So why do old postage stamps have value? Well like all markets it is down to supply and demand. You need to consider the supply and demand for stamps as a market in general but within that large market of ‘old postage stamps’ different stamps are valued differently. Scarcity is the biggest factor, find a one of a kind and you may have hit the jackpot.
If we start off by looking at supply. What factors affect supply? Well the age of the old postage stamps usually makes a difference. The older the old postage stamps are there are less likely to be many of them around any more. Lots may have been around and produced at the time but many have not survived until today.
What makes older old postage stamps even rarer? A high face value does. Stamps in normal circulation are generally inexpensive. In the past though there were stamps of high value relative to the average wage. In some instances old postage stamps in circulation had the face value of some peoples’ weekly wage. As you can imagine there weren’t many people who bought these so there are few survivors.
So limited supply adds to the Value Of Old Postage Stamps but what are there any other ways that supply is limited? Well there have been a number of occasions where old postage stamps have had errors on them.
If you imagine, this would be hugely embarrassing for the post office so usually as soon as it was noticed, which was usually pretty early on, the old postage stamps were removed from printing and disappeared from circulation. This means that often errors are pretty rare and this scarcity adds to their values.
So if we look at demand what influences that? Well over recent years it has become fashionable to invest in alternative investments like wine and antiques. Stamps have also seen an additional interest and there has been an increased in the overall demand for Old Postage Stamps.
Special occasions like a royal wedding are often in demand. Old postage stamps relating to these occasions actually don’t usually hold much value. So why is the value of Old Postage Stamps for events like these so low when the demand is high? Well the post office in anticipation of high demand usually has a vast supply. It is high demand relative to supply that adds value.
We saw that there are a few errors and that influences supply but there is also a demand for errors because most collectors would like to own old postage stamps with an error on.
If we look at First Day Covers, the Royal Mail usually print many for the day of issue. This means that if you have a First Day Cover with stamped with the standard stamp then they aren’t likely to be valued much. If you have First Day Covers which have an unusual cancellation stamp then they are likely to be valued more because of the limited supply.
So what other factors affect the value of old postage stamps? The condition – the better the condition the higher value. You should always take care to appropriately hold your old postage stamps. More tips about this will follow in another post.
Whether the old postage stamps have been used will also affect the value. Some old postage stamps that have been used can attract a higher price than those that haven’t been used.
Complete sets are obviously worth more than those that are incomplete but you also pay a premium for you complete old postage stamp collections.
If you have any old postage stamps and want to know the value, why not check them out on Ebay to see if someone is trying to sell something similar. This will give you an idea of the value of old postage stamps.