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Help With 1970s US Stamps With No Gum

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Posted 10/05/2019   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Torin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
These are beginner questions, so please go easy on me

I purchased some blocks of U.S. postage stamps from the late 1970s that were advertised as new, unused, with no gum. The stamps themselves look unused and the gum on the back is non-existent and looks white.

All the late 1970s U.S. postage stamps that I own have light brownish gum. Is there an online guide as to which stamps were issued with gum. These stamps came from a humid climate. Could the seller have dumped the stamps in water to get them unstuck and then dried them with a hair dryer? They lay perfectly flat and feel like a crisp starched shirt.

I know it's a caveat emptor world out there. I have read that some people remove stamps from envelopes that have light or no cancellation marks, somehow wash them and then illegally reuse them. Is there a way to tell in the photos if these stamps have been removed from an envelope and washed? I took an up close photo of one of the energy stamps and I see a faint black mark in the yellow light bulb area. I don't know if that's a cancellation mark or not? I don't see what appears to be cancellation marks on the other stamps.

Would appreciate any insight as to what I have. Thank you.













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Posted 10/05/2019   9:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They are not used. They are as advertised. No gum stamps. You are likely correct that they were soaked.
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Posted 10/05/2019   9:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
These stamps look unused to me. When large blocks of low value stamps go through the mail, they typically get dinged, creased/wrinkled, and/or smudged with grime...even if they have not been cancelled.

I would guess that these stamps were poorly stored, and were soaked to separate the sheets. One of the blocks looks moldy.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 10/06/2019 5:17 pm
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Posted 10/05/2019   10:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is one more up close photo of one the 13c energy stamps on the block. Not sure if this is a cancellation mark or not.









So basically, these unused stamps stuck to something and then were dunked in water and then dried with a hair dryer and now lay perfectly flat?

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Posted 10/05/2019   10:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They could have been placed in a drying book or similar. No need for a hair dryer. If you want to use them for postage stick some glue on the back. They have no value for anything else that I can think of.
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Posted 10/05/2019   10:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamps were soaked in a container of water to separate and remove gum, and perhaps extraneous paper. They were then placed in a special drying book to flatten and dry them (no hair dryer was used, in all probability). The person was knowledgeable about the process required.
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Posted 10/06/2019   12:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While it doesn't apply to the stamps you've shown, there is something called "dull" or "dry" gum. Beginners can get confused & think that a dull gum stamp is not gummed even though it is. The USPS had started using dull gum by the late 70s, but this was mostly on definitives rather than commemoratives. The first dull gum commemoratives that I can recall are the 1982 state birds & flowers.
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Posted 10/06/2019   08:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jogil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JLLebbert: There are some postage due stamps with dry dull gum that are very scarce which some collectors have discovered on this forum.
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Posted 10/06/2019   09:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Book binder Bob that it would be very unusual and difficult to find a block of 12 stamps through the mail and then soak them and yet leave them in such flat pristine condition. It would be more likely for the stamps to have a small residue of gum, if they had been used. Would anyone try with such low value stamps? |Does $1.56 pay mail on any package? Would the vendor receive so many blocks of 12 postage. Assuming the stamps are of minimal value why not apply a tiny amount of moistureto a stamp and see if its sticky by touching it. you just might have some unknown rare variety showing early use of the " invisible gum".
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Posted 10/06/2019   09:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Torin, if you have a longwave UV light you may be able to see evidence of cancel removal. Likely, these stamps have never been used but were poorly stored so the gum had to be removed.
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Posted 10/06/2019   10:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JLLebert: The 1982 State Birds and Flowers issue is precisely why I was wondering if some issues in the late 1970s were issued without gum. I am looking at that sheet now (State Birds and Flowers) and the gum color and feel is very similar to the blocks that I received. As you note, there is a difference between dull/dry gum and no gum, but a beginner like me can think it's one and the same.

Germania: I don't have a longwave UV light. I am still a little suspicious about those black lines on the energy stamp. It is prevalent in the same spot on all 6 out of the 12 energy stamps in the same column.
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Posted 10/06/2019   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply







https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...-jailed.html


I believe the previous posts about the stamps being stuck and then soaked to separate them.

The black lines only appear on the lower tier of the energy stamps. Could those lines be from being stuck to another sheet of stamps? All the other stamps look new and unused.

Based on the previous posts and applying common sense, most people would think that the stamps in the above pictures have never been postally used.

I guess the bottom line is with mint, go gum stamps is that there is no way to know with 100% certainty if they have been postally used or if someone did what that couple did in the UK, correct?


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Edited by Torin - 10/06/2019 2:42 pm
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Posted 10/06/2019   2:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Torin - If you are nervous about the Energy stamps for some reason don't use them. I do not understand why you bought mint stamps without any gum and are now fretting about it. You also could glue the energy stamps onto a package and send it off. A SWAT team is not going to show up at your house if they turned out to be used in the first place. If they do please take a pic and post.
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Posted 10/06/2019   3:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rogdcam: I purchased them because I thought that some older issues were issued without gum. I asked the seller if they were new/unused or used and the seller responded they were new and unused. Perhaps this is an inexpensive education in buying mint no gum stamps.
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Posted 10/06/2019   5:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The value of these 13c stamps will only decrease as time goes by. Now is the time to use 'em up.
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Posted 10/07/2019   09:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
jogil: I suspect you are referring to the dull gum J92. Do you know whether this appears in the latest Scott specialized? Will have to look for it on my next library visit. I know it wasn't in my 2018 catalogue.

Torin: With a magnifying glass & a bit of practice, I think one can often distinguish between a stamp with dull gum & one that has no gum. Not easily done, to be sure, but it should be possible. I have been able to see the gum striations, especially on some of the Great Americans ... the striations on many of these run diagonally across the back of the stamp.

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