Building a Collection of Rare Stamps

Rare stamps are highly condition-sensitive and need to be properly handled and stored to protect their value. This is true for both unused stamps, canceled stamps, and cachets, or canceled stamps attached to an envelope, which are often commemorative in nature. Aside from the special care needed to maintain their value, you’ll want to consider your strategy for building your collection of rare postage stamps.

  • Themes: Some of us love sports stamps, and by every stamp that’s released. Others may like historical issues that celebrate individual countries. For those who just like dinosaurs, or cat stamps, there is something out there for everyone. Themed collections let you explore what you’re passionate about through the lens of stamps.
  • Value: If your primary goal is on curating a collection that increases its value, then you’re going to want to focus on rare stamps that are wanted the most or what you think those stamps will be later down the line. Obtaining rare collectible stamps can be both exciting and a difficult accomplishment.
rare stamps

How to Determine the Value of a Stamp 

When a stamp is up to be appraised, the most common aspect a collector looks at is how rare the stamp is. Other considerations include the condition of the collectible stamps. These stamps can range from ones with significant fading, hinge marks, and other signs of use all the way to completely unused stamps. Another consideration is the adhesive backing of a stamp, known as gum. Unused stamps will generally retain their original adhesive. 

To get an accurate value for your collection or an individual stamp, it’s best to consult professionals. You will want to get in touch with someone how knows how to correctly appraise the value of the stamps.

Curating a Themed Collection for Value

If your building a rare stamp collection that focuses on your interests, you can also look for stamps that have value within your interest. Even within a given topic, there will be rare stamps worth money that stand out from the crowd but will make an excellent addition to your collection. When looking for the best stamps to add to your themed collection, consider these factors.

  • Don’t break them up: Many stamps collections focus on singular stamps, but sheets can make valuable additions as well. These offer a unique look of how the stamps originally looked, that may increase the rarity of your collection in years to come. 
  • Conduct research: Limited edition runs that are lightly collected can help you not only support your theme but add value. Checking circulation numbers on new releases can help you spot specimens that may be primed to gain value. 
  • Watch out for errors: You’re making a mistake if you aren’t looking for mistakes. Errors are rarities that come from printing or cutting mistakes. They also account for some of the most valuable rare stamps on the market. Finding and adding these oddities can not only give your themed collection something unique but also valuable.