most valuable stamps
Source: Getty Images

Some of the Rarest Stamps Are Selling For Millions — Which Ones Are the Most Valuable?

Jennifer Farrington - Author
By

Oct. 4 2022, Published 5:44 p.m. ET

Stamps are arguably one of the most valuable treasures that exist today. Sure, some rare state quarters or Beanie Babies are likely to give you a significant return, but stamps are where the real money lies. These mere sheets of paper with an adhesive backing serve as both carriers of art and moments in history, making some stamps extremely valuable.

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Whether you’re a collector of stamps or have come across one you think might be worth something, you’ll want to keep reading to find out which stamp sold for $1.3 million and the others that are selling for thousands of dollars.

Mauritius “Post Office” Stamps (1847) are among some of the rarest stamps in the world.

Mauritius “Post Office” Stamps (1847)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mauritius “Post Office” Stamps (1847)

The Mauritius stamps, often known as the “Post Office” stamps, were issued by the British Colony in September 1847 and depict a picture of Queen Victoria. They were produced in two colors, orange and blue, and contain the words “Post Office,” which were later replaced in 1947 with “Post Paid.” Rumor has it that the prints containing the words “Post Office” were done in error.

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Today, the Mauritius “Post Office” Stamps are worth an estimated €8.1 million, or about $8 million as that is how much one reportedly sold for in 2021.

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The Inverted Jenny

The Inverted Jenny
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Inverted Jenny

The Inverted Jenny stamp depicts a plane (JN-4HM) that was built by the Curtiss company during World War I. This is the plane that was first used to deliver mail, says History. When the stamps were printed, they contained an error–the blue airplane and the air around it were printed upside down.

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Unfortunately, for all you stamp collectors out there, only one sheet of the Inverted Jenny stamps was printed, which means there are only 100 stamps out there that contain this rare and valuable error. In 2016, one single Inverted Jenny stamp sold at an auction for $1,351,250, according to History.

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Inverted 1869 pictorial stamp

Inverted 1869 pictorial stamp
Source: Siegel Auction Galleries

Inverted 1869 pictorial stamp

As the first U.S. stamp to be printed using two colors, the 1869 Inverted pictorial stamp holds significant value. The stamp was printed under President Ulysses S. Grant and discontinued only after a year in circulation, according to History. The photo depicted on the stamp, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, is also printed upside down.

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In 2022, an Inverted 1869 pictorial stamp sold at a Siegel Auction for $65,000 while another went for $11,500.

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The 1847 Benjamin Franklin stamp

The 1847 Benjamin Franklin stamp
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The 1847 Benjamin Franklin stamp

Another stamp that marks history and is considered among one of the more valuable ones is the 1847 Benjamin Franklin stamp. The stamp was the first to be utilized as a form of prepayment for delivery.

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While it isn’t clear what the 1847 Benjamin Franklin stamp is worth today, one online store is selling the stamp (in mint condition) for $4,500.

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Benjamin Franklin Z Grill

Benjamin Franklin Z Grill
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Franklin Z Grill

The Benjamin Franklin Z Grill 1-cent stamp was issued in 1869 and was reportedly worth around $3 million in 2007. What makes this stamp among the rarest and most valuable is the grill pressed marking it contains. While the indentations might be tiny, it is this very error that has given the stamp quite the markup in value.

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Red Maiden in the Green Robe

Red Maiden in the Green Robe stamp
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Red Maiden in the Green Robe stamp

The Red Maiden in the Green Robe stamp was issued by the Qing Dynasty before 1912. The last known sale was in 2004 in Hong Kong. The stamp reportedly sold at an auction for $444, 477, which is equivalent to about $670,000 today.

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Queen Elizabeth stamps might soon be worth big bucks.

Queen Elizabeth stamps
Source: eBay

Because British postage stamps will no longer depict the face of Queen Elizabeth as a new monarch has taken the throne, some could become quite valuable. On eBay, some users already have listed for sale the 1953 Queen Elizabeth coronation stamp collection, which consists of 109 stamps. One seller has their collection priced at $199 while another has theirs at $225.

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Now, although most stamps don’t carry any additional value, if you have one in your possession you think is worth something, you can always contact Siegel Auction Galleries to find out more about selling it.

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