MANGALURU: Red Scinde Dawk, the first stamp of India, was discontinued within two years of its introduction in 1852. Embossed on brittle vermillion, the half-anna stamp had to make an early exit as it was considered “unfriendly” because of its brittleness. Shockingly, the same discontinued stamp costs a whopping Rs 10 lakh now.
The cost of its mint is pegged at somewhere between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 60 lakh, though none have been found. Two Red Scinde Dawks had made their way to Karnapex 2019, the state-level philately exhibition that concluded on Tuesday.
Prof MS Santosh, Joint Registrar, Jain University, Bengaluru, and proud owner of one of the stamps displayed in the expo, said there may not be more than 20-22 used Red Scinde Dawk stamps in good condition now. In an auction conducted by Stanley Gibbons recently, a used Red Scinde Dawk went under the hammer for over `8 lakh.
Tracing the history of the stamp, Santosh said it was produced under the authority of a provincial commissioner of Sind. Bartle Frere, the then-commissioner of Sind, with the help of Edward Less Coffey, the Postmaster of Karachi, issued the very first stamps for India, now known as Scinde Dawk.