How to Learn Postage Values the Easy Way


May 21, 2015 Europe/London
How to learn the value of your stamps

Learning how to identify the values of postage stamp is one requirement to fully enjoy philately and trading of postage stamps. Here are some recommendations on how you can screen stamps, and discover their value.

Check the Web, Read Stamp Catalogs

Traditionally, the values of the postage stamps will depend on the condition and the centering used. Other variables are thrown into the picture, but there are some basic rules that you can check out if you want to establish yourself as a stamp collector. For starters, you can count on websites that post tutorials and guides on postage stamps. These resources can help you spot damages that may affect overall value. If you plan to use the web to search for stamps, remember to use online comparison tools. These tools can help you asses the values without having to leave your room. There’s also a traditional way of checking the values, and this can be done by checking out the Scott Postage Stamp Catalog. Similar catalogues in the market include the British Empire Stamps Catalog and the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth. Remember that the prices that you’ll get from the catalog may be different from actual prices due to fluctuations in prices. Remember to read the catalog, and try to spot stamps that were printed in limited numbers. The idea in stamp collection is to find rare stamps with minimal modifications. A rare stamp can reach a value in the millions. 

Other Rules to Remember in Postage Stamps Values

Early and rare stamps often command a higher value.  The condition of the stamps can affect the stamps overall value. Look for signs of fault like creases and tears. These signs of damages can lower the value of stamps for sale. Stay away from stamps with low value including used postage stamps released in the last 70 years and albums that are sparsely filled. If you have access to a huge number of postage stamps, then you can use these in mailing letters. Pay attention to the type of collection, if these are first day covers or postage history collection.
It is also critical to evaluate individual stamps instead of simply looking at a collection. In the end, the quality of individual stamps effects the value, and value is defined by different factors. But at the end of the day, the value of the stamps for collection is determined by demand and supply. The principle here for collectors is to find rare and high demand postage stamps. There are supply and demand factors that can further increase the stamp valuation, like centering on the stamps and absence of faults or damages.