Most Expensive: A $2.3 Million Dollar Postage Stamp?

No, that was not a typo in the headline; there is actually a stamp worth an estimated $2.3 million dollars or more!  It is the Treskilling Yellow, printed in Sweden in 1855, and was interestingly enough the result of a printing error.

Indeed.  It seems the story goes that rather than printing the three-skilling stamp on green stock, it was printed on yellow/orange stock paper.  It wasn’t until 1970 that the authenticity of this imposter was questioned by the Swedish Postal Museum, who then found it to be genuine.   Only one known copy of the “Treskilling Yellow” postage stamp exists, making it the most expensive stamp in the world. 

It was part of the Swedish stamp series in 1885 and 1886, and George William Backman found this particular stamp in his grandmother’s attic.  Kinda makes you rethink nerdy collectors and their habits a bit, like misprinted coins, baseball cards and antiques. 
Most Expensive Postage Stamp $2.3 Million
Sorry collectors, I would rather collect luxury rental cars, or a couple of Aston Martin rentals for that figure.  Think about it, you could earn residual income by renting them out when you were not using them.  I am pretty sure no one is in the market to rent your stamp.

The known history of the Treskilling Yellow includes several changes of hands, beginning with Philipp von Ferray, who had it in his stamp collection in 1894.  In the 1920s the luxury stamp made its way to Baron Eric Leijonhufvud of Sweden, and King Carol II of Romania.  This is apparently a regal piece of paper!

It was eventually sold to the United States for a million dollars in 1990, then sold six years later for $2.3 million U.S.

Recently, in 2010, this very old and very expensive stamp again changed hands for an undisclosed price, but at least maintaining the $2.3 million mark of the previous sale.  This is the little postage stamp that could, scouring the globe for hundreds of years, and clearly not depreciating in value!  I wonder if it was ever licked and transported via horse and mail carrier?  I doubt it.



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