This Chinese stamp was issued in 1968. The stamp has a map of China with the words “The Whole Country is Red” (in Chinese). At the time of printing Taiwan was not shaded in red, as at the time it was under the control of the Republic of China and not the People’s Republic of China. Officially the reason for withdrawing the stamp was that the Spratly and Paracel Islands were missing from the map as well as the borders with Mongolia, Bhutan and Myanmar were incorrectly drawn. Distribution was only carried out for half a day when someone noticed the error. All Chinese Post Offices had to stop selling the stamp and only a private collector had been able to obtain this stamp. Today the stamp is regarded as very rare and in 2010 one was sold at auction for $475.000. It seems that this value has since reduced.
The latest evidence is a rare communist-themed stamp from 1968 that sold at auction last week in Beijing for a record-breaking 7.3 million yuan (HK$8.9 million) – more than double its HK$3.7 million auction price less than three years ago.
The unissued, large-sized ‘The Whole Country Is Red’ stamp was sold by China Guardian Auctions after more than 20 rounds of bidding at its spring auction on Monday, becoming the single biggest stamp sale ever at a Chinese auction. The final price: 7,302,500 yuan.