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 W Large Old Us Stamp Collection White Ace AlbumNystamps E Large Old Us Pre Cancel Stamp CollectionDr Jim Stamps Massive Us Precancel Collection Thousands By State #2 No ReserveDr Jim Stamps Massive Us Precancel Collection Thousands By State #1 No ReserveU.s. #312 Choice Used Xf - 1902 $2.00 Madison ($200)Nystamps Us Stamp # 312 Used $225Nystamps E Large Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection Stock PageNystamps W Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection White Ace Album PageNystamps M Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection Scott Album PageU.s. #523 Choice Used Vf - $2.00 Orange & Black ($250)[seb13] Usa 1920 Scott 533 Stamp Used - See Certificate1129- Us #480 1916-17 $5 Marshall Perf.10 Used Stamp[//06] Usa 1909 Scott#368 Used Pair Cv:$50 With Marginal InscriptionNystamps M Old Us Stamp Collection Minkus Album Page4873 Uss Arizona Memoria $19.99 Express Mail Used Newest Issue Off PaperModern Mixture With 2014 Glade Creek Mill Priority Stamp & $2 Jenny Invert 75+[seb29] Usa 1909 Scott 353 Stamp Used - See Certificate100 Uncancelled Forever U.s. Postage Stamps On Paper Lot # 3368 Diff Liberty Series Buro Precancel Stamps100 Uncancelled Forever U.s. Postage Stamps On Paper Lot # 1100 Uncancelled Forever U.s. Postage Stamps On Paper Lot # 2Nystamps W Large Old Us Stamp Collection White Ace Album Page With Mint[//73] Usa 1917 Scott#479 Used Cv:$42.50 Precancel New YorkU.s.used $.49 Hudson River School Stamps, 100 Total, On PaperNystamps Us Stamp # 480 Used $3550 Uncancelled $1.00 U.s. Postage Stamps On Paper Lot # 4Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#311 Used Cv$95******** #344 Schermack Vending Type Iii W/perfin Control Mark Scv $45 *********Noblespirit~no Reserve~my/986~excellent Us Fdc + Covers CollectionNystamps Us Stamp # 342 Used $100 Washington Us - #4269 - $16.50 Express Mail - Hoover Dam - 2008 - B4503[seb11] Usa 1912 Scott 423 Stamp Used - See CertificateU.s. Used $.49 Farmers Market Stamps, 40 Total,on PaperAn Old Off Paper Precancel Accumulation[//19] Usa 1903 Scott#311 Used Cv:$80[seb30] Usa 1921 Scott 546 Stamp Used - See CertificateU.s.#4873 $19.99 U.s.s. Arizona Memorial Used Ng 2014 High Value Express1128- Us #573 $5 America Used Stamp487 Diff Wash/frank Local Precancel Stamps From Multiple StatesWashington Precancel On C4 Air Mail ![//28] Usa 1914 Scott#421 Used Cv:$30Dle Precancels - Huntington, Wv - 827-247 - Scarce Double Line ElectroNoblespirit~no Reserve~1646/146~ Excellent U.s. Stamp Pages Collection W/ StrongU.s. Used Uncancelled Stamps, 59 Total, On PaperUsa Express Mail $96.70 Rate Using1 X Old Faithful, 4 X Bixby Bridge High ValuesStamps China & Japan Three Pages Of Used Hinged StampsU.s. Used $.49 Farmer's Market Stamps, 50 Total, On PaperUss Arizona Memorial Express Mail Stamp Scott 4873 Used491 Used - Rare Type Ii Coil, Perf 10 Vert. - No Wmk - With Pse Cert - Cv=$800*********** #408 Private "perf" 3 1/2 - Used Strip Of 3 (vending?) **********Saint Petersburg Florida Precancel Collection - 116 DifferentUs Used 1933 "century Of Progress" Airmail - C18 50c Green - Red & Ny Cancel"2005" 67 Used Stamps SetGroup Of 64 Different Washington-franklin Precancels - Unchecked (#01)Iluvstamps800 Us Trans-mississippi, Columbian And Special Delivery CoverUsa Used Stamps Imperf National Parks Horde 1014 403Lot Of 100's Of Unsorted Postage Stamps International UsaU.s. 4720 $10 Waves Of Color Used Ng (off Paper) 2012 High Value DefinitiUs - #4145 - $16.25 Express Mail - Marine One - UsedDle Precancels - Pendleton, Or - 814-243 - Scarce Double Line Electro