Stamp presentation packs

By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young & Mawer
Collectors are the unsung heroes of auctions, both as bidders and vendors.

One group of collectors, the philatelists – or stamp collectors – have a pedigree throughout the 20th century including that of royalty.

There are very few auctions that do not include a postage stamp, whether it is in the form of an album collection, the first day cover or the presentation pack.

Presentation packs were first introduced in the 1960s with the General Post Office issuing them for the International Stamp Exhibition. They quickly found an enthusiastic audience and the various issues kept on being produced.

Often sold in well designed and informative packaging, they have the added benefit of a stamp value as well as an implied investment potential.

In today’s auction market, with the influence of internet catalogues and bidders, the implied mystery and rarity has been unmasked but that has not stopped the bidding.

These presentation packs were often produced in the 10,000s and regularly appear at auction, often in mint condition.

Every subject was covered including commemorative, sporting, historic and royalty, giving potential collectors every encouragement to buy.

Generally auction prices average around £1 per pack, although they are normally sold in multiple lots for auction efficiency. This may result in a buyer purchasing more presentation sets than is required, however as the face value of the stamps is still valid, postage should not be a problem.

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