Starting your Bermuda stamp collection
Lots of people have asked me for advice on how to start a Bermuda stamp collection, so rather than answer each individual I decided to make this page.
Step 1: Get a good catalogue
A good Bermuda catalogue will help you get a feel for prices and the type of stamps available for your collection.
Neil: “I first bought the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth & Empire Catalogue 1840-1970 which is perfectly fine if you only collect up to 1970. My second catalogue was the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth Stamp Catalogue Northern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda Catalogue which covers up to the latest issues, I use this catalogue the most. As my collection matured, I eventually bought a copy of the Bermuda Specialized Catalogue Stamps and Postal History 1812-1970 which is essential if you are serious about Bermuda stamps, collect covers or postal history.”
Step 2: Join the Bermuda Collectors Society
If you are committed to collecting Bermuda then join the Bermuda Collectors Society (BCS). This will instantly connect you with other collectors where you can find help and receive the quarterly publication The Bermuda Post all for a small annual fee.
Step 3: Work out your budget
Browse the catalogue and see if what you want to collect matches up with your budget. If not you’ll either need to restrict the scope of your collection or plan to buy it over time.
Step 4: Decide the scope of your collection
Having decided your budget, try to work out your potential wants list.
Neil: “Since I wanted to create this website I knew that I needed to purchase an example of each issue, so I decided to buy the cheapest items first which meant I could quickly grow my collection.”
Step 5: Buy your items
Start buying your items from dealers, eBay, Delcampe etc. If you shop around you’ll get an idea of how frequently items come on the market.
Neil: “I buy items from eBay regularly and am always on the lookout for items which I need. You’ll find as your collection grows buying opportunities slow down a bit which means you can start looking for more expensive items – there’s always plenty of those! Delcampe is good for buy it now items and you’ll often see some items listed on both. Try to go to national and local shows so you can see what the dealers have. Their specialist knowledge is useful for getting a feel for the market.”
Step 6: Store and display your collection
Once you’ve purchased your collection you need to store and display it. Loose stamps and covers can be put in albums or loose leaf arrangements with protective covers. You may want to eventually display your collection at your local philatelic society or even post them on a website and social media.
Neil: “Since I have the skills to build a website, that’s what I wanted to do. I try to keep it up-to-date but I haven’t figured out how to diplay my postal history collection yet! I keep a collection of used and mint stamps in Hagner ring binders and sheets – these are easy to move around and reconfigure when I add to my collection or want to change the way I display it. I keep my covers protected in slips in loose leaf format boxed – this means I can handle then and see both sides easily. I keep my duplicates in stock books. Stanley Gibbons has a very good range to suit most tastes.”