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What is the most valuable item sold at auction for its size? One piece that might like to stake a claim is the Pokémon card that has just sold for $420,000. No larger than an ordinary playing card, the rare 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard card is the holy grail for Pokémon collectors.

“What makes the card so unique is its perfect PSA 10 Gem Mint grading. Even though there are 3,000 copies of the card, only 121 have been given that designation, according to PWCC,” reports CNN.

It may be a large sum for so slight an object, but it comes nowhere near the record. At least two other items beat it hands down.

The first is the rather smaller (around half the Pokémon card’s size) Honus Wagner baseball card that took $6.6 million at an online auction in August last year. Long considered the most desirable of all baseball cards, it passed the $5.2 million paid for a Micky Mantle rookie card just seven months earlier.

However, even this pales into insignificance compared with the price paid for the world’s most valuable stamp: the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, reputedly the only one left. Whether by weight or size (29 x 26mm), at $8.3 million (£6.2 million), its sale to Stanley Gibbons in July 2021 gives it a value of just over £2 million per square inch.

But wait; as far back as December 2007, the 5,000-year-old limestone carving dubbed the Guennol Lioness, a startlingly modern looking 3¼in high figure, took $57.2 million (then £28.9 million) at Sotheby’s. That’s £8.9 million per vertical inch.