Old Postage Stamps
Allen writes, "There seems to be an assumption amongst the uninitiated that old is somehow equivalent to rare and valuable, and that is simply not the case. Just because a particular stamp is old does not mean that it is rare or valuable. In fact, most of the time the exact opposite is true: the stamp is quite common and not valuable at all. The real problem is that this is not ALWAYS the case. There ARE rare and valuable stamps out there, and some of them might just reside in collections that have been forgotten and passed on to someone who does not know what the collection might be worth"
He goes on to point out, "As with almost everything else in this world, the value of any particular postage stamp depends on supply and demand. If a stamp is rare AND there is demand for it, then the stamp will be valuable. It should be noted that this is the case whether a stamp is old or not. Age has no relevancy when it comes to determining the value of postage stamps. The only reason that there are more valuable stamps that are old than are new is that the scarcity of those stamps increases with time due to loss from a number of factors, including normal usage as postage, loss from damage thru poor caretaking or accident, theft, and just plain being misplaced and lost."
He concludes, "If you happen to be one of those people that has inherited a collection or accumulation of old stamps and don’t have a clue what it’s worth, do yourself a favor: start with the assumption that it’s probably not worth anything. This way, you won’t be disappointed when you find out that the stamp collection your grandfather gave you isn’t going to pay for that new house. If the opposite turns out to be true, then so much the better! Chances are, however, that if the collection was really worth that much, you would’ve known about it long before your relative passed on to the next life."
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