One of the most important things that stamp collectors need to do in order to figure out the price of a stamp that they own, or of one that they’re thinking about buying, is determine the stamp’s origin. While more modern stamps are well known and easily identifiable, older ones- especially those of greater value –are less distinguishable. This is more often than not the case, when a stamp is foreign, and it’s inscription is in a foreign language. Any collector should know where his or her stamps are from. This can sometimes be a difficult process, but there are ways to get through it with ease.
There are three main routes that you can take in order to figure out the origin of your stamps. These ways are Online Stamp Identification, Catalogues and Local Stamp/Hobby Shop. Below you will find brief descriptions of each of these three, which will help you decide which one is right for you in your quest for identification:
Online Stamp Identification
Identifying your stamps online is probably the most comprehensive way there is. The advantages of the internet include close-up, high-quality scanned pictures of stamps that can help you figure out where and when yours are from. Asking questions is possible via email, and webmasters are usually more than happy to respond to questions from a serious collector to a novice beginner. Online stamp identification provides you with a wide range of resources. Lists of links to other pages are helpful if you can’t identify your stamp on a certain page— the best option sometimes is to simply go on searching.
These are useful, though sometimes difficult to come by. Catalogues are one of the oldest and most reliable ways to identify your stamps. These catalogues can be purchased at stamp shows, auctions and at your local hobby shops. Some catalogues can be requested online as well. Catalogues usually, aside from helping you identify your stamps, will provide you with prices current at the time of publication. With catalogues, it’s important to have up-to-date copies. Catalogues can be purchased in subscriptions, which is a good way to assure yourself that your copies are always up-to-date.
Local Stamp/Hobby Shop
This is another great way to identify your stamps. The main advantage to going to your local stamp or hobby shop is that you get to talk to someone face to face. This is especially enjoyable when the storeowner, or person working, has a decent knowledge of stamps and stamp collecting. Stamp shops will usually have various resources to help you identify your stamps. If they don’t have the catalogue that you need, they will at least have the resources to help you figure out which one will have the information you need to identify your stamps, and how you can obtain that catalogue.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can go about finding out the origin of your stamps. As mentioned above, the best way is the internet. This is because of the multiple aspects that it can approach in identifying your stamp. The fact that a given website is connected to other website is to your advantage, because that means that if the first doesn’t have the information that you need, then you can go on right from there to keep looking. All in all, stamp identification is a fun an easy task in stamp collecting.
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