10 Most Valuable and Rarest Postage Stamps in History

Stamps say a lot about the place to which they belong. They say about the culture and heritage of the place. Many people have a hobby of collecting stamps. Here, we show you the top 10 most valuable and rarest postage stamps in the history.

10 Most Valuable and Rarest Postage Stamps in History

10 The Whole Country is Red


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This Chinese stamp was broadcasted during the Cultural Revolution in the year 1968. The face value of this stamp was 8 fen. The most noted point of this stamp was the printing error. It was perceived for the representation of the development of the Communism in China. The stamp was designed by Wang Weisheng. It is a beautiful stamp which has the map of China on it in red color, a picture of a worker, a soldier who holds ate copies of ‘Selected Works of Chairman Mao’ (Little Red Book) and a farmer. The error was that, the Taiwan’s map which was under Chinese control was white instead of being red. This error was noted by the editor of the Sino Maps Press during the afternoon of the date on which the stamp was issued. The stamps were recalled immediately, but a few of them still went to the collectors. They are, today, counted as rare stamps.

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9 Cape of Good Hope Stamp

Cape of Good Hope Stamp

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This stamp was issued in the year 1853. This postage stamp was the first in the Cape of Good Hope and also in the entire Africa. The first form that was out were 1 and 4 pennies. Two year later two other stamps with different face values were issued. The stamp was in triangular shape, to make it easy for even an uneducated man, to recognize it. Although, the triangular stamps were issued by many other countries till that time.

The stamp featured a female figure, sitting on a anchor’s top which was placed at the top of a rock. This was the symbol of Cape. Surveyor General Charles Bell had designed the stamp and it was printed by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co. till today, there are very few copies of this stamp left. The value of one a single Cape of Good Hope stamp in the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue is as much as US$40,000.

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8 Basel Dove


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This stamp was broadcasted on July 1, 1845, by the canton of Basel in Switzerland. The stamp was the first tricolor stamp of the whole world. It had the face value of 2.5 rappen. The stamp features a white dove with a letter in its beak. It was designed by Melchior Berri, an architect. The stamp was in black, blue and crimson colors. Before the withdrawal of the Basel Dove in the year 1854, about 42,000 stamps were already printed in this series. Today, the worth of a Basel Dove is around $20,000.

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7 The Hawaiian Missionaries

The Hawaiian Missionaries

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This stamp was promulgated in the year 1851 by the then Kingdom of Hawaii. This stamp is considered as one of the most precious postage stamps in the world. There were 3 denominations of this stamp- 2 cents, 5 cents and 13 cents. They stamps were called as ‘Missionaries’ because, as a matter of fact, the discovery of these stamps happened on the correspondence in between the Missionaries that were working in Hawaii. The stamps were printed in blue colored, cheap quality stamp. In the centre was the numeral of denomination and at the bottom was the denomination in words. On the 2 and 5 cent stamps had the phrase ‘Hawaiian / Postage’ inscribed on the stamps, while on the 13 cent stamps had ‘H.I. & U.S / Postage’ printed on them. Only 15 stamps in the 2 cent version are surviving today and are considered as the rarest.

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6 Penny Black

one penny

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This is the 1st adhesive postage stamp in the whole world. It was introduced by Britain. This adhesive stamp was the idea of Rowland Hill. He is called as the ‘father of postal stamps’. The stamp had British Queen Victoria’s profile on it. The name of the stamp comes from the value and the color of the stamp. The stamp was first distributed in the year 1840, but was withdrawn within a year as the cancellation mark was a task to spot in the complete black background. The worth of these stamps today is around $3000. These stamps are quite rare today. Many unused sheets of this stamp are showcased at the British Postal Museum.

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5 Canada 12-pence Black


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This stamp was also known as the Black Empress of Canada. It was issued in the year 1851. Is is considered as one of the rarest stamp now. The stamp features Queen Victoria’s profile. The profile was based on the portrait of Queen Victoria’s profile which was drawn by Alfred Edward Chalon. The design was named as Chalon Head. As many as 50,000 copies of these stamps were printed, but only a few were sold. The stamps that were not sold were withdrawn in the year 1857 and destroyed. Today, only a hundred stamps are left. A single stamp is worth $5, 00,000.

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4 Tyrian Plum

Tyrian Plum

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This is one of the rarest postal stamp of Britain. The Edward VII Tyrian Plum were broadcasted in the year 1910. They were issued to replace the two-colour two-penny stamp that had the profile of King Edward VII. About 24 million stamps were printed, but destroyed because of the sudden death of the King that year in May. Only a few stamps are left today. The Royal Philatelic Collection had the only used stamp.

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3 Inverted Jenny

Inverted Jenny

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This stamp is also called as Upside Down Jenny. It is the United States stamp and the face value of 24 cents. The stamp was first distributed in the year 1918 on 10th of May. This stamp had a printing error which made it stand in the crowd. The image of Curtiss JN-4 airplane that was featured on the stamp was upside- down. Only a 100 stamps of those kind exist today. The rest were destroyed. An Inverted Jenny stamp was sold in an auction for  $977,500.

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2 Mauritius ‘Post Office’


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This stamp was broadcasted in September 1847 in Mauritius, when Mauritius was a British Colony. The stamps had 2 denominations- 1 penny with orange-red color and 2 pence of dark blue color. The stamp had the profile of Queen Victoria. Post Office was printed on the stamp. The name is derived from this. In the next series, it was changed to ‘Post Paid’. The error was noticed in 1864 by the wife of a merchant. Only 26 stamps are left today and are worth around $4 million.

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1 British Guiana 1c Magenta

British Guiana 1c Magenta

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This stamp was sold in $9.5 million in an auction in 2014. This is the rarest and the most valuable stamp in the whole world. Today, only one stamp of this kind is left. This octagon shaped stamp. Only a few stamps were issued by former British Guiana in the year 1856. It had a sailing ship with the motto of the colony- ‘Damus Petimus Que Vicissim’ (We give and expect in return).

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