Top 20 Most Valuable Old Postcards

About The Author

I’ve been a collector my entire life. I started collecting baseball cards as a kid and spent many lazy Saturdays sorting, organizing, and enjoying my collection (and ripping off my brother in trades from time-to-time).

Like many kids that collect baseball cards, my hobby withered away as I entered adulthood and was replaced by more sophisticated hobbies, like gardening and doing puzzles. Until I discovered the hobby of postcard collecting.

Whether you are a postcard reseller, collector, or just happened to inherit a collection, knowing which postcards are the most valuable can help you determine how much your collection is worth or what to look for when buying postcards to resell. All of these sales are from 2020 or later – which means these cards are still in demand and can still fetch insanely high prices. I will be focusing only on U.S. postcards, but will have both RPPCs and printed cards, from the early 1900s to chrome era.

20. $421 | Los Angeles Coliseum at Night, c1960s

This is an unremarkable chrome postcard! The image isn’t even that great of quality. But it’s baseball, and uncommon baseball postcards can sell for huge money. You could easily find something like this in a big lot on HiBid, LiveAuctioneers, at an antique store, or estate sale. I always buy baseball stadiums when I find them. Older postcards are generally worth more, but they all sell well.

19. $449 | Earl J. Lance Buick Car Dealership, Elyria, Ohio

Car dealerships are a very popular collecting interest. Again, this is a chrome postcard, but still sold for an extremely good amount of money.

18. $455 | The Iceberg Cafe, Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico

It doesn’t say anywhere on the front Route 66 or Highway 66. If you only go by the front, you might have missed it! It doesn’t scream “$455 postcard” when you first look at it; not much is going on and the subject is a bit out of focus. But if you researched it and knew it was Route 66, you would’ve known it could sell for great money.

17. $465 | Hamilton High School, Cartersville, Virginia

This is a great printed postcard of a small town in Virginia, but the town and state are not what’s most important here: it’s the publisher on the front, W.E. Burgess. They published small town views of Virginia and their postcards can regularly sell for hundreds of dollars.

16. $485 | The Street of the Three Ends, Greenwich Village, New York City

I owned this card and it was one of the first high-dollar sales I had, but I only sold it for $50. I listed it at auction starting at $9.99 and someone offered me $50 right after listing and I took it. Lesson here: Don’t end auctions early. You might not always make more money, but it’s much better than missing out on hundreds of dollars. This photo was taken by Jessie Tarbox Beals, a famous photographer who captured many Greenwich Village scenes that can sell for hundreds of dollars or more.

15. $500 | Appalachian Club House, Elkmont, Tennessee

Small-town Tennessee postcards can sell very well, and even bigger towns, like Nashville and Knoxville, sell well. Always pick up pre-1920 Tennessee postcards whenever you can.

14. $625 | Birdseye View of Monohon, Washington

RPPCs of smaller towns in Washington sell for good money. I have sold this exact view a couple years ago, although my card was trimmed and I only sold it for a couple hundred dollars.

13. $635 | Bridge in Buckingham, Virginia

It’s just a bridge! It looks like an average postcard! But it sold for over $600. This postcard is from the same publisher I mentioned above, W.E. Burgess of Scottsville, Virginia. Many different Burgess postcards have sold for $800, $900, and higher. Burgess very well may be the publisher of the most valuable printed postcards of US town views.

12. $637 | Heurich Brewing in Washington, DC

Take a second look through that stack of Washington, DC postcards! This one could easily be missed because it’s printed in the same style as some very common early Washington, DC cards that have little value. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see this card pop up in a large lot you bought on eBay or another online auction site.

11. $688 | Birdseye View of Gold Circle, Nevada

Old mining towns out west, which are usually abandoned ghost towns today, are very collectible and can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

10. $761 | Street Scene, Columbia, Mississippi

If you can get ANY Mississippi postcards from before 1920 for a good price, you should almost always buy them. Smaller towns may sell for more, but even older postcards of “big” towns in Mississippi can go for hundreds of dollars.

9. $784 | Dunlop’s Sporting Goods Store, Far Rockaway, Long Island, New York

This postcard sold for $784 with a hole punch! It just goes to show you that if a postcard is extremely rare, it doesn’t need to be in perfect condition to sell for great money. I’ve noticed that different neighborhoods in New York City have postcards that can sell for extremely high amounts of money. This is one example.

8. $821 | Street Scene, Hornsilver, Nevada

Another example of an abandoned mining ghost town, this is a great street scene of a small town in Nevada featuring the town restaurant and cafe.

7. $999 | Main Street, Louisa, Virginia

The image on this postcard is not sharp and high-quality, but it was published by W.E. Burgess of Scottsville, Virginia. Always look through Virginia postcards at shows and look for postcards published by Burgess wherever you can find Virginia postcards.

6. $1,000 | Palm Canyon, Near Palm Springs, California

This is a card you might find in a big lot or in a $1 box at a postcard show. It is only worth so much because it is signed by famous painter Agnes Pelton. It just goes to show that the back matters and can bring in a TON of money.

5. $1,126 | Sparkling Grape Soda Advertising Postcard c1912

I think the woman dressed in purple with the driving goggles on is what helped sell this for so much. Soda advertising postcards can go for big bucks!

4. $1,225 | Street View, Taylor, Washington

This RPPC doesn’t look that impressive; it’s just a couple houses and the photographer was leaning to one side it looks like. Small-town early Washington state real photos sell very well – and you can find them in albums, collections, and lots occasionally.

3. $1,900 | Uncle Sam Hold-to-Light Santa

Hold-to-light postcards can be extremely valuable. Santa postcards especially can go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cases like this.

2. $1,974 | Olympic Third Class Menu White Star Line 1911

I am guessing this sold for so much due to the Titanic connection and the fact it was from before the Titanic went on her maiden voyage. Third-class passengers aboard the Titanic were probably served similar meals. The meals…don’t sound great. Porridge for breakfast, soup for dinner, and gruel for supper. I wonder what they were eating in first class.

1. $3,000 | Scranton Miners Baseball Team, 1906 New York State League Champions

Baseball SELLS. There are many more baseball-related postcards not included that sold for over $1,000. Identified real photos do better, but even printed postcards can go for crazy amounts of money.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what valuable postcards to keep an eye out for! I have sold a couple cards on this list, and you can find them in collections, albums, antique stores, auctions, and more.

Share This Post