Should you choose to sell your stamps through auction, Stanley Gibbons offer free stamp valuations and will advise on how best to sell your stamp collection. Our experts will provide written stamp valuations and offer sale by public auction.
We are open Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm at 399 Strand, London and we would be happy to book an appointment for you with a member of the auction team who would value the collection with a view to purchasing it directly from you or offering the collection for sale via auction. Please note that large or more complex collections might need to be kept for valuation over a period of one to two weeks especially during busy periods.
We are also happy to receive collections for valuation via the mail or for larger collection we have a contract with Parcel Force who could pick the collection up from you and deliver it here to us in London. However we would usually suggest that if possible, sample scans from the collection be sent in the first instance. For large or more valuable collection we are usually able to arrange a home visit if this is preferable.
We have over 150 years experience in stamp valuations and have successfully built up a life-time of knowledge and market awareness. Our team of experts have a firm understanding of the global stamp market and will ensure that you obtain the best price for your collection.
People have been collecting stamps ever since they first appeared in 1840. While the methods of prepaying postage have diversified considerably since the very first mailing of a letter bearing a Penny Black, most countries continue to appreciate the revenue to be gained from the sale of adhesive stamps and first day covers to collectors. The result is that the number of new issues generated each year now exceeds 10,000.
There are many different reasons why people take up stamp collecting. It may be as simple as seeing a particularly eye-catching stamp on an item in your own mail, perhaps from an interesting place you once visited, or depicting a subject that fascinates you, or that is related in some way to your profession or to a school project. The desire to keep it might just be enough to trigger off the notion of forming a stamp collection with a related theme.
Grade and condition
Before you start trading it is worth understanding the principles behind grade and condition if you want to be able to calculate the approximate value of a stmap. The “grade” of a stamp is determined by the actual position of the printed design on the paper, in relation to the perforated edges. Stamps with larger margins (the area of unprinted paper surrounding the printed design) tend to attract collectors more than examples where the design is tight against the edges. Stanley Gibbons has standardised the descriptive methods of grading and we use terms such as “fair”, “good”, “fine”, “very fine” and so on.
Condition is based on a number of factors: the effects of production, whether the stamp is hinged, the nature of the cancellation on a used stamp, or any evidence of damage.
Finding the right dealer
Stamp dealers usually offer material at a discount off the catalogue price, although if the stamps are elusive you should be prepared to pay over the odds sometimes. Catalogue prices are usually a fair indication of relative value.
The stamp auction is where the best stamps and postal history material come up for sale, and this is where you are most likely to find entire collections and specialized studies that can form the basis for further expansion, as well as the more choice single items that fill that long-felt want and wait.
Material can either be sold directly to us or through our auction describing service. Our team of specialists is available to give advice regarding the best method of sale to suit individual client’s needs and to achieve the maximum realisation.
Appraisals and Valuations
We are happy to give advice on the potential value of stamps, postal history and collections. In fact, anything philatelic.
However, to be able to give a formal valuation we need to be able to examine the items in question as a number of factors affect values including, of course, condition. For example, an 1840 1d black in fine used condition with four complete margins and without any faults may be worth between £50 and £250, but another which does not have four margins or is creased may only be worth £5 to £25.
If you would like further details or advice on selling from one of our professional appraisers, please contact us:
UK Support: 0800 611 622
International: +44 1425 472 363
Email: Ryan Epps - +44 (0) 20 7557 4416 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Matthews - +44 (0) 20 7557 4423 email@example.com
David Flint - +44 (0) 20 7557 4411 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ario Dorigo - +44 (0) 20 7557 4415 email@example.com