Here's the best website showing updated prices of all 50 Official "First of State" Duck Stamp Prints!
NOTE: These are NOT All-Time High Evaluation prices by any means! California was the first state to have its own duck stamp beginning in 1971. Hawaii was, appropriately, the 50th state to pass the required legislation. As time went on, most First of State Duck Stamp Print prices have shot up quickly and held their value, while some have gone up and come back down. In general, prices for prints in the more popular state programs have remained strong. Some states no longer produce an annual duck stamp, having switched to use a computer-generated stamp equivalent that no longer shows any type of artwork on its face.
Update Examples? 1972 Iowa First of State Duck Stamp Print (by 5-time Federal Duck Stamp Winning Artist Maynard Reece) was issued at $60.00 plus $1.00 for a matching mint stamp. About 1996, these 2 items still in mint condition were appraised at $11,000.00 (investment return of 17,033%)!
The 1974 Maryland First of State Duck Stamp Print (designed by a less notable wildlife artist) cost the same $61.00 and was valued up to $7,600.00.
Today, the current appraisal prices for Iowa and Maryland First of State Duck Stamp Prints are $10,000.00 (16,293% return) + $6,000.00 (9,736% return) respectively. Supply and demand is a factor. Early state programs issued ONLY 500 Signed & Numbered (Regular Edition) prints, whereas States who turn longer to pass legislation authorizing release of their own waterfowl conservation stamp usually offered several different print editions. Copyright to art images usually becomes property of the states.
A complete set of all 50 prints and 50 stamps (average cost: $123.25) is still worth $75,000.00!
South Carolina was the 21st of 50 States to pass waterfowl conservation stamp legislation. The 1981-82 South Carolina First of State Duck Stamp Print is an edition of 4,500 prints by 1973 Federal Duck Stamp Winning Artist Lee LeBlanc. They were originally released at $125.00 each and sold out at the distributor level in 1 day! Within a year, the 1981 prints were selling over $500.00!
North Carolina was the 25th of 50 States to pass waterfowl conservation stamp legislation and first where the duck stamp was NOT a requirement by duck hunters. The 1983-84 North Carolina First of State Duck Stamp Print, an edition of 13,652 prints by 1980 Federal Duck Stamp Winning Artist Dick Plasschaert, was originally released at $135.00 plus $5.50 for a mint stamp and $7.50 for an artist-signed stamp. Like the Federal program, North Carolina used an advance order deadline (August 31, 1983) to determine its edition size. Currently, they are appraised at $850.00 for an ROI (Return On Investment) of 505%! Keep in mind, there are 3 NC First of State Duck Stamp Prints for every SC First of State Duck Stamp Print.
Today, First of State SC Duck Stamp Prints are appraised at $2,200.00 each - an investment return of 1,586%! The 1981-82 First of State SC Duck Stamps, $5.50 at original issue price, are now worth what a print originally cost ($125.00). Unlike some later states, South Carolina's duck stamp legislation made its conservation stamp a requirement for anyone age 16 and up to legally hunt waterfowl in SC. Each hunter must sign his/her duck stamp on its face in ink to be legal. They are similar to Federal Duck Stamps (originally $1.00, but now cost $15.00), which have also been required by duck hunters 16 and up since 1934. Most U.S. National Wildlife Refuge areas were saved using proceeds from Federal Duck Stamps! Few know this, but a current Federal Duck Stamp also serves as a vehicle pass to enter any National Wildlife Refuge charging a public entrance fee. For example, a teacher could bring an entire busload of students to visit a refuge FREE, by just showing his/her Federal Duck Stamp at the main gate.
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