The short answer is YES! I’m not just saying that to sell catalogues. I really believe it to be true. I was only introduced to philately in my 30’s and if it hadn’t been for catalogues I would have been lost. I learned a lot from my stamp catalogue. Here is a short list of why they are so necessary. I’ll be concentrating on catalogues for Canada stamps, such as the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps.
1) The introduction to the Unitrade Catalogue provides a detailed explanation of many aspects of philately. There you’ll find definitions for stamp paper, perforations, plate blocks, booklets, grading, die-cutting etc. When you’re just starting out, these definitions really help you to understand the fundamentals of stamps and how they’re made. That intro is like a little mini-encyclopedia. As stated on our website, the Unitrade catalogue truly is the «ultimate reference tool for every collector».
2) A catalogue contains a detailed description of every stamp ever issued by that particular country. For example, you’ll find specific perforation measurements, date of issue, paper type, types of ink, printer information, color variations, tagging, subject matter and of course….MARKET VALUE!! Most catalogues are issued every year in order to stay up-to-date with the most current information. In other words, you’ll never be out of the loop.
3) Illustrations. Stamp catalogues will provide you with a picture of almost every stamp in it. This will really help you to identify what kind of stamps you have in your possession and which ones you would like to purchase. A picture is worth a thousand words.
So, if you haven’t already, consider purchasing a stamp catalogue. If you’re looking to buy a gift for the collector in your family, consider purchasing them a stamp catalogue if they don’t already have one. Arpin Philately offers several catalogues including the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue for Canadian Stamps and the Scott Pocket Catalogue for US Stamps.