Iran Collectors’ Stamps
The Islamic Republic of Iran, like the Persian Empire before it, has a long postal tradition. Though often embroiled in controversy as a result of its more recent politics, Iran in fact has a rich, cosmopolitan history that has been both celebrated and mirrored in stamp form.
Unfortunately, because of sanctions against the country, its internal philatelic market has suffered. While an educated, well-off expatriate community has contributed to a slight resurgence of interest in the country’s stamps abroad, Iran remains underappreciated in the larger philatelic community.
Forward-thinking collectors may wish to take advantage of this, as it is currently possible to buy rare Iran stamps without breaking the bank. Aside from the potential for a strong return on your investment when the country’s fortunes improve, you’ll also enjoy a number of highly attractive issues that transcend geopolitics to offer aesthetic value anyone can appreciate.
Iran’s Postal History
Iran issued its first official postage stamps in 1870. These issues — known as Lions — were printed domestically, a rarity for an at-the-time relatively undeveloped country. Iranian Lions featured the Shah’s seal and to this day are an interesting challenge for collectors due to the many variations.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, British and Russian authorities also issued stamps for use within the country. An interesting study in their own right, these stamps speak to the region’s complex history and the influence that foreign powers have continued to exert on the country.
No discussion of the state of Iran’s collectors’ stamps would be complete without touching upon the preponderance of reprints and forgeries produced in the years between 1870 and 1925. By some estimates, forgeries outnumber genuine stamps from this era by a power of 10 or 20 to one — a fact that, for obvious reasons, further compounds the difficulties associated with buying rare Iran stamps.
To shop safely, always be suspicious of unused or too-cleanly cancelled Iranian stamps. It also helps to scrutinize perforations, paper quality, gum, color and other characteristics. A specialist will be able to identify subtle differences in design, as many of the original printing plates were retouched or modified before reprinting.
Iranian Collectors’ Stamps for Sale from Apfelbaum, Inc.
Despite the difficulties associated with buying rare Iranian stamps online, informed collectors can make smart, safe purchases by doing a little research and applying additional scrutiny when buying at auction. Apfelbaum, Inc., can help. We offer several ways to buy genuine Iranian stamps, including online sales with Buy It Now options.
We have been selling rare stamps since 1910. Our experts are available to answer any of your questions, help you find a hard-to-locate issue, or determine the authenticity of your own collection before selling it. Give us a call to get started today.