Collecting and Collections:
A basic introduction to stamp collecting is provided by the American dealer Apfelbaum.
Organising and managing collections
2-Click Stamps provide some guidance on sorting stamps.
Appraising for resale or disposal
If you are trying to sell a collection the most common avenue is through a dealer who is a member of a stamp dealer association. Such an association provides you with a degree of surety about the dealer. The association will likely have a website providing details of their members including location and contacts. In New Zealand check NZSDA. Many of their members have websites where advice on selling your collection is provided.
When is insurance needed?
The issue of determining value is touched on at American Collectors.
How to choose the right album
The Spruce provides some comment on whether to use an album or not.
Hints on preserving and conserving your collection can be found at the Smithsonian.
The issue of the paper used to mount your stamps is raised at Stamps are art.
Sources of material
Collector tools and their uses
The American Philatelic Society (APS) provides a useful background to tools most stamp collectors will require. The page also links to some YouTube presentations showing how to use some of the tools.
D J McAdam provides useful insights into choosing the right catalogue for your collecting interests.
Stamp Finder on Line lists a huge number of names that appear on stamps.
Information Vine has lots of links embedded which provide differing levels of stamp identification.
The Perfin Society of GB, while concentrating on GB perfins, provides a lot of useful general background information relating to perfins including links to other world-wide clubs, catalogues and exhibits of perfins. Perfin Stamps of Australia also has good information about perfins and many links.
Many further links can be found on the Information Vine site.
The British North American Philatelic Society (BNAPS) has produced a 172 page handbook on Canadian perfins.
Overprints and underprints
A very useful overview of overprints is provided by Wikipedia.
Andy Donaldson has a special interest in the GB overprints and underprints during the reigns of Victoria, Edward VII and George V. His site provides a useful insight into these categories of security markings while GBMachins provides an overview of overprints and underprints found on the Machin definitives
Morawino Stamps, a Polish dealer, has listings with images of a wide range of stamps with overprints and underprints.
Design and production of stamps
Wikipedia provides a broad overview of the design process.
Linns has an interesting article by Fred Baumann entitled ‘What once was stamp printing is now stamp production’ highlighting changes that have taken place in the production of US stamps.
Understanding grades of stamps
2 Clicks Stamps suggests every collector should understand some of the factors that go into grading stamps.
The American Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) provides a categorisation of grades and an article with clear description supported by illustrations.
Flaws, errors and oddities
2 Clicks Stamps describes types of errors on stamps and Wikipedia has a brief overview of errors, freaks and oddities in stamps. The Collectors Weekly published an interview with John Hotchner on errors freaks and oddities.
Phosphor papers and tagging
Robin Harris’ website Canadian Philately contains wide-ranging information about the tagging of Canadian stamps.
Robert Murray Stamp Shop provides some useful introductory remarks about detecting phosphor bands on UK stamps while GB Machins provides a more detailed description of UK phosphor bands.
StampoRama has a discussion chain on UV lamps and general comments on tagging.
Stamp Community has a forum discussion on the best watermark detection methods.
These and many more links to sites covering aspects of watermarks can be found at Information Vine.
Measuring perforations accurately
There are many different types of perforation gauges as can be seen at Google Images.
All manual systems involve the matching of the perforations on the stamp with the gauge as shown, for example, by Kenmore Stamp Co or by simply counting the number of perforations in a 2 cm length.
Paper – thickness, manufacturing, mesh, etc.
Wikipedia provides a summary of paper characteristics.
Stampboards discusses how to distinguish ordinary from chalky surfaced paper.
The Stamp Community discusses the structure of paper, including mesh, while there is a multitude of sites which explore paper types of individual countries.