Stamp Catalogs - Part 3

Minkus New World Wide Catalog strives to interest the collector with many informative and interesting facts about the stamps and the nations that issue them. On the other hand, the Scott Catalogue continues its long tradition of brief captions. Of the two publications, one is likely to find the newer, Minkus publication more lively and definitely more rewarding. A feature of the Minkus New World-Wide Postage Stamp Catalog is the series of the Regional Catalogs available from $1.00 - $3.00 each. Minkus Regional Catalogs are sections of the larger Minkus New World-Wide Postage Stamp Catalog covering various related groups of stamps. They are bound in paper covers and are extremely popular with collectors specializing in stamps of individual countries or groups of countries. In addition to the general catalogs we have mentioned, both Minkus and Scott publish special catalogs having expanded listings of United States stamps only. Again, the Scott publication is the older. However, the "Minkus New American" catalog will prove to be the livelier of the two and, in fact, is a book that one may actually sit down and read with pleasure, as he would an entertaining novel.

Whether you chose a Minkus or Scott catalog, or for that matter, any of the catalogs mentioned in this chapter, you may use the numbers provided in them to order stamps from any dealer anywhere in the world. Merely indicate to the dealer the catalog you are using and submit to him the list of numbers of the stamps wanted. We have written at considerable length about the general catalogs of the stamps of the world and have neglected the second group of catalogs - the "specialized" catalogs. This is because the whole effort of this book is to introduce the tyro to stamp collecting and start him, or her, off on the right foot. Suffice it to say that there are specialized catalogs available for almost any group of stamps one might care to name. All of these are excellent, some quite marvelous productions. You will become acquainted with them as your collection advances. In Europe there are three leading world wide catalogs.

Minkus New American Stamp Catalog
Minkus New American Stamp Catalog

In England "Gibbons," published by Stanley Gibbons, Ltd. of London. This catalog is standard in England and used generally throughout the British Commonwealth of Nations. The stamps are priced in pounds, pence and shillings. In France "Yvert & Tellier" published by House of Champion, Paris, is standard and is referred to throughout the nations under French influence as well as most Latin American countries. The stamps are priced in francs. In Germany the "Michel" Catalog reigns supreme and, of course, is in general use wherever the German influence predominates. Stamps in it are priced in German marks. There are also fine catalogs issued in Switzerland (Zumstein), Italy, Spain and most of the larger European countries. "Why should I bother looking my stamps up in the catalog when all I have to do is find the proper place for them in my album?" A good question but one which has an equally good answer. Every stamp issued by any government at any time anywhere in the world has been identified in one or another of the stamp catalogs of the world and has been assigned a number. This feature of stamp catalogs, more than anything else connected with stamp collecting, has made the hobby international and universal in scope. By mentioning the name of the catalog, the country that issued the stamp, and the number of the stamp, you may describe or order any stamp you wish from any place in the world.