1c Z Grill sells for $4.366 million dollars!!

Last night, June 14, the rarest U.S. Postage stamp sold for a new record price of $4.366 million dollars. It’s the 1c Z Grill stamp, the same stamp I bought for Mystic in 1998 for $935,000. Once again, the 1c Z Grill stamp is the most valuable U.S. Stamp.

The stamp sold as the final part of collection created by billionaire collector Bill Gross. How did Bill Gross get the stamp? Well, in 2005 I traded the stamp with Bill in exchange for the unique plate block of inverted Jenny airmail stamps. Gross bought those stamps for almost $3 million, so that shows how much Bill wanted the 1c Z Grill.

Last night the auction room was packed, standing room only. 

I don’t know who bought the stamp. It sold to telephone bidder T9. I hope they show the stamp or their collection at stamp shows so collectors can have the thrill of seeing the 1c Z Grill in person.

Gross’s 100 most valuable U.S. single stamps sold last night for a total $18,100,000. I imagine Bill has or will donate the money to charity. Over the past 15 years he’s donated millions of dollars from selling stamps to charity. Doctors Without Borders was one of his favorites. He’s given them $33 million before this sale.

Gross’s 15c Z Grill sold for $2.350 million. I think its now the second most valuable U.S. stamp, after the 1c Z Grill. I considered buying that very same stamp in 1998 but, at the last moment, didn’t bid. Gross got a relative bargain because I didn’t bid. In 1998 Gross paid ‘only’ $209,000 for the 15c Z Grill, Scott #85F.

There are two 15c Z grill stamps and the older sold for about $1.5 million a few years ago, less than the Gross stamp at $2.35 million..

Bill Gross is a generous man who helped the stamp hobby in many ways. We have the wonderful Smithsonian National Postal Museum Gross Gallery because of Bill’s $10 million+ gift. Bill’s fame brought attention to stamp collecting. I’ve met people who collected because Bill collected.

Here is a photo of Bill cutting the ribbon opening the Gross Gallery at the Smithsonian. 

Photo. Left to right Cheryl Ganz, curator of Gross Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Donald Sundman (me), Chairman of Smithsonian National Postal Museum Council of Philatelists, Wayne Clough, Secretary of Smithsonian Institution, Bill Gross, Collector and co-founder PIMCO investments, Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General (and stamp collector), Allan Kane, Director of National Postal Museum, and Charles Shreve, philatelic advisor to Bill Gross & NPM Philatelic Council Member.

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