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Fewer And Fewer Used Contemporary

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Posted 05/31/2016   12:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Perf10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I apply stamps on outbound mail and you probably do too, but I rarely see them on incoming mail any longer, and when there is a stamp it's most often one of the flags. With use dropping, collectors of the future will find it challenging to find examples of commemoratives used during the current period. I can buy mint stamps at post offices, but used examples, unless I post them to myself, are more difficult.
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Posted 05/31/2016   1:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And, in the future, used commemoratives of the present era will be VERY hard to find in sound condition, because they are left on paper with the self-adhesive material intact.
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Posted 05/31/2016   3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add soccerfan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you collect today's used commemoratives, is it better to leave the paper on them and cut around them, or soak them in water?
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Posted 05/31/2016   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Soccerfan, today's U.S.commemoratives are manufactured without a water soluble layer between the stamp paper and the self-adhesive material. This is done to discourage reuse of uncancelled stamps.

A collector is left with 2 choices: either you leave the stamps on the envelope paper, or you remove the stamps from the envelope with solvent, and then remove the self-adhesive material with a solvent. If you leave the stamps on the paper, over time the self-adhesive material will stabilize by liquifying and absorbing into the stamp paper, and then crystallizing. When this process occurs, usually over many years time, the stamps will be ruined.

There are several threads on Stamp Community Forum which demonstrate how to remove self-adhesive material stamps with various solvents.

Personally, I prefer to use Ronsonol for the self-adhesive stamps I put in my collection.
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Posted 05/31/2016   4:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even my 84-year old mother probably uses less than a book of stamps per year anymore, due to electronic billing and payments, etc, so the "Average Joe" uses far fewer stamps than in the days of yesteryear. Collectors and dealers, of course, still use lots of stamps, but even most of those (at least the ones I deal with) use mostly older discount postage rather than newer issues, so finding recent issues (<1yr) used on mail is very challenging indeed. Give it a few years and today's issues may start to be found in discount postage lots, so finding any used copy will probably get easier, although finding them with contemporaneous cancels will likely remain challenging forever.

Given the ugly spray-on cancels they use these days, I don't find contemporary used issues all that attractive, anyway. I must be old fashioned, but I much prefer the old circular date stamp, which I think is the most attractive type of cancellation for a stamp.
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Posted 05/31/2016   5:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don't forget the substantial discounts the USPS offers if you do NOT use stamps!
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Posted 05/31/2016   5:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd think if the self-adhesive is going to liquify into used stamps it will eventually do so into mint ones as well, perhaps even sooner. My used 1552 Peace on Earth look better than mint ones.

The most recent old-school circular machine cancel I have dates from 2015 (Burlington, VT). Maybe a few of those machines remain in use this year? If the spray-on cancels did not smear I suppose I could learn to like them.
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Posted 05/31/2016   9:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Perf10, I think the aging of the self-adhesive material is more apparent with the mint stamps. I received a mint self-adhesive booklet pane as part of a Germany lot about a year ago. The stamps in this booklet were starting to look yellow around the edges, and they were lifting off the backing a bit. I'm guessing that they were stored in an area that was too warm and that hastened the aging process.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 05/31/2016 9:50 pm
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Posted 06/01/2016   07:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DonSellos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Even my 84-year old mother probably uses less than a book of stamps per year anymore, due to electronic billing and payments, etc, so the "Average Joe" uses far fewer stamps than in the days of yesteryear.


With electronic communication and postage meter use so prevalent stamps have become superfluous.

Lots of earlier stamps to collect, (pre-1960) however.

Don
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Posted 06/01/2016   09:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Let's not forget that there are many more stamps issued yearly than, say, 40 years ago as well, which further diminishes the likelihood of finding a used copy of any given stamp. Even those non-collectors who might be disposed to using colorful commemoratives would probably never use more than a small fraction of the total number of different stamps issued in any given year. And for many issues you have to buy a full pane of 10-20 stamps, which is about a yearly quota for most people anymore.
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Posted 06/01/2016   11:01 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There's definitely more stamps issued, but as I've stated in other threads, many post offices don't even carry many of the commemorative stamps. Depending on the size of the post office, there are limits to how much stamp inventory they are allowed to have in stock. I've been to post offices where they might have 3 to 4 different kinds of commemorative stamps and that's it. Stamps values other than letter and postcard rates can be even harder to find. I don't see how many people can even use stamps for mailing purposes unless they go the extra mile to get something other than a meter, booklet or roll of stamps.
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Posted 06/01/2016   11:10 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Let's not forget that there are many more stamps issued yearly than, say, 40 years ago as well...


Indeed, in the past there were years in which the US post office did not issue ANY stamps at all (for example, 1915). No regular issues, no commemoratives, no postage dues, no special delivery, etc.

Seems odd to us now; wonder when it will come full circle?
Don
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Posted 06/01/2016   12:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Are there stamp use numbers? These days what % of a typical commemorative issue's print run are sold (as opposed to recalled to be destroyed)? And then what % of those are postally used? Given how rarely I receive a current commemorative cancelled on a letter, I'm wondering if most are actually saved in mint condition.
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Posted 06/01/2016   12:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The nice part of this is that if you're a collector who happens to be in posession of used examples of recent stamps, they actually retain a significant portion of their face value. Once or twice a year or so I'll gather up all my used "forever" stamps and sell them on an eBay auction. I've been getting between 25-50% of face value for them in most cases. Frankly I'm surprised that Scott still values most of them at the 25-cent minimum as they are simply NOT that common.
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Posted 06/04/2016   12:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add MeadowviewCollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do my part and use a variety of the commemorative stamps on my outgoing mail---I've sent more cards, letters and thank you's this year than I ever have before.


-MV
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Posted 06/05/2016   1:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For many years at the bourses around Chicago there was a fellow dealer who show up with a stock book of recent USED U.S. postal issues. By Sunday afternoon ,he was close to sold out. His prices to you to buy were close to face value of the stamp,I purchased a few souvenir sheets used at face from him .
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