Wednesday, June 27, 2007


So, there I was at a garage sale and there was a photo album filled with stamps. I'm not a stamp collector and don't know squat about stamps, except I use a lot of them because I'm a letter writer. But I thought - hey - I could just use these for postage. So, I bought it for $15. There were five sets of the state bird stamps worth twenty cents each so I figured I'd make my money back on those, much less anything else.

I brought it home and set it aside, figuring I'd check these things out on ebay and see if there was anything in there worth any real money. Well, two years later, I happened to notice the photo album on the shelf last night. So, I started the search.

It also occurred to me that I was assuming the stamps were still valid for use as postage. Thanks to the internet I now know that any stamp issued since 1861 is still valid for postage. Unfortunately, there's nothing that old in this collection so it's not a worry.

I really want is be the sort of person who can just slap a 30 year old Olympics stamp on a letter and send it out into the world without giving it another thought. But, I'm not that person. Instead I had to do a little research. Well, what I learned is that stamp is worth about 65 cents - not exactly a gold mine, but an appreciation. Of course, I don't know anyone who wants to give me 65 cents for it so what does it matter.

But, I still don't know what to do with them. The bird stamps - those I'm using - they're not even worth their face value anymore so they're worth more as postage than as collectibles. The rest I think I'll see if I can sell as a group to someone who's in the business of selling them to collectors.

I was charmed by the "airmail" stamps. That's certainly a nod to a different time since all mail is "airmail" these days. There are old Christmas stamps and Vietnam remembrance stamps and other goodies. They're quite attractive in their own way. But I just don't have the temperament to be a stamp collector.