China Stamp Values


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1878 Imperial Dragon

Modern mail service in China is usually said to have begun on May 1, 1878, when the consular mail service of the Imperial Marine Customs Post was opened to the general public. The Post issued China's first postage stamps, a series of three values nicknamed the Large Dragons. The stamps were denominated in candarins and issued in values of 1, 3, and 5.





Denom. Description Used Used EF Mint Mint EF
1 candarin Green $110.00 $350.00 $230.00 $385.00
3 candarin Brown Red $100.00 $225.00 $390.00 $650.00
5 candarin Orange $100.00 $290.00 $500.00 $830.00


1882 Imperial Dragon - Thin paper - Wide Margin



Denom. Description Used Used EF Mint Mint EF
1 candarin Green $160.00 $250.00 $325.00 $400.00
3 candarin Brown Red $90.00 $150.00 $600.00 $800.00
5 candarin Yellow Ochre $800.00 $11,000.00




1883 Imperial Dragon - Thick paper - Narrow Margin - smooth or rough perforation



Denom. Description Used Used EF Mint Mint EF
1 candarin Bright Green $125.00 $200.00 $250.00 $325.00
3 candarin Brown Red $135.00 $225.00 $425.00 $600.00
5 candarin Chrome Yellow $150.00 $250.00 $480.00 $800.00




1885 Small Dragon - Yin-Yang Watermark - Rough or Clean perforation 12



Denom. Description Used Used EF Mint Mint EF
1 candarin Light Green $15.00 $25.00 $51.00 $85.00
3 candarin Mauve $24.00 $40.00 $90.00 $150.00
5 candarin Olive Yellow $36.00 $60.00 $90.00 $150.00
5 candarin Bistre $36.00 $60.00 $90.00 $150.00




1888 Small Dragon - Unwatermarked - Clean cut perforation 11 - 12



Denom. Description Used Used EF Mint Mint EF
1 candarin Green $24.00 $40.00 $30.00 $50.00
3 candarin Mauve $24.00 $40.00 $60.00 $100.00
5 candarin Olive Yellow $36.00 $60.00 $96.00 $160.00


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These prices for Chinese stamps are provided as a service to Hobbizine readers. They are derived from numerous sources such as dealer price lists, advertisements in philatelic publications, and public auction results. Use these values as a guideline for evaluating the reasonableness of dealer prices, setting up trades with other collectors, and estimating the worth of your collection. The value of an individual stamp is dependent on its centering and condition. Four prices are listed here for each stamp:

  • --Used as Normally Collected
  • --Used Exceptionally Fine
  • --Mint as Normally Collected
  • --Mint Exceptionally Fine
It is hoped that this range of prices will meet the needs of most collectors. However, a particularly nice example might sell for more than the amounts listed, while a particularly poor copy might be worth less.

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