Determining the Value of Your Stamp Collection

Stamps are a journey through time. They bring us back to a prominent place, person, or historic achievement. Every stamp has its own beauty, with each type classified into a distinct category. As collectors, we have boxes and albums full of stamps ranging from decades to centuries old.

It’s important to look at what you have before you start to think about how much your collection is worth. If you’re a serious collector, you know it takes years of knowledge and experience to find the true value of your stamps. If you’ve inherited an extensive collection, know that the majority of stamps have little value, but if you have a truly rare stamp it could be worth thousands of dollars.

With your stamps, you could classify them into the following categories:

  • Commemorative
  • Special
  • Definitive

Commemorative sets are designed to honor historical events or figures. A relatively new printed classification, the commemorative stamps are larger than other types, and are produced in the hundreds, available for only a limited time and are typically a big collector’s item. They offer first-class rates, just like the special stamps. A special classified stamp is used on distinct occasions and issued in large quantities, typically seen around holidays. Definitive stamps are the most common, issued in large quantities for a several year span.

There is a unique flexibility to the hobby. You see custom stamps and an ageless allure. The older and rarer a stamp is, the more it increases in value. While you have a growing collection with stamps you deem valuable, the question remains:

How can I determine my collection’s valuation?

Condition and Inventory. Those are the two main factors when valuating your stamps.

Condition. It’s all about the condition of the stamp. You can look at a catalogue to get an estimated value, but these values are provided for those stamps that are in above average condition. If you’re a collector, you know how much of an impact an off-center or minor flawed stamp can have on its valuation. When looking at the back of the stamp, is it free of pencil markings or paper adhesions? Those stamps in mint condition are worth substantially more than even the slightest flaw.

Inventory. How extensive is your collection? What kind of stamps do you own? In order to determine an accurate valuation, keep a thorough inventory, and update that list when stamps are sold or acquired. A photo and receipts shows proof of ownership.

There are times when we think our stamps are worth much more than actual value. If you’re unsure of their worth, the next option is to receive an appraisal. A certified appraisal will document the worth of your stamps, and helps to obtain the right collectible insurance coverage for your collection. Here at American Collectors, we don’t require an appraisal, which is for your convenience.

When to get your collection insured

We believe if it’s worth collecting, it’s worth protecting! Your collection may qualify. Whether you’re new to the hobby or if you amassed a much larger collection, there are specialized insurance options available. With a broad coverage policy, you can protect your collection from physical loss or damage, shipping and packaging, natural disasters, theft, and more. Take the extra precaution and keep your collection safe before damage occurs. We’re here to help.