United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Rarity and values

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Rarity and Value

Many stamps in the catalog are assigned an availability factor as follows:
  • [C] Common to fairly common
  • [S] Scarce
  • [R] Rare, difficult to find
  • [RR] Very rare
  • [RRR] Exceptionally rare
  • [RRRR] Extremely rare to unique

For those stamps where the availability is unknown a range such as [RR-RRRR] may be used.

These availability factors are estimates based on a 1994 Meter Stamp Society survey of the largest collections known at the time plus our own decades of buying and selling experience.

Dollar values are not provided because they are unreliable and go out of date quickly. For what it's worth, here are my personal estimates of 2016 dollar values for nice examples of items in each category.

[C] free to $5
[S] free to $15
[R] $5 to $35
[RR] $10 to $75
[RRR] $20 to $150
[RRRR] $25 to thousands

Notice both the wide ranges and the overlap. Minor varieties, even if extremely rare do not sell for thousands of dollars, and really fine examples of relatively common items can bring several tens of dollars.

Stamps without an availability factor are nearly always [C] but with some of them I just don't know.

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