10 Most Valuable Postage Stamps in the World
One of the coolest and most interesting hobbies is stamp collection. While many collect simply to obtain variety, the fact is that there are rare and valuable stamps floating around that could be worth thousands of dollars or more. If you have ever been a stamp collector, are interested in collecting, or simply love knowledge, you will find the following to be very fulfilling indeed. Here are ten stamps which are rare and valuable. Enjoy!
1. The Edward VII Tyrian Plum
This British stamp was issued as a replacement for the bi-colored two pence stamp which showed a picture of King Edward VII, and was issued in 1910. It originally had a two pence value as well, and twenty-four million of them were released for use. Unfortunately, the king died that very same year and the stamps were eradicated. A few remain, though the only one known to be used was from the Royal Philatelic Collection.
2. The Basel Dove Stamp
This Swiss stamp was released by the Canton of Basel in 1845. It consisted of three colors and was worth 2.5 ‘rappen’; it was the first tri-color stamp in the world. Only three cantons put out postage stamps themselves, and this particular sample featured a white dove which carried a letter safely in its beak. Its designer was Melchior Berri, and it was colored blue, black, and crimson red. Production stopped in 1854 after more than 40,000 were issued. If you had one today it would be worth $20k.
3. Hawaiian Missionaries Stamp
These were put out in 1851 when Hawaii still held kingdom status, and they are some of the most hard to come by stamps on the planet. They held three values: $.02, $.05, and $.13, and they are referred to as ‘missionaries’ because they were predominantly used on letters written to missionaries who were employed in the kingdom. They were printed on cheap blue paper, and they were simply adorned with their face value. The $.02 stamp is the most unusual; only fifteen of them are known.
4. The Penny Black Stamp
This was the first stamp with adhesive on it so it would stick to envelopes. It was British, and it was designed by Rowland Hill who was referred to as the ‘Father of Stamps’. It dons a picture of Queen Victoria, and it was black in color and worth only one cent. They stopped making them because the cancellation stamp on the postage could not be seen due to its black color. These are nearly impossible to come across, but if you do it is worth about $3k.
5. The Whole Country is Red Stamp
Issued in 1968, this Chinese sample was released during the Cultural Revolution and represented the growth of communism in China during that time. It was red in color and was adorned with a farmer, a soldier, and a worker; they were all bearing copies of the book ‘Selected Works of Chairman Mao’. There was also a white map of Taiwan on the stamp, and this was a mistake. When it was taken note of the stamp was not only recalled, but discontinued as well. These are among the most unusual stamps there are.
6. The British Guiana $.01 Magenta Stamp
This stamp literally brought in $9.5 million dollars at an auction in 2014, and it is the most unusual of all stamps in existence. There is only one known to be on Earth. It is octagonal in shape, and it was issued in British Guiana in 1856. Adorned with a ship at sail and the motto ‘Damus Petimus Que Vicissim’ (We Give and Expect in Return), the single existing stamp was found in 1873 by a school-aged lad who was going through his uncle’s mail.
7. The Canada 12-Pence Black Stamp
This stamp is also commonly called the ‘Black Empress of Canada’, and it was issued in 1851. One of the most unusual, it sports a portrait of Queen Victoria called the Chalon Head, named for its artist Alfred Edward Chalon. There were more than 50k printed, but only a handful were ever sold for use. In 1857 they were taken out of circulation and eradicated, and less than one-hundred are believed to exist today. If you find one you could be $500k richer.
8. The Treskilling Yellow Stamp
This is actually the second rarest stamp. It was issued in Sweden in 1855 and at one time was a record holder for fetching the highest auction price: $2.3 million in 1996. It was sold again in 2010, but the price is unknown. There is only one known to exist, and it is valuable because it features an error in the printing. Some were worth three ‘skilling’; these were blue-green in color. Others were worth eight skilling and were yellow. Some of the three skilling stamps were accidentally printed in yellow. There is only one known to still be in existence, and it was discovered in 1886 in a student’s grandparent’s attic.
9. The Inverted Jenny Stamp
This is often also called the ‘upside-down Jenny’. Worth $.24, this stamp was United States issue in 1918, and it too features a printing mistake which gives it its value. A Curtiss JN-4 plane was part of its design, and it was accidentally printed upside-down, making it one of the world’s most unusual postage stamps. Supposedly there are only 100 of these stamps floating around; all others were destroyed by the sheet. The most recent sale of an Inverted Jenny raked in nearly $1,000,000 in 2007 at auction.
10. The Mauritius ‘Post Office’ Stamp
Finally, this stamp was issued in 1847 out of Mauritius when it was a part of the British colonies. There were two different ones, worth $.01 and colored orange and red, and the two pence version, which was dark blue in color; the profile of Queen Victoria was also on both stamps. They featured the words ‘Post Office’, though that was later changed to ‘Post Paid’. According to stories, the wording on the stamps was incorrect, but that story has not been verified, even by experts; they insist it was not. In 1864 the wife of a merchant brought them to the attention of the public, but today, there are only 26 left. They carry a value of approximately $4,000,000.