The King's error, creating one of Britain's rarest stamps.

Discussion in 'World Stamps' started by steve logan, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. steve logan

    steve logan Logie Bear

    a little bit of interesting news from SG

    The 2½d Blue
    On July 2nd, 1935 Stanley Gibbons got an important phone call.
    Local businessman A.J. Stavridi explained the seemingly strange situation to Stanley Gibbons... His secretary had just returned from the Upper Edmonton Post Office having purchased 2½d stamps for postage.
    Mr. Stavridi noticed some of the stamps were different than the others. Some were blue... others were Prussian blue. "What should I make of this?" he wondered. So he picked up the phone.
    The advice from Stanley Gibbons was quick and to the point..."Get back to the Post Office, pronto!"
    Mr Stavridi subsequently purchased another 319 stamps, mailing some to friends as souvenirs.
    To this day the 2½d Prussian blue remains one of the rarest of Great Britain stamps... quite simply it should not have been printed... it's a freak issue.
    These stamps were made for the King, by his special instructions. The Post Office was quickly informed of the colour mistake and the remaining sheets held in stock were destroyed. Therefore, we are confident that only 480 of these stamps were ever printed.
    While these stamps are rarely on offer anywhere, we are fortunate to have these two excellent examples in stock now.
    This really is a historically significant stamp.
    You see, King George V was one of the world's great stamp collectors. So on June 6th 1934, when he was asked for his permission for a commemorative stamp issue to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his Accession to the Throne, he was more than happy to say "yes."
    On October 2nd 1934 the designers were sent back to the drawing board... they had put forward 12 designs but none were considered acceptable by The King.
    They submitted a further 22 designs on October 25th 1934 and the design of Mr Barnett Freeman was accepted.
    On January 17th 1935 the final design was presented to The King for his final approval, with one question... what colour did he want the stamp to be?
    Given the choice of 'prussian blue' or 'blue' The King opted for the latter.
    The new stamp was to be a 2½d blue.
    The King's Error
    But all didn't go to plan.
    This is why this stamp is so rare.
    The printers, Harrison & Son, inadvertently printed some sheets in the 'Prussian blue' colour. Quickly realising their mistake they destroyed the sheets... unfortunately for them 6 sheets had managed to escape them and were placed with the 'good' stock by a busy worker.
    Three of these sheets ended up at the Upper Edmonton Post Office in North London. One other sheet was issued to an unknown Post Office.
    And that is where Mr. Stavridi and Stanley Gibbons come in. They quickly bought up all they could before the remaining mistakes were destroyed forever.
    To this day the 2½d Prussian blue remains one of the rarest of Great Britain stamps... quite simply it should not have been printed...

    Due to its rarity and desirability, the value of this stamp as an investment item is well proven.
    The price today for an unmounted example is £16,000 and this is the first example we have offered since last year. The catalogue price for this classic British rarity has increased from £10,000 to £16,000 in the last 5 years.
  2. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    Never heard of this before, thank for sharing Steve. I always enjoy learning new things, and this is a site for that.

    Now if I had one of those in my :rolleyes:
  3. steve logan

    steve logan Logie Bear

    I have quite a few but sadly i believe mine are all blue lol
  4. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    Shucks, I was hoping you had one, so that you can buy some drinks in
  5. swish513

    swish513 Active Member

    you are trying to get free drinks from everyone!! lol

    steve, thanks for sharing. i like to hear about the "mistakes" that escape and become dream stamps for many of us.
  6. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    you cant knock me for trying, but If I remember right, I think Steve started it on an another thread.....:p
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