The latest edition of the ‘Collect Channel Islands and Isle of Man Stamps’ catalogue is out, and says its editor, Hugh Jefferies, there has never been a better time to collect modern Isle of Man stamp issues: ‘Quite simply, stamps are becoming rarer, and it’s down to our modern habit of emailing and not sending so many letters.
‘Back in the 1970s, the most everyday and cheapest denomination stamps were produced in vast quantities, between 600,000 and nearly a million and the like, but nowadays those figures have dropped dramatically. Whilst IoM Post won’t release the actual numbers printed anymore, back in the mid eighties, when those figures were last produced, even a low denomination popular stamp was most likely to be printed in runs of under 400,000, and in the nearly 30 years since computers have revolutionised our lives, that figure is likely to be considerably less.
‘What this means is that less mint condition stamps are in collections nowadays and so it would only take a small upturn in demand for these modern stamp issues to quickly become very sought after.’
The catalogue doesn’t just cover the most recent stamps, it has all of the stamps issued since the IoM Post Office was established in 1973. It wouldn’t cost a great deal of money to build up a mint collection of IoM stamps which can serve as a timeless record of the island’s social, political and cultural history.
The highest priced stamps are errors due to misprints and so are very rare. A misprint from 1990 is now worth £3,250.