Keen collectors will get a chance in October to lay their hands on a stamp so rare it hasn't been up for grabs for the last 20 years - but it won't come cheap.

A Christchurch Penny Claret stamp bearing three used examples is estimated to bring in a cool $80,000, as the piece is so rare.

It's just one item being sold off in New Zealand's largest stamp and coin auction in Wellington on October 13-14.

Almost 2,000 individual lots will be auctioned over the two days by Mowbray Collectables.


Licensed auctioneer John Mowbray said there will be well over 1400 lots of stamps and almost 550 coin and banknote lots going under the hammer. Part one of the Jim Shaw collection is to be offered - a gold medal winning collection of New Zealand postage due stamps.

Also up for sale is a 3d HMS Vanguard with an estimate of $50,000 - the second this year to go under Mowbray's gavel. The earlier one went for $67,000.

Those looking for a slightly cheaper option will likely still shell out $200-300 for stamps and coins on the low end of the price scale.

"We won't sell all the lots obviously but there every chance that it will exceed a million," said Mowbray.

A 3d HMS Vanguard stamp with an estimate of $50,000 is up for sale in New Zealand's largest ever stamp and coin auction. Photo / Supplied
A 3d HMS Vanguard stamp with an estimate of $50,000 is up for sale in New Zealand's largest ever stamp and coin auction. Photo / Supplied

"We have hundreds of people bidding by mail, telephone, email, from all over the world."

A 1996 Teddy Bear Health stamp error with a part sheet of 40 stamps is also for sale with an estimate of $50,000. Mowbray said he was amazed at the extensive offerings of Great Britain stamps with numerous fine quality 1840 1d Black stamps.

There will be well over 2000 Full Face Queens; New Zealand's first stamps featuring the impressive Chalon portrait of Queen Victoria, as well as over 300 world collections and postal history including the late Frank Glen's New Zealand World War I collection.

The coin and banknote auction includes NZ and world gold coins, ancient Greek and Roman coins, and a good range of biblical related coins of Pontius Pilate and King Herod.

More recent items include a New Zealand 1879 patent 1d, a 1935 Waitangi crown, Reserve Bank of New Zealand ₤50 Hanna and Wilson banknotes, and various New Zealand error coins.

Mowbray said stamp and coin collectors "tend to be a mature group of people, but they have good disposable incomes, a lot of them".

"It's a very private hobby, it's not a hobby they share with others."

But Mowbray still encouraged people to come along if they were not involved in the stamp and coin world.


"It's a unique opportunity to see a huge range of stamps of various values from all over the world being offered at one time in an environment where they're priced to sell."

Mowbray said the auction would attract "worldwide attention".