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Have you inherited stamps or coins?

When a family member dies and leaves behind an estate, the estate may include stamps, coins, banknotes and other special collectibles - sometimes even a life's work that has been collected over years and generations. However, heirs often no longer have the interest to keep the collection or even to continue building it up. And then, of course, some questions come up.

If you feel the same way, don't worry! We will show you how you can successfully sell your stamp and coin estate in a targeted manner. Examining your estate more closely can pay off for you!


Some initial tips to help you preserve the value of your estate

Close-up of a stamp album being leafed through to assess its value
1. Keep the sorting

Keep the sorting of the stamps in the albums. You should even not change the order of the albums or boxes. Behind the order of the collector is often a system that helps the expert to determine more quickly the value of the stamps.

2. Remove nothing

Do not remove stamps or cut stamps out of letters. In order to avoid damaging the stamps, you should never remove stamps from the albums.

4. Keep documents

Please also keep invoices, certificates and other documents. They can provide information about the rarity, quality and authenticity of individual stamps.

3. Protect the stamps

Protect your stamps from humidity and light. Do not store them completely airtight and avoid conventional transparencies as packaging.

5. Leave it all together

For now, keep together everything that belonged to the collector. In addition, for example, existing specialized literature gives an indication of the value of the collection or even has its own value.

Stamps and Coins

What determines their value?

To determine the market value is usually impossible for laymen. It is better to have your stamp collection and coins appraised by philatelists and numismatists. They know which objects are currently popular and take many criteria into account when determining their value:

  • Age and Year of Issue
  • Mintage
  • Collection Area
  • Material Value (for coins)
  • Currency Validity / Franking Validity
  • Quality and Condition
  • Misprints and Specialities
  • Rarity
Age and Year of Issue

The age and the year of issue of stamps play an important role in determining their value. Basically, the older stamps are, the higher their value, but also the more difficult they are to obtain on the market.

With coins, on the other hand, it is not always the age, but above all the quality and the material that is decisive for determining a value. Because already 2000 years ago the ancient Romans minted many coins, which have survived to this day and can be purchased at a reasonable price.

Collecting Area

Depending on the collecting area, different factors apply to the popularity of the stamps. Also decisive is the good preservation and that no or only minimal damage exist. Good chances of sale do have:

  • German Stamps - The areas of Old Germany and large parts of the German Reich, as well as the first post-war years especially in mint quality.
  • First issues of all classic countries, such as the Bayern Einser or the Sachsen Einser.
  • The area Asia, especially China - whether first day covers, used or mint stamps and covers.

Generally speaking, the more unusual the country, the stronger the demand.

Misprints and Specialities

Misprints or specialities, such as the Mauritius Ball Cover, are extremely rare and therefore highly valued by collectors.

Stamps and Coins

How do I know their value?

You can tell if the collection has been assembled knowledgeably and if your estate is a valuable collection by these characteristics:

  • Collection in Illustrated Albums
  • High Catalog Value
  • Presence of Accompanying Documents

If stamps have been collected in so-called illustrated albums, the collector has usually shown great interest and accordingly has invested more in the hobby. Illustrated albums are structured sheets on which stamps for a particular area of collection are printed chronologically in sequence on sheets. On this basis, it is possible to orientate oneself for the completeness of a collection. The more complete the album, the greater the value of the collection. In the case of coins, a first glance at the album is sufficient to see whether the collection was assembled by country or area, or rather across the board. 

Comparable to stamps, pre 1960 coins are in great demand. After this period, coins were minted in very large quantities.

Specialized catalogs, such as the catalogs Yvert, Scott and Stanley Gibbons or the Michel catalog, commonly used in Germany, can be used to determine the value. However, this is only a guideline, with the commercial price being 10% - 20% of the stated value, depending on the catalog. The catalogs that are used for coins are the Jägerkatalog for German coins and the Krause Mishler Katalog for world coins. The commercial price is here at 30% - 50%.

Accompanying documents such as certificates of authenticity, attestations or auction and dealer invoices indicate a higher value of the objects. Certificates are issued by experts from philatelic associations, such as the associations American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX), the Bund Philatelistischer Prüfer (BPP) or the The Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL).

Stamps and Coins

Who estimates their value?

To get a solid estimate, you should seek advice from experts. Philatelists and numismatists working in renowned auction houses are specialized in their field, but also know the value of stamps from the most unusual countries. You can drop by any C.G. Collectors World location for an appraisal.

But how does an appraisal work? In a professional appraisal, the philatelists or numismatists first get a rough overview. In the case of a smaller collection, the stamps will be valued individually.

If the estate is comprehensive, it is explicitly searched for areas that are easy to sell. This is for example sea horses in a Great Britain collection or the so-called 1980 "red monkey" or mao poems in a China collection. With the coins of the FRG it is 50 Pfennig 1950 BdL or 5 DM 1958J.

Subsequently, you will be given a fair market price and the further procedure in the event of a consignment or purchase will be discussed. Read here about the consignment procedure: 

Old Stamps and Coins

Where can I sell them?

There are various ways to sell your estate. In addition to different online platforms, trade fairs and dealers are also good contact points. However, the best result can be achieved by selling your estate at auctions.

A dealer will only consider the purchase of your collection valuable if he can resell it at a profit. An auction house, on the other hand, is always interested in achieving the highest possible hammer price. The higher the hammer price, the higher is the commission for the auction house. C.G. Collectors World auction houses are internationally positioned, experienced for many years and reliable.

Our philatelists and numismatists prepare the auction objects in a qualified manner, which are presented to our worldwide customer through professional marketing. This way, your collection receives the decisive attention to achieve the highest possible hammer price.

You want to get a first estimate of your objects? Then contact us or simply use our contact form. This is also where you have the option of uploading photos of your objects. 

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