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Collecting unusual things can be an exciting hobby. The army of stamps lovers numbers several million people. These people communicate, exchange, look for unusual objects of their hobby.
Unsurprisingly, the rarest little pieces of paper can be worth several million dollars. These stamps are the dream of any stamp collector, criminals hunt for them. The owners are doing their best to preserve their treasure.
It is noteworthy, but the most expensive brands in the world are those that were released with marriage. These stamps went on sale only in the first edition.
Then someone quickly identified the error, the layout was redone. We will tell you about the most expensive brands below.
Z Grill. This brand was nicknamed "Holy Grail", this is the shape of its protective sign. Its last owner was Bill Gross, a collector from the United States. From childhood he set himself the goal of collecting a complete collection of all postage stamps issued in his country in the 19th century. The collection was complete, with only one thing missing — a 1 cent blue stamp featuring President Franklin. There are only two well-known such brands left in the world. One of them has been kept in the New York Public Library since 1920. And in 1998, another was put up for auction. Gross could not buy it, the Holy Grail went to another philatelist named Donald Sandman. Gross began courting him, begging him to sell him a rarity. However, Sandman agreed to trade Z Grill for another rarity - a block of four stamps called "Jenny". Then Gross rushed to the owners of these brands, begging to sell them to him. In October 2005, the deal took place, Jenny was paid almost three million dollars. This is the highest price paid at auction for stamps. Gross immediately exchanged his purchase for the coveted Grail. As a result, Bill Gross had a complete collection of postage stamps issued in America in the century before last.
Inverted Jenny. When this stamp was printed with the image of an airplane, an unfortunate mistake was made. The Curtis-Jenny aircraft was depicted upside down. The printers were punished, but it served the stamp collection well. Over the past 90 years since its release, the unit has risen in price. The originally defective conjoined 4 stamps cost only 24 cents at US Post Offices. In 1954, Jenny was already given 18 thousand dollars, and the last price is already 3 million dollars. It is no coincidence that the aircraft is depicted on the stamp. In 1910, it was decided in the United States to start transporting mail by air. In 1918, regular flights were opened between New York, Philadelphia and Washington. The fixed rate of 24 cents was significantly higher than the standard three cents. Therefore, for this tariff it was decided to release a new brand. It was developed in a great hurry. Since the printing was done in two colors, each sheet was passed twice through the machine. This caused the error to appear. Collectors quickly realized that such a procedure was fraught with the appearance of unusual brands on sale and began to hunt for them.
Tiflis is unique. This is the rarest and most expensive Russian brand. It was issued for the city post of Tiflis back in 1857. The stamp cost 6 kopecks. This square piece of paper bears the coat of arms of Tiflis, above which a two-headed eagle is located with lowered wings. The stamp was in circulation for only about 10 years and was superseded by all-Russian envelopes and stamps. In the 1880s, philatelists learned that there was a local post office in Tiflis with its own stamps. However, for a long time, the existence of the Uni was hidden from prying eyes. By the beginning of the First World War, only three such stamps had been found. Agafon Faberge became their owner, then the Unics often changed their owners during auctions. Today there are already five such brands. The last of them was estimated at 700 thousand dollars, the transaction took place in 2008. Today, experts still argue about the authenticity of the Tiflis unique, but this does not prevent collectors from hunting for it, laying out a lot of money. Unica is not affordable for most amateurs. There is no doubt that the brand will only go up in price.
Pink and Blue Mauritius. These stamps were issued back in 1847, becoming real rarities. The denomination of red is 1 penny, while blue is twice as expensive. The stamps were issued on the island of Mauritius by order of the Governor. He stated that every letter or postal item must be stamped in accordance with the freight rate. No stamps were imported from England, so it was decided to make them on our own. The value of the Mauritius is that the first issue contained a mistake. It said "Post Office" instead of "Postage Paid". It is also the first British stamp to be issued outside the metropolis. Philatelists found out about the brand by chance. A French widow was sorting through the papers of her merchant husband. She found a letter from the island of Mauritius with unknown stamps pasted on. By that time she herself was collecting them, but an unknown novelty interested her. The discovery was made known by Jean-Baptiste Moens, a renowned collector and creator of the first stamp catalog. He had heard of Mauritius, but had never seen one. The philatelist quickly bought the stamp from the widow and began to study its history. It turned out that Mauritius was mainly used by the governor himself to send out invitations to his balls, just like in London. Curious history and limited edition attracted the attention of philatelists from all over the world to Mauritius. However, it was rather difficult to acquire stamps. Today only 23 such brands are known. Even the English king George V, who was a passionate philatelist, could not acquire the blue stamp for a long time. The monarch was forced to flee the palace and personally buy Mauritius at one of the auctions incognito. If at the auction it became known about the participation of the king, the price would skyrocket. Today the blue stamp is on display under bulletproof glass in one of the palaces.
Envelope with blue and pink Mauritius. Mauritius is located on the most expensive envelope in the world. A blue and a red stamp were pasted on it. And some retired colonel found this rarity while rummaging through junk in the Calcutta market. This valuable find later changed many owners, and now it is in the possession of a Japanese collector. The unique envelope is often shown at exhibitions, even having visited Moscow. It was last sold at auction for $ 2.5 million in 2008 in Vienna. Curiously, until recently there were no famous brands in Mauritius itself. Local bankers helped. They bought the blue and red stamps for $ 2 million and made a special small museum for them.
Yellow cracking. This brand is considered the most expensive in the world today. You can buy it only at a secret auction for "friends". Although the last set price was $ 4.6 million, the brand was redeemed for "only" 2.3 million. The brand appeared in Sweden in 1850. Its particular value lies in the fact that a mistake was made during printing. Sweden issued its first postage stamps in 1855. They depicted the small coat of arms of the country, 5 denominations were created. Each of them was assigned a different color. In 1885, a teenager discovered that the 3 skilling stamp on the envelope turned out to be yellow, not green, as it should be. The boy sold an interesting find for only 7 crowns (half a dollar), and after 9 years the stamp was sold to collectors for $ 3,000. The uniqueness of the brand is not only in the fact that the colors were mixed up for it. This is generally the only remaining stamp from that issue, it has already been redeemed. Over the course of the 20th century, treskilling has changed its owner several times. In 2010, it was acquired by a whole group of unknown persons for $ 2.3 million. The brand's insurance is as much as 15 million.
British Guiana. This stamp was released in a limited edition in 1856 in British Guiana. Its face value was only one cent. It looks like an octagon, which is obtained by cutting off the corners. The obverse is red, on which a three-masted schooner is depicted in black. The 1 cent stamp was intended for use on newspapers. The release was an accident. A batch of stamps from Great Britain was expected on the island, but when it did not come, it was urgently decided to print its own series. Today only one such brand is known to collectors. Despite its dirty appearance and bold stamp, it is still considered priceless. And in this case, the brand was found by a teenager. He did not find such a sample in the stamp catalog and sold it to a philatelist he knew for a penny. He quickly realized what treasure fell into his hands. In 1922, Guiana was already worth 36 thousand dollars. The last price paid for it was a million dollars. It is believed that the stamp is kept in a bank safe, awaiting the release of its owner.
Black penny. The fame of this brand was brought by the fact that it became the first in the world. Its face value is only 1 penny. The stamp features Queen Victoria of England. The background of the picture is black, which gave the brand its name. The black penny went on sale in 1840. The circulation was huge. In total, about 68 million of these stamps were printed, and many of them have survived to this day. Although this brand is by no means rare, its value comes from the fact that it is simply the first brand. If a canceled "Black Penny" can be purchased from $ 10 to $ 200, then an unredeemed stamp costs tens of thousands.
Baden color error. In 1851, a series of stamps were issued in the Grand Duchy of Baden. A circle with a denomination figure was depicted on blue-green paper. Then four different brands were released at once. However, when the denomination of 9 kreutzers was printed, instead of pink paper, one of the sheets of blue-green was used, which was intended for 6 kreutzers. Most likely this was done simply out of inattention. The error was discovered 44 years later. Today there are three canceled stamps and one clean one. She was then sold at auction in 2008 for $ 1.5 million.
Blue Alexandria. This is the name of the stamp, which was in limited circulation in 1847. It was released in Alexandria, Virginia. The round stamp cost 5 cents. It contains only rounded inscriptions "Alexandria" and "Post Office". In the center is the inscription "Paid" and the denomination figure. Mark was found on a letter that a loving city dweller sent to his beloved. Discovered a unique item by their daughter 28 years later. In 1907, she was able to sell the rarity for $ 3,000 to a collector. There are currently seven known stamps in Alexandria, six of them are printed on yellow paper and only one on blue. It was then sold in 1981 at a million dollar auction to European collector Norman.
Hawaiian missionaries. Under this name, the stamps produced in the Hawaiian kingdom in 1851-1852 became known. In total, three denominations were created - 2.5 and 13 cents. The stamps show their value, around which a floral ornament is located. By the time they were released on the islands, the postal system was extremely primitive. The letter could have been received by the recipient's namesake. Therefore, it was decided to introduce the brand into circulation. The first to use them were missionaries who visited the island. That is why the brands got their name. The paper they were printed on was very brittle. This led to the fact that most of the issue simply crumbled over time. Today it is believed that only no more than 200 of these stamps have survived, of which only 29 are outstanding. Least of all two cents left. There is even a criminal history associated with such a brand. One of its first owners was killed because of it in 1892. Now an uncanceled stamp costs about 600 thousand dollars, but a used copy will cost three times cheaper.
Dawson's envelope. Another famous envelope is associated with Hawaiian missionaries. It bears two Hawaiian stamps of 2 and 5 cents and two American three cents. According to legend, in 1870, the envelope, along with other unnecessary papers, was thrown into the oven. However, he was tightly packed and managed to avoid the fire. Only one side of the envelope was burned. The oven factory was closed for 35 years. Only when it was decided to restore it, one of the workers, connoisseurs of stamps, discovered a unique envelope. In 1995, it was sold for $ 2.1 million.
A radiant star. In Switzerland in 1878 a series of stamps of nine denominations was issued. The drawing was the same for all. Inside the blue circle with 22 stars (according to the number of cantons) were the denomination numbers. The radiant star inside was absent on all stamps, except for the one-centimeter. But the only brand worth 5 centimes was discovered, which has an unusual background for itself. It was redeemed by the postmark of one village. But the fame of the Radiant Star was brought about by the fact that its strangeness was discovered only 101 years after its publication. When a London philatelist was sorting through his friend's collection, he discovered a five-centimeter with a radiant star. But this simply could not be! Long examinations began, which proved the authenticity of the brand. Collectors simply could not believe that for such a long time no one knew about the existence of the rarity. There is a version that the sheet with the "wrong" stamps ended up in the village of Bisseg. They practically did not use mail there, so the remains of the stamps were returned to the central office. And they were replaced by a new release. And stamps with a non-standard pattern were practically not used. This explains the single specimen of the find. A unique brand cannot even be objectively assessed. In 1993, one of the catalogs listed its cost at 300 thousand dollars. But there is no doubt that this level will be exceeded at a possible auction.