Postage stamps are one of the most widely collected items in the world, and this means stamps -- new and used -- are worth money. The most valuable stamp in the world could be the Sweden 1855 Three Skilling Yellow, which sold for £1.4 million in 1996. There is also a market for the common stamps you see on your post. Many charities accept postage stamps as donations and sell them to stamp dealers to raise funds. Collecting and donating the stamps is a free way for you to help a charity with items you'd otherwise throw out. It is also a way to do some recycling and help the environment.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cardboard or wooden box
- A5 envelope
Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to pass used envelopes with stamps to you. Save any envelopes with stamps you get yourself.
Phone or email the charity you wish to donate stamps to. Confirm it collects stamps and ask how it wants the stamps -- usually cut off the envelope with a small paper margin rather than soaked off. Some charities might want the stamps roughly sorted -- for example, by country of origin.
Cut around each stamp, leaving a margin of about 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) to avoid damaging it. Put the rest of the envelope into a paper-recycling receptacle.
Place the stamps in a wooden or cardboard box. Plastic boxes trap moisture and could lead to mould. Store the box in a cool, dry place.
Hand-deliver or post the stamps to the charity when you have accumulated enough to fill an A5 envelope. Also, some charity shops collect the stamps on their premises.
Tips and warnings
- Try not to handle the stamps much, to avoid damaging them and reducing their value.
- If you come across an old "first day cover" envelope, keep the envelope or postcard intact. These stamps may be worth much more to the charity if you do not cut them off.
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