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Returning home... Britain regains rare postage stamp after 143 years in Washington exhibitions "Photos"


Rare stamp dealer Stanley Gibbons bought a British Guiana Magenta stamp, described as the "Mona Lisa of the philatelic world", for $8.3 million (£6.2 million) at an auction last month.


For nearly a century and a half, the stamp has been kept in collections abroad, but will now be on display at the Stanley Gibbons flagship store in central London. “Stamp is believed to be the most valuable element in the world, approximately 2.5 million times more valuable than 24-karat gold,” Gibbons said.


 Security measures have been taken to fly the stamp to Heathrow Airport and be met by an armored truck, before being transported to the showroom, where it will be stored in a vault before being displayed in a specially prepared, oxygen-free frame.


The octagonal stamp, printed in black on purple paper, features a three-column sailing ship, as well as the motto "Damus Petimus Que Vicissim" which translates to "We give and we expect in return."


The dealer said he was making plans to make the stamps available to collectors through a cross-ownership scheme, suggesting that stock in the motherboards could be sold for as little as £20.


“The British Guiana Magenta is truly the Holy Grail of stamps,” said Graham Shirkur, CEO of Stanley Gibbons.


He added, "We look forward in the coming weeks to announce bold plans, which will allow everyone to own their own piece of its wonderful history. This is not just for wealthy collectors. We are working on developing a pricing model that will allow anyone to join."


The seal was previously on display at the Smithsonian National Philatelic Museum in Washington, D.C., on loan from its previous owner, American shoe designer Stuart Weitzman.

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