How to Check the Values of Stamps

By Tom Ryan

Stamp collecting has been a popular hobby for generations. Just as fun as collecting stamps, though, can be learning how much they are worth—determining if a stamp is rare, valuable or unique. Even if you don't intend to sell your prized collectibles, knowing a stamp's worth can help you decide how to display and properly preserve them. There are several options for finding out how much a stamp is worth, both on the Internet and otherwise.

Use a specialty website to determine the stamp's value. Two such sites are Stamp Catalogue and Find Your Stamp's Value (see resources). On these websites you can enter a specific stamp's information or browse through stamps to determine stamp values.

Consult an appraiser. Antique appraisers generally have individual specialties, one of which may be assessing stamp values. Check with appraisers in your area to determine who will be your best option and take your stamps in to have them appraised. Make sure to consult a reputable appraiser who will be able to accurately assess whether or not your stamps are valuable.

Visit your local library or a book store. Books like "The Official Blackbook Price Guide" are updated with new editions every year to maintain accurate records of stamp values, including information for beginners to the hobby.

Befriend other stamp collectors. Stamp collecting, like other hobbies, is ultimately more rewarding when enjoyed with others who share the same interest. Other stamp collectors may have more experience with stamp values and what stamps are notable, unique or valuable.

About the Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.