World's most valuable and rare stamps | Edmonton Collections

World’s most valuable and rare stamps

The world’s first postage stamp Penny Black issued on May 1st 1840, there are millions of stamps produced worldwide thereafter.The below list gives a glance of the rarest and most valuable of all stamps ever printed.

The Penny Black

The Penny Black stamp
The Penny Black is the world’s first postage stamp. Early printing of these old postage stamps were attached and had to be cut with scissors. Today, unused Penny Black stamps are very rare to find are valued at tens of thousands of Dollars and have increased in price for decades.  First issued in 1840 by the British, the One Penny Black features the bust of England’s Queen Victoria.

The Penny Red

The Penny Red

The British Penny Red – Great Britain’s longest running stamp and approximately 21 billion stamps were issued from February 1841 to the end of November 1879. Plate 77 Penny Reds, which date from 1863, are extremely rare because Plate 77 stamps were not meant to exist. The Post Office decided the printing plate was not up to scratch, so they destroyed it. But one sheet got into circulation. The five that miraculously survived are regarded as the holy grail of British philately. In 2012 one of the 77 Penny Reds sold for £550,000!

Great Britain 1910 2d Edward yrian Plum

Great Britain 1910 2d Edward Tyrian Plum

In 1910 it was decided that the existing two colour 2d stamp of Edward VII’s reign should be replaced by a cheaper-to-produce single colour issue. De La Rue printed 24 million Edward VII Tyrian Plum stamps in early 1910.  Almost the whole stock of 2d Tyrian plum was subsequently destroyed upon the king’s death later that year. Only 12 examples remain, hence their high value. These stamps are valued at over £100,000. A complete imperforate registration sheet of 240 stamps is in the British Postal Museum and Archive along with a perforated sheet of 139 stamps.

The Inverted Jenny

The Inverted Jenny

The Inverted Jenny — a rare stamp that was printed with an accidental image of a plane upside down Then they realised what they had done and recalled it. The Inverted Jenny bears the most famous error ever made in an American stamp. Curtiss Jenny is one of the three Airmail postage stamps released in the U.S. in 1918. The 24 cent rose and blue variety was the first to see the light of the day, although later in the year the postal office also issued two cheaper versions in other colors to reflect reduced postage rates.

The interesting thing about this stamp is that it comes in two variations. Due to a printing mistake, the image of the airplane appeared upside down on no less than one hundred samples that got into circulation. Since only one pane of all Inverted Jennies was ever discovered, the design became highly valuable for philatelists, bringing the price up to $200,000. In October 2014, the plate block of four Inverted Jenny stamps sold for $2.97 million at a New York action to U.S. collector Bill Gross. This was the highest price ever offered for any American stamp item of any period. It nearly trebled the price paid for the same block in 1989 that was auctioned for $1.1 million.

1867 Abraham Lincoln Stamp

1867 Abraham Lincoln Stamp

The 1867 Abraham Lincoln stamp features an extremely rare “Z” grill that has distinctive horizontal ridges rather than vertical ones that were a standard feature in other grill types.In the heat of the Civil War, the US government annulled the existing stamps and adopted revamped designs. The ‘60s issue added two new political leaders – Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. These are actually the oldest US stamps that can be still used to send letters.

Chinese The Whole Country is Red Stamp

Chinese The Whole Country is Red stamp

This stamp was commissioned by Chairman Mao to represent communism over the whole of China. Within the first half day of its issue in Beijing, the editor of the China Atlas Press had discovered that there were geographical inaccuracies in the map The stamp was withdrawn almost immediately.  A few slipped through as some post offices had already sold the stamps before the official date of issue, and they fetch a fortune these days.One single, larger example of the issue set a world record for a Chinese stamp when it sold for $1.1m in a 2014 auction.

The British Roses Error Stamp

The British Roses Error Stamp

The British stamp issue for the Centenary of the Royal National Rose Society featured four individual stamps. The 13p did not get printed on few during the printing process because, during repairs to the cylinder,  the face value was temporarily covered with copper. This covering was inadvertently left in place during printing. The error was discovered before issue and all copies of the stamp have been destroyed but three stamps managed to survive. Two are held in The Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The third now worth £130,000.

1857 Russian Tiflis stamp

1857 Russian Tiflis stamp

1857 Tiflis stamp is among the ten rarest and most expensive stamps in the world. It was printed on June 20, 1857 in Tiflis. This stamp is issued in the Russian Empire (in modern Georgia) for the city post in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) and Kojori in 1857. Tiphlis is unique as it is the first Russian postal stamp. Only 5 stamps survived and the price for each of them is well over $500,000.

1851 Baden 9 Kreuzer Error stamp

1851 Baden 9 Kreuzer Error stamp

The most valuable German postage stamp is 1851 Baden 9 Kreuzer Error. On May 1st 1851, Baden’s first postage stamps were issued.These stamps were planned to be printed in pink, but because of an error several sheets were printed in green color. Green color was planned to use while making 6 Kreuzer stamps. The error is one of the greatest philatelic rarities in the world as Philatelists and public know only about 4 copies of Baden 9 Kreuzer Error. The only one of them is unused and it was auctioned on April 3, 2008 for 1,314,500 euro.

1848 Bermuda  1d Perot Provisional

Bermuda 1848 1d Perot Provisional

Bermuda’s first postage stamps were produced locally in 1848 consisting of the words “HAMILTON BERMUDA” in a circle, with the year and Perot’s signature in the middle.This Bermuda’s very first stamp is prized among collectors. Just 11 specimens exist and three of them are a part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Philatelic Collection. This stamp is priced up to £150,000!

The British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta

The British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta

In 1873, a 12-year-old Guaianian boy discovered an octagon-shaped one cent “Black on Magenta”, postmarked April 4, 1856 and bearing the initials “E.D.W” in his family’s attic. He later sold the stamp a local collector for a very small sum. Over the years, the uniqueness of this stamp created an uproar in the philatelic circles, as no other copy was ever discovered. In 1980, it was auctioned to John Dupont at a huge price of $935,000. For a very long time, the 1856 one cent “Black on Magenta” of British Guiana was considered to be the world’s rarest and most expensive stamp.

1851 Hawaiian Missionaries Stamp 

1851 Hawaiian Missionaries Stamp

The first Hawaiian stamps appeared in 1851. These designs are now referred to as the “Hawaiian Missionaries” because they were frequently used by American missionaries on the islands to send letters back to the continental United States. The new stamps were released in Honolulu in three denominations (2 cents, 5 cents, and 13 cents). Because the first “Hawaiian Missionaries” were crudely engraved and printed on thin and poor quality paper, very few of these stamps have survived and are considered to be extreme rarities.
The lowest denomination, the 1851 two cent version, is the rarest of the set, with only about 16 copies known to exist today. An unused two cent Missionary is valued at about $760,000, while the same stamp in a used condition can be sold for $225,000.

The  Mauritius “Post Office” issues of 1847

The Mauritius “Post Office” issues of 1847 stamp

The two stamps known as the Mauritius “Post Office” issues are famous for its rarity. In 1847, the Governor of the Mauritius Island, a British colony located in the Indian Ocean, ordered to issue the colony’s first postal stamps. A local watchmaker from the capital city of Port Louis was awarded a contract to produce two nominations: one penny and two pence. During the printing process, the watchmaker erroneously engraved the words “Post Office” instead of the correct words “Post Paid” on the stamps. By the time the error was discovered, over 200 copies of the Mauritius stamps had already been printed and sold.
There are only 26 known pieces of the Post Office Mauritius stamps that have survived to this day, including several 14 one-penny and 12 two-penny pieces. They are valued at $600,000 or more depending on the condition of the particular stamp being sold. In 1993, a cover bearing two of these stamps was auctioned for a whopping $3.8 million.

1855 Swedish Three Skilling Banco, Yellow Color Error 

1855 Swedish Three Skilling Banco, Yellow Color Error

Three Skilling Banco, Yellow Color Error stamp is considered as one the world’s most controversial stamps. In 1855, Sweden issued its first series of stamps featuring the Swedish coat of arms. The stamps were available in a number of denominations ranging from 3 to 24 Swedish skillings. Each denomination was associated with a different color, which sometimes created confusion in the printing houses. Due to a printing error, one of the three skilling stamps appeared on yellowish orange paper meant for the eight skilling stamp of the same set instead of the usual blue-green color used for this denomination. One copy of the yellow error variety was discovered in 1885 by a young Swedish boy in his grandfather’s collection. The exact number of mistakenly printed stamps remains unknown. It is considered to be a one-of-a-kind rarity, as no other copies have been discovered to date. In 1996, the stamp was auctioned to an anonymous collector for $2.3 million.

1859 Buenos Aires  1p “In Ps” tetebeche pair

Buenos Aires 1859 1p "In Ps" tete-beche pair

Buenos Aires 1859 1p “In Ps” tete-beche pair is an extremely unique and rare postage stamp and has been chosen as an Aristocrat of Philately on two occasions.The “In Peso” tête-bêche pair is one of the most elusive and fascinating of all classic philatelic rarities. The “In Ps” plate started to show signs of wear, and clichés were removed and reaffixed to the wood base. During this process, one of the clichés was reaffixed upside-down relative to the others on the plate. This inverted cliché is the cause of the One-peso Barquitos tête-bêche error It is also one of the most famous printing errors and this is the only one “tete-beche” pair of postage stamps produced on the territory of the State of Buenos Aires. Only one copy of this pair stamp left and it is estimated in $575,000.

1869 Shield, Eagle and Flags 

1869 Shield, Eagle and Flags

The appearance of the 1869 Pictorials marked a significant change in U.S. stamp design. For the first time in American postal history, something other than portraits of national leaders was being pictured on a stamp. These were the first U.S. stamps to be printed using two colors.The Shield, Eagle and Flags stamp belongs to the 1869 pictorial issue that included ten stamps worth between 1 and 90 cents. Spelled out in red letters, the denomination number flows over into the blue-framed flags through the red shield. The new technique required double pressing: to print the center design also known as vignette and to print the frame. Negligence in merging the two processes led to the emergence of rare inverts. Because of that, some stamps of the issue have an inverted frame rather than an inverted vignette. The 30 cent worth Shield and Flag piece with inverted flags is considered to be the rarest of the 1869 inverts, which explains the high price of the stamp. Incredibly popular nowadays, the 1869 pictorial series was ignored by the 19th century public and soon withdrawn from production. Since the stamps were only in use for a year, they are almost impossible to find. The Shield and Flag design features the G grill and is available in several variations, including split grill, double grill and gum only. While an unused sample with inverted flags is valued at $210,000, a used example costs $65,000.

1840 UK  2D Blue Master Die Proof

1840 UK 2d Blue Master Die Proof

The 2d Blue was launched in 1840, the same year as the famous Penny Black, the first adhesive stamp in the world. Printers mixed up the ink on one occasion, resulting in several freak black tuppence stamps – just six unused specimens exist and this error makes each one is worth Millions.

1867 Benjamin Franklin Stamp

1867 benjamin franklin stamp

The 1c Benjamin Franklin stamp issued in 1867,  features a rare Z-grill with horizontal ridges, just like two other designs from the series depicting Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The Post Office Department used his profile taken from Houdon’s bust for multiple stamp designs starting from 1847. At present, there are only two existing samples valued at a whopping $935,000 apiece. The 1868 Benjamin Franklin Z Grill is widely regarded as the rarest and most valuable of all U.S. postage stamps. The stamp features unique Z Grill indentations and only two exist.

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