Stamp Identification and Valuation Homepage

An index of resources here at The Stamp Collector for stamp identfication and valuation.

Germany Stamps Identification and Value Guide

Germania Overview

Hungary Stamps Identification and Value Guide


Introduction to Stamp Identification

Since the invention of the postage stamp in 1840, more than 500,000 different stamps have been produced around the world. With all of those stamps, it's no wonder that proper identification can sometimes be a challenge. In general collectors want to know the country which produced the stamp, the date(s) of issue, and if the stamp is part of a series. Beyond those basics, and particularly in the case of older, classic stamps, collectors distinguish among stamps that are identical or very similar to the naked eye but have subtle variations in the design or printing. While these distinctions might appear arbitrary to the non-collector or beginner, the specialist treats these variations as different stamps, often accompanied by a significant difference in value.

The Worldwide Illustrated Stamp Identifier

The Worldwide Illustrated Stamp Identifier is a tool that helps to visually identify the country of origin of particularly challenging stamps. These stamps include those that have no country name written on them, and those where the country name is inscribed using a non-Latin writing script. The stamps have been grouped into the following categories: No Country Name, Arabic Script, Cyrillic Script, Chinese Characters, Asian Writing, and Other Writing Systems including Greek and Hebrew.

To begin using the tool, select the grouping of stamps that appears to be most similar to the unidentified stamp. This will bring you to a page with more examples from that grouping. Should you find you've gone down a blind alley, back-out and try again. The country of origin (or a good guess) for most stamps with non-Latin characters can be quickly identified using this method.
go to the Worldwide Identifier...

Understanding Stamp Values

The subject of stamp valuation is a deceptively complex one. While at first glance, determining the value of a stamp might appear to be a simple matter of turning to one of the many available reference catalogues, in fact the stamp catalogue is just the beginning of the process. At the end of the day, the final sale price of a stamp (or stamps) represents a meeting of minds between buyer and seller, and there are many factors at play in determining that price.

At their best, catalogue values represent the selling price of a stamp in an idealized situation that is rather rare: a retail transaction between a professional stamp dealer and a collector for a single stamp or complete set in a grade and condition that is a good bit above average for the issue but still not the very best. Even in such a rare, idealized situation, stamps will usually sell for a price that is at least a small discount from the catalogue value. Everybody loves a bargain after all, and stamp collectors are no exception.

The Hradcany Issue - Czechoslovakia's First Stamps

The Hradcany Issue - Czechoslovakia's First StampsIssued beginning December 1918, the first stamps of Czechoslovakia offer an affordable treat for the philatelic specialist. Known as the Hradcany issue, there are five basic types accompanied by a wealth of variations in color, paper types, perforations and plate flaws.

Czechoslovakia was one of the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, established in the aftermath of World War I as part of the Treaty of St. Germain. (As time marches on, the political lines have once again been redrawn, and historical Czechoslovakia is now the territories of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Carpathian Ruthenia.)

Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist Alfons Mucha was commissioned to design the stamp. He chose the St. Vitus Cathedral at Hradcany Castle as the central element in the stamp design, seeing the landmark 14th century cathedral as having special cultural significance.