Many people pick up stamp collecting as a hobby or may end up inheriting a stamp collection from someone. However, when it comes to evaluating a collection, it’s easy to get lost trying to decipher all the jargon online. We are going to break down some of that vocabulary to help make you a bit savvier while shopping or when communicating to a client with a large collection.
This term is used frequently in regard to many types of collections. In terms of stamp collecting, it is used to describe a stamp that has never been used as postage and on which the original gum has not been undisturbed.
You might confuse unused with mint if you are not too familiar with the differences. While unused does mean that the stamp has never been used as postage, this classification indicates that the gum has been disturbed.
A stamp classified as hinge still has a faint outline where the flap of the hinge was once attached.
Color changing refers to changes in the stamp’s original color caused by color errors in the original printing of the stamp or through bleaching, which is quite common as a result of sun exposure.
A stamp classified as on piece means that it is still affixed to the envelope or card upon which it was used.
These seemingly small differences in classification can dramatically influence the value of a stamp as a collectible. Prices of collectible stamps can range from two dollars all the way to thousands of dollars. Many people inherit stamp collections not knowing their value or how to insure and protect their collectibles. If you are an agent, take this time to learn how to take your clients’ coverages one step further and learn about what you can do to protect their valuables. Or if you are a collector, take this time to educate yourself on the value of collectibles insurance.