Mar. 24 - The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is certified by the Royal Philatelic Society London ahead of its auction by Sotheby's in New York in June where it is expected to sell for $10-20 million (USD). Elly Park reports.
It's arguably the most famous stamp in the world -- the sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, a unique penny issue from 1856. Experts here at the Royal Philatelic Society in London are tasked with its authentication ahead of its planned sale in June. Chris Harman is the Chair of the Society's Expert Committee. SOUNDBITE: Chairman of Expert Committee of Royal Philatelic Society London, Chris Harman, saying (English) "British Guiana was one of the first countries in the world to issue their stamps, and this was a locally printed stamp, of which there are very few Four-Cent, and there's only one One-Cent." Because of the stamp's legendary status, there have been many attempted forgeries. SOUNDBITE: Chairman of Expert Committee of Royal Philatelic Society London, Chris Harman, saying (English) "Most of them fairly obvious, a lot of them printed by modern processes, a lot of them on modern paper so they're pretty easy. The most difficult to tell are those where someone has taken a Four-Cent and altered it to read One-Cent." The One-Cent Magenta is expected to set a world record at auction, according to Sotheby's David Redden. SOUNDBITE: Sotheby's Vice Chairman and Director of Special Projects, David Redden, saying (English) "It is one inch by one and a quarter inches, it's tiny, and when it sells it will be the most valuable object by weight and size ever sold. Our estimate on this stamp is 10 million dollars to 20 million dollars." Sotheby's New York will offer the British Guiana One-Cent stamp in a dedicated auction which will take place on June 17th.