Have you ever wondered which stamp catalogue is the right one for you? Not all stamp catalogs are made the same. As the saying goes, “buy the book before you buy the stamp”. Before you become an expert in philately, learn about the best stamp catalogs first.
Stamp catalogue history
The first stamp catalogue was made by a French bookseller and philatelist named Oscar Berger-Levrault in September 1861. However, Levrault’s Catalog des Alsatica stamp reference book did not contain pictures of the 973 stamps he listed down.
By December 1861, another French philatelist Alfred Potiquet published a revised and illustrated version of the Levrault’s stamp catalog. In Potiquet’s stamp collecting catalog, he added individual pictures of each stamp entry, and he edited Levrault’s minor mistakes.
The earliest postage stamp catalogs were merely stamp dealers’ price lists. However, as philately progressed, not all stamp collectors wanted to know about the stamp values.
This is why newer postage stamp catalogs now include the date of stamp issues, stamp color variations, and many more. Through the advancement of the internet, the online stamp catalogue was also introduced.
Publishing a stamp collector catalogue is a tedious thing to do since there are new stamp issues each year. The stamp values also go up and down and the stamp prices need to be frequently updated in postage stamp catalogs.
Popular world stamp catalogues
These are some of the famous world stamp catalogs:
Scott stamp catalog – the Scott postage stamp catalogue is the leading stamp price guide among the American and Canadian philatelists. There is also a Scott stamp catalog online.
Stanley Gibbons stamp catalogue – the Stanley Gibbons Group is a major stamp catalog publisher since 1856. There is a Stanley Gibbons stamp valuations online, too.
Michel Stamp catalogue – first published in 1910, the Michel stamp catalog is widely read by German-speaking stamp collectors. Sometimes, this philatelic reference list is simply known as the Michel catalog.
Yvert stamp catalogue – the Yvert et Tellier stamp collector catalog largely caters to French philatelists. The Yvert stamp catalog also publishes a stamp reference list for collectible stamps in non-European countries.
Single Country stamp catalogues
Some philatelists only want to have a topical stamp collection based on a certain country or theme. Like for example, a Swiss Liechtenstein stamp catalogue, a German Third Reich stamp catalogue, or a Japanese stamp catalog.
Thus, a lot of countries developed their very own national philatelic catalogs that are published by postal administrations. These are some of the reputable stamp reference guides all around the world:
• Zumstein stamp catalogue (Switzerland)
• Facit stamp catalog (Scandinavia)
• Sassone stamp (Italy)
• Sakura stamp catalog (Japan)
• Brusden White stamp catalogue (Australia)
• Fischer stamp catalog (Poland)
• Lamy stamp catalogue (Peru)
• Ma stamp catalog (China)
• Yang stamp catalogue (Hongkong)
Online stamp catalogue
Online stamp catalogues are quite handy, too, since you can get information right away. However, not all stamp catalogs online are free to access. Some stamp collecting catalogs in the internet are only downloadable once you have purchased a stamp software.
Here is a list of the few online stamp catalogues free in the internet:
• Colnect Worldwide Stamp Catalogue – http://colnect.com/en/stamps/countries
• Find Your Stamps Value – http://www.findyourstampsvalue.com/
• Italian Stamps Catalogue – http://www.ibolli.it/
• New Zealand Online Catalogue – http://stampsnz.com/
• The WikiBooks Worldwide Stamp Catalogue – http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/World_Stamp_Catalogue
Specialized stamp catalogues
Some philatelists focus in collecting postal stationery sets, revenue stamps, tobacco tax stamps, and many other philatelic articles other than the definitive stamps.
You can find the information regarding these in the specialized stamp catalog. The well-known specialized philatelic catalogs are the Scott specialized stamp catalog and the Newfoundland specialized stamp catalog.
Stamp auction catalogs
Philatelic auction catalogues are issued worldwide by major stamp auction houses. Old stamp auction catalogs by renowned stamp dealers are available today as philatelic literature.
Philatelic auction catalogues features the stamp lots to be auctioned. It also includes the philatelic auction rules, stamp descriptions, and stamp value estimates which stamp collectors can bid upon. Today, there are stamp auction online sites where you can conveniently view stamps and bid via internet.