World Stamps

Dealing with duplicates

Jan 22, 2019, 3 PM
Collectors often face the situation of finding duplicate stamps in pursuit of getting one of each stamp for a country or new collection. But then what happens to the duplicates?

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

It is a common situation that many stamp collectors face: How do you deal with duplicate examples of stamps or covers in your collection?

There are many ways to approach collecting a new country or topic.

One stamp-collecting method I have had success with is to purchase a couple of collections at auction, and then I start to fill the spaces in my album.

It doesn’t take too long before I start accumulating duplicate examples of any given stamp from that country or topic. When I feel like the duplication is starting to add up, that is usually the point when I create a want list and start to shop specifically for only the items I need.

But then that pile of duplicates just sits there. I would enjoy hearing what other collectors do when faced with this situation.

Do you just put the duplicates in an envelope? Sort them out in a stockbook? Use them as trading material with other collectors? Sell them at auction? Sell or barter with a dealer for another purchase? Or do you send them off as a donation to a philatelic organization?

I would guess that a combination of any of these would be possible. But where does the greatest success lie in being able to get some value out of your duplicates?

Send your thoughts to me by email at or send a note to my attention at Linn’s Stamp News, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365. I will do my best to compile some of the suggestions received in a future column.

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