Rare German stamps are typically those that date back to the mid-to-late 1800s, when postage stamps first came into use. For instance, the 12-Kreuzer stamp from the Baden Landpost in 1862 sells for as much as $7,000, according to Sammler.
Some of the oldest German stamps, and thus most valuable, come from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which began issuing postage stamps in 1852. The Northern District released seven denominations with a large numeral inside a square frame. These stamps were typographed, printed in black on colored paper. The denominations included 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 shillings. The House of Thurn and Taxis regularly changed the color of the stamps, which helps in dating them.
Thurn and Taxis also released postage stamps for the Southern District. These were similar to those from the Northern District except the large numerals were inside a circular frame instead of square. They also came in only four denominations: 1, 3, 6 and 9 shillings.
Some other rare and valuable stamps came from turn-of-the-century Wurttemberg. The Communal Authorities of Wurttemberg were the only ones releasing regular, official postage stamps at the time. They issued six stamps between 1875 and 1900 that were printed in colored ink on unwatermarked paper. The denominations were 2, 3, 5, 10 and 25 Pfennig. There were two 5-Pfennig stamps, a purple and a blue one. Stamps printed after 1906 came on paper with circle and cross watermarks.