Feature: Million-Dollar Stamps

Philatelists (that's 'stamp collectors' to the rest of us) go weak at the knees at the mention of the Mauritian 'Post Office' one-penny and two-pence stamps. Issued in 1847, these stamps were incorrectly printed with the words 'Post Office' rather than 'Post Paid'. They were recalled upon discovery of the error, but not before the wife of the British governor had mailed out a few dozen on invitations to one of her famous balls.

These stamps now rank among the most valuable in the world. The 'Bordeaux cover', a letter bearing both stamps that was mailed to France, was last sold for a staggering US$3.8 million. In 1993 a consortium of Mauritian companies paid US$2.2 million for the pair of unused one-penny and two-pence stamps now on display in Port Louis' Blue Penny Museum. This is the only place in the world where the two can be seen together on public view.