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What Is This Stamp Worth?
You may have come to my U.S. Stamp Catalog because you found an old stamp and are wondering what it’s worth. Does it have any value?
If so, I have good news and bad news for you.
What’s the Bad News?
First, the bad news, which comes in two parts.
- Your stamp most likely isn’t worth very much. Sorry.
- The intent of this site is to catalog U.S postage stamps but not to give them a value.
The value of a given stamp (much like that saying about beauty) is in the mind of the owner. If a very common stamp fills a space in my collection, I value it highly, because my collection would be incomplete without it. If I find a second copy of the same stamp, it’s virtually worthless to me.
Due to the relative rarity of some stamps (especially those in great condition), it may cost me more to acquire some of them than those that are more common. But again, a second copy isn’t worth much to me. It may be worth something to someone else though.
And that’s what you’re really interested in, isn’t it? How much is that stamp worth to someone else? How much would someone else be willing to pay me for it?
Generally speaking, an average used U.S. stamp in decent condition is worth between 10c and 20c going as far back as 1932. Unused (aka mint) stamps are worth just a little more for that same time period.
If you have stamps older than 1932, you’ll probably want to check their worth in a printed catalog such as the one described below.
What’s the Good News?
So here’s the good news. There are companies whose main business is tracking the values of stamps. They publish what they’ve found in glossy paper catalogs each year. One of the most well-known of these companies is Scott.
If you want a handy reference guide for virtually all U.S. stamps by your side, you can’t go wrong with the Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers. (Covers are envelopes with the cancelled stamps still on them.) One place you can find such a catalog is at Amazon. Recent catalogs retail for around $99.00, but you can usually find them for a more reasonable price online.
And if I may make a suggestion…
Since prices don’t vary all that much from year to year, picking up the most recent edition of the catalog is not mandatory. You’ll find better prices for a catalog a year or two old and still have 99.9% of the information you’re looking for.