How to Examine a Stamp Collection?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Knowing how to "read" a stamp's features can help you figure out its condition and value.

Instructions :

Step 1 :
Examine the postmark date on the envelope, or what is visible of the postmark on the stamp. This often plays a role in determining a stamp's value.
Step 2 :
Check the stamp's denomination, or face value.

Step 3 :
Examine the frame between the central design of the stamp and the surrounding perforations (the holes that separate one stamp from another on a sheet). Is the design centered?
Step 4 :
Examine the perforation teeth (the stamp's jagged edges). Use a perforation gauge, which measures the number of holes for each 2 centimeters of surface area; the perforation number is one factor that determines the stamp's value.
Step 5 :
Examine the margin, or unprinted area, around a stamp.
Step 6 :
Examine the vignette, or central design, of the stamp. Check for color alterations and fading.
Step 7 :
Use a magnifying glass to examine the stamp closely. Check for creases, tears, uneven perforation teeth, vivid colors, frail paper, the quality of gum on the backing and signs of repair on the surface.

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