10 Most Expensive Collectible Stamps

Posted In 10Awesome, Hobbies - By paul On Sunday, July 24th, 2011 With 12 Comments

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Let’s take a quick journey in the world of collectible stamps. One of the hobbies we pick up as children and remain truthful to throughout our adult life is stamp collecting. If as youngsters the reasons which push us to arrange such collections can be considered rather naive, such as the importance of the subjects depicted (with a stronger interest for those representing ships, locomotives, planes, animals), as we get older, we tend to be more attentive to those intricate little details such as historical value, geographical aspects, number of prints, etc. All kind of stamps take their place in one’s collection, and whether you’re an an avid collector or not, I’m sure you’ll find interesting getting to know some of the most expensive collectible stamps in the world and the story behind them.

1. Treskilling yellow


First on our list is a swedish stamp issued in 1855 and most ironically the world’s most expensive is actually a printing error as it should have been printed in green which was indicating its three skilling value instead of yellow which was meant for eight skilling stamps. Because of its rarity this stamp sold in 1996 for no less than 2.5 million swiss francs. Makes you think going in the stamp collection business, isn’t it?

2. Mauritius “Post Office” Stamp


Printed back in 1847 in Mauritius, a British colony at that time, this stamp’s appearance is also marked by an error for instead of “Post paid” as it should have been marked on it, the words “Post office” were engraved. Since there are around 30 stamps remaining, their value is high enough: one of them was sold back in 1993 for around 1,1 million USD.

3. British Guiana

british guyana

This 1856 one cent black on red stamp was once considered to be the world’s most expensive.  Printed in rush because of urgent need, the chosen paper was of poor quality. The stamp depicts a ship and also the latin motto of the colony which says “ we give and we seek in return”. Each of the issued stamps had their corners clipped as well as signed by the post office employees in order to prevent replicas.  In 1980 the stamp sold for around 900.000 USD.

4. Hawaii Missionary Stamps

Hawaiian Missionaries two cent 2

Printed in 1851, its name comes from the fact that missionaries stationed in Hawaii at that time used by them to maintain correspondence with the mainland. There are few of these collectible stamps left now and the reason is the poor quality paper they were printed on. From the whole set the most valued one is actually the 2 cent one which is worth around a quarter million USD.

5. Benjamin Franklin Z-Grill, 1867


With only 2 stamps existing now, this one is the rarest in the US. It depicts president Benjamin Franklin and in case you’re wondering what z-grill stands for, it actually refers to the tiny  indentations on the paper as a method of preventing forgeries.  In 1988 one of these two collectible stamps was sold for 930.000 USD.

6. The red lady in the green dress


Printed in 1897 and part of a trial printing, there are only 9 examples of what is recognized as the most expensive Chinese stamp. The stamp is valued at nearly 1.3 million USD.

7. The inverted Jenny


Inverted stamps due to erroneous printing are considered rare and thus highly valued. Such an example is this stamp printed in 1918 in the US. It shows a Curtiss Jenny biplane used to shuttle mail and from the initial print there are only about 100 examples which still survive and one stamp was sold in 2007 for 977.500 USD.

8. Double Geneva

double geneva

Counted as extremely rare this is the third oldest European stamp and it was printed in 1843. Despite a number of 60.000 doubles printed, only 600 survived the test of time. Printed in black on green paper, at the top it indicates 10 centimes cantonal postage, which was the rate for sending letters to another city and each half had 5 cents inscripted on them, which was the rate for local postage. The estimated value is around 70.000 USD.

9. Baden 9 Kreuzer

baden 9

This is Baden’s first postage stamp and was printed in 1851. Sprung out of an error since green paper was intended for the 6 Kreuzer value, there are only 4 examples of this stamp known at the moment which makes it among the rarest collectible stamps in the world. One of them was sold for 1, 3 million euro in 2008.

10. Perot Provisional

0 Bermuda First Perot Provisional 1848

This is the first postage stamp printed in Bermuda in 1848 and along Hamilton which marks the capital city the stamp also bears the signature of William Perot the country’s postmaster, hence the name of this stamp. There are 11 examples of this stamp known today, mostly owned by european royal families and the value of the stamp is around 100.000 USD.

photo credits:

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  1. ammy@yahoo.com' Ammy says:

    I can’t imagine there would be anything more beautiful that these stamps. Can you believe something so small can be so precious?

  2. jonn@yahoo.com' Jonn says:

    I wouldn’t say there is not anything more beautiful than these stamps, but they sure are expensive. I would like to have some.

  3. taylor@yahoo.com' Taylor says:

    Wow! I don’t really know much about stamps, but I do know that some are really expensive. I find it quite interesting.

  4. axell@yahoo.com' Axell says:

    I can’t really understand why anyone would pay so much for these stamps. Guess people just don’t know what to do with their money.

  5. yoko_moco124@yahoo.com' Guest1 says:

    There is another very important stamp,I acctually own one : It’s the first stamp that was ever put into circulation, in the U.K. It’s not on this list, because it is not very, very expensive: millions of them were released at that time. However, it IS very precious and I thought people should know about it. cheers.

  6. fishin_f00l@comcast.net' guest says:

    #5. Benjamin Franklin was not an American president.

  7. andreea_padeanu@yahoo.com' Andreea says:

    I did not say he was. “President” refers to his function of “president of Pennsylvania”, which he occupied since 1785 and which was the equivalent of today’s “governor”. However, the way i put it might have been confusing. Thank you for the feed-back!

  8. andreea_padeanu@yahoo.com' Andreea says:

    *1785, sorry

  9. Hasan Basri says:

    I can’t really Frivunderstand why anyone would pay so much for these stamps. Guess people Y8just don’t know what to do with their money.Y8

  10. michael66186618@yahoo.com' Michael G. says:

    The reason Hasan is because of the rarity. I am just starting in collecting. Do not buy the first stamp you see. Go to Google and investigate other stamps of similar value. Looking at 5 different sites will give you an overall price. I cannot afford to pay from 25.00 usd to 75 usd. Take you time.

  11. michael66186618@yahoo.com' Michael G. says:

    Some collect cock bottles from various years. Even S&H green stamp signs carry 500 to 100 usd.

  12. michael66186618@yahoo.com' Michael G. says:

    Take your time. spend only what you can afford. I can afford from 25 usd to 70 usd, so I will be cautious and investigate five other sites that have the same info so I will have a better idea of the average price.

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