We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to tell if old stamps are worth money

Updated April 17, 2017

Postage stamps have delivered letters from place to place around the globe for more than 150 years. However, in today's world, the market for postage stamps doesn't just end with sending mail. Stamp collecting has long been a popular activity, but the craze over stamp collecting would not be nearly as intense without a way to monetise their values. For collectors, there are numerous ways to discover how much their stamps are worth.

Loading ...
  1. Identify your stamp based on physical characteristics such as colour and image. Observe whether the stamp is centred with a magnifying glass and make sure the margins around the image are even. Check for a date on which the stamp was issued and whether there is still has its gum on the back. Stamp collectors pay large amounts for rare stamps with the gum still intact.

  2. Observe the condition of your stamp to get a sense of its potential worth. As with most collectibles, the value of stamps is directly linked to their condition. Look for tears or creases on the stamp. Stamps with water damage or other marks of poor preservation are worth considerably less than those in mint condition. You may want to seek an expert in stamp restoration if you believe the damage can be repaired.

  3. Refer to a stamp catalogue where you can reference characteristics such as the price and date of the stamp, as well as view photographs of the stamp to verify that you're looking up the correct one. There are publications both online and in print that specialise in antique postage assessing.

  4. Seek other philatelists for the best stamp dealer in your area to assess the value of your stamp. Be aware that many stamp dealers charge for such services. Always seek multiple opinions when assessing your stamp's value.

  5. Tip

    Keep your stamps in a binder with plastic pages to preserve their condition.


    Be aware of fake stamp dealers that may try to scam you. Keep your stamps in a safe place to protect from theft.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Magnifying glass
  • Stamp catalogue
  • Stamp dealer

About the Author

Matt McKinney has written professionally since 2008. His work has appeared in publications such as "The Knox Student" and "Diminished Capacity," his campus literary journal. McKinney is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing at Knox College.

Loading ...