About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Here's why 'America’s most valuable postage stamp' from 1868 could fetch a record $5 million

There are believed to be only two of these stamps remaining, and the other one is at the New York Public Library.

Here's why 'America’s most valuable postage stamp' from 1868 could fetch a record $5 million
Cover Image Source: Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries

Collecting stamps is often seen as a passing hobby, but for some, it feels like collecting small pieces of history. In the world of valuable stamps, a 1-cent stamp has become the talk of the town. The 1868 stamp features Benjamin Franklin, and if reports are to be believed, it could fetch around 5 million dollars at auction. Moreover, the reason behind the hype is its rarity, as only two such stamps are known to exist. William H. Gross, the owner of the Z-grill stamp, is putting it up for auction. The other known stamp of the same series is currently at the New York Public Library. It was received as a donation in 1925.

Representational Image Source - Pexels I Photo by Bich Tran
Representational Image Source - Pexels I Photo by Bich Tran


This rare stamp will go under the hammer at the New York auction house and it's being hailed as “America’s Most Valuable Postage Stamp,” reported Smithsonian Magazine. The 1-cent “Z-grill” stamp has a mark inscribed into a postage stamp to prevent reuse. Interestingly, the Z-grill derives its name from the zig-zag pattern, which is one of the rarer grill shapes. There is no doubt that this 1-cent postage stamp will receive a flurry of potential buyers. One of the biggest reasons why these stamps are available in small numbers is the fact these were not circulated beyond 1870 and hence almost impossible to come across.


President of the Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Scott Trepel, explained the unique appeal of the stamps, "Most of [the Z-grill stamps] were 2-cent and 12-cent stamps. Some were 3-cent stamps. And very, very few were 1-cent, 10-cent and 15-cent stamps." Conducting the sale of the stamp, Siegel Auction Galleries has set the price at around 4 to 5 million. This could well become one of the most expensive US postage stamps of all time.


This special auction is set to take place on June 14 this year and if all goes well, the stamp could be breaking records. Stamp collection has seen a recent surge during the pandemic. The American Philatelic Society Executive Director, Scott English, claimed that sales almost doubled compared to the previous year. “We’ve seen membership applications grow significantly,” he told Newsday. And they’ve also seen a demographic shift in new members. “Applications are substantially more female, diverse and younger.”


More Stories on Good