NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Smithsonian is now home to the world’s rarest stamp worth nearly $10 million.
The One-Cent Magenta has been hidden from view for a significant part of its more than 150-year history.
Thanks to luxury shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, the stamp is now on display for all to see at the National Postal Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
The stamp, when you account for size and weight, is said to be the most valuable object in the world.
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The One-Cent Magenta was printed in one of the British colonies more than 150 years ago. Author and New York Times reporter James Barron said it was all but forgotten until a 12-year-old boy discovered one of the stamps in his uncle’s basement in 1873.
At age 10, Weitzman learned about the stamp in 1952 from the cartoon character Donald Duck.
In a comic book, which now also is at the Smithsonian, Donald Duck launches one of his schemes to get rich quick — the hunt for the One-Cent Magenta.
“He goes to the jungles of British Guiana to try to find this relic and I don’t know how he ended up, but obviously, I got the stamp and he didn’t,” Weitzman said.
Weitzman grew up collecting stamps in Queens but his stamp book had one prominent hole — a spot for the coveted One-Cent Magenta.
In 2014, it went to auction and Weitzman, who later would sell his shoe empire to Coach for half a billion dollars, bought it so the world could see this one of a kind treasure.
But first, he had to get it to the Smithsonian.
“You know how I brought the stamp to Washington? In my sock. Where else was I gonna put it?” he said.
The stamp was put on exhibit in June 2015 and will remain on display at the museum until November.