Buying and Selling Collectibles: Stamp Collections

About the hobby of collecting, buying, and selling old and used items for fun and profit, in this case stamp collections.

Stamps. In 1878, a 13-year-old boy made the biggest, most publicized hobby "find" of all time. L. Vernon Vaughn was rummaging through old correspondence in his parents' attic when he discovered the only known specimen of the British Guiana one-pence of 1856. Though he got only a few cents for it, that stamp is now worth more than a quarter-million dollars. It was last sold in 1970, for $280,000 and is now owned by a wealthy investor from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. During the 1920s a rumor circulated that a 2nd copy had turned up, but nothing more was heard of it. It's very likely that one, or more, could exist. Originally the stamp must have been printed on a sheet, with a number of impressions to the sheet.

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