I donít remember where I read this at. I wish I could find the article again. Someone recently wrote that they thought that the market for graded stamps was over. I respectfully disagree.

Iíve written about graded certificates in the past and Iíve always been critical of graded certificates on the more common stamps. I now see in some auction catalogs where there is an accumulation of, say, 20 such stamps after Scott #700 with graded certificates and the auction catalog lists them for $100. At $5 each, thatís below the cost of the certificate. In short, someone is looking to unload them at any price.

I do think that the craze around graded common stamps is over. You donít see the stories in the philatelic press any more about the $5 catalog value stamp selling for $1000 because it had a Superb-100 graded certificate. Those stories have vanished. And with the auction listings Iíve seen, someone is dumping this stuff on the market at below cost.

I still feel that graded certificates on most stamps before 1900 and on a handful of stamps in the 1900-1930 range are a good idea. This is especially true on the earliest of stamps where centering and condition are sometimes very difficult to distinguish.

Itís wrong to group all graded certificates into the same category. For the common stamps, yes, I think that ship has sailed and I donít think weíll see extraordinary prices paid for these stamps like we did in the past. I wonder how many people bought into this only to find that they are taking a beating now? But for the early material Ė Iím all supportive of graded certificates on those items and Iíve always thought favorably about those kinds of stamps. In many cases, the right grade with the right stamp will increase its value, and rightly so.

The market for graded stamps has changed, and in my opinion, for the better. Itís where I think the market should be at. But itís not over.