Since the integration of stamps in 1840, a wide variety of collectible stamps has made their way onto the market. There are over five million philatelists residing in the US and counting. These stamps derive from historical events, places, people, and symbols.
It has become so popular that even influential people have taken up the pastime. With millions of stamps to collect worldwide, most collectors aim for stamps’ rarest designs to hold the greatest value. Wondering how collecting stamps is to this date? Here’s what you need to know.
Is Stamp Collecting Making A Comeback?
With a diverse collection of stamps available for every philatelist, no wonder you’ll love this activity, regardless of your age, location, or walk of life. This hobby is suitable for everyone. Whether you are collecting commemorative or unique stamps, it’s essential to understand this hobby from a profound’s perspective.
One of the most popular stamps to collect is Forever Stamps. While almost every stamp has no expiration date, Forever Stamps are pretty remarkable for several reasons. For instance, the value of a Forever stamp in 2021 depends on a first-class stamp’s value. In case you purchase your Forever stamp coil for $0.47, and the value of a first-class postage stamp is $0.60, that’ll be the value of your forever stamp.
While technology continues to invade our lives and transition everything digitally, stamp collection slowly executes it come back as this generation is fueling interest with philately.
Here are several reasons why it’s quite making a buzz and continue to emerge:
- With the power of social media, the younger generation is becoming more interested in philately.
- Stamp collection is unplugged, relaxing, and tangible
- Collecting stamps is very Instagrammable too.
- You easily meet fellow philatelists on various social media platforms.
- Collecting stamps is engaging, affordable, and ideal for all ages.
- It provides a physical link for collectors to revisit the past and be nostalgic.
How Do I Know If My Stamp Collection Is Worth Anything?
Besides the benefits stamp collecting offers, several philatelists can even sell, trade, or auction postage stamps for cash. Varying on the quality, condition, and rarity of a stamp, they may have a significant value for most avid collectors. If you plan to invest in stamp collection this year, there are several factors that you might want to reconsider to ensure their value is of significant investment.
Here’s a quick guide to assessing and identifying stamp values:
Understanding the context of where stamps originated is vital for every philatelist. Several elements to look for includes:
- Watermarks: Watermarks appear on stamp papers and can be detected when you use watermark fluid. Not all stamps used watermarked paper, including those issues after 1917.
- Inscriptions: Several stamps don’t display currency, date, or country of origin; they may have words, letters, numbers, or inscriptions as part of their designs.
- Date and country: Date and country of origin are printed on every stamp.
Whether you are collecting stamps for a hobby or as an investment where you can sell them for cash, later on, it’s vital to identify which postage stamp has significant overall value. A stamp with great value must be above the average condition or almost as new.
The primary step when assessing the value of your stamp is its centering. Stamps with equal margins are more appealing and sell more. Postage stamp design must be balanced with other stamp parts.
Stamp condition plays a vital factor in the postage stamp’s overall value. Well-verse collectors know that faded colors, perforations missing, paper flacks, and various common imperfections can diminish the value of your stamp.
Most stamps are graded per category condition:
If a stamp is below the ‘good’ condition category, it’s not worth purchasing. Stamp value decreases with every crease, faded design, tear, and other design issues present within the stamp.
To identify the rarity of a stamp, you’ll need experts or a philatelist’s opinion. Several stamps with printing errors, perforation, and content errors are rare. Limited edition stamps are also considered rare stamps.
The glue found at the back of your stamp is the gum. Stamps with perfect gum like that issued by the post office have a higher value. Stamp gum is described as follows:
- Unused without gum: These stamps had totally lost the original gum
- Unused: Original stamp gum is damaged, frequently when using stamp hinges
- Mint: These stamps have fully undamaged gums that are sold in the post office.
These several factors will affect your stamp collection experience and will help improve your collection value at the same time.
The first step to building a stamp collection, regardless of whether you inherit a considerable amount of stamps or you’re just starting, is to know what stamps are most ideal for your collection. Likewise, whether you choose to buy Forever Stamps or check out rare stamps to add to your collection, you will indeed discover new possibilities and rediscover memories by investing in this hobby.