Used 20th Century US Postage Stamps

Most cancelled, or used, 20th-century U.S. stamps are worth less than the paper they're printed on. But used stamps are priceless in the way they tell the story of America, through images of its presidents, technological achievements, prominent citizens, and natural wonders. These cancellations, which are called killers among collectors, often tell stories of their own, too, pinpointing a letter, postcard, or parcel in a particular time and place.

Cancellations range from machine-canceled stamps to Railway Post Office, or RPO, cancels, which are often collected by those interested in railroadiana. A bullseye cancel, also known as a SOTN, which stands for ‘socked on the nose’, means the entire postmark is readable on the stamp, allowing collectors to see the time, date, and location where the stamp was used.

First day issues and covers usually feature fancy cancels, but these stamps are not considered used, per se, since they were never intended to be mailed. Instead, the cancellation simply serves to verify that the cover was purchased on the stamp’s first day of issue.

Some people collect used stamps by the state they were cancelled in, others prefer used stamps that were very lightly cancelled, which allows one to collect stamps such as those in the Washington and Franklin series of 1908 to 1922 for a good deal less than they would have to pay for uncancelled examples.

Used air mail stamps are also popular, as are cancelled duck stamps, commemoratives, and other types of postage.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Nystamps X Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection Stock PageNystamps Us Stamp # 523 Used $250 CreaseCkstamps : Large Unchecked Mint & Used Us Washington-franklin Stamps Collection Nystamps Us Stamp #350 Used $210 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 388 Used $2250 WashingtonScott #315 Used 1908 Blue Lincoln Imperf Cr Cv $1,250.00Nystamps G Old Us & Bob Stamp Collection Scott AlbumNystamps Us Stamp # 533 Used $100 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 480 Used $35A Very Nice Old United States 1901 Complete Set On Pan American Expo IssuesNystamps Us Stamp # 445 Used $750 Pr WashingtonUsa 1869 Used 2c 3c 10c (3 Items) S5635Us Used Washington Franklins With Bluish Papers #365 #369 Cat $22,558Noblespirit No Reserve Desirable Us Precancel Album High CvTop Shelf 1/64 Mack / Cattle Trailer "please Read Everything B-4 U Bid"Nystamps Us Stamp # 446 Used $425 Pr WashingtonModern Mixture With 2016 $6.45 La Cueva Priority Stamp & $2 Jenny Invert 75+New 2016 $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Express Mail Stamp Used!Us Used 1929 Set Of 11 Kansas Overprints #658-#668 1c-10c - Very Clean & Nice Us Scott# 315, Scv $1250Nystamps Us Stamp # 491 Used $800 WashingtonUsa 1869 Used To 12c (13 Stamps) S5642Dr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 480 $5 Marshall Used No Reserve Free ShippingNystamps Us Stamp # 355 Used $300 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 396 Used $68 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 355 Used $300 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 342 Used $100 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 352 Used $190 FranklinScott 573- Used- $5 America, Flat Plate Printing- 1925 Us StampNystamps S Large Old Us & Bob Stamp Collection Album PageNystamps Us Stamp # 343 // 347 Used $91 Nystamps Us Stamp # 311 Used $90Scott #355 Used 1909 Blue Washington Coil Stamp Cv $300.00Buffalo Stamps: Scott #397-404 Panama Pacific Mostly Vf-xf Collection, Cv = $365Nystamps Us Stamp # 479 Used $40$us Sc#834 Used, 45 Pairs+line Pairs, $5 Coolidge Prexie Stamps, Cv. $270Mr Fancy Cancel Scott 312 Used $2 Possible Repair? Cv$200Lot Of 15 1947 Us S# 948 5 & 10 Cent Cipex Souvenir Sheets 2542 Eagle And Wings Express Mail $14.00 Used Very Lite CancelNystamps Us Stamp # 547 Used $40Very Nice Collection Of 463 Different Oklahoma Precancel Types !!!Nystamps Us Stamp # 353 Used $220 WashingtonDr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 456 3c Washington Coil Used No Reserve Free ShippingScott #480 Used 1917 $5 Green John Marshall U.s. Used High Value AssortmentUs Stamp:# 1916 // 17 20th Us Used Stamps On Album PageSb1 Stamps - Set Of 6, 1901 Pan-american Expo; Sc. 294-99; F-xf#3209 A-i, 1898 Trans-mississippi Reissue, Used Set Of 9, Off PaperPrecancels: Binghamton, Ny L-2 4c 1914 (catalog $5)Nice Collection Of 162 Different New Mexico Precancel Types !!!3 Stock Books With More Than 10,200 Used Us Postage Stamps Precancels: Westfield, Ma L-2 1c 1917 ( $15 Catalog) Precancels From West-virginia - Town And TypePrecancels: Orange, Ma L-3 15c 1912 ($5 Catalog) ThinPrecancels: Amesbury, Ma L-1 11c 1914 ($5 Catalog)Precancels: New Bedford, Ma 413 15c 1912 ($5 Catalog)Oregon Precancels - Tillamook 704 - 14 Different 1922 & 1926 Issues2542 Eagle And Wings Express Mail $14.00 Used Very Lite CancelUs Sc# 5010-1 & 5062-3 World Stamp Expo Ny2016 2 Sets Used Off Paper SoundUs Scott 294-298, 299 Old 1c-10c Pan-american Expo U/f-vf Cv $130