Begin by reading the standard stamp catalogs and several books on stamp collecting, too. Then get to know your local stamp dealers. Compare the prices that your local dealers are quoting with catalog prices. When you find a bargain, check the stamp for its condition and, if it's satisfactory, snap it up.
The process is slow and time-consuming.
But stamp collections assembled on a bargain basis appreciate on the average of 15 % a year.
Stamps being hunted by collectors:
British and Commonwealth Nation stamps.
Their values are climbing rapidly.
Stamps whose demand will increase because of anniversaries coming up soon. Example: In 1976, shrewd collectors saw that the next year, on the 50th anniversary of the occasion, the 1927 stamps honoring Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic would soar in value. They did. Target: Stamps commemorating events with round-number anniversaries coming. See stamp collecting for more information.
First day covers. These are stamp-bearing envelopes put out in very limited numbers to be postmarked at one post office only the first day a stamp goes into circulation.
Offbeat philatelic items. The trick here is to guess what stamps are not valued now that will be valued in the future. This game comes close to pure speculation, but winners are handsomely rewarded financially and psychically.
Remember: You must buy at retail and sell at wholesale prices. Therefore, consider the dealer markups, which are as high as 50%. Generally, markups are less for expensive stamps and more for the inexpensive ones.
Tomorrow's Classic Cars: Auto collecting requires much less than the $50,000-or-so price of many models now considered classics. Instead: Purchase those that many experts see as classics of the future. Examples: Lotus Europa, Lotus Elan, Jaguar Ectype or 140. Also: Mini Coopers, Triumph TR-3s, MGAs, and Bugeye Sprites. Caution:
The classic car market is unpredictable. Note:
A car must be restored to near-perfect condition to command top prices.
Collecting Rare Paper Money: Although some collectors spend thousands of dollars for bank notes, a collection can be started for as little as $100.
What makes the notes valuable:
Condition of the bills. Professionals have a strict grading system, with perfect new notes given a UNC (uncirculated) or CU (crisp uncirculated) code at the top.
Rarity. Scarce American bills have the most value.
Unusual serial numbers. Examples: Notes with all one number (22222222). Or, with numbers in sequence (12345678). Or, with very low numbers (a note normally worth $1,500 sold for $11,500 because its serial number was 0000002).
High face value of unstable countries in Asia and Africa. Why: These countries often outlaw exportation of money. This creates shortages and drives up the value of the bills. Rule of thumb: When collecting foreign bills, avoid low-denomination notes.
Bonus for bank-note collecting: The notes are easy to mail or carry, which is important in reaching overseas markets.
Best market for buying or selling notes: Fellow investors in the United States.
More information: The International Bank Note Society, clo Milan Alusic, Box 1222, Racine, WI 53405; The Society of Paper Money Collectors, Box 4082, Harrisburg, PA 17111.
Identifying Counterfeit GoldCoins
The output of counterfeit coins has risen sharply.
To avoid getting stuck:
Study real examples of the coins you're in the market for.
Buy only from accredited coin dealers. Experienced dealers can spot even the best counterfeits.
Be especially wary of buying rare coins overseas.
If in doubt about a coin, have it authenticated by the American Numismatic Association Certification Services, 818 N. Cascade, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
Getting The Most For Old Gold and Silver: The formulas that dealers ese to determine what they'll pay you for gold and silver items are closely held secrets. Warning: You'll never get the full market value. Often, they'll offer more than half. Advice: Get at least two appraisals before selling.
Weight and purity: Fourteen-karat gold is 58.33% pure. Eighteen-karat gold is 75% pure. Twenty-four karat gold is 99.9% pure. Sterling silver is 92.5 % bullion.
Cost of doing business: The appraiser's time, overhead, smelting costs, and profits are all informally figured into the price quoted.
Market trends: With highly volatile bullion markets, the dealer has to second-guess what the prices will be when he's ready to sell.
Antique value: Rarely a consideration, since most jewelry and flatware are worth more melted down. Reminder: Appraisers care nothing about family heirlooms or design. But most of them can recognize pieces that are worth more than their bullion content.
Fair price: For bullion by weight, 65 % to 75 % of the going rate.
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Stamp collecting may be an investment including a rewarding avocation to the collector. Realizing the stamps that are correct to gather is a crucial part of a stamp collection. Stamps that are used should be assessed for his or her state to establish how precious they can be. Regular stamps can increase the worth of a group completely, although mint condition stamps should be postages of rarity to be considered precious.
It may be difficult to get a collector to understand just the way to begin a stamp collection. New philatelists is going to be in a position to begin their stamp collection easily through the use of this guide.
When starting a stamp collection, postages can be saved by collectors from bundles, postcards, and letters. Collectors could ask family and friends to preserve them post. Local companies may also be excellent areas to get stamps. Places like travel agencies, and shops, banks might also preserve envelopes for collectors. Some collectors even begin their group by selecting one or two of their preferred areas like artwork, history, transport, science, sports, or creatures that's called topical gathering. These suggestions really are a great way for collectors to begin their stamp collection
Purchase new stamps in the post office to take up a group.
Cut used stamps from letters, packages, or old post. Yet, occasionally the whole envelope is more precious compared to the postage alone on account of the postmark date that is exceptional.
Purchase stamps from vendors.
Purchase stamps may be purchased from post or sites. In such situations a seller can send a variety of stamps for collectors to pick from or unique stamps can be found by a seller in his stock.
Commerce with other collectors at postage dealers shows, auctions, or clubs.
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