No. While I feel that I am knowledgeable about stamps, I donít feel confident enough to say with absolute certainty that an item is genuine or not. Also, the expertizing committees utilize technology and devices that I donít have at my disposal. Any attempt that I would make to pass judgment on a stamp would use very primitive techniques compared to the resources available to the expertizing agencies.
For example, an agency may utilize a $10,000 specialized microscope for detecting watermarks and removed cancels. When youíre expertizing thousands of stamps and charging a fee, you can afford that microscope. For someone like me, I canít justify the cost for the amount of times I could use that piece of equipment.
Can I give unofficial opinions on stamps? Yes. By no means am I encouraging folks to send stamps to me. I simply donít have the time to sit down and give opinions, even if I did it for a fee. Iím very busy and there just arenít enough hours in the day already. But in the past, Iíve had a few people send me a stamp or two and ask my opinion.
In one case, I had someone who wasnít very knowledgeable about stamps contact me about a rare coil he found. He sent the stamp to me. I saved him a bunch of money because the stamp wasnít a coil issue. It came from a booklet. That was easy and Iím 100% positive that Iím right.
There are other instances where, say, I feel the stamp is regummed. And I say so with a high degree of confidence. At the other extreme, there are times when I just donít know. Some fakes and some regummed or reperforated stamps are very difficult to detect. Without years of experience or sophisticated techniques, I canít say with any level of certainty. Sometimes I have to say, ďI honestly donít know.Ē