Most valuable Swedish stamps
that may still be on one of your family letters
One of the world's most stable, prosperous countries, Sweden needs no introduction, particularly to philatelists. Both historical and contemporary collectors’ Swedish stamps are highly sought after. This beautiful country has a long postal history that is why it is not surprising that it can offer many options for collectors who are interested in different branches of philately. The local name of the country is Sverige and its stamps offer endless possibilities for collectors. There are many reasons for beginning a Sweden collection — because of its wealth of unique and interesting issues, the more collectible Sweden stamps are consistently strong performers at auctions. Sweden is also a great country to specialize in if you are interested in Scandinavian history or simply appreciate the beauty of a good design.
MOST VALUABLE SWEDISH STAMPS
Treskilling Yellow stamp, 1855$2,600,000
Treskilling Yellow, 1855 is the rarest Swedish stamp and one of the most valuable stamps in the world. This unique philatelic item was released in 1855 and nowadays only one example is known to exist. This famous stamp is the result of an error in printing. Originally, the 3 skilling stamps were printed in green, but one sheet got accidentally printed in yellow, which was the colour for the 8 skilling stamps!
In 1886 Treskilling Yellow was part of Georg Wilhelm Backman`s collection of in 1886, who discovered it in his grandmother's attic and quickly recognized its rarity. Since then, the stamp has fetched record prices each time it has come up for auction. The most famous sale of the Treskilling Yellow was at an auction conducted by David Feldman. In November 1996, a consortium of buyers purchased the Tre Skilling Yellow for $2.3 million! The most recent sale took place in in Geneva in 2010. It was sold to a group of mystery buyers in a telephone auction for $2,6 million.
6 Skilling Banco Imperforate, 1855$35,242
6 Skilling Banco Imperforate is a wonderful Swedish stamps that is also considered to be a great rarity. There are only 4 copies with a full canc. "CARLSHAMN 6.7 1856" exist today. One of the most beautiful examples of these stamps was sold for $35,242 by Postiljonen AB in March, 2011. The stamp featured very good margins all around, which guarantees that it was originally imperforate. This copy was not documented until January 1949, when Nils Strandell wrote about it in Frimärksnytt No. 1. Besides a pair in a private collection, one copy is held by the Swedish Postal Museum and another one by the British Museum in the Tapling Collection. Thus this is the best of only 2 single copies available to private col- lectors.
Sweden’s Horses stamp booklet, 1994$23,300
Sweden’s Horses stamp booklet, 1994 is a relatively modern philatelic rarity of Sweden. This is the only known example of Sweden’s 1994 Horses stamp booklet printed with denominations of 3.60 kronor on each of the 10 stamps. The standard booklet of 10 consists of five stamps each of two Horses designs with 3.20k denominations. This unique variety was never issued, but the single example in this auction survived. The booklet cover is also unique, in that it describes the 3.60k stamps and is printed in two colors. The booklet is offered by Christoph Gaertner`s auction during its June 11-15 sale. This unique philatelic item is to fetch $23,300 as Gaertner estimates.
80ö Black King Gustav V stamp, 1918$10,000
80ö Black King Gustav V stamp, 1918 is one of the key rarities of Swedish philately. The stamp features the facing portrait of King Gustaf V who reigned from 1907 until his death in 1950 at the age of 92. He is also possibly the most controversial Swedish monarch to reign in the 20th Century. After this issue, Sweden turned to a lion design and a new portrait of Gustav V. After printing all copies of this bright stamp were delivered to the Post Office at Varnamo on 2 July 1918. That is why these stamps are also known as “Varnamo” issue. The strip of three 80ö Black King Gustav V stamps, incredibly well centered, in an extremely fine condition was auctioned for $10,000 by Spink on May 16, 2008.
20/TRETIO error stamp, 1879$9,420
20/TRETIO error stamp, 1879 is one of the most famous Swedish error stamps. Issued in 1879 it clearly shows its value as 20 ore in figures, but the inscription on the stamp reads 'TRETIO', meaning thirty in Swedish. Twenty in Swedish is 'TJUGO', which is the value that should have been inscribed on the stamp. The mistake arose in the use of the wrong die in laying down the plate. The central value shown as a numeral and the outer part of the stamp with the value in words would have been entered onto the plate using two separate dies which became mixed up. A wonderful unused copy in perfect centering of this famous error was offered for $9,420 at Postiljonen auction on October 10, 2009.
Tre Skilling Green, 1855$8,500
Tre Skilling Green, 1855 is a cousin of the stamp known as 'the most precious item in the world'. It is the first postage stamp issued in Sweden. It depicts the Swedish coat of arms and was normally printed in a blue-green color. Although the Tre Skilling Green is a rare stamp in its own right, by far its most remarkable quality is its relation to another stamp which needs no introduction among philatelists.
However, there are some varieties of Tre Skilling Green, 1855 that have some errors. One of such stamps is 1855 3s Blue green with "TOE" for "TRE" error. It is a rare unused example of this important issue, in fact, it is the only recorded unused example according to the Facit catalog. The stamp is also considered to be a highly desirable example of one of Sweden's most important classic rarities. This particular item was sold for $8,500 by Spink on May 16, 2008.
Gustav V 20ö violet stamp, 1921$3,500
Gustav V 20ö violet, 1921 is one of Sweden's rarest stamps. It is one of twenty-five major-type definitive stamps of Sweden issued between 1921 and 1936. The stamps are all engraved. There are actually not that many denominations in this series. Due to the fact that this series was issued over such a long period of time, there was a need for major color changes, causing duplication of many of the denominations. The common design features a left-facing portrait of King Gustaf V. One of the finest examples of this stamp featuring fresh colors, fine, unpriced in Facit, was sold for $3,500 by Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions in October, 2011. This particular specimen misses from most collections and considered to be one of Sweden's rarest stamps.
20ö Blue Gustaf V stamp, 1920$2,000
20ö Blue Gustaf V stamp, 1920 is one of the major-type definitive stamps of Sweden issued between 1920 and 1921. The stamps are all engraved. The common design features a facing portrait of King Gustaf V. 20ö Blue Gustaf V stamp is one of the rarest 20th century stamps of Sweden. Very fine example of this great philatelic item, printed on watermarked paper, was sold for $2,000 by Robert A Siegel on 27 June, 2013. Centered to top left as are all known examples of this stamp, with this copy actually better centered than the vast majority, this item is a real philatelic gem for collectors.
20ö on 2ö Orange Air Post stamp, 1920$1,300
20ö on 2ö Orange stamp, 1920 is a rare Air Post stamp only 100 copies of which were printed. These issues were intended to pay either an airmail fee that was charged in addition to the surface rate or the full airmail. When the service started in August 1920, no specific airmail stamps were available and regular postage stamps were used. When a new connection linking Malmo with Copenhagen, Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam and, finally, London was opened, the Swedish Post Office issued a set of three airmail stamps on Sept. 18, 1920. The 20-öre stamp was the second of three denominations. One of such stamps featuring bright and fresh colors was sold for $1,300 at Keller Action that took place in October, 2011.
20ö Blue Gustavus II Adolphus stamp, 1920$1,250
20ö Blue Gustavus II Adolphus stamp, 1920 is a rare commemorative stamp of Sweden issued to celebrate the achievements of great Swedish monarch the 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Post, which ran between Stockholm and Hamburg. This honorable king is considered to be the founder of Sweden as a Great Power, and he is regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time. The stamps were issued in three formats, a perforated 10 vertically coil stamp on unwatermarked paper, a perforated 10 vertically coil stamp on watermarked paper, and a perforated 10 booklet stamp on watermarked paper, as shown above. The stamps featured the left-facing likeness of Gustavus II Adolphus. The rare watermark variety of 20ö Blue Gustavus II Adolphus stamp was auctioned for $1,250 by Spink on May 16, 2008.