A gentleman from Texas called me. He had 200 rolls of 500 stamps each of Scott #C65a that he was looking to sell. His father bought these rolls from the post office and they were still wrapped in original packaging. He was trying to sell them to put his daughter through college.

Two hundred rolls is 100,000 stamps with a face value of $8000. That is an awful lot of stamps for one particular issue. The gentleman didnít know why his father bought that many rolls of stamps.

Scott #C65 was the first airmail stamp to have tagging applied to it. I suspect that his father bought that many stamps thinking that they would be rare for some reason. Maybe the USPOD experiments with tagging would be a flop and there would be no more tagged stamps?

If this was an investment, it didnít pay off. These stamps are worth about $5000 as discount postage.

No one is going to buy that many stamps. No collector or dealer wants 100,000 copies of the same stamp.

Yes, this gentleman could break down the rolls and remove the more valuable line pairs. However, no one is going to buy hundreds of line pairs at one time. Several dealers may buy a smaller quantity for their stock. But now you have a dilemma on your hand. The rolls are broken apart and now you have to bundle the stamps into groups of 100 again in order to sell them for postage. The few dollars gained by selling the line pairs is going to be lost in all of the time involved in breaking down the line pairs and then assembling the leftover partial rolls into discount postage again. Iím not convinced that pulling out the line pairs is worth all of the time and trouble.

His father risked $8000 in the hopes that the stamp would someday be valuable. It didnít turn out that way.

That should be a lesson for you. If you think a particular stamp issue is going to be more valuable for some reason and you want to make a few bucks at it, sure. If you can afford it, spend a few tens of dollars or maybe a few hundred dollars on a stamp. If prices rise, great! You made a few dollars. If prices go nowhere, use them up for postage and you lost nothing. I donít recommend sinking $8000 into something on a whim.

Iíve seen (or heard about) too many cases where collectors sunk hundreds or thousands of dollars into an ďinvestmentĒ that never materialized. And the money they sunk into that investment was many times over what they could comfortably afford to do. Donít let yourself fall into this position. The wise investor tires to reduce risk and minimalize any loss. The unwise investor goes beyond their means and prays that it works out in the end. Rarely do those kinds of investments ever pay off.