Collectible U.S. Duck Stamps
In the U.S. and several other countries, so-called “Duck Stamps” are Revenue stamps issued to hunters, allowing them to gain access to federal wetlands and other protected areas. The stamps, which were first printed in 1934 by an act of Congress, are intended to be collectible and to raise funds for conservation programs.
Collecting Duck Stamps is a popular branch of U.S. philately that isn’t limited solely to hunters. In fact, anyone with an interest in wildlife will find something to enjoy in these colorful collectibles.
Duck Stamp History
The printing of the first Duck stamps in 1934 stems from the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act five years earlier. That act authorized the acquisition and preservation of wetlands, but did not set aside any funding to do so. Duck stamps were issued to close that gap — today, nearly 98% of revenue generated from their sale goes to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. First Issue Duck stamps were sold for a dollar each. Over time, face values gradually increased to the current rate of $15.
In 1989, the Fish and Wildlife service began producing Junior Duck Stamps, the design of which are chosen in a nationwide youth art contest that raises awareness about conservation issues. In addition to these, many states also produce both regular and Junior Duck Stamps, which means anyone interested in this area of philately has no shortage of stamps to add to their collection.
Buying and Selling Collectible U.S. Duck Stamps
Several factors affect the prices commanded by U.S. Duck Stamps. Older stamps are generally rarer, and those in good condition can fetch prices in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Complete sheets, mint condition stamps and unsigned stamps are among the rarest, and they command the highest prices.
Collecting Duck Stamps
Interested in beginning a collection of Duck Stamps? Apfelbaum, Inc. regularly holds sales where you’ll find several fine examples at fair prices. With more than 100 years of experience serving the philatelic community, we can also appraise your collection and provide important advice for selling, shipping or preserving stamps. Contact us today for more information.