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Is An Expertizing Certificate Worth Getting?


Is it cost effective to get a certificate of genuineness when a stamp has a catalog value $100, or less, and the sale value may be half of that or less? And what if you have an uncataloged variety that is relatively minor, but important to your study of a given issue?

In other words, if the expertizing certificate costs $25 or more, why would anyone bother to pay a fee that is likely going to cost you a lot of your possible realization? What is the value of a certificate to begin with?

It is difficult to generalize on such an important subject. Every stamp is different in some respect from every other stamp. So, if one is of a high quality it might sell for more for more than its catalog value. Having its bona fides attested to by a recent certificate encourages buyers and bidders to see your item as worth their consideration.

Still, spending money to get an inexpensive stamp certified is risky at best, and in the sense that high bids are not guaranteed. For now, let’s leave the subject of money. Many requests for certificates are based upon the fact that collectors want to protect themselves by being certain that that the money that they are spending is for a genuine, unaltered stamp.

They have simply made a decision that only certified stamps will be acceptable for their collection, especially when such stamps have been known to have been doctored extensively or even counterfeited. Take for instance, the 1929 Kansas-Nebraska overprints.

Numerous examples of the stamps denominated 3¢ and up come through for expertizing regularly, despite the fact that the only examples that catalog for more than $100 are mint never-hinged 8¢ Kansas and 10¢ Nebraska stamps. Most of the rest don’t approach these figures.

However, the overprints are often suspect, and for peace of mind, getting these stamps certified provides a level of clarity that many collectors find attractive Some collectors may also feel that at some distant time when the stamps are to be sold, they will be more readily salable and perhaps the prices will have risen by then.

Many similar situations exist. Stamps with colors omitted are virtually unsalable to knowledgeable collectors—except “as is” and significantly discounted—without a certificate.

The higher the catalog value, the more important the certificate will be to a prospective buyer, and a seller who ignores that need is headed for many disappointing results, or a long wait for proceeds while the buyer puts the item “on extension,” meaning that the sale is not final until the stamp has been submitted for a certificate and a good certificate is forthcoming.
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Content copyright © 2015 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.

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