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Help getting started with inherited stamp collection

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Rachel McLean02/08/2018 22:03:59
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Hello everyone, I'm hoping that this is ok to post here …..

I hope someone can help or point me in the right direction. I've just been gifted a pretty sizable (but v disorganised) stamp collection from my father. And I don't know where to start to organise or how to value any of the stamps.

Do you have any advice on how I should/could approach this. I'm happy to read up as much as I can and do all the research but google is pretty overwhelming. The stamps are a mixture from all over the world with a lot from Asia and Oceania.

Many thanks in advance.

Paul Davey 102/08/2018 23:02:06
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Welcome to the forum Rachel

there are a number of threads on here about inherited collections etc which most folk want to sell. Worth a search and checking out the threads. In brief, much depends where you are. Near a city in the UK you could request help from the local stamp club or if there is one, the local dealer. These guys (some of whom advertise in Stamp Magazine) are experienced in assessing disorganised collections. You mention Asia - China is very popular and fetches good prices, other countries less so. If you go down the "catalogue value of each stamp" approach you will find you may obtain only 10% catalogue value (the dealer may turn over the majority for 20%) for a lot of work, Of course exclude most stamps less than £5 from the calculation all together! Don't forget modern GB stamps since 1971, unused, can still be used to send mail. Few are worth more than face value.

If the collection is a "serious" one containing quality stamps in good condition the picture is very different and auction may be the way to go. An example of the first issue of China on the earliest recorded envelope realised $1.8M last month!

Of course we all hope you get interested enough to want to continue the collection! If so the local club will certainly offer copious advice (& probably tea!). The local library is often a good place to find contact details.

Good luck!

Rachel McLean04/08/2018 12:27:20
2 forum posts

Wow thanks very much Paul for your speedy and helpful reply! I'm near Edinburgh/Fife in Scotland so I'll certainly look up the local clubs - I'm so pleased what I have might be of interest (and maybe value). I'll dig a little deeper in the threads here too. thanks again.

Carmen04/08/2018 15:06:18
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563 forum posts
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Yes, welcome to the Fora, Rachel... hopefully this will be the beginning of a new adventure in Hoarding on a Tiny Scale (which is how I refer to Stamp Collecting! laugh)

Paul Davey 104/08/2018 16:28:57
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And there are two stamp shops in Edinburgh Rachel. One was pretty unhelpful in trying to sell me anything earlier this year, so hardly worth the trip and the other only opened for appointments the day I wanted to visit. However you could find them on the web and give them a call! I found the one in Glasgow which I visited in the same trip to be much more welcoming I have to say!

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