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Collectible Foreign Stamps

One of the great things about collecting stamps is that it gives you a little taste of what life is like around the world without leaving your home. Aside from being beautiful in their own right, stamps are a wonderful window into the customs and histories of various countries — even some that no longer exist!

At Apfelbaum, Inc., we’ve been serving the philatelic community since 1910. If you’re looking to add to your worldwide stamp collection, there’s no better place to start than at one of our public auctions.


A Brief Postal History

The first national postage stamp — the Penny Black — was produced in the United Kingdom in 1840. Prior to that, each mail system had its own method for collecting payment. The stamp was a simple, straightforward way of handling payments that meant less work for mail carriers.

As a result, stamp use quickly spread throughout both the British Empire and the world at large. While the first stamps generally depicted political figures, designs soon became more ornate and pictorial, eventually evolving into a way to symbolize historic events, national priorities and cultural touchstones.


Collectible Foreign Stamps

Stamp collecting first emerged as a popular hobby soon after the first national postal systems were founded. Countries found they could generate revenue by issuing limited-run stamps solely for the collectible market. While many collectors specialize in a specific country, there’s no denying that an exhaustive worldwide stamp collection has a certain exotic cachet that speaks of far-off lands and distant customs.


Dead Country Stamps

One fascinating offshoot of historical philately is the practice of collecting “dead country” stamps. Dead country stamps are postage stamps from countries or territories that no longer exist. Stamps from former Soviet Republics, areas under colonial rule, and since-annexed territories are all highly prized by certain collectors.


Building Your Foreign Stamp Collection

Apfelbaum, Inc. frequently holds auctions of collectible foreign stamps and you can always find them for sale in our Stamp Store and Buy It Now sales as well. If there’s something in particular that you’re looking to add to your collection, contact our office by phone or email for assistance. We also offer appraisal services at your location to better serve you.