What Can Make Rare Coins and Stamps Valuable?

postage stamps

To non-collectors, it may not always be clear why rare coins and stamps are so valuable.  But, there is a rhyme and a reason behind the value we place on coins.  Read on to learn more:


First and foremost, coins and stamps are more valuable the less common they are.  A U.S. penny from, say, 1995, is probably never going to be incredibly valuable: the ’95 penny is exceptionally common and is indistinguishable from those of similar years.  However, the most commonly used coin in ancient Rome or Greece is valuable to coin collectors simply because there are relatively few of them left in the world.  Rarity is therefore the first factor in determining the value of a coin or stamp.



Imperfections are just another sign that a coin or stamp is very, very rare—which is why a coin or stamp with imperfections is more desirable than a specimen without.  This isn’t to say that you should tear a stamp in half to make it more “unique.”  Imperfections are mistakes that were made during the process of creating the stamp, not anything that happened to it after it was put into circulation.  Stamps with printing errors, incorrectly-struck coins: These are more valuable than your average specimen. 


Limited Circulation

Again, scarcity is rarity, which adds value.  If the stamp or coin was taken out of circulation for whatever reason, then it’s usually more valuable than other specimens.  For example, the most expensive American coins on record are part of a series that was melted down before it was ever put into circulation.  Only a few examples escaped the smelting process legally, while the rest all have rather dubious origins.  Coins and stamps are therefore more valuable if they spend less time—or no time—being used by the public.


If you’re interested in stamp or coin collecting, then you should consider visiting Coins of the Realm.  At Coins of the Realm, we act as stamp, coin, and precious metals dealers.  We also deal in gold coin.  To learn more about our great Rockville location, call (301) 340-1640 today.



Contact Us Today

Fill out our short form to get more information.

Why Choose Coins of the Realm, Inc.?

  • Free storefront parking providing easy access.
  • Established in 1974 and still under original ownership and management providing decades of expertise in all aspects of buying and selling.
  • Financial Security – Since opening in April of 1974 every transaction of every size has been completed successfully without issue. Bank references available.
  • We provide accurate information in a professional no pressure environment allowing you to make sound decisions to sell, keep or buy collectibles and precious metals.