Most valuable Chinese stamps

that may still be on one of your family letters

For stamp lovers, rare postage stamps are always their target, as their value increase each year. And Chinese stamps are among some of the most famous, rare, and valuable stamps in the world. China has issued a great number of interesting and charming philatelic during its history. Some of these stamps are very rare today and may bring a real fortune to some lucky stamps collectors. We would like to present you the list of the top 10 rare and valuable China stamps that everyone interested in philately should know.

MOST VALUABLE CHINESE STAMPS

  • The Whole Country is Red, 1968 stamp

    The Whole Country is Red, 1968

    $1,150,000

    The Whole Country is Red is a valuable Chinese stamp issued on 1968. The stamp has such a name due to a slogan that it contains. The item represents Mao’s enormous political revolution that imposed China’s commitment to Communism. The stamp strengthened that notion by declaring the phrase: ‘the whole country is red’. It featured an army of smiling Chinese citizens holding Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, a symbol of communism. Although the overall design of this philatelic item was made in red colour, the small island of Taiwan, to the right, was left in white. That is why this stamp is so valuable, as it contains a design mistake! Once the mistake was detected, the stamp was quickly withdrawn from the market. It is not known how many error stamps are left, but they are definitely extremely rare. One of the specimens of The Whole Country is Red has fetched $1,15m at a May 21 auction in Beijing.

  • Red Revenue chinese Stamp

    Red Revenue Stamp

    $900,000

    Red Revenue Stamp is widely thought to be one of the rarest stamps in China. There are only 32 items were issued and they are preserved till today. The stamps were printed at the historically meaningful span of time. They were issued under the Qing dynasty when it switched China’s currency to dollars. A stamp was made to commemorate it, with a dollar imprint. 

    Due to some mistake, the dollar was printed too small and lately it was replaced with a larger image. The stamp with a smaller imprint is very valuable today and has been recently sold for $900,000 at auction.

  • Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head, 1864 stamp

    Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head, 1864

    $824,648

    The Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head was issued in 1864 with the face value of 96 Hong Kong cents. Today this interesting philatelic item is thought to be one of the most expensive Chinese stamps. Initially the item should have been printed in a brownish-grey tone. But due to some error the 52 of the overall number were printed in olive color. The watermark was wrongly styled, and the word "CC" was printed in the wrong place. Today only 40 pieces of the Olive-colored Queen Victoria's Head can be found, but there is only one block of four such stamps existing.  It was auctioned for US $824,648, setting a record in the history of Hong Kong stamp auctions. The auction was organized by Spink on January, 2012.

  • The Inverted Sun Yat-sen chinese stamp

    The Inverted Sun Yat-sen

    $707,000

    The Inverted Sun Yat-sen stamps feature Sun Yat-sen who was considered to be China’s “Father of the Nation”. The stamps were issued in 1941, but only one sheet of fifty has inverted portraits. Nowadays only two pairs of these error stamps are known to exist and this fact make them so valuable in the eyes of stamp collectors. One of the Inverted Sun Yat-sen pair fetched $707,000 at an auction.

  • Large Dragon chinese stamp

    Large Dragon stamp

    $499,000

    The large dragon was perhaps China’s first ever stamp. It was introduced when China’s modern mail service started in 1878. With these stamps the letters were delivered to the average people. Before it the correspondence was possible only in the army. Three stamps were issued that are collectively known as the “large dragons”. Different coloured dragons represented different values, including 1, 3, and 5. Once called the "most expensive Chinese stamps in the Western Hemisphere," the stamps were sold at Sotheby's Auction in London in 1991 to a Hong Kong philatelist at a price of $499,000.

  • The Red Maiden in the Green Robe chinese stamp

    The Red Maiden in the Green Robe

    $444,477

    Also known as a 2-cent Small Figure Surcharged on Red Revenue Stamps in Green, the Red Maiden in the Green Robe is considered to be one of the most interesting Chinese philatelic items. The stamp was issued during the Qing Dynasty. As it was the time for currency reform, the stamps with a face value in silver could not be printed and issued anymore. That is why the “temporary” stamp was designed – the Red Revenue stamp was imprinted with a green ink. The philatelists and historians assert that there are only nine such stamps remain undestroyed. In December 2004, one of such stamps was sold for US $444,477 in Hong Kong.

  • Blue Military chinese stamp

    Blue Military stamp

    $430,000

    Blue Military stamps were designed and issued to the soldiers who were on active duty so that they can use them to send letters. Shortly after the stamps were issued, the authorities realized the paper was slightly transparent and it might be a risk of confidential information being leaked out. As a consequence, all mint stamps were ordered to be destroyed and only a small part that had been in use was preserved. A small number of them still survive until today. The Blue Military stamp was auctioned for $430,000 in 2011.

  • 1915 China 'Classics' invert stamp

    1915 China 'Classics' invert

    $250,000

    1915 China 'Classics' invert is a magnificent example of a rare and valuable Chinese stamp. The Hall of Classics stamp is part of a lengthy set first issued in the form of a London printing in 1913. Small characteristics of the various printings distinguish what are otherwise identical designs. The 1913 London printing was followed by a 1915 first Peking printing, which produced the error stamp that is extremely valuable and rare. Only around 30 examples of these stamps are known today. One of the specimens was sold for $250,000 at Cherrystone auction.

  • 1980 Red Monkey chinese stamp

    1980 Red Monkey stamp

    $184,000

    1980 Red Monkey stamp is the most popular stamp in China. It was issued to celebrate the year of the Golden Monkey in 1980. Featuring a strong red background, this item changed a traditional design for Chinese stamps. The stamp also showcases a colourful surprised-looking monkey! Due to its cute design 1980 Red Monkey stamp has become one of the most popular philatelic items and holds its status till today. However, its unique design makes it a must-have for any philatelist. The set of Red Monkey stamps was sold for a record $184,000 at a Hong Kong auction in 2011. 

  • Theatrical Masks of the Beijing Opera chinese stamp

    Theatrical Masks of the Beijing Opera

    $125,000
    Rarities of the People’s Republic of China include a number of stamps that for one reason or another were prepared but not issued, and survive only in tiny numbers. One such case was a set of eight Theatrical Masks of the Beijing Opera, printed in 1964. These are quiet rare and are currently selling at minimum $125,000 if to be come across. 
    So, this was the list of top ten rarest Chinese stamps. Each postage stamp tells a story of its culture, political status, or the notable events of its time. Currently, the values of Chinese stamps are on the rise which makes it even more exciting to collect them. As you can see, Chinese stamps are great items to collect or invest in.