British Commonwealth & Empire stamp prices are on the rise

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2019-09-23 11:20:49

I just got back from a family vacation in Sicily…

As usual on return to my desk, I found stacks of paperwork demanding my “immediate” attention and a list of phone calls to return.

But that can wait for now.

You see, there was something waiting for me I have been looking forward to…

The latest copy of the SG Commonwealth & Empire stamps catalogue has arrived.

Almost 700 pages of listings with the latest market prices of stamps from the British Commonwealth & Empire.

It is often referred to as the “Bible” for collectors and dealers alike.

The prices quoted in the catalogue are internationally recognised as the most reliable guide of market prices.

It is important to stress though that SG catalogue prices relate to stamps in “fine” condition. 

All the stamps we sell are in fine condition or above.

As you probably know, I have been harping on for a while now about how strong the market is for British Commonwealth stamps.

Many of you listened to me, and we have sold more British Commonwealth stamps than anything else over the past year.

Those of you who took my previous advice to buy in to this area will be pleased to hear prices continue to rise for rare stamps from British Commonwealth countries.

British Commonwealth & Empire Stamps Market Brief

The editor, Hugh Jefferies, MBE, reports in the preface to the new edition of the SG Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps Catalogue:

“I am pleased to be able to report that the market for fine Commonwealth stamps remains strong, with nearly every area and period seeing widespread, if generally modest, price increases to the stamps which collectors are looking for.”

In line with my own experience over the past year, which I have shared with you in previous writings, the key areas showing growth worthy of special mention are:

Indian Convention and Feudatory States

After high paced growth for Indian stamps in recent years, as I predicted, we are now seeing widespread rises in the Indian Convention States and Indian Feudatory States.

My personal view is this part of the market has some way to run yet before reaching any price resistance from the large number of avid collectors competing against each other at auction.


Australia and New Zealand continue to be active, with most notable rises for Australian postage dues and officials as well as plate varieties and watermark errors.

The Australian States are also showing a number of price rises, especially New South Wales.

Middle East

Stamps from countries in the Middle East are a current market “hot spot”. In particular, the British Occupation overprints for Baghdad and Bushire are nearly all up again this year.

British Guiana

British Guiana in the West Indies stands out again this year with many increases to the early issues. Stamps across the board from British Guiana are firm with a very healthy and wealthy base of passionate collectors.


Africa is showing selected increases in prices following strong recent auction realisations. Nigeria, Cape of Good Hope, Sierra Leone and Rhodesia in particular provide most of the pricing interest.

There are, however, some price reductions among high value items in Great Britain, although more modestly priced stamps remain untouched.

These price reductions aren’t in keeping with our own experience where we continue to find collectors are willing to pay the price for premium quality British rarities.

It may be the price reductions in the SG catalogue are more about the current hiatus of liquidity we are experiencing rather than a permanent diminution in value. 

My view is now is a great time to buy British stamps, especially at the current reduced prices. History teaches us one fact above all else – things never stay the same!

Buy now before we increase our prices

We will shortly undergo the exercise of revising our prices to reflect current market values. You will appreciate, this means prices for many British Commonwealth stamps will need to go up. 

But… I am giving you this one last chance to buy now before the price increases take effect.

You can view all our stamps available to buy right now by clicking on the link below:

Click here to view all stamps available at pre-increase prices

To help you decide, here’s 5 stamps I would recommend:

Australian States - Victoria 1886-96 £5 pale blue and maroon, cancelled-to-order with the special 'MELBOURNE' circular date stamp, dated 'MR 6 97'.

A very fine used example with fantastic cancellation. SG324

Price: £170 ($219)

New SG Catalogue Price: £200

15% discount



Malaysian States - Perak 1950-56 'Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah' chalk surfaced paper, Watermark Multiple Script CA, 1c to $5 green and brown, set of 21, SG128/148.

A very fine quality mint set, very lightly mounted with only the merest trace of hinging on the high value stamps.

Price: £90 ($116)

New SG Catalogue Price: £130

31% discount


Ceylon 1921-32 Script watermark 100r grey-black (SG359he). Variety 'Break in lines below left scroll' (R4/9).

Well-centred with lovely fresh colour, original gum, the odd shortish perforation mentioned for accuracy, still very fine, and a particularly prominent example of this variety.

This beautiful stamp is from King George’s island of beauty ‘Ceylon’, modern–day Sri Lanka. It captures the essence of the ‘Emperor of India’.

A very rare stamp variety and one of my personal favourites at this price level we have at the moment.

Your stamp comes with an independent Certificate of Authenticity from expertisers Sismondo, dated 2011.

Price: £4,250 ($5,471)

New SG Catalogue Price: £5,500 

23% discount


Indian Convention State, Jind 1885 1r slate, SG6, type 1 curved overprint.

A fresh example with large part original gum. A really fine example of this rare stamp.

Only 480 stamps were printed of this issue with few in such fine condition as most have suffered climate related damage.

A chance to jump in to this fast rising area of the stamp market at a modest price level despite the stamp’s rarity.

Price: £650 ($837)

New SG Catalogue Price: £750

13% discount


British Guiana 1850-51 12c black and indigo "Cotton Reel", type 'C' with thin frame, SG6.

Indistinct MS initials, cut square with clear margins except frame line barely touched by "GU" of "GUIANA", neatly cancelled by large part "BERBICE" circular date stamp dated "DEC 6 1851".

Typical paper blemishes characteristic of the coarse "sugar" paper (tiny pinholes and insignificant traces of thinning) but much above average for this classic rarity, whose primitive charm is best appreciated in strong sunlight.

Accompanied with a clear Friedl certificate (1979) as US catalogue, Scott No. 5b.

This is a rare opportunity to own what is one of the world's great stamp rarities.

It doesn’t look like much but looks can be deceiving when it comes to hard-nosed financial decisions. Out of all the stamps we have available right now, this is my NUMBER 1 investment tip.

If you have the money available, I strongly recommend this exceptional high pedigree rarity.

You won’t get another chance at this price…

Thanks to the record-breaking sale of the British Guiana 1c Magenta in 2014 for $9.5m, collector interest and prices for stamps from British Guiana have risen dramatically since then.

The market today continues to show a high level of competition amongst passionate collectors to cause further price appreciation.

You will need to act fast to secure this key rarity at this price. We intend to enact our price increases within the next 7 days.

Price: £25,000 ($32,180)

New SG Catalogue Price: £45,000

44% discount


**Build your own Empire****

If you are interested in building a collection of rare British Commonwealth & Empire stamps, contact us today.

Simply reply to this blog with:

Yes! I would like to Build my own Empire of Stamps.

 We will then organise a call with you to discuss how we can help you build your collection.

Alternatively, you can call us straight away on +44(0)1534 639998.

Our expert advisers are on hand and ready to help you build your collection of premium quality rarities from the British Commonwealth & Empire.

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind regards

Mike Hall CEO Just Collecting

PS. Remember, we do all the hard work for you in sourcing the best quality rare stamps most likely to appreciate in value. We will also provide you with a FREE stamp album for you to store your valuable collection.

Alternatively, we can also offer you a secure storage and specialised 3rd party insurance service, if you don’t want the worry of protecting your valuable collection yourself.

Enjoyed this blog? Try these:

May 17, 2019: The Weird and Wonderful World of Stamps

May 10, 2019: Don't overlook the most obvious investment in stamps 

April 26, 2019: 10 Secrets to Successful Stamp Investing 

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