Rare GB Stamps - The King George V Silver Jubilee Prussian Blue
The prussian blue variety of the 2 1/2d value from the 1935 King George V Silver Jubilee stamp set is one of the rarest British stamps.
The Normal 1935 Silver Jubilee Stamp
The 'Prussian Blue' shade is much darker than normal
Like many philatelic 'legends' the story can be traced back to Stanley Gibbons - the world's best known stamp dealer. They took a phone call from a local businessman called A.J. Stavridi on 2nd July 1935 who said his secretary had just purchased some stamps from the Upper Edmonton Post Office and some of them were the normal blue but others were a very different shade, noticably darker than the normal stamps, now deemed 'prussian blue'.
It's said that Stanley Gibbons' advice to Mr Stavridi was to get back to the Post Office and buy more! Stavridi apparently followed the advice he was given and purchased a further 319 examples of the prussian blue stamps. Unbelievably he then decided to mail many of them to his friends and colleagues as keepsakes.
These stamps were supposed to have been made for King George V according to his personal instructions and the prussian blue versions should never have been released in to general circulation. The Post Office quickly became aware of the colour mistake and all the sheets that remained in stock were destroyed. Therefore, Stanley Gibbons and GB philatelists confidently claim that a maximum of 480 of these stamps have ever existed in circulation.
Of the 480 believed to have made it in to circulation it is estimated by Stanley Gibbons that only around 200 still survive today as many of Mr Stavridi's friends would probably have lost the keepsakes he sent them. From time to time you will see an example of the Prussian Blue for sale on eBay.
So what is the Prussian Blue's worth today?
Stanley Gibbons were offering one of these rare stamps for £10,000 earlier this year.
GB Stamp Home Page More GB Stamp Articles