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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 176 - 17 March, 2014

Sale of the World's Rarest Stamp

The One Cent British Guiana


It has been reported in the Canadian Stamp News newspaper and elsewhere that the world's rarest stamp, the above British Guiana 1¢ magenta, will be offered for sale by Sotheby’s in New York City on June 17, 2014. It is expected to fetch between $10-$20 US million.

It was originally discovered in 1873 by Vernon Vaughn, a 17-year-old stamp collector. While it has had many owners, it was eventually purchased in 1980 by a member of the du Pont family for $935,000 US. Sadly, Du Pont was later arrested for shooting a friend and was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in prison. He died in prison in 2010.

The balance of du Pont’s collection will be sold by David Feldman’s firm at his Geneva Switzerland office on June 27th.


What a year this has been for collectors. First a new and previously undiscovered Canadian 2¢ Large Queen on laid paper is discovered and then, two copies of this same stamp, and there are only three in existence, are put up for sale in 2014. Now on top of this, comes the news that the world’s rarest stamp is to be sold. We are sure collectors will remember these special sales that took place in 2014 for a long time to come.

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