Stamps
South Atlantic Auctions values the fact that stamps are miniature documents of human history and are means by which a country gives expression to its hopes and needs, beliefs and ideals. In sum, countries mirror the past, foretell the future and provide a picture of varied cultures and domestic, civil, and social life. Some of our auctions carry stamps that stamp= collectors and enthusiasts will enjoy. The stamps we offer include a vast representation of worldwide, postal history, and thematic collections related to philately, stamp design, product ion and use, and the development of the postal and telegraph system. We know the public takes an intense interest in the subjects that appear on stamps and work to bring sellers and buyers together who truly appreciate stamps and understand their historic value and work of art.

Selecting Stamps at Auctions
1. Decide on a bid limit for yourself after inspecting merchandise.
2. Register so you can be identified as a bidder.
3. Have fun and bid if you would like. You do not have to bid if you do not want to. If you are new to auctions; we even recommend that you attend a few auctions without bidding to fully understand the rules of the game.

Helpful Tips
1. Glue on the back of a stamp means it has never been circulated.
2. Removing stamps from letters also removes the glue.
3. Do not try to soak a stamp off a colored envelope. The ink in the envelope will bleed and ruin the stamp.
4. Store your stamps using hinges or mounts on acid free paper, which is available at hobby shops. You will also need tongs, a magnifier, a watermark detector and a perforation gauge.
5. You cannot buy just one collectible stamp at the post office. You have to buy a roll or a sheet. If you do not send many letters, you might prefer to pay double face value at a shop for just one stamp.
6. The word "philatelist" means a person who practices philately or stamp collecting. It comes from the French word philatelie, which was derived from the Greek words "philos", meaning loving, and "atelia", meaning exemption from tax, which also came to mean "postage is prepaid". Philately has come to mean, specifically, the collection and study of postage stamps, postmarks and stamped envelopes and the study of postal history.
7. A cachet is a design placed on an envelope, usually commemorating the event for which the cover, as that envelope is known, is being prepared. For first day covers, the design is usually closely related to the subject of the newly issued stamp. The cachet usually appears on the left side of the envelope.
8. Stamp hinges are thin rectangular pieces of paper which are used to hold stamps in an album. One side of each hinge is coated with a special adhesive that becomes sticky when it is slightly moistened. Hinges may be purchased from stamp dealers or hobby stores. Hinges come in two varieties, flat and pre-folded.
9. Coil stamps are stamps made for use in vending or affixing machines and are sold in rolls. They have perforations on two parallel sides only (either the horizontal or vertical side). The other sides of the stamps are cut straight.
10. Shortly after adhesive postage stamps were introduced by Great Britain in 1840, people began collecting them. In 1841, a women even placed an advertisement in the London Times in which she requested help in collecting stamps so that she could paper a bedroom wall.
11. There are more than ten stamps of which only one copy is known. And while rarity is one factor in determining value, the history behind the stamp often is more important. Some of the most famous and valuable stamps include:

1 cent 1856 British Guiana (Sold for $935,000 in 1980)
1d and 2d 1847 Post Office Mauritus (1d at $1,100,000 unused)
Sweden 1857 3 skilling Banco Yellow (App. $2,000,000)
Hawaiian Islands 1851 2 cent Missionary ($660,000 unused; $200,000 used)
British Guiana 1851 2 Cent Cottonreel ($70,000 used)
Eastern Australia 1854 4d Inverted Swan ($60,000 used)
USA  1868 1 cent Z Grill (Sold for $935,000 in 1988)
Canada 1851 12 pence Victoria on Laid Paper ($80,000 unused and $50,000 used)
USA 1918 Inverted Jenny ($150,000 unused)

Take the South Atlantic Auctions Stamp Collector's Challenge

1. Stamps on envelopes are worth saving.
2. Removing stamps from letters does not remove the glue.
3. Stamps should be stored using kiloware on acid free paper.
4. U.S. Stamps are only sold at the Post Office.
5. Most stamp subjects are selected by private groups.
6. The challenge of sorting through U.S. stamp subject proposals falls to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), which meets quarterly to discuss, debate, and ultimately select each subject.
7. Developing a stamp can take 6 months.

The Answers

True (Stamps are worth saving)
False (It does remove the glue)
False (Use hinges or mounts on acid free paper)
False (U.S. stamps are sold at many locations outside the Post Office)
False (Selected by the public)
True (The challenge of sorting through U.S. stamp subject proposals falls to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), which meets quarterly to discuss, debate, and ultimately select each subject.)
False (Development takes at least 2 years