A Glimpse into the World of Rare Australian Stamps

Australia has a rich philatelic history, and several of its stamps are coveted by collectors worldwide due to their rarity, historical significance, and unique design errors. Here’s a list of some super rare Australian stamps:

  • 1913 1d Red Kangaroo - First Watermark: Particularly in mint condition, this stamp is the first in the iconic Kangaroo and Map series.

  • 1913 2d Grey Kangaroo - Inverted Watermark: An inverted watermark makes this otherwise common stamp exceptionally rare.

  • 1915 2d Kangaroo - Second Watermark: It’s quite rare, especially in mint condition.

  • 1915 5/- Grey and Yellow Kangaroo - Third Watermark: With an inverted watermark, this stamp is a true rarity.

  • 1928 3d Kookaburra Miniature Sheet: This was the first miniature sheet issued in the world. Perfect, unmounted mint specimens are very rare.

  • 1930 2d Golden Scarlet, Die II, Small Multiple Watermark: This stamp, especially in mint condition, can be challenging to come by.

  • 1932 5/- Harbour Bridge: This stamp commemorates the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is highly sought after, particularly in well-preserved, mint condition.

  • 1934 1/6 No Watermark Hermes: The “no watermark” variety of this stamp is exceptionally rare.

  • 1948 £1 Robes - Thin Paper: This issue is quite rare, especially in mint condition.

  • 1953 Food Production Strips: Misprints where the designs of the two stamps in the strip are transposed are particularly rare.

  • Inverted Swan Stamp (1855): This Western Australian stamp is known for its printing error, making it one of the most famous and rare Australian stamps.

  • The “Madonna” error (1959): A 5d Christmas stamp was mistakenly printed with a blue coloration giving the infant Jesus a Madonna-like appearance, making it exceptionally rare.


The rarity of a stamp is also determined by its condition, and those in pristine, unmounted mint condition usually fetch the highest prices (see also: Australian Stamps Price List). If you’re looking to verify the authenticity and value of a rare stamp, consulting a philatelic expert or a comprehensive stamp catalogue is advised.


  1. What is the rarest Australian stamp, and how much is it worth? The Inverted Swan from 1855 is one of the rarest Australian stamps, and its value can range significantly, potentially reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on condition and auction circumstances.

  2. How can I determine the value of my rare Australian stamp collection? To determine the value, consult reputable stamp catalogues, get an appraisal from a certified philatelist, or refer to auction results of similar items.

  3. Where can I buy or sell rare Australian stamps in the country? Reputable auction houses, philatelic trade fairs, and online auction platforms like eBay are common places to buy or sell rare Australian stamps.

  4. What makes an Australian stamp rare or valuable? Factors include age, condition, printing errors, historical significance, scarcity, and demand among collectors.

  5. Are there any upcoming philatelic events or exhibitions featuring rare Australian stamps? Check the websites of philatelic associations, auction houses, and stamp forums for announcements on upcoming events and exhibitions.

  6. How can I authenticate a rare Australian stamp to ensure it’s genuine? Seeking authentication from a reputable stamp expert or a philatelic authentication service is a reliable way to verify a stamp’s genuineness.

  7. Can I find rare Australian stamps featuring Indigenous art or Aboriginal culture? Yes, several Australian stamps feature Indigenous art and Aboriginal culture, and some of them can be rare, depending on age, condition, and issue.

  8. What are some notable errors or misprints in rare Australian stamps that increase their value? Notable errors include inverted watermarks, color shifts, and misperforations, such as those found in the Inverted Swan and the “Madonna” error stamp.

  9. Which Australian personalities or landmarks are frequently featured in rare Australian stamps? Landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and personalities such as Sir Donald Bradman and Dame Nellie Melba have been featured on Australian stamps.

  10. How can I properly preserve and care for my collection of rare Australian stamps to maintain their value? Store stamps in acid-free albums, away from light, heat, and humidity, and handle them carefully with clean hands or tweezers. Regularly monitor their condition and consult preservation guidelines.