What Makes a Stamp Collectable?

Many people think they know what makes something a collectable, whether it be stamps, coins, or memorabilia. While there are certain factors, such as an item’s rarity, that influence whether it becomes a collectable, that same item needs to be coveted by others to truly become a collectable. Here is a brief look at what exactly can make a stamp into a collector’s item:

Rareness

Rare stamps are hot commodities among collectors. These stamps could be rare for any number of reasons. The most prominent reason being that there was a small number of stamps originally printed. Stamps may also be rare because many of the original run can no longer be found or printed. Some rare stamps include the “Hawaiian Missionaries” from 1851 and the Tiflis stamp from 1857.

Defects

Some stamps become collectables because they were originally printed with a defect. Before stamp collecting became a popular pastime, some countries would order the destruction of a defective stamp. This meant that if any defective stamps did make it into circulation, they often became very valuable. Popular examples of collectable stamps with mistakes are the Inverted Jenny—in which a military biplane was printed upside-down—and the Post Office Mauritius.

Collectable Prints

Once stamp collecting became popular, the United States Post Office started releasing specialized versions of their stamps for the express purpose of becoming collectables. These stamps are often released with authentication certificates and encouraged to be handled as a collectable. These collectable stamps will often coincide with a specific pop culture anniversary or a special date in history. Ask a stamp specialist or visit the Post Office’s website to learn more about stamps specifically printed for collections.

Visit Coins of the Realm for all information on collectable stamps in Rockville, MD. We can appraise your current stamp collection or help you start one. Please visit our website or call us at (301) 340-1640 to learn more about how we can help with your stamp collecting.

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