With around 50 million stamp collectors across the planet, stamp collecting is still the world’s most popular hobby. Most collectors aren’t really in it for the money. They do it because of the joy of collecting and a genuine interest. The majority of stamp collections across the world aren’t worth huge sums of money but there are some very serious collectors out there who have very rare stamps amongst their collections and these can amass a small fortune.
Stamp collectors dream about stumbling across a rare stamp at a car boot sale or at an antiques fair and whilst this rarely happens, you still see stories sometimes hit the press. A recent example is how a collection of rare Chinese stamps have been found in an attic in the Cotswolds and they are expected to fetch £250,000 at an auction. This is the stuff that dreams are made of!
If you genuinely want to collect stamps as an investment then it is advisable to keep them for at least 5 years to see any gains. According to Stanley Gibbons, the most collectable stamps have risen by 10% every year for the last 10 years but just like shares, these values can go up and down.
It is only the most unusual and rare stamps that are in pristine condition that fetch the big sums of money and if you are lucky enough to have some of these in your collection, then the chances are that they will rise in value.
Including Stamps In An Investment Plan
Interestingly, serious investors do see the value of investing in rare stamps and Stanley Gibbons are often contacted by big money investors seeking advice about valuable stamps and how they can obtain them. In fact, Stanley Gibbons actually offer ‘capital protected’ investment plans where for a specified sum of money ( usually over £10K) you can buy a portfolio of rare stamps and keep them for between 5 and 10 years in the hope that they rise in value.
So, in summary, unless your stamp collection has some rare and unusual stamps within it then it’s unlikely to yield you a fortune. However, if you have some money to invest and see stamps as a viable alternative to other methods of investment, then it could pay dividends if the stamp market is kind to you.
In the meantime, check out your attic and keep scouring those antique fairs and car boot sales. You never know what you might find!