Yes, I know this involves rare Chinese stamps. What does this have to do with US stamps?
Iím not going to repeat the entire story here. In summary, this rare block of 19 Chinese stamps was spotted in a non-philatelic auction by several stamp dealers. Long story short, they bought the stamps at a really great price and ended up selling them in a philatelic auction for a very large profit. There are several lessons to learn here.
Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet. This wasnít pure luck that these items were found. A few dealers who know Chinese stamps were able to spot this block of stamps for the rarity that it was. Years of studying Chinese stamps paid off handsomely. Congratulations to them.
There are still remarkable finds that are possible even today. This is one example. Yes, finds like this are a one in a million chance. It gives all collectors hope that they too will someday stumble onto a major philatelic find.
You never know where these items will show up. This item was tucked away for over 100 years. The owners had no idea what they had and consigned it to a non-philatelic auction. Finds can be made in antique shops, garage sales, or other places. Iím reminded of an antique dealer who bought a pedestal table at an estate auction. He dismantled the table to refinish it. When he dismantled the table, tucked away inside were a few cigar boxes of stamps including a nice used set of Graf Zeppelins (#C13-15). That pales in comparison to the Lady Cotswolds find, but it was still a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Keep your eye open. Maybe one day too, youíll happen upon another famous philatelic find. Good luck!