Have you come across old stamps that date back 50 years or so? Old stamps are a jewel to have. If you have come across old stamps in your great grandfather’s suitcase, it’s high time you find out there worth. Old stamps can be sold for hundreds of dollars and if they are unique, they may turn out to be a lot more worth than you can imagine. The first and important thing to do is to find out their worthiness. Take your time and evaluate the old stamps.
Some of the things used to evaluate the value of old stamps are the stamps grade, age, condition and their uniqueness. For instance, a used postage stamp that dates back a century ago is very valuable. This isn’t just about their age but as well their rarity in the market. To know what price you can sell your old postage stamp, we’ve outlined some points to look at below.
How to determine the value of old stamps
- Distinguish the old stamp
The first thing to do is to identify the old stamps. Inspect your old stamps in a stamp catalog. It is very crucial in knowing the value of old stamps. In America, the Scott Specialized stamp catalog is widely read and in Britain, the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue is applied. These will aid you get the photographs and postage stamp prices classified by their date of issue. Other areas to check old stamp prices for price guide at philatelic shops.
- Define the centering
Centering is the first way of determining the grade of a stamp. Through this, you can be in a position to define if the old stamp’s design is balanced in relation to the other sections like the vignette and the margin. Generally, there is no any method for grading the center of a stamp. It is simply conducted through eyeballing, a method to view if the stamp is centered by turning it upside down. When looking at the stamp in an inverted way, the key attention is on its major design. If you do this, you can somehow determine the stamp’s centering.
- Learn the grade of the old stamp
One of the most significant ways of determining the value of your old stamp is by checking their grade or condition. The grade of the stamp refers to how the stamp design was centered in the stamp margin. There are various stamps grading used. An old stamp can be said to be below average, average, fair, good, fine and very fine. Also, the stamp condition means the features and how the stamp appears. Things to look at include: tears, perforation teeth, creases, and whether the stamp is faded or not. If the stamp misses one of these features, it value decreases too.
- Inspect the gum
The gum of a stamp is the glue found on the backside of a stamp. A fine postage stamp possess a perfect gum that is still original and in place. Normally, stamps don’t have heavy natural gum creases or gum skips. Philatelists pay a high price for old stamps that have mint gum. In the scenario where an old stamp was unused but it was attached to a letter, its value will increase. Also, stamps placed on albums using stamp hinges make their value to decrease. This is because stamp hinges damage the gum on stamp. Stamp lovers rate the gum of old stamps as used, unused and used, never hinged.
- Figure out the degree of cancellation
When we say stamp cancellation, we mean the level of applying a mark on a stamp to show that it is already utilized. Old stamps are either cancelled lightly or heavily. If it is cancelled lightly, then the main design of the stamp is visible and fairly cancelled. But if it’s heavily cancelled, the main design is almost invisible and the cancel is dark. Old stamps with heavy cancellation have a lesser value than that of fairly cancelled old stamps.
- Check the perforation condition
This is another great feature to look out for when deciding a value of old stamp. Perforations on a stamp are circular holes punched onto a printed stamp to help is its separation from other stamps on the same sheet. Stamp perforations vary in size and number as well. Normally, perfs have teeth and holes. So, at the time of evaluating them, ensure that they have these features. These circular holes are measures using a stamp perforation gauge.
- View the stamp age and material
It is also worth knowing when the stamps were created and the material that was used to create it. Stamp collectors love the history behind the stamps. The place of origin of the stamp can easily determine the time when the stamps were produced, the place they were manufactured and the kind of materials utilized. The older the stamps, the costlier they will be.
- Check the uniqueness of the old stamp
When looking at various things that determine the value of old stamps, its rarity surpasses many features. The uniqueness of the stamp is determined by its visibility on the market. This is really crucial as some philatelists prefer to have a very rare stamp without greatly considering other factors. Also, some rare stamps have great value such as the rare or error stamps. These command high value and are the most costly. To know how rare or costly your stamp is retailing at, check out at online stamp auction sites such as eBay.
After going through our suggestion on how to define the valuable of your old stamp, you can now go ahead and evaluate the stamps in your collection. You do not have to be a philatelist for you to determine the value of your old stamps.