Vintage stamps have their own story to tell. They always make me stop and look before opening a piece of mail.
Vintage stamps have an aged and antique appearance, which can add a sense of character and whimsy to an envelope. These historically unique and artistically unexpected touches can elevate an invitation suite, and make it feel more valuable.
Clients that opt for vintage stamps are seeking a distinct look for their save the dates or invitations. If the current selection of postage from USPS doesn’t harmonize with your style, or reflect the message that you want to convey to your guests, opt for vintage stamps to expand your postage options, and significantly increase your chances of finding a stamp that best suits your event and aesthetic.
I also tend to prefer vintage stamps to custom, as custom stamps always include a barcode that USPS scans during the mailing process.
Pomp & Circumstance
While there’s a variety of options, the caveat is that vintage stamps are limited in availability. The higher the guest count, the more difficult it is to find the same collection of stamps in the quantity needed to mail out invitations.
Several different vintage stamp designs will likely be required from an availability standpoint, as well as to meet postage requirements. I love the look of alternating stamps on each envelope. It contributes to the appeal of this particular look, as the invitations come across as dynamic and editorial.
Pricing & Logistics
The price of postage is greatly dictated by how heavy the parcel is. Elements like paper type, number of enclosures and use of wax seals all contribute to the cost of mailing a letter or invitation.
When planning events for clients or myself, I always make a trip to the post office to have the invitation weighed, before planning out any stamp purchases. Then, I’ll search for curated stamp collections, or I’ll plot out stamp designs via an Event Deck and curate a collection myself!
Some vintage stamps have higher value than others, depending on how many stamps were produced. Which means, the age and rarity of the postage will also dictate the quantity of stamps required.
As the cost of postage has increased steadily over time, you’ll need a higher volume of vintage stamps to meet the cost of postage today.
Since vintage stamps are of lesser value, mix and match postage like two 5-cent stamps, one 13-cent stamp, and one 32-cent stamp to amount to the cost of postage for a letter, which is currently 55-cents. Again, check with your local post office to ensure you prepare for the correct postage value!
Pro-Tip: If you’re on a budget, but love the look of vintage stamps, consider these options.
– Buy stamps at face value.
– Mix vintage and modern stamps.
– Use vintage stamps on the exterior envelope, and modern stamps on the reply card envelope.
Sourcing Stamp Collections
Find some of the best collections of vintage stamps, from both online and in-person retailers, on the list below. Always double check to ensure the postage is unused / uncanceled before purchase.
– Local stamp and coin shops
– Stamp museums
– Antique stores
– World Stamp Show (It’s held every ten years in NYC. Mark your calendar for the next one, 2026!)