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The list of the top Chinese stamps, sold on public stamp auctions during last years.

1. $474,000, 2009, Hong Kong. The large version of The Whole Country is Red stamp, two times bigger than the original one, was sold in 2009 in Hong Kong. The stamp, issued in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution, has a printing error. The map was not colored properly and was stopped selling and returned from post offices. Only a small quantity went to collectors.

2. $333,382.00, 2009. The 1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar Surcharge was a revenue stamp used as a postage stamp after being surcharged with the “One Dollar” wording. It was the first surcharged stamp during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). Only two sheets of 50 stamps were surcharged. The surcharge size was too small and was replaced with a bigger one. Only one used stamp, cancelled with the PaKua cancellation, is know now.

3. $276,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1925 surcharged in red on second Peking printing 3 Cts on 4c slate-gray, surcharge inverted error, used.

4. $172,500.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. 1923 surcharged in red on first Peking printing 2 Cts on 3c blue-green, surcharge inverted error.

5. $138,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1896 unsurcharged Red Revenue stamp, 3c red, perf. 14, never hinged.

6. $120,750.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen New York Print $2 black and blue, variety center inverted.

7. $115,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1915 Hall of Classics First Peking Printing $2 black and blue, variety center inverted.

Source: mystampworld.com

Published in News
Sunday, 21 April 2019 05:19

Most Valuable Stamps - SBC (VIDEO)

Let's countdown the most interesting valuable rare stamps out there today.

This video explores the rare stamps that go for thousands and millions of dollars... such as the Inverted Jenny, the One Cent Magenta, and the Treskilling Yellow.

Source: exploring stamps

Published in News
Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

Spain's Dos Reales

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 government preferred to print first the cheapest values (6 cuartos and 12 cuartos) and higher values to entertain regular correspondence with Belgium and France. Almost every stamp depicted the head of Queen Isabella II, who reigned from 1833 for 35 years.

It is Spain’s scarcest stamp, especially on cover or as single in good quality. In 1996 a perfect mint single was sold for $23,200 US and a good used copy is anything between $12,000 to 15,000 US. In 19th century Spain dos (two) reales – the cheapest registered letter rate, for Portugal – was normally paid in cash until the decision was made to introduce the Dos Reales from January 1, 1851.

First usage
The Dos Reales stamps of 1851, 1852 and 1853 had no use for foreign certified mail except for Portugal. Spain simply didn’t have much to do with Portugal if it wasn’t official mail. Only covers of approximately seven grammes qualified for the Dos Reales rate. Most covers were over this weight and contained heavy legal or commercial documents. Thus surviving covers of that time are franked with larger postal values.

The postal authorities were very optimistic when they ordered 13,600 Dos Reales to be printed in 1851 – 80 sheets of 170 copies each. They only sold 3,394 copies and had to burn the rest. It became law to send inland registered letters with Dos Reales in 1854. The 12 reales of 1851, Cerdena (rate eight reales) in 1852, Prussia and Austria (rate four reales) in 1852, or Belgium (rate eight reales) in 1853 increased the use of the Dos Reales.

All stamps were typographically printed from 1851 onwards abandoning the previous lithographic system. The Dos Reales were printed in sheets of 170 pieces and the complete issue was just valid for the 12 months of 1851 – January 1 to December 31. They used always the same paper although there are two notable different shades – the orange red and the dark orange or vermilion (which is much more rare and more expensive).

Existing copies
It’s difficult to know exactly how many of the 3,394 Dos Reales sold still exist. The expert D. Francesco Graus claims he knows 56 unused copies and 68 used ones – a total of 124. There are about 150 copies of which 40% are unused and 60% used.

The error of colour is due to the fact that one ‘die stone’ of the Dos Reales was placed by mistake into the printing plate of the six reales blue of 1851. It is without doubt the rarest stamp of Spanish philately and nobody knows of more than three copies. They were discovered in 1868, in 1886 and the last one in 1899.

The first copy is a used one with large margins cancelled with a black spider postmark. This copy was discovered in England and was in important collections such as Westoby, Ferrari, Hind, Dupont and Perpia amongst other.

The second copy appeared in 1886 and is apparently the only unused copy. It was sold to T.K.Tapling and lodges still in the Tapling collection in the British Library. Its margins are not as generous as the first copy but nevertheless a fine copy.

The third, and last discovered, is the best of the three and is part of the vertical pair together with the Seis Reales blue. So the famous two BLUE of which the upper stamp is the error of colour with the face value ‘DOS REALES’. The pair has good large margins and has a neat black spider postmark leaving the face of Queen Isabella entirely free. This pair was discovered by D. Antonio Vives in 1899 and was soon in the collection of Ferrari who had already the first one. The French Government, through an auction house in Paris, sold the two errors of colour (one and three) to another famous collector – US millionaire Arthur Hind.

Since the initial discovery of Mr. Vives, this famous pair had known several owners before the well known stamp dealer D. Manuel Galvez bought the pair in 1954 and ever since his death this piece has been with his heirs.

Source: My Stamp World

Published in Rarest stamps
Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

The ‘Abnormals’ stamps

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 between 1862 and 1880 and they arose from the practice of De La Rue submitting to the Board of Inland Revenue the first six sheets of stamps produced from each plate. These stamps were imperforate, but gummed and watermarked. The Board retained one sheet as the Imprimatur (Latin for ‘let it be printed’) and the other five sheets were either destroyed or returned to De La Rue who then perforated them and put them into circulation in the usual manner.

Normally these five sheets would be exactly the same as all the others produced from the same plate, but sometimes plates were modified or scrapped, or a change was made in the colour used for the normal printing. The resultant stamps from the five sheets were therefore classified as ‘Abnormals’. Only a dozen types of Abrnormal have so far been recorded.

Maximum figure
Bear in mind that five sheets amounts to 1,200 stamps, but that would be a maximum figure, depending on how many sheets were actually put into circulation. Most of the Abnormals are expensive in used condition, though they regularly turn up at auction and fetch sums in the low thousands – mint examples are definitely rare. Some of these stamps have acquired epithets, like the 3d ‘with dots’ (£17,000) or the 9d bistre ‘hair-lines’ (£7,000). Incidentally, the 9d was once a highly favoured stamp, but in the past half century it has tended to slip down the league table compared with some of the others, which points to the existence of rather more mint examples than was originally thought.

Other high fliers in this group include the 1s deep green (SG 91) quoted at £12,000, the 1s green Plate 14 (SG 150) at £14,000 (only five used examples recorded), the 4d vermilion Plate 16 (SG 152) at £14,000 (only 11 used examples known), and the 10d pale red-brown on Rose watermark, Plate 2 (SG 113) at £15,000. The latter stamp, from Plate 1, gives rise to an error rather than an abnormal, for this stamp, printed on paper with the Emblems watermark by mistake is one of the truly great rarities. No example of this stamp has been recorded so far in unused condition, and of the 13 used specimens, no fewer than eight bear the ‘C’ obliterator – indicating that a part sheet at least had been despatched to the British post office in Constantinople. This rare stamp is currently catalogued at £15,000 in used condition only.

The Tyrian Plum
To the Abnormals may be added the celebrated 2d Tyrian Plum of May 1910. This stamp arose because of a desire to economise on stamp production, as a result of which denominations which had hitherto been printed in two colours were re-issued in monochrome. A new 2d stamp, printed in this distinctive purple shade instead of green and red, was in production at the time of King Edward VII’s death and although a few sheets had been printed by De La Rue it was decided not to proceed with it. A solitary example is known on cover, addressed to the new monarch, George V (a noted philatelist) on the very day of his accession, which just happened to be the 70th anniversary of the Penny Black, and this is still in the Royal Collection. A handful of mint specimens subsequently leaked out and appear in the saleroom from time to time, justifying their current catalogue price of £14,000.

Published in Rarest stamps
Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

The Major GB Rarities

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 would be purchased solely for inclusion in collections. In this group we find the 10s and £1 stamps of the 1867-83 series.They were first released in 1878, with a Maltese Cross watermark, and in mint condition they now have a catalogue quotation of £28,000 and £32,000 respectively. At the same time, the £5 stamp was added to the series and, with blued paper, it rates £24,000.

The rarity of these 10s and £1 stamps is largely due to the fact that they were replaced by new designs after a fairly short life, but their successors – in use between 1884 and 1902 – are also extremely pricey nowadays. The 10s was originally released on April 1, 1884 in an ultramarine shade on blued paper (SG 177) and is now quoted at £16,000, but it was followed a month later by a cobalt shade (SG 177a), which now rates £18,000.

The corresponding £1 stamp also made its debut on April 1, 1884 with a watermark of three Imperial Crowns (£15,000) but was re-issued in February 1888 on paper watermarked with three Orbs (£26,000). Two stamps from Plate 2, lettered JC and TA, had broken frames and these varieties now rate £22,000 and £34,000 respectively in mint condition.

Most valuable item
Britain’s most valuable stamp is undoubtedly the celebrated Penny Red of 1864 printed from Plate 77. Previous Penny Reds, with lettering confined to the lower corners, had been produced from plates numbered up to 68, and so the first of the stamps with letters in all four corners were to have been produced from plate 69. However, this plate and several others – 70, 75, 77, 126 and 128 – were rejected as being sub-standard. What is most peculiar is that at least one sheet of stamps was printed from Plate 77 and, even more remarkably, a few stamps with this plate number engraved in the side panels got into the hands of the public. There is an example in the Tapling Collection at the British Library and about half a dozen other examples (mint or used) have so far been recorded.

Official overprints
From 1882 onwards certain stamps were overprinted for the use of the Inland Revenue and other government departments. Under Clause 17 of the Stamp Duties Management Act of 1891 it became a criminal offence to be in possession of such stamps, let alone trafficking in them. Several prosecutions in 1903-4, including that of one of the most prominent philatelists of the period (who received a prison sentence) led the authorities to withdraw these official stamps abruptly on May 14, 1904, and destroy existing stocks. That this decision was taken in great haste is borne out by the fact that a new stamp, the Edwardian 6d overprinted ‘I.R. OFFICIAL’, was only released a few weeks previously. As a result this stamp is now Britain’s rarest stamp to have been regularly issued. Today it’s worth £90,000 mint and £70,000 used.

The £1 stamps of Queen Victoria, similarly overprinted, are now catalogued at £22,000 (Crowns) or £30,000 (Orbs), but only in mint condition. As these high values were only employed for internal accounting purposes it would be hard to imagine used examples in the normal postal sense. The Edwardian 10s and £1 stamps with IR Official overprint, were released on April 29, 1902 and they now attract a quotation of £17,000 and £10,000 in mint state, or £10,000 and £8,000 respectively in used condition.

The Board of Education also specially overprinted stamps. This yielded the other major rarity from this category – the Edwardian 1s stamp issued on December 23, 1902 which is now listed at £40,000 mint and £30,000 used.

Modern rarities
Modern GB rarities have all arisen from the production of stamps in multicolour photogravure by Harrison and Sons. As early as August 1961, examples of the Savings Bank centenary set were turning up with one colour omitted. The omission of one or more colours can produce a spectacular effect, such as the missing Queen’s head or the ‘no value’ varieties.

The most expensive of these is the Roses 13p of 1976 with the value omitted (£20,000). Next come under a dozen stamps with a price tag of £10,000: Christmas 1s 6d of 1967, British Paintings 1s 6d of 1968, the Ships 1s of 1969 (two different varieties), the Anniversaries 3p of 1971, the Universities 3p of 1971, the Christmas 3 1/2p of 1974, the Historic Buildings 9p of 1978, the Rowland Hill miniature sheet of 1979 and the 12p and 15p of the Sports series of 1980.

Published in Rarest stamps
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