Author: Chris Smart

 

You might have inherited a stamp collection from a family member or friend who decided to give everything away. Now, you are stuck wondering if what you received is really worth anything. If you know next to nothing about stamp collecting or philately, do not despair. Finding the value of your entire stamp collection or just a single postage stamp is not that nerve-wracking.

First things first. You ought to know that you can obtain a general idea of stamp collection values simply by adhering to a few common sense rules. That said, you also have to accept that those rules merely serve to help you determine what is invaluable in all likelihood, which means you have to be willing to perform your own research to achieve precise value assessment.

 

 

While you can find countless stamp collections everywhere, you have to understand that the majority of them were generated simply for the fun it elicited in those who created them. So money-wise, don’t get your expectations too high regardless if what you have looked really ‘ancient’.

During stamp collection fairs or shows, you are likely to encounter plenty of dealers intending to see stamps. There may also be expert stamp collectors there who provide free collection valuations. You might be able to get some valuable advice on what your own set is possibly worth during such events.

Be realistic. During such events, despite plenty of participants lugging their collections to be assessed, a tremendous majority of them, or 99 percent of cases, learn that what they own is actually not worth that much at all. That would be a letdown if you only came to these occasions hoping to fetch big money for what you have put together.

 

You can start the valuation by yourself by first determining if the person who passed the stamp collection to you was a serious collector, a stamp club member, or was in the stamps business. This certainly points to someone who knew valuable stamps when they saw them. However, if the person was in it purely for fun, think again.

Some value indicators include multiple stamp albums, which mean the person was a serious collector, ergo, a potentially more valuable collection. The more stamps in each album, the better. This demonstrates thoroughness about the items.

Because most stamp albums are chronologically created, the older and more valuable items land on the first few pages. If there are more stamps on those first few pages, the higher the potential value of the collection is.

 


If the collection has more used stamps than unused ones, don’t expect a high value.

How the stamp is mounted in the album also shows value. If the item employs a device called a stamp hinge, which is a little glue cellophane that attaches the stamp to the album page, it means the item is of little value.

Mounted stamps are those that are placed inside some kind of plastic envelope, with a clear plastic front and black backing. With plenty of the stamps in the album mounted in this costlier manner, you could be looking at higher value items.

An even more expensive type of stamp mount is the full-page one. Slid into rows, the stamps are placed in pages with black plastic behind them plus clear plastic up front. This protects the more valuable ones because no glue is used to prevent damage. This indicates the stamps are valuable enough not to be mounted by ordinary means.



Full sheets of a whole series of stamps placed as one complete piece, without separations, and mounted in the album, exhibit some value. It also indicates the collection, in general, is of some value.

It is still best advice to have a trusted expert in stamp collecting assess your collection even if none of the above indicators show up.






 

Owning a coin collection is a sign of valuing the art and the history. We use money as a method of payments and transactions but the truth is that how often do you pass by a coin on the street and think of how did it get there or whom did it belong to? This behavior is normal because people have been thought to appreciate money as an object and not as a form of beauty. A coin collector, on the other hand, sees beyond that and knows that each crack or chip has an untold story ready to be guessed. Evaluating your coin collection is a tale of making an assumption and seeing value where nobody else sees. If you want to know how to appreciate what you have stocked until now I will give you a few precious tips that you should take into consideration.

First, do your research. Learn about each coin that you have and see if you can find interesting facts about it, like how many copies are left, when was it made and so on. It is very important to keep them in your collection I a specific order. Of course, the most valuable ones will always find a way to stand out.

 

 

Hold back your desire to clean them or even worse, to polish them. Making them shiny and new will decrease their value substantially. By applying substances on the coin surface, you destroy the patina and therefore its ability to stay intact for a longer period.

Use a good magnifier to observe the fine details and try to see the beauty in every coin. Admire the work of art, the lines, the small features or anything that catches your attention. Make notes of everything you see, including imperfections. Some buyers like coins that aren’t perfect while other have a fixation with the toning. No matter what, always keep your collection up to date and write down information or observations. You can build a personal system and follow the rules or simply make coin cards. The more details the merrier.

Look at the coins from your collections and see if there are signs of wear. Learn to distinguish between color fading and wear signs. Pay attention to everything and examine the coin using a circular method, clockwise. This is very useful because you can focus on one part at the time instead of wondering your eyes on the entire layer.

In the end, don’t forget that each coin has its worth. Maybe you have coins in your possessions that belong to someone dear but can’t be sold for much. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep it in your collections. You evaluate a collection both mentally and emotionally.

 

Sources we recommend: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/appraising_coins/

http://numismax.com/how-to-get-an-honest-appraisal-of-your-coin-collection/

 

 

As some of you might have inferred from my last post, I am a proud collector of coins. However, my interests do not limit to this, as I also enjoy collecting stamps and other fascinating objects, a passion that will maybe talk about in another blog entry. However, because I take my passion seriously, I also made a few investments in the devices that I use to study my proud possessions. Therefore, there was a time when I had to make a series of choices between different technologies and devices, and one of those particular decisions was choosing between a digital microscope and a dissecting one. So, because I think there are people who struggle with making this call, I have decided to give you a hand and help you make up your mind about what model you should choose.

To make it simple for you from the beginning, your decision should be guided by a simple criterion: how exactly do you intend to study your specimens? The reason why I am saying this is the fact that the main difference between a digital microscope and a dissecting one is the fact that a digital microscope was specially designed to be used with a computer. So, in case you want to thoroughly document the particularities of the sample/object you are studying, this device seems like a better fit.

Moreover, the price is also an important aspect. While dissecting microscopes are a tiny bit more expensive, as they are seen as lab equipment, digital microscopes are commonly low priced and considered commercial. As a result, by choosing a digital microscope you will be able to settle for a device that doesn’t require you to make a big investment. However, keep in mind that cheaper does not mean less capable. Quality, in this case, should not be inferred from the price. A well-equipped digital microscope is just as capable as a dissecting one.

Another major difference between the two is the fact that stereo microscopes, or dissecting microscopes and digital microscopes magnify the observed image in two different ways. While the stereo model multiplies the magnification in the lens by the eyepiece magnification, the digital model does not have this option. In the case of digital microscopes, magnification translates in how many times is the image made bigger when projected on the monitor. As studies show, the magnification number of a regular stereo microscope is in average 40 percent less than that of a digital one.

So, these are the facts, from here now the decision is all yours. So, think about what type you think best suits you and make your choice!

 

 

 

Coin collecting is a hobby many take up as children and carry out throughout their adult lives. I for one can still remember the first coin my grandfather gave me from his own collection and how much that simple gesture meant to me, as it transformed me into an avid collector. No matter how you came to love this hobby, collecting coins is an activity closely linked to the pleasure of paying attention to each and every detail. To me, searching for the history, the individuality of every coin is something that offers me both satisfaction and delight. However, to be able to do so, a coin collector needs the right equipment and, sometimes, knowing what to buy I a tad difficult. Therefore, today I have decided to share with you the story of how I managed to get a great microscope for coins.

Before settling for a microscope, I have to admit that I was still in doubt either or not I really needed such a device. The reason why this happened was because I ever actually knew whether or not I wanted to make such an investment. So, as a result, I decided to do a little net surfing and I have soon realized the extent of the many advantages a microscope for coins has to offer.

Next, I started searching for interesting features I should look for in a microscope. Soon, I had a new revelation. My new acquisition had to be easy to use and offer a generous magnification rate. Also, because I want to share my collection and discuss certain coins with fellow collectors that are not in the same state as I am in, I needed a device that I could easily connect to my notebook, be able to take photos and make small video recordings of my coins.

Another feature I realized I had to pay attention to was the size of the device. Because collecting coins has become an important part of my life, a few years ago I actually designed a small workshop where I keep my collection and spend time analyzing different coins and research additional information about them. So, another aspect I had to have in mind was the size of the device, as I wanted it to perfectly fit my work table.

Lastly, another thing you should keep in mind is how much exactly you want to invest in your new device. Because I’ve been in your shoes, I suggest you don’t rush into making a big investment. So, don’t buy an expensive device if you will only use it once or twice a week. Although more expensive models come with additional features, a model bought at half the price is equally capable of offering you the magnification range you need to enjoy studying your coin collection.