Monthly Archives: September 2010

  1. Are There Too Many New Issues

    Philatelists today are apt to look askance at the new issue policies of many countries. Between 2005 and 2010 the United States issued over 500 different stamps. Did we really need that many? OK, maybe we did; after all we are a diverse nation of 320 million people (with plenty of special interests that need to be commemorated). And we are a robust commercial nation generating tens of billions of pieces of mail annually. But did Grenada also need 500 different stamp issues during the same period. Grenada in square miles is about the size of the city of Philadelphia and its population of 110,000 is only 3/100s of a percent of the US population. On a pro rated philatelic basis, if Grenada's issuing policies were to mirror the US, Grenada should be entitled to a new stamp every seven years. And Grenada is hardly the most egregious example.
    But profligate stamp issuing policies are nothing new. Some of the most popular worldwide stamps today were originally derided in the

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  2. Bill Pearson

    Bill Pearson started selling stamps in 1920 and he began collecting in the last years of the nineteenth century. He had been introduced to the hobby by his grandfather who had the perspicuity to buy a mint copy of the 5c 1847 at the post office and save it. So Bill claimed he was descended from the first American stamp collector and maybe he was. He showed me (and anyone else who would look) that mint #1 that his grandfather gave him and which was the cornerstone of his collection.
    Bill was as proud of his collecting pedigree as any Son of the American Revolution or Mayflower descendant could possibly be of theirs. I always felt that Bill was disappointed that we have no aristocracy in philately. His ego would not have demanded that he be king. He would have settled for duke or earl. I met Bill when I first entered the stamp business, more years ago now than I'd like to remember. Bill was an old man then and he had a cluttered old shop at ninth and Filbert

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  3. The Web and Philately

    Kindles are now priced at $139 and this year it is expected that more books will be sold online than will be sold as paper. Yesterday, the publisher of the New York Times said that he expected that eventually the Times would not be published on paper. Over three quarters of our business comes to us from the Web, rather than from paper catalogs or people attending our auctions. These are trends that have accelerated over the last ten years. As a stamp dealer this means higher velocity of turn over (catalog lead time was a major source of delay between time of listing and time of sale)and decreased costs (catalogs are expensive to print). That's why we can offer lower value lots, scan virtually everything and ship all invoices within 48 hours. The Internet has meant lower barriers to entry-anyone can sell stamps- and we've responded by ramping up our already excellent customer service. Every lot is returnable for instant refund and we guarentee rapid shipping, accurate descriptions, and fair

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  4. The Lost Decade

    It's beginning to look as if the economic predictions of a lost decade might be accurate. Based on what happened to the Japanese economy in the 1990s, this model suggests that the Recession that started in 2007 was so severe that it will take up to ten years to recover from it fully. Consumer demand is still very low mostly because of two reasons. First, most people's home and stock investments are depressed and it's hard to spend money (which is necessary to revitalize the economy) when you are feeling poor. And second, with retirement around the corner, baby boomers who control much of the disposable wealth in this country, are retrenching. This I think is a fundamental shift in goals and expectations that will bode well for philately. How many television sets do you need? How often do you need a new car? Hobbies and pastimes that offer good return and are green will do very well. Buy a new 120" plasma entertainment center (to replace the one you already have) and your $6000 tomorrow

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  5. Stamp Boxes

    Most collectors collect in albums where they place their best stamps. Until they have time to place their stamps in albums, they leave them in the envelopes that they bought them in. They put them in glassines and on stock cards. They leave them on old album pages. They are disorganized, with modern mint new issues mixed in with old time auction purchases along with common stamps and covers. When collectors go to sell their collections, they sell their albums and they sell the mixed up unsorted material that they never got to. We buy their albums and we take the balance material and pack it into boxes. These boxes we put in our auctions. So if you are looking for a mass of material to sort through, if you want to see thousands of stamps with little order, if you like the thrill of the search with the hope of a find, then Apfelbaum boxes are for you. They are in the back of our auction and are typically in large 1 1/2 cubic foot cartons with estimates depending on what we think is in them

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  6. End of Summer Sale

    Apfelbaum is having its annual end of summer sale We are offering everything at discounts of at least 40%. We think you'll be pleased with the selection and we know you will be pleased with the price. And as always Apfelbaum's complete money back guarantee of satisfaction assures you that you will be happy with your purchases. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

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  7. A Great United States Stamp Auction

    Great collections are more than just an assemblage of stamps. They are created with a purpose, an underlying goal, and in the best of collections this purpose is to explore all the varieties and rarities that can be obtained. By this standard one of the finest collections ever assembled is the United States collection created by the late Jerome Wagshall. This wonderful collection is being sold in three parts by Siegel Auction Galleries and has been beautifully cataloged by Scott Trepel. The first two sections are online now at their website ( )and it reads like a master class in fine US philately. Whether you are a US collector or not this is an unusual opportunity to see one of the finest stamp collections in existence. Jerry had not just the expensive but the rare.

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