By Robert Taylor

Often, I see many collections that have value and some that have very little value. The inquisitive question then becomes……..why do some collections have value and others have very little value?

It boils down to several factors.

It’s not in the volume of stamps…..it’s in the quality of the stamps. As a general rule of thumb, most stamps issued after 1935 have very little collector value. If the stamps have not been used, then they are generally worth at least their indicated postal value. Cancelled stamps for this same time period generally do not have any value.

Once we shift to stamps that were printed in the 1920’s and older, now we have a possibility to have some value higher than the stamp printed postage value. As we move into stamps that were issued in the 1890’s and older, the chances of having some value become even better.

So……what gives older type stamps a chance for a higher value?

Stamp valuations are developed depending on several factors such as:

* “Rarity”—-how many stamps of this type have survived all of these years?

* Was the total amount of stamps issued for this particular stamp much less than other stamps?

* Is the stamp unused?

* Is the stamp used (cancelled)?

* Is the stamp figure image nicely centered within the stamp’s frame borders?

* Is the stamp damaged?

Forgeries of key stamps do exist just like they do in other highly collectible material such as rare coins and paintings. It will take a very experienced stamp dealer or collector to spot a forgery.

“I am not interested in the stamps that I’ve had for years….how do I get them appraised and obtain their fair value”?

* Contact a local stamp appraiser.

* Determine if there is any fee to perform the appraisal.

* Evaluate the stamp appraiser’s comments and ask questions concerning any values presented.

“What do I do with the stamps if the dealer does not want to buy them”? Unfortunately, this does happen. Some collections just have no value to the dealer. He can’t resell them because no one is interested in that type of material.

At this point, you may have young children or grandchildren that might like to have them. If not, you can always donate them to a thrift or charitable organization and obtain a receipt for them with some kind of nominal value indicated.

Happy collecting!

If you need additional information, just email me at: classicstamps@live.com