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Guidance for *extremely large* (greater than 100,000 stamps) collection please  

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United States
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Posted 01/05/2017   4:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DawnBooth to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Hi Everyone,

First of all- I am sorry for posting another inherited collection post. I was recently given my family's stamp collection. I am new to this and am trying to figure it all out; however, I am very overwhelmed. This collection contains over 100,000 stamps including:

1. Mints ranging from 1897- 2000
2. Used stamps ranging from 1851 and up (including a Graf Zeppelin)
3. US Coils
4. US Plate Blocks (numbered and unnumbered)
5. US Post Cards
6. US First Day Covers
7. United Nations Mint and Used Singles
8. Several albums of Canadian Stamps
9. Close to 10,000 Foreign Stamps

I have 3 boxes full of Mint Files with 24 sheets in each file and 4 boxes full of stamps in glassine. There is a lot more to this collection but just to give you an idea of what I am dealing with. The last time a partial amount of this collection was appraised was in 2001. With this amount of volume I am not sure how to handle this. Pay an appraiser what could equal to thousands of dollars? Go directly to an auction house? I am very overwhelmed with this and not sure how to proceed. Also I am worried about insuring them without an idea of value. Any direction would be so appreciated! I will continue to search topics and learn from this forum! Thank you so much!

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Posted 01/05/2017   4:41 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi and welcome.
While it sounds like you have a large amount of stamps please be aware that they may or may not have significant value. It could well be that the real value is that someone in your family has poured many enjoyable hours into collecting and organizing them.

You might want to post some images of some of what you feel is the better material and the folks here will provide you with input on how best to move forward.

For example, most modern (1940 and newer) mint stamps US stamps are valued at 40-50% of face value, this includes plate blocks and sheets. But there is sometimes a hidden gem in large lots.
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Posted 01/05/2017   5:33 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello, welcome to the board. If there is a dealer in your area, he'd probably come out to look at them for you, free of charge, provided you were willing to sell if you liked his offer. Most dealers will even drive a fair distance if they think it'll be worth their while.

You can also get a general idea yourself of worth. As Don said, modern US issues are worth about half of their face value - in other words a 50 cent stamp is actually worth 25 cents, etc. Total up the face value, divide it by two, and you'll have the approximate total real-world value of recent (after 1935 or so) mint US stamps.

Most larger libraries also carry copies of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalog, which describes and values pretty much every stamp ever issued worldwide. While you wouldn't want to look up every single stamp in the collection, you can at least get a general idea if the stamps are all low value or if you've got anything that's worth much. You probably mostly want to pay attention to stamps valued at $10-$20 and up, as stamps valued much below that are in fact worth almost nothing to a dealer. The values you see in the catalog are more or less suggested retail selling prices for dealers, not what you as a collector can get for them. Most collectors are accustomed to buying at 50-80% or more off of catalog prices, so you can imagine that dealers will offer you much less than that, even.
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Posted 01/06/2017   3:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Edited by redwoodrandy - 01/06/2017 3:54 pm
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