Hello, and welcome again to Stamp Nook.
In this edition we look at the most valuable individual thing in the world: the Treskilling Yellow, an 1855 Swedish stamp misprinted in yellow instead of green, estimated to be worth upwards of £40 billion per kilogram (or £2 million per unit, which is the only way it can be purchased since only one is known to exist).
This is a celebrity among stamps! Much has already been written about it and the controversy and mystery surrounding its ownership. I won't repeat all that here. There is, however, exciting news in the world of the Treskilling Yellow.
As with any celebrity, it's important to turn fame into successful name marketisation. So it comes as little surprise that the brand management consultants at FutureBrand (creators of the Aflac duck), in conjunction with Stamp Collection AG, have developed 3SY (Three Skilling Yellow) into a brand.
According to their brandsite, the 3SY brand is aimed at 'lending timeless value to prestigious products', such as clothes, watches, fragrances, wine, and jewelleries. Do you like luxury? Then the 3SY brand might just be for you. As Dr. Markus A. Frey, Chairman of the Board of Stamp Collection AG, puts it:
Yes, The Treskilling Yellow is the most valuable thing in the world, but the thing that gives me that feeling of awe is not its financial worth alone, it's the fact that it has become such an icon in itself, and now the 3SY brand. It represents timeless value and ultimate wealth and I am proud to be part of bringing these values to a larger audience.
The brandonomics behind 3SY are explained by Hans Lernestal, Director of Stamp Collection AG:
Our negotiations show us that brands are the key asset for many companies and we believe this is just the beginning. There simply aren't enough quality brands out there to go around. The 3SY sure is entering a hot market and it's clear that the World's most valuable stamp will be worth even more as a brand.
But what is the allure of 3SY? What gives 3SY the power it has over people's imaginations? The 3SY brandsite goes on at length on this subject:
Think for a moment about your most valued possession.
Why is it so precious? Is it all about how it looks to just anyone who might see it? Is it a matter of fame, or just merely the price?
No, just like you, we know the true answer is found somewhere else. A thing only reaches this terminal value when one sees its inner essence and feels that irresistible surge of pride when saying -- this is without equal.
Haven't we all felt a moment of awe when holding something, which might even look utterly dull to others, filled with that deepest sense of meaning -- just for us?
Then, on the rarest of occasions, maybe only a few times during an entire century, a single thing somehow has the mysterious power to capture and ignite the imagination of millions of people at the same time, all wanting it -- the only one.
For that time, and for those people, that one thing is the most valuable thing in the world, and this shared experience is a heritage which is theirs to pass on.
The Treskilling Yellow embodies such a rare and singular desire. Not only does it constitute the most highly priced substance in existence, for a hundred and fifty years and to countless people around the globe, it also was and is -- the most valuable thing in the world.
All said, we still know that, during our lifetimes and beyond, the most valuable thing will be measured not only by weight or price but by the passion it evokes in people across all creeds and nations.
We philatelists are an upscale clientele who understand the timeless value of ultimate wealth. It's about time someone developed a brand to cater to our sensibilities. Personally, I can't wait to buy into the 3SY brand lifestyle: cancelled silk robes, logo-embossed tongs, stamp-gum scented cologne, designer pipes... the brand possibilities are truly endless!
But what about the owner of the Treskilling Yellow? Such a man must be the ultimate philatelist, embodying all that the philatelic lifestyle promises. What is known of him? Again according to the brandsite:
The owner wishes to use the exclusive right, extended to all the stamp owners throughout history, to remain unknown.
So be it. Let us honour this exclusive right of philatelists and not question his anonymity. By sharing the heritage and the passion of the Treskilling Yellow with the World, he has more than earned this right.
So until next time, happy philateling!