At $8.3m (£6.2m), by no means had a lot been spent on so little.
The tiny stamp – the British Guiana 1c Magenta to the cognoscenti – is, gram for gram, regarded as probably the most worthwhile man-made product ever.
The safety operation to carry the world’s rarest stamp from New York to London was discreet, however essentially tight.
Because it headed via the Manhattan streets to JFK airport, its protectors carried weapons.
On the transatlantic flight the wafer-thin, almost-weightless stamp was in a perspex body, in a pink field, in a locked briefcase, in a sealed blue bag wedged between two safety guards.
Sleep and bathroom breaks had been taken in turns, so the dear cargo was not left alone for a second.
An armoured truck and two extra guards delivered the stamp to its new proprietor, the seller Stanley Gibbons in London.
“The second of fact. I am very excited,” mentioned the corporate’s chief government, Graham Shircore, as he lifted the field lid to gaze on the treasure.
“Wow. That is the Holy Grail for stamp collectors. There aren’t many individuals who get to do that.”
At 29mm x 26mm, the stamp is extremely small and it’s a marvel that it has survived in any respect, undamaged, over 165 years.
Mr Shircore is the person who purchased it – unseen and down a phone line throughout an public sale in New York final month.
His first impression? “I knew the size, nevertheless it’s even smaller than I anticipated,” he mentioned.
Not that he was upset, quite he prompt that the value of £6.2m was a discount.
His colleague, the corporate’s philately managing director, Victoria Lajer, had been nervous and was now relieved the stamp had arrived safely.
“We have had numerous sleepless nights, apprehensive in regards to the journey and getting all the pieces in place,” she mentioned.
“It’s pretty to have it right here in Britain, the house of stamp accumulating. It means a lot to us and philatelists are so thrilled about it. It is going to do so much for the interest.”
For the subsequent few weeks the stamp can be locked in a vault whereas a particular show room is created with strict controls on air, temperature and lighting… and greater than trace of safety.