1c Magenta

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1c magenta
It was just for the elite.
Now anyone can own a piece and have a say.
By weight
The most valuable item in the world.
From humble beginnings...
The story begins in 1856...
The Local Postmaster
British Guiana
When only 10% of the expected stamps for the region arrived from Great Britain, the Postmaster was forced to improvise a limited run of provisional stamps made and signed off at the local newspaper, the Royal Gazette.
Mission accomplished
The small print run worked as a stop gap and the stamps were withdrawn 8 weeks later. One-cent stamps only covered local newspaper postage rates and as a result most were destroyed shortly after use.
1873
The one that got away
The 1c Magenta would have been forgotten if it were not for Vernon Vaughan, a 12-year-old Scottish boy, who found one odd stamp among his uncle's papers in 1873.
The journey begins...
The budding philatelist soon sold it for six shillings to Neil Ross McKinnon, who sent his collection to the UK for sale.
And so began the decades-long, cross-continental journey of the 1c Magenta.
1c MAGENTA
By weight, the most valuable item in the world.
ship
A merchant ship used to deliver goods between Great Britain and Guiana
165 YEARS OLD. 12 OWNERS. FORTUNES SPENT IN PURSUIT.
It’s the only major postage stamp ever issued by the British Empire not represented in the Royal Philatelic Collection. The lettering on the front reads “Damus Petimus Que Vicissim”. the colony’s motto meaning ‘We give and expect in return’.
WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE?
Alongside the 1c stamp a 4c stamp was also printed. It is believed that the 1c Magenta was intended to be used for newspapers and therefore these stamps were often thrown away. Save for one.
BENEFITS
10 Pieces
- A £75 Stanley Gibbons gift voucher and hardcopy of Certificate if requested.
100 Pieces
- An exclusive replica of the stamp.
250 Pieces
- Private viewing of the stamp with a Stanley Gibbons expert and first access to future offerings at preferential prices.
A MURDEROUS HISTORY
Previous owner of the One Cent Magenta, John E. du Pont, famous philatelist and heir to the du Pont fortune, was sent to prison for murder.
WHAT MAKES A STAMP VALUABLE?

Meet some past owners

1c magenta back
Owner #4
Thomas Ridpath
THOMAS RIDPATH

UK | 1878

An enterprising young stamp collector from Liverpool named Thomas Ridpath recognised the opportunity and purchased the stamp on the spot. He didn’t own it for long and within a few short weeks the 1c had crossed the channel into the greatest collection of all time.

Breaking the world record for a single-stamp... Four times.
price graph
Benefits of ownership

Legal beneficial title

Pro-rata share of proceeds

Voting rights for each piece

Certificate of ownership

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With a distinguished heritage dating back to 1856, Stanley Gibbons is the world’s longest established rare stamp merchant. That legacy and reputation allows us to offer a lifetime guarantee on all our rare items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Purchase a piece to add your digital signature to the stamp!
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