Thursday, February 9, 2017

More statistics on worldwide stamp collecting

I have been negligent in mentioning what I think is the most detailed analysis yet of the practicality of collecting worldwide from 1840 to date. The analysis appears on Keijo Kortelainen's Stamp Collecting Blog and is titled "Is collecting a complete worldwide stamp collection possible? Take III – the final word – money and catalog values." You need to have a subscription to read it so I will just link to his Stamp Collecting Blog site. It would be a disservice for me to attempt any summary, but I hope it will be OK to tease with the questions (quoted or paraphrased from his article) that Keijo is researching:

1) How much the total catalog value of complete (but yet simplified) used world collection would be? 

2) Is collecting the classic era (in used condition) more expensive, as generally claimed?

3) What is the ratio of different catalog values for used stamps? We collectors tend to say that 99% of stamps are worth very little or nothing. Is this true or false?

4) Are some stamp types more expensive than others? 

5) Are some countries or locations more expensive / affordable than others?

Now you know you want to learn the answers! Don't forget to read the comments.

And Linn's has published its annual "Scott Worldwide Stamp Cost" for 2015. (I.e, literally all the world except for the US.) I have done a summary in the past, but I have been beat to it this year by a much more thorough analysis and critique by "madbaker" Mark on "The Stamp Forum." You can read his post and the comments by clicking here.

The original Linn's article can be found here, as well as links to earlier ones back to 2002.


Madbaker said...

Holy cow, I got a hat tip from one of my stamp heroes! :). Thanks Bob.

Although I'd hate to feel like I shorted your audience out of an article from you. That's no good at all.

Pretty please?


keijo said...

Like Mark I too am humbled by your 'honorary appraisal'. So thanks :)

It seems 2017 is going to revolutionize the world of worldwide collectors, so many good articles with new data and fresh approaches and alternative opinions out this year already. It will be more than interesting to see if any of the 'old media' (Linns, AP, etc. established print publications) will react in any way to this new knowledge, or will they keep on repeating the same old as before.


Madbaker said...

Nah, not when there's new issues to report and auction results to recount! :)

Aside from Kitchen Table Philately, they are all pretty quick reads for me. Canadian Stamp News is even quicker.


Ps. Keijo, from the excerpts it looks like you're having fun this year too. If I can get my micro-bakery generating cash I'll pay up and read the rest of your words. So far my total stamp expenditure is a $5 packet at a club auction. :(. lots of shelves to clear though.

keijo said...

@Mark... Yep. There's so much 'wrong' with stamp magazines these days. Sigh. 


Jim said...


I'm glad you have brought up Keijo's recent post of his analysis of WW cost (with plenty of solid data mining and number crunching), which, in my view, is one of the seminal articles for WW collectors. I hope he makes it available as an ebook, perhaps with a compensatory charge for those that haven't subscribed yet to his postings. :-)

With his data tables, I came up with about 60,000 stamps are within reach of a WW collector who collects 1840-1940, out of a universe of about 83,000+ major number stamps, if the collector sets CV @ $20+ as an upper limit.


Note: If people are wondering what happened to the Austria 1850 Issue post on my blog, it was withdrawn, as I inadvertently published it while still in draft form. It will be published next July. ;-)

Bob said...

As I wrote once before, this blog would be a lot more useful if I just linked to other people's posts, inserting the occasional pithy "ditto."

Your comments on stamp magazines got me thinking. My impression is that there is something of an uptick of non-specialist articles on worldwide stamps recently. I'm thinking of Linn's "International Pavilion: Where the global collecting community gathers." The American Philatelic Society's Journal has a new classics column. While there has never been much on the mechanics of worldwide collecting, Janet Klug's column in Linn's sometimes is relevant. (And there was Lawrence Block's entertaining column in Linn's a few years back.) I would not be surprised if one of these publications would be interested in publishing even more. (After all, the APS published an article on different editions of the Scott International Volume One, so anything is possible!)

keijo said...

@Jim... I think I'll stick with the current subscription scheme instead of ebooks. Those with access can print the articles they like as pdf /paper anytime. And non-subscribers can sign up with the free trial subscription, and get it the same way. Just trying to avoid re-inventing the wheel and extra costs of maintaning yet another 'thingie'.

@Bob... Yep, I've noted the uptick of '├╝bersee' themes too. Not sure if it is the result of editors chasing suitable themes/authors (that's how I have landed with the random magazine articles I've written), or are there simply more world collectors willing to author (I like to think stamp bloggers like you, me and Jim have set example here).... Who knows, maybe Jay Bigalke knocks on my doorstep one of these days, LOL.