FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

The Pom wrote:
26 Aug 2021 23:28
The survey as it appears to me:

The ONE CENT Magenta

We are looking to gauge interest in ownership of the ONE CENT Magenta prior to our limited launch later this year. Those who purchase their piece of the world's most valuable stamp will receive:

Full legal and economic ownership of the stamp
Voting rights to decide on the future of the stamp
Secure, fully insured custody of the stamp provided by Stanley Gibbons
A lifetime guarantee of authenticity provided by Stanley Gibbons
Further benefits of ownership yet to be announced.

At launch, each piece of the ONE CENT Magenta costs £160. The stamp will be split into 50,000 pieces.

* 1. How much would you consider spending on pieces of the ONE CENT Magenta? e.g. enter 10000 if you plan to purchase £10,000 worth of pieces.

2. We are considering entering all future owners of the ONE CENT Magenta into a sweepstake for the chance to win the opportunity to sign their own name on the back of the stamp. How do you feel about the possibility of having your name permanently placed upon the world's most famous stamp?

3. Thank you for answering. Please note that the detail within the survey varies between participants and is not necessarily reflective of the structure or price which will be used. We very much look forward to sharing more with you shortly. Please leave any further comments below:
Please tell me Q2 is some sort of joke. These clowns really haven't got the foggiest idea what they're doing.
.
Tell me all of it is not a joke.

IF they sell out - and they will not - they will GROSS only 8 million quid.

So if they sell only a million quid of BG Bunny Bonds what happens next? No-one knows, least of all SG -- they already borrowed all the money to buy it in the FIRST place!

And they should sack the janitor, or whoever writes this lazy brain fart nonsense -

Those who purchase their piece of the world's most valuable stamp will receive:

Full legal and economic ownership of the stamp



This is legally actionable. A Bunny pumping in 160 quid does NOT own the stamp.

Glen
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by yellowduck »

Global Administrator wrote:
27 Aug 2021 00:01
IF they sell out - and they will not - they will GROSS only 8 million quid.

Those who purchase their piece of the world's most valuable stamp will receive:

Full legal and economic ownership of the stamp
Watch 1000s of people all fighting over who is "the" owner of "the" stamp, since that's what SG said they all are...

Will they keep half the shares for themselves? If they sell them all and only get 8 million, they're not making money on the offer. Then they're paying the insurance on the stamp every year...

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by blue-within-blue »



Even more strange - the survey shows different combinations of price and numbers each time you click on it (but you need to do that before completing it, or it locks you out).

250,000 x £32
100,000 x £80
50,000 x £160
20,000 x £400
10,000 x £800


Screenshot_20210826-140618_Outlook-d7a8c.jpg
Screenshot_20210826-140630_Outlook-e1d7a.jpg
Screenshot_20210826-140644_Outlook-dc9c2.jpg
Screenshot_20210826-140902_Outlook-29dd0.jpg



I assume from this that they will be using the number of survey responses triggered by each combination to judge which price is more popular.

But it's a strange and rather sneaky way to do it.

ROB

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by The Pom »

blue-within-blue wrote:
27 Aug 2021 01:47

Even more strange - the survey shows different combinations of price and numbers each time you click on it (but you need to do that before completing it, or it locks you out).


ROB
In the email they sent:
Thank you for answering. Please note that the detail within the survey varies between participants and is not necessarily reflective of the structure or price which will be used.
As you suggest, the likelihood is that they haven't a clue and are using the survey to try to determine a price point.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

i.e.

We paid 6.5 million quid, and we want somehow to get 8 million for it - what is the BG Bunny Bond magic entry price to float out there.

Let's offer a half dozen options.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by blue-within-blue »


Whichever way they decide to split it, I don't think there's any chance of making the numbers. If the price is high, not enough people will be willing to pay ; and if the price is low, they won't be able to find enough interested buyers. It's a perfect catch-22.

ROB

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by DJCMH »

After all the mistreatment the stamp has suffered the last few decades it is a bit of a miracle it is not already in pieces :(

It will not surprise me if in a couple decades the stamp does disintegrate.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Parisboy »

In the comments bit at the bottom I told them that they must be absolutely mad to even consider allowing any more marks to be put on the back of the stamp. I can't believe that they seriously asked the question about the prize draw. I feel that old-fashioned professionalism is rapidly deserting them.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by GB 789 »

This does sound like the epitome of desperation. Are there even 250000 serious stamp collectors worldwide, let alone enough of them willing to buy a ‘slice’ of this stamp.

They’d be far better off keeping it for a couple of years then tapping into their extensive list of well heeled collectors with more money than sense and selling it for a couple of million profit.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by gavin-h »

Can someone post the link to the survey here, please?

Or is it specific to an individual and won't let you share?

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by blue-within-blue »


You can try this one, but it may be the already blocked version which I get if I try to re-open it :

https://stanleygibbons.lt.acemlna.com/Prod/link-tracker?redi ... 09A1A22142

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Craig »

It's disappointing they didn't offer the option of £10. That's all I would consider paying, and I would consider it a donation at that. Because what would you really own? Unless you won the raffle to sign the stamp, which is totally ridiculous. But it would make one person happy :)
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by DigitalPhilatelist »

"And for serious collectors investing £800, we are giving them a free signed photo of a board member, a rusty old Chinese-made stock book from the 80's and a participation certificate. In addition five lucky people will win a genuine antique coffee cup from our Guernsey office."

:lol:
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

GB 789 wrote:
27 Aug 2021 03:33
This does sound like the epitome of desperation. Are there even 250000 serious stamp collectors worldwide, let alone enough of them willing to buy a ‘slice’ of this stamp.

They’d be far better off keeping it for a couple of years then tapping into their extensive list of well heeled collectors with more money than sense and selling it for a couple of million profit.


Exactly.

SG/Phoenix should sell the real stamp to a real buyer with real money.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

Stanley Gibbons wrote:At launch, each piece of the ONE CENT Magenta costs £160. The stamp will be split into 50,000 pieces.


Exclusive live video feed from the Stanley Gibbons launch of the 50,000 pieces. Who knew it would be so literal:

confetti-gif-tumblr-7.gif

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by yellowduck »

blue-within-blue wrote:
27 Aug 2021 07:12

You can try this one, but it may be the already blocked version which I get if I try to re-open it
The link worked for me. I didn't do the survey because then the link might be blocked for others?

MJ's pet wrote:
27 Aug 2021 10:39
Image
The audience would have to be the size of ants if that's 50,000 pieces of the 1ct Magenta.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

This bizarre "50,000 pieces" time-share scheme will put off any real buyer with real money.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by polisciguy2011 »

The fact they intend to vandalize it yet again, especially given the hatchet job SW did on it when he bought it, is proof positive that they never should have been allowed within a mile of buying it.

I still stand by my far-fetched idea that they never expected to win, and once they did they had to throw a bunch of ideas from the interns up on a white board and pick one. And this is where they landed.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by gavin-h »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 13:07

I still stand by my far-fetched idea that they never expected to win, and once they did they had to throw a bunch of ideas from the interns up on a white board and pick one. And this is where they landed.
Maybe not so far-fetched, Zach!

Certainly has the appearance of making it up as they go along.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »


As legal owners, even just for the last few months, SG should sign it, to continue the tradition.

Here is "an artists mock up" of the minor additions required ......

Captur.jpg

They need to urgently "sell a lot of stamps, profitably", and the clueless nitwits are spending all their time and energy in making no money on a single stamp.

Talk about diversionary.

The saga of this stamp is truly "the final nail in their coffin".

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

yellowduck wrote:
27 Aug 2021 18:59
blue-within-blue wrote:
27 Aug 2021 07:12

You can try this one, but it may be the already blocked version which I get if I try to re-open it
The link worked for me. I didn't do the survey because then the link might be blocked for others?
You should be all able to do the survey. Basically, its Surveymonkey, so when you press submit, it gives you a cookie so that you cannot do it twice, but all separate devices should be fine to submit ONCE.

Here's what to expect:

sg_not_a_clue.jpg

Note that in this one they are proposing :
200,000 shares of £80,
(thus effectively valuing the whole stamp at £16M)

Of course, asking it via an anonymous survey is a perfect excuse for "whatever they have decided already":


"Our customers told us this is what they wanted". (i.e. Marketing lies)

I'm really struggling to find one customer interested "at all", let alone wanting a share at that price!! :D

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by GB 789 »

ViccyVFU wrote:
29 Aug 2021 06:02
yellowduck wrote:
27 Aug 2021 18:59
blue-within-blue wrote:
27 Aug 2021 07:12

You can try this one, but it may be the already blocked version which I get if I try to re-open it
The link worked for me. I didn't do the survey because then the link might be blocked for others?
You should be all able to do the survey. Basically, its Surveymonkey, so when you press submit, it gives you a cookie so that you cannot do it twice, but all separate devices should be fine to submit ONCE.

Here's what to expect:

Image


Note that in this one they are proposing :
200,000 shares of £80,
(thus effectively valuing the whole stamp at £16M)

Of course, asking it via an anonymous survey is a perfect excuse for "whatever they have decided already":


"Our customers told us this is what they wanted". (i.e. Marketing lies)

I'm really struggling to find one customer interested "at all", let alone wanting a share at that price!! :D
Surely ‘valuing’ it at £16 million and such an absurd amount based on nothing more than plucking a number out of thin air must go against some sort of financial regulation if this did come to fruition?

I mean based on current market value that stamp is worth £6-7 million tops. With shares, a company initially offering a share value based on the market value of this stamp, then suddenly deciding that actually those shares are worth 150% more than they actually are (based on nothing more than guesswork) and selling them at this inflated rate, would find themselves in huge trouble with the regulator.

It will be very interesting to see if SG put a value on this stamp in the 2022 ‘Part 1’.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

GB 789 wrote:
29 Aug 2021 07:46
With shares, a company initially offering a share value based on the market value of this stamp, then suddenly deciding that actually those shares are worth 150% more than they actually are (based on nothing more than guesswork) and selling them at this inflated rate, would find themselves in huge trouble with the regulator.
Over 250%, actually. (£6.17 to £16M)

I'd caution confusing the term "share (of asset)" with the US term "common stock" (which is the highly regulated one).

Shares in a company (common stock) are not directly attributable back to specific assets directly, so is expressly NOT what they are potentially offering. (Regulators would hopefully euthanase the company, and return all monies).

The SG offer of a share is more like an e-certificate of "own a square inch of the moon".
They don't own the asset, can't identify your exact square inch, and will never return your money.

Its a pure collectable, not a stamp asset.

Rules of investment :
"Always take delivery of the tangible asset into your control, otherwise its just an interest free loan".

With their track record, I wouldn't lend SG a fiver.

If they did raise £16M, then there is no possibility of a profitable return on your money in my lifetime (and possibly that of mankind itself!).

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by furballx »

16 million is not as absurd as it sounds.

Effectively they have valued the stamp at 8 million, the rationale being that should any one person wish to control the fate of the stamp by acquiring shares they would need to purchase in excess of HALF the shares. Half of 16 = 8.

It make some sense in a perverted sort of way (if you squint your eyes a little while you read it and sign off on it quickly before the wife finds out what you spent the cash on).

Then again a cynic might suggest they have hatched a plan to double their money using the stamps notoriety with a little hype thrown in.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

furballx wrote:
29 Aug 2021 09:00
16 million is not as absurd as it sounds.
No, really, it is.

Anyone who wanted to pay £8M to control the stamp could have gone to the auction and bought it outright.

There are not 200,000 lemmings out there with £800 to throwaway on nostalgia for a company "that cannot make money on stamps".

They are on the cusp of bankruptcy, unable to trade stamps profitably, and have a really low rating for trust amongst "the moneyed they need to attract".

The current "class action", whether it turns out successful or not, keeps them in "a very negative spotlight" with their target market.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by furballx »

VickyVFU did you read the rest of my post?

The "squinting" bit should have given you a little context. Lighten up.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

GB 789 wrote:
29 Aug 2021 07:46
It will be very interesting to see if SG put a value on this stamp in the 2022 ‘Part 1’.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

ViccyVFU wrote:
29 Aug 2021 08:10
The SG offer of a share is more like an e-certificate of "own a square inch of the moon".
They don't own the asset, can't identify your exact square inch, and will never return your money.


This is it in a nutshell. Phoenix will never let a group of "share buyers" dictate what happens to the stamp, even if the people were crazy enough to amass 50.1% of the "shares".

How much do people think Phoenix/SG will actually raise?

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

blue-within-blue wrote:
27 Aug 2021 07:12

You can try this one, but it may be the already blocked version which I get if I try to re-open it :

https://stanleygibbons.lt.acemlna.com/Prod/link-tracker?redi ... 09A1A22142

ROB
I have no doubt the dunderheads in there are tossing out all kinds of options (who would expect any consistency!) but this one I just did, came up with the same 8 million quid end figure as most others have reported. But them tossing in 16 million quid options would not surprise me.

Gibbons are acting more clueless than even on this.



Capture.JPG
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

.
I am sure no-one at SG actually tracks their real costs, as loading up a dozen meaningless Survey Monkey nonsense is far more exciting than running a profitable stamp selling business.

Let's try and assist them.

The actual cost price to SG was the total Sotheby's invoice plus 5% VAT (which needed to be paid before the item is imported to UK, and which they cannot claim back.) So even just 5% VAT on $US8.307 million Sotheby's initial invoice cost, is $US415,350, and added onto any transit insurance, is higher.

So the Gibbons COST price was a minimum of $US8,722,350 - right NOW today, that is £6,339,024.22 landed cost even before any insurances across the pond - can anyone ferret out the Sterling exchange rare on day of sale so we can be more accurate?

That cost is before the huge and ongoing insurances, the 100,000 quid Houdini cabinet I think they owned up to commissioning, and the display area footprint cost in The Strand etc it will all take up, which will be massive if computed on a square foot basis for a year.

So with actual purchase cost and 5% import VAT, and huge insurance cost to get it into the UK, and armoured car pantomime, and cost of cabinet etc, they are looking at about £6.5 million base cost. Agree?

Then there are the endless legal and compliance costs setting up such a wacky Time Share or whatever they call it scheme, all kinds of accountant and certificates and lodgement fees etc and government regulations. A few £100,000 gone forever right there forever too. Such things are enormously complex and costly to set up and comply with, if you are an LSE listed company.

PLUS 1000 combined staff hours brainstorming this mess for 3 months, from CEO Shirecore and Lajer down, looking at meaningless Survey Monkey results, and floating brainless thought bubbles, and not selling real stamps while they are off playing British Guiana games, is another high expense no-one at SG will have bothered to cost in - of course. But folks these ARE real costs. You NEVER get those outlays back.

So ball park 7 million quid of outlay by year end, for something they borrowed the money to play with.

And not a cent incoming yet, and no way will they sell even 7 million quid in BG Bunny Bonds just to cover their real costs.

GENIUS stuff. :roll: :roll:
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

Watching Wheel of Fortune at the moment on the telly:

wheel of fortune.jpg

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

Global Administrator wrote:
29 Aug 2021 13:58
can anyone ferret out the Sterling exchange rare on day of sale so we can be more accurate?
Sure. Perhaps the simplest rate to use would be the "mid rate". Its not one people actually get (that varies depending on if you are "buying" or "selling", and through what channel), but as a single source for comparative purposes, it works well...

Taken from XE.com, there are two historical day rates you need, to follow the history through for the new owner, and the previous one.

Previous sale was on 17th June 2014.
USD was worth 1.0707 AUD (Multiply the USD amount to get AUD equivalent)
GBP was worth 1.69632 USD (Divide the USD amount to get GBP equivalent)

This sale was on 8th June 2021 (i.e. almost exactly 7 years later)
USD was worth 1.29195 AUD (Multiply the USD amount to get AUD equivalent)
GBP was worth 1.41469 USD (Divide the USD amount to get GBP equivalent)


(...and before you jump to any conclusions about the B word, both GBP and AUD have declined against the USD by almost the same percentage :D ).

So the raw outlay you described was $8,722,350
USD 8.7M, being GBP 6.2M, or AUD 11.3M

Incidentally, I've not seen it mentioned yet, but paying the 5% VAT should have avoided the local sales taxes (which are almost double that!).

Now, unless this was a philanthropic proceeds sale (Like the Bill Gross one, where the auction house waived sellers fees, and just charged the buyers - Thereby making "the hammer price" the full donation) then Sothebys will have charged Weissman roughly the same % for selling (The 1% "premises" charge would be replaced by the 1% "insurance of goods" charge).

So Weissman, cash to cash, over 7 years, bought for $9,480,000 and sold for net proceeds of $5,693,000, yielding him a dollar loss of $3,787,000 (i.e. minus 39.9%)
Cash out (2014) : USD 9.5M, GBP 5.6M, AUD 10.2M
Cash in (2021) : USD 5.7M, GBP 4.0M, AUD 7.4M
Loss in USD 3.8M (-39.9%), GBP 1.6M (-28.0%), AUD 2.8M (-27.5%)

(The lower loss percentages in other currencies, whilst shown for comparative purposes, are not applicable as no actual currency exchanges took place).

SG are currently around £6.5M invested in this one stamp (so, yes, agreed), with "an awful lot of time and management efforts unaccounted for, when their focus clearly needs to be elsewhere".

The nuance I was trying to get across about the mail monkey survey is that it is "stupid, beyond the realms of any form of credibility" to suggest a £16M price tag in any of the survey options..... No money would ever be returned at a profit, and people will not even buy one share "if that was a serious suggestion".

Its also "stupid beyond the realms of credibility" to use a free anonymous web survey tool, which is easily frigged, to form any sort of input to "a decision on which the very future of your company depends".

Somebody should resign, if not all of them.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Maybe this will sound silly, but is it me or has the fervor over NFTs not passed a little bit? There used to be a bunch of breathless prose in the media about them as the future of investment and collectibles, but it feels like there isn't as much focus now that the (Northern Hemisphere) summer is winding down. This could just be the media I consume--I'm not a tech person at all!--but it almost feels like SG missed the boat even on that market.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by mikyh »

No NFTs have not passed a little bit. From the BBC 3 days ago:
A 12-year-old boy from London has made about £290,000 during the school holidays, after creating a series of pixelated artworks called Weird Whales and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

With NFTs, artwork can be "tokenised" to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.

They do not generally give the buyer the actual artwork or its copyright.

Benyamin Ahmed is keeping his earnings in the form of Ethereum - the crypto-currency in which they were sold.

This means they could go up or down in value and there is no back-up from the authorities if the digital wallet in which he is holding them is hacked or compromised.

He has never had a traditional bank account.
_120254637_benyamin_ahmed_2.jpg

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

has made about £290,000 during the school holidays


Key words here: "has made".

Not: "going to", "we propose", ""possibly", "depending on the results of our survey", "How much would you consider spending on pieces of ...", "if you plan to purchase £X worth of pieces", "we are considering ..." etc. etc.

Why can't the 12 year old kid find a public domain image of the BG and sell NFTs of that? For no outlay?

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by yellowduck »

Sotheby's jumped on the NFT bandwagon months ago (last autumn?), and is pushing that along with things like their private sales department for sneakers.

Now Christie's is joining the circus.
christie's nft 1.jpg
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

ViccyVFU wrote:
30 Aug 2021 09:50

Its also "stupid beyond the realms of credibility" to use a free anonymous web survey tool, which is easily frigged, to form any sort of input to "a decision on which the very future of your company depends".

Somebody should resign, if not all of them.

I assume frigged was a typo for rigged, but ether one actually works! Sadly. :lol:

For these dunderheads to be messing about for months on this, in such a totally amateur and directionless and confused way, defies belief. They have not got the first idea - a bunch of teenagers would have it up, and making money, two months back.

Chewing up 100,000s quid in staff time SO FAR, from the CEO down, instead of selling existing stock they DO own!

I went to the chimpanzee enclosure at Taronga Zoo here last year, and was amused at watching the antics there. But they were not running an LSE listed company!
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by polisciguy2011 »

At least they're capitalizing on the purchase for the 2022 Part 1 catalogue: :lol: :lol:


SG's prized possession on the 2022 Part 1
SG's prized possession on the 2022 Part 1
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by GB 789 »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
01 Sep 2021 04:56
At least they're capitalizing on the purchase for the 2022 Part 1 catalogue: :lol: :lol:


Image
Knowing their recent luck, they have probably used a facsimile copy of that stamp on the cover rather than the real thing!

I wonder if they have added a value? £16 million anyone!

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

The Guardian view on the world’s rarest stamp: obsession conquers all

Editorial, Sat 1 May 2021 02.49 AEST
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/30/the-gu ... nquers-all

The appeal of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta may seem inexplicable, but it tells a very human story

Guardian.jpg
The back of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp at Sotheby’s in London. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian


It has been described as a “shoddy-looking thing”, and like “a red-wine stain or a receipt that’s been through the wash a few times”. The item in question is a stamp, one of a kind. It is now on public view in London, ahead of its auctioning in New York in June, when it is expected to fetch around £10m.

The story of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta began when, in 1855, only 5,000 of an expected 50,000 stamps were shipped to the colony from England. The postmaster therefore commissioned “contingency” stamps – crude versions of the official issues, some of them four-cent stamps for letters, some one-cent stamps for newspapers, which were briefly put into circulation. Not a single example of the one-cent stamp was known to have been kept, until a small boy called Vernon Vaughan found one among his uncle’s papers in 1873 and sold it to a chum for six shillings.

Since then the One-Cent Magenta – tiny, fragile, capable of being lost in a puff of wind – has been on a remarkable peregrination, amassing owners, fame and value. Indeed, it is so celebrated in its (now) home country that one of the first stamps issued by the nation state of Guyana, after independence in 1966, was a celebration of the One-Cent Magenta: a stamp of a stamp. It has, in its time, belonged to a count and to a convicted murderer (John du Pont, one of the heirs to the chemicals fortune). It has been seized as part of war reparations and been the subject of court cases. Its reverse bears witness to this history through markings made by its various owners. The present one, the footwear designer Stuart Weitzmann, who added a pencil drawing of a pair of shoes by way of a signature, has said that he will support charities with the proceeds of its auction.

To those outside the circle of philately, the monetary value of the stamp – especially given its lack of obvious aesthetic charms – is bewildering. And yet the urge to possess the supremely rare, precious object, by fair means or foul – whether a virtually extinct water lily, or a Leonardo painting of Christ – is a profoundly human one.

Nabokov had something of that urge in his love for butterflies, which in his day involved the cruel practice of killing them (now in many cases illegal in Britain). In a remarkable 1948 essay, he described an obsession rooted in science; indeed, he made a significant contribution to lepidoptery, identifying a subspecies, the Karner blue. But it is hard, too, not to perceive lepidoptery operating as a metaphor for the writing and reading of literature in his essay: both require a sharp eye and the skill and sang-froid to anatomise and analyse.

Most of us will never understand what might drive a rich man or woman to spend millions on a frail scrap of paper; indeed there is no rational sense to it. The collector’s practice may be merely a matter of avarice and speculation; at its purest, it is an act of love.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

Interesting article here on the risks of NFTs. "Tulip mania". Oh dear!

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-are-risks-of-investing-in-nft-2021-3

Business Insider wrote: NFTs could be the future of collecting – or a huge bubble. We talked to 3 experts about the risks to consider before buying in.

Tim Levin , Mar. 13, 2021, 1:17 PM

*The market for digital collectibles has exploded in 2021, and money is pouring in from all angles.

*Experts say buyers should be aware of volatility, illiquidity, and fraud in the budding market.

*Some think NFTs will only keep booming, while others think it’s all just a bubble waiting to pop.

The market for digital collectibles is booming – but that doesn’t mean they’re a safe investment.

beeple.jpg
Digital artist Beeple sold his piece ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ for nearly $US70 ($90) million on Thursday. Reuters



A digital artist known as Beeple sold a piece for an eye-watering $US69 ($89) million through Christie’s on Thursday. Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is auctioning off his very first tweet, and bidding has reached $US2.5 ($3) million. And NBA Top Shot, a marketplace for officially licensed basketball highlight clips, has seen more than a quarter-billion dollars change hands over the last 30 days, minting multimillionaires along the way.

For the uninitiated, these assets are all examples of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which use the same blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to keep track of ownership and create scarcity. Purchasing an NFT typically means you have access to the same file anybody else can view or download, but you’re also granted something like a digital deed of ownership to it.

And although NFTs have been around for years, the market for them has exploded into a bonafide frenzy in recent months as mainstream companies and investors have piled in.

But for all the hype surrounding them, digital collectibles – like cryptocurrencies, stocks, or any other asset prone to speculation – come with significant risks that people would do well to understand before diving in, experts told Insider.

The top risks of the budding NFT market

For Nadya Ivanova, COO of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, an emerging-market research firm that put out a report on NFTs in February, the technology’s greatest strength is also one of its major weaknesses.

Anyone on the internet can create an NFT out of literally anything, which means there are a lot of “really bad” tokens out there, Ivanova said in an interview. It takes a trained eye to weed out what’s worth collecting or investing in.

“That applies to the physical art market as well – it’s usually a space for the knowledgeable. Same thing with NFT art,” Ivanova said.

And although Ivanova sees the NFT market eventually maturing and continuing its course into the mainstream, she recognizes a handful of additional risks and uncertainties new collectors should consider about the budding space.

The NFT market suffers from massive volatility, Ivanova said, in part because there aren’t any mechanisms in place yet to help people price assets. Over the course of 2020, the value of some of the most popular types of NFTs spiked by around 2,000%, L’Atelier’s report found. On Top Shot, some highlights that initially sold for a few dollars are now worth tens of thousands.

When it comes to liquidity – how readily an asset can be exchanged for cash – NFTs are a lot more like baseball cards or paintings than bitcoin or stocks, because every seller needs to find a buyer who’s willing to pay a certain price for a particular, one-of-a-kind item. That can put collectors in a difficult spot if they, say, spent $US100,000 ($129,004) on a Top Shot moment and the market begins to tank, Ivanova said.

But illiquidity can also be a good thing, since it prevents people from making rash decisions, Andrew Steinwold, a crypto investor who started an NFT investment fund in September 2019, told Insider. If people don’t have the option to panic and offload their NFTs, the market could avoid the kind of plummeting values that would spark such a selloff in the first place, he said.

Do you really own your NFTs?

What most people new to NFTs don’t realize, according to Steinwold, is that there’s usually a distinction between the token itself – a record of ownership that lives on a blockchain – and the asset it refers to, which would be a photo, video, or audio file that’s stored separately. If a startup that issued NFTs goes out of business and stops hosting those digital artworks, basketball trading cards, or other media, buyers could be left with tokens pointing to files that no longer exist.

There are remedies to this problem – like storing files using decentralized services – that both Ivanova and Steinwold think will be the norm soon enough, but for now that risk remains.

To skeptics like Nicholas Weaver, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, the hairy nature of NFT ownership proves that the tokens have no intrinsic value and that the frenzy surrounding them is absurd.

“The ownership records themselves are the digital equivalent of Beanie Babies: cute little nothings that have no value beyond what someone else will buy them [for],” Weaver said in an email to Insider.

The potential for fraud and foul play

It’s impossible to forge an NFT and it’s easy to determine where one came from, but that doesn’t mean the market is free from foul play. Anybody can theoretically mint an NFT out of a file that doesn’t belong to them and pass it off as their own to unsuspecting buyers, Ivanova said.

Various types of manipulation prevalent in other markets also may be happening. Wash trading – when someone artificially pumps up the price of an asset by opening multiple accounts and trading with themselves – has historically been common in NFTs, she said. It’s a practice that can be easy for experienced collectors to sniff out, but might be tough for newcomers to identify.

And since blockchain transactions are anonymous and irreversible, if someone gets into your computer and steals your assets, you’re pretty much out of luck, according to Weaver.

From a security perspective, “‘blockchain’ is exactly the wrong solution for what you want,” he said.

What the future holds

Despite the uncertainties, Ivanova sees huge potential in the future of NFTs. A correction is inevitable, she said, but ultimately the market will continue to grow and NFTs may become the underlying asset for the whole virtual economy, expanding far beyond just digital art and collectibles.

Steinwold, though he thinks some people are “getting a little ahead of their skis” in these early days, predicts NFTs will eventually be a trillion-dollar market. And he should hope so – his NFT fund invests in art, collectibles, virtual land, and video game assets.

Weaver, on the other hand, thinks the current NFT fever is “pure speculative mania,” and that it’s nothing but a bubble waiting to pop.

“It is entirely a classic tulip mania but where tulips are recorded in a different media,” Weaver said. “At least with Beanie Babies they’re cute.”

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

another article about fractional ownership and stamps.

https://moneyweek.com/investments/alternative-investments/60 ... tage-stamp

Money Week wrote: Fractional ownership: buy a share of an $8.6m postage stamp

Stanley Gibbons hopes to find a host of buyers for its most prestigious acquisition – an $8.6m British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp – through a new fractional ownership scheme. But tread carefully, says Chris Carter.

Chris Carter author, 10 SEP 2021

1c BG.jpg
The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp went for $8.6m
© DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images


Most collectors are happy to pursue their hobby knowing they are unlikely to ever lay their hands on a 1933 Double Eagle gold coin or the “inverted Jenny plate block” of stamps from 1918, featuring an aeroplane erroneously flying upside-down, and, according to Sotheby’s, “considered by many to be the most valuable item in United States philately”. The coin sold for $18.9m and the plate block for $4.9m at the same auction held by the auction house in June and both went to buyers with suitably deep pockets.

But that New York sale was titled “Three Treasures” and the third was the British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp from 1856. Despite it carrying a $10m lower estimate, British stamp dealer Stanley Gibbons swooped in and snapped it up for $8.3m (£6.1m). The stamp has since arrived in London, where it will go on display in the dealer’s shop on the Strand.

Stamp prices are soaring
Stanley Gibbons now hopes to find a host of buyers for its most prestigious acquisition through a new fractional ownership scheme. Collectors will be able to buy shares conferring legal ownership of the 1c-Magenta, along with voting rights, for a price that has yet to be decided. The total value of the shares will, however, amount to £8m, Patrick Hosking reports in The Times, handing Stanley Gibbons a theoretical £1.9m profit if all the shares were to be sold.

The dealer has undertaken to house the stamp in its alarmed, temperature- and humidity-controlled underground vault and says it intends to cover all of the costs of ownership, including insurance. Graham Shircore, Stanley Gibbons’ CEO, puts the total bill of buying and bringing the 1c-Magenta to Britain at around £6.5m.

Should Stanley Gibbons go under (and the loss-making dealer has certainly had a rough time of it of late, with sales falling 18% in the year to the end of March 2021 from the previous 12 months), ownership and voting rights would be “completely unaffected”.

Any resulting sale of the stamp would be at the behest of the shareholders, who no doubt would be hoping to make a tidy profit. That would depend on the market in collectable stamps rising, of course, which, with 64% growth in the decade to 2020, has lagged most other collectable assets, including handbags, classic cars and whisky, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment index.

Note, too, that at present there are no plans to create a secondary market for shares in the stamp, so holders would face a challenge if they wanted to sell them. Fractional ownership schemes also smack of the holiday timeshare schemes of the past, which, as Hosking points out, have led to “heavy losses” despite flourishing in asset bubbles. Still, if the allure of 1c-Magenta stamp is too much to resist, prospective buyers can register their interest at 1c-magenta.com.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Catweazle »

MJ's pet wrote:
12 Sep 2021 13:38


Image
The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp went for $8.6m
© DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images


I say each potential investor should score a free 1¢ British Guiana face mask like this! :lol:

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Allanswood »

They could use it for "Red Nose" day.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by polisciguy2011 »

It boggles the mind that they managed to lose money during a pandemic that saw collecting take off again. I know there are good (in relative terms) reasons explained in this thread, but it still shocks me.
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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by Global Administrator »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
12 Sep 2021 14:20

It boggles the mind that they managed to lose money during a pandemic that saw collecting take off again. I know there are good (in relative terms) reasons explained in this thread, but it still shocks me.

Agree. Stamp sales have EXPLODED globally in the past 2 COVID years - all, except at SG. The same old stuck-record lame and vague summaries each report.

''We really must try harder - things we HOPE will improve next quarter, via Voodoo Magic.'' A few years of that same pathetic cut and paste excuse is Boy Cried Wolf stuff. :roll:


Small paper Collectables are going GANG BUSTERS in other fields too.

Stamps are mirroring this COVID surge. Many 100s of millions of folks are stuck inside globally, so they revive old indoor hobby interests. Money in the bank is returning near zero, and folks are paying way less on their mortgages than usual, so a perfect storm. A lake of money globally looking to be spent.

I have NEVER been busier in 45 years of stamp dealing - doing 100-hour weeks all year, and not even touching the sides here.

Just could not simply afford to take the day a month from my schedule to write my monthly 'Stamp News' and 'Philatelic Exporter' etc columns, as they were surprisingly time-consuming, so sadly have stopped doing those now, after 40 years or so of penning them.

Other large dealers I speak to here echo the same surge in stamp orders. Stampboards new member monthly sign-ups are stronger than ever, and we will reach 22,500 members far faster than I predicted. :!:

Glen

bazza4338 wrote:
12 Sep 2021 12:38
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-12/covid-clean-outs-may- ... /100441392


Cardboard cash out

The total value of cards listed on the online marketplace eBay totalled more than $2 billion in the first half of the year — up 175 per cent on the first six months of 2020.

Trading card sales on eBay Australia went up 379 per cent in 2020, with a trading card selling every minute.

A company spokesperson said basketball card sales were up 252 per cent over the past six months, while football card listings almost doubled.


Image



Last month, a Honus Wagner 1909–1911 American Tobacco Co-issued T206 baseball card sold for a record US $6.6 million (AU $9 million).

It smashed the previous record of $5.2 million (AU $7 million) for a Mickey Mantle baseball rookie card purchased in January 2021.

The biggest sale in Australia this year was a 1996 Skybox Kobe Bryant basketball card at $104,950.46.

Non-traditional sports cards also surged in popularity.

Tennis cards grew by almost 1,800 per cent, while soccer card sales were 852 per cent greater in the first six months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.


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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by DigitalPhilatelist »

.
Every social media channel I am on has a bunch of stamp collectors re-entering the hobby, going back to their parent, grandparents, childhood collections etc.

Not only that, they are also finding a vibrant, different community online that is vastly different to old clubs. Good times.
If you have a philatelic blog, website, organisation etc., let me know! You can list it for free at TheDigitalPhilatelist.com.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

MJ's pet wrote:
12 Sep 2021 13:38
another article about fractional ownership and stamps.

Stanley Gibbons hopes to find a host of buyers for its most prestigious acquisition – an $8.6m British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp – through a new fractional ownership scheme. But tread carefully, says Chris Carter.
.
This article doesn't really show that the 1cent magenta is a good investment,
it just shows how shoddy journalism has become in "mainstream media".

Lets just recap some facts:

"A company that lost investors £58m five years ago, by overhyping artificial gains in stamp values, is at it again"

"Stamp prices are soaring"? Err, no they are not. There has been some doubling of prices at auction for mixed boxes (whilst people were cooped up), but any 10 year comparison will include SG overhype figures, which was "JUST FIVE YEARS AGO".

Prices have actually crept down a bit, now that people are free range, and viewing is possible.
Volume and interest is up, for sure, and some prices are firmer "for the better materials".
(I could tell you deals I struck last week (inbound), and you'd weep, especially for FDC's).

REMEMBER Weissman bought THIS STAMP seven years ago, (when hype was near its peak), for $9.48M, and will have netted around $6M from the sale. That's a 40% LOSS over the last 7 years. (If SG had not "bid it up", losses for Weissman would have been higher - possibly $1M higher, in answer to another post).
(Stick that in your growth claims, and recalculate growth!!).

NFT's are just another tulip bubble ..... "Buying a share of someone's first tweet" is about as much use as "buying an extended warranty for the car you sold last year". You are 100% trusting strangers, often with a poor track record, without background checks, in a society that has evolved to accept "lying has no downside".

If SG go bust .. no consequences .. Think about that.... Guernsey went into liquidation and people could not access THEIR property for a very long time. If they don't pay the insurance premium on the stamp, its YOUR LOSS. There is no planned aftermarket in these shares. You are simply putting money in their whip round tin.

The transition of "the bust brand" into "something new" will also wreak "transitional madness", both on pricing and on journalistic outlook for the hobby. (Uncertain period, for sure, but the loyal should hold the course).

SG apparently expect to raise £8M, for a stamp which has cost them to date (by Shircores own estimate), about £6.5M. The additional marketing costs will be phenomenal (and possibly underwriting costs on top, to ensure its all sold..... usually at a discount). They are not going to make £1.9M profit, that's for sure, and half of all the initial profits are already allocated to "the loan company" under the terms of the loan.

This isn't going to add £1M to SG's profit bottom line this year (2021-22), so whilst they concentrate on this, the grim reapers hourglass sand is" slipping away, on the rest of the company".

The display case will restrict lighting to 50 lumens.
I can think of one Aussie, with a claimed 60,000 lumen torch, that might want to get "a better look".

"SG" and "Investment" ..... What could possibly go wrong? :D

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by MJ's pet »

ViccyVFU wrote:There is no planned aftermarket in these shares. You are simply putting money in their whip round tin.


This really is the heart of the issue. To be fair to the financial journalists, they do says that these things are illiquid.

Question: Let's say Mr Forsyth-Smythe, a brown cardigan wearing collector living in the UK, buys £100,000 worth of "shares", how does he cash them in if he needs do? (medical expenses, urgent bills, unforeseen emergency etc.)

It seems he can't. Does he have to wait an unknown numbers of years until "someone" makes a £10 Million offer for the 1c BG? What if that day never comes? What if there is only an offer of £5M (a loss)? What if there are different views among the "shareholders" about how to sell the 1c or respond to an offer? What if less than £8M of "shares" are sold.

This is without the complications of NFTs, which might not come about.

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Re: FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

Post by ViccyVFU »

MJ's pet wrote:
13 Sep 2021 11:05
Does he have to wait an unknown numbers of years until "someone" makes a £10 Million offer for the 1c BG?

Its going to be way more complex than that.

What if 51% of the new owners want to .....
1) Gift it to the British Museum (or National Postal Museum) for safekeeping?
2) Not sell, as they want to own a piece "until they die"?


If SG get an offer of £10M, they will want their customary 27.6% commission (no one said they were a charity), and after "all costs of sale, and distribution of funds, people might lose 20% of their "investment" (cash to cash) on a stamp that was sold to them at a 25% markup.

Sound familiar? They are up to their old tricks again.


But whilst I'm in speculative mood, "consider the thought".....
... That "the custodian (that's SG) goes into liquidation".

Shareholders are going to be faced with five immediate problems / issues (that will require their mutual acceptance) :

1) Safe Place, (and access to whom?).
Safety deposit box, or a public exhibition, such as museum? Costs associate with both, to be paid by "the holder of shares".

2) Insurance.
Good luck in securing 75,000 investors premiums of £1 each per year, and what happens to those that don't pay?

3) Inspection.
Its a wasting asset, so regular inspection is necessary, to prevent possible deterioration. Owners would have to agree of a body to do that (RPSL anyone :D Don't start, sheriff!!).

4) Disposal / Sale Process
However it is disposed of, I think its fair to assume that 30% commissions are going to be payable. I'm sure Sothebys would like to handle it again (thereby taking a cumulative $8M out of a stamp that's only worth $5M), but auctions are so final, so owners of the share would need consensus.

5) Final Distribution of Proceeds
It will be no surprise to many who followed the Mossgreen saga, that even space cadets working on disposal plans can attract £1k/day charge-out rate.


Luckily, these will never be problems for people who invest in SG (at custodian of this asset), as they "Guarantee" they will be solvent in five years.

They have just spent a million doing up their showcase offices, to be light and airy, when a dark and controlled environment is what this product needs!!

Don't just walk away..... run, or catch a bus!!

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