Monthly Archives: March 2014

  1. The First stamp

    The First stamp

    The Penny Black is not only the first stamp but one of the more fun stamps to specialize in. The stamp was printed in twelve plates, and each plate had 240 subjects. As a security measure, each stamp received check letters in the corners so that each of the 240 subjects of each plate are unique (the check letters made counterfeiting more difficult as forgers would have to reproduce more than one specific lettered stamp or the overabundance of the same check letter would lead to suspicion. Further, the check letters eliminated the concern that partially cancelled stamps would be soaked off, cut, and reassembled on letters). With twelve plates and
    Read more »
  2. Supply and Demand

    Supply and Demand

    When you buy a house or a car there is a cost of production involved that provides a floor as to the price. If housing prices drop to below
    Read more »
  3. Using Non Scott Catalogs

    Using Non Scott Catalogs

    There are three main Foreign catalogs for the non English speaking European specialties-Michel for Germany and German Area, Yvert for France and French Colonies and Sassone for Italy and the Italian Area. Michel is the Mercedes of catalogs with hundreds of thousands of specialized listings in all phases of German philately with covers, blocks, paper types and cancellations all addressed and priced. Michel Deutchland Specialized is the prototype of what a specialty catalog should be and no other country's specialized catalog comes even close. Yvert's France and Colonies catalog is good, handles well though without much excitement or acceleration-sort of like a Peugeot. Yvert's listing often go little beyond Scott (especially the wonderful Scott Specialized) but still overall is a capable model. Sassone, the Italian catalog is sort of like a hybrid Maserati/Fiat. Some sections are excellent (modern printing varieties for instance) and it has thousands of listings

    Read more »
  4. Collecting The Stamps Of South Korea

    Collecting The Stamps Of South Korea

    Especially scary about the mess that is North Korea is the effect it will have on South Korea. When the Koreas were partitioned in the early post WWII period, they were both equally devastated. But while North Korea has gone from poor to destitute, South Korea has been the poster child for capitalism, ending last year as the world's 26th wealthiest country (on a per capita income basis) wedged between Japan and Spain. The question for philatelists is why, given that the Koreans have become so wealthy, are their stamps are not more avidly collected, and why haven't they appreciated in value anywhere nearly as rapidly as the stamps of China and India?
    Read more »
  5. Can you Collect Modern Hinged stamps

    Can you Collect Modern Hinged stamps

    The Scott catalog prices for most countries after 1940 is for stamps in mint Never Hinged condition. This is for three reasons. First, most post-1940 stamps are more common in NH than in hinged condition (especially as you come closer to the current period in time). Second, most collectors have been trained to believe that they want NH stamps. And third, the foreign catalogs from which Scott steals its prices only list their stamps in NH condition. So the question often arises about how one should value foreign hinged stamps in the modern period.

    As auctioneers, our experience has given us the following answers to this question: The effect of hinging on mint modern stamps is more significant the further you go back to the 1940 cutoff that the Scott catalog uses. Stamps from most European and British area countries in the 1940-60 period sell, in hinged condition, for 1/3 to 2/3's of their NH price. As one moves closer
    Read more »
  6. What Makes Apfelbaum Different From Others

    What Makes Apfelbaum Different From Others

    The reason you
    Read more »
  7. My First Stamp Magazine

    My First Stamp Magazine

    Anyone who was a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout in the 1950s and 1960s received a free monthly copy of Boys Life magazine delivered in the mail. The magazine was for boys 7-17 and offered light reading, projects and an array of stamp collecting ads. Companies like Jamestown and Kenmore and Mystic and H E Harris vied for your quarter, offering 100 triangles or old time monarchs along with a selection of approvals. There premium offered was a loss leader to get you to order the approvals, which were usually a couple of dollars worth of individually priced sets and singles with enticing write up. With a few selection you were offered a stamp album and then you were a real stamp collector.

    Today, stamp professionals see hundreds of these old time collections, put together by children for a few bucks each and put away on the shelves (or worse, in the damp basement) when they grew tired of them after a few weeks. Most of the owners are the collectors themselves, now older

    Read more »
  8. The Philatelic Mind Existed before Stamps

    The Philatelic Mind Existed before Stamps

    Montaigne, who died in 1592, was one of the world's great essayists (you can buy his complete essays, which run to nearly 1,400 pages of print, on Amazon Kindle for 89
    Read more »
  9. Time to Take a Look at the Stamps of Hungary

    Time to Take a Look at the Stamps of Hungary

    The stamps of many Eastern European countries have gained tremendously in popularity and price in the last ten years, and Hungary has been at the top of the second tier in this regard. Philatelically, the most active Eastern European country has been Russia. Even despite a pull back in the last few years, Soviet period Russian stamps have enjoyed enormous price gains and have been in a class by themselves. The second tier has been made up of Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. These three countries have seen great increases in the popularity and price of their stamps due to economic growth fueled by the fall of communism. Romania and Bulgaria started from a much lower base than
    Read more »
  10. Imagine Getting a Stamp of this Value on a Package Sent to your Home

    Imagine Getting a Stamp of this Value on a Package Sent to your Home

    G.B. - 1867/83
    Read more »
  11. Rowland Hill-The Progressive

    Rowland Hill-The Progressive

    Rowland HillFew people today understand the technical revolution that the invention of the postage stamp produced. In many ways, stamp invention had as great an effect on 19th Century communication and commerce as computers and electronic communication has had on ours. Ease of contact facilitated business and social interaction. Business was enhanced. Newspapers and book readership increased as it became cheaper to deliver texts to readers. Social barriers fell as the lower classes could communicate with relatives and have access to employment and commercial opportunities that had been denied them. And the inventor of the postage stamp was fully
    Read more »
  12. Young and Old

    Young and Old

    Philatelists are well aware of how interests change throughout life. The games of childhood give way to the pressures and duties of adulthood which in turn meld into the aspirations of old age. Most collectors have seen this. They collected as kids, found their interest in philately wain during their active work and parenting years, and saw their collecting take on new life and vigor as they aged. This has always been the pattern for hobbies and for philately in particular. The interests of older people are different than the interests of younger people. And what has long been obvious to those of us in stamps is now increasingly a socioeconomic problem in our country. Before the days of Social Security and Medicare, the issues of elderly people were usually the problems of their family, and so solutions were sought to benefit all. The social programs of the last 75 years have decoupled the interests of the generations. Younger
    Read more »
  13. What Effect Does Hinging Have on Price?

    What Effect Does Hinging Have on Price?

    The Scott catalog
    Read more »