Friday, 31 May 2013

How Investing in Stamps Pays Off

The current economic climate has created an uncertainty in the stock market, making it more and more difficult to make safe investments that will help build your money. For this reason there have been an increasing number of investors collecting valuable stamps.

Why stamp investment ?

Many stamps can be bought and sold for thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of pounds, making stamp investment an expensive game to be in. The most valuable stamp collection was owned by former Velcro chairman Sir Humphrey Cripps, with a total value of over £20 million. The collection included two “penny blue” stamps which sold for £1 million, a princely sum but in no means the most expensive of stamps.

The world’s most expensive stamp is of Swedish creation. Printed in 1855, the Treskilling Yellow is thought to be the most valuable item in existence when compared to size and weight. The stamp is currently worth £5million and is extremely rare as it was printed in yellow by mistake – it should have been green!
Collecting Stamps

The most expensive stamps are those that are rare, however it’s very difficult to come across these stamps without spending a small fortune. Don’t let this deter you from collecting though as there are many ways to put together a collection that can be the envy of other Philatelists.

One of the most highly recommended ways of collecting stamps is by picking ones with something in common. You should select stamps based on a certain theme, from the same country, printed in the same year or if even they have a similar picture, collections like these have a better chance of being a good investment.

Not a quick fix

Stamp investment should be considered to be a long term investment; the way to build your money is by holding onto stamps as they tend to be more valuable the older they become. A study by the Salomon Brothers Investment Bank in 1997 showed that between 1907 and 1990 stamps gave a return of 10% per annum.

Generally the older the stamp is, the more expensive it will be; buying “collector’s edition” stamps new from the Post Office will take years to become valuable but it’s an affordable place for many people to start.

What to look out for ?

As with any investment you want to ensure that you’re going to get more out than you put in, to do this there are many things you need to look out for. Collectibles are often a target for dishonest dealers who want to make some quick cash – make sure that you don’t fall prey to their fakes or non-valuable stamps.

Keep your stamps in great condition, the better the quality the more they are likely to be worth. Stamps are ‘graded’ to describe condition and value, measured from ‘superb’ to ‘poor’ and their price is marked accordingly. Two stamps that are identical in everything but condition can be priced differently by thousands of pounds if one is damaged and the other pristine.  

If you want to learn more about collecting stamps, buy and sell rare, desirable stamps or to find out the value of your stamp investment then visit Scotia Philately.  With over 30 years’ experience, Scotia Philately can offer expert advice when building up a balanced portfolio of stamps.

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