This article is about the Guyana rare stamp, also known as the British Guiana 1c magenta.
The rarest stamp in the world is from Guyana. It is worth an estimated $8.3 million and more valuable than 24-karat gold. It has been accordingly dubbed the “Mona Lisa of the stamp world.”
In 1856, a British ship delivered 5,000 stamps to British Guiana, which was expecting a shipment of 50,000 stamps.
Postmaster Dalton authorized the newspaper, the Royal Gazette, to print a small amount of stamps to make up for the shortcoming. He ordered that each stamp be signed by a clerk to prevent forgery.
The octagonal stamp features three sailing ships and the motto “Damus Petimus Que Vicissim'' which translates to “we give and expect in return.” It was also printed on magenta paper.
This stamp is postmarked April 4, 1856.
The last of the stamps printed by the Royal Gazette was presumed to be used to deliver a newspaper near the time of printing. The stamps were never seen again.
That is, until 1873, when a Scottish school-boy found the stamp on a newspaper in his uncle’s collection. He sold it to a local collector for six shillings.
The stamp has had 12 owners, including the French government. It is currently owned by Stanley Gibbons (a rare stamp dealer).
The stamp is stored in a zero-oxygen frame.
By Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. | This content is copyright of West Indian Diplomacy, LLC and may not be reproduced without permission.
She runs West Indian Diplomacy, a Caribbean blog aimed at promoting West Indian history and business in the global marketplace. Melissa has been an attorney for over 10 years. She currently focuses on trademark registration, trademark searches, and office actions. She also has extensive legal experience in the areas of trademarks, copyrights, contracts, and business formations. She owns her own Trademark Law Firm that is virtually based out of Fort Lauderdale.
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