Hi Everyone , I have several questions but I will start with this one first... My Uncle passed away a while back and he was a stamp collector . My family has asked me to do some reasearch on what his collection might be worth . He has huge collection of Postal commemorative society stamp collections and I was wondering if anyone could tell me whether they are real or replicas. I am totally ignorant when it comes to stamp collecting any help would be appreciated on information about the Postal Commemorative Society collections.
My condolences to you and your family for the loss of your uncle.
PCS issued both real stamps/covers, and also replicas. Either way, they usually do not have much resale value. PCS did mass marketing to the general public and the casual/beginning collectors. There is a much greater supply than demand, and the shipping costs are often more expensive that the actual item costs. Generally, when they do sell, it is as a large batch. Individual items usually retail from 10c-25c (sometimes higher, sometimes lower), and a full binder of material usually retails ($10-$25). Again, the hard part is finding a buyer. Most (not all) stamps collectors now don't bother with PCS material. Some storefront dealers will even give the stuff out free, just to make more space in their stores.
You can check eBay, and see how well and for how much PCS items get sold. There's always somebody somewhere who likes them. I have a couple of gold replica covers myself, simply as a discussion item and as a sample of philatelic history.
From what I have heard and read on here and elsewhere about the PCS the stamps and covers (envelopes) are genuine or authentic.
However, if what you have is similar to what a lot of people have from that company, the first day covers (if that is indeed what you have) are not a big seller with collectors.
Most collectors of postal history 9covers and the like) enjoy envelopes and stamps used regularly in the normal course of mailings of people and businesses. Nice commemmorative first day covers are appreciated for their artwork and sometimes by collectors but not as much as a genuine usage.
The 60's and 70's were great collecting times and great time for sellers of First Day Covers. They are unique and I am drawn to them myself, and have seen a few from collections that are only made in limited quantities and with unique artwork.
However, unless the artwork will appeal to someone years in the future (very hard to say) it seems to me that the best value of such items is in the enjoyment they have given and are giving to collectors. They do not immensely appreciate in market value.
You may think, looking at one, that it is specially made, the artwork took time, the composition of the whole cover, it's look, etc etc, even perhaps the stamp (most are common stamps) but that artwork had better be really nice or the value just dropped as soon as you bought the item.
Nice stuff sells. Special stuff sells. But, then again, not everyone likes a Renoir or a Picasso painting. I would rather a Monet. Others would rather a Rolling Stones poster.
PCS has, from what I have read, some good salesmanship skills happening over there. If someone thinks he has gotten something of value and enjoys it all to pieces, then actually he has gotten the value of that enjoyment out of it all.
If that is what you have. Pics or scans are always welcome to better help us to help you.
Maybe somebody in the family collects and would appreciate them? History? Sentimental value?
As far as I know, PCS never promoted the items as an investment, but as a collectible.
From a collectible point of view, I would say the buyer got close to their money's worth, because they are well-done and well-packaged. The oversized/odd-sized binders are often keepers from some collectors for home-made album pages. From a purely financial point of view, I completely agree. You won't come close to getting your money back. PCS spent a considerable amount on promotion and giving out freebies. I used to have (may still have) 2 binders of freebies from PCS that I accumulated directly from PCS before the turn of the century.
I would say they are a nice thing to put on the coffee table for guests to peruse. Just my thoughts.
Very well put Stampvirgin. I put together a small collection of CTOs from Poland for a guy as a going away gift (he is of Polish heritage).I probably had around $15 invested in stamps, paper, hinges, and a three ring binder, but a Rolex couldn't have made him happier.
I retract what I said about the buyer getting his/her money's worth. I just looked at an old PCS ad from my archives, and never noticed they were selling the fake gold replicas for $6 each. That's still a bit pricey in my book.
But again, if you bought them for the joy, then be happy. I used to know some collectors who loved them, knowing full well they would not retain resale value. If you bought them as an investment or thinking they would retain value, well...
I absolutely agree with this. Value is in the eye of the beholder. Many a penny black has been thrown away because of this.
Quote: People collect stamps, not because of value, but because of the joy of discovering.
That's what we would like. But the reality is, there are plenty of collectors who collect for both joy and value, and there are also plenty of collectors who are only in it for the value (some might call them investors, but it's a fine line sometimes).
Quote: Your uncle thought they were valuable. That should be enough.
I would say it depends on why he was buying them. I operate on the assumption that your uncle bought them because he liked them, and possibly thought is was a nice gift to pass onto further generations.
Speaking of others, if people are buying something because they think it is an investment when it is isn't, I don't think there is anything wrong with mentioning a few things to them.
One time someone asked me about the first day panels that used to be put out by USPS. They wanted to give them as gifts for their grandchild. I said, yes, they are very nice and have a lot of good information. But all he talked about afterwards was what a wonderful investment it was, and that was what got him all excited. I politely replied, that it was unlikely to have much resale value, certainly not enough to recover the original money. The value is not in the resale, but in the joy, beauty, and information. Of course he wasn't at all happy, I'm guessing in large part because he had already ordered a subscription(?). But the way I look at it, if he was primarily interested in it as an investment, I probably just saved him a few hundred dollars. If he wants it simply as a wonderful gift for his grandchild, then it's certainly a nice gift, and he should go ahead. It was his choice, and now he could make an informed choice.
If you don't ask, I will probably keep my mouth shut and only mention the beauty. But if you ask in terms of investment/resale, I think it's my responsibility to provide an honest answer. I expect no less when I ask others for their opinions. Just my opinion.
I have purchase a handful of these 22k gold replica covers for a few US topical areas I collect -most always around a couple dollars, but helps dresses up and adds to a section of topicals, i.e. Adoption, etc. - just a fun way at looking at a stamp with a particular interest.
of course I would like my collection to maintain it's value that's not the reason I collect at all. I'm sure I "threw a lot of money away" over the years but it wasn't all for not. I learned, filled gaps in my albums and had fun so right there is well worth anything I could afford anyway. I think the problem arises is when someone passes away or finds grandads old stamp collection and think they have a lotto ticket but we have been all over that subject so I'll leave it at that. -me :)
Quote: I have purchase a handful of these 22k gold replica covers for a few US topical areas I collect -most always around a couple dollars, but helps dresses up and adds to a section of topical
I'm a topical collector--US Airmail and aviation themed regular postage--with an extensive collection of associated FDC's and FFC's. I have one of these in my collection. For my taste, it didn't dress it up, but seemed rather cheesy, so I never acquired any more. And I've got rather low standards, at least for anything only costing a couple of dollars. But I guess they sold enough of them to continue producing them.
OTOH, when I can get a good price, I've acquired PCS sheets for a lot of the stamps I collect, not for the covers that come with them, but because of the historical information about the stamp. In a few instances, I've popped out the cover that came with it, and substituted a cover more to my liking. In other cases, I plan to mount stamps or plate blocks in the space where the cover resides. I have these sheets in regular 3 ring binders, not in the custom binders they were designed for. I pretty much ruin whatever value they might have had otherwise in the way I use them, at least if someone were to want them as they were originally released. But they don't really have that much value to begin with, and my use is for my own benefit and pleasure.
I agree with the sentiment expressed that too often heirs think they've won the lottery when they inherit a stamp collection. In my case, I hope to leave sufficient instruction and explanation that my heirs will be able to realistically assess the value of what I've left them.
The general public is easily misled by mass marketing "art" companies like the Postal Commemorative Society, the Danbury Mint, the Franklin Mint and others. Years ago I was given a gift one year "subscription" to the Postal Commemorative Society by a well intended relative who knew I collected stamps but knew nothing about the hobby. For twenty bucks I got something like a half dozen new US issues on addressed White Ace Artcraft Envelopes, mounted in a decorative printed cardstock page punched for a special two ring expandable post binder. Philatelic value at the time was about 10c per cover, if you could find a buyer. My immediate reaction to the gift was to urge that they not give me any more philatelic gifts.
But I feel sorry for the hosts of people who did not know better and year after year plugged ever larger chunks of money into these enterprises. Most of what they were buying was the fancy writeup and pages, not the servicing of the covers. In three posts four years ago Char got turned off to stamp collecting by the whole thing, and I am sure bears a grudge against the hobby, not PCS, to this day.
Something good for the hobby is to put out a warning for our non-collecting family and friends not to fall for promotional stuff like that. Let them know that in philatelic matters they can consult with you, and should do so.