Rare stamps are coveted throughout the world and because of the monetary value that can be placed on them, the desire to own a valuable stamp can lead to a sinister outcome. Such was the case for Gaston Leroux in 1892. Gaston lived in Paris, France and was a man of considerable wealth. With a passion for stamp collecting, Gaston had amassed an impressive and valuable collection of stamps. So valuable in fact, that it turned out to be too much of a temptation for one of his friends and associates.
One evening the police were called to Gaston’s apartment to find that he had been murdered. The initial conclusion was that he had been the victim of a break-in and had been killed by an intruder. However, upon closer investigation, it was discovered that nothing was missing…. except for a solitary stamp. Coincidentally, one of the detectives investigating the case was also a keen stamp collector and when he realised that Gaston Leroux had a sizeable collection, his suspicions were aroused.
After a thorough investigation of the collection, the detective discovered that Gaston had owned a very rare and valuable stamp – the Two Cent Hawaiian Missionary of 1851 – and it happened to be missing from his collection.
After investigating all of Gaston’s friends and associates, the police questioned a man called Hector Giroux, another stamp collector. In his collection, the police discovered the missing stamp and after questioning, Giroux confessed to the crime stating that he wanted the stamp so badly that he would do anything to get it. Giroux was eventually found guilty and hanged for his crime.
Only 15 copies of the stamp are thought to exist and the last time one was sold in 1996, it fetched $660,000 at auction.
There’s no doubt that stamp collecting can be a passionate pursuit but thankfully, most collectors are content just with the joy of collecting! Come to one of our popular stamp auctions to see what all the fuss is about!