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Stamps (Philately)/1980 olympic stamps and more


QUESTION: Hello, my husband inherited a lot of stamps from his father when he died about 20 years ago.  We just kept them and didn't really look at them much.  My husband passed away 2 years ago and I am not looking at the stamps.  There are huge amounts. Some in paper sacks, some in books.  I think they date back probably to around wwII and I doubt much later than somewhere in the 80's.  I know there are ones that are foreign and of course U.S.  

One of the collections are to do with the 1980 Olympics. There is a big red book that goes into a folder that is full of every type of Olympic info and stamps and more. I think it is the entire collection.  it is from Paramount international coin corporation. Perfect condition. Also, there is a letter that says my father in law is one of the very first among few people in the world privileged to hold in his hands the enclosed very first philatelic commorative stamp issued to etc etc etc. This is a perfect little white "folder" with "The Olympic Flame" stamp for 1980 Olympic games.  There are many more boxes of the same Olympic games stamps.

Would the two things I mentioned be worth anything?  Everything is like new.  I don't know where to start.  Also, no clue as to what to do with the books of other stamps and the paper bags full of stamps.  

I need the money since my husband passed so I hope there is a chance some of this is worth something. I am experienced ebay seller but not in stamps.  I dont' know if it is good to find some store that can appraise or not.  I wouldn't have a clue as to whether the appraisal is fair.  

I'm sorry this is so long, but I just am overwhelmed with this. Could you help me with some advice please. Thank you very much.

ANSWER: Kathy,

During the late 1970s through the 1980s there were many companies assembling common stamps into attractive packaging and marketing the results to novice collectors.  From what I read in your description of the Olympics collection, it feels like it could be one of those situations.

I suggest getting in touch with the president of your local stamp club and ask if there is a knowledgeable member who would be willing to make a quick assessment of your holdings.  With a brief scan, an experienced philatelist will be able to estimate the value of the collection to the nearest order of magnitude (i.e. its worth hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, etc).  

Following the estimate, you can decide the disposition.  Your choices are 1) Keep the collection, 2) Sell the collection privately to a stamp dealer or collector, 3) Donate the collection to the stamp club, or 4) Consign the collection to a stamp auctioneer (or post it on for public sale.

You also can find dealers interested in buying your stamps in a stamp publication like Linn's Stamp News.  There's usually a copy floating around the stamp club, otherwise you can find a copy at a stamp shop or find them online at:

Here's where to find a stamp club in your area:

Good luck!

-Mark Leon

I deal in United States Stamps
American Art Glass
and Halloween Costumes!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Mark, thanks a lot for answering me. I kind of suspected on the Olympic stamp collections that I might get that kind of answer.  However, on the big sacks of torn off stamps form envelopes mainly I think starting in early 40's thru at least 60's that is the hard one.  There are also some books of stamps that my father in law decided to put stamps into. I can do the same as you suggested, but what about these grocery bags of stamps?  Thanks again.


Stamps on paper torn from envelopes like you describe is known in the philatelic world as "kiloware", because it changes hands based on value by the pound, rather than by individual stamp.  The albums with the stamps that your father-in-law assembled likely hold the most promise.

-Mark Leon

Stamps (Philately)

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Mark Leon


I am a collector of United States postage stamps, and also a stamp dealer. I`m a member of the American Philatelic Society (APS). My principle area of interest and expertise is in United States Stamps.


I've been selling stamps on the internet since early 1996. I maintain a stamp web page that concentrates on mint US stamps issued generally between 1890 and 2009. I'm an active seller on since 1996, under the user id "mleon". You can find my web page at

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1984.

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