July 2021

How to read an SG catalogue


At Stanley Gibbons, we are mostly famous for our catalogues, which we have been publishing since 1865 - that's over 150 years of stamp knowledge that goes into producing them. New for 2021, we have released our renowed catalogues in digital versions, so you can have them to hand anywhere you go on your smartphone or tablet. However, one question we get a lot is how exactly our catalogues can be used, especially if you are new to the hobby. In this guide, we will be walking you through how to use our catalogues to identify your stamp and find the value of it.


Upon opening the catalogue, you are confronted with quite a large amount of text, which can be daunting at first. However, the text is very important, as reading this and looking at the corresponding illustrations does help to give you an immense grounding when you begin to look out for your own stamps in the catalogue. It also gives you a glossary of the basics, how to start collecting the equipment you'll need and some history of various stamps.

Identifying your stamp

This is where the main bulk of the catalogue begins. As you can see in the picture below, it includes an illustration of the stamp to help you identify your own collection easily (shown by annotation Q). You will then want to find out three things: what the value written on your stamp is (for example, 1 rupee), the colour or description (in this instance, multicoloured) and the year it was issued. Once you have identified these, you should then be able to find the row that matches your stamp.

Note: Directly underneath the illustration is a bold number; this is the illustration number for that particular stamp pictured.

Determining the value

In the third column, (shown by annotation I) you can see the value for that stamp in mint condition and the last column (shown by annotation J) will show you the value for a used stamp of that variety. These values are true to how they would be valued at Stanley Gibbons, however, pricing may differ slightly due to the condition of the stamp.

Screenshot 2021 07 08 at 11.46.01

That is how you navigate and use a Stanley Gibbons catalogue. Hopefully this guide will assist you in your journey in collecting stamps and if you haven’t already, browse our collection of Stanley Gibbons catalogues below.

Browse catalogues

Expert tip: Our stamp catalogues now come in digital format for use on your phone or tablet!

For more information, check out our YouTube video on reading Stanley Gibbons catalogues:

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