is the equivalent to value investing in stamps.

What’s more, what’s rare today will be even rarer in the future.

Kind regards 


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting Limited

PS. Just to remind you of the additional benefits you enjoy when buying from Paul Fraser Collectibles. We provide you with: 

  1. FREE lifetime moneyback guarantee of authenticity
  2. FREE delivery to anywhere in the world
  3. Secure storage and insurance in the Channel Islands, if required
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