Since the formation of the People's Republic of China, more than 700 separate sets of stamps have been issued, totalling more than over 300 different designs. Chinese stamps dating back to 1878 are regularly sought after by avid stamp collectors. Collecting Chinese stamps can be a rewarding as well as challenging hobby. Identifying each individual stamps can be tricky, but it can be done via a number of different methods.
Look closely at the stamp you want to identify, using a strong lamp and, if you need it, a magnifying glass. Try to find any distinguishing pictures. It may have a picture of a famous person, a national building or show an event in China's history. If you can tell what the stamp depicts, you should be able to identify it and the date it was issued.
Examine your stamp carefully. If you are lucky, there may be a serial number printed onto it. If a serial number is visible, it will make it a lot easier to research the background of the stamp and identify it.
Talk to stamp collectors in your area. They may have some knowledge of Chinese stamps and could help you identify them. They may even want to share some more or trade a few stamps with you.
Research Chinese lettering online or borrow a book from your local llibrary. You can then try to match letters on the stamp to those in your book to see whether any words can be found. If you find the words, you should be able to identify the stamp via other means.
If you do not mind paying a small fee, a professional appraiser could value your stamps and identify them at the same time.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not mind paying a small fee, a professional appraiser could value your stamps and identify them at the same time.