Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: British Guiana stamp, $9.48 million, Sotheby’s
Recent Auction Results From Near & Far
By Ken Hall
The British Guiana one-cent black on magenta, the world’s rarest stamp, sold for $9.48 million (nearly one billion times its original face value) at an auction held June 17 by Sotheby’s in New York City. It was the most ever paid at auction for a single stamp, the previous record being $2.2 million, paid in 1996 for The Treskilling Yellow. The British Guiana stamp had been acquired three times prior: in 1980 (for $935,000); in 1970 (for $280,000) and in 1922 (for $35,000). All were world record prices. The June 17 price includes a 12 percent buyer’s premium.