How to Determine the Value of Old Stamps

Old Stamps usa

Stamp collecting is a popular hobby, and various people across the globe engage in it. There are avid collectors who are even ready to pay a huge amount for old stamps. If you have some stamps in your possession, who knows—you may have a small fortune hidden in your home!

Old Stamps

Some of the famous old and rare stamps in the world:


  • Basel Dove
  • British Guyana 1¢ Magenta
  • British Guyana 1¢ Magenta
  • George Washington
  • Hawaiian Missionaries
  • Inverted Jenny
  • Landing of Columbus
  • Penny Black
  • Perot Provisional
  • Post Office Mauritius
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Treskilling Yellow


How Much Are They Worth?

You can get in touch with a stamp dealer to know the value of your old stamps. You can find a lot of stamp dealers who specialize in stamp appraisal, or you can ask other philatelists for their recommendations of a trusted stamp dealer who will determine the value of your stamps. On the other hand, it is also possible to do the estimates on your own.

Verify the Value of Your Old Postage Stamps

Stamp identification

This process is important in finding out the worth of your old stamps. Check your stamps in a postage stamp catalog, which contain images and prices categorized by the issue date of the stamp. Some philatelic shops also sell old stamp price guides, in which you can refer to.

Examine the Grade or Condition

This process refers to the how the design of the stamp was positioned inside its margin. The value of an old postage stamp goes down when its design is faded. A stamp’s value can also be decreased by the presence of creases, tears, or perforations.

Pinpoint the Centering

You can do this technique through eyeballing, which means you can determine the centering of the stamp without using any tools. You only need to turn the stamp upside down. Through this simple method, your eyes will automatically focus on the main design of the stamp, making it easier to assess its condition.

Confirm the Rarity

The quality and level of the postage stamp’s rareness are determined by its presence in the marketplace. When it comes to ascertaining their value, the rarity may go beyond the grade or condition, considering that some collectors prefer to have a rare one instead of spending money on a common stamp.

Check the Gum

An exceedingly fine or original mint stamp still has an intact gum. Philatelists will invest a high amount of money for old stamps that have a mint gum. Collectors of these stamps categorize the stamp gum as either unused, used, or not hinged.

Stamp Cancellation

Knowing the degree of cancellation is a technique of marking a postage stamp to find out if it has been used before. These canceled stamps are identified as heavily canceled or lightly canceled. Marks with heavy cancellation reduces the value of the stamp as opposed to the ones with light marks.

The Bottom Line

Apart from the exceptional grade of the stamps, their value will increase if the old stamps have an interesting history that can be traced to their origin. This factor makes these stamps remarkably attractive to most stamp collectors.


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