Stamp collecting can be an exciting and rewarding hobby, and the value of stamps is determined by various factors. One of the most critical factors in determining the worth of a stamp is the postmark. In this article, we will explore which postmarks are valuable to watch for when sorting stamps.
What is a Postmark?
A postmark is an inked impression used by the post office to cancel a stamp and indicate the date and location of the postage. Postmarks are often used to prevent stamp reuse or cancellation and denote the time frame from which a mail piece was posted by the sender.
Why are Postmarks Significant in Stamp Collecting?
Postmarks are significant because they indicate the time and location at which a mail piece was sent. This information is crucial for collectors because it gives insights into the history and social context of that specific stamp. Furthermore, postmarks can help collectors determine the authenticity of a stamp and verify its origin.
What Postmarks Are Valuable in Sorting Stamps?
When sorting stamps, some postmarks are more valuable than others. The following are some of the postmarks that collectors should watch for in sorting stamps:
1. First Day Covers:
A First Day Cover is a stamp that is postmarked on the first day of its release. These stamps are valuable because they are usually issued in limited quantities, and only a handful of them are postmarked on their first day of release. First Day Covers are usually sought after by collectors and can be worth a considerable amount of money.
2. Special Event Postmarks:
Special Event Postmarks are obtained by collectors during a particular event. These postmarks are usually issued by the post office and commemorate an event such as an inauguration, anniversary, or cultural event. Special Event Postmarks are valuable because they are unique and often represent a significant milestone in the nation’s history.
3. Foreign Postmarks:
Foreign Postmarks are postmarks that are used outside the country of origin. These postmarks are valuable because they represent an international connection and can be linked to the historical context of the stamp. Collectors should watch for foreign postmarks because they can make a stamp more valuable and unique.
4. Error Postmarks:
Error Postmarks are postmarks that have some form of error or mistake. These errors can include spelling mistakes, wrong dates, or incorrect locations. Collectors should watch for error postmarks because they can make a stamp more valuable due to their rarity and uniqueness.
5. Censored Postmarks:
Censored Postmarks are postmarks that have been censored by the government or postal authorities. These postmarks were used during times of war or political unrest and were intended to keep the mail content confidential. Censored postmarks are valuable because they represent a significant time in history and are sought after by collectors.
1. Can postmarks be removed from stamps?
Postmarks can be removed from stamps, but it is not recommended. Removing postmarks can damage the stamp and reduce its value.
2. How do I store stamps with postmarks?
Stamps with postmarks should be stored carefully to prevent damage. Collectors should use protective sleeves or albums to store stamps with postmarks.
3. How do I know if a postmark is genuine?
A genuine postmark will have a clear and legible impression. Collectors should also check the location and date of the postmark to ensure that it is consistent with the stamp’s history.
Postmarks are an essential factor in determining the value of a stamp. Collectors should watch for First Day Covers, Special Event Postmarks, Foreign Postmarks, Error Postmarks, and Censored Postmarks when sorting stamps. Storing stamps with postmarks should be done carefully and should be protected using sleeves or albums. By considering these factors, collectors can build a valuable stamp collection that reflects the diverse and exciting history of postage around the world.