Before the times of television, smartphones and social media, hobbies like collecting stamps were a favoured past time. However, in recent times as result of unpredictable financial markets and political uncertainty investors have turned to “philately” (better known as stamp collecting!) for a safe investment.
According to the collectables dealer Stanley Gibbons, ‘Stamps proved a better investment than shares, property and gold in the year to June 2016’. They tracked an index of the 250 most valuable British stamps, which recorded a 1.2 per cent rise in the 12 months to June, outpacing the FTSE 100, which lost 11 percent in that time.
It’s charming to think that thousands of pounds worth of heritage stamps could be stored away by unsuspecting hobbyist.
Earlier in 2017, a historic stamp collection dating back to 1840 was found and bought at a local auction in Burton – this collection has a guide price of between £12,000 – £15,000 and was stashed full of Penny Blacks, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp.
However, as always with any item of value, making sure you have the correct insurance is vital…this couldn’t be more true when it comes to stamps! By nature, there is a propensity for stamps to be easily lost, damaged or stolen, so this makes them tricky to insure comprehensively. So here are my top tips on how to make sure these potentially valuable little nuggets are properly insured;
- Get a valuation: a specialist like Stanley Gibbons can give you an estimate. You can get a calculation here: https://support.stanleygibbons.com/support/articles/1000227550
- Don’t assume the collection will be covered under your general home contents policy. A High Net Worth home insurance policy can cover stamps comprehensively and is likely to be more cost-effective than stand-alone policies. If in doubt, discuss with a broker.
- Create an inventory, photograph and catalogue every stamp. Keep this up to date, and keep in mind that when you buy and sell or stamps your insurance will need to be adjusted accordingly.
- Make sure you don’t get confused and stick a valuable Penny Black on your Christmas Card to Auntie Jane!!
Written by: Josh Robinson, Portfolio Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org
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