How to Identify Rare Postage Stamps

Pensioner finds 2.5 million postage stamp | This is how you can tell if your stamp is a treasure

It's the find of the year! 1.1 centimeters wide and 1.4 centimeters high - the one-cent stamp from retiree Reinhold Hoffmann (70) is said to be worth 2.5 million euros.

Many hobby collectors are now asking themselves: Do I also have such a valuable stamp? Is such a specimen slumbering in my attic? BILD.de explains how you can tell whether your stamp is a real treasure!

One thing is clear: Hoffmann's find is an absolute rarity. US postage stamp from 1861 shows Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

The edition was very small with 3100 copies. Today only the New York Postal Museum and one California billionaire own copies.

Torsten Hornung is an expert on postage stamps and confirms to BILD.de: “It is more likely to hit the lottery jackpot in Italy, Spain and Germany than to find this postage stamp.

It is often not possible for laypeople to recognize whether a stamp is valuable. The general rule is: copies from the last 60 years have hardly any value, as some of them were sold in billions.

In order to check whether a stamp has a rarity value, the owner must often invest a lot of time. First of all, Hornung advises you to do some research on the Internet.

Collectors use the MICHEL stamp catalog for this purpose. The catalog values ​​are only indicative, but provide an initial overview. Disadvantage: The online version is only available for a fee.

You can get feedback relatively quickly and free of charge in the forum of organized stamp collectors. Simply snap photos and upload them to the forum after a short registration. Answers follow promptly, says Hornung.

After an internet search, the stamps should be examined by at least two dealers or experts. IMPORTANT: Always keep the brands with you and do not give them away!

The most common question from hobby collectors: "Should I sell or keep collecting?"

However, in order to determine the 100 percent authenticity of a brand, a visit to New York is inevitable. Because only the expertise of the “Philatelic Foundation” confirms that it is an original. A journey that Reinhold Hoffmann still has ahead of him.

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