StampNews.com is glad to let our readers know that an unused block of six 1956 Melbourne Olympic 3½ pence stamps, plus booklet covers, is to be sold for US$25,000 at the next Mossgreen philatelic sale on October 3.
You may be wondering why these average philatelic items are to fetch such a considerable sum of money. Let’s get to know the answer to this question in this piece of news!
The fact is 27 million of these stamps had been printed – but not released for public sale - when the GPO decided in October 1955 to increase the base postal rate to 4 pence. This made the 3½ pence stamps redundant overnight. Those already printed were destroyed with a small number of uncut sheets and booklets retained in the postal archives.
These gathered dust for 30 years before next appearing at the Australia Post Archival Sales of 1987 and 1988. Only 40 stamps were available and what was sold then is now the sole source of 3½ pence Melbourne Olympic stamps.
This five-star rarity factor makes them, according to the Mossgreen catalogue … “one of the most important stamp items from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II for the entire British Commonwealth”.
Mossgreen specialist Gary Watson has since dealt with at least half of these surviving stamps through his current and previous auction house, Prestige Philately. They may be valued here but he notes that international Olympic stamp collectors seem disinterested in anything except games held in Europe.
“They just yawn collectively when they see it's the Australian Olympics,” says Watson. All the Melbourne Olympic stamps sold through him have gone to Australian collectors who appear happy to pay extraordinary amounts.
Sourced by afr.com