28 Most Valuable South African Stamps


My friend invited me over today to have a look at some of his most valuable South African stamp collection. Let me tell you, it was something truly special. Some of his stamps were worth over R100,000 EACH, and the history behind each one blew me away!

Apparently, they can range from anything between a few hundred rand to R1.2 million. Anyways, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I decided to get on board and blog about my research. Which is why I’m sitting at my desk this second writing this.

First step, I decided to research 20 of the most valuable South African stamps that money can buy.

One thing worth mentioning, the first thing my friend told me is that just because stamps are valuable, it doesn’t mean they are rare. There are many factors that come into play that affects the price.

Based on my research, here are 20 of the most Valuable South African Stamps.

Some stamp terms explained:

  • SG in the headline is Stanley Gibbons catalog code. The numbers that follow SG mean nothing, however, you can learn something from the letters that follow SG.
  • SGO means it was an official stamp that was only used by government agencies at the time.
  • SGD means the stamp was definitive. So in this case it would be an everyday postage stamp used by anyone that was sold for a long time making them less rare.
  • Mint means the stamp has never been used and is the best possible condition.

*There are a few terms that I couldn’t understand such as ac/a, SGw, var, SGR and SGb. If you know what these terms mean please let us know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list above.

01. MOST VALUABLE: Union King’s Head 5/-Inverted Watermark

  • Date printed: 1913
  • Recommended selling price: R1 200 000

02. SOUTH AFRICA 1928 SGO5ac/a Official

  • Date printed: 1928
  • Recommended selling price: R100,000

03. SOUTH AFRICA 1947 SGO25var Official

  • Date printed: 1947
  • Recommended selling price: R86,000

04. SOUTH AFRICA 1969 SG285aa Mint 2c Pouring Gold error yellow omitted

  • Date printed: 1969
  • Recommended selling price: R80,000

05.TRANSVAAL WOLMARAN 1900 SG5 Mint 3d purple and green type L3 handstamp

£3,500.00

  • Date printed: 1900
  • Recommended selling price: R80,000

06. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1874 SG33 Mint

  • Date printed: 1874
  • Recommended selling price: R36,000

07. SOUTH AFRICA 1967 SGD62c Postage Due

  • Date printed: 1967
  • Recommended selling price: R32,000

08. GRIQUALAND 1877 SG3w Mint watermark inverted

  • Date printed: 1877
  • Recommended selling price: R30,000

09. ORANGE FREE STATE 1882 SGF14 Postal Fiscal

  • Date printed: 1882
  • Recommended selling price: R28,000

10. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SG42b Mint

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R28,000

11. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO16/c Official

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R27,500

12. ORANGE FREE STATE 1905 SGRO5 Official

  • Date printed: 1905
  • Recommended selling price: R25,000

13. SOUTH AFRICA 1935 SGO29 var Official

  • Date printed: 1935
  • Recommended selling price: R25,000

14. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO16/b var Official

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R22,000

15. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO19c Official

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R22,000

16. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1902 SG78 Mint

  • Date printed: 1902
  • Recommended selling price: R22,000

17. SOUTH AFRICA 1937 SGO33a Official

  • Date printed: 1937
  • Recommended selling price: R19,500

18. SOUTH AFRICA 1947 SGO36b var Official

  • Date printed: 1947
  • Recommended selling price: R19,500

19. SOUTH AFRICA 1944 SGO33a Official

  • Date printed: 1944
  • Recommended selling price: R18,300

20. ORANGE FREE STATE 1905 SGRO3 Official

  • Date printed: 1905
  • Recommended selling price: R17,200

21. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1855 SG8b Mint Perkins Bacon deep dark green pair

  • Date printed: 1855
  • Recommended selling price: R17,200

22. NEW REPUBLIC 1886-87 SG9 Mint

  • Date printed: 1886 TO 1887
  • Recommended selling price: R15,000

23. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1882 SG44 Mint

  • Date printed: 1882
  • Recommended selling price: R14,900

24. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO13da Official

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R14,800

25. SOUTH AFRICA 1926 SGO4 Official

  • Date printed: 1926
  • Recommended selling price: R14,800

26. SOUTH AFRICA 1935 SGO29 Official

  • Date printed: 1835
  • Recommended selling price: R14,800

27. SOUTH AFRICA 1939 SGD26/a Postage Due

W
  • Date printed: 1939
  • Recommended selling price: R13,700

28. SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO12e Official

  • Date printed: 1930
  • Recommended selling price: R12,600

NOTE: Images and prices were sourced from Stanley and Gibbons. As with anything, these prices might change by the time you look at them.

Are Stamps a Good Investment?

There are two types of stamps. Collectible stamps that are collected by people interested in philately, and investment grade stamps that are bought by investors.

What’s the difference between the two? Collectible stamps aren’t bought as an investment, even though they may appreciate, they are purely bought as a hobby.

Only a very small percentage of stamps actually increase in value over time. This is where the difference lies. The hobbyist doesn’t care; however, the investor will study and only invest in stamps that they believe are likely to increase in value.

So how do you know if a stamp will increase in value? Investors usually look at these 3 things when deciding if a stamp is worth investing in.

  1. The stamps must be extremely rare.
  2. They are in the best possible condition.
  3. Stamps that have mistakes on them offer an investment opportunity. The famous “Prussian Blue” is the perfect example. There are also some modern-day stamp mistakes that have turned out extremely profitable for investors. I guess printing errors make them rarer?!

BONUS CONTENT: Looking for ways to make money online as a beginner? Here’s my free guide that shares 14 free ways to make money online in South Africa with very little experience and without spending a lot of money.

Should I Buy Stamps As An Investment?

The way I see it is I’ll be researching stamps as a hobby anyways, so I might as well buy the stamps that I think are going to increase in price.

In other words, I’ll be a Stamp Hobby investor! Is that a thing? Well it is now.

Where To Buy Stamps

Now that I’ve got my list, it’s time to find the most reputable company to buy from in South Africa. I don’t want to make the big mistake of buying fake stamps. There are a lot of places online such as bidorbuy and Gumtree however I would like to avoid this as much as possible.

  • East gate stamps and coins seem to be the most legit company in the country from what I’ve seen online. They are even verified by the mint to sell Krugerrands, so they have a solid reputation.
  • Stanley Gibbons is another online store that has a solid reputation for selling high-quality stamps online. They’re situated in the United Kingdom, so if you’re reading this from overseas you’ll probably get your stamps a lot quicker if you order it from them.

There are also several auctions that are held throughout South Africa. I’ve never been to one but apparently some of the more expensive stamps are sold through here. Visit philatelicfriends.co.za to find out about the latest stamp auctions. Who knows, I might see you at one of them! Just don’t steal my bid.

Where To Sell Stamps

Again, be careful. I’ve heard some bad stories of people getting robbed while trying to sell on Gumtree. If your stamp is cheap then Gumtree or BidorBuy might work, if it’s expensive definitely do an auction or go to a reputable company such as East gate stamps and coins.

Your Turn

If you have any questions, or if you feel like I missed anything, please let me know in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “28 Most Valuable South African Stamps

  1. Hello, My Name is Michael Bourne,

    4 years ago , I inherited a Collection of Stamps from a friend.

    I am new to Stamp collecting and came across your website and notice I have a couple of South Africa Vintage stamps.

    1 in particular, is the Red South Africa
    SGO13da Stamp On You’re list.
    I have 3 different versions.
    1. Is Red 2. Pink 3. Dark Red

    They were obviously used for Postage.
    And have been wondering how to tell which one is of Value and where to have someone look at them.

    I also have other Vintage Stamps from the 1800’s-1950’s from Foreign Country’s .

    And a lot of German Inflation stamps from the 1930’s.

    Most of the Coin and Stamp places where I live in the United States , in Los Angeles, California.
    That . I have talked to have All asked if I have a 10,000 – 100,000 dollar Stamp that’s the Only way they will look at them.
    Would you have Any suggestions.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Bourne

  2. I got hundreds of stamps from a friend. I would like to know where I can sell them. I also have a few SOUTH AFRICA 1947 SGO25var Official. Then some of those listed in this page aswell

  3. Morning. I am from Leeudoringstad in North West S.A. I have a very big collection of stamps. Some date back to 1800. I have very rare S.A stamps and stamps from all over the world. I want to sell. Where do I do that.

  4. Hello my name is Michael Bourne,
    I live in the Los Angeles,Ca.
    I am new to stamp collecting.
    I have inherented world stamps from a friend,
    SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO13da Official
    This 1930 stamp I have 3 different varieties of these stamps Unused in this book.
    And don’t know where to take them to have them looked at. Would you have any Suggestions.
    My email is hawkman999619@gmail.com.
    Have a Splenda Day.
    Sincerely,
    Michael Bourne

  5. Is a used stamp still valuable? I have two SOUTH AFRICA 1930 SGO13da Official which are
    cancelled used stamps still affixed to the postage envelope.

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