IF you’ve got an old stamp collection taking up space in your attic it may be worth dusting it off as you could be sitting on a small fortune.
Stamp collecting was once a hugely common popular hobby but its popularity has declined over the years as a rise in modern technology has taken over the use of letters.
Do you have a stamp in your collection that could be worth up to £550,000?
But those who’ve clung onto their old stamp collections could end up laughing all the way to the bank if they’ve chosen wisely.
Many of the most valuable stamps in the world were issued in the UK.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in possession of one of the rarest, you could earn yourself up to £500,000 by trading it in.
We’ve rounded-up eight of the rarest and most valuable.1. Plate 77 Penny Red – worth £550,000
A rare version of the Plate 77 Penny Red stamp sold for £550,000 in 2012
The Plate 77 Penny Red is currently the most expensive stamp that trader Stanley Gibbons has ever sold, with a rare version going for £550,000 back in 2012.
Although around two billion Penny Reds were printed, the most valuable are from plate 77, issued in 1863.
The test sheets for this version came out with imperfections and were destroyed.
But a small number of the stamps ended up being circulated.
Four mint condition stamps and five used stamps are the only confirmed ones in existence.
So if you happen to have a Penny Red, get out a magnifying glass and double check it just in case.
You can usually find the plate numbers printed in the middle of the left and right side markings – but you’re unlikely to be able to see these with the naked eye.2. Edward VII 6d Pale Dull Purple I.R. Official – worth £400,000
One of these stamps sold for £400,000 in 2010
One Edward VII 6d Pale Dull Purple I.R. Official stamp, which was withdrawn almost as soon as it was issued in 1904, sold for £400,000 in 2010.
Only a limited number of the stamp were ever printed, so it’s about as scarce as it gets.
Vince Cordell of Stanley Gibbons said the stamp is a “great departmental rarity”.3. Roses Error stamp – worth £130,000
There are only three of these stamps printed and the Queen has two of them
Some of the most valuable stamps started off as big mistakes. This is the case for the Roses Error stamp released in 1978.
Three of these were incorrectly printed with the 13p price missing.
The Queen owns two and the third is estimated to be worth £130,000.4. Edward VII 2d Tyrian Plum – worth £102,000
The majority of these stamps were destroyed when the King pictured on them died
The Tyrian Plum stamp was released during King Edward VII’s reign.
One hundred thousand sheets were produced, a total of 24,000,000 stamps in 1910, but the King died a short time later and they were never sold.
Most were destroyed, but one of the few that remains was sold for £102,000 at Spink auction house.5. Penny Black – worth £45,000
The Penny Black is the world’s first stamp
The Penny Black was the world’s first stamp and is hands down one of the most sought after stamps in the world.
Created back in 1840, around 68million of these were produced.
“This is probably the most iconic stamp in the world,” explains Mr Cordell.
“The Penny Black was part of the uniform penny postage system that brought about a social revolution. It’s not rare if used, but it’s extremely rare in perfect mint condition.”
A well-preserved version sold for £45,000 at Spink auction house in 2017.6. 1884 £1 Brown Lilac stamp – worth £21,000
A mint condition version of this stamp sold for £21,000
This 1884 stamp is one of the rarest from the Victorian era. Those that feature the original gum – the adhesive on the back that helps it stick to an envelope or package – are the most coveted.
A mint condition version is listed on the Stanley Gibbons website for £21,000.7. The Two Penny Blue – worth £10,000
The Two Penny Blue is the world’s second stamp
This was the world’s second official postage stamp and is almost identical to the Penny Black.
Mr Cordell describes the Two Penny Blue as “much underrated in comparison to its commoner sibling”.
As it was only around for a short time, there were fewer in circulation.
The scarcest are the first edition versions of the stamp, issued in 1840.
You’ll know if you have a first edition because these have no white lines above and below Queen Victoria’s profile.
These are estimated to be worth up to £10,000.8. Postal Union Congress £1 stamp – worth £1,000
This stamp, which is considered to be a “design classic”, can sell for £1,000
Known as one of the most beautiful UK stamps ever released, the Postal Union £1 stamp came out in 1929.
“It was vilified by the press and collectors alike at the time,” Mr Cordell said. But he adds that it’s now considered a “design classic”.
The Postal Union Congress stamp was only the second British commemorative stamp ever issued.
Standard versions of the stamp can sell for around £1,000.
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The rocketing price of stamps has resulted in a boom in secondhand stamps being sold on eBay.
But it’s not just stamps that could be worth a pretty penny. We’ve also put together a list of the rarest and most valuable British coins.
We’ve also found seven rare Star Wars figurines that could be worth up to £265.
Do you have any of these rare 2p coins worth up to £56 in your pocket?
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