While at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail's wet market yesterday, I spotted an elderly gentleman opening his booth and soon later, arranging his wares. Normally, I would not give much notice to such scene as he is like many there, selling his wares. Ironically, it was his wares which attracted me as it does not seem to blend with the other traders there. From afar, I notice his wares were documents and some books, and decided to inspect the booth closely. And I am glad I did.
Its been ages since I last met or heard anything or anyone who is into Stamp Collection. In fact, the last I dare say, was whilst I was in school but I was never into it. The only stamp lines that really intrigued me then was the Magyar Posta, but only because the name sounded so strange, so exotic. Emi and Din though, did give it a try during their primary days but that was all. About a year back while spring cleaning the house, I found one of Din's album and kept it aside should any of his children find interest in it later. Somehow, from the way they are now, I don't think they will ever be. But the future, well, none can tell.
Anyway, the gentleman at the booth introduced himself as Encik Mubarak Ali Rajak, a Council Member of the Philatelic Society of Malaysia. He said he was trying to reintroduce this hobby of his to the younger generations and I was delighted when he began in earnest showing some of his collection, one of which, he puts the value at RM5,000,000, and making it perhaps the most expensive stamp in the world!
I've always had the notion that collectors stamps are valued according to their beautiful design and print. Well, yes and no, as Mubarak explained it to me. Some of the most expensive stamps came to be due to printing fault either by the printers, or the post office themselves. Off course there are perhaps other ways to value stamps, and another, according to him, is the total amount of gate-money collected when a particular stamp is exhibited. But the stamp he holds now, is more due to the misprint on it. For someone who has been involved in the printing industry, that, piqued my interest even more.
As can be seen from the picture above, the stamp is still affixed to the envelope used for postage. Printed in 1967, it seems no one paid attention to it until Mubarak found it (the envelope was posted to his father in Kuantan by the then The Chartered Bank - click here to my Pictures-Only blog for more pictures and related document-image).
Before the digital printing age, documents are printed in layers according to the colour specs, and this include separate layers for some texts as well. Evidently, while printing this particular stamp line, the printers missed out one layer - the stamp postage price! I am uncertain as to how many in the line survived now, but according to the research made by Mubarak, his is the only one. And that, makes them stamp rare and expensive.
Anyone interested, do click on the image-document on Pictures-Only for Mubarak's contact details.