Red Mercury

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Red Mercury

The Red Mercury is the rarest of Austrian newspaper stamps (postage stamps issued for the mailing of newspapers).


  • Country of Production = Austria
  • Location of Production=
  • Date of Production= 1856
  • Nature of Rarity = Few remain
  • Number in Existence = few
  • Face Value = 6kr
  • Estimated Value = US $40,000


Austria's newspaper stamps first appeared in 1851; they depicted a profile of Mercury, the Roman messenger god, and were not denominated, the color of the stamp indicating the value. Blue indicated the 6/10 kreuzer rate for one newspaper, yellow for ten newspapers (6kr), and rose for 50 newspapers (30kr).

In 1856, the design was reprinted in red (or scarlet), and along with the rose, was made equivalent to six kreuzer. However, it was soon superseded by a new design which came out in 1858, and only a few copies have survived.

Recent auctions have valued it at about US$40,000, with unused copies worth about 10% less than used. On February 7, 2008 an unused copy was auctioned in Vienna for 26,000 euro.[1]

Notes and references

  • Philatelic Gems 1 (Linn's, 1989)

External links