What New Zealand Stamps Are Valuable

What New Zealand Stamps are Valuable?

Philately – also known as stamp collecting – is an engrossing hobby that has been popular for centuries. From the Penny Black issued by the United Kingdom in 1840 to miniscule republics, stamps of all shapes and sizes have been collected and treasured. Stamps from New Zealand is no exception and have been collected since the mid-19th century. Let’s explore what makes New Zealand stamps so valued by collectors worldwide!

The Varied Qualities of Collectible New Zealand Stamps

To start, it is important to note that New Zealand stamps vary in value greatly. Many New Zealand stamps are common and come with small values, depending on their condition and age. The supply of these stamps is great, so their value remains low. Some stamps are considered rare and can be quite expensive, while others are so obscure that they complement a rare stamp collection.

Certain stamps that were originally released as general issues, have become more valuable due to their rarity. This is often due to their popularity, meaning they have been used more frequently, or some have been withdrawn from circulation shortly after their release. The most valuable New Zealand stamps, however, are those released for special occasions or those released in limited quantities, such as for charity.

First Stamps Issued in New Zealand

The first stamps issued in New Zealand were the 1-penny and 2-penny stamps, which were released in 1855. These stamps bore the image of Queen Victoria, which was common for stamps released during her reign. What sets these stamps apart is that they are among the few to be hand-engraved – the process of cutting an image into a printing plate by hand. Many of these original stamps have survived and are highly sought after by collectors.

Over the years, New Zealand has released many other stamps with various images of Queen Victoria, as well as stamps with images of her successors, King Edward VII and King George V. These are some of the most common stamps available from New Zealand and have relatively low values.

Stamps Commissioned for Charitable Causes

Another type of New Zealand stamp highly valued by collectors is those commissioned for charitable causes. These stamps are typically issued in small numbers and some are only available to certain charities and organisations. An example of this is the Red Cross stamps, released in 1959. While they are not particularly rare, they are often sought after by collectors who have an affinity for charity stamps.

Valuable Definitives

Definitives are stamps that are usually issued to fulfill a postal need. As such, definitives tend to be issued in larger quantities and are usually in continuous production for a number of years. As such, these stamps can be quite common. However, certain definitives have become highly collectible and valuable due to their scarcity.

An example of this is the 2-penny stamp featuring the image of George V, which was released in 1917 and was only in production for two years. This stamp is quite rare, so it is more valuable than other definitives of the same period.

Investment Considerations

Though stamps are popular to collect as a hobby, some collectors look at stamps as investments. Generally, investment grade stamps tend to be those which have performed well in the market or those which have appreciated in value significantly over time. As with any investment, buyers should do their due diligence before making any purchases. It is important to understand what makes certain stamps valuable before investing heavily in them.

New Zealand Stamp Collecting as a Hobby

New Zealand stamps can be a fun and rewarding hobby, and stamps from the country are often a great starting point for novice collectors. With New Zealand stamps varying greatly in value, there is something to suit all budgets. Experienced collectors should also consider investing in rare and highly-valued stamps, though should ensure they do their research and due diligence before making a purchase. There are also many online resources to help collectors identify, find and buy stamps.

Designs & Special Releases

In addition to their validity for postal use, New Zealand stamps are notable for their designs. Many of these feature a range of animals, plants, and scenes from New Zealand. They have also commemorated Royal events, anniversaries, and have featured a number of iconic New Zealanders. New Zealand has also released some special stamps that have been issued in limited quantities, which are highly valued by some collectors.

One example is the child stamp released in 2007. This depicts a young boy with an imaginary friend, and was issued to commemorate World Childhood Day. This stamp is also quite scarce, as it was only produced for a year. This means that it has become highly collectible and can fetch good prices in the secondary market.

Modern Stamp Issues

In recent years, New Zealand has continued to issue stamps that are visually interesting and of value to collectors. In 2017, New Zealand Post issued a wide array of stamps to commemorate the 150th anniversary of suffrage in New Zealand. These stamps, which feature images of prominent New Zealand women, are sought after by many collectors.

Additionally, in 2021 a series of stamps were issued to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the first stamp releases in New Zealand highlighting New Zealand’s aviation history. Many of these stamps also included innovative printing techniques, making them a valuable item for those who appreciate modern stamp design.

Stamp Exhibitions & Literature

If you’re interested in learning more about New Zealand stamps, there are several ways you can do this. One of the best ways is to attend a stamp exhibition, where you can learn more about stamps from New Zealand and around the world.

You can also find plenty of books and educational material on the subject. Additionally, collecting periodicals and guides are a great way to learn more about the hobby and to become familiar with the different types of stamps available, as well as those that are valuable.

Online Resources

Finally, there are also a great number of resources available online. There are several forums and discussion boards dedicated to stamp collecting that can help you learn more about New Zealand stamps. Additionally, there are a number of online shops and dealers specializing in New Zealand stamps, and you can also find collections available on websites such as eBay.

As with any hobby, having a passion and building knowledge are important for getting the most out of it. With New Zealand stamps, understanding the various designs, varieties, and values of stamps available will ensure that collectors are better equipped for their hobby.

Prices & Availability

Though many stamps from New Zealand can be obtained at low costs, others can be quite expensive. Generally speaking, prices can range anywhere from a few dollars for common stamps, up to thousands of dollars for rare and scarce stamps. Availability can also vary, and many stamps may be difficult to find on the open market.

Collectors seeking rare stamps are advised to exercise caution when buying on the secondary market, as counterfeit and altered stamps can be difficult to identify and can lead to hefty losses. However, with knowledge and due diligence, collectors can go about collecting New Zealand stamps in an informed manner.


New Zealand stamps are a great topic for philatelists and investors. With a wide range of stamps available to collect, ranging from general issues to limited releases, collectors of all backgrounds can find something to collect. Researching the different stamps, staying informed on the market, and exercising due diligence are key for ensuring a successful stamp collecting journey.

Valarie Bristol

Valarie B. Bristol is a passionate writer and researcher from New Zealand. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and love of New Zealand with the world. In her free time, Valarie enjoys exploring the countryside and taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes that make up the country. She also loves spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and reading.

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