Now confined indoors, many have resorted to rummaging through storage closets to organise, declutter and make the best of their time at home.
In the process, some may have stumbled upon remnants of fond memories— trinkets from a summer trip, old photographs of their parent’s youths, board games they used to play in their own childhood and, for many families in the UK, stacks of stamp albums with colourfully filled pages.
Stanley Gibbons, a major stamp dealer and philatelic publisher since 1856, says these rare items are going unnoticed. The company’s flagship store based on the Strand in Central London, receives customers daily, all of whom looking for inherited collections to be valued and unaware of its true value.
“We are constantly meeting people who tell us about these fantastic collections that were left to them but they either threw them away or sold them at a boot sale for pennies on the pound as part of a house clearing exercise,” Victoria Lajer, managing director, said. “In one stunning example, a customer arrived at the shop with a collection he had found in his deceased uncle’s loft. He told auction staff that if his “rubbish” wasn’t worth anything, he would gladly get rid of it. It was at this point, that a Stanley Gibbons auctions specialist noticed a small stamps booklet amongst the collection. Specialists identified it to be an extremely rare Hong Kong King Edward VII $1 booklet from 1905 and sold it in auction for £1,900.” Not bad for a box of “rubbish.”
This is only one of many stories that experts at Stanley Gibbons see on a daily basis. If you have an item or collection that might be worth taking a look into, consult an expert. There may be gold within those tomes.