Old, used stamps

For those that collect stamps–are the used stamps worth anything? I ask that because I have large albums of used stamps from my father in law/envelopes full of used stamps. Circa 1950


Yes they are worth something. Sometimes a cancelled stamp is worth as much as the mint condition stamp (we call them Mint, Never Hinged or MNH).
In most cases a cancelled stamp is worth very little.
You can consult catalogues like Scott or Stanley&Gibbons (You may find them at your local public library) or you can got to StampWorld and check out the value there.
I advise you to do an inventory of the stamps (Country, Stamp number, Year, Value, and a very small 2-3 word description). You’d be surprised with what you find.


I’ve been a stamp collector for 30 years … the 1950s-1970s were the heyday of stamp issuance, many many millions were printed of each issue. In comparison, the latest Chinese New Year booklets from Canada Post that were issued today, were issued in a quantity of only 50,000. Just explaining why most stamps from the heyday era are worth comparatively little for their age, there were just so many of them!


Interesting–thanks for that information.

I will have to spend a day doing that. The albums that are about 3 inches (7.62cm) thick are overwhelming. Plus all the envelopes that are stuffed with stamps.

Thanks for the catalog names and the website.

Generally they aren’t worth much, from that time period, but if they’re in good condition (no tears, no foxing, doesn’t smell bad) you could sell them in bulk on like Ebay or something. I personally like cancelled stamps more than the mint variety.

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Hello, just read your post and thought I’d give you a few ideas. As a philatelist for 50 years !! I would suggest that if there are packed albums your father in law was clearly keen on the pastime. There is no rule to say which is worth more either used ( cancelled ) or Mint ( unused with or without remnants of a hinge ) it depends on a lot of things. Often collections were handed down through the generations and still are. You never know what gems are within any album or packet, I have bought many collections in the past at Stamp Fairs and privately, often people will turn up with a relatives collection and have no idea of the value so its important to get an honest view. Many collections are what the trade call " Schoolboy collections " put together decades ago containing vast arrays of fairly common stamps while some collectors have taken a more professional approach and sunk a lot of money into their hobby. A relative looking at that collection would not necessarily know what it contained and the true value. For instance collections were often built on stamps given by relatives maybe living abroad , maybe they had relatives in remote British Colonies or obscure overseas locations and maybe they collected high value stamps at that time knowingly or not amongst the commoner issues which were then accumulated. Lots of maybe’s. Some of those stamps could be worth considerable sums even from the 1950’s. Condition is everything, don’t keep them in a damp environment and keep the albums upright.
I would suggest that when stamp fairs open up again ( Most are closed due to the pandemic ) take the collection to a Fair and get a few dealers to have a look at it, if you’re interested to sell don’t take the first offer but hawk it around a few dealers. If they spend considerable time looking through it it’s likely to be worth more. Better still search out your local stamp club call them up and ask their advice take it along to one of their evening meetings and get them to look at it. They’re really friendly people and will give you good advice. I have often had visitors looking for advice call me up and bring collections to my Philatelic Society. That way you’ll get a better view of its worth and they should be able to tell you a lot about the collection that you may not have been aware of. Better still keep it in the family, research it and add to the collection if you get interested.
Anyway hope that helps, if you want any further information drop me a message.
Best Wishes, D


Thank you so much for all that information. Good advice/ideas. I will take some time this weekend to look closer at the stamps and look into a Philatelic Society in this area. Again–thanks so much for taking the time to give me all that information. Really appreciate you :heart:


For anyone that has old stamps that they aren’t interested in, I collect used stamps for a charity called Stamp Out Poverty run by Oxfam Canada. You can read more about the program here: Support Oxfam by Stamping Out Poverty | Oxfam Canada