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”)

1847USA

1847USA

Bob Allen's beautiful and well organized catalog of US stamps from 1847 to 1970 is a fantastic resource for all US … [read review or visit site]

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]

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

This auction house site offers an extensive online database of US stamp information. Includes PDF catalogs of past … [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 G Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp & Block Collection Stock PageCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#523 524 Franklin Used Cv$285Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#369 Used On Bluish Paper Cv$250Usa Scott # 315 Used Cat$1250Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#479 480 UsedScott 533, Used Washington/franklin Block Of 4, Xf Jumbo Gem! $550Us 1913 Used $1.00 Parcel Post Sc# Q12Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#669-679 Used Cv$165.05Buffalo Stamps: Scott Usa #523 $2 Franklin Orange, F/vf W/ Nice Cxl, Cv = $240Nystamps G Large Old Us Pre Cancel Stamp Collection1004- Us #519 1917 2c Washington Perf.11 Dlw Used StampCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#658-668 Used Cv$174.15U.s. Used Uncancelled Stamps, 100 Total, On PaperDr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 445 3c Washington Coil Used No Reserve Free ShippingCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#353 Used Cv$2201001- Us #634a 1926-31 2c Washington Type Ll Used StampNystamps Us Stamp # 480 Used $35Nystamps Us Stamp # 479 Used $40Buffalo Stamps: Scott Usa #524 $5 Franklin Green, Fine W/ Nice Reg Cxl, Cv = $40Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#352 Franklin Used Cv$190U.s. #523 Choice Used Vf - $2.00 Orange & Black ($250)Scott 832b, Used Block Of 4, Usir Watermark, Lovely & Scarce! $260+Classic Precancels - Red Oak, Ia - 303-l2 Hs - 4Nystamps Us Stamp # 369 Used $250 Blue Paper An Old Off Paper Precancel AccumulationNystamps Us Stamp # 404 Used $75Scott 572-573 Us $2-$5 Issues Used—wholesale Grp Of 68—catalog Value Of $778U.s. Used $.46 Harry Potter & $.49 Charlton Heston Stamps + More, 26Us Used 1914-15 Perf 10 Panama Pacifics - #401-#404 1c -10c Margins - Vn 10cNystamps Us Stamp # 358 Used $100 Bluish Paper Washington Dr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 295 2c Pan-american Expo Used Picture Off Center NrU.s. Interesting Group Of 52 Old Stamps, Unchecked For Catalog ValueUsa Stamp #462-476 Set Perf 10 Series Of 1916 UsedU.s. Used $.49 Songbirds Stamps, 100 Total, On PaperScott #480 Used $5 Green MarshallBuffalo Stamps: Scott Usa #547 $2 Franklin Red, Fine W/ Nice Lite Cxl, Cv = $40Nystamps Us Stamp # 547 Used $40 Franklin Rare Used Full Set Harry Potter Stamps, Great Rare ItemScott #397-400a, 401-404 Used Pan-pacific Sets Cv $155.25Rare Used , Made In America Lot Of Five Sheets -selvage2542 Eagle And Wings Express Mail $14.00 Used Sc#294-298: Mng/u. Scv $167..Nystamps Us Stamp # 357 Used $100 Bluish Paper Franklin Nystamps Us Stamp # 347 Used $110 Washington Us Stamp #369 2c "lincoln" Bluish Paper W/4 Full Margins Retail275.00Scott 698 20 Cent Golden Gate Used Plate Block Of 4 Stamps Plate Number 20688 Us Used 1913 Perf 12 Panama Pacifics - #397- #400a 1c-10c X2 (nice Set Of 5)Usa # 545-546 1+2c Wash. Used 1921 Perf. 11 Cat 400 UsaNystamps Us Stamp # 348 Used $50 Franklin Us #479, 480 Used / Vf / No Faults; Scv $75.00Us Sc #311 Farragut $1.00 Black 1903 Issue - UsedUsa Scott # 342 Used Cat$100Us #479, 480 Used PerfinsU.s. Used $.49 Songbirds Stamps, 110 Total, On PaperPrecancels - Dle's - Jersey City, Nj 53 Diff. On Various IssuesPrecancels - Dle's - Rutherford, Nj 32 Diff. On Various IssuesScott #479 Used $2 Blue MadisonPrecancels - Dle's - Clifton, Nj 37 Diff. On Various IssuesPrecancels - North Tonawanda, Ny - 569-l1 E Tpl (up/dn/dn) - Nice Triple PrintScott 341 & 342, 50c & $1 Washington, Perf 12, Vf, Used, Precancels