The 21 most valuable stamps in the global are rare pieces packed with matter to history and countless mistakes. One could have led to the discovery of military secrets. Another showcases the first airplane used for mail transport. While the most expensive stamp exemplifies a global lust for excessive parties and balls .
When you ’ re looking for the rare stamp, you ’ re going to see a whirlwind of stories from around the globe. Just don ’ thyroxine forget to keep your eyes open, and possibly don ’ triiodothyronine be so quick to send off that box of old stamps your grandparents handed down to you .
The 21 most valuable stamps to look out for
21. 12d Black Empress: $546,200
Known as Canada ’ s most valuable, rarest, and sought basic stamp, the 1851 12d Black Empress wasn ’ thyroxine often used. The 12d face value paid for a limited scope of destinations, including Newfoundland or the british West Indies, and a double-weight letter to the United States.
Out of the 51,000 primitively printed, it is believed that fewer than 145 of these stamps exist today, in any condition. In 2011, a rare Canada 1851 12d Black Empress was sold for $ 425,000, the equivalent to $ 546,200 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: Canada Years: 1851 to 1854 Face Price: 12d Current Price: $546,200
20. 800Y Blue Military: $550,900
The China 1953 800Y Blue Military stomp was intended to provide a free method for military personnel to stay in allude. But it was a revealing sign of the zodiac for anyone seeking to uncover military secrets. therefore, the integral three-color lineup was discontinued about immediately .
The blue translation is the most sought because it was in circulation for the shortest amount of time. In 2011, one Blue Military Stamp was auctioned for 2.7 million yuan ( US $ 428,654 ), equivalent to $ 550,900 today .
Country: China Year: 1953 Face Price: 800 Yuan Current Price: $550,900
19. Red Maiden in the Green Robe: $680,300
It ’ south never a good signboard when a currency collapses and a substitute needs to be created. But when this happens, you can be sealed that some collectible items will result. This stamp was issued during the Qing Dynasty ’ s currency reform .
It is believed that there are nine 1897 2 Cents red Maiden in the Green Robe stamps remaining today. The last know sale was in 2004 when a Red Maiden in the Green Robe postage sold for $ 444,477 in Hong Kong, equal to $ 680,300 in 2022 dollars .
Country: China Year: 1897 Face Price: 2 Cents Current Price: $680,300
18. Hawaiian Missionary: $713,300
It ’ sulfur easy to overlook history sometimes, but not here. It was created when the United States ’ influence on the hawaiian islands was chiefly as missionaries performing religious and educational work on the islands .
These stamps have achieved a rare status as collector ’ south items from a time before hawaiian statehood. The end United States 1851 2 Cents hawaiian Missionary reported at auction went for $ 619,500 in 2018, adequate to $ 713,300 today .
Country: USA / Hawaii Years: 1951 to 1952 Face Price: 2 Cents Current Price: $713,300
17. Penny Red Plate 77: $804,960
The worst examples much make incredible collector ’ randomness items. That ’ s the case with the UK 1863 Penny Red Plate 77 stamp, which was found to be excessively first gear choice for custom before any were sold. This batch was not perforated correctly in production and was meant to be destroyed .
But it seems some were able to evade the incinerator. A rare Plate 77 Penny Red sold in 2016 for £495,000, equal to about USD 804,960 today .
Country: United Kingdom Year: 1863 Face Price: 1 Penny Current Price: $804,960
16. Inverted Pair Dr Sun Yat-sen: $814,800
With one of the most obvious design flaws, this stamp from the mid-20th century shows its flaw front and center. It shows Dr Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the People ’ s Republic of China, as inverted .
There was just one sheet of fifty stamps always created with this problem. The anatropous pair is one of two pairs known to still be in universe. It last sold in 2018 for $ 707,700 in a Hong Kong auction, adequate to $ 814,800 today .
Country: Hong Kong Year: 1941 Face Price: $2 Current Price: $814,800
15. 6d Pale Dull Purple I.R. Official: $822,000
Slippery hands from 1904 are to thank for this seal hush existing. Issued on the lapp day that an official ordering came in to destroy this set of stamps, somehow a few examples evaded the endless flame and have made their way into the collector ’ mho commercialize .
They were entirely used by the Inland Revenue politics department, and it would have been a criminal offense for the public to possess or sell these stamps. One sold for £400,000 in 2010, equal to approximately $ 822,000 today .
Country: Great Britain Year: 1904 Face Price: 6 Pence Current Price: $822,000
14. 10 Cent On 9 Candareen: $881,900
Coming from China ’ sulfur Empress Dowager earned run average, this postage is one of the most valuable chinese stamps today. Issued in 9 Candareen, they were sent for a 10-cent surcharge, which was done inverted. today, only four examples have been recorded, two used and two unused .
It was estimated at $ 766,000 USD in 2018, equivalent to $ 881,900 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: China Year: 1897 Face Price: 10 Cent surcharge on 9 Candareen Current Price: $881,900
13. Red Revenue One Dollar Small: $1,104,300
This bright red stamp is part of a identical modest batch of 32 record copies. shortly after being issued, they were immediately replaced with a irregular version because the text was excessively little and illegible .
As a result, the 1897 Red Revenue One Dollar Small stamp has become one of China ’ s most expensive stamps. It is from the Qing Dynasty and sold for $ 889,800 in 2013, equivalent to $ 1,104,300 today .
Country: China Year: 1897 Face Price: 1 Dollar Current Price: $1,104,300
12. George Washington B-Grill: $1,389,800
Don ’ triiodothyronine get this limited B-Grill cast get mixed up with other 1868 George Washington stamps. While the stay are bountiful and not incredibly valuable, the B-Grill version is one of the most valuable stamps to look out for and only four known examples exist nowadays .
The B-Grill indentation is identifiable through upward-pointing indentations and because it was larger than other grills used. It was cursorily replaced with smaller grills, leading to the iconic condition and one of the rarest stamps in the earth .
It last sold for $ 1.035 million in 2008, equivalent to $ 1,389,800 today .
Country: United States Year: 1868 Face Price: 3 Cents Current Price: $1,389,800
11. Inverted Declaration of Independence: $1,611,400
If you have ever seen Fourth of July celebrations, you know how passionate some Americans are about their independence. That was besides the encase in 1869 when this batch of stamps was created, depicting the sign of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 .
But this version is one of the most expensive stamps because of the unintentionally invert painting. entirely four are known to exist. It last sold for $ 1.2 million in 2008 to the surprise of many philatelists, equivalent to $ 1,611,400 today .
Country: United States Year: 1869 Face Price: 24 Cents Current Price: $1,611,400
10. Inverted Jenny: $1,627,700
not alone does this stamp include an mistakenly inverted print, but it besides incorporates a snatch of mail history. The persona is of a Curtiss JN-4HM, a airplane used heavily during World War I, but possibly more significant to the world of philately, it is the beginning plane used to deliver mail .
only one single sheet of 100 stamps was created, with chiefly one examples existing today. Two blocks of four are besides known to exist. A single 1918 Inverted Jenny sold at auction for $ 1,351,250 in 2016, equivalent to $ 1,627,700 today .
Country: United States Year: 1918 Face Price: 24 Cents Current Price: $1,627,700
9. Baden 9 Kreuzer Error: $2,014,200
Contrasting the otherwise orderly reputation of Germany, this stamp is especial due to a err that happened in 1851. The Baden 9 Kreuzer stamp should have been printed in pink color, but somehow green ink slipped in which was intended for function on 6 Kreuzer stamps, creating one of the most valuable rare stamps wanted by collectors .
only one unused copy and four used copies are known to exist. The end one sold in 2008 for $ 1,500,000, equivalent to $ 2,014,200 today .
Country: Germany Year: 1851 Face Price: 9 Kreuzer Current Price: $2,014,200
8. Alexandria Blue Boy: $2,035,500
Most stamps from the United States are issued by the union politics, but this valuable stamp was issued shortly before the federal government began doing so. Buying one would have turned even the most valuable nickels into prize .
Alexandria produced the Postmaster ’ south Provisionals, of which seven copies are recorded nowadays, but lone one on the slightly blue wallpaper of the Alexandria Blue Boy. It is permanently affixed to a forbidden love letter.
It sold for $ 1.18 million in 2019, equivalent to $ 2,035,500 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: United States Year: 1847 Face Price: 5 Cents Current Price: $2,035,500
7. The Whole Country Is Red: $2,302,700
once again, a mistake has turned an otherwise normal stamp into one of the most valuable stamps. Made to commemorate the chinese Cultural Revolution, this revenue stamp includes a worker, farmer, and soldier all carrying a copy of the Selected Works of Chairman Mao .
The map, however, was deemed to be inaccurate and the stamps were cursorily pulled from production. The official reason is that the Spratly and Paracel Islands were missing from the map with respective country borders drawn inaccurately adenine well .
In 2018, one sold for a reported 13.8 million Yuan, equivalent to $ 2,302,700 today .
Country: China Year: 1968 Face Price: 8 Fen Current Price: $2,302,700
6. Two Penny Blue: $2,322,400
If you want to get one of the earliest stamps always collected, then look no promote. The Two Penny Blue is the universe ’ s second official postage stamp, coming behind the fabled Penny Black. The Two Penny Blue was meant for heavier items and was used less frequently than the Penny Black .
It sold for 1,610,000 swiss Francs in 1992, equivalent to $ 2,322,400 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars. It was known as the most expensive stomp from the british Commonwealth for over 20 years until 2014 .
Country: United Kingdom Year: 1840 Face Price: 2 Pence Current Price: $2,322,400
5. Sicilian Error of Color: $2,570,600
The 1859 sicilian Error of Color was supposed to be orange but alternatively was printed blue. There are lone two known to be in being today, making it one of the most valuable rare stamps wanted by collectors .
Both were shown at the 1899 Manchester Philatelic Exposition, then separated before one was sold as separate of the Ferrari collection. One sold in 2011 for €1.8 million, or about $ 2,570,600 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: Sicily Year: 1959 Face Price: 1/2 Grana Current Price: $2,570,600
4. Swedish Treskilling Yellow: $4,238,000
Another peak spot in the list of the most valuable stamps to look out for is held by a misprint exemplar. The 1855 swedish Treskilling Yellow was character of Sweden ’ s first base postage stamps always produced and should have been printed in greens. The mistake yellow copies are polish to one in universe today, a pristine case of the rarest stamp in the world .
It is not easy to say precisely how much it is worth. It was sold in 2010 and 2014 for undisclosed amounts, the last acknowledge sale was in 1993 for $ 2.3 million, or $ 4,238,000 in 2022 dollars .
Country: Sweden Year: 1855 Face Price: 3 Skilling Current Price: $4,238,000
3. Benjamin Franklin Z Grill: $4,441,000
This stamp from 1868 was share of a small batch with a Z Grill form of horizontal z-shaped indentations. It is immediately partially of an extremely exclusive club of stamps, with only two examples around today. One is permanently held at New York Public Library ’ s Miller Collection, while the early is one of the most valuable rare stamps wanted by collectors .
In 1998, one sold for $ 935,000 at auction. then in 2005, it was traded for four Inverted Jenny stamps, valued at $ 3 million. That is equivalent to $ 4,441,000 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: United States Year: 1868 Face Price: 1 Cent Current Price: $4,441,000
2. British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta: $11,601,700
The 1856 british Guiana 1 Cent Magenta is known to have one in being and is the only major postage stamp missing from Britain ’ s Royal Philatelic Collection. in the first place intended for practice in local newspapers, the 1 Cent Magenta was produced as an emergency solution due to a delayed stomp cargo .
Known as the rare pigeonhole in the world, it was sold in 2014 to shoe graphic designer Stuart Weitzman for $ 9.5 million, equivalent to $ 11,601,700 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
Country: British Guiana Year: 1856 Face Price: 1 Cent Current Price: $11,601,700
1. Mauritius Post Office Stamps: $12,760,600
Worth more than some of the most valuable paintings, the Mauritius Post Office stamps are the most expensive stamps in the world .
At first glance, you might think the Mauritius Post Office stamps are the same as other british stamps from the era. But these are distinct because they are the first british stamps created outside of Great Britain .
There are believed to be 27 examples of One Penny bolshevik and Two Penny blue 1847 Mauritius Post Office Stamps around today. At least three are affixed to ‘ Ball Covers ’ from Lady Elizabeth Gomm who was known for throwing lavish balls in Mauritius at the prison term .
In 2021, one Ball Cover featuring a One Penny red postage sold for €10,027,800, or about $ 12,760,600 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars .
The most important piece, however, is the Bordeaux Cover. It includes both One Penny crimson and Two Penny blue examples affixed to an envelope but not used. It was end reported as being sold in 1993 at a swiss auction for 6,123,750 swiss Francs, or around $ 8,203,000 in inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars. Due to the holocene Ball Cover sale, it seems likely this has appreciated even higher .
Country: Mauritius Year: 1847 Face Price: 1 Penny and 2 Penny Current Price: $12,760,600
Buyer’s guide to the most valuable stamps
Before you start your stamp collection, it ’ s all-important to have an understanding of what makes stamps collectible and valuable .
If you want to find the most valuable stamps in the world, then you need to consider a few things. discipline is significant, but stamps that are rare, with a deep history and any misprint aspects are where the true value is found. The most valuable coins are held to similar standards .
arguably the most authoritative aspect of any collectible stamp is how rare it is. If you have a revenue stamp that no one else has, then people will pay top dollar for it. The british Guiana 1856 1 Cent Magenta is the arrant exemplar of this, where not even the british politics has been able to get its hands on one .
Another crucial factor in the prize of a stamp is the history behind it. Take for example the Mauritius 1847 Post Office Stamps, which not only are interesting because they are the first british stamps made outside of Great Britain, but besides because they have a fun history of being used to invite guests to extravagant balls .
The one most important characteristic of many valuable stamps, however, comes from what the stamps are not supposed to be. A misprint stamp can cause the value to skyrocket. Just take another flying look at this stallion tilt, and you ’ ll find many examples of how misprint stamp become highly valuable collectors ’ items .
But if you want to find the most expensive stamps, then you need to combine all of these characteristics on a stamp that is in excellent circumstance. If you can find this, then you are likely going to be holding a humble firearm of paper that is quite literally worth more than its system of weights in amber .
Wrap up: The world’s most valuable stamps
Coming from many countries and across a long history, the most expensive stamps in the worldly concern are certain to surprise you. possibly the military blurt out allowing others to identify military correspondence is your darling. Or possibly you love the most expensive Mauritius stamps .
Whatever the case, the most valuable stamps in the global are sure to continue their ascent in prize as the years pass. Make sure you keep your natural language off of them !
21 most valuable stamps in the world
Frequently asked questions about the most valuable stamps
What is the world’s most valuable stamp? The Mauritius 1847 Post Office Stamps are the world ’ s most valuable stamps. Although not the rarest, their history as the first british stamps produced outside of Great Britain, combined with an enthralling history of galant balls, has brought them to the top of the stamp collecting worldly concern.
How do I know if my stamps are valuable? Stamps are most valuable if they are rare, misprinted, or have an matter to history. It ’ s not easy to identify what stamps are valuable compared to the many that are not so take a spirit at our round-up of the most expensive stamps to see precisely which ones are valuable. What are the top 10 most expensive stamps? The top 10 most expensive stamps are the Mauritius 1847 Post Office Stamps, British Guiana 1856 1 Cent Magenta, Benjamin Franklin Z Grill, Swedish Treskilling Yellow, Sicilian Error of Color, Two Penny Blue, The Whole Country Is Red, Alexandria Blue Boy, Baden 9 Kreuzer Error, and Inverted Jenny. Read our article for more information on the broad history and origin of the 10 most expensive stamps in the world. Who owns the world’s most valuable stamp? Shoe graphic designer Stuart Weitzman is known to be the owner of the british Guiana 1856 1 Cent Magenta, which was the world ’ s most valuable postage at the time he purchased it. There is highly express data about who owns the most valuable stamps of the Mauritius 1847 Post Office Stamp solicitation.