When you have a stamp collection at home, whether it has recently been inherited or is gathering dust in an attic somewhere, it may serve you well to have it valued.
As a result of stamp sales for collectors becoming an online fad in recent years, older stamps are coming up everywhere. And, new people are also starting stamp collection as a hobby.
Sparking a renewed interest in this upsurge has made many long-time collectors excited.
Certain factors affect the value of a stamp. These will be discussed in detail in this article to give you some much needed inside information for valuation.
Sadly, the age or commemoration of an occasion or person does not mean that it will get top dollar.
How to value a stamp collection
- Overall condition
Seemingly obvious, the condition of the stamp is pertinent to its valuation. A piece that has not been previously hinged and is in the original condition will fetch a far more attractive price than used or damaged ones.
- Damage and Creases
A light crease in a stamp will decrease its value slightly. A fold or bend will significantly reduce the resell value. Any tears on the face will make it near impossible to resell.
- Country of origin
There were stamps issued in countries where postal services were infrequent in the 1900s. Know now as classics, the earliest stamp issues from those countries can be valued significantly higher than others.
- Unique Cancellation
Some stamps that are still on the original envelope may have a cancellation mark stamped across them. This rare mark will increase the value of the piece. Removal of the item from the envelope is not possible if you want to maintain its resale price.
- Unhinged stamps
A stamp hinge is a small transparent piece of paper at the back of the stamp coated with mild gum to apply it to the parcel or envelope. Used by stamp collectors, the hinges are applied to affix stamps to collectors’ albums.
A stamp that has the original hinge still intact will fetch more in value than one without.
- Issued before 1960
Stamps tell collectors stories about the places they are from and the people they represent, and as such, have more value the older they are. Any artifacts issued before the year 1960 are considered more valuable than modern impressions.
- Missing pieces
If the stamp is fully intact and there are no missing corners or pieces, it will generate a higher sell value. Rare stamps will not command a better value despite their age if there is a missing piece.
Stamps with fresh colors closer to the original shade they were issued in are likely to fetch a far better resale value than faded ones.
- Rare errors
Errors are bound to happen. When that imperfection is detailed, it will significantly increase the value of the stamps. Color errors or sometimes even wording or font make stamps with these imperfections incredibly valuable.
- Tidy cancellation mark
Increasing the value of a stamp can be achieved when the cancellation mark. The term “Socked in the Nose” is when the cancellation mark is in the middle of the piece.
When the stamp mark is light and near-perfectly centered, and the date, name, or place are legible, the value of the stamp increases.
Philatelic circles refer to the edges of stamps as perforations. When these edges are neat and concise, the value tends to go up. Most cases show that the cleaner the perforation, the more valuable the stamp.
Based on the information above, stamps that are torn, damaged, creased, or in poor condition are unlikely to fetch a decent valuation when you sell your stamp collection.
Instant or manufactures collections are also not valuable. These are collections published to commemorate an event or pay tribute to a person. While they are unique, they are mass-produced and hold very little value as a collectible.
There are several methods that you can use to have your stamps valued. Dealers are usually the best method as they will appraise them fairly and not from a buyer perspective who tend to offer you less for your collection.
Apply some time and energy into the valuation of your stamp pr collection if you want to sell it on and make sure that you are doing it justice before parting with it.
1. Does the age of a stamp affect its value?
Yes, if a stamp is dated before 1960 and is in good condition, it will have a higher value.
2. Do stamp collectors attend auctions?
Auctions are a place that stamps collectors often frequent. They come here to find that one unique stamp or collection at a fantastic price.
3. Can I sell my stamps on the internet?
The sale of stamps is available online, but you need to vet the buyer before sending them anything.
4. Can stamps lose their value?
The value of a stamp is dependant on its year, country of origin, and condition. The condition of the piece is more likely to render it less valuable.