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.
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
blogWe stamp collectors are an observant bunch. After all, we spend a great deal of time closely scrutinizing small, colorful bits of paper. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the situation with Canada’s recalled Hoodoo stamp, as well as stamps from the United States and other countries that also depict these rock formations.
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.