Are one penny stamps valuable?

Collectable one penny stamps are icons for stamp collectors because they are scarce nowadays. Gone are the days where stamps were common goods, and now they are collectable items. Moreover, most of the original plates for making the one penny stamps were destroyed. Therefore, the remaining few penny stamps keep on growing in price because of the demands from collectors.

Some of the most in-demand stamps by collectors are over one hundred years old and the cost of stamp transactions over the years has grown to the tune of millions of dollars per year.
It is not uncommon for one penny stamps to fetch as much as £500,000 for the readily available types.

Are Penny Stamps Valuable?

Imagine selling one old stamp for £500,000 in an auction? That’s a lot of money for a single old stamp. It is even harder to imagine that some kinds of one penny stamps can fetch several thousand dollars. Collectors take penny stamps seriously, and most of them are willing to pay a fortune for the rarest of them all. So, what makes one penny stamps so valuable?

The UK is home to the most popular penny stamps in the world. Several types of stamps are popular with the Plate 77 Penny Red, going for £550,000 in an auction because only a small number of the stamps were ever in circulation. Other penny stamps are less valuable, but still, fetch a pretty coin from collectors.

What is a Penny Black Stamp?

Penny Black Stamp
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The one penny stamp signifies advancement in the charges for parcels sent via the postal service. We cannot talk about one penny stamps without discussing the Penny Black, which was the first stamp in Britain. It is the most iconic stamp in the history of postal services in Britain. The design was simple, with a black background and the profile of Queen Victoria. The top part of the stamp had ‘POSTAGE’ written and ‘ONE PENNY’ at the bottom. The image of Queen Victoria was from when she was 15 years old, and it became the official image for the Penny Black.

It was released in 1840 when buying a stamp showed a prepayment for the parcel. The stamp had an adhesive on the back that made it easy for the buyer to stick it on the parcel. There were identifying numbers on the stamp that signified the sheet it was printed on. Some letters showed the position of the stamp on the printing sheet.

The printers produced at least 68 million Penny Black stamps within one year. They were readily available back in the day. The identifying letters determine how rare a Penny Black Stamp is. The most valuable stamps are the ones that were printed in 1840 and 1841 from 11 specific plates. A series of stamps from the plates can fetch a fortune since it is rare to find two or more stamps in series.

The stamp is worth around £45,000 when it is perfect mint condition without ever being used. In 2011, a Penny Black stamp was sold for $345,100 because it came from the first registration sheets that were printed in 1840. It was among the first batches of stamps ever produced in the world. The stamps are not that rare, but a series of used Penny Black stamps can fetch you a fortune. You can hold on to the stamp and sell it to another enthusiast who can keep the history alive by preserving the Penny Black stamps.

What is the Plate 77 Penny Red Stamp?

Peeny red 77 stamp
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The Plate 77 Penny Red is the rarest of stamps, and one of them went for £550,000 in 2012. The stamp is rare because the plates produced flawed stamps during the testing period. The stamps were destroyed, and only a small number made it into circulation. Therefore, only a handful of Plate 77 Penny Red stamps are confirmed to exist in the world. The remaining ones include four mint-condition stamps and five used ones.

There are other Penny Red one penny stamps available in the UK, however, the rare ones came from Plate 77. The Plate 77 Penny Red stamps were printed in 1863 with the intent of putting them in circulation. You can check old letters handed down through generations to see whether the Penny Red came from Plate 77. It would be best to use a magnifying glass to check the plate number on the left and right side markings.

The Plate 77 Penny Red stamp is similar to the Penny Black stamp, except it has a red background. All the other Penny Red stamps from other plates look similar to the Plate 77 print outs. You can always take your stamp to a collector to confirm which plate the stamp was used.

The Penny Venetian Red

Penny Venetian Red
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The Penny Venetian Red looks similar to the Penny Black postage stamp, except it has a Venetian red background. The margins are slightly different than those of the Penny Black and Red postage stamps. The stamp production ran from 1880 to 1881 and had a face value of one penny. It is collectable because only 1.5 million copies were made and circulated for a few months before the Penny Lilac stamp replaced it.

The Penny Lilac

Penny lilac
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In 1881, the Penny Lilac stamp was introduced to replace the Penny Venetian Red stamp. It was a complete overhaul from the previous stamps that were in circulation. The stamp replaced the corner letters with 14-26 dots on the margin for identifying the sheets. Also, it used a lilac colour that would run when anyone attempted to remove the cancellation mark. The inscription changed to ‘POSTAGE AND INLAND REVENUE’ at the top instead of ‘POSTAGE’ like the previous models. It had a face value of one penny, and the queen’s portrait featured a new oval frame, unlike the original square frame.

The King Edward VII Penny Red Stamp

Edward VII penny red stamp
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The stamp came into circulation in 1902 when the new king took reign from Queen Victoria. The portrait of The King had an oval frame that used Laurel leaves. The stamp reverted to the original red colours, and it didn’t come with the letters at the edges. The top of the stamp read ‘POSTAGE & REVENUE’ emitting the word ‘INLAND’ that was used previously on the Penny Lilac stamp. The stamp signified the beginning of a new era under new leadership. It is not highly valuable for collectors, but it has a rich history.

Why is The Penny Black More Valuable than the Penny Red?

The Penny Black stamp was in usage for 9-months before the Penny Red stamp came into use. Except for the Plate 77 Penny Red stamp that was destroyed, the other Penny Red stamps were in use for 13 years in the UK. Therefore, Penny Red stamps are more readily available than Penny Black stamps. An authentic Penny Black stamp costs more than an authentic Penny Red Stamp. Despite the lack of value for the average Penny Red stamp, some variations make the stamps collectable. The collectable Penny Red stamps that aren’t from plate 77 are worth a lot more than the average Penny Red. For example, the first Penny Red stamps had a black tint because they came from the plates that made the Penny
Black stamps. The red and black mixture makes the stamps highly collectable and valuable.

Which are the Most Valuable One Penny Stamps?

A few stamps fetch a sweet price for collectors who had the foresight to purchase them. Stamp collectors have the resilience to cling onto their old stamps until they are offered an irresistible price. The most valuable stamps that the collectors have are from the UK, depending on the day and year of issues. Although only a few have a price above £300,000, you can still make a fortune when you have a few valuable stamps.

According to Stanley Gibbons, the most valuable one penny stamps are the Plate 77 Penny Red and the Penny Black. The Plate 77 Penny Red is valuable because only a few units are available around the world. The Penny Black is popular because it is iconic in the history of stamps as the first stamp ever to be produced.

How Does a Penny Stamp Become a Collectable?

Regular stamps are not worth much because they look similar, however, collectable penny stamps always have an interesting story behind them. The most collectable penny stamps are the Penny Black and the Plate 77 Red Penny stamp. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other collectable stamps from the one penny stamps collection. Although they may not be as valuable as the ones above, they are still worth significantly more than the stamp’s face value.

There are a few factors that contribute to the collection of the one penny stamps. Understanding the factors that lead to a collection of one penny stamps places you in a better position to know your stamps’ worth. Here are the reasons why the other one penny stamps become collectables.

Plate Cancellation: Some plates did not meet the standards of a penny stamp, and they had to be destroyed. Some stamp plates were decommissioned a long time ago, making the existing stamps a rare commodity.

Two Colours: When the Penny Red went into circulation in 1841, it had two tones or a darker red tone. The stamp plates for producing the Penny Red stamps where the ones used in producing Penny Black stamps.

Errors: It is usual for errors to occur in any production process. The stamps with errors for the Penny Black and Red were marked for destruction. However, some of the stamps still made their way into circulations. The error marking makes the stamps unique from the other penny stamps and suitable for collecting.

Repairs: There were different results when the stamp plates underwent repairs due to wear and tear. Some stamps have faded numbers or letters, while others have unique markings from the stamp plates’ repairs. The repairs were necessary since the stamp plates were expected to last as long as possible before any replacements. Most collectors can identify the series with unique markings, letters, or numbers due to repairs and maintenance.

What is the Value of One Penny Stamps?

As covered above, very few types of one penny stamps are precious. Most of them are worth a few pounds because a lot of people still possess them. Therefore, it is possible to start a thriving stamp collection hobby without spending a lot of money. You can find old stamps that individuals removed from their relative’s old letters on resell sites such as eBay. Most of them can give you stamps for less than the market value.

Final Thoughts

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Don’t forget to check out our article on whether stamps are legal tender in the UK.

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