Apr 12, 2021 News
— First collector’s library set for May launch
By Rehanna Ramsay
Kaieteur News – It is no secret that Guyana is the birthplace of the world’s rarest and most valuable stamp, the 1856 British Guiana One Cent Magenta, which was auctioned for US$10M just about seven years ago.
The history of ownership of the rare paper artifact which holds significance to Guyana’s colonial past is indeed intriguing.
The stamp preserved for over 150 years, was reportedly passed down from a Scottish schoolboy to an Austrian nobleman and then an American chemical heir found guilty of murder before it landed in the hands of auctioneers.
Yet, over time, its value never diminished; rather, it increased. It is this type of ideology that fuels the efforts of the Guyana Philatelic Society (GPS)—a premier group fostering stamp collection among nationals locally and overseas.
Founder of the GPS, Ann Ramphal-Wood explained that since 2012, the GPS been encouraging citizens to include stamp collection as part of their pastime activities. She is encouraging this practice not just for its historic value but for the significance it holds to the nation.
She noted too that like the case of the 1856 British Guiana One Cent Magenta, stamp collecting can sometimes result in real-time profit making.
To this end, GPS has been a source of information for British Guiana & Guyana collectors and has been creating platforms where it’s over 500 plus members can connect, exhibit, and share their assortments.
Since its members are spread over 10 countries, social media and other internet-based platforms are regularly used for interraction.
As part of its newest efforts to foster and facilitate philatelic activities locally, the GPS has moved to launch Guyana’s first stamp collecting library. The launch is set to take place at the Georgetown Post Office Corporation, (GPOC)’s Georgetown Head office in May 2021.
Ramphal-Wood, who is currently based in the Unites States, explained that the new library will house a philatelic magazine, books, and stamp catalogues, whereby the values of issued postage stamps from anywhere in the world can be found.
She said, “My goal is to make the library for the enhancement of the Guyana Post Office, to help promote cultural diversity via stamps, establish a landmark for stamp collectors locally and internationally, and incorporate stamp collecting into school curriculum.”
Ramphal-Wood said too that the library will have stamp displays featuring Guyana’s rich history and culture and even worldwide stamps on display too. There, she said, collectors can trade material, gain knowledge, and enjoy many other philatelic pursuits.
“It will be a place where stamp collectors can immerse themselves into the world of stamp collecting while fostering relationships with people from different fields and backgrounds who would not normally come together in a unique way. So, stamp collectors can continue to tour the world virtually during this time,” Ramphal-Wood said.
This is nevertheless not the first major stamp collection venture by the GPS founder. She has notably travelled to various parts of the country, speaking at schools and other institutions encouraging everyone to be a part of this enchanting and educational hobby.
For Ramphal-Wood who is originally from Kitty, Georgetown Guyana, stamp collecting started as a childhood hobby
She was thoroughly fascinated by the stamps on the envelopes her father, a radio evangelist, received in the mail as a result of his programme.
During that period, she started her collection and has never stopped adding to it. Today, she has collected the majority of the British Guiana and Guyana stamps.
As such, in her capacity as Head of the GPS, Ramphal-Wood helps to facilitate free educational resources for stamp collectors and everyone who wishes to learn about stamps.
According to information on her GPS website, collectors can connect via visiting the GPS library in GPOC Georgetown; Guyana Philatelic Exhibition (GUYPEX); group meetings and by social media for interesting facts about stamp collecting.
The website encourages stamps collection lovers to join the club.
The website noted too, that the online community is also a great source of stamps for your collection.
It states that “above all, our stamp club offers the friendship, knowledge and experience of our members who are here to help you with advice on all aspects of collecting.”
To this end, the website noted that collectors can benefit from a support system that “will assist them in identifying stamps, where to get stamps, storing and housing collections, ideas on new collection areas, and an opportunity to obtain stamps through exchange, stamp fairs and exhibitions as well as newsletters.”
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