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Information about Collecting Sweden

Here are some thoughts about Swedish Philately and some practical information about building your collection inexpensively. Included are some on-line and off-line dealer addresses. At the end is a trade offer.

Table of Contents

  • The cost of a collection of Sweden
  • Real offers from other dealers
  • Catalog value statistics
  • Reviews of Swedish packets & mixes
  • Trades and items for sale

    What does it cost in theory?

    Scott lists about 2300 Swedish stamps. That number is approximate because there are new releases, and because its hard to know how to count certain varieties. Most are cheaper used than mint, altho a few are vice versa. If you consider the least expensive form for each stamp, the total catalog value for one of each is about $20,000.

    You could buy Sweden complete for little more than $10,000, assuming that 1/2 catalog is a reasonable price to expect to pay. That's a sizeable amount of money, but over the years it could be spent by almost anyone. Think of $1.25 a day for 20 years.

    However a nearly complete collection can be had for much less. There are 9 Swedish stamps that catalog $500 and up. They make up 72% of the value of all Swedish stamps. There are another 15 Swedish stamps which catalog $100-$499. They represent another 15% of the value of the whole. The remaining 2276 stamps catalog about $4000, and can be bought for $2000 or less. That is certainly in the range of virtually any adult collector over the years, and means that you can get 99% of the country's stamps for a fairly small outlay of money.

    The point is that a collection of Swedish is large, interesting, beautiful, and won't bankrupt you.

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    What does it cost in practice?

    1. Collections
    2. Booklet panes
    3. Yearsets Mint
    4. Packets
    At Westpex in 1995 I purchased a collection of Sweden which lacked but 20-25 stamps of being complete thru 1980. There are no expensive stamps after 1980. The collection cost $1250.00.

    Earl P.L. Apfelbaum often has several Swedish collections in his auctions. If you are considering collections I'd check his listings for a month or two.

    Linn's July 29, 1996 page 8 Robert Barker advertised a collection of Sweden mint complete from 1942-1994 with semi-postals and airmails (MNH from 1945 on) in Scott Speciality Binders for $1775. Mint Sweden are more expensive than used as a general rule, but you can see the ballpark cost of a complete postwar collection from this offer.

    Linn's Dec 30, 1996 Page 21 Gulf Stamp Sales advertised a two volume Swedish collection, from 1858-1989, about 70% used, 1996 Scott =$2600, for net $1000 including the albums which they felt were $200 new. "Many different shades and cancels on early stamps".

    Yearsets Mint Never Hinged
    Northland Co, Box 34, Verona NJ 07044 (1-800-950-0058, sells yearsets of MNH stamps from each of the Scandinavian countries. Their price list received in late Nov. 1996 included Sweden yearsets from 1945-1996. Swedish booklet yearsets are also available but are not on topic here. Note that Northland offered 15% off these prices until Jan 15, 1997.

    *=official Swedish government yearset.


    In Dec 1996 West Nissori stamps put a price list of Swedish booklet panes on line. Their prices start just below Scott but you get discounts up to 30% by volume orders.

    Lars Ohlson, Swedish dealer in Swedish stamps has an on line list that's excellent, especially in his listing of booklet varieties. Booklets are a big part of Swedish collecting, and they can be fascinating. Check it out.


    In Linn's and Global Stamp news ads for early 1996 I found these offers (I don't know anything about the dealers. This is a report not a recommendation). Packets are liable to contain non-Scott varieties, since most are made up outside the US. They are also liable to have minor defects on some stamps. Many collectors don't care about this. If you do, then skip packets, or be ready to replace some of the stamps.

    Sweden packets:
    1000..... $42.95 (this is 43% of the country)
    1200......$65.95 (this is 52% of the country)
    1500.....$117.95 (this is 65% of the country)
    Ken Elliot, Jr * POB 22808, Seattle, Wa 98122

    Sweden packets:
    Palm Springs Stamps, POB 1224, Palm Springs, Ca 92263

    Country Packets 1000 all different
    Modlow-Arvai Stamps, Box 627, Mt Vision, NY 13810

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    Stamps per year currently: about 60
    Total Scott listed stamps: About 2300
    Stamps cataloging under $5: About 2178
    Stamps cataloging between $5-$10: 19
    Stamps cataloging between $10-$25: 55
    Stamps cataloging between $25-$100: 24
    Stamps cataloging between $100-$500: 15
    Stamps cataloging $500 or more: 9
    Catalog value of the most expensive Swedish major number:$3000.
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    Reviews of Recent Purchases

    1. Mixtures

    Note: People buy mixtures for differing purposes. My purposes are twofold: 1) To get used stamps with clear year dated cancels, and 2) to get coils with back-numbers on them.

    Dealer: Greg Deeter
    Purchased: April 1996.
    Category: Economy priced unpicked mission mixtures

    D-19 Small and/or definitives. 1/4 lp = $7. 1/2lb =$13.
    I got 1/4 pound. It was all on small single paper and had about 800 stamps in it. Here's the break out:

    Coil stamps = 533 (that's good for me since coils have back numbers)
    Booklet stamps = 187
    "Frama types" = 2
    Non-Sweden = 49
    Damaged = 17

    There were very few good cancels, which meant that the booklet stamps were largely useless to me. However they contained a good variety of the small privat-post stamps going back to the coats-of-arms. These are attractive stamps. I found 5 clearly dated stamps in this group.

    Coils: There may have been 25 different, but variety is not the reason one buys a mix like this. Seven coils made up the vast bulk of this lot. They were the current definitives: 2.90, 3.20, 3.70, and the ore values 10,20,30, & 50. There were 131 of the 10 ore (#1431) mostly in strips. From the 533 coils I found 58 with back numbers (slightly better than I could expect since every 10th coil has a number). Better yet, only 9 were duplicates (same number on same stamp). As I collect coils in strips when I can get them the total quantity of coils either with numbers or in strips with a numbered stamp was 109. That's about 20% of the coils being usable for me.

    Summary: A good mix for back numbers on common coils. Unless you want those, don't go over 1/4 pound for variety.

    M-30 - Large and small stamps. 1/4 lp = $9, 1/2 lp = $17. I got 1/4 lb

    This mix was on large double paper, and consequently had a much smaller yield. There were 217 stamps in this 1/4 pound. There was a good variety with no more than 3-4 of most and quite a few singletons. The duplicate winner: 3.70 definitive coil at 22 copies. It was fabulous for cancels however and I found 16 good ones - as compared with 28 amongst almost 4 times as many stamps in D-19.

    There were:
    88 coils (23 different). Eight with back numbers.
    129 booklet stamps (54 different), with 16 good cancels.

    Aside from the 3.70 coil there was not a great deal of overlap between these two mixes. This one tended to larger stamps and had very few of the small privat post issues. It did have a nice bunch of the larger flower designs from the privat post.

    Greg's only other Swedish mix on his list is on the Premium list. It is 1/2 pound, all large and commemoratives, damaged culled out. I'll probably try that next.

    Greg Deeter, 11028 Lane, Houston, Tx 77029

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    Things to Trade or Sell

    The balance of the two reviewed mixes. The booklet stamps are still on paper mostly. The coils are all soaked. I'd estimate about 100 different among these 900 stamps. Some good town cancels. (without year dates on the stamp). I'd take $10 for the lot, postpaid, or swap for any similar number of Swedish stamps -mixture residue etc so long as it hasn't been picked for back numbers and year dated cancels.

    I'm also willing to trade packets of Sweden, either all different or mixed, as you wish. I need to see lots of ordinary Swedish stamps to find the varieties I want & most Swedish stamps are not valuable enough to trade specifically. Just send some & tell me how many and whether they're all different. I'll send the same number from my duplicates.

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    Top of pageor Sweden home page or my main stamp home page

    This page's address is It was last updated 29 Dec 1996.