Posts Tagged ‘Stamp Collecting’

Coins and Stamps in Investment Top 10 List

Coutts – bankers to the Queen –  have confirmed coins and stamps as lucrative hobby investments…

The Coutts Passion index tracks the rate at which the price of hobby investments has risen, and its increase of 80% between 2005 and 2014 proves that there is money to be made for those who decide to turn their hobby into an investment.

Stamp and coin collecting both made the top 10 in recent news, despite having been around for hundreds of years these collecting pastimes remain just as popular today…

200 Million Collectors

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Postage stamp collecting is still enjoyed by around 200 million people worldwide

In fact, it’s estimated that around 200 million people worldwide still enjoy collecting stamps to this very day. An impressive figure considering the technological advances that the world has seen over the years and new fads and crazes that have developed.

Ranked in 9th place by Coutts – philately is still widely recognised by many as a popular collectible hobby.

Postage stamp collecting began at the same time that stamps were first issued, and by the 1860’s thousands of collectors and stamp dealers were appearing around the world as this new study and hobby spread across Europe.

Collecting stamps for investment purposes is viewed as a hedge against inflation and devalued currencies. Perhaps not as popular for younger audiences as it once was, stamp collecting is still considered to be a worthwhile hobby – which can be both rewarding and profitable to the collector.

Ranked at number 3 in the Coutts top 12 list, is coin collecting. Last year prices for old coins grew at a rate of 9% and over the 10 year period between 2005 and 2014 they have risen a staggering 176%

Top 3 Position

kew gardens 50p a - Coins and Stamps in Investment Top 10 List

The Kew Gardens 50p often sells for up to £30 (60 times its face value)

People have kept coins for their bullion value for as long as coins have been minted, however, the collection of coins for their artistic value came much later.

Today, coin enthusiasts are still hunting for collectible coins to add to their collections. There are many different areas within numismatics which range from theme, metal, currency, era and country.

Keith Heddle of Stanley Gibbons, puts coins’ enduring popularity down to “their tangibility and literal link to money, wealth and precious metals”.

So, it’s good news for collectors. With coins like the undated 20p and the Kew Gardens 50p which can simply be found in loose change, the return on their investment stands to be even higher in percentage terms.

Stamps, along with coins, are the only two alternative investments on the Telegraph’s list that have not lost money in any given year since 2005.

Whilst it’s always nice to hear about coin and stamp values rising, we always recommend that you collect first and foremost for the enjoyment of the hobby.

The most lucrative ‘hobby investments’ over 10 years

  1. Classic cars
  2. Old Master and 19th Century art
  3. Old coins
  4. Rare musical instruments
  5. Post-war and contemporary art
  6. Jewellery
  7. Rugs and carpets
  8. Impressionist and modern art
  9. Stamps
  10. Fine wine
  11. Traditional Chinese works
  12. Watches

westminster - Coins and Stamps in Investment Top 10 ListThe Westminster Collection offers a variety of collectible stamps and coins.
click here to find out more.

First Look: The UK’s New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

Royal Mail has issued a set of five new stamps marking Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becoming our Longest Reigning Monarch.

Each stamp features a different regal design highlighting a key Royal motif, and there is a new 1st Class definitive for use on everyday letters too.

488r lrm stamps minature sheet - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

I’ve managed to get hold of some of the stamps fresh off the press so I can show them to you here on the blog…

stamp 1 - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

William Wyon’s City Medal depicting Queen Victoria

1st Class
In a nod to the historical precedent for the occasion this stamp features William Wyon’s ‘City Medal’. Depicting the head of Queen Victoria – the UK’s previous longest reigning monarch – the medal was struck to commemorate her first visit to London. The image on the Penny Black was based on this portrait, which in turn was based on a sketch of Princess Victoria when she was 15 years old.

stamp 2 - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

Dorothy Wilding’s three-quarter profile of HM Queen Elizabeth II

1st Class
Dorothy Wilding’s three-quarter profile photograph of Queen Elizabeth II was one of a series taken in April 1952 and appeared on British postage stamps from 1952 until 1967.

It is reprised here, an unprecedented pairing of the two most important images of the Queen in British postal history.


488r lrm stamp2 650 x 450 - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

The Badge of the House of Windsor

The House of Windsor came into being in 1917, when ‘Windsor’ was adopted as the British Royal Family’s official name by a proclamation of King George V, replacing the historic name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Badge of the House of Windsor shown on this stamp – featuring the Round Tower of Windsor – has been in use since 1938.


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The Queen’s Personal Flag

The second high-value stamp bears the Personal Flag of Queen Elizabeth II. This is a standard that can be used on any building, ship, car or aircraft in which the Queen is staying or travelling. It is often used to represent her role as Head of the Commonwealth.


stamp 3 - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch Stamps

Brand new ‘Long to Reign Over us’ 1st Class Definitive

1st Class Definitive
In 1966 the HM The Queen approved Arnold Machin’s design for an effigy of her to be used on what came to be known as the “Machin series” of British definitive postage stamps. This latest edition is printed in a new mauve colour and the text in iridescent ink repeats the phrase, ‘Long to Reign Over Us.’



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Longest Reigning Monarch Postmark – Windsor

There is also a new commemorative postmark featuring the opening lines from the national anthem – ‘God Save Our Gracious Queen’ – which complements the stamps superbly. Any commemoratives using this postmark are sure to be sought after in the future – it is a true one-of-a-kind.

Suffice to say, these five new stamps are an intelligent, subtle and dignified tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable reign. As it is extremely unlikely her record will be broken in our lifetime, these could well become some of the most sought after QEII stamps ever issued.

p353 lrmdbicc the united kindom longest reigning monarch coin cover - First Look: The UK's New Longest Reigning Monarch StampsIf you’re interested…

You can own all five of these stamps now, postmarked with the first day of issue date 9/9/2015, and affixed to a commemorative Double Coin Cover. Featuring the new UK £5 Coin, you can read more about it by clicking here…


Who issued the world’s first Christmas Stamp?

britains first christmas stamps - Who issued the world's first Christmas Stamp?

Britain’s First Christmas Stamps from 1966

Did you know that since Royal Mail issued their first Christmas stamp in 1966, over 17 billion Christmas stamps have been printed in Britain?  But as popular as they are today, Great Britain was late to the table when it came to issuing Christmas stamps.  So which country can lay claim to issuing the first Christmas stamp? 

The Contenders…

Canada – 1898
The first country to lay claim is Canada, which produced a stamp bearing the words ‘Xmas 1898’.  But many people question whether this was really a Christmas stamp at all…

Denmark – 1904
Denmark claims it printed the first Christmas stamp in 1904 after an idea from postmaster, Einar Holboell, to add an extra stamp to the Christmas mail and the money go to help sick children.  However these “stamps” were actually labels and not issued for postage.

Austria – 1937
Austria issued two stamps on 12th December 1937 for use on Christmas mail and New Year greeting cards.

Hungary – 1943
Finally, there is Hungary.  Many people think the 1943 Hungarian stamps to be the first real Christmas stamps as they feature religious imagery.

The secret behind the Canadian stamp

the worlds first christmas stamp - Who issued the world's first Christmas Stamp?

The World’s First Christmas Stamp?

It is fair to say however that the issue of the Canadian Christmas stamp did not really have much to do with Christmas.  In fact it was a result of then Canadian Postmaster General William Mulock lobbying to standardise postage rates across the Empire at one penny.

After failing to get the new rules introduced at the 1897 Universal Postal Union, Mulock returned the following year more determined than ever, with a new proposal.  This time he succeeded, and in July 1898, the Imperial Penny Postage rate was unveiled.  Canada made the move to be effective on Christmas day 1898.

As a result, the stamp was officially released on 7th December 1898 bearing Mercator’s famous map with the British Empire highlighted in red, and also the words “XMAS 1898”.

So who can lay claim to issuing the first Christmas stamp?

Well despite the controversy, to me, there is only one winner – and that is Canada. Whether it was issued specifically for Christmas or not, it bears the words ‘Xmas 1898‘ and therefore I think it rightly deserves the title of first Christmas stamp.