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Hinges and pencils: Tools of convenience or weapons of mass destruction?  
 

 
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Valued Member

Japan
29 Posts
Posted 12/06/2017   10:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add JPR to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I assume no one would use hinges or write on the back of mint stamps. But what about used ones?

Does a little hinge mark or piece of hinge stuck to the back of a used stamp affect its value? How about writing the catalog number on the back? Bad idea?


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United Kingdom
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Posted 12/06/2017   10:43 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use hinges on mint stamps.. Why ever not?

A hinge or hinge mark on a used stamp wouldn't affect the value unless it were irremoveable. Most stuff on the back of stamps comes off with a bath in luke-warm water. People have been writing catalogue numbers on the backs of stamps for a long time.
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Posted 12/06/2017   10:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheelman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am willing to pay more for a lot of used stamps that has the number on the back. I still verify accuracy on anything that may have look alikes though.
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Posted 12/06/2017   10:52 am  Show Profile Check chris2015's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chris2015 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I use hinges on mint stamps.. Why ever not?


Because MNH stamps are valued higher than hinged stamps? So, you are purposely devaluing your stamps, in addition to reducing the overall pool of mint stamps.
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Posted 12/06/2017   11:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, all of the C-3 "Inverted Jennies" were penciled on the back as to position. It doesn't seem to have hurt their value I would say.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 12/06/2017   11:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Over the weekend, at a show, I bought one of the US Bank Note issues. The dealer had it in a counter book identified as a higher priced item on hard paper. Inspecting it, there was a pencil mark on the back identifying it as a lower priced soft paper issue. Further examination showed the pencil mark to be correct. I saved $$$ but now have concerns about this dealer -- an innocent error or willful deception? I regard pencil marks applied by prior collectors or dealers as helpful hints. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong, but in this case it helped.
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Posted 12/06/2017   12:08 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Chris - the question was about mint, not unmounted mint. And, as most stamps are worth a penny each and there are far too many of them, the "loss" is, in any case, incalculably small. Of course, it's an unmounted 1d black ...
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Posted 12/06/2017   1:38 pm  Show Profile Check chris2015's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chris2015 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Chris - the question was about mint, not unmounted mint.


Geoff,
Guess it's an issue regarding terminology. To me, "mint" means post office fresh (or coming from the 'mint') with full gum, no hinge marks, etc. I use the term "unused" to mean a stamp that has not been postally used, but could have no gum, hinged, etc. Those, of course, should not be a problem to hinge.

I never heard the term "unmounted mint"...guess it is the same as "mint-never-hinged" (MNH)?

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Edited by chris2015 - 12/06/2017 1:39 pm
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Posted 12/06/2017   1:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Chris,

You are correct. Unmounted Mint - MNH. Mounted Mint - Mint Hinged.

And Geoff, I read the question same as you did.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 12/06/2017   1:53 pm  Show Profile Check chris2015's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chris2015 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry guys! I went back and reread the question and, yes, he's talking about used stamps, not mint.

My apologies Geoff, trying to multi-task while I'm at work
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Posted 12/06/2017   8:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The problem is that many of us have seen used stamps where someone pressed down hard and permanently gouged the number into the stamp. If you have trouble writing with or without a very soft pencil (which can smear), it's best not to even think about writing on the stamp back. Besides, as noted above, it might be already done for you. Plus, what happens if the catalog number changes?

Be aware that partial hinges and pencil marks can be used to hide faults. One problem is finding a stamp of value with a big semi-transparent hinge remnant. Sometimes that can hide a thin where someone did a bad job of partially peeling the hinge and stuck the hinge remnant back down.
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Stamp Smarter's 20th Century US Fancy Cancel database:
http://www.stampsmarter.com/feature...rn_Home.html
Valued Member
Japan
29 Posts
Posted 12/08/2017   10:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JPR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm a little confused. Is everyone saying that it's perfectly okay to put a hinge on the back of a brand new, uncancelled stamp, with its gum intact??

Also, if I buy album sheets that have mint stamps hinged to them, what is the best way to remove them from the album?

Thanks?
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Posted 12/08/2017   10:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add svensson to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No...I think you are misreading, most would agree if it Mint and Never Hinged (MNH) you probably should not hinge it unless it is as common as dirt. It depends to some extent on what you are collecting...a MNH 18980s stamp I would not hinge, yesterday's issue...go right ahead. There is a recent thread on removing stamps from album pages using your tweezers. I think it is the "I inherited a collection..." threads. A place to start.
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Posted 12/08/2017   10:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add svensson to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Edit: Make that 1890's...fumble fingers here.
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Posted 12/08/2017   10:51 am  Show Profile Check chris2015's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chris2015 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm a little confused. Is everyone saying that it's perfectly okay to put a hinge on the back of a brand new, uncancelled stamp, with its gum intact??


Again, it's an issue with the term "mint" Some people take "mint" to simply mean "unused" unless you say "mint never hinged" or as Geoff put it "unmounted mint"

In my opinion, if a stamp is mint (meaning brand new with its gum intact and not previously hinged), then I would not put a hinge on it. I would put it into a mount or some kind of stock page or stock book.
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Edited by chris2015 - 12/08/2017 10:51 am
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Posted 12/14/2017   02:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I really thing we've made a foolish fetish out of keeping every stamp we collect as "mint" as possible when many don't deserve that sort of museum-quality concern. We should never damage a stamp, but the question is what's your goal? My goal is to display the beauty of my stamps appropriately so I can admire their designs. Since I collect the front of stamps, not the back, I don't much care if there's a hinge mark on the back. In fact, I kind of like it to have a hinge mark since that can save me a lot of money. People pay more for unhinged stamps than hinged -- if you can believe that. I wonder if they mount their stamps upside down so they can admire all that untouched gum? Yes, I know these untouched stamps are worth more to some collectors, but if you pay more to begin with, then they better be worth more. And older, rarer stamps that have never been hinged probably ought to remain unmarked. But I don't make much effort in that regard since, again, I don't collect "gum".

If a somewhat valuable stamp comes to me unmarked on the back, then I will keep it that way by using a stamp mount. For common stamps with no hinge mark on the back, I don't much care especially if they were issued by the millions like most modern U.S. stamps are.

As for used stamps, hinging and pencil marks identifying the stamp are just fine. I like when a previous collector has marked the catalogue number on the back. And a hinge mark doesn't matter to me. I do hate it when there's a heavy hinge glued on the back of the stamp, though, since I don't much like my stamps "lumpy". If it's easy to remove, I will, but often it's glued on permanently by some collector who had no idea how to hinge a stamp properly with less moisture, not more. There are clearly dangers in hinging stamps, but leaving a hinge mark isn't one of them to me.
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Edited by DrewM - 12/14/2017 02:52 am
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