The One-Cent Magenta #Stamp, the most valuable object in the world in terms of its face value, has been on display for all to see at the #National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., the capital of the United States. The stamp has been on display thanks to its current owner, luxury shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, who purchased it for $9.5 million at a 2014 auction at Sotheby's in New York City. A
bout a year after buying the stamp in June 2014 Mr. Weitzman went to the Smithsonian Institution and they came to an agreement to have it displayed at the National Postal Museum.
Weitzman agreed to loan it to them for two and a half years.
The story behind the stamp
In 1873 a Scottish schoolboy living in British Guiana found the One-Cent Magenta Stamp among his uncle's letters. From there the stamp when around through a number of owners, each time being sold for more than before as its rarity was more known. The stamp was even taken back by France as part of war reparations after World War 1.
In 1980 John du Pont (1938-2010), heir to the du Pont fortune, purchased the stamp for a then record $935,000. In 1997 du Pont got convicted of murder and the stamp got locked in a bank vault. He died in prison in 2010 and in 2014 the stamp got sold from the du Pont estate at auction, where Mr. Weitzman brought it.
Why the stamp is so valuable
The One-Cent Magenta Stamp was printed in the former British colony of British Guiana in 1856 as part of an emergency issue of stamps.
Only a handful of these stamps were ever printed, with this being the only known survivor. It is so rare that it is the only stamp that is not a part of the Royal Philatelic Collection, the postage stamp collection of the British Royal Family.
On top of its rarity is the added fact of the stamp's small size, non-existent weight and the fact that its face value is only one cent. This means that when it got purchased at that 2014 auction for $9.5 million, it was worth almost one billion times its face value. All of these factors are what technically makes it the world's most valuable object.