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Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Swiss Stamps

Author: Emil Drkusic
Date: 08/03/2023

We’ve already talked about the rarest stamps from Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Vatican, and Italy. Today we’ll take a look at the rarest and most valuable Swiss stamps.

Swiss Post

As we know, Switzerland is today in 26 cantons, and there are 4 national languages of Switzerland - German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Therefore, before the establishment of the Swiss Post in 1849, cantons issued their stamps. Therefore, from 1843 to 1848 we have cantonal issues from Geneva, Zurich, and Basel.

Switzerland 1843 - Double Geneva stamp

Double Geneva stamp

Series: Cantonal issues: Geneva

Denomination: 2*5 Ct. (Swiss centime)

Switzerland - 1843/09/30

34,500 USD at Cherrystone auction in March 2015

“Swiss Post was founded on 1 January 1849. Today, the company is one of Switzerland’s largest employers and transports millions of parcels and letters every year. A lot has happened in the more than 170 intervening years. For example, did you know... that Switzerland was the second country to introduce the postage stamp? Shortly after, the craze for collecting stamps kicked off – together with trading and counterfeiting.” - https://www.post.ch/en/about-us/news/2022/history

Switzerland 1850 - 2½-rappen Winterthur stamp

2½-rappen Winterthur stamp

Series: Winterthur

Denomination: 2½ Rp. (Swiss rappen)

Switzerland - 1850/03/12

75,984 USD at Rapp auction in November 2014

Swiss Post Rayon Stamps

From 1850 to 1852, Switzerland issued local mail and rayon stamps. Also, during this period, on 7 May 1850, franc (1 franc = 100 Rappen (German) / centime (French) / centesimo (Italian) / rap (Romansh)) was introduced as a monetary unit of Switzerland.

Note: Before Swiss franc, cantons used their local currencies like: Bern livre, Geneva livre, South German gulden, Zurich gulden, Central Swiss gulden.

Switzerland 1850 - 10-rappen Rayon II stamp

10-rappen Rayon II stamp

Series: Coat of arms below post horn

Denomination: 10 Rp. (Swiss rappen)

Switzerland - 1850/10/01

89,807 USD at Rapp auction in November 2008

These stamps were intended to be used as follows:

  • Local mail - Max. transport hours: Within the municipality, Max transport distance: Within the municipality
  • Rayon I - Max. transport hours: 2 hours, Max transport distance: 9.6 km
  • Rayon II - Max. transport hours: 10 hours, Max transport distance: 48 km
  • Rayon III - Max. transport hours: 40 hours, Max transport distance: 192 km
Switzerland 1845 - Basel dove stamp

Basel dove

Series: Cantonal issues: Basel

Denomination: 2½ Ct. (Swiss centime)

Switzerland - 1845/07/01

109,878 USD by Rapp auction in November 2014

Note: “Basel Dove is the world’s first tri-color stamp issued by Switzerland in 1845. During this period in Swiss history, each canton issued their stamps. This issue is unique as it is the first in various ways: it is the only stamp issued by the Canton of Basel, the first item to combine engraving and embossing, and it was the first stamp to depict a bird.

Created by the architect Melchoir Berry, Basel Dove features three colors: blue, crimson, and black. However, such a design wasn’t appreciated by the local populace and was soon withdrawn. Nowadays, the Basel Dove is considered to be one of the most beautiful classical stamps in the world. A «dream pair» of these exceptional items was sold by Rapp auction house at a price of $109,878 on 26th November, 2014.” - https://mynation.net/stamps/463/

The Most Valuable Swiss Stamps - 1850, 5-rappen Rayon I Stamp

All 5 most valuable Swiss stamps, presented in this article fall in these categories, so they are either cantonal issues, either rayon issues.

Switzerland 1850 - 5-rappen Rayon I stamp

5-rappen Rayon I stamp

Series: Coat of arms below post horn

Denomination: 5 Rp. (Swiss rappen)

Switzerland - 1850/10/01

293,000 USD by Rapp auction in November 2008

“5 Rp. Rayon I stamp, 1850 is one of the first issues presented by Switzerland. This item features a horn above a red shield bearing the white Swiss cross. 5 Rp. Rayon I stamp was one of the first countrywide stamps to be put into circulation after cantons adopted the federal constitution in 1848. The items with completely framed cross are thought to be the rarest among these issues. One of the finest specimens of 5 Rp. Rayon I stamps, printed on blue (shades), wove paper, was auctioned for $293,000 by Rapp auction house in November, 2008.” - https://mynation.net/stamps/461/

Today we’ve seen top 5 most valuable Swiss stamps. If you would like to see 100 most valuable Swiss stamps you can do it in this video.

Continue Reading

UK - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable UK Stamps

France - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable French Stamps

Germany - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable German Stamps

Ireland - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Irish Stamps

Belgium - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Belgium Stamps

The Netherlands - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Dutch Stamps

Australia - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Australian Stamps

Canada - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Canadian Stamps

Spain - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Spanish Stamps

Portugal - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Portuguese Stamps

Israel - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Stamps of Israel

Vatican - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Vatican Stamps

Italy - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Italian Stamps

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