PTS Member Empire Philatelists found more than they expected in a recent set of auction lots that they had purchased. On review it was found that a very rare unique item was found. In fact hidden between the masses of stamps was in fact a Hong Kong stamp which had a "double surcharge”. The team sent off for a certificate and the item came back as genuine. It is the Hong Kong 1891 20c on 30c Grey-Green SG48b with a catalogue value of £25,000
Why is it rare?
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Hong Kong surcharged her stamps because postage rates changed so frequently that existing denominations were unable to cover demand. On an ad hoc basis the Hong Kong government sent stamps, with outdated denominations, to a local company to be overprinted as surcharged issues, in order to plug the gap, before stamps with new denominations arrived from Britain
At that time Hong Kong had a shortfall of 20c stamps so they overprinted the 30c stamp to make it a 20c stamp. However, this particular stamp was overprinted twice in error.
It is known that some, 20c on 30c, stamps were double overprinted in error (as evidence by Stanley Gibbons listing it in their catalogue) but very few, if any, other than this one, has survived.
The Empire Philatelists team have researched and found no evidence of this particular error ever being sold, or available. It is possible that there are others out there, maybe one exists in the Kings Collection, but currently this stamp is unique and the only one available on the International stamp market.
Stuart from Empire Philatelists comments
“These moments are so exciting. First finding a stamp worth tens of thousands of pounds in a lot which I thought was all worth a couple of hundred pounds was a thrill. But to find something so rare and then to have it confirmed as genuine definitely doesn’t happen every day!”
You can see the stamp online here:
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