The Very Rare Set of 4 Gandhi Stamps That Sold For £500,000

The Very Rare Set of 4 Gandhi Stamps That Sold For £500,000

We don’t know if Gandhi would be proud or horrified to hear a set of four 10-rupee Purple Brown and Lake ‘Service’ stamps bearing his face were sold for £500,000. This is said to be the highest price ever paid for any Indian stamps. Conjecture surrounding the astronomical price of these 69-year-old stamps has resulted in the consensus that the large price tag was due to the fact they remained in a set of four. According to the Governor-General’s Secretariat, only thirteen of these stamps are officially recorded to be in circulation. Moreover, only one other set of four exists, which belongs to Queen Elizabeth II and is on display at the Royal Philatelic Collection.

Image source: Stanley Gibbons

It apparently is the time for Indian stamps as the coveted philist stamp ‘Four Annas’ went for nearly £110,000 this March. Also, a single 10-rupee Purple Brown and Lake ‘Service’ went for £160,000 last year. “The market for high-quality Indian rarities has been strong for several years and is supported by the ongoing desire of the wealthy Indian diaspora and savvy international clients to own these historic assets,”commented Keith Heddle to the BBC. Mr. Huddle is the Managing Director of Investments at Stanley Gibbons, a renowned stamp collecting business in the UK.

Nevertheless, philists, many of whom belong to the elite class, have cultivated a ludicrous market for rare stamps, the highest recorded price of a stamp being sold being $9.5 million (£7.4 million) for the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta in 2014. Although this market for old chits of postage payment is fascinating, in terms of financial investment, it is a bit strange how coveted these rare stamps are.

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