The Jersey-based stamp dealer Stanley Gibbons has sold one of Britain's rarest stamps, and one of the most sought-after in the world, for £400,000.
The 1904 Edward II 6d Pale Dull Purple (aka the IR Official) was withdrawn almost immediately after it was issued on March 14, 1904.
Referred to by many as "Britain's rarest stamp," this philatelic treasure is especially unique because it was issued on the same day that an official order withdrawing all official stamps from use.
It's believed that only 19 sheets of the stamp were ever produced, and that all the sheets were destroyed when the official overprints were ceased.The only other known examples of this stamp in existence belong to the Royal Collection and one or two museums such as the National Postal Museum.
And as remarkable as the stamp's rarity is its power as an investment. According to Stanley Gibbons figures, the 6d Pale Dull Purple has trebled in value since 2005.
What's more, its value has increased by 150% over the last three years - and should only appreciate further. The stamp was purchased by an anonymous dealer.
Meanwhile, interest in rare stamps as a trophy and investment vehicle continues to grow around the globe, with rising markets in China and India fuelling the demand.
For collectors on the look-out for an exceptionally rare stamp, one of the most celebrated stamps of Great Britain - and a key addition to any rare philatelic investment portfolio - is also available on the market.
The coveted 1910 2d Tyrian Plum, accompanied by a 1961 British Philatelic Association Certificate of Authenticity, is presently for sale - and you can find more information here.