Most expensive German stamps
that you probably inherited
It is widely known that Germans are among the most devoted stamp collectors. Today Germany owns ten largest stamp auction houses that make approx. over $300 million in annual business. Many rare and precious German stamps were destroyed in the multitude of wars and strife from the early and middle of the 20th century. But many of the stamps have been preserved and are very popular among stamp collectors. We invite you to get acquainted with ten most expensive and rare stamps issued by Germany during different stages of its development.
MOST VALUABLE GERMAN STAMPS
Baden 9 Kreuzer error stamp, 1851$1,545,000
Baden 9 Kreuzer Error is the most valuable German stamp with only 4 specimens left to exist today. The error that makes this stamp so valuable consists in the following: it was supposed to be printed in pink but a few sheets were printed in green. As the Postal Service explained, the printer had unintentionally used the wrong plate for the green paper: instead of a "9" he had read a "6". This adds to the history and rarity of these stamps. The usual explanation for the occurrence of this error is that the printing plate was accidentally inverted, however, this theory cannot be correct because the stamp was produced in a single printing. A famous Baden 9 Kreuzer worth sold for $1,545,000 by David Feldman on April 3, 2008.
Audrey Hepburn stamp$516,946
Audrey Hepburn stamp is quite rare modern German stamp. More than 14 million copies of these interesting stamps were issued but only two sheets of 30 copies survived. The other items were destroyed in connection with the fact that the son of the actress took the rights to publish it. He decided to do so because his mother appeared on the stamp with a cigarette in her mouth. And also apart from this several copies of the stamp appeared on the envelopes - there are known at least four such cases. How exactly did this happen - remain unexplained. A rare sheet of 10 Audrey Hepburn stamps was sold for $516,946 in 2010.
Although Togo is a country in West Africa, once it was a German colony. Established trading posts and docks here in the 1880’s, German created their coastal towns that were used as a harbor for German travelers, explorers, and even the military. The stamps that were issued here are quite rare, but only few are very expensive. For example, this Togo 10 pfenning stamp issued in 1911 is worth $100,000.
"Kerstfest" error stamp, 2016$60,085
German 2016 "Kerstfest" stamp error is one more German philatelic rarity. Just before being issued, this stamp was noticed to have a serious error. The Dutch word "Kerstfest" was spelt totally wrong - it should have been be "Vrolijk kerstfeest" . Due to a spelling error in the Dutch sentence the entire printing run was rejected and the stamps were reprinted with the correct spelling. Today the value of the error stamp is around $60,085.
One kreuzer black$48,012
The One kreuzer black, or Schwarzer Einser, was the first postage stamp issued in the Kingdom of Bavaria. The stamp was designed by Johann Peter Haseney and issued on 1 November 1849. Although around 832,500 copies were printed, almost all items were removed from the postal circle in October 1851. Some of the stamps remained valid for postage until 31 August 1864.
Schwarzer Einser is designed in black and in the center is a large numeric denomination, but lately the other varieties of these unique stamps emerged due to the damage to the engraving press and engraving itself, such as color dots and damaged angles. Nowadays the value of One kreuzer black is approx. $48,012.
Kaiser Wilhelm invert$40,200
Kaiser Wilhelm invert is a rare inverted-center error with the face value of 5-mark was issued during World War I. It features a red vignette of Kaiser Wilhelm II speaking before a crowd, surrounded by a fancy slate-colored frame. Nowadays there are only 27 inverted centers stamps are known and they were found in the town of Stralsund. Some other stamps appeared in Hamburg and only two used examples from Hamburg are thought to have survived. One of such stamps that was described by auction house as “one of the greatest rarities in German philately” was sold for about $40,200 in Wurttembergisches Auktionhaus sale.
Olympic Games semipostal$22,460
A 60-pfennig+30-pfennig Olympic Games semipostal stamp was printed in 1980, but it was immediately withdrawn before the issuance day. It was caused by the boycott that happened during the Summer Games in Moscow to protest Soviet military action in Afghanistan. The boycott was joined by West Germany. A few of the unissued stamps in the possession of a German postal official were accidentally used on mail and later recovered by collectors. The example on offer is neatly postmarked and offered with bidding to start at $22,460.
Imperforate Baden 3-kreuzer rose$19,300
An imperforate Baden 3-kreuzer rose is an attractive and collectible example of this seldom-seen old German rarity. The stamp is designed in pale rose shade and missed its perforations. Only the limited quantity of such stamps was sent to the post office in the small town of Stokach. Some 23 examples have survived. This particular item was first recorded in 1935. It features a double-ring “Stockach/28 Dez.” postmark and has full to large margins on three sides. The lot fetched about $19,300 at Gaertner auction in 2015.
Sachsen 3 Pfennige red$8,000
Issued in 1850, Sachsen 3 Pfennige red is one of the rarest of classical European stamps. Commonly known as Sachendreier this stamp is a real philatelic gem. Only a small number of these stamps were issued on mail. Many of these stamps were also destroyed, as a result of being used to seal newspaper wrappers. As it is widely thought no more than 4,000 copies exist today. This is also one of the most forged of the classical European stamps, most notably by Fournier. It is worth around $8000.
50 million mark stampHistorical value
German 50,000,000 mark stamp is not only rare but also historically important. This is a great example the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic of Germany from about 1915-1924. The stamp was bought by Ross Baker for 50,000,000 marks – and it was one of the most expensive stamps at that period of time. Although nowadays the value of this stamp is quiet low, that price that it was bought for and the historical importance makes it one of the most interesting stamps ever issued by German Post.