How Collectors Price Their Stamps?

Stamp collecting is not a new trend of the people and the hobby is sweeping through out the world. In fact, the philately (or the study of stamps), and stamp collection is because of the interest of many enthusiasts for over the centuries.

The American Philatelic Society (APS) with over 40, 000 members is the biggest congregation of philatelists and stamp enthusiasts in the world, which was established in the year of 1886.

However, the standards and collectable worth of the stamps have remained constant. Stamps, generally, are determined as worthy for being collected based on the quality and rarity of the stamp.

As for as the quality concerned, the stamp must not be creased, folded, and must have the complete perforated sides. In addition, the quality of the stamp and the Centeredness of the printing have the capacity to jack the prices up or drive them down. Centeredness means that the design is placed in equal distances from the perforated edges on all sides.

Color also plays a huge factor in the quality of the stamp. Consistent exposure to the sun and wrong storage methods can cause the color of the design to fade. Moreover, many amateur stamp collectors make the mistake of soaking stamps to remove them from the paper without taking into consideration of the ink used to print the stamp and the ink of the cancellation seal on a used stamp.

Stamps issued before the 1940s were printed by using fugitive ink, which will get diluted in water. Other conditions to be kept in mind during the soaking of the stamp are that the used stamp will have a cancellation seal, which ink will also be diluted in water. Soaking the stamp will cause the cancellation's ink to run into the design, completely compromising the quality of the stamp.

Besides the above conditions, the gum or adhesive film at the backside of the stamp is also to be taken into consideration, while soaking the stamps. A stamp will be with its more or less gum and that gum can make severe damage to the stamp by licking and sticking.

A mint or unused stamp has equal chances of being as expensive as a used stamp. A stamp with lesser propensity of being used on letters would be more expensive if it was acquired as a used stamp. On the other hand, the stamps used in letters in huge volumes would obviously be much more expensive in its mint condition.

There may be great difficulty to assess the possible market value or worth of the stamp, objectively. Most probably, the expert philatelists, who are connoisseurs in stamp valuations, may be able to assess the worth of the stamp, objectively.

These expert philatelists are not very hard to find. They are usually one of the stamp enthusiasts who have had much experience in trading, selling, and collecting stamps. Their services are made most accessible to members of philatelic clubs of where they are part of it. Some associations will provide the facility for their members by the services of expert philatelists including the member of American philatelic Society (APS).

The other options are of greater accessibility, especially for the amateur stamp collectors. Most libraries, across the country, have an extensive collection of stamp catalogues that guides the stamp enthusiasts for finding out the various stamps issued under a particular theme or subject classification. in addition, the stamp catalogues contain a wealthy information regarding the certain price level of these stamps, which are sold in the market.

Usually, stamp prices are a little bit higher. However, these catalogues are very much useful guides to make you aware of the price range of the stamps.The most commonplace for the availability of the stamp catalogues are the libraries, which include the US-based Stanley Gibbons, Britain's Michel, and Germany's OCB.

| Terminologies used in Stamp Collecting Cancellation Marks or PostMarks | Terminologies used in Stamp Collecting Commemoratives | Terminologies used in Stamp Collecting First Day Covers | Terminologies used in Stamp Collecting Perfins and Overprints | Terminologies used in Stamp Collecting Perforations |

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