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Collecting Stamps for Fun and Profit

Stamp collectors collect and acquire different stamps for various reasons. When technology has taken over every aspect of our lives, collecting stamps remains and is still a popular activity all around the world. Today, there are more than 20 million stamp collectors in the world. 

Are Stamps Worth Collecting?

If you know anyone or a self-proclaimed stamp collector, regardless of your reason, there indeed is one, either to gain higher profit or for fun, we’ve got you covered. Some philatelists collect and sell stamps for cash, while others want to achieve that genuine and rewarding feeling. The pure joy associated with collecting stamps motivates them to push their limitations. 

The process sometimes can be complex, from locating to searching, and purchasing to complete your one-of-a-kind collection gives collectors a sense of success, pride, and accomplishment. Whether you collect:

  • Common stamps
  • Old stamps
  • New stamps
  • Rare stamps
  • Special stamps

The process is almost similar to treasure hunting, as most stamps are considered prized possessions. The feeling of finally finding a stamp that you’ve been searching for a long time offers unmatched happiness to the philatelist end and simply worth every time you spend with this hobby. 

Several people collect stamps with the joy of getting praised by family, friends, and fellow stamp collectors with their collections. Furthermore, some philatelists collect rare stamps to sell them at higher prices. 

Stamp collection can be compared to collection paintings, antiques, or anything that requires time, effort, and money. The feeling is mutual; most people collected stamps because they are drawn to their colors, designs, and pictures. Their visual appearance is more than enough to provide satisfaction and joy on the collector’s end whenever they check their stamp collections.

here are several reasons why people are drawn to collections stamps, aside from the potential profit it offers and the satisfaction alongside: 

  • Stamps are affordable
  • Stamps offer simplicity, enjoyment, and fun
  • A unique connection to stay in touch with diverse people
  • Historical value and educational benefits
  • Meeting new people of the same interest
  • Personal legacy
  • Commemorate specific events
  • Offers sentimental value
  • Real-life interest and dedication
  • It’s an excellent investment
  • Easy to organize and store
  • Acts as a superb de-stressor from your daily life
  • It’s a neat, clean, and detailed type of collection
  • Many influential and famous people are stamp collectors
  • A great way to battle boredom

What To Look For When Collecting Stamps

As a philatelist—a person that collects, research, study or exhibit stamp productions, use, or contains stamps—there are several essential factors that you’ll need to check to determine if a stamp is of a good condition and its legitimacy. Stamp collection is a prominent pastime. There are diverse types of distinctive stamps circulating the market, and here’s your quick guide on how to find the best ones. 

Several elements must be checked to identify the postage stamp’s value, including age, rarity, and condition. These factors affect the overall value of stamps. To help you analyze, assess, and identify stamps value, here’s a quick guide: 

Postage stamps
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Check inscription

If a stamp doesn’t showcase currency and country, they have inscriptions, words, letters, and numbers included on the stamp design. Search through the internet for the stamp inscription to quickly identify the stamp origin. 

Identify the date and country of origin.

Identify where the stamp’s country of origin and date. Most stamps have information that is printed on it. There are several catalogs to guide you of various stamps identification, especially if they’re from the US. 

Check watermarks 

Watermarks are the best way to determine the stamp’s origin. They appear on your stamp paper when you use watermark fluid. You can use watermark fluid by placing your stamp upside-down on your tray intended to check watermarks, add fluid drops, and let it dry. 

You can study the letters, designs, pictorial elements, and numbers of the stamp watermark to identify its origin. However, not all stamps nowadays are printed on watermark paper. In 1938, the last postage stamp printed (US postage stamps) with watermarks was issued. 

After identifying the origin of your stamp, you can quickly determine its value. The Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue and Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps display the price variations and images of stamps sorted by their issued date. While the pricing on these guide refers to above-average stamp condition, it’s vital to assess your collection based on various criteria: 

  • Rareness

The rarity of a stamp varies according to the experts and philatelists. Most stamps that contain print errors, perforations, or defects are considered rare – potentially even more so than limited-edition stamps. 

  • Gum

A stamp’s backend glue is the stamp gum. A high-value stamp must have perfect stamp gum, which stays in perfect condition after leaving the post office. The stamp gum condition can be classified as mint, unused, or unused without gum. 

  • Condition

Stamp condition affects its overall value, and they are classified from superb, fine, good, to below average. 

  • Centering

Stamps with equal margins are more appealing and sell higher compared to those that are not well-centered. Balanced designs, vignettes, and margins are an essential part of stamps centering. 


Stamp collection is for everyone. No matter what walk of life you belong to, stamp collecting is an excellent hobby for all ages, regardless of the reason you collect them. Starting a collection is pretty straightforward too. You can take your time and start with few stamps first, slowly adding them up for newcomers.

Featured Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay