‘Bond King’ Bill Gross sells rare ‘Z’ Grill stamp for $4.4M — most valuable in US

America’s most valuable postage stamp sold for nearly $4.4 million on Friday.

The 1868 one-cent “Z” Grill was sold as part of the collection owned by “Bond King” Bill Gross, who co-founded asset management firm Pacific Investment Management Co., otherwise known as PIMCO.

The winning bidder chose to remain anonymous.

It’s the first time the stamp has been sold in 26 years, and among stamp enthusiasts, it is considered the most coveted.

The “Z” Grill stamp completes the entire collection that includes one of every postage stamp issued by the US Postal Service since 1847.

The “Z” Grill stamp came in a custom-made “Z” Grill Louis Vuitton trunk, which holds the stamp in an acrylic frame.

“We call them Blue Chip Stamps,” said Scott Trepel, president of the Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, the auction house behind the sale.

“They’re not hard to understand. They’re very rare. And they fill a very basic need for a stamp collector, which is, ‘I’ve got to have this one if I’m going to complete my collection.’”

business, us news, auctions, stamps, us postal service, ‘bond king’ bill gross sells rare ‘z’ grill stamp for $4.4m — most valuable in us
3

The 1868 one-cent “Z” Grill was sold as part of the collection owned by “Bond King” Bill Gross, who co-founded asset management firm Pacific Investment Management Co., otherwise known as PIMCO. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

The “Z” Grill stamp features Benjamin Franklin, and it’s one of the two of its kind that exist.

The other stamp is owned by the New York Public Library, currently on loan to the Washington Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and can never be sold.

“It’s the holy grail of collecting United States stamps,” Charles Shreve, director of the U.S. Siegel Auction Galleries and the philatelic adviser to Gross.

business, us news, auctions, stamps, us postal service, ‘bond king’ bill gross sells rare ‘z’ grill stamp for $4.4m — most valuable in us
3

The “Z” Grill stamp completes the entire collection that includes one of every postage stamp issued by the US Postal Service since 1847. Siegel Auction Galleries

A grill is a mark that is impressed on a stamp to keep it from being reused.

The grilling stamp created a waffle-like embossment that releases an ink that would spread into the fibers and prevent it from being cleaned.

The “Z” Grill, named for its zigzag pattern, is considered the rarest of grill varieties and was used for a short period of time.

In addition to Gross, other famous people have owned this stamp, including Jerry Buss, once the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

For Gross, philately is steeped in his childhood after his mother bought stamps in the 1930s and 1940s in hopes they would pay for his college education.

business, us news, auctions, stamps, us postal service, ‘bond king’ bill gross sells rare ‘z’ grill stamp for $4.4m — most valuable in us
3

The “Z” Grill stamp came in a custom-made “Z” Grill Louis Vuitton trunk, which holds the stamp in an acrylic frame. Siegel Auction Galleries

Gross’s interest in stamps served as not only an investment, but also a passion and an outlet for enjoyment and achievement.

“He likes to take chaos and turn it into something that is set, creating order out of disorder,” Shreve said.

“That has given him a sense of pride of accomplishing something.”

It’s why Gross would take calls from only two people during the day: “Warren Buffett and me,” Shreve told FOX Business.

“To have a break from the real world.”

Gross and Shreve would scan auction catalogs while watching football games and make purchases late at night.

“While stamps are used less and less these days, stamps are pieces of Americana, and people like to collect things that were in the past,” Shreve said.

“When mail was being sent in the 1860s, 70s, 80s, that was the internet.”

Gross obtained the “Z” Grill stamp in 2005 as the last step of completion for having every stamp needed in the collection, according to Shreve.

As his representative, Shreve bartered with the Mystic Stamp Company for a plate block of Inverted Jennys worth nearly $3 million.

It’s considered the “greatest stamp swap of all time.”

In the past few years, Gross has sold more than $50 million in stamp value.

Collecting stamps also makes for an alternative investment.

“Given the choice between putting money into the financial markets and getting an investment return or buying something tangible where you cash in your profits when you go to sell it, it’s a game,” Trepel told FOX Business.

“For some people, it’s art, and they buy art from artists who they think someday are going to be worth much more. In real estate, it’s location. In stamps and coins and collectibles, it’s generally the things that everybody wants or will want in the future.”

OTHER NEWS

51 minutes ago

FAA and union agree to give air traffic control workers more rest between shifts

51 minutes ago

TV boss Kevin Lygo slams 'peculiar' way BBC used huge TV audiences during the Euros to plug old American shows like Suits and Gossip Girl over homegrown British content

51 minutes ago

Video: 'The view from hell': Couple's £2,000 trip to Cyprus is ruined by building site that stopped them having 'tea and biscuits on the balcony' because they didn't want to look at 'scaffolding and netting'

51 minutes ago

Ohio law limiting disabled voter assistance overturned

51 minutes ago

Sony Pictures Television Brings First-Look Deal With Spanish Producer Espotlight Into Focus

51 minutes ago

Global shares tumble after a wipeout on Wall Street as Big Tech retreats

51 minutes ago

How Joe Root compares as he closes in on Brian Lara on Test run-scorers list

51 minutes ago

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: ‘France will always have a special place in my heart’

51 minutes ago

Emily Ford focused on Paris and cups of tea – but ready for changes in LA

51 minutes ago

Enzo Maresca defends high-risk Chelsea style after draw against Wrexham

51 minutes ago

Natalie Cassidy says she still calls herself ‘ugly’ after being bullied as a child

51 minutes ago

Céline Dion and Lady Gaga to perform at Olympics opening ceremony

51 minutes ago

Andy Murray withdraws from singles to focus on doubles at Paris Olympics

51 minutes ago

Several flights between S’pore and Fuzhou, Manila, Taipei cancelled due to Typhoon Gaemi

51 minutes ago

Allegations related to Venice corruption probe ‘unfounded and untrue’: Oxley CEO

51 minutes ago

Actress Shu Qi has craving for takeaway food during typhoon in Taiwan

51 minutes ago

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare on Prime Video review: Guy Ritchie creates a slick, fun Boys' Own adventure war film

51 minutes ago

Rassie Erasmus: These Springbok newcomers impressed me!

51 minutes ago

That didn't take long! Hottest world temperature record is broken for a second day in row, with average global temperatures hitting 17.15°C on Monday

51 minutes ago

On-street charging costs fall by 12% in a boost to driveway-less EV owners

51 minutes ago

Exposed: The nefarious French taxi drivers scamming British tourists out of thousands of pounds - and how to spot them

51 minutes ago

Rogue ACA insurance agents could face criminal charges under a proposed law

55 minutes ago

Joe Biden explains his reasons for quitting presidential race

55 minutes ago

July 2024 SASSA SRD payments start TODAY

55 minutes ago

Shein set to open a pop-up store in Johannesburg

55 minutes ago

Mayor Brink ready to fight off motion to oust him

55 minutes ago

Messi-less MLS falls 4-1 to Mexican league in All-Star Game

1 hour ago

Calls for Joburg mayor to resign intensify

1 hour ago

'Personal ambition' must give way to 'younger voices'

1 hour ago

Alleging raw deal in Budget, Telangana resolves to boycott Niti Aayog meeting

1 hour ago

Universal Music Posts $3.2 Billion Revenue in Second Quarter, Publishing up 10% as Streaming Revenue Dips

1 hour ago

Djarindjin community in WA's Kimberley formally recognised by state government

1 hour ago

Liverpool in the US: what to watch out for on three-game pre-season tour

1 hour ago

How pilot survived Nepal plane crash that killed everyone else onboard

1 hour ago

Namibia intends to give the West a taste of its own visa-medicine

1 hour ago

1 Dividend-Growth Stock to Buy and Hold for the Next 15 Years

1 hour ago

Eamonn Holmes uses anti-gravity treadmill to help his crippling mobility issues

1 hour ago

Gautrain strike: Numsa and BOC sign a 6.8 percent wage deal

1 hour ago

Madeline Holtznagel shows off her lavish sense of style as she drips in almost $3,000 worth of Chanel while stepping out for lunch down Bondi

1 hour ago

TikTok's 'almond daughter' trend leaves viewers divided as Gen Z women boast of their tiny meals and hardcore workouts - as some fear it's fuelling eating disorders