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New collector of sorts.

Hello everyone I was reading a lot of the posted blogs and most of you guys have great advice for the beginner or intermediate collector. My father got me into collecting stamps when I was a kid and he got me a Scott book and got a lot of stamps that we bought on ebay and stuff like that. Well I joined the military and totally forgot about my stamps till I went on leave last year and was sifting through all my stuff. I am currently in Japan will all my stamps and just bought the new Blackbook on stamps. The problem I am having is i can not tell the difference between a lot of the stamps and I think I have some pretty valuable things, but I am not sure. What do you guys recommend and, I am open for constructive criticism. Thanks for your help.



  • Hey Douglas. For starters, thank you for serving our country!!

    I'm a rookie at this whole stamp collecting thing as well. I don't collect stamps though. It's more of the thrill of the "hunt" for me. I also need some guidance now and again and there are a few websites that can be very helpful. The one I probably visit the most is this website. I need help identifying the Wash/Franklin series and this site seems to help the most. If this isn't what your looking for maybe I or some others can find a better reference website. Good luck and I hope you have a gem lurking somewhere in your collection.
  • Hey thanks for the website it will help me identify most of what I have. Also I am having a extremely hard time identifying one of my franklins i looked it up on that website and it said it could be from Scott #1-9 and I have used my magnifying glass to see which type it could be and I can not tell. If I send a picture could someone tell which one it could be? Thanks for everything.
  • My advice is to take your time and do nothing rash. When you return to the states, if you live in a city, see if there is a local stamp club. Stamp clubs are often a good place to get an opinion from multiple sources. Another option would be take them to a philatelic show and get the opinions of each of the dealers. Do not be in a hurry to sell to the first one who makes an offer. Get the Scott specialized catalogues (can be found in many libraries), and take the time to learn how to measure perfs, check watermarks, etc. If you still want to sell and believe you have high dollar material find a philatelic appraiser and pay for him/her to examine the material. A two hour appraisal might cost you $100/Hr, but you'll have a good idea after one whether or not you are sitting on a lot of money. The stamp market is good for rare material of excellent quality, but pennies on the dollar by catalogue for most common material.

    You may find that you enjoy learning about your collection so much that you want to keep it! If not you'll be much better prepared to sell.

    Good luck and thanks for serving your country and all of us!

    John in Indiana
  • Douglas.....I feel your pain. If I have an odd stamp..I want to know right NOW what it is! If you want to make a hasty decision and sell me something dirt cheap, I'm o.k. with that too....just joking. Here is another website that has some pictures of the different 1c types. I assume thats what you were referring to when you said Scott 1 thru 9. Be sure to click at the top of the page for the printable guide as this might be easier to inspect in more detail. Let us know what you find. Good luck!!
  • Oh I am not trying to sell any of my stamps I am just trying to figure out what I have so I can expand my collection. I have thought about getting them appraised or going to a philatelic show when I do go on leave but never have had the chance. I am from South Carolina and I have not heard of any shows in SC but that is probably because I did not know where to look. I want to keep my collection and pass it down to my kids when they get older, but at the same time I want to learn as much as possible about stamps so I can teach them at the same time. Thanks for both of your guys help. I really appreciate it.

    Also I have a book of Gold Plated stamps that my father gave me when I was a kid and the book is jammed packed full of them. Where can I go to see estimates on how much it is worth, just in case I need to get it insured? Thanks again.

    Military Police
  • The gold stamps are unlikely to be worth a great deal. They are basically the type of collectibles that's created specifically for collectors and usually those types don't appreciate much in value. They are kind of neat looking though.
  • Can someone look at this stamp for me and give me their advice about what type it is and what Scott # it is, because like i said I am still trying to learn about how to tell them apart. Thank you for all your comments.

  • I think you would need a fairly clear closeup for identification.
  • Hi Doug. Definitely a common problem.
  • Is there any way that i can post the picture with a better megapixel, because I can only attach a 50k picture? Sorry that it was a small pic.
  • You can send me a big scan at ekuzzz@hotmail.com and I will try to identify the stamp by Scott #.
  • Thank you for your help I sent you a email with two pictures.

  • Based on the small scan, that stamp is likely a 7 or a 9.

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