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Africa/All : Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

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Guthrum
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02 Oct 2017
06:50:12am
Here's a page I completed only today, featuring as it does a stamp so rare that no dealer at no stamp fair, no website, no single human has offered it for sale in the past 20 years. But there's a fellow in India who had it, and it's now mine. I wonder if you can work out which of these it is. Collectors of British Africa may have had the same difficulty as I had in obtaining it (or maybe full used sets are more commonly available) and so perhaps know.

Usual apologies for shadows on the scan - a feature of A4 scanners as they grapple with stamp album pages that are not A4, which I suspect is most of them.

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dollhaus
02 Oct 2017
11:56:45am
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

If it's that hard to get, I'm glad I cut off my British Africa at QEII's coronation.

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Winedrinker
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02 Oct 2017
03:37:59pm
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

Nice stamps. I started collecting Bechuanaland recently, but don't have any of that set. The catalogue value certainly doesn't indicate any of the stamps to be rare. Nonetheless I will guess the orange 4p to be hard to get simply because it appears to be only stamp from 1958 and the value is 10.00 usd -- used and unused. Not that that makes any sense as to why it would be hard to acquire. Just guessing.

Wine

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clivel
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02 Oct 2017
05:43:11pm
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

Unless I have missed some detail due to the scan quality, none of the stamps are particularly scarce, the higher values are not cheap, but not too exorbitant either with the most expensive being the 10/- catalogued by the South African Colour Catalogue at around (depending on the exchange rate) £40 MNH and £18 used.

After decimalisation in 1961 the stamps were surcharged in rands and cents which is where we find the only truly fairly scarce stamp which is the R1 Type I overprint of the 10/- catalogued at about £500 MNH, £150 used. Only 1800 of the stamps actually received the Type I overprint - a glaring gap in my collection!

Clive

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"AlbumEasy - Free software for creating custom stamp album pages"

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
02 Oct 2017
07:59:29pm
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

Below is my set but in mint. There is one stamp missing the 4p Orange. It was issued in 1958 and the space for it is on the next page and it is blank. So my guess would be the 4p.

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clivel
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02 Oct 2017
10:28:44pm
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

I had no difficulty in acquiring the 4p orange and have a few duplicates - both mint and used.
I notice however that neither Guthrum or AntoniusRa include the additional shade of the 3d ultramarine issued in 1957 and catalogued by both the South African Colour Catalogue and Gibbons.

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jbaxter5256
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03 Oct 2017
12:26:52am
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

I agree with Clive. I don't think the culprit is the orange 4D from 1958 which is the only page for Bechuanaland Protectorate in the International Part 4 album. I am so surprised that I have it! Happy

There are 11 members of the set pictured in the International Part 5 album with a date of 1955. I only have 1d through 6d of these so will have to be on the lookout for the 1s through 10s values. I Don't Want To See

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Guthrum
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03 Oct 2017
01:02:08pm
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

British Commonwealth is by no means my area of collecting or expertise - many of the stamps in my "used QE2" album were part of my father's collection. That might explain why I've missed the 3d shade variety.

My apologies for the scan quality. I'm not sure how to improve page-size scans with the software I have here.

However, the answer is neither the 4d nor the 10/-; it is the 5/-, which I have never seen used at any of the British-Commonwealth-heavy stamp fairs in the UK in a couple of decades of looking. The one illustrated turned up on Delcampe recently (it wasn't there a year ago) at a reasonable price. No idea why it is (or seems) rarer than the rest.

Next up, my search for the used 4d Ghana Independence overprint. There's a salutary tale to my efforts to acquire this, which I may have related a few years ago. Nevertheless, one is winging its way towards me even as I write, though as part of a first day cover. Sacrilegiously I will destroy that cover and float the 4d off to fill my gap!* Watch this space.

* Unless any of you have the stamp and would like to exchange it for the fdc, which also features the 2d and 2½d and a nice picture of a ship in a shell!

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Dakota
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03 Oct 2017
04:54:20pm

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re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

I see there is a 4p Ghana for sale on HipStamps.

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jbaxter5256
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04 Oct 2017
02:25:10am
re: Bechuanaland. Rarest stamp in the universe - but which one is it?

Hmm, I believe the trick is to find a used one. I have the Ghana 4d and the Ghana 4d independence overprint but both are MH. Some of the smaller country issues in Africa or island nations are almost impossible to find used.

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