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Sweden: The Most Expensive and Valuable Stamps

December 14, 2019

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Since 1855, Sweden has been issuing its own postage stamps, and in 1875 it has become a member of the Universal Postal Union. By the 18th century, the postal service was already operating throughout the country. For letters, stamps depicting the crown were used, and at the end of the 17th century, a stamp with the name of the capital city was introduced in Stockholm. From the middle of the next century, they started to attach a bird’s feather to letters to notify postal employees of the need for urgent delivery of the item. At present, Swedish stamp collectors are served by a separate department of the country's postal service. In Sweden, special informational sheets report on each new issued stamp in three languages – English, French, and German. This information is accompanied by color illustrations and such resources are published 15-20 times per year. In addition, an annual specialized catalog of stamps of the Scandinavian countries and an illustrated price list are published.


1855 Treskilling Yellow

Price realized: $2,600,000

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David Feldman’s image.

This absolutely beautiful stamp was released in Sweden. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is the most famous stamp in the world know to everybody in the philatelic community. The cost of this piece is approximately 2.6 million US dollars. The rarity of this stamp lies in the fact that a mistake was made when printing one of the batches of such stamp, and the blue piece turned yellow. Only a few such pieces have been issued, and now one of them is the rarest lot in the world.


1855 Imperforate Stamp

Price realized: $35,242

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Postiljonen AB's image.

The next lot exists only in 4 copies. The beauty of it lies in the particularly precise margins with no perforation. The philatelic community was unaware of the existence of this specimen until 1949 when one of the writers mentioned that such a rare stamp was found.


1944 Block

Price realized: $23,300

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Christoph Gaertner's image.

This block of 10 stamps has never been issued by the Swedish postal service. As a rule, stamps with a nominal value of 3.20 kronor were used. However, the series with a new nominal value was printed but not put into circulation. This is the only block known to exist.


1918 King Gustav V

Price realized: $10,000

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Spink’s image.

The stamps of this series show a portrait of one of the most contradictory figures in the history of the country. After the death of the king, his portrait in the design was updated and an image of a lion was added to it. This lot was realized by Spink back in 2008.


1879 Dies Error

Price realized: $9,420

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Postiljonen's image.

This stamp of 1879 has an error in the inscription, which made it very valuable. In particular, this stamp with a face value of 20 ore contains an error in the inscription of the face value – it says “thirty” instead of “twenty”.


1855 Treskilling Green

Price realized: $8,500

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Spink’s image.

In 1855, the country issued its first postage stamps depicting the Swedish coat of arms of five denominations. The 3-skilling one shown above was printed in blue-green. Stamps of this series are not rare, but since the lot shown above has a mistake (“toe” instead of “tre”), it significantly affected its value.


1921 Violet Stamp

Price realized: $3,500

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Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions' image.

This beautiful violet stamp was sold at one of Daniel F. Kelleher's auctions in 1921. It is known that such stamps were used throughout nine years. Since there were not many designs and nominal values used, it was decided to distinguish stamps through the use of different main colors.


1920 Blue Stamp

Price realized: $2,000

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Robert A Siegel's image.

The stamps of this series were put into circulation in 1920, and they were printed throughout that year. Apart from the historical value of this lot, an experienced collector with a good eye might notice how differently the design is centered. This peculiarity made the stamp not only rare but also valuable.


1855 Treskilling Green

Price realized: $1,800

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Rare green treskilling sold at an online stamp auction of rare stamps.

This stamp was sold at one of online stamp auctions for $1,800. In particular, this is the postage stamp of Sweden - the extinguished green tre skilling of 1855. If it was a different color, the price for it would have increased a thousand times. This postage stamp is one of Sweden's first stamps and it was printed in blue-green. However, due to a typographical error, the same stamp but in yellow appeared, which is known in a single copy, is now the unique, incredibly expensive Swedish stamp.


1920 Orange Stamp

Price realized: $1,300

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Daniel F. Kelleher's image.

This rare piece was issued in 1920 in series of three different stamps with various nominal values. Only one hundred copies were released that year. The year 1920 was the year when airmail started to function in the country. Since there were no specialized stamps to use, it was decided to utilize regular postage stamps.