The 5 Golden Rules to Stamp Investing

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2018-11-04 16:28:05

The "5 Golden Rules" Investment Collection

At the risk of stating the obvious – stamp collecting is a hobby.

From my own personal experience, I find it a very fulfilling pastime on many levels.

I’m not alone…

In 2013, the Wall Street Journal estimated the global number of stamp collectors was around 60 million.

Stamp investing on the other hand is much smaller.

Most folks just don’t have the imagination to see the potential benefits of diversifying into rare stamps and other collectibles.

The truth is, successful stamp investing takes a bit of hard work.

Selecting the stamps most likely to rise in value over time takes expertise and experience.

I hold a proportion of my own investments in stamps and other collectibles.

Just recently, I updated the valuation on my own investment portfolio.

I was pleased, although not surprised, with performance…

44% growth in value over the past 5 years

Not startling or exciting, but nice and steady growth – good enough for me, thank you very much!

You can do the same simply by following my 5 golden rules on how to select the best stamps to invest in.

I’ve made it even easier for you – I’ve selected them for you!

I have built a collection for you comprising 10 rare stamps, specifically for investment purposes. The collection is available for the price of £31,120 ($40,508). All stamps in the collection pass my 5-point stringent investment test.

Before presenting you with the collection, let me explain a bit more about the “5 golden rules” I have followed in selecting the stamps for this investment collection…

Test Number 1 – RARITY

There are only a small number of surviving examples of the stamps I have selected for the investment collection.

Limited supply is the classic economic principle which creates price pressure and therefore drives growth in prices.

You don’t need a large market for prices to rise where supply is severely limited. Simple fact is you only need two people bidding at an auction for the realisation to exceed expectations.

Test Number 2 – CONDITION

I have only included stamps where their condition is of premium quality. Premium quality examples more regularly sell at auction for above estimates. This increases your chances of higher returns.

Specialist collectors have become far more condition conscious in recent years. The result is that they are all searching for the same “holy grail” in terms of quality, pushing prices up of the best quality examples.

To put into investment context the importance of “condition”, I have seen rare stamps with condition defects sell for 20% of SG catalogue value at auction whereas pristine examples sell for 200%+.

Test Number 3 – AUTHENTICITY

Everything you purchase from us comes with a lifetime money-back guarantee of authenticity. This guarantee is included within the terms of sale on all invoices we issue.

The investment collection includes stamps with a well-documented history and provenance. Other well respected experts who have handled these stamps in the past have agreed with my assessment of their authenticity.

I cannot stress enough how vitally important it is when buying any collectibles to only purchase through trusted sources or where you are able to independently prove authenticity.

Test Number 4 – LIQUIDITY

Some rare stamps I consider too specialised in nature to be suitable for investment. Such specialised areas tend to have a smaller number of interested participants – increasing the risk of illiquidity on exit.

All the stamps included within the investment collection are in areas of the stamp market where there are a healthy number of active collectors.

I have included three classic GB stamps, which have always been popular and in demand throughout history. This includes the most famous stamp of them all – the penny black.

The collection comprises five rarities from popularly collected British Empire countries – Canada, New Zealand, Falkland Islands and South Africa (including Zululand!)

The market is very strong in these areas just now, with more overseas buyers purchasing from the UK as they are benefiting from the current weakness in the British Pound. I am finding it increasingly difficult to find high quality rarities from the British Commonwealth & Empire due to fierce market competition at this time.

Finally, the collection includes one stamp from India and one from China. These markets have shown the highest growth in prices and the number of new collectors entering the market over the past 10 years.

Test Number 5 – PRICE

The most important investment rule of all is – don’t overpay for quality. The aim is to buy quality examples of rare stamps at below fair value, giving a margin of safety.

The total price of the investment collection is £31,120 ($40,508). This compares to a value of £78,500 ($102,183), based on the current listed SG catalogue. That represents a discount of 60% to the SG catalogue price.

I have only included items in the collection which I managed to secure at below market value. In some cases, these discounts are substantial. For example, one stamp in the collection is priced at an 88% discount to the SG catalogue value.

My ability to offer the collection at this price is the product of our buying expertise and specifically acquiring premium quality rare stamps at below market value. You may wonder how we do this…

I wouldn’t give away all our secrets, but I am willing to share one example of how we can buy at below market value, which is probably the most well known…

Whilst unsavoury, it is true that the three DDDs (Death, Debt and Divorce) create buying opportunities for us.

Sometimes this causes a “forced sale” situation and we are able to buy at artificially low prices.

I would point out, we only buy this way indirectly through auction or other 3rd parties.

We NEVER make “lowball” offers directly to sellers. Our business model is all about doing our best to help BOTH buyers and sellers.

Now, allow me to present you with the “5 golden rules collection”:

1. A Perfect Example of a GB Classic

Great BritainKing Edward VII - 1902 £1 dull blue green, SG266. A superb unmounted mint with full original gum marginal example.

Perfectly centred marginal example printed by De La Rue. A real beauty! SG catalogue price is £3,500 ($4,556).

PRICE: £2,500 ($3,254) 


It is not easy to buy this classic GB stamp in such perfect condition and even harder to find this quality in a marginal example.

It is a stunning looking stamp featuring the popular King Edward VII, who reigned for such a short time, from 1902 to 1910.

Buying perfect quality at a 29% discount to SG catalogue value is a sound basis for investment in my view.

2. A stunning cancellation on the most famous stamp in the world

Great Britain 1840 1d. Black, Plate 2, SG2. An example with good to large margins all round, superbly cancelled by a Maltese Cross in Bright Red.

A beautiful looking used example of the world's first postage stamp. 

PRICE: £375 ($488)


This used penny black features one of the best Maltese Cross cancellations I have ever seen. As stamps were cut from the sheets by hand in 1840, you will find very few penny blacks so neatly cut as this one and with such large margins.

No investment collection could ever be complete without including the most famous stamp in the world. The first postage stamp will always be the first postage stamp and will always be sought after by collectors worldwide. 

3. Great quality at a great price

Great Britain 1883 2/6 Lilac on Blued Paper, SG175.

A superb well centred mint example. A very rare stamp, particularly in this quality.

SG catalogue price is £6,750 ($8,786).

PRICE: £4,750 ($6,183) 


This selection for the investment collection is presented as a beautiful example of a GB classic stamp available at an exceptionally keen price (30% discount to SG catalogue value).

It is an elusive stamp and one of those hard spaces to fill in any GB Queen Victorian stamp collection. Examples of this quality are rarely seen, ever. 

4. One of Canada’s rarest stamps

Canada 1852-57 6d slate-violet on handmade wove, unmounted mint, SG9. Three good to large margins but cut close (clear of inner frameline) at top, fresh UNUSED. 

Minor thin spot on reverse, but a very collectible example of this exceptionally rare stamp.

Greene certificate (2002) as Scott 5.

SG catalogue price: £45,000 ($58,576)

PRICE: £5,500 ($7,159) 


This stamp is exceptionally rare and the only example I have ever handled. 

It is a very important rarity of Canadian philately and almost impossible to buy. Canada was the only country in the world to feature Prince Albert on a stamp.

Whilst this stamp is not of perfect condition, it is still one of the best quality examples you could hope to buy, such is its rarity.

I managed to acquire this stamp at a low price. As such, you are able to seize this rare opportunity to own one of Canada’s rarest stamps at a whopping 88% discount to SG catalogue value.

5. Extremely difficult to find philatelic gem

Falkland Islands 1878-79 4d grey-black, SG2a mint example from foot of sheet with imperforate margin, showing "FF" of papermaker's watermark, part original gum. 

Minor toning and gum disturbance, still fine for this stamp with perforations and centring far above average. A rarity in unused condition, being the first such example we have handled for many years.

SG catalogue price: £3,750 ($4,881)

PRICE: £2,250 ($2,929) 


This philatelic rarity from the Falkland Islands is extremely difficult to find. It is made extra special being from the foot of the sheet, showing the papermaker’s “FF” watermark, making it much more sought after by serious specialist collectors.

Whilst there are condition issues referred to, the quality is actually the best I have ever seen as very few examples of this stamp survive without serious condition flaws.

At a discount of 40% to SG catalogue value, I believe this rarity has real investment potential.

6. The treasure of the collection

New Zealand 1935 (1 May) 'Second Pictorial' 2d, 2½d, 4d to 8d, 1s, 2s, 3s, nine values, De La Rue stamp-size die proofs in issued colours on thick slightly surfaced unwatermarked wove with 2mm margins and part original gum.

Couple of trivial blemishes mentioned for accuracy (1s with small corner thin, 3s with minor split at top of frame due to pressure of printing), but a beautiful series of great rarity.

[The ½d, 1d, 1½d and 3d values are not present; the 9d value of the set was printed by lithography by Waterlow, and does not exist in this form].

PRICE: £9,500 ($12,366) 


This is the most important philatelic treasure in the collection. It is a series of extremely rare die proofs. It rightfully should belong in an award winning New Zealand display collection.

It is a rare privilege to own philatelic items such as this and, at the right auction at the right time, could achieve a high realisation.

7. A rare stamp variety for just £120!

South West Africa Official. 1951-52 1½d purple-brown, type 015/16 overprints, top marginal block of 6 (2x3), the centre pair with transposed overprints, fresh original gum. The variety pair unmounted.

A scarce positional piece from the 'column' setting with transposed overprints on alternate rows (found on 1½d and 6d values only). Official. SG O25/a 

PRICE: £120 ($156)


The stamp market is an imperfect market. Because of this, there are still opportunities, such as this, to buy very rare and interesting stamp varieties at a very low price. 

I always consider opportunities to buy rarities at such low prices as a sound long term investment. Frankly, I would consider this piece still cheap at 5x the price.

8. Important rarity from a fascinating country with a brief philatelic history

Zululand 1894 £5 purple and black/red, SG29. A superb mint left-hand marginal example. Rare and one of the finest known examples. 

This is the only marginal example we have ever handled. SG catalogue price is £5,500 ($7,159).

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the British Philatelic Association (BPA).

PRICE: £5,250 ($6,834) 


Zululand only operated its own postal system for a very short period from 1894 to 1897 before being annexed by Natal.

It is a fascinating part of the world with a history well worth learning about (perhaps a story for another day).

The short story though is this 1894 £5 highest value definitive issue from Zululand is extremely rare and sought after. Apart from being the only example I have ever handled, it is the finest quality I have seen for this stamp issue. It also benefits from being a marginal example – adding further to its rarity.

It remains undervalued, in my view, and at a 10% discount to SG catalogue value is a strong addition to the investment collection.

9. Rare set of Chinese stamps of unusually high quality

China Yunnan Province: 1929 (28 Apr) Unification of China set of 4 to $1 scarlet, fresh unmounted mint. Only 6,000 of $1 overprinted. Unmounted Mint. SG21-24 

PRICE: £275 ($358) 


Stamps from China are notorious for being in poor condition, due partly to damage caused by the country's climate conditions. It is unusual to find a rare set of Chinese stamps from 1929 in such fine quality as this.

With only 6,000 of the $1 overprinted and much fewer surviving against an estimated 20 million stamp collectors in China, it is difficult not to conclude that this set of stamps has plenty of growth potential.

10. Indian stamp boom missed this one

I.C.S. Gwalior 1928-36 Set of 16 to 25r, large part original gum. Top value with tiny red mark on reverse of one perforation inconsequential and still a fine and attractive set with very fresh colours. Scarce complete.

SG catalogue price: £700 ($911)

PRICE: £600 ($781)


It seems the Indian stamp boom in recent years missed this set, which is rare yet only boasts a paltry SG catalogue value of £700 ($911). 

At the price of £600 ($781) (14% discount), this is a fine quality Indian rarity set worth holding on to for a price correction in the future.

The “5 Golden Rules” Investment Collection

Having spent considerable time in selecting the items for this collection, I recommend it as an ideal starter investment in rare stamps.

The collection provides you with a well-diversified portfolio of stamps from different collecting areas. All stamps in the collection pass the “5 golden rules” investment test.

The collection is available to purchase today at the price of £31,120 ($40,508)This compares to a value in the most recent SG catalogue of £78,500 ($102,183) (60% discount).

The collection in total has almost doubled in value over the past 10 years, showing that back-testing suggests my selections are sound ones.

I have done all the hard work for you. As with all investing, if you buy the right quality at the right price, your returns should naturally follow…

If you are interested in buying the “5 golden rules” investment collection, the price is only £31,120 ($40,508). For this amount, you will own 10 important high quality rare stamps.

I must warn in advance that buying the entire collection is subject to availability. As you know, I can’t stop people (and I wouldn’t want to) going onto our website and buying individual stamps from the collection.

You can purchase individual stamps from the collection from our online store by clicking on the link against each stamp featured.

Alternatively, you can place your order by email to

Finally, we would love to hear from you and you can always call us on +44(0)1534 639998 to secure the stamp(s) you want.

Happy investing AND/OR collecting, the choice is yours.

Kind regards


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting

PS. Looking to sell? If you are fortunate enough to already own a collection of rare stamps of a quality such as those featured in this email, and are interested in selling, I would love to hear from you. We are always looking for more stamps that pass the “5 golden rules” test. The problem is, very few stamps pass the test!


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