Last Updated on December 31, 2020 by Neil Mackengie
Stamp collecting, or philately, has been a hobby of millions of people all over the world for more than 100 years and the General Post Office has even established a special department to help stamp collectors! Of cours‹• many people collect stamps to make money. But you have to know a great deal about stamps to make big profits this way.
In fact, many “collectors” never make money on stamps because they have mistaken ideas about them. They may think age alone makes a stamp valuable. Or they may see a strange stamp and think it is scarce and, therefore, valuable.
Of course, the most valuable stamp is the rarest one, but age alone does not make it valuable. The famous Cape Triangle is a case in point. In 1861, the South African Post Office found that they were running out of stamps and there was no sign of the new supplies, so they arranged for a local firm to print enough stamps to last until they arrived.
There was a mistake in the color printing and the result was the One Penny Blue which should have been red and the Four Penny Red which should have been blue! Later, when the story came out, these stamps were discovered to be extremely rare and worth a small fortune.
The Cape Triangle was the result of a printing mistake sometimes the scarcity is man-made. A famous dealer in the 1870s decided to buy up enormous quantities of certain varieties and destroy them. Today, these stamps are worth two or three times as much as other common stamps of the period.
What Stamps Are Rare To Look For?
As Philately Readies Itself For A Major Reveal, We Look Back At 10 Of The Rarest Stamps In American History.
1. The Inverted Jenny.
2. 1847 Issue Block of 16 of Ben Franklin.
3. Almanac Stamp of 1765 or 1766.
4. ‘Blue Boy’ Alexandria Postmaster’s Provisional.
5. 1869 Pictorials—Inverted Center Errors.
6. Two-Cent Blue Hawaiian Missionary.