Penny Black Stamps

While they aren’t the rarest or most expensive collector’s item, Penny Blacks hold the distinction of being the first adhesive stamp used by a public mail system. First issued in Britain on May 1, 1840, Penny Blacks feature a distinctive black face and a profile of Queen Victoria. Penny Blacks were printed on an un-perforated sheet and cut by hand.

In total, more than 68 million Penny Blacks were issued between 1840 and 1841, when they were succeeded by Penny Reds — which were thought to be harder to counterfeit. Because of this, there is no shortage of Penny Black stamps for sale at a variety of price points, making it an excellent first purchase for anyone serious about historic philately.

Collecting Penny Blacks

Penny Blacks are fairly abundant, and collecting them has become a popular hobby in its own right. Each of the 12 plates produced 240 stamps at a time, meaning there are 2880 possible combinations of plates and check letters. It is not uncommon to focus your collection on a single plate, or by cancellation, by date, or in blocks, pairs or multiples.

If Penny Blacks are something you’re interested in, there are plenty of creative ways to curate your collection. Simply having one in good condition is an important achievement for anyone curious about this area of postage history.

Buy Penny Black Stamps Online

No matter where you are in your collection, Apfelbaum, Inc. has Penny Black stamps for sale to satisfy the needs of any philatelist. Penny Blacks can cost anywhere between $100-350 for an example in good condition. However, mint Penny Blacks may fetch upwards of $3000 at auction.

Other than its condition, there are other factors that can affect the value of a Penny Black. These include:

  • The plate it was printed from (11 being the rarest)
  • The regularity of the margins — because the stamps were cut by hand, margins were highly inconsistent.

Shopping at Apfelbaum, Inc.

Apfelbaum makes it easy to buy Penny Blacks. Our auctions, which list thousands of lots every month, are open to the public, and we also have convenient “Buy it Now” sales featuring a huge selection of fine philatelic material.

We have been serving the philatelic community since 1910. In that time, we have built a reputation for honesty, integrity and superior customer service. Let us help you grow your collection of Penny Blacks by shopping online today — you can also contact us directly for appraisals or any other questions or concerns.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top