Stat of the Moment: $.00003

In all of stamp collecting, the least valuable specimen is a stamp called "Grackle's Lament," known colloquially as the three-foot grackle, or simply GL. It is worth $0.00003. And yet it is an uncommonly rare stamp, with only about two dozen believed to be remaining of the original 175. GL was printed in 1937 as part of a limited edition series of stamps that the U.S. Postal Service produced in conjunction with the National Audubon Society. It is a perforate stamp, and depicts a boat-tailed grackle in green ink, facing to the left.

There are several factors contributing to its rarity. For one thing, it is the only hexagonal stamp printed during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, who felt inferior to polygons and was suspicious of them.* But more importantly, a mechanical error during production shifted the printing plate, creating a partial double-image. As a result, the bird appears to have a third foot. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that the Audubon Society despises the boat-tailed grackle, and always has.

According to MacMillan's Guide, a semiannual periodical that lists the appraised values of collectible stamps, rare aluminum cans, and bowling memorabilia,** GL is currently worth three "buckpennies," or three one-thousandths of a cent. The reason for its depreciated value is unknown, though it may have something to do with the fact that birds are evil.

Perhaps the true justification for the fate of "Grackle's Lament" is something that cannot be seen by the common eye. Perhaps it is something that can only understood by those who truly know the soul of postage — those who live the life of a numismatist.

Wait no, that's coins. What do you call the stamp guys? Philatelists or something? Well whatever it is, it's some Greek or Latin root meaning "complete nerd."

*Legend has it that when The Pentagon was designed a few years later, the shape was chosen by Senate Republicans specifically to vex Roosevelt. **It is also the go-to source for mulch and loam prices.