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The Three Million Dollar Swap
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
Most trades between stamp collectors involve a few dollars' worth of stamps. But five
years ago, two top U-S collectors traded stamps worth three MILLION dollars.
One of the traders was Don Sundman, president of Mystic Stamp Company, whose ads you may
have seen in non-stamp collecting magazines.
"I had bought the one-cent Z Grill, which is the rarest U-S stamp." :03
He was approached by a representative for financier Bill Gross of PIMCO, who was
considering buying the only plate block of four Inverted Jenny stamps.
"Mr. Gross suggested we trade the Jenny Plate Block if he bought it for the one-cent
Z Grill. At first I resisted ? I just love that one-cent Z Grill so much ? but then I
warmed to the idea, the more I thought about it." :13
Sundman had bought the Z Grill eight years earlier, paying...
"935-thousand with the commission." And what did he pay for the plate block? "Almost
$3 million, 2-point-97." :07
The acquisition of the one-and-only Z Grill, though, makes Gross only the third person
ever to assemble a complete collection of 19th Century U-S stamps. Meanwhile, Sundman has
the plate block.
"Unfortunately, it's in a bank vault, because it's so valuable that you can't keep it
my company, but we have it in a bank vault." Do you look at it much? "Not as much as
I should, perhaps twice a year."
It's also too expensive to put on display -- the insurance for that can run as much as
25-thousand dollars -- but Sundman says he's working on that.
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamps collecting,
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