Billionaire Luxury

Collections

Not Your Childhood Collection: The World’s Most Expensive Stamp

All collectors have their “thing,” whether it’s coins, cars or action figures. Of course, all collections aren’t created equal. That is also the case of the most expensive stamp in the world, which sold for $9.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction this year. The buyer was anonymous, but the history of the stamp was not.

The “British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta” stamp dates back to 1856 and was sold for almost a billion times its original cost. It was printed 16 years after the invention of postage stamps, which is pretty interesting to say the least.

What makes it even more of an attention-grabber is that the stamp has been in the hands of a young boy, museums, brushed hands with royalty and famously ended up in the collection of crazed chemicals millionaire John E. du Pont. He was the last owner, in fact.

This may not seem odd except du Pont was a bit of a madman. In 1996, he shot his friend and Olympic wrestler David Schultz three times and barricaded himself in his home. It was later revealed by sources close to du Pont that the stamp owner had claimed to be Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama and even a Russian czar at different times!

Although he died in prison in 2010, the legend lives on, as does his prized stamp. Billionaire Luxury can’t help wonder who it was who bought the stamp and why they wished to remain anonymous. Perhaps we may never find out, but there are arguably not that many people out there who are in the position to pay over nine million dollars for a stamp.

Odd fact: Who said kings always get what they want? King George V tried to acquire the One-Cent at one point. He underbid. Go figure.