FAQs About Stamp Collecting Fundamentals

You may have many questions about the basics of stamp collecting. Finding the right album and understanding the different terms and values are important tools to developing a productive hobby of collecting stamps. Learn more about stamp collecting fundamentals by reading from a short list of frequently asked questions below.

What is the best type of album?

There are several types of stamp albums available, and the one you choose depends on your personal preference and the extent of your collection. You will likely go through many different albums over the years, so do not feel boxed in to pick one specific album type. If possible, consult with a reputable stamp collector for advice on picking the right style album to suit your needs.

What are the terms of stamp condition?

There are five accepted terms used to rate the condition of a stamp. Average, Fine, Fine to Very Fine, Very Fine, and Superb are the common terms a stamp collector will use to judge your stamps’ conditions. Average condition means that the stamp’s design has been hindered by the perforations. The terms that include Fine and Very Fine often refer to a stamp’s design clarity and its centering. These terms may be subjective. Superb condition means the stamp is perfectly centered.

What is a valuable error?

A stamp may receive more value because of an error rather than a perfect rating. However, valuable errors on stamps are usually determined based on the stamp’s rarity. For example, the Inverted Jenny stamp is highly valuable because there were only about 100 stamps printed with the inverted design. It is important to consider the rarity of the stamp and its error before trusting that an errored stamp will be valuable.

Come down to Coins of the Realm to learn more about collecting stamps in Rockville, MD. We have rare stamps, collectible stamps, and many supplies you can purchase for your collection. Please call us at (301) 340-1640 to speak with our stamp specialists.

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