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Breaking Up U.S. Plate Blocks to Get a Nice Single  
 

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Valued Member

United States
122 Posts
Posted 01/11/2017   9:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add paul78703 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Do any of you sometimes break up a plate block (carefully!) in order to obtain a really nice MNH single? Is doing that a philatelic no-no?

I am thinking that doing that might be the best way to get the stamps that I seek: well-centered, MNH singles with full, clean perfs and no defects of any kind (incl. fingerprints on the gum). For most of the stamps I buy, the plate blocks don't cost a whole lot more than the single stamp.

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United States
630 Posts
Posted 01/12/2017   12:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add yakboomer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not generally, but I broke up a block of 4 Scott #620 once. They were all nice and I kept one for my collection and sold the other 3. I have sometimes used post 1950's plate blocks for singles and rest for postage. I think it is up to you to decide what to do with your stamps.
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regards, TR
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United States
2917 Posts
Posted 01/12/2017   10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In the old days, you would often see a block of stamps offered at auction.

First, they would auction the individual stamps.

Then, they would auction the intact block.

Highest bid total won.

Harder to do these days because of automation: the software is written for individual lots, and conditional combinations would require a whole 'nother layer of effort when there are plenty of other things to be done.

That having been said, there is a lot of (well-justified IMHO) (okay, IMO) anger directed towards jumbos, to wit:

{google} jumbo site:www.stampcommunity.org

Q/ You can't find someone to swap a nice plate block for a nicer single?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Valued Member
United States
122 Posts
Posted 01/12/2017   1:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paul78703 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would never break up a valuable or rare block or plate block in order to get a nice single, "jumbo" or otherwise.
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2440 Posts
Posted 01/12/2017   1:48 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As most modern blocks have no particular value, why not break them up? The mutilation of imperforated blocks is a different matter, and should lead to a spell in the stocks.
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United States
298 Posts
Posted 01/12/2017   1:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've seen numerous auction descriptions for very expensive stamps which read, " PF certificate for the original strip of four from which this pair was taken." breaking up a common plate-block seem trivial in comparison.
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Edited by alub - 01/12/2017 2:14 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1433 Posts
Posted 01/15/2017   12:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I break them up all the time and use them for postage, actually save pennies. Ex. Bought a block of four #1758 for $.40, kept the best off the four and used the other three with a 2 center and saved 15 cents paying a bill which I refuse to pay online. Every penny is critical for me.
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Posted 01/15/2017   12:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Common ones are not a problem, but the grading craze has led to many scarce and even rare multiples being broken, including plate blocks.
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Canada
78 Posts
Posted 01/15/2017   12:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vfstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was just pondering this same issue. I have this nice block with a light HR straddling the upper two, but the bottom two are clean NH.

I'll likely send it to Maresch/Sparks/Eastern, (I don't collect mint) and I doubt they'd break it up...

The whole "breaking up" concept doesn't really make much logical sense to me, but I know it's often done.

My conclusion is.. where strips/blocks are less common (say, I dunno... the First Cents issue), always leave them alone. For used, ditto.

For Mints that are commonly seen in Blocks (Jubilees, Admirals), breaking them apart to produce some NH copies seems reasonable.

A more experienced member might be able to comment on this, and whether it would make sense for my own block.

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Edited by vfstamp - 01/15/2017 12:53 pm
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Posted 01/15/2017   2:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Renden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
vfstamp, you do not need an experienced member........you have responded to your question, since you do not do "mint"

Since I collect everything, I would keep the block intact, having no intention to sell my stamps at this time.
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Posted 01/15/2017   3:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The whole idea of breaking up perfectly nice blocks to obtain one "perfect" single is reprehensible. I'll be happier once this crazy fad is over.

Jack Kelley
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United States
101 Posts
Posted 01/15/2017   4:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DuncanDoenitz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I participated in breaking up a nice plate block of US Scott #635a - Jim Griffith out in Sunnyvale California collects high grade MNH US stamps (and posts images of his collection online on his own beautiful custom album pages) and he wanted a single from the block. He wasn't particularly interested in the color variety, but I was. So he bid on the block and we split it. The image of the intact block still serves to confirm the color.
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Edited by DuncanDoenitz - 01/15/2017 4:17 pm
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534 Posts
Posted 01/15/2017   6:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Renden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It would be nice to see a scanned pic of what one is talking about......Scott 635a maybe ?
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United States
668 Posts
Posted 01/15/2017   8:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rgstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As others have pointed out on previous threads about this subject, and likely not relevant to modern blocks ....

Perhaps 30 years from now after all the beautiful classic plate blocks and multiples are broken up, and the supply wanes to nonexistent, such as the beautiful 15c Canadian shown above, then the price of these plate blocks and multiples will skyrocket... I may be dreaming?
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United States
101 Posts
Posted 01/16/2017   02:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DuncanDoenitz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The US #635a mentioned earlier...



As noted, this block was Mint Never Hinged and nicely centered and a nice example of the bright violet color variety.
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United States
1433 Posts
Posted 01/16/2017   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The whole idea of breaking up perfectly nice blocks to obtain one "perfect" single is reprehensible. I'll be happier once this crazy fad is over.

Jack Kelley


What is wrong with doing what I did? If I can save money using older stamps why not?
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