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Rarest stamps

In late 2000 Stanley Gibbons agreed to sell the famous Kirkcudbright cover of May 6, 1840 featuring a block of 10 Penny Blacks, to the Royal Philatelic Collection for £250,000. Considering that’s the price which a single on first day cover would fetch on the open…
The Dos Reales of 1851 – whose error of colour is well known as Spain’s most rare stamp – has had a strange existence. Although the value was needed right from the start of issuing stamps for Spain it wasn’t considered necessary. In 1850 the Spanish…
A few GB stamps from the reign of Queen Victoria were rare from the outset – these are known to collectors as ‘the Abnormals’ because they were printed from certain plates which were never put into regular use. These stamps were produced by De La Rue…
A select few Victorian stamps are very rare for the obvious reason that they had a high face value. In an age when the average take-home pay of a working man was under £1 a week, it stands to reason that few stamps of that value…
When the US Post Office Department began developing airmail routes in May 1918. To pre-pay the relatively high rates of postage on internal airmails the Post Office issued a set of three stamps that month depicting a Curtiss Jenny bi-plane. The 6c and 16c stamps for…
An Act establishing a postal service was passed by the Hawaiian Assembly as early as 1846, but nothing was done to implement this until 1850 when a subsequent Act laid down an external postal rate of 10 cents per letter (reduced the following year to 5c…
At Christmas 1885 14-year-old Swedish schoolboy Georg Wilhelm Backman visited his grandmother and, due to his passion for stamp collecting, asked her of she had any old letters with stamps on. Several of the stamps he steamed off envelopes were the 3 (Tre) skilling banco denomination…
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