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World’s Most Expensive Stamp Sells for £5.6m

A humble one-cent stamp has broken the world record sale price for the fourth time in its history, changing hands at auction for $9.5m (£5.6m).

The 19th century British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, known as the Mona Lisa of the stamp world and measuring just 1 square inch, sold at Sotheby's for the astronomical price to an anonymous buyer. The stamp is the only major one absent from the British Royal Family's private collection and was seen in public at the auction for the first time since 1986. Originally issued in 1856, this is the only known example of it in existence.

It smashed the previous auction record for a single stamp, which was achieved by the Treskilling Yellow, which sold for $2.2m in 1996.

Whoever bought it has just got to try not to use it by accident for their Christmas cards this year.

[via The Telegraph]

(Images: Sotheby's/Rex Features)