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Norway: Specialized Stamps: 1991 50 Kr King Olav - Rarest Modern Norwegian Stamp  
Scott numbers have been used unless otherwise indicated. All items are available for viewing on approval.
Scott #543 INVISIBLE GUM (NK #941II Hs5 Paper) is an extremely scarce stamp, probably destined to become the scarcest, most valuable post-1960 Norwegian stamp. It was originally printed in 1983 with shiny gum on Hs2-G paper. In late 1990, a NEW PLATE was made and stamps were printed on new Hs5 paper (invisible gum). The earliest recorded [NK 2009] print date is 21 November 1990 and the latest recorded print date is 18 January 1991. (I do not know if there are any print dates between those extremes, but it is unlikely that there are more than one or two additional dates.) King Olav V died on 17 January 1991, the day before that last print date. Distribution to post offices started on 24 January 1991. However, new designs (for King Harald V) were not prepared until 1992 and a new 50 kr was not issued until June 1992. The Olav design was recalled from post offices starting in August 1992 and sales ended on 31 December 1992; the remainders were destroyed. NK indicates that the net sales of this new King Olav printing were between 100,000 and 125,000 stamps. HOWEVER, MINT EXAMPLES ARE MUCH SCARCER THAN THE LOW QUANTITY SUGGESTS BECAUSE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE WERE USED FOR POSTAGE. The philatelic office made no attempt to announce or market the new printing (at that time, they paid no attention to such details) and thus most collectors were completely unaware that there had been a new printing, with a new plate on new paper. I was only aware of it because I was in constant contact with the philatelic staff and was always badgering them for new marginal print date markings. It was through this that I discovered that a new paper -- thus a new stamp -- had been issued. I may have been the only dealer / new issue service in the world that offered this new printing to its customers on a new issue price basis; and perhaps the only dealer outside of Norway that laid away any stock. However, it was not until the 2008 Norgeskatalogen (17 years later!) had been released did the philatelic world become aware that this new print was also a NEW ENGRAVING TYPE: NK illustrates a small vertical line at the top of the head. 2011 Facit lists the NH VF single at SEK 900 = US$135 [3/2011] PER STAMP, however, I am not aware of any dealers holding a stock of these stamps and I suspect that this price is far too low.
1991 50 Kr King Olav - Rarest Modern Norwegian Stamp  Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
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US$
235106
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543 INVISIBLE GUM (NK #941II Hs5 Paper) is an extremely scarce stamp, probably destined to become the scarcest, most valuable post-1960 Norwegian stamp. By coincidence, put on sale a few days after King Olav died, net sales were between 100,000 and 120,000, however, most were used for postage. Extremely few collectors knew that it was a new printing on a new paper (and which was also a new engraving type). NH VF single.
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160.00

235107
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543 INVISIBLE GUM (NK #941II Hs5 Paper) is an extremely scarce stamp, probably destined to become the scarcest, most valuable post-1960 Norwegian stamp. By coincidence, put on sale a few days after King Olav died, net sales were between 100,000 and 120,000, however, most were used for postage. Extremely few collectors knew that it was a new printing on a new paper (and which was also a new engraving type). NH VF 4-block.
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640.00

235323
View EXACT ACTUAL Image
543 INVISIBLE GUM (NK #941II Hs5 Paper) is an extremely scarce stamp, probably destined to become the scarcest, most valuable post-1960 Norwegian stamp. By coincidence, put on sale a few days after King Olav died, net sales were between 100,000 and 120,000, however, most were used for postage. Extremely few collectors knew that it was a new printing on a new paper (and which was also a new engraving type). NH VF PRINTING DATE BLOCK "18.I.91", the latest recorded print date, printed the day after King Olav died! Another NH VF example of this block recently (April 2011) sold for $750 but that is the only other example I have seen offered since the early 1990s. Rare!
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Reference
For reference only. NOT for sale.

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