9 Most Amazing and Rare German Stamps (2023)

Rare German stamps have a long and incredible history. Several periods in Germany’s history produced a few of the most valuable rare stamps in the world.

Today, Germany is home to the ten largest stamp auction houses, producing over $300 million in revenue annually.

A few of the most expensive stamps are valuable because they were printed in the wrong color. A mistake that would be worth a massive amount of money later on.

Know Your Rare German Stamps

Some of these stamps have lasted through World War II, making them incredibly rare and of high value. But knowing which stamps are of collector status and worth more than face value can be challenging.

Out of the top four most valuable European stamps in the world, the German Baden 9 Kreuzer makes the cut. It’s no British Guiana 1-cent Magenta but still worth a fortune.

But not all valuable rare stamps come from a pre-war error. They can be divided into sections with stamps as recent as 2016 holdingtremendous value.

Rare German Stamps of the Late 1800s

It would help if you went back to the 1800s to find the rarest stamps of German philately. 1849 and 1850 are the start of our quest for valuable German stamps.

One of the first German stamps coveted by devoted stamp collectors is the1849 One KreuzerBlack, valued at$45,000. It’s also commonly referred to as the Schwarzer Einser.

Originally 832,000 stamps were printed, but almost all were taken out of circulation by 1851, leaving only a few rarities for collectors and Philatelists to scavenge.

1849 One Kreuzer – $45,000

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Just a year before, in 1850, theSachsen 3 Pfennigewas released. With up to 4,000 copies existing today, one stamp is worth$38,000. These would be most comparable to the Great Britain Penny Reds.

Sachsen 3 Pfennige – $38,000

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But 1851 is a special year. This is the year the first stamp of a particular type would be produced and later worth an insane amount of money.

Baden 9 Kreuzer Error – $1,545,000

This is the famousBaden 9 Kreuzer error. Because only an estimated four copies of this stamp are left worldwide, it has been valued at$1,545,000.

The error that made them so valuable was a mixup during stamp printing, where the sixth and ninth plate numbers were. These stamps were printed green instead of pink.

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So how could a simple error make it so valuable?

Only a few stamps were printed before the error was resolved. But the Baden 9 Kreuzer wasn’t the only interesting stamp from this period. Several other valuable stamps of Germany are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Oldenburg ⅓ GR Black – $395,000

Eight years later, in 1859 came theOldenburg ⅓ GR Blackalso was issued green. What makes this stamp so attractive is its design.

The Oldenburg issue stamps feature a crown on the top ofThe Arms of Oldenburgsymbol. Ribbons spiral underneath with denominations and the name of the duchy.

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While there is predicted to be a block of unused stamps out there, there are also the 12 vintage stamps at Heinrich Koehler’s auction as a part of the Erivian Collection in June 2019.

Today, these collectible stamps in good condition are valued at$390,000.

Old Stamps of the 1900s and 2000s

The 1800s offered a lot for German stamp collectors, and the 1900s to 2000s saw no difference.

In 1947 the Deutsche Bundespost became the second-largest federal employee of its time. It was a state-run post service selling many of the stamps we will come to know.

However, a few essential stamps still occurred before that inception.

Rare German Stamps of the Germania Series

The Germania Series takes place between 1905 and 1922. They are attractive because they were the longest-kept series to date.

They also remained stable during the German Empire and the Weimar Republic political periods.

Three Stages of The German Empire Stamps

The first design was the Reichspost, but it would soon change toDeutsches Reichin 1902. Aside from the obvious lettering on the bottom, the stamp would change from red to yellowish-brown. The numerals also featured a three instead of a ten.

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The Deutsches Reich in 1920 had a 2-mark stamp featuring a quatrefoil watermark, making it an incredibly rare stamp. It’s now valued at$65,500.

The Third Reich or German Reich stamps would keep the last name butchangeto an orange print with numerals seven. These would be the three stages of the Germania stamps.

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A brief introduction to the world’s most rare German stamps.

Revenue Stamps Value

Governments issue revenue stamps to collect taxes and fees. Sometimes called a tax stamp, fiscal stamp, or duty stamp, revenue stamps look similar to postage stamps, and in some countries, they can be used interchangeably.

Revenue stamps were used for tobacco, hunting licenses, and even playing cards in the United States.

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Germany also used revenue stamps to pay dues to the political party in power. The Third Reich period saw hundreds of uses for revenue stamps, including stamping.

Interesting Audrey Hepburn Edition

Only two sheets survived out of the 14 million Audrey Hepburn commemorative postage stamps issued in 2001. Almost all copies of the stamp were purposefully destroyed because of wrongful publishing.

Now, a single mint example of the stamp is worth$176,000.

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The 2016 Kerstfest Stamp

The 2016 Kerstfest error stamp is a highly valuable stamp worth$112,000. One of the most obvious printing errors in all of stamp collecting.

Kerstfest was meant to be spelled Kestfeest. The entire stamp was spelled entirely wrong. Purposefully or accidentally, the misspelling of the Kerstfest created a six-figure collectible.

The 50,000,000 Mark

Thanks to the Weimer Republic, Germany experienced a terrible inflation issue from 1915 to 1924. So, in turn, they began issuing German stamps at the highest denominations they ever had before.

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The highest denomination to ever be issued was the 50 million mark stamp. This stamp today is valued very low but holds incredibly historic value.

It was valued relatively high and was bought by Ross Baker to signify the importanceof the time.

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The Reunification of 1990

After World War I, Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany. Until the reunification in 1990, different stamps were used for each side. In 1990, a single postage stamp was made to celebrate the reunification.

The words Deutsche Einheit, meaning German Unification, appeared on the stamp, along with the German flag.

The newly joined German states continued to be inscribed with the words Deutsche Bundespost from 1990 onward.

Frequently Asked Questions

While these are a few of the most talked-about German postage stamps, there are still quite a few more that have a significant face value and aredesirablefor private collections.

It’s easy to get mixed up knowing whether a stamp has collector’s value.

Are All Stamps From Germany During World War II Valuable?

Not all stamps from this period have value. Many stamps were issued during WWII, and most stamps with significant financial value were well before the war or long after.

Online auction sites like eBay featurehundredsof German stamps, some for just a couple of dollars each.

If you’re looking to get started in German stamp collecting, this might be your first place to look.

The more valuable stamps are the German Inflation stamps. As mentioned above, the 50 Million Mark stamp is one of the rarest stamps in the world but hashistoricalvalue rather than face value.

Other Valuable Rare German Stamps

1901 Violet Surcharge “Vineta” Provisional – $17,000

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1900 Allemagne Deutsches Reich – $13,500

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1930 ‘Burg Rheinstein’ German Stamp – $13,000

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1875 Deutsche Reichs German Stamp – Post Office Fresh Condition – $4,300

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MNH Germany Semi-Postal Overprint Stamp 1935 – $600

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Vintage Bavaria Stamps From the 1800s – $450

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Berlin Stamp Booklet – $300

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Other Stamps Around the World Worth Money

The most expensive stamps in the world are worth millions.

British Guiana 1c Magenta

$9.48 Million

The British Guiana 1c Magenta is the most expensive stamp in the world. No other stamps come close to it. There was a 1-cent and a 4-cent denomination, both set on magenta paper and imperforate for later cutting.

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Treskilling Yellow

This stamp comes from Sweden, where the error is referred to as the three-schilling banco error of color.

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The Sicilian Error of Color

This Italian stamp had many errors, but along with the Treskilling Yellow, it had a color error resulting in a blue stamp rather than yellow.

$2.6 Million

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How can I Tell If I Have a Valuable Stamp?

A good start is to check the date and what material was used. Next, find out when the stamp was printed. Whether it is U.S. Stamps, German Stamps, or rare old stamps from France, you’ll need to know the issue date first.

Identifying the stamp’s gum and the condition of the perforations will be an essential part of valuing a rare stamp. There is also an app that can help identify valuable stamps called The Stamp Manager.

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Tell Us What You Think –

What are your favorite rare German stamps?


How do I know if my postage stamps are valuable? ›

To get an accurate value for your collection or an individual stamp, it's best to consult professionals. The American Philatelic Society is a great collector's resource, and they even provide a directory of local dealers who can provide you with a professional appraisal.

What is the rarest stamp in the world? ›

In the 21st century, the British Guiana one-cent Black on Magenta postage stamp is known by many stamp collectors and philatelists as the world's rarest, most famous and most valuable stamp. It is considered a rare stamp that was issued in British Guiana (known today as Guyana) during 1856 in very limited numbers.

Which country stamps are most valuable? ›

The current record price for a single stamp is US$9,480,000 paid for the British Guiana 1c magenta. This list is ordered by consumer price index inflation-adjusted value (in bold) in millions of United States dollars in 2022.

Where are the rarest stamps from? ›

British Guiana One Cent Magenta

From 1852, the stamps used in British Guiana were produced by UK printers. The postmasters at this former British colony were required to request new stamps in advance of running out to give enough time for them to be printed and posted from the UK.

Is there a free app to scan stamps for value? ›

Designed for Android version 5.0+. Stamp Identifier is FREE to download. NOTE! Our app will quickly recognize ALL WORLD STAMPS ONLY IF you follow the instructions presented in it: fully crop the background and ensure image quality isn't poor.

What is the best way to sell old stamps? ›

Selling To A Collector

Selling directly to another stamp collector may provide you with the highest sale price for your stamps. You'll bypass dealer and auction mark-ups. To get the most out of your stamps, you can “piece out” the collection over time to several stamp collectors.

Are postage stamps still worth collecting? ›

For investing purposes, the value of stamps depends on demand, trends, origin, and condition of a stamp. Unused stamps are more valuable than used ones. However, if a stamp is very rare, it could be investment-grade even if its condition is less than perfect.

What is the world's oldest postage stamp? ›

This stamp, known as the Penny Black, was the world's first postage stamp. Before the postal reforms of 1840 sending a letter was expensive. The charge was for each sheet of paper that a letter comprised, and for the distance covered.

What is the most beautiful postage stamp in the world? ›

A Norwegian postage stamp depicting a snowy owl has been named the world's most beautiful design. Designed by artist Viggo Ree, the stamp was awarded the honour in Madrid last month. A jury consisting of around 40 internationally qualified philatelists evaluated stamps from all over the world in different classes.

What is the oldest forever stamp? ›

The first such stamp was unveiled on March 26, 2007, and went on sale April 12, 2007, for 41 cents (US$0.41). Termed the "Liberty Bell" stamp, it was marked "USA first-class forever".

Who buys rare valuable stamps? ›

Established in 1923, Mystic is the largest buyers of stamps and stamp collections in the US and a major buyer of coins. We spent over $70 million dollars in the past five years. We have cash now, and are looking for more collections to buy! a serious collector.

How do I know if my stamp is Z Grill? ›

"D” Grill - Has 15 vertical rows; "E" Grill - Has 14 vertical rows and the points run vertically, like this; IIII; "Z" Grill - Has 14 vertical rows and the points run horizontally, like this; ---- ; "F" Grill - Has 12 or 13 vertical rows (usually 12).

How much is a German stamp? ›

Deutsche Post said the cost of a stamp in Germany - 85 euro cents ($0.9357) for a standard letter - is below the European average despite relatively high salaries.

Do US stamps work in Germany? ›

The easiest way to send letters from the USA to Germany is with Global Forever Stamps for $1.50 each. You can also use regular, domestic forever stamps as long as they add up to $1.50. Extra postage is required over 1 ounce.

Is there an app to identify stamps? ›

Designed for Android version 5.0+. Stamp Identifier is FREE to download. NOTE! Our app will quickly recognize ALL WORLD STAMPS ONLY IF you follow the instructions presented in it: fully crop the background and ensure image quality isn't poor.

Are stamps from Czechoslovakia valuable? ›

The grass-green stamp of the Czechoslovak Post of 1919 with a face value of 4 crowns from a philatelist's private collection was sold at an auction in the Prague Municipal House for 7.8 million crowns. The starting price of the lot was 4 million crowns; experts estimated the stamp value at 5–7 million crowns.

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