Authoritative price guide for stamp collecting?
November 23, 2007 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an authoritative price guide for postage stamps, primarily US stamps from prior to 1960, similar to the Overstreet guides printed for comic books. There are a number of such stamps I would like to look up. Online would be great, physical guides that need to be purchased would be fine too. Thanks in advance.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Scott Catalogue is the most widely-used catalopgue and price guide for stamps. It is the equivalent of Overstreet. Most good librarires will keep the latest volumes (and it comes in several volumes).
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 11:00 AM on November 23, 2007

Stamps aren't quite like comics, the market is more fluid and auction based, but there's any number of resources. Just googling 'stamp guide' turns up a lot, Glassine Surfer looks like a good place to start.

I don't collect stamps, but used to work for a philatelist - the ubiquitous internet and ebay have changed the marketplace a lot...
posted by pupdog at 11:01 AM on November 23, 2007

Response by poster: Tried looking online, but everything seemed to conflict with everything else. I'll take a look at Glassine Surfer as well as any other suggestions made. :-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:13 AM on November 23, 2007

The Scott Catalogue is the authoritative price guide for postage stamps.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2007

Yeah the Scott guide is the definitive one, make sure the one you have is relatively recent. Most medium to large sized public libraries have them in their reference collection.
posted by jessamyn at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2007

nth the Scotts suggestion, really the only way to go to get accurate information....
posted by HuronBob at 12:26 PM on November 23, 2007

Be wary of the spread between "buy" and "sell" prices: nothing has an absolute value, only what someone will pay for it at a given instant in time. Scotts and Brookmans are based largely on sell prices, while Greysheet and other resources used by dealers are likely closer to the wholesale or buy price.
posted by ackptui at 12:46 PM on November 23, 2007

Yes, like it says again, use the Scott catalogue. That's the industry standard.
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 PM on November 23, 2007

Yes, the Scott is the standard (for prices and numbering) however, just like Overstreet its just a guide...unless you've got an Inverted Jenny or the like, realize that the market price is probably just a percentage of Scott.

Also, if you aren't used to stamps it can be difficult to tell exactly which version of the stamp you have, so be careful!

I'd say find a trustworthy stamp dealer to help you, but I'm not sure one exists ;)

posted by legotech at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2007

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