Stamp collecting is one of the world's most popular hobbies. Philately, the study of stamps, has given rise to an active market surrounding stamps as collectors often seek rare stamps for a variety of reasons. Stamp collectors may value certain stamps based on their historical value, geographical importance, or due to the specific subject matter depicted on the stamp. These can include certain kings, queens, presidents or important political figures, animals, ships, cars, etc. Some countries have recognised the value of stamps, and create limited editions of elaborate stamps in order to attract additional revenue from stamp collectors.
Arguably, one of the most prized stamps available is the rare Queen Victoria stamp.. The Queen Victoria stamp was the first postage stamp available, and cost mere pennies when it was originally produced. The stamp, by modern day standards, is not overly impressive visually speaking. It features the profile of a young Queen Victoria. Interestingly, these stamps were not perforated and had to be cut from the sheet by hand using scissors. While used Queen Victoria stamps are not too difficult to find, unused versions are one of the rarest and most highly desired among stamp collectors.
Cost of Rare Queen Victoria Stamps
Used Queen Victoria stamps are not very difficult to find, and are generally reasonably priced. However, the more rare and sought new Queen Victoria stamps may be extremely expensive. Since these stamps were originally produced in 1840, it is not surprising that finding unused ones in reasonable condition is both difficult and expensive. Also, these stamps have significant historical value. As both the first stamp ever produced and as a homage to Queen Victoria, they are prized by many. Depending on the condition of the unused stamp, they may be sold for large sums of money.
Condition of Rare Queen Victoria Stamps
The most important facet of a stamp that influences price other than the type of stamp itself is the condition. There are two different categories of condition. The first related to the superficial qualities of the stamp such as how well centred it is and how wide the margins are. The second is the overall condition of the stamp which includes an creases, dirt, or whether the adhesive remains in good condition. Buyers of rare Queen Victoria stamps should be especially conscious of the condition seeing as how these stamps were produced over a century ago.
The highest quality stamps are labelled as extra fine. This indicates that the stamp is perfectly centred with wide margins. Superb is also used to label a perfect stamp. Extra fine or superb stamps are the most sought after as they are thought of among collectors as an ideal stamp. Very fine stamps are also well centred and have ample margins, though not as wide as superb condition stamps. Fine stamps are not centred and may be significant offset but still have a margin on each of its four sides. Average stamps have no margin on one side and may have a portion of the design of the stamp trimmed off. Poor condition stamps have no margin on more than one side.
Mint condition stamps are stamps that are completely unused, typically accompanied by an undisturbed adhesive. These stamps demand a premium price and in regards to Queen Victoria stamps specifically, are very difficult to find and quite expensive to purchase. Lightly hinged stamps are mint, but there is slight damage from the hinging process, which is the process used by collectors to mount and display stamps. Heavily hinged stamps are also in mint condition, but are more heavily damaged by the hinging process than lightly hinged stamps
Also important in the buyer's evaluation of the condition of the stamp is the condition of the adhesive or gum. Original gum is the label given to a stamp that has it's original adhesive still on it, although it may have deteriorated somewhat with age. No gum indicates the adhesive has been washed off. In some cases, collectors trying to resell or trade a stamp may attempt to regum a stamp. These regummed stamps have had fresh adhesive applied to the stamp. Buyers considering purchasing a regummed stamp should investigate carefully, as someone who is unskilled at doing this may do more harm than good when applying the new adhesive.
Stamp Collecting Market
There are estimated 200 million stamp collectors worldwide. This results in an active and vibrant market for buying, selling, and trading stamps. In addition to individual stamp collectors, many clubs and organisations also engage in stamp collecting. There are also stores and dealers that specialise in stamps. This allows prospective buyers a wide range of options for purchase and also allows for an extensive investigation into where to find the best deals. Often dealers and brokers have extremely rare and high quality stamps, but they typically charge an ultra-premium price. Conversely, individual sellers may have a smaller collection with less rare items, but may be more reasonable in terms of price.
Another player in the stamp collecting market are stamp appraisers. These services are provided by individuals who have a deep understanding of the stamp market, and are extremely valuable to both new and experienced buyers. New buyers can validate their purchase by consulting a stamp appraiser because the appraiser can assure them that they have not overlooked any flaws in the stamp and that the price is fair. More seasoned buyers may choose to use a stamp appraiser in cases where they are unsure or if the stamp is of a type that they are not familiar with. Both new and experienced prospective buyers should not underestimate the utility of a stamp appraiser as they can help avoid making a regretful purchase.
Stamp Collecting Equipment
When collecting stamps as rare, expensive, and desirable as Queen Victoria stamps, it is important to be well equipped. As fingerprints can often damage or tarnish stamps, stamp collectors often use tongs to handle them. Also, both before and after purchasing, buyers should have a magnifying glass to assist with viewing the finer details. Also, collectors usually emphasise albums or stockbooks to store and display their stamps safely. Hingeless mounts are often used for more expensive stamps, as they are less likely to damage the stamps while they are being mounted. All stamps, but especially rare, expensive, and older stamps, must be stored away from light, heat, and moisture to avoid damaging them in any way.
Buying Rare Queen Victoria Stamps on eBay
When it comes to purchasing a rare, high-quality Queen Victoria stamp, eBay is the place to begin. The selection of stamps can be overwhelming at first. Buyers can choose from different versions of stamps that range from reasonable priced, or dive in by purchasing a more expensive mint condition stamp. Regardless of what the buyer ultimately decides, eBay's selling platform allows customers the most flexibility with a variety of purchasing formats, such as auctions or buy it now, that ensures every buyer can find a product to fit their budget.
There is a large selection of rare Queen Victoria stamps available on eBay. Rare Queen Victoria stamps are prized by stamp collectors all over the world. They may come in a variety of different conditions and depictions. Some of these can make for great bargains, while others may not be worth your time. Always be sure to carefully examine the auction and the item itself prior to purchase. A seller should always include the actual picture of the item, not a stock photo, as the condition of the stamp can not be determined on the basis of a stock photo.
Rare Queen Victoria stamps can range from very inexpensive to affordable for only the most affluent of collectors. Prospective buyers should be sure to consider the condition of the stamp, both in terms of it's superficial and physical qualities. Prospective buyers who are unsure should also not be embarrassed to consult with a professional appraiser as it should mitigate the risk of making a regretful purchase. Rare Queen Victoria stamps are an impressive and valuable addition to any stamp collection, and eBay provides the ideal place to begin searching for the perfect one.