You've recently inherited a stamp collection. The only thing you know stamps are good for is sticking them on an envelope that's to be mailed. What do you do with this collection of stamps?
Is it worth anything? Before you think about disposing of the collection by giving it away or selling it, consider what the hobby of stamp collecting has to offer you.
Stamp collecting is fun, entertaining and offers the opportunity to express your individuality. Stamps have much more to offer than simply value. You can learn about the world and its people through stamps. You can collect topics of interest to you. Glance through the collection.
You may find numerous topics of interest — cats, dogs, cars, flags, art, paintings, glass and so on. Check out the cancellations and postmarks, too. These have much to offer. Sometimes postmarks themselves feature topics. They also help explain destinations and rates.
The collection may include complete envelopes (known as covers by stamp collectors). Keep these intact. Don't remove the stamps unless you're certain the stamps are worth more off the cover than on it.
So before you decide to get rid of the collection your well-meaning relative left you, think about using it to start a new hobby. If after giving it some serious thought, you've decided you want to disperse of the collection, here are some tips for determining what the collection is worth and finding a new owner.
The 1996 book I Inherited, A Stamp Collection, Now What? might help you, but it is out of print, and parts of the book are obsolete. Another book Top Dollar Paid! is a good one and is available from stamp supply dealers who also sell books, including from Amos Advantage www.amosadvantage.com.
You can determine the retail value of your stamps by using the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogues, available at most public libraries or for purchase at AmosAdvantage.com.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.