About The 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Stamp


The 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Stamp is arguably the most valuable stamp in the world. Printed in limited quantities as a provisional issue for the British colony in South America, it has become a highly sought-after item among stamp collectors. Its rarity and unique design have made it a legendary item in the world of philately.

The stamp was printed in black on magenta paper, and features a sailing ship and the colony’s Latin motto in a circular frame. With only one known copy in existence, it has fetched record prices at auction, and many collectors and museums have attempted to acquire it.

The history of the stamp is shrouded in mystery, with many questions still unanswered. It was discovered by a Scottish schoolboy in 1873, and passed through a number of hands before being acquired by various wealthy collectors. It was last sold in 2014 for a record-breaking $9.5 million, and is now housed in a museum in Washington, D.C.

Despite its high value, the stamp has a humble origin. It was printed in Georgetown, the capital of British Guiana, by the local newspaper, The Royal Gazette. The colony’s supply of stamps had run out, and the newspaper was asked to print an emergency batch of one-cent stamps. Using its own printing press and magenta ink, the newspaper produced a small number of stamps with the ship and motto design.

The stamps were intended to be used only until a new shipment of stamps arrived from London. As a result, they were not widely sold or distributed, and only a few have survived to the present day. In fact, no other example of the one-cent magenta has ever been found, making it a unique item in the world of philately.

There are many theories about why the stamp was printed on magenta paper, rather than the more commonly used blue or red. Some believe that the printer simply used the paper that was at hand, while others suggest that the magenta paper was chosen as a security measure, to make it more difficult to forge the stamp.

Whatever the reason for its unusual design, the one-cent magenta has captured the imagination of stamp collectors and enthusiasts for more than a century. Its rarity, unique design, and rich history make it a truly legendary item in the world of philately, and a must-have for any serious collector.





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