lundi 4 avril 2016

Information Regarding Rare Postage Stamps

By Angela Turner

A very popular hobby worldwide is stamp collecting or philately as it is known. Enthusiasts and collectors often build up huge collections of examples from hundreds of countries and in many different types. There are a few main factors that make a stamp a rare or give it an increased value and if you are planning to buy rare postage stamps there are a few things to think about before you make any purchases.

The first stamps that were issued were the penny blacks in Britain in the mid 19th century and featured a portrait of the queen on a black background. A mint example of this stamp would command a huge sum of money if it came up for sale but they are scarce. Many stamps from later periods and from other countries also fetch huge amounts when they are offered for sale.

Some collectors will tend to stick to one specific area of postage stamp. Airmail, commemorative and first day issues are popular with many philatelists. Others will specialize in stamps featuring birds, animals or famous people. Some will collect misprints where the image on the stamp has been printed upside down or maybe in the wrong color than was intended.

When a postage stamp is offered for sale it will be graded by experts and this can range from a poor example to an extra fine one. Poor means it is in bad condition and will be the least sought after and of little value. An extra fine example will be perfect and these are the ones that most serious buyers and enthusiasts will be looking for.

When collecting stamps you will need a few items to keep your collection in a presentable condition. An album or stock book can be used to display your collection and this will have clear plastic envelopes or the stamp can be attached to pages using adhesive hinges. A magnifying glass for examination and stamp tongs will be needed to handle them.

When you are looking to buy a stamp to start or add to a collection there are a few options. Dealers are a great place to find examples and also auction houses in your area. The internet has become more popular for buyers in recent years too. Buying privately is also an option and a great way to meet fellow collectors.

Whenever you are buying stamps some care should be exercised to avoid making mistakes. Due to the high value and vast prices they fetch many examples of stamp have been sold that are counterfeit. If you are buying privately it is essential to have the items looked at by an expert to check they are the real thing and not faked.

Any valuable collection of rare items should always be insured against any theft, loss or damages and this is the case with a stamp collection. Your standard home insurance policy will not be enough to cover any claims so alternative cover should be found. Specialized firms are available to insure your collection and it is worth getting some quotes from these companies and getting cover in place.

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