Prices for United States stamps in the grade of fine-very fine, the general grade used with this index, remained fairly steady over the last three months, with a minimal decrease noted.
The Linn’s U.S. Stamp Market Composite Index decreased to 687.6 from its 689.5 level in April. Some of the changes continue to reflect value updates that were made in Vol. 1 of the 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.
Stamp condition continues to remain key.
The index is down 0.7 percent from the July 2013 level. These indexes are primarily based on the values of fine-very fine stamps, while Scott catalog values are based on VF stamps. When you buy, use the illustrated guide to stamp grading included in the introduction to the Scott catalog.
Prices for 19th-century U.S. stamps decreased by 0.3 percent. Nineteenth-century stamp prices have decreased by 1.8 percent from the level of July 2013.
Twentieth-century stamp prices decreased very slightly, by 0.1 percent. Twentieth-century stamps have shown a 0.3 percent increase over the past 12 months.
Interest in early airmail issues continues, though airmail stamp values posted a slight decrease of 0.6 percent in July. Airmail prices are still up 2 percent from last year.
Any collector satisfied with average centering or slightly faulty stamps should be able to buy them at substantial reductions from Scott catalog levels for sound VF stamps. For accurately described and graded stamps, collectors should expect to pay a substantial percentage of Scott value for F-VF centering, about 70 percent to 85 percent of Scott value (less for most modern issues), and full Scott retail value for VF centering. Collectors desiring superbly centered stamps in sound condition — mint or used — should expect to pay, in some cases, a substantial multiple of Scott value. The Scott Stamp Values U.S. Specialized by Grade,which is published in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, provides guidance.
The specific movement of prices in the component index groups in July was as follows: 19th-century stamps decreased 0.3 percent, moving from 952.3 to 949.7; 20th-century stamps decreased 0.8 percent, from 597.2 to 596.7; and airmails decreased 0.6 percent, from 347.3 to 345.3.
The three component charts have separate scales.
These averages are based on current retail prices for component stamps (shown by Scott numbers in the inset for each chart) in the condition in which they are most commonly bought and sold.
Collectors should always remember that average or defective stamps will invariably sell for less, and extremely fine or better stamps will sell for more. The trend line for these stamps might vary greatly from that shown in Linn’s U.S. Stamp Market Index.
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Market Index is normally published quarterly and represents a weighted average of three different component groups.
Each group reflects the average change in prices for each of its component stamps or sets. The component stamps in each group — 19th century, 20th century and airmails — were chosen based on their popularity and available pricing information. Some singles and sets not represented in each group invariably perform better or poorer on average.
blogThe unique block of six unissued 2-penny King Edward VIII stamps of Australia, whose fascinating origin and provenance were detailed in Linn’s issue dated Oct. 20, 2014, around the time of the block’s sale, has been broken up. The block had lain in the Vestey family’s possession ever since it was fresh off the presses in 1936, when the 1st Baron Vestey received it as a memento from an Australian politician. Read More ›
blogAs stamp collectors, we become the stewards of postage stamps and postal history. We passionately protect our stamps and covers. We recognize that these fragile objects are ours to cherish for a brief moment in time before we pass them along to the next generation. Read More ›
blogOn June 28, 1914, by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip with the squeeze of a trigger sparked would become to be known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” Read More ›
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 ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Marty Frankevicz discusses the controversy in Canada over increasing postage rates, the elimination of home mail delivery and the erecting of cluster boxes.
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.
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.