Rare stamp may fetch up to $25 million in New York

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An incredibly rare 19th century postage stamp valued at between US$10 million (S$12.5m) and US$20 million will be going under the hammer in New York this week.

If it sells, the tiny one-cent magenta from British colonial Guiana will become the world’s most expensive stamp​.

A 1855 Swedish stamp which sold in 1996 for US$2.3m currently holds the record for a single stamp at auction, reported BBC News.

The stamp was made in 1856 and measures 2.54cm by 3.18cm. It is octagonal, printed in black ink and bears the initials of the postmaster.  

The stamp is in remarkable condition, considering that it is more than 150 years old.

Last bought by convicted murderer and American multi-millionaire John du Pont in 1980, it was last seen in public in 1986 before recently going on display at Sotheby’s in the build-up to the auction.  

The auction house says the stamp is the only surviving example of a one-cent magenta. It is so rare that it is missing even from the British royal family’s philatelic collection.

Sources: AFP, BBC News