Those who want to start a stamp collection or simply want to expand their knowledge in the field need proper guidance in order to make the best out of their hobby. Stamp collecting can even turn into a valuable business over time, as the value of stamps can fluctuate and rare items will cost a lot of money and re-sale for a lot of money as well. We will be covering the necessary items that each collector should have, tips on how to find the best stamps, how to evaluate their price and where to look for information regarding stamps. It is a very expansive subject, worth exploring by both professionals as well as amateurs.
Essential Items for Stamp Collection
Albums: These will be necessary to all collectors. An album will be used to collect categories and sort your collection. These come in different sizes and shapes and they will protect your stamps from aging and the elements as well. You can always start with a small album and then move on to another one as your collection grows.
Stock Cards: These are used mainly as display areas, they protect your stamps but they also allow you to display the stamps of your choice. These can be made of plastic, but some are available in glass or plexi-glass. Choose the version most suitable for you and on the overall value of the stamps. Glass will be more expensive but will also not deteriorate or color in time.
Stock Books: These are larger, similar to albums but better suited for philatelic endeavors. They allow you to display some text along with the stamp to make a more enticing experience for the one who reads or browses the collection.
Philatelic Accessories: You can include a lot of miscellaneous items here. You can be interested in a powerful magnifier, a set of scissors, and a set of small tongs to handle the more delicate stamps. If you want something to aid you, view a stamp an illuminated magnifier can also be employed, to ease your viewing. An organizing tray can also be employed, though not necessarily meant for stamps; such a tray will ease your organizing of multiple stacked stamps when you, for instance deal stamps and need a place to store them easily and in larger batches. Labels, decals, those are self-explanatory and will aid your organization of stamps and of marking your albums and pages.
When you find a seemingly original, rare and thus expensive stamp available for sale you will need to run a few background checks on it to verify its authenticity. One thing to keeping mind is that a recognized dealership will rarely sell inauthentic products, whereas individual sellers may be more prone to dealing with fakes. Don't forget that the most expensive of stamps will be issued a registration number and their ownership will also be registered. Some less expensive stamps can also have their history recorded, so make sure you inquire your seller about the origin of the stamp, former owners and so on. Remember, the more you can find out about a stamp, information that you can verify, the better the chances it be an authentic piece. Another way to insure that you get a good price for a particular kind of stamp is to verify its origin.
Each stamp will have a particular date when it was issued. It will include the date, the number of stamps that were issued and the initial value they had. Many people are also interested in keeping their collections clean, having a common theme. Some prefer to go for a historical period; others want to go for a certain value for the stamps or a certain original issue value. All this information can be found online, according to the current market price, so, always verify it.For very valuable stamps, you can also go to a specialized authentication bureau that will certify a stamps authenticity. Antique stores can provide these services; an auction house can provide you with further authentication. The bigger the value of the stamp the more precautions you should take when deciding to buy.
Stamp evaluation is also important for entire collections. When you decide to purchase or sell a stamp collection, you should know how it affects the sale. The price will always be better when the collection is thematic and when the overall value of most stamps is high. The way the stamps have been preserved is also important. Mint condition stamps, which have not been handled by hand, will generally, sell for more than unkempt, handprint marked stamps.