Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How can I tell if an individual stamp I have is rare or valuable?

A: Stamp values depend on a number of factors.  The first step in evaluating a stamp value entails proper identification.  U.S. stamp dealers generally use the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalog for stamp classifications.  Most libraries have a complete set (6 volumes) in their reference section.  Earlier U.S. stamps are often very difficult to properly identify and expert advice may be necessary.

(Please note: County Stamp Center purchases collections and is not interested in evaluating or appraising individual stamps.  Please not submit inquiries requesting values for individual items.)

Q: I have found my stamp listed in catalogs as an expensive item.  Does that mean it will sell at a catalog price?

A: Many catalogs are issued by retail firms and list prevailing retail prices for items.  These are not buying prices.  The actual value of a stamp will depend on the market conditions, and the condition of your stamp.  You can check stamp auctions on-line (e.g. Ebay,).  We also recommend that you check to see if you stamp is being sold by other dealers.

Q: I have found an U.S. stamp that I believe is a printing or perforation error.  Is it valuable?

A:  Some U.S. errors are listed in the Scott Specialized U.S. Catalog with a suggested retail price.  There are dealers that seek to purchase and sell errors.  County Stamp Center does not purchase errors.  Dealers seeking errors advertise in Linns Stamp News.  You can check

Q: I have a large quantity of US stamps from the 1940’s to date including blocks, sheets, and singles.  What can I expect if I wish to sell this collection?

A: Most U.S. stamps issued after 1940 are being purchased by dealers as “postage.”  With a few exceptions, these issues are being purchased BELOW face value.  Dealers are advertising purchase prices anywhere from 55-65% of face.  Presently, we are purchase postage lots at 50% of face.

Q: I have a large number of gold replica stamps on covers.  Are they valuable?

A: Gold replicas are NOT stamps.  They are replicas and most stamp dealers do not purchase them.  Often these type of cover collections are sold on Ebay or antique sites.

Q: Are First Day Covers valuable?

A: Most modern (post 1940) First Day Covers that are sold by subscription (e.g. Artmaster, Art Craft, Fleetwood) are produced in large quantities and have a minimal resale value.  Some dealers advertise that they buy these covers from 15-25 cents per cover if they are in good condition and are not addressed.  Earlier covers, covers of historic interest (e.g.  WWII covers, early century correspondence, etc.) are collectable and can be valuable depending on their condition and their origin.

Q: Is there are market for used modern US stamps?

A: US stamps that have cancellation marks (they have been sent through the mail) are usually sold in “kilo ware” (2.5 pound) packages.  The used stamps can be on or off paper.

For general information on stamp collecting and assessing stamp values we recommend visiting the following sites:

  1. The American Philatelic Society:
  2. Zillions of Stamps-
  3. AskPhil- the non-commercial, all-reference site sponsored by the Collectors Club of Chicago-
  4.  Linns Stamp News-
  5. United States Postal Service-