Rare Stamps to Collect in 2023 

If you’re a passionate stamp collector, then you need to get your hands on the world’s most valuable, rare stamps.

Let’s explore everything about rare stamps and discover whether it’s worth investing in them or not.

And, if you want an alternative investment with more substantial and predictable returns, then you should check out fine wine!

These are the first British stamps created outside Great Britain. Interestingly, they’re the world’s most expensive stamps – costing more than some of the most valuable paintings.

In 1993, a pair of the Mauritius Post Office stamps (a One Penny Red and a Two Penny Blue) was sold for about $6.1 million at a Swiss auction.

British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta, British Guiana, 1856 ($9.4 Million)

This stamp was produced as an emergency solution when a stamp shipment from London was delayed. There’s only one British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta postage stamp in existence – making it the rarest stamp in the world.

This old stamp was sold for about $9.48 million at a June 2014 Sotheby’s auction. Before then, it belonged to John du Pont – an American man who bought the stamp for $935,000 in 1980.

Benjamin Franklin Z Grill, United States, 1868 ($2.9 Million)

Benjamin Franklin holds a special place in US postal history – he served as the country’s first postmaker and is featured on most US postage stamps. The most valuable Benjamin Franklin stamp is the Benjamin Franklin Z Grill.

The US Postal Service used different types of grills (embossed patterns) to prevent the reuse of stamps. However, the Z grill was not widely used – making the Benjamin Franklin Z Grill postage stamp a rarity.

Only two of these stamps are available – one is permanently held at the New York Public Library’s Miller Collection, while the other is sold at auction houses. In 2005, a Benjamin Franklin Z Grill single stamp was traded for four Inverted Jenny stamps valued at $3 million.

Swedish Treskilling Yellow, Sweden, 1855 ($4.2 Million)

This valuable stamp is one of the first postage stamps produced in Sweden. It was supposed to be green but got printed in yellow by mistake.

This old stamp was sold for around $2.3 million in 1993. Today, there’s only one Swedish Treskilling Yellow stamp, and it’s worth over $4.2 million.

Sicilian Error of Color, Sicily, 1859 ($2.6 Million)

This valuable stamp has a printing error – it was supposed to be orange but ended up being printed in blue. Only two of these stamps are currently available.

One of the Sicilian Error of Color stamps was sold for around $2 million in 2011.

Two Penny Blue, United Kingdom, 1840 ($1.7 Million)

This is the world’s second official stamp – it was produced after the famous Penny Black postage stamp. The logo was intended for heavier items and was used less frequently than the Penny Black.

This expensive stamp was sold for around $1.7 million at a Swiss auction in 1992.

Baden 9 Kreuzer Error Stamp, Germany, 1851 ($1.73 Million)

This postage stamp has a printing error – it was supposed to be pink but ended up being printed in green. There were four copies of the logo, but only one of them currently exists – making it the rarest stamp in Germany.

This expensive stamp was sold for about $1.5 million in 2008.

Inverted Jenny, United States, 1918 ($1.6 Million)

The Inverted Jenny stamp has an upside-down print of the Curtiss JN-4HM – a plane used during World War I and the first flight operated to deliver mail. Only one single sheet of 100 inverted Jenny stamps was created.

In 2016, an Inverted Jenny single stamp was sold for around $1.4 million at an auction.

George Washington B-Grill, United States, 1868 ($1.04 Million)

A normal 1868 George Washington postage stamp isn’t worth a lot of money. However, it’s worth millions of dollars if it has a B-grill mark (tiny upward-pointing dents.)

In fact, there are only four George Washington B-Grill stamps that currently exist. One of these stamps was sold for about $1 million in 2008.

Red Revenue One Dollar Small, China, 1897 ($900,000)

The original Red Revenue One Dollar Small stamps have illegible text. So, they were immediately replaced with new, improved versions.

Now, these stamps are a rarity, and only about 32 of them exist. In 2013, one of the stamps was sold for around $890,000.

Inverted Pair Dr Sun Yat-sen, Hong Kong, 1941 ($814,000)

This stamp has an upside-down picture of the first president of the People’s Republic of China – Dr Sun Yat Sen. Only one sheet of 50 stamps was printed.

There are currently two inverted pairs in existence, and one of them sold for $707,000 at a Hong Kong auction in 2018.

Penny Red Plate 77, United Kingdom, 1863 ($707,000+)

The Penny Red Plate 77 stamps were initially neglected because they weren’t perforated correctly. However, these postage stamps are now valuable items that are worth collecting.

There are about five of these stamps in existence. In 2016, Stanley Gibbons (a rare stamp merchant) sold one of the stamps for $645,000.

Now, if you’re looking for other valuable stamps or want to learn more about postal history, check out the Stanley Gibbons website. You’ll discover remarkable stamp collections such as the King George V stamps, Queen Victoria stamps, and more.

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