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Learn About The World's Most Valuable Stamps


There are rare and valuable stamps in all postal systems of the world. Two of the best known of these are the Inverted Jenny, which was a printing error and the 1-cent Z grill stamp from the US postal system. Anyone who is a serious stamp collector will tell you that there are five most valuable stamps in the world and all are trying to have them in their collections. However, they are very rare and thus, very expensive. These valuable stamps are:


1. The Three-Shilling Banco from Sweden, which is yellow in color, was printed in 1855. This stamp is valuable because the yellow was a mistake in the color of the stamp. The yellow paper that was used in the printing was supposed to be for the 8-shilling stamp. The usual color for the 3-shilling stamp was green. Only one copy of this stamp has ever been found. This was in 1885, when a young Swedish boy was looking through his grandfather's stamp collection. No other copies of the stamp have surfaced and this rare stamp was sold in 1996 for the stunning price of $2.3 million dollars to an anonymous collector.


2. The Two-Pence Stamp of Mauritius was issued in 1847. This was one of the first stamps ever issued by the British island colony. The reason that this stamp is so valuable is because there was a mistake made in the printing. A local watchmaker was given the contract to print two stamps - the two-pence stamp and a one-penny stamp. He made the mistake of printing the words "post office" on the stamp instead of the words "post paid". More than 200 of the stamps were printed before the mistake was discovered. In spite of the large number printed, there are only about 30 of these stamps in existence today and are estimated to be valued at about $600,000 each.

Benjamin Franklin Z Grill

3. The rarest of the valuable US stamps is the 1-cent Z Grill, also called the Franklin Z-Grill. This stamp was printed in 1867 and depict a picture of Benjamin Franklin embossed on a Z-Grill, which is a tiny pattern of squares embossed into the stamp and visible from the back. The stamp was printed in an effort to allow the ink from a canceling stamp to seep into the stamp paper. In this way, those who wished to cheat the post office by reusing stamps would be unable to do so. However, the practice of using such a stamp was not very practical and they were discontinued. One of these stamps sold at auction in 1988 for almost a million dollars.


4. The first stamp issued in Hawaii was the Hawaiian Missionaries stamp of 1851. The name came from the fact that the missionaries on the islands used them to send mail back to the US mainly used them. They were printed in three denominations - 2, 5 and 13 cents. The rarity of these stamps is due to the fact that the pictures were very crudely drawn and that they were printed on poor quality paper. The 2-cent version has a value of $750,000 if it is unused and about $200,000 if it is used.


5. The British Guiana One Cent Black, which was printed on magenta, was first issued in 1856. These stamps were issued as an emergency measure when there was a lack of stamps in the colony. They were rather crude and were printed in only two denominations - I-cent stamps for newspaper postage and 4-cent stamps for use on letters. They were printed on magenta colored paper and depicted a sailing ship, along with the name "British Guiana" and the motto "we give and we seek in return" printed in Latin. The only surviving stamp was sold in 1980 for $935,000.

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