THE world’s first postage stamp, known as Penny Black, is slated to go under the hammer this year.
It was once worth a penny, but it could fetch as much as $ 8.25million (£ 6million) at auction.
The British stamp was first created in 1840, when around 68 million were produced.
It is now one of the most sought after stamps in the world and has been hailed as the most important piece in extant philatelic history.
It will go under the hammer at an auction at Sotheby’s in December.
The unused stamp is part of a document from the archives of leading British postal reformer Robert Wallace.
It features a small portrait of Queen Victoria’s head in profile, with the words Postage One Penny on hand-made watermarked paper with eraser on the back.
Identification of the stamp began when British businessman and stamp collector Alan Holyoake came into possession of the Wallace document, to which the stamp is attached, almost 10 years ago.
Henry House, Treasures Sales Manager at Sotheby’s, said: “While there are many extremely important stamps in public and private collections around the world, it was the stamp that initiated the postage system such as we know him.
“The Wallace document represents the very dawn of social communication, and this stamp has been a game-changer, allowing people to communicate at all levels of society and business to thrive.”
A well-preserved Penny Black stamp sold for £ 45,000 at the Spink auction house in 2017.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth is said to have a stamp collection worth $ 137million (£ 100million).
If you think you have a rare stamp, you could be of serious value.
To check if your stamps are worth anything on eBay, search for the full name, select the “sold” listing, then switch the search to “highest value”.
This will give you an idea of how much money the stamp is going for.
For example, in August, an 1851 stamp sold for $ 3,351 on eBay, after attracting 32 auctions.
In other Collectors News we have explained the Rarest and Most Valuable Pennies featuring 16th US President Abraham Lincoln.
We’ve also rounded up the most valuable error coins.
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