3 Rare Stamps Hiding in Plain Sight: Check Your Mail

1847 Mauritius 'Post Office' Stamp

Barnebys reports that the iconic Mauritius stamps debuted in 1847, seven years after Sir Rowland Hill created the first postage stamp picturing 21-year-old Queen Victoria of England.

The later issues read "Post Paid" instead of "Post Office," like the originals, which are now among the most recognized and precious stamps.

1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta

Philatelists call the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta the "Mona Lisa of stamps," the world's most rare stamp. Limited manufacture began in 1856, and just one piece remains.

It shattered the price record four times and sold for $8.31 million in 2021, despite Sotheby's prediction of $10 million to $15 million. It sold for $9.48 million in 2014 after being hidden since 1986.

1868 Benjamin Franklin Z Grill

Only two specimens of the one-cent Benjamin Franklin Z Grill exist, one of the rarest American stamps. The Miller Collection of the New York Public Library holds one permanently.

 The 1998 Mystic Stamp Company acquisition of the other set a U.S. stamp sale price record at $935,000 In 2005, Mystic swapped the stamp for a 1918 plate-number block of "Brewster's Millions" Inverted Jennys, which is worth $3 million.

See Also

3 Rare Coin Hoards and Their Mysterious Origins