News | April 2, 2024

America’s Most Valuable Postage Stamp to Auction with $5 million Estimate

Siegel Auction Galleries

The 1868 One-cent “Z” Grill

Siegel Auction Galleries of New York City is to offer the William H. Gross Collection of United States Stamps with a $4 to $5 million estimate for the collection’s rarest stamp, the 1868 One-cent 'Z' Grill.

The collection was built over the course of decades by William 'Bill' H. Gross who co-founded PIMCO in 1971. Charles Shreve, Director of Siegel International and Gross’s philatelic advisor for more than 30 years, said: “This is, without question, the most significant and most valuable collection of United States stamps formed this past half century."

There are only two copies of the 1868 One-cent 'Z' Grill known to survive. One was donated to The New York 
Public Library in 1925, leaving the example owned by Gross as the only One-cent 'Z' Grill available to collectors. 

The top 100 stamps from the collection will be auctioned at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan on 
June 14 when the star will be the 1868 One-cent 'Z' Grill, which returns to the auction block for the first time in 26 years. The remaining stamps will be sold the next day at the Collectors Club of New York in its new location overlooking Bryant Park.

Gross was introduced to philately as a child when his mother gave him a stamp album full of mint postage that she believed would help him pay for college. When he went to sell the stamps, he learned they were essentially worthless. Nevertheless, he wanted to prove his mother right, that stamps could be a good investment. In 2005, Gross became the second person in history to form a complete collection of United States postage stamps, and began selling his stamp collections in 2007. So far, he has sold over $24 million in stamps through Siegel 
Auctions to raise money for various charities. 

His collection of United States stamps in a simple album will be the last to be sold at the auction. Siegel expects it to bring $15 to $20 million.