Most Valuable Stamps in the World

If you think that collecting stamps is an old fashioned hobby you are wrong. Now in China, for example, there are more than 20 million collectors, so probably it makes sense to look through the family albums in search of the rare gems. In fact, rare stamps can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Here are the best sellers:AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - Penny Red

1. The Penny Red

The British Penny Red tops our list of the most expensive stamps in the world. It costs £550,000 despite being in very poor condition. There are only nine of them in the world. Even though the Post Office decided to destroy the printing plate one sheet got into circulation.

AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - Penny Black

2. The Penny Black

The world's first stamp, the Penny Black is an iconic one and that is why it is so valuable. The price of rare Penny Blacks can reach tens of thousands of pounds and it has only increased in value during the last decades.

3. The British Guiana 1 Cent MagentaAskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - The British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta

This one is really exclusive stamp as there is only one left in the world. The colonies had the stamps shipped from the UK. When the ship was delayed, the postmaster decided to make his own collection of stamps. This stamp was sold at the New York auction for $9.5million (£6.4million) despite the fact that it was not even printed on proper Royal Mail stock and is in terrible condition.

AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - The Inverted Jenny

4. The Inverted Jenn

This American stamp with a picture of a stunt plane was printed upside down. After the mistake was detected the stamp had been recalled. Now these stamps cost more than £100,000.

AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - The Tyrian Plum

5. The Tyrian Plum

Currently valued at more than £100,000, these stamps were issued during the reign of Edward VII. But as the Tyrian Plum actually came out the day he died it was immediately withdrawn. Fortunately several stamps leaked into the market.

AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - The Roses Error

6. The Roses Error

This stamp made in 1978 used to cost 13p but now its price is £130,000. The thing is that the 13p did not get printed at all. There are only three in the world and two of them are in the collection of the Queen.

AskPhil Most Valuable Stamps - The Whole Country is Red

7. The Whole Country is Red

This is a quite modern but still valuable stamp. Chairman Mao ordered to create a stamp that would represent communism over the whole of China. But the designer mistakenly left Taiwan in white. The stamp was immediately recalled.

For more information about the history of other rare and valuable stamps consider reading "The Complete Guide to Stamps & Stamp Collecting: The ultimate illustrated reference to over 3000 of the world's best stamps, and a professional guide ... and perfecting a spectacular collection" by Dr. James Mackay.