For stamp collectors, the value of a stamp is determined by a variety of factors, including rarity, age, condition, historical significance, design, and demand. Stamps that are rare, older, in good condition, associated with important historical events, and in high demand are generally more valuable than other stamps. You can use online valuation tools like Mavin to determine the market value of your stamps. It’s important to note that the value of a stamp can fluctuate over time and that stamp valuation tools may provide only a rough estimate of a stamp’s value.
How to Look Up Stamp Values
Use a collectible search engine like Mavin.io to find comparables and generate a price estimate. Remember, the value of something is what it actually sold for… not what somebody is asking!
1Start with a Few Details
Start by entering a few specific details about your stamp. For example, I might start our search with something simple like “Franklin 5 dollars stamp”. Then, I’ll scan the results for ones that are exactly like mine. You can use the checkboxes to make choosing comparables easier. Take note of the details used to describe the comparables. For example, I see my stamp is actually “Scott #524”.
2Find the Scott Number
The Scott Catalog Number is a widely used reference book by stamp collectors that gives each stamp a unique identification number. This unique number helps collectors to identify and communicate about a specific stamp. In my example, I searched Mavin and found the Scott Catalog Number for my “United States 1918 5 Dollars Benjamin Franklin” stamp is “Scott #524.”
3Use the Scott Number to Search
Search again using the Scott Number. For example, searching for “Scott 524” returns many recently sold stamps just like mine.
Further refine the search results by adding negative keywords to filter out results NOT like yours. For example, adding “-used -cancel” will remove results with those keywords.
Try it out!
Start with a few details, then add more details to narrow down your search.
Factors That Impact a Stamp’s Value
- Rarity: Stamps that are rare or difficult to find are often more valuable than common stamps. For example, stamps that were only produced for a short period of time or in limited quantities may be worth more than stamps that were produced for many years.
- Age: Older stamps are often more valuable than newer stamps. This is because older stamps may have been produced in smaller quantities, making them rarer and more sought-after by collectors.
- Condition: The condition of a stamp can also affect its value. Stamps that are in pristine condition with no damage or signs of wear and tear are typically worth more than stamps that are damaged or have been heavily used.
- Historical significance: Stamps that commemorate significant events or people, or that are associated with important historical periods or movements, can also be more valuable than other stamps.
- Design: The design of a stamp can also affect its value. Stamps that feature intricate designs or unique features, such as perforations or watermarks, may be more valuable than stamps with more basic designs.
- Demand: Ultimately, the value of a stamp is determined by supply and demand. If there are many collectors looking for a particular stamp, its value will be higher than if there are only a few collectors interested in it.
It’s important to keep in mind that the value of stamps can fluctuate over time, and that stamp catalogs and online tools may provide only a rough estimate of a stamp’s value. Additionally, the actual price a collector may be willing to pay for a stamp can depend on several factors such as market demand and the individual collector’s interests.