Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Penny Magenta of Guiana

"A dirty, lurid pink octagon owned by a murderer, which is worth a fortune," is how Paul Fraser Collectibles describes one of the world's rarest stamps - the penny magenta of Guiana, shown above.

The company says in an article that appears on its website, "In 1856, E. T. E. Dalton, the local postmaster of British colony of Guiana (now independent Guyana) was frustrated to hear that a shipment of stamps had failed to arrive. Not wishing the citizens to be without this extremely useful, and still relatively new, facility [sic] he commissioned an emergency production from a local printer.

"He was then further irritated to find that the printers had exercised creative input on the stamps over and above his simple specifications, and the three stamp types (two 4c stamps, one blue and one magenta, plus a 1c magenta for newspapers) had had a ship emblem added. Dalton didn't like the design. He restricted its use to that one emergency issue, and also had post office clerks sign all the stamps as a guard against fraud."

According to the article,  the ugly looking stamp has belonged to John du Pont, an athlete, ornithologist and philatelist since 1980. He paid $935,000 for it.

It goes on to say, "In 1997, du Pont was convicted of murdering his friend, Olympic wrestler David Schulz, without rational motive, due to du Pont suffering from schizophrenia. Experts estimate the stamp to be worth upwards of $5m - it is currently stored in a bank vault, hidden from the world."

To read the entire aricle, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM