Many of today's collectors started collecting U.S. postage stamps as kids, often with a parent or family member. The US stamp collecting market has weakened in recent years, however, with many stamps and even entire collections trading below face value (so many copies of common stamps were printed that there's not enough demand to warrant a premium).

Rare or unusual U.S. stamps, however, are another story - there's a robust market for those, and some specimens can be worth thousands of dollars or more.

There are many ways to approach collecting U.S. stamps. Some collectors focus on a specific time period, like the 19th century. Others choose specific themes like airmail stamps or duck stamps. Some focus on specific formats like sheets, plate blocks, coils, or booklets. There are also a large number of collectors who focus on first day covers - stamps that were affixed to a special envelope and cancelled on the first day of issue.

As with many collectibles, rarity and condition are two key determinants of value. U.S. stamps can be either unused (never cancelled) or used, and there are collectors who focus on both varieties.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

This auction house site offers an extensive online database of US stamp information. Includes PDF catalogs of past … [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



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