Any committed philatelist couldn't fail to be intrigued. The proofs for stamps produced in Gibraltar over 14 years (1994-2009) are going up for auction which will be completed later this year.
Proofs pre-date the use of any of the stamps. They are the first print runs generated for viewing, to help those making the decision decide whether the stamp design gets the go ahead or not.
For natural reasons of rarity, some proofs are expected to go for around £10,000 each, with estimates along those lines suggesting that the whole auction is worth £495,000.
The stamps are on offer through a catalogue auction. This is at the insistence of the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau Ltd, who believe that by avoiding the substantial buyer's premiums, import tax and other costs involved in a traditional auction more of the stamps will go to individual stamp-lovers rather than major dealers.
Rare stamps are good at holding and increasing their value, provided they are genuinely rare (as these must be) and kept in good condition.A catalogue for the Gibraltarianstamps is currently being prepared, and the first 4,000 copies will be available from www.stamparchiveauctions.com. The sale will end on Tuesday October 27.