For collectors, it must be what living the dream feels like.
In the span of 10 minutes on Tuesday, some stamps and a coin rewarded Stuart Weitzman with more than $32 million via Sotheby’s auction.
Weitzman, 78, who made his mark as a famed shoe designer, played the collector game perfectly. He targeted one-of-a-kind opportunities, strategized to acquire them and devised a plan for unloading the prized possessions that benefits the greater good.
The items bringing such a bounty:
- A block of four postage stamps with an airplane printed upside down – for those in the game it’s known as the “Inverted Jenny” — fetched $4.9 million. That’s an all-time high for a U.S. stamp – and a cool $2 million more than that price for which it sold last time.
- A single $20 gold piece minted in 1933 — a “double eagle” coin – unique unto itself because it’s the only one of its kind legally allowed to be owned by an individual. This one rolled off the auction block for $18.9 million, also setting a record for one coin at any auction. Weitzman paid $7.6 million for it in 2002.
- Another one for the stamp collector community, the 165-year-old “One-Cent Magenta” stamp – some refer to it as the “Mona Lisa” — from British Guiana (now Guyana), topped Weitzman’s grand day at $8.3 million.
“I started coin collecting to pass the time in a full leg cast at the age of 12, and later became interested in stamps when my older brother left behind the stamp book he’d started when he went to college,” Weitzman said in a statement via Sotheby’s. “Today truly marked the culmination of a life’s work.”
All proceeds will go to Weitzman’s family foundation.