Top 13 most valuable postage stamps in the world

By Xu Lin
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 British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta(英属圭亚那洋红色帆船)

British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta, one of the 'top 13 most valuable postage stamps in the world' by

British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta

Estimated value: US$850,000

British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta, printed in black on magenta paper, is one of the most costly postal stamps in the world.

In 1856, there was an insufficient supply of stamps in British Guiana. The postmaster could not wait for the delivery of stamps from England and therefore asked the local newspaper to print some 1- and 4-cent stamps.

Because of the simplicity of these stamps, each stamp had to be initialed by a post office employee before use, to prevent forgery. The four corners of the rectangle stamps were cut to turn the shape of the stamps into that of an octagon.

The only copy of the British Guiana 1c Magenta was discovered by Vernon Vaughan, a teenage Scottish schoolboy, while he was looking through his uncle's letters. In 1980, it was auctioned off in New York, USA, for US$850,000.

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