Stamp collecting may have fallen out of fashion for many people in the UK, but the hobby can still yield extremely valuable stamps that you might not even know you have.

If you have inherited a collection or have one stored away you might not be aware of the potential value of some of your stamps.

For those who are novices in the world of stamp collecting here is all you need to know on how to appraise your stamps to see if they are worth something.

How can I tell if my stamps are valuable?

One way of finding out what your stamps might be worth is by researching stamp catalogues and identification books.

There are various factors that can impact the value of a stampThere are various factors that can impact the value of a stamp (Image: Getty Images)

In the UK, Stanley Gibbons publishes the most used catalogues, which can be found on their website here, and you can also look for values on their online marketplace.

The values that can be attached to stamps could still be optimistic so it is recommended to get a professional valuation.

Companies such as Stanley Gibbons, We Buy Stamps and Warwick & Warwick Auctioneers offer valuations of stamps, sometimes for free, with more information available on their respective websites.

Stamps can be professional valued to see what they are worthStamps can be professionally valued to see what they are worth (Image: James Manning/PA Wire)

Warwick & Warwick Auctioneers have also listed a number of factors that make a stamp more valuable which include:

  • They are in good condition
  • They have bright, fresh and original colours
  • It was issued before 1960
  • No piece of the stamp is missing
  • Creases and other damage are minimal
  • They are ‘unhinged’ and not stuck to a page (the stamp's original adhesive is still in place)
  • It has a light and tidy cancellation mark
  • The face value is a higher denomination
  • It has perfect perforations (neat edging)

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Alongside that, if a stamp has a printing error, such as a missing colour or feature, then they are likely to be worth significantly more than the regular issue.

Stamps are less likely to be valuable if they are in poor condition or if they are part of a manufactured collection.

This is because they are widely sold so they are hardly worth anything significant unless they have a printing error.