WILMINGTON, Del. – A 1920s-era 10-cent stamp containing an extraordinarily rare printing error sold at auction Friday for $74,000.
The owner of The Stamp Center, which handled the auction, would not disclose the identity or location of the buyer of the mint-condition unused stamp, which bears a likeness of President James Monroe. The bid was submitted by telephone as almost 100 people gathered at the center looked on.
The center’s owner, Keith Marsh, had expected the stamp to fetch between $25,000 and $50,000. He said it is the most valuable his 27-year-old business has ever handled.
The buyer must also pay a 12 percent commission to the auction house, bringing the total acquisition price to $82,880. The stamp’s seller, Charles Jacobs, a retired electrician from Salisbury Township, Pa., will receive $66,600 after paying a 10 percent commission.
While more than 800 million of the stamps were printed between 1923 and 1927, the typical Monroe stamp has 11 perforation holes on all four sides. The stamp sold Friday contains only 10 holes on its top side.