"Specimen" stamps

How does an unused stamp overprinted "Specimen" compare in catalogue value to that same stamp in used or mint condition?


  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • This is a totally unscientific reply. Years ago i asked a dealer that question. He told me that unless the stamp with the "specimen" overprint is listed in a catalogue, that he uses double the catalogue value as regards to determining a value. Take that value, and apply your usually discount, and roughly the stamp would be priced at full catalogue value of the normal stamp.

    Whether or not the stamp sells is another question, so you may want to use the regular catalogue value as the base value.

    Others may provide a different opinion. It'll be up to you to decide how you want to handle them.
  • Depending upon the issue, the catalog value for a Specimen overprint can vary greatly from the price for the Mint-Hinged stamp. Scott values some Specimen stamps, with more prices listed in the Scott Classic catalog.

    For British Empire stamps, a Stanley Gibbons catalog may list a price for a Specimen stamp where Scott does not.

    The Specimen stamps can be listed at 10% of the Mint-Hinged value or less, but other times can be listed at well over the Mint-Hinged price. So it does pay to try and find a listed value.

    What specific stamp are you curious about?
  • I have a British occupation stamp of German East Africa, G.E.A. overprint of 50R King George V East Africa and Uganda stamp from 1917 that also has the "Specimen" overprint.
  • The idea behind "specimen" stamps is for the issuing postal entity to provide copies to the Universal Postal Union. The specimen stamps are used to provide a reference and to validate stamps that have postal authority, and not illegally produced.
  • I look at "Specimen" overprints as being more rare and thus having more value. The earlier period they come from the less postal authorities there where and fewer where printed.
  • True, Vernon. Some of the older specimen stamps can command a hefty price. However, in the late 1970s and 1980s, specimen stamps began to be mass produced to meet popular demand. While hot for a short while, the demand has died off thanks to over production by greedy postal administrations pumping them out like wallpaper.
  • Glenn,

    The 2019 Edition of the Scott Classic Catalogue does not list a Specimen overprint version of the German East Africa stamp, but it does price the Specimen overprint version of the East Africa and Uganda stamp. The mint-hinged version of that stamp is priced at $925 while the Specimen overprint version is priced at $275.

    The Stanley Gibbons 2016 Edition of the Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps 1840-1970 catalog does price the German East Africa G.E.A. overprint stamp under Tanganyika. The mint-hinged stamp has a listed value of 750 Pounds while the Specimen overprint stamp has a listed value of 275 pounds.

    This same Stanley Gibbons catalog lists the mint-hinged version of the East Africa & Uganda stamp at 900 pounds while the specimen overprint version is listed at 275 pounds. This stamp is listed under their heading of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika.

    I hope this gives you the information that you need.
  • Yes, thank you.
  • I was made aware by a stamp collector in Belgium that some of my German stamps are mistakenly listed on the US site. How can i fix that without having to go thru over 2000.00 stamps one by one. Is there an easy way to find the stragglers. Can any of you "Phila Wizards" help me
  • edited March 27 0 LikesVote Down
    For one, you should start a new topic to ask your question, instead of sticking it into an existing discussion on a completely different topic. I'll wait. (And I don't say that to be a ________. Most likely it will take several back and forth replies, and that will just jumble up this thread).
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