Forever stamps were a ground-breaking invention introduced in 2007. The consumer can buy a forever stamp in any year and use it as a First-Class postage stamp for current postage rates. A genius system!
Postage rates change every year, sometimes every few months, so it’s a great idea to keep on top of current prices and trends. So what’s the value of a forever stamp in 2022? As of 10 July 2022, the current value of a forever stamp is $0.60. But how has this changed over time?
Today, we will answer all your questions to do with the value of forever stamps, how they can be used both within the US and globally, and weight limits. We will list forever stamps, providing you with places to buy the cheapest forever stamps today, as well as guiding you on the most valuable forever stamps which can fetch high prices as collectibles.
We will also provide a short guide on buying and selling forever stamps. Please note that all listed values are correct as of September 2022.
What Are Forever Stamps?
Before diving into the values of forever stamps, let’s find out a little more about them. Forever stamps were introduced in 2007 by USPS. The aim was to produce stamps which could be used, theoretically, forever. Before these stamps were introduced, USPS were obliged to print the cost of the stamp on a new set of stamps every time the price of stamps changed. This meant they also had to collect up and destroy outdated stamps which were not valid any longer.
This change benefitted the public immensely – it meant people did not have to buy new sets of stamps every time the prices changed, or throw out old stamps that had become invalid. Instead, forever stamps are intended to have the same value as the current First-Class postage value at any point in time. In other words, forever stamps are non-denominational.
In practice, this means that if you bought a forever stamp for $0.58 in 2021, it is now worth $0.60 (as of September 2022). Likewise, if you bought a forever stamp in 2007 for $0.41, it is also currently worth $0.60. So when you send a letter using your old forever stamps, you are saving money. A pretty smart system!
By 2011, pretty much all stamps produced by USPS were forever stamps. These can be used for sending letters within the US and from the US to the rest of the world.
USA Stamp Rates
Contrary to popular belief, it is not USPS who set the price of stamps. Stamp rates are adjusted according to inflation. So, following an increase in inflation the price of postage, and therefore stamps, will go up. As inflation tends to continuously rise, it is fairly safe to predict that stamps will continue to get more expensive.
Forever Stamp Value Today
So you have some forever stamps and you want to know how much they are worth today? The good news is that, as First-Class stamp price is continuously rising (almost every year with rare exceptions), your older forever stamps are worth more now than when you bought them.
On 10 July 2022, the value of First-Class forever stamps rose to $0.60 from $0.58, an increase of $0.02. To put it simply, the value of your forever stamps is equal to today’s First-Class postage rates. Check out the USPS website for all up-to-date postage prices.
Bear in mind that while you will make a saving when sending a postcard or letter weighing one ounce or less, you may lose money on items which cost more when using stamps. For example, if you want to send a letter which costs $1.40 for postage, you will need to use 3 forever stamps to cover the costs. 3 multiplied by $0.60 equals $1.80, so you will be over-paying and this may cancel out the savings you made by using older forever stamps.
So we have covered the current forever stamp value, but there are some collectible forever stamps which are particularly sought after and may hold more value. See our section on “list of forever stamps” which details the most valuable forever stamps as well as the cheapest out there.
How Many Forever Stamps Do I Need?
The number of forever stamps you should use to post something depends on the size and weight of the item. 1 forever stamp today will give you $0.60 worth of postage, 2 will give you $1.20 worth, and so on. You will usually need 2 forever stamps on letter which weigh over one ounce.
Sending letters internationally is a slightly different matter and usually costs more, so more forever stamps will be required. The exact number can be calculated here and depends on the weight, size, and destination of the letter.
So, in case you’re wondering, the forever USA stamp value is the same as the global forever stamp value 2022.
Forever Stamps Price Increase
So we know that the forever stamp value now is $0.60, but what did they cost historically? In other words, how have US First-Class postage rates changed over the years?
Based on inflation, the cost of postage has risen or fallen annually, or sometimes over just a few months. Let’s take a look at the forever stamps price increase trend since they were introduced in 2007…
|Month and Year||Forever Stamp Value|
The forever stamp value 2021 was $0.20 lower than the forever stamp value 2022. Compare this to the forever stamp value 2019 ($0.55) and the large leap down to the forever stamp value 2018 ($0.50), and you get an idea of the rate of inflation between years.
Forever Stamps Weight Limit
It is possible to use 1 forever stamp for a letter or postcard weighing up to one ounce. When your letter weighs more than one ounce, you will have to affix extra stamps to account for this. Each extra ounce costs $0.20 more, so a letter weighing between 1.1 ounce and 2 ounces will cost $0.80 in stamps. You can in theory use multiple forever stamps to cover your postage costs, but this is not always cost-effective. In other words, there is no forever stamps weight limit.
Postcard Forever Stamp Value
So can forever stamps be used for postcards? The answer is yes. However, it currently costs $0.44 for a postcard stamp which is $0.16 cheaper than the cost of a forever stamp (the equivalent to First-Class postage). So if you use a forever stamp for a postcard you may be losing out.
Do Forever Stamps Expire?
In theory forever stamps will never expire, in other words they will be valid forever! However, there are a few points to consider when thinking about the expiration of forever stamps.
- USPS cannot guarantee that forever stamps will be used forever, and therefore they may become invalid if there are no longer used or replaced by something else.
- Forever stamps in bad condition are not valid and have effectively expired. Forever stamps with tears, creases, fading and water damage are likely to be rejected and “returned to sender” where possible.
- Forever stamps which have been taped onto a letter are also invalid and are likely to be rejected and “returned to sender” where possible.
So make sure you keep your forever stamps flat and protected from damage so they continue to be valid.
List Of Forever Stamps (Including Cheapest And Most Valuable)
Cheapest Forever Stamps
If you are looking to buy forever stamps as cheaply as possible, there are a few places you can find good deals. Usually, the cheapest forever stamps are sold in bulk on auction sites. If you need to buy a lot of stamps or are interested in investing in forever stamps, you can check out these sources for buying stamps as cheaply as possible:
- com (offers a subscription)
- com (good for buying rolls of forever stamps)
- eBay (browse through thousands of listings for great prices and desirable collectibles)
For instance, the forever purple heart stamp value on the USPS online store is $0.60 per stamp. However, you can find great deals which reduce the price of the forever purple heart stamp such as this eBay seller offering 2 sheets of 20 stamps with 10% off the second sheet.
The cheapest forever stamps on the USPS online store today are the Mighty Mississippi Forever Stamps, at $6.00 for a sheet of 10.
Most Valuable Forever Stamps
When it comes to the most valuable forever stamps, the general rule is: the bigger the roll of stamps and the rarer or more iconic the image, the greater the value. The condition is vitally important as mint condition stamps which have never been opened will be much more valuable. Authenticity is another key feature, so look out for listings which have been authenticated and guaranteed.
The most expensive forever stamps sold in recent years were a collection of US flag stamps, flag and firework stamps, flower stamps and an assortment of Christmas themed stamps. These sold for $12,708 USD in 2017!
US Flag Forever Stamp
The most valuable forever stamps are probably the US flag stamps. The forever flag stamp value can be high depending on the condition, number of stamps on the roll, and authentication.
2500 sheets of 10 US flag stamps were sold for a stunning $12,500 USD in 2019! This was one of the highest value lots in recent years.
Hearts Forever Stamps
The forever heart stamps are another classic stamp with 2 variations – a red pattern on a white background or a white pattern on a red background. This elegant design was produced in 2015. The most expensive lot sold in recent years was 2000 forever heart stamps which sold for $6,000 in 2017!
National Emblem Forever Stamps
National emblem forever stamps feature iconic national emblems of the USA. This makes them one of the most popular enduring forever stamps to own. Their popularity increases their price – for example, this lot featuring national emblem forever stamps sold for $3,960 USD in February 2022.
New Ferns Forever Stamps
Coils of limited edition stamps such as the New Ferns collection can sell for great prices. A collection of 3000 New Fern forever stamps sold for $1,500 USD in 2018.
Liberty Bell Forever Stamps
The iconic image of the Liberty Bell was printed on forever stamps in the year of their introduction – 2007. For many, the Liberty Bell is the posterchild for all forever stamps. A sealed book of 2000 Liberty Bell forever stamps was sold for $1,500 USD in 2020!
Selling Forever Stamps
You can also sell your unused forever stamps and get a good return on these. One option is to sell to companies or organizations which specialize in buying unused stamps, such as Sell Forever Stamps. Otherwise, selling on popular auction sites such as eBay, or vintage sites such as Etsy may be a good bet for you. Make sure you include detailed information and photos in your listings to ensure you fetch a fair price.
To get a gauge of how much your forever stamps are worth, try searching for the same stamps which have been sold through sites like:
- Mavin – an excellent one-stop shop for a range of collectible items. You can search for forever stamps and filter to see stamps which have been successfully sold and for what price. For instance, this roll of 100 forever stamps was sold for $3,600.00 last year.
- Heritage Auctions – this site is great for rare and collectible items including stamp collections. You can check sold lots and listings of forever stamp collections such as the Disney Villains Postal Forever Stamps collection.
- eBay – filter by completed listings and sold lots, condition, date, and theme. This will help you find the exact stamp you are looking for, and deduce the right price.
- Etsy – this is a great resource for vintage and rare stamp sourcing. Try searching for the right type of forever stamp and browse to see a great range of collectible stamps.