British Guiana

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Great Rarity Stamp in the world: British Guiana

The rarest stamp in the world is the one cent black on magenta British Guiana stamp of 1856. In 1856 this colony was awaiting a supply of stamps from England but the postmaster could not wait for the delivery of stamps from England and asked the local newspaper to print some 1 and 4 cent stamps. It features a ship, printed in black ink on magenta colored paper, along with the Latin motto “Damus Petimus Que Vicissim” or, translated, “We give and expect in return”.

Only copy of the British Guiana 1c Magenta was discovered by Vernon Vaughan, a 12 year old Scottish schoolboy while looking through his uncle’s letters. Of the 1 c value only one specimen is known to-day, and that is in the collection of M. Philipp la Renotiere (Herr von Ferrary). Doubts have been expressed as to the genuineness of the copy, but Mr. Bacon, who has had an opportunity of inspecting it, says: “After a most careful inspection I have no hesitation whatever in pronouncing it a thoroughly genuine one cent specimen. The copy is a poor one, dark magenta in color, and somewhat rubbed. It is initialed ‘E. D. W.’, and dated April 1st, the year not being distinct enough to be read.”

This is also the only British Empire stamp that the queen of England does not have in her collection.

It was sold in the 1870’s for about a dollar and it is currently valued at $1,000,000!

There are several other famous rarities, but no single stamp is as rare, famous or valuable as the one cent British Guiana Stamp.

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