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What do you collect?

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Steve Fell 126/02/2017 11:57:51
18 forum posts
8 photos

In my case, when I started to look out for errors I decided to concentrate first on those "listed" errors. These stamps are consistent, readily identifiable through the catalogues and definitely get you 'in the mood' so to speak.

I confess, I just like to have these anomalies in my collection, value is secondary except for when I have to purchase one I want. I'm a little ambivalent to missing phosphors or inverted watermarks. These errors are less visible and exciting and hard to spot without special tools etc. However, If I find one unexpectedly in a collection, hey, it's a bonus right?

As far as those with missing colours I think it's a little easier. I only collect stamps MNH or UMM. In these cases missing colours are more obvious and cannot be accounted for by the procedure of stamp removal from envelopes as with used stamps.

It is extremely unlikely that a stamp with one completely missing colour, but has all of the remaining colours intact is a fake. Some stamps that have shade variations may have been exposed to sun etc., but the colour differences will affect all colours to a greater or lesser extent. As I said in my previous post, sometimes spotting a missing colour is not easy or obvious.

The more difficult or challenging errors (or variations) are those that are not clear cut.

Here is an example;

In my album the icon stamp there is the 171/2p, 1980 stamp SG1128. On close inspection there is very little grey colour in the clouds to the right or left of the face, leaving the colour very faintly pink. In a normal stamp this area is distinctly grey. However, there is still grey in the lower smoke from the chimneys. This would imply that the grey is not "missing". The lack of grey suggests what is called a "dry ink" variation, where the colour being laid down has dried up or run out slightly. These are known problems with the printing process. This is not a listed error or variation, but I include it in my collection purely for my own enjoyment

Checking out collections for anomalies is fun!! as you say it's not the value but the excitement (school boy buzz).

As for the £18,500 stamp, I am sceptical that such an important rare stamp is genuine, if offered at such a low price. The seller did seem experienced and must have known a (genuine) stamps' real worth. The jury is still out on that one.

If I thought it may be fake, why did I bid on it?

Sometimes fake stamps are collectable, assuming you know they are. Had I won this bid (for £70), my first inclination would have been to get it authenticated by experts and get a certificate proving it. I felt it was worth a try up to my limit but no more.

I once actually bought a fake on eBay. A KEVII, 1/2p green stamp overprinted "R.H. OFFICIAL". It was being offered as a fake. It is now has pride of place in my collection as a known fake.

Keep checking


Julian26/02/2017 12:43:54
635 forum posts
261 photos

LOL Steve I love the "sometimes fake stamps are collectible" well I got introduced to this in a big way with the "C" word, you know stamps, which are not stamps..... I cannot bring myself to say the word as its my new years resolution, so yes, I have done this inadvertently which burst my bubble in a big way about stamps.

But yes, you have got me looking at stamps more carefully than I normally would with your posts, the only problem I am finding is, the amount of stamps I have to check. The real funny thing is about what you have got me doing is, where I just had all these in their respective values, ready to use for posting use, I am now also sorting them out into sets and keeping a set for myself ha ha ha like a true stamp collector.......

I am so laughing because all these stamps are Mint obviously and before I saw your posts that's all they meant to me, was their value for use, which is why the girls at the post office like seeing me because they see all these old stamps probably they never knew existed. I find this so Ironic in thought.

NOW here is a question that I have been meaning to ask and the other day I was glad I never did asked it.

Why when we go to buy stamps, are we not given the option to buy stamps released in stamp packs?

The answer I have in my head is, stamp packs have actual values rather than just 1st and 2nd which can be used regardless of increase in values after are purchase!

I.E the Fire of London pack has 2 x 1st, 2 x £1.05 and 2 x £1.52 so if you buy the actual values £1.05 or £1.52 these will devalue over time where as the 2 x 1st will not. These will keep up with any further postal charge increase? Not only that, when are you liable to buy a stamp for use @ £1.52 or £1.05 unless for there intended use?

The only time I am made aware of any difference of stamps is at Christmas, when some of the staff will ask you "do you want the Christmas editions rather than the normal machines?"!

But I still may ask the question to make a point, if not to have a laugh. Because I would like to know if the RM do actually sell these stamp pack stamps in this regard or are they just for stamp packs only?

Paul Davey 126/02/2017 20:11:33
450 forum posts
26 photos

I do wish the folk at SG would use their own guidance for if stamps should be listed in the catalogue or not. So there are many Arab states stamps which appear only in an appendix. without a catalogue number. as they were not available locally for postage. This seems to me to be no different to many GB items only available from the Bureau or exhibitions. Perhaps consigning a few of Royal Mail's productions to an appendix would act as a wake-up call?

Rant over!

Julian28/02/2017 18:02:06
635 forum posts
261 photos

Pushing against an open door here Paul, I have little regard for SG as a whole.

Alistair Garner28/02/2017 18:27:37
30 forum posts
35 photos

Which, catalogue, if any, would you prefer, and why?

Paul Davey 128/02/2017 22:39:34
450 forum posts
26 photos

Alistair - I think SG catalogues are pretty good, general catalogues. I have all the sectional catalogues, though not the latest editions! For GB I suggest they are the best. For other countries - it depends. Perhaps for the German area - Michel (drawback for many of us is that it is in German). USA based - Scott but it depends what you want. Specialised catalogues are mostly best from the country in question.

Steve Fell 128/02/2017 23:29:55
18 forum posts
8 photos

I agree somewhat with Paul. I obtained the full 5 volume set of "Stamps of the World, 2009 addition and I found it reasonably efficient in identifying many foreign stamps.

Since I only actually collect GB stamps I have used SG's Specialised Catalogue. I find the detail excellent although the catalogues themselves do seem fraught with errors. I had to return one copy (QV), when I discovered many pages were completely jumbled up and whole sections were missing. I did ask the question whether as an "error" does the book hold some value but I think the joke was lost.

My concern is the lack of a specialised catalogue for QEII decimal stamps from 1971. I contacted SG and this was their response

"Thank you for contacting Stanley Gibbons support.

We are intending to produce a new and updated version of the Queen Elizabeth Specialised volume 4 decimal editions, unfortunately due to the number of errors in the original catalogue and the amount of new releases since the previous publication this is taking longer than expected.
We are currently expecting to have a revised and updated version of this catalogue available by late 2018 based on the current long term publication schedule, however depending on the work required this may take longer"
A long time to wait!!
Keith DUFFY05/03/2017 20:02:46
15 forum posts
19 photos

I have been collecting stamps "on and off" since I was about 12. (1957)

It started as a typical schoolboy thing and really remained an 'as and when'. It was not until about 20 years ago that |I began to increase my collection and started to buy and exchange stamps. I did not exactly specialise in any country, mint or used and anywhere in the world was just more stamps.

It has just grown and grown, with a modest GB collection of mainly used, some mint. I also keep stock books ( I don't know why) but having overfilled 8 large stock books with duplicate stamps.

I then moved along to Commonwealth, The same "stock of duplicates". As I had stamps from other places, mainly Germany, France and USA, I started up albums for them as well.

I then started to album the ret of the world.

I think almost every collector has got shoeboxes of stamps awaiting to be sorted etc. I am certainly no exception.

I have only recently realised that I cannot keep acquiring stamps over such a large spectrum, and it is time to drastically reduce both the scope and numbers.

Ebay here I come.

If anyone wants odd single used stamps, feel free to ask.

John Howe06/03/2017 15:40:17
68 forum posts
60 photos

Keith what you describe is familiar to me - stockbooks galore, boxes and lose stamps abound. Now trying to scan and catalogue them all, even to mount them.

I have various collecting interests (which does not bode well for a clearance sale): flags, aircraft and all things aviation, railways, lighthouses, Thailand, Laos and Japan. Almost given up on GB these days. But still belong to WOPA and have just placed an order for 50 quids worth of UN stamps, so the bug is still biting.

I do make a little on the side by writing in trade and business mags about stamps depicting their business like aircraft for inflight mags, airports for magazines concerned with all aspects of airport operations, etc.

Good luck with your new sales venture.

Victor Manuel Arjones Pizarro05/05/2017 11:55:42
3 forum posts

Hello, im Victor Arjones, from Spain, and i collect spanish postal history and clasics stamps arround the world.

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