Postage stamps came into existence over 300 years ago, and have undergone a huge evolution. Of course, the claim for being the inventor of the postage stamp is a highly debatable topic. Postage stamps depict a lot about the culture and history of the country, as well as many important events of the country or around the world. Here are some of the most expensive postage stamps, which are expensive due to their rarity as well as their historical importance.
British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta, Guiana Price: $850,000
This postage stamp was printed on magenta paper with black colour. The stamp attained an octagonal shape, due to the trimmed corners. The stamps were initialled by a post-office employee to prevent forgery. They were printed by a local press in Guiana, because of shortage of stamps, and also time, to get them delivered from Britain. They used to be priced at one to four cents.
The Three-Skilling Yellow, Sweden
Price: $3 million
The Three-Skilling Yellow or Treskilling yellow is the world’s highest priced single postage stamp. This stamp is another error postage stamp. Instead of its regular green colour, a printing mistake resulted in this stamp being printed in yellow in 1855. Only one surviving stamp with this error has been found till date. The sale price has crossed well over $3 million in 1996. It was resold in 2010 to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed amount. But the auctioneer declared that this Treskilling Yellow has become the most expensive single postage stamp in the world.
Inverted Jenny, United States
Price: $3 million
Inverted Jenny was the first air delivery stamp that was issued in 1918. Some of these stamps had the Jenny Plane upside down, which led to their name as the Inverted Jenny. They were a result of human error while passing the sheet for the second print of the image. Only a 100 of these rare misprints are available.
Penny Black, United Kingdom
Price: $5 million
Issued in 1840, Penny Black is distinguished as the first postage stamp in the world. Designed by Rowland Hill, the stamp was a part of his reform plans for the British postal system. Then valued at one penny, the stamp bore the sketch of Queen Victoria by William Wyon. That resulted in the stamps famous name as Penny Black. This stamp was in circulation and print for nine months from its date of inception.
Post Office Mauritius, Mauritius
Price: $1.67 million
Post office Mauritius is one of the error stamps issued by Mauritius, and the rarity of these stamps makes them one of the costliest. The stamps were designed by Joseph Barnard, which was more inspired by British stamps. The error in this stamp was the print “Post Office” instead of “Post Paid” due to an error in the printing plate. A total of 240 such stamps were printed, of which only 26 are known to have survived.