Stamps Sold for $3.2M to Benefit Smithsonian

Proceeds will go to expand the museum's basement space

Sunday, Nov 29, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 PM EDT
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Stamps Sold for $3.2M to Benefit Smithsonian

Associated Press

In this undated photo released by Spink Shreves Galleries, a 1851 Canadian 12 Pence denomination postage stamp from the collection of Wall Street executive, William H. Gross is shown. The stamp sold for a record $260 thousand in a public auction conducted by Spink Shreves Galleries in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Spink Shreves Galleries, Ho)

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A wealthy investor has sold two of his prized stamp collections to help pay for an expansion of the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum.

William H. Gross sold the collections last week at an auction in New York. The collections included stamps from the Confederacy and British colonies in North America. They fetched $3.2 million.

The proceeds go toward Gross' $8 million pledge to the museum. He has also donated some of the rarest known stamps from his personal collection.

Gross is the founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., based in Newport Beach, Calif.

The museum's expansion from a basement space near Washington's Union Station is scheduled to open in late 2012. A gallery will be named in Gross' honor.

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