logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Painting
Heart Disease
Horror Literature
Dating
Hiking & Backpacking
SF/Fantasy Books
Healthy Foods


dailyclick
All times in EST

Low Carb: 8:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Stamps Site

BellaOnline's Stamps Editor

g

Stamp Grades And Stamp Grading



Much like coins, stamps also have grades assigned to them. The grade of a stamp refers to the stampís condition. Before we get into the subject of grading stamps, a few words of advice are needed here.

Do not develop an emotional attachment to all of your stamps, the way investors stick to their stocks like glue. Not all stamps, like stocks, are worth keeping. Only rarity and a stampís condition will determine its real value.

Stamp Grades

If you have ever wondered how stamp dealers and collectors grade stamps, this article will provide an overview:

SuperbóThis means the stamp is in new condition with a clean and fresh color. There are no creases or tears to mark the stamp. The stamp is perfectly centered with even margins on all sides. The perforation is perfect and complete.

Very FineóThis is a physically perfect stamp, like a sort of beauty queen. The stampís color might be slightly off and the margins are slightly uneven. It does not equal the beauty and perfection of a superb stamp.

FineóThis is a stamp that is free from defects or stains or imperfections, but is not up to the grade of very fine or superb standards.

GoodóA stamp graded ďgoodĒ does not have any tears or wrinkles. The stampís color may be faded, or may be heavily postmarked. The stamp could also be somewhat off-center.

PooróThis is a very low quality or poor stamp. A stamp in poor condition could have a tear or may be creased, and even have some thin spots. Keep a stamp in this condition only if it is irreplaceable.

Now that you know a few things about a stampís grade, it is time to open your stamp album and mount your stamps. Make sure you have your magnifier, tongs and stamp catalogs ready. Always remember that a good quality stamp album will provide plenty of room for you to manipulate your stamps with ease.

Each place for a stamp should be clearly marked. In some stamp albums, images of the stamps are printed so all you have to do is mount the stamp over where the image is.

As previously mentioned in a different article, one of the first steps in stamp collecting is buying some stamps. Follow these tips when you spend some money to acquire some stamps: You should especially be careful when you intend to buy rare or very expensive stamps.

Always check out the seller or stamp dealer. Was he recommended by a fellow collector? Has your club included his name on the list of authorized dealers?

It is generally safe to assume that if a stamp dealer has been selling stamps for a long time, he should be reliable and therefore safe to deal with. The stamp dealer should also be a member of a philatelic society or a major stamp dealerís association.

When you go to the stamp dealerís premises, make sure his collection is properly identified in terms of color, paper, watermarks, perforations, etc.

These features play a role in determining the market value of any stamp. Stamp catalogs are great references to have handy when trying to identify a stamp.

Assess the stampís condition. Always check for tears, creases, marks, perforations. Stamps in poor condition are never worth spending the money on, no matter how dirt cheap the price is.

Try to determine whether the stamp is being sold at a fair price. You can do this by referring to the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalog. Note, that the Scott Catalog lists a minimum value for stamps no matter what their real value is. Stamp catalog prices are only mere estimates, as most stamps will sell below a listed catalog value.

Do your best to develop a keen sense of detecting forgeries or counterfeits. To the average collector, it may be a little tricky to tell a genuine stamp from a repaired one. Unless you truly believe your stamp collection is very expensive, it is generally not worth the time or money to use the expert services of professional evaluators or appraisers.

Some Additional Tips

Do you have some dirty or stained stamps in your collection? Try soaking them carefully in a small amount of undiluted liquid dishwashing detergent, NOT DISHWASHER detergentóthere is a big difference! Rinse the stamps in clean, cool water.

If your stamps are badly stained, try washing them in a mild solution of water and a bit of an enzyme laundry detergent, but be very, very careful. This could prove too efficient and remove the printing inks as well.

A quick note on self-adhesive stamps. These were produced in the U.S. at the beginning of the 90ís. These are the ones you can soak in water, but you canít do the same for self-adhesive stamps produced from an earlier period.

Some self-adhesive stamps are made with a special water-soluble backing, and while you can soak them in water, they just take a bit longer, like maybe an hour or so.

If you donít want to soak your stamps, just cut the paper as close as possible, making sure you donít touch the perforations and then mount them on your album.
Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Twitter Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Facebook Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to MySpace Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Del.icio.us Digg Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Yahoo My Web Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Google Bookmarks Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Stumbleupon Add Stamp+Grades+And+Stamp+Grading to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Stamps Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2013 by Gary Eggleston. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gary Eggleston. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gary Eggleston for details.

g


g features
The 1971 Airmail Transit Test Mailing

The Rise And Fall Of Domestic Airmail Service

Confusion Over New Metered Postage Rate

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor