Did You Know?
My pricelists include
information about US stamps. Some of it is general information. Some of it is
very specific to a topic or certain stamp issue. I am a firm
believer that knowledge is an important tool in stamp collecting. It only seems
appropriate that I bring you tidbits of information that you might not otherwise
know. These tidbits are geared more towards the novice to intermediate collector.
As new pricelists are produced, I include the information from that list on the website so that
the information lives on long term. Click on
the links below to pop up a new window.
Stamp Identification. These links offer help in identifying US stamp issues.
How to identify the Farley issues
How to identify hard versus soft papers on the large Banknote issues
Identifying Special Delivery issues
Identifying the Franklin Head stamps
Identifying the One Cent Franklin and Two Cents Washington heads
Identifying the 2¢ Washington 1894-98 issues
Identifying the 3¢ Washington Head
Identifying the 2¢ Washington Head
Identifying the Fourth Bureau Issue, the 1922 Series
Identifying Scott #1622 and #1622C
Identifying US Airmail issues
Identifying Scott #1338
Identifying Postage Due issues
Identifying the Black Hardings
Identifying Scott #10 and #11
Identifying Scott #1, #2, #3, and #4
Identifying Scott #1898A and #2228
Identifying Scott #2128 and #2231
Identifying the Flag Over the Porch issues
Identifying Scott #17, #36, and #36B
Identifying the 2¢ Washington, Fourth Bureau Issue
Identifying the 3¢ Washington 1851 Issue
Identifying the offset printed Washington heads
Identifying the 5¢ Jefferson, 1856 issue
Identifying Scott #118 and #119
Identifying the 90¢ Large Banknote issue
Identifying the $1 Oliver Hazard Perry issues
Identifying the 29¢ Tulip stamps
Identifying the 24¢ 1861 stamps, Scott #70 and #78
Identifying the large and small hole varieties
Identifying the 33¢ Flag and Skyscraper issues
How to detect real perforations
How to identify which grill is on a stamp
How to identify Scott #500
General Discussion. These links include information about a wide variety of topics. Listed in order by date written
Check Your Cancellations on Early US Stamps
What album should I use?
What does catalog value mean?
Centering and condition
Demand is everything
Hints on using eBay
How a dealer operates
Investing in stamps
Opportunities for learning
There is nothing left for me to collect
Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers
Shades on early US stamps
Suggested books for reading
The market for Superb stamps
What is tagging?
Who is a stamp dealer?
What is an item really worth?
Some stamps are easier than others to fake
Introduction to Precancels
How to find watermarks
Careful with mint, no gum stamps
Why are some cheap, used stamps so difficult to find?
Miscut postal cards are not always errors
Collecting Postal Stationery beyond the Scott catalog
The future of philatelic books
Investing in stamps, again
Why are some Scott numbers not in the catalog?
A challenge for mount manufacturers
What is a plate variety?
The importance of business people in our hobby
When You Have Something To Sell
How to make money in stamps
Why do stamps maintain their value
Why are there more modern errors on stamps?
Finding a valuable stamp in a mixture
Thoughts on self adhesive stamps
What are paste up pairs?
What are perfins?
Opportunity or trouble on the horizon?
What is an EFO?
What is an Essay or a Proof?
Rare but cheap
Commercializing stamp issues
Stamps that smell
Using up nondenominated stamps
The end of philately
What are albinos?
Inexpensive way to detect original gum
Why the different perforations
What are gum breakers?
Tight margins on early US issues
Should the USPS continue to issue new stamps?
What are exploded booklets?
What is discount postage?
Investing in stamps, again!
The state of the hobby
Microwaving self-adhesive stamps
Seen on eBay
What is an expertizing certificate?
Finding Used stamps
Changes in coil issues
New investment opportunities
Using modern commemoratives
A lesson in buying expensive albums
How NOT to collect modern mint stamps
Closing small post offices
What are bullseye cancels?
What's the difference between the Earliest Known Use and the First Day of Issue?
What is a turned cover?
Why are so many early stamps faulty?
A good choice for a perforation gauge
How often should I buy a stamp catalog
Becoming a stamp dealer
Boasting about stamps
Legitimate certificate of authenticity
What are my favorite stamps?
Go fly a kite!
Highest prices paid, not here
The economy and stamps
Primer on Grilled stamps
No more definitive stamps?
What is a contemporary cancel?
Used stamps that have gum
Wet versus Dry printings
Over versus under inked stamps
An affordable rarity?
Why I'm different
Determining the color of a stamp
Using nice stamps on packages
Seeing your stamps up close
No more cancels?
Topical versus Thematic collecting
Influences on me as a dealer
Prices for booklet pane stamps
The Parcel Post issue
An appraisal scam
What is your collection worth?
A dud and a homerun
Flat plate printed plate blocks
Overrun Nations plate blocks
All junk is not philatelic
How many collectors are there?
Looking for a collector in Michigan
Offers I can refuse
Moving to online only publications
The people you meet
Special Handling stamps
Ways to store stamps
Tearing apart panes for plate blocks
Turn your clock back 100 years
Obtaining new issues
Service Inscribed Stamps
Check your copies of Scott #1686-1689
What is a new error worth?
Living Persons on US stamps
The Stamp Fulfillment Center
New postal card format
Bad experiences with other stamp dealers
Auction versus retail
Stamp Collecting is about the journey. Enjoy it!
Should you collect blocks or strips of stamps?
Connecting the dots
Follow up to dealer article
Incomplete USPS mint sets
One step at a time
Other containers for storing stamps
Right direction for the USPS
Wrong direction for the USPS
Dealing with self adhesive issues
Unintended consequences of the Forever stamps
Scott #500 fact
Centering on the 1851 and 1857 issues
Scott #2132 and 2134
Another bad idea from the USPS
Another dropped customer
Why catalog value doesn't matter
Delivery problems at the USPS
Express Mail stamps
Guaranteed Lowest price
The future of philatelic literature
Be polite when sealing envelopes
Identifying stamps on cover
The straightforward approach
Take the money and run
Use stamp tongs, not tweezers
Value versus price
Watermark fluid and thins
Melting down gold stamps
$8000 and counting
Flat plate versus rotary press printed stamps
Big versus small stamp dealers
Answering questions from customers
Separating strips of stamps from folded booklets
Does position matter on setenant issues?
Pencil marks on the margins of panes of stamps
Catalog value of postal stationery
Another dud and a homerun
Honoring a living person
Before there were expert committees
Imagine No More Lies
Why Catalog values can be misleading
ex-Pavlina and ex-Johnson
Truth in advertising
Plain and simple
Giving up trade secrets? Never!
Changes in First Class Postal rates
Cancelled To Order versus Precancel
Investing in stamps
Dealers don't soak stamps
Beware of the phantom selling price
Response to ex-Pavlina and ex-Johnson
A difficult phone call
An odd phone call
An investor called me
What to do when you find a very valuable stamp?
Finding low denomination stamps
The USPS blew a golden opportunity
Errors, Freaks, and Oddities
Mounting booklet panes
Imperforate uncut press sheets
The end of Official Stamps, again
Tricks of the trade
The price of common stamps
How to collect common stamps
Credit Card Moment
Mister and Misses
Stamps on eBay
How not to mount your stamps
Stamps aren’t for everyone
Using stamps will cost more
$10,000 and counting
Send more lists, please
You’re the first to see this, honest!
Plate Blocks of Scott #774, 796, and 836
1959 series Postage Due Plate Blocks
Other Scott numbers that share the same plate number
The Durland Standard Plate Number Catalog
An offer I could refuse
Color me skeptical
How long is a lifetime guarantee?
Who did I buy stamps from?
Incognito rate changes
Define “a lot of stamps”
Imperforate press sheets
My writing style
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
When to travel to see a collection
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
My customer list
Credit card moment
Collection, Mixture, Stock and Accumulation
An investment that didn’t pay off
Price increases due to Forever stamps
Another problematic dealer
Coil waste issues
Change of Design
The fax, and nothing but the fax
Quality does not equal perfection
Anyone want to collect stamp magnets?
Where is stamp dealing headed?
Tough to find plate numbers
Demand for cut squares
How to save money, maybe!
To hinge or not to hinge? That is the question!
Interest increasing in Bureau precancelled stamps
Right side up Jenny
USPS in disarray
Biting my tongue
What about pricing though?
When customers hand me a pink slip
Dealers don’t buy based on sympathy
She tried to stamp him out, literally!
Update on the Imperf Press Sheets
The use of superlatives
Is the craze of graded certificates over?
The risk in obtaining a certificate of authenticity
Can I expertize stamps for you?
Expertizing by computers?
Buddy, will you buy my stamps?
Why aren’t all stamps inscribed “Forever”?
Reality TV for Stamps
A picture is worth a thousand words
More Deceptive Advertising
One more deceptive tactic
Selling at a percentage of catalog value
Two more eBay Experiences
Artist Signed Duck Stamps
Philately is but a speck in time
American Stamp Dealer and Collector
Negotiating an offer
Dealers who travel to see your stamps
Using setenant self-adhesives on your mail
Color Missing or Color Omitted?
The best collection I ever handled
British Guiana 1¢ Magenta
Stamp Collecting isn’t dying, but it is changing
Who is a stamp dealer?
Where the discount postage market is headed
We are all philatelic curators
Paying for a stamp
Every stamp is faulty
I’m not an axe murderer
What is the retail price?
What is your collection or accumulation worth?
The sympathetic sales pitch
Don’t go it alone
USPS mobile franking?
Stamps are increasingly irrelevant
What if there were no more stamps, ever!
Protecting your collection
Scott #1732-33 plate blocks
Scott #1345-54 plate blocks
I’m not a fool!
Making the seller happy
What happens to a loved one’s collection?
Service first and then we’ll discuss the upsell
When the Scott catalog is underpriced
How much is it to mail this item this time?
A sad story
Modern die cut varieties
No more used US stamps?
Certifying faulty, valuable stamps
Autographs are worth millions, right?
Is it time to issue CTO US stamps?
The 20-80 rule
How not to place an order
Auction versus retail sales
The USPS got it all wrong
Rolling over in their grave
Buddy will you buy my stamps, déjà vu.
Are there any famous stamp collectors out there?
eBay protection has changed
Philatelic websites that go nowhere
Free advice on pricing
Scott #1548 plate numbers
Why you should collect worldwide stamps
What is a souvenir sheet?
The next phase, approvals
One of the best sales I ever made
Stamps keep you young
Should I collect full mint panes of stamps?
Stamps that will increase in value and give you a profit
Selfish motives for price predictors
A collector who got taken
Showing interest in the customer
My 90-10 rule
A valuable Elvis stamp
Set aside sentimental items
Luck or preparation?
I’m bullish on the stamp market
How to build a stamp collection for a child or grandchild
Results of the Circus souvenir sheet
Am I going into the new issue business?
Scott catalog recognition
Storing press sheets
Full panes that are missing selvedge
The end of gummed stamps stamps is near
The end of sets of definitive stamps
How long is self-adhesive good for?
Another good example
Another deal that I could refuse
Why I don’t do stamp shows
The Lady Cotswolds Missionary Find
Hope lives because you can’t prove a negative
Unusually high reserve prices
A missed opportunity at a semi-postal
You’re on your own when selling on eBay
I’m still not a fool!
Don’t trust glassine envelope markings
Scott #523 or #547. An unexpected ending!
My Do Not Reply list
What stamps are faked?
Altered stamps are not always pristine
Discount postage doesn’t apply to all stamps
What constitutes a complete design?
Stamp collecting is a hobby with residual value
When is a hinged stamp considered NH?
When is a NH stamp considered hinged?
How much money does a dealer make?
How long does an appraisal take?
The importance of quality
What a mess!
The difficulty in determining the centering of multiples
A collection that fell short
Who do you trust?
The end of a FDC era
Buy high and sell low
Sorry, but I’m no longer interested
A folksy story
Customers in the approval business
A day in the life of a stamp dealer
USPS window workers will become obsolete
USPS and drones
How not to store stamps
Everyone loves something for free
The philatelic vortex
In with a bang; out with a whimper
The philatelic bucket list
A customer that I do not need
The service stinks!
What is controlled mail?
Cornering the market
Cornering the market, part 2
What are Tête–Bêche stamps?
Buying at a low price
USPS Press Sheets
The dog ate my homework
Zip Code club follow up
Third copy found of Scott #85F and it slipped through my hands
An amazing story
A wonderful phone call
Do not shun knowledgeable collectors
All collectors welcome
Your APS membership number
A new fake on the horizon?
The real price of a stamp
Price is what you pay, value is what you get
Location of international stamp shows
An exhibit of album pages
This lady is First Class all of the way
Women in philately
It’s all in the numbers
Why are my stamps turning brown?
A real banana split!
Your choices are very limited
The first and last transaction
Where did the die cuts go?
Philatelic Reality TV
Surprises are bad for business
Another stolen #C3a is found
Stealing and selling rare items
Do not follow the pack
Homework follow up
Philately is not for the lazy person
Altered, Fake, Reprint, Counterfeit, or Reproduction?
Counterfeit computer vended stamps
The USPS is missing the boat again
Can someone produce fakes today?
Glad to be of help
Another amazing collection
Does this stamp have gum?
Age has nothing to do with value
Reorganizing the Scott catalog
When small dealers matter
An old club member
New book by Pat Herst
Quantity or quality?
Not valid for postage
Removing old stamps from covers
What else do you need to know before you buy?
Soda Fountain plate blocks
Stamp separation tip
My situation is not unique
How to kill a tree
Mail delivery problems
Finding Forever stamps in the catalog
Are you ready to talk?
My odds and ends collection
A condescending phone call
$100 face value stamps selling for $1500
I am not your target customer
Give me a way to contact you
Scott #242 full pane
Can I touch your hair?
Do not scare away the customers
Some alterations are acceptable
Even USPS workers are unhappy
Where would Superman change clothes?
Reel them in!
Here we go again
How to foil the post office
Is this cover philatelic in origin?
You do not need my phone number
I struck gold!
An auction with no bidders
Are Indices becoming obsolete?