How a mistake can make you money

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2018-02-08 13:46:25

Exclusive: Opportunity to own two of the most famous stamp errors of value from Great Britain

Surely, mistakes cost money?

Not always…

Different rules apply in the world of stamp collecting.

Finding an error on a stamp is the “raison d'être” for some collectors.

Stamps with mistakes on them can be worth huge amounts of money. Finding one can literally make you rich overnight!

The market for stamp errors has grown significantly in the past 20 years or so. Often when a stamp error appears at auction we see feverish bidding activity.

This is because they are so rare.

As Mark Twain so succinctly put it:

“In order to make a man or boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”

“Errors” relate to stamps where a mistake has occurred during the production process. They are not meant to exist.

Some stamp collectors focus entirely on building a collection of errors. Most collectors want to own a few errors at least, often becoming the main feature point of the collection.

As a result, the best errors are always in demand, yet they are difficult to obtain.

Errors of value

Errors of value are widely considered the most interesting and are often the most valuable of errors.

In British philately there are three famous errors of value. Today, exclusively to my readers (you won’t find these on our website), I am able to offer you two of the three main errors of value from Great Britain. 

To put how rare this opportunity is into context…

There are only 10 in existence of one of these stamps.

And of the other, there are only 20 known examples.

I would be surprised if you ever got the chance to buy both of these stamps together at the same time again.

The 13p Christmas Stamp Error

Sometimes, a rarity is created in philately through an attempt by a country's Post Office to destroy all the examples of a stamp which have been printed.

Occasionally, a few examples slip through the net.

That is exactly what happened with the 1988 13p Christmas stamp, though with a particular twist in the story. The Post Office did a highly effective job of eliminating all the examples to be sold for common use, but allowed a few to go out as part of collections.

Production was in full swing for the 13p second class stamp in the run-up to Christmas when a Scrooge-like rise in the rate to 14p was effected. Wanting to take advantage of the increased rate, the Post Office immediately changed tack to make sure that only the 14p was available.

Unfortunately for them, they had overlooked the fact that work had started on the insertion into the 1988 yearbooks of the 1988 commemorative issues, including the 1988 Christmas set containing the 13p denomination.

The 13p denominations should have been replaced in the yearbooks, but some slipped through. Those few that escaped are now excellent investments.

In August 1989 an unmounted mint example sold for £3,000 at auction. Today, the stamp is catalogued at £12,500 ($17,500) as mint. That’s growth of 317%.

There are only 10 of these stamps recorded in mint condition. And here’s one of them:

SG1414a 1988 13p Christmas Error of Value

SG1414a 1988 13p Christmas Error of Value

This is a superb unmounted mint example of this rare error.

The 26p Ham Street Error

Examples of 1991’s so-called Ham Street Error of Value of 26p rather than 28p were first reported to have been found in a post office in Hastings, West Sussex.

The Royal Mail maintain that the stamps with 26p value were trials loaned to and never returned from an exhibition. This was prior to the postal rate increase and official release of the series.

Trials of the other stamps in the series with different value to those issued were also produced, but have never appeared on the market.

The 26p Ham Street Error of Value should never have made it onto the market. But, now it’s here, it’s here to stay.

There are only 20 recorded examples of the Ham Street error, and here is one of them:

SG1579 1991 26p Ham Street Error of Value

SG1579 1991 26p Ham Street Error of Value

This is a superb unmounted mint example of this rare error.

Discount to market value

As I mentioned earlier, there are three famous errors of value from British philately.

The most famous stamp error of value from Great Britain is the 1976 13p roses error with the value missing. There are only three examples of this error, two of which are in the Royal Philatelic Collection. This is currently valued at a staggering £140,000 ($196,000)

 The other two most famous errors of value from Great Britain are what I have on offer for you today.

My asking price for the 1988 13p Christmas error is only £11,250 ($15,760). That’s less than 10% of the value of the 13p Roses error and a discount of 10% to the latest Stanley Gibbons catalogue price of £12,500 ($17,507).

My asking price for the 1991 26p Ham Street error is very reasonable at £5,850 ($8,192). Again, I offer a discount of 10% to the latest Stanley Gibbons catalogue price of £6,500 ($9,102).

Furthermore, if you choose to take both, you can have them for £16,500 ($23,102) -13% off.

This offer at these prices is strictly restricted to subscribers of the Paul Fraser Collectibles newsletter service.

How to order

As this is a restricted offer, you can only order the “GB stamp errors of value” by e-mail. You will need to place your order by emailing

As I only have one of each, there can only be one buyer. 

Kind regards 


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting Limited

PS. Your purchase will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Paul Fraser Collectibles, giving you the guarantee your stamp is genuine.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it