Stamp Collecting

Are any of you members an avid stamp collector? My father was. He passed away a few years ago and his collection has been boxed up in my mother's apartment since. We moved my mother to a senior living facility a few weeks ago and we now need to do something with the stamp collection. Neither I nor any of my siblings picked up the hobby from my father. He has thousands of stamps. Majority are grouped and organized in a massive collection of binders, but maybe only in a way he understood. We're thinking of getting the collection appraised and then sold, but have no idea what the first step would be or who to trust or how thorough the appraisal should be, etc. I've been googling for information, but I'd thought I check here too just to see if anyone has any good advice. A holistic appraisal would be easiest I presume, but I'd hate to think that in his collection of 10,000 stamps, there are a half dozen that are near "priceless" and significantly more valuable than the other 9,994 combined yet they are not revealed at the appraisal.


John Larkin

Sublime Master of Turbology
You are on the right track thought-wise. I guarantee that someone naive would be taken advantage of in a situation like this. Unfortunately this means unless you find a trusted expert, you or your family will need to put in the time to go through them all against some standard reference. What that is I have no idea. The good news is it is a finite set of stamps - once you get through them all there are no more. Sounds like a good project for this winter. Take your time; it took your father decades to put it together. You don't have to take it apart in haste.


My father and I used to collect many years ago. Oddly, in a recent review of the collection I found that the majority of the stamps we collected aren't really worth all that much. (There's just too much circulation) It's the same with numismatists, comic book collecting and most "collectibles".... I think once it was discovered that certain items would be valuable, everyone and their brother started collections and essentially removed all the value.

That said, I would definitely google and find some collector sites. Find out what price guides they are using- as there will likely be an up-to-date pricing guide. Find the guide and take your time to research. It is likely that most of the collection is not worth a ton but, there may be a few gems hidden in the collection. Personally, I would do the research myself BEFORE letting anyone appraise anything.(Maybe avoiding appraisal altogether) You never know who you're dealing with. Like John says above, this would be an ideal situation for an unscrupulous "appraiser, collector, dealer" to take advantage of you guys if you don't know what you have and offer you pennies on the dollar.

Take your time and do the research. Who knows, maybe you'll catch the bug. :)
Good Luck


Well-Known Member
If you or your siblings have kids maybe they may be interested in the collection or they could research . Just sayn


East Coast Go fast with class club MAGNA!!!
Staff member
I have a stamp collection that my mom collected. I know she spent way more money on collecting it than what it's worth. IMO stamps are worthless unless you have those first few pages filled. It's not worth the paper they are printed on. My comic book collection on the other hand has held up much much better. Value keeps rising each year on key books.

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regan j

I know zero about stamps, but, maybe have it sold by someone with a good rep/business and they get a percentage of total sales with receipts. ???
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Get a copy of Linn's Stamp News. If you can't find it, PM me your address and I'll send you the latest issue I have. Lot's of dealers listed that buy stamp collections.
If you or your siblings have kids maybe they may be interested in the collection or they could research . Just sayn
My nephew claims he's interested, but the collection is still boxed up just the way it was after my dad died 2 1/2 years ago so I don't know how interested he really is.