There was a time when commerce across the world was done by mail. Everyone patiently waited for mail with colored stamps. With the advent of technology, this type of correspondence is becoming increasingly rare. Some avid collectors still like to trace this beautiful era by keeping postage stamps. An overview of the most exceptional pieces.
Stamping is a passion passed down from generation to generation. In order to complete their collection, some enthusiasts are willing to pay large sums. However, this practice is not just a hobby but can become a real profitable investment. When these stamps are kept in good condition, they pay off big. Discover our selection of the most valuable.
What stamps are worth a fortune today?
Investing in a stamp collection can be very profitable. It is quite possible to find some small treasures in his private collection. However, in-depth knowledge is needed to make money in this field. What generally gives a stamp its value is its age, rarity, or peculiarity making it a unique piece such as an anomaly or a typographical error.
“Crimson One Cent”: The Mona Lisa Stamp
This stamp was issued from the former British colony of Guyana in 1856 and is considered the rarest in the world. Only one sample is known. It is octagonal in shape, representing a boat, it was printed on a red background, hence its name, signed on it by the hand of the postmaster at the time. Holds the world record for the most expensive stamp ever sold at auction at $9.4 million!
“Benny Black”, the first postage stamp
It is the first postage stamp in history. “Penny Black” was used in the first exchanges in the UK in 1840. I allowed sending messages for just a penny. Its value today is estimated at $8 million, making it an emblematic piece of philatelic history.
“Z-Grill”, the character holding a statue of Benjamin Franklin
Only two copies of this stamp are known to bear the portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The first is part of the New York Public Library’s collection and the second belongs to American collector Bill Gross. The latter would trade it for his set of 4 “Inverted Jenny” stamps worth $2.97 million. “Z-Grill” was reportedly sold in 1998 for just $935,000.
Inverted “Jenny Inverted” stamp
What makes this stamp rare is a typo. As its name suggests, “Inverted Jenny” refers to Curtis Jenny’s plane that is printed upside down on some copies. In fact, this stamp was hastily produced in 1918. Then some inverted stamps were found in some people who had the pleasure of keeping them. In 2021, an extremely rare set of four stamps was sold for nearly $5 million for charity in New York.
“The whole country is red”, the famous Chinese character
This famous stamp that was supposed to represent the communist revolution in China, was quickly pulled from sale due to a misprint. In fact, the map on the seal shows all regions of mainland China in red. Only Taiwan remained empty while China also claimed this island. Known and listed in nine copies, this copy sold for $2 million in 2018 at an auction in Beijing.
“Two blue pence”, the first two stamps of Mauritius
These two stamps representing Queen Victoria were issued in 1847. Mauritius, a former British colony, is known for its unique and rare philatelic items. Only 27 are known and identified out of 500 samples. In 2011, the price of “Two Pence Blue” reached $1.44 million.
Franck Vermilon Ceres, the most expensive postage stamp in France
Issued in 1849, with a statue of Ceres, this stamp is part of the first issue of French stamps. Although it is less expensive than some other stamps, it remains the star of French stamps. It sold for €924,000 or $968,000 in 2003. What makes it unique is its upside-down tip which was printed on a block of 4 stamps due to the printer’s lack of interest…
If you have postage stamps at home, get out your collection and find out quickly. You may not have a million dollar coin but you never know, maybe you can still get a nice surprise…
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