Friday, May 23, 2008

Can you jumpstart a worldwide stamp collection?

As others have noted, it makes the most sense to jumpstart the process by purchasing a collection already in progress, presumably the largest one can afford, and ideally in a loose-leaf album in good enough condition to not require remounting. To that end, I've been monitoring eBay for the past year looking for a large Scott International or Minkus Global collection. A couple of weeks ago, I successfully bid on a Scott International Volume I (copyright 1969). According to the seller, there are spaces for 48,000 stamps and 18,000 - 22,000 stamps are present.

One interesting question is what will be the most efficient way of adding to the collection? The most bang for the buck would appear to come from purchasing additional albums (or pages from them) covering the same era, removing the stamps I need, and then reselling or trading the album. But presumably at some point the smaller collections that are affordable (a couple of thousand stamps for under $50) will yield fewer and fewer stamps that I need.

Two other options will be country pages from albums covering the appropriate time spans or even country collections in specialty albums (or their equivalent). At the end, no doubt I will be left with filling empty spaces stamp by stamp--a much more expensive proposition.

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