Home Stamp collecting British Guiana 1c Magenta: £ 6.2million stamp arrives in UK as buyer says bargain but still smaller than expected | UK News

British Guiana 1c Magenta: £ 6.2million stamp arrives in UK as buyer says bargain but still smaller than expected | UK News

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At $ 8.3million (£ 6.2million), never has so much been spent for so little.

The tiny stamp – British Guiana 1c magenta for connoisseurs – is, gram for gram, considered the most valuable man-made product of all time.

The security operation to bring the the world’s rarest stamp from New York to London was discreet, but necessarily tight.

As he walked through the streets of Manhattan to JFK Airport, his protectors carried guns.

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The stamp is considered the most valuable man-made product of all time, gram for gram

On the transatlantic flight, the ultra-thin and almost weightless stamp was in a plexiglass frame, in a red box, in a locked case, in a sealed blue bag wedged between two security guards.

Sleep and toilet breaks took turns, so the precious cargo was not left alone for a second.

An armored truck and two other guards handed the stamp over to its new owner, dealer Stanley Gibbons in London.

“The moment of truth. I am very excited,” said company general manager Graham Shircore as he lifted the lid of the box to gaze at the treasure.

“Wow. It’s the holy grail for stamp collectors. There aren’t many people who can do that.”

At 29mm x 26mm, the stamp is incredibly small and it’s a wonder it survived, intact, for 165 years.

Mr. Shircore is the man who bought it – invisible and over a phone line at a New York auction last month.

Collectors could own a piece of history for as little as £ 20.
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The item was purchased at an auction in New York last month

His first impression? “I knew the dimensions, but it’s still smaller than I expected,” he said.

Not that he was disappointed, instead he suggested the £ 6.2million price tag was a steal.

Her colleague, the company’s general manager of philately, Victoria Lajer, was nervous and was now relieved that the stamp had arrived safely.

Stanley Gibbons Graham Shircore and Victoria Lajer
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Stanley Gibbons’ Graham Shircore (right) and Victoria Lajer are delighted with the latest addition

“We had a lot of sleepless nights worried about the trip and getting everything set up,” she said.

“It’s nice to have him here in Britain, the home of stamp collecting. It means so much to us and stamp collectors are thrilled about it. It will do a lot for the hobby.”

Over the next few weeks, the stamp will be locked in a safe while a special showroom will be created with strict air, temperature and lighting controls… and more than a hint of security.