Philately is one of the most well-known and widespread “serious” pastimes in the world, which also thanks to the advent of the web, a factor that has certainly contributed to bringing stamp enthusiasts closer together.
For a long time, collecting these objects has been considered, even in a slightly derogatory way, as a traditional and “quiet” hobby, even if in reality several rare specimens have become very famous and coveted even by those less interested in collecting them. Only in our country, for example, is the Pink Gronchi but almost every country has its own rare stamps.
How to find out if the stamp is worth a fortune?
Catalogs, specialized websites and experts in the sector are certainly very useful for understanding exactly the degree of rarity of a stamp: exactly as for coins and banknotes, both the rarity and the state of conservation determine a high or low value, but for philatelic pieces to these evaluations must be added other factors, such as whether the stamp was used or not, if the perforation is intact, etc. In short, every single detail or anomaly can certainly make a specimen more interesting.
Furthermore, the usual question of “supply and demand” should not be underestimated, ie the prices of a specimen can rise a lot depending on the period.
The factors to be taken into consideration are, in addition to the circulation, any valuable signs such as watermark positions, particular stamps, and above all any printing errors, which, in a similar way to numismatics, determines the degree of rarity of a particular specimen. Curiosity and a certain “eye” to find any unusual details are qualities that a collector of the first hour should not lack.
Philately is a “serious matter” for thousands of people, to the point that there are real philatelic experts assigned to the precise evaluation of entire collections or individual specimens.