Stamp and postage postcard collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, and even with the advent of e-mail and other quicker and more efficient forms of messaging, postage stamp collecting doesn't seem to show any signs of dwindling. In fact, even more varieties and designs of stamps are being produced nowadays; some are even being produced simply for it to become a collectible.
Vintage and rare postage stamp collecting is a challenge in stamp collecting. You would need more background knowledge - and money to invest - if this is the particular type of stamp collecting hobby you'd like to embark on. So read on for some tips that could help you out with this hobby:
1. Know the types of rare and vintage stamps.
One of the most prized stamps is the Penny Black, issued in 1840 by Britain featuring Queen Victoria's profile. It was the first postage stamp to be issued. Other stamps of great value known today include those with printing errors (such as the inverted Black Swan stamp of Australia, valued at USD60,000 and the inverted jenny of the US, valued at USD525,000); first stamps of an area (such as the Hawaiian Missionary stamps, valued at USD370,000, used); and very rare issues (such as the British Guiana, which were printed only because the delivery of stamps from England were delayed; now worth USD935,000).
2. Know the equipment you could use.
You don't really need to invest too much money on the tools and materials you'd use in creating your stamp catalogue; just remember that your main purposes will be to easily store, display and inspect your collected stamps. That being said, you could probably work with simple stamp albums, using stamp hinges to safely attach the postage stamp to the album page (thereby avoiding damage even to the back part of the stamp); stockbooks with transparent plastic pockets; a magnifying glass for inspection purposes; and stamp tongs (or specialized little tweezers that enable you to handle the stamps with utmost care).
If you're interested in selling some of your collection, it is of prime importance to make sure that you keep your stamps in great condition. Remember: the condition of your stamp is one of the key factors a buyer considers in determining its value.
3. Know the current stamp values.
One of the easiest ways to know of the current values of different stamps would be to research them online. Some of the useful websites you could visit for this purpose include findyourstampsvalue.com and stamp-values.com .
Also, you can bring your stamps to a reputable stamp dealer or antique store, where they can help you assess the value of your collected stamp. Make sure that you visit regional stamp exhibitions and stamp shows near your area. This would help you develop more base knowledge to help you price vintage and rare postage stamps.
Know that the value of a stamp doesn't automatically increase as time passes by. Time is not the only factor that increases or decreases the rate of value of a collection. There are also factors such as how rare the stamp is, how good its condition (see number 2), and what could be the history behind that specimen.
One more word: remember that before you engage in buying and selling of stamps, make sure that you gain solid experience in collecting and assessing the value of your stamps. This would help you get good deals and ensure that your efforts and investments would pay off. And also, remember to have fun! Good luck!