How to Determine the Value of a Stamp


Stamp collecting is a hobby that has lasted nearly two hundred years since the label’s creation in 1840 allowed mail services to charge a base fee for packages easily. Some of these collections have been passed down through the years, and people often wonder how much the stamps are worth.

Lots of factors go into valuing each stamp, so let’s cover the basics on how you can figure it out. You have five basic choices:

  • Evaluate the stamp yourself
  • Find a printed book for reference
  • Search the worth on the internet
  • Take your collection to a stamp show
  • Hire an appraiser

If you’d like to evaluate the stamp yourself, you need to consider several factors. First, identify the stamp according to when it was issued, then determine how old it is, what material it was made out of, how the design is centered, whether it still has the gum on the back, how intact the perforations are, and whether or not it is rare. Each of these factors will add or detract worth, as will the grade of the stamp. It ranges from extremely fine to below average, and you’ll need a guide to differentiate.

This can be a somewhat overwhelming process, as each stamp must be evaluated individually, and if you have thousands, this can take years. Don’t let this dissuade you, however. Just take it one stamp at a time, and eventually, you’ll know everything you need to know about your collection.

If you need help, you can acquire a printed book that lists the different stamps. Most stamps that have value are of historical significance and will be in many references. This won’t work for the entirety of your collection, however, and the worth might be out of date. If this is the case, turn to the internet and begin your search anew with the information you have on hand.

One excellent source of information can be a stamp show. If you are in America, you can search the database of stamp shows on the American Philatelic Society website. You might be surprised by how many there are available near you. Stamp collecting is still a trendy pastime, and people enjoy showing off their collections and trading stamps. Some people have dedicated their lives to reading up on history and will be able to tell you if you have anything of worth within your collection.

Similarly, you can pay someone to evaluate your collection. This is an excellent idea if you simply want to sell a collection you inherited or if you have some stamps of serious worth and need to get them insured. This is also how you will find someone willing to buy your collection. Experts who appraise also buy and sell stamps of notability, so don’t discount their offer if you want to sell.

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