Good news for those who invest in rare relics – the market for antiques is looking pretty lucrative after up-market collectible seller Stanley Gibbons sold a rare stamp for almost half a million pounds to a private collector.
The £495,000 stamp, a "Plate 77 Penny Red", is one of only five in the world of philately, including one in the British Museum.
According to Stanley Gibbons, the antiques seller on the Strand claiming to be the "home of stamp collecting since 1856", Plate 77 Penny Reds are viewed by collectors and sophisticated investors as the "holy grail" of stamps as they were never meant to go into circulation at all.
The recently sold stamp was purchased for “The Waterbird Portfolio”, the private collection of the anonymous British buyer.
The mystery collector said: “I am so pleased I bought this stamp, it has given me a buzz I really didn’t expect.
"I am sure it will prove to be a fabulous investment and in an uncertain financial world, will prove its worth.”
The world’s most expensive stamp is the ‘British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta’, which was sold in 2014, in New York, for $9.48m (£6.67m).
A spokesperson for Stanley Gibbons said that, in spite of turmoil in global markets at the start of the year, the collectibles industry has stayed "remarkably resilient".
In other words: buy stamps.