Back in 1840, when the first postage stamp appeared in Britain, chances are no one would have guessed that stamps would become a collector’s item. Today, millions of people collect, preserve, and trade or sell stamps.
Print colour should be fresh, not faded.
There should be no marks or scratches.
The gum should have a smooth colour.
There should be no tone spots _ marks of a brown, rusty appearance _ on either side of the stamp.
Hinge remnants, where the stamp has torn away rather than letting go of the stamp, should be clear and clean and not thick and dirty.
The perforation teeth surrounding the stamp should look nice, not be too short or torn.
For cancelled stamps, the same guidelines should be used but note the postmark. The stamp should have a clear cancellation mark but not too heavy, as that could affect its price.
In other words, the price of a stamp in good condition can be higher than the catalogue or even market price.
If you are considering becoming a “philatelist,” A.K.A. a stamp collector, as a hobby or an investment, here are a few things you should consider before getting started.
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