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Introduction From Chicago - Jim

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Posted 05/07/2020   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add JasTwister to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm JIM HAY (JasTwister) from ChiCAGO, IL, USA. This is my first (stamp) forum. I've been collecting for about a year-and a-half now and am getting to the hard decisions about what, exactly, to collect. I was fortunate enough to have acquired a few, what I think are sizable, collections. Loosely I've gravitated to Thurn & Taxis (when I first saw one of these stamps I thought it was the ugliest stamp I had ever seen) which stamps + history and I'm in another world. Overall, I have stamps from every conceivable country and I've been sorting for a time now, I need to winnow them down and makes some decisions. Interested in Germany (Thurn & Taxis, Saar, pre-WWII) and I'm leaning toward Latin American (central and/south), pre-empire Russia and a host of others. Again, I'm at the stage where I need to make some decisions, so here I am!
Finally and this has been driving me crazy for well over a year now - this concerns or Vario plastic stock pages and stock books; HOW do you keep the stamps from moving around? I'll spend hours putting a page together with Vario and the next time I pick it up, everything seems crooked. In addition, I keep my stamps on a desk or filed at all times, so I don't know, but it happends. Any solutions or ideas would be very much appreciated. Oh, LASTLY, I promise, I am doing my best to familiarize myself with this forum, so I apologize now if I mess-up or repeat a question! Again, my first!
Cheers,
JIM (JasTwister)
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Posted 05/07/2020   10:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome, Jim.

One thing that might be a consideration for your areas of initial activity is whether you think you will want to really collect in some depth with discernment. If so,, do you have (or are you willing to acquire some) basic language skill appropriate to that area so you can read specialist literature or dealer literature and websites, or catalogues other than Scott. With some countries this would matter more than others.

And yes, sometimes stamps tend to shift a bit in their Vario pockets.
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Edited by jleb1979 - 05/07/2020 10:23 pm
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Posted 05/07/2020   11:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JasTwister to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you jieb1979, I appreciate the welcome! You posed a great question which, frankly, I hadn't thought too much about. I have some BASIC knowledge of some of the languages of the countries and-or subsets of countries I'm thinking of collecting, but in some cases, no, I could not read or translate complicated texts.
Sorry you don't have an "easy" answer to the Vario question, I'll just keep trying.

I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind. What do you collect and how deep to you go? How much of a particular country do you save, i.e., do you keep lots of duplicates or just how many stamps into a country by percentage.? How long have you been collecting stamps? How did you decide what to collect? Do you use albums, sock books, pages, etc. Where do or does your expertise lie?

Thanks again! I'm really looking forward to learning within this forum.
JIM
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Posted 05/08/2020   08:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are quite a few folks here whose answers about depth in particular countries would be interesting to read and might be very helpful to you as you think about what to do when you have interests on multiple continents.

My main collecting interest is US general issues where I am trying to assemble a fairly complete collection at a certain level of quality. Airmail too, but no other back of book, and no proofs or essays. As with many US collectors in this Forum, however, my interest peters out around 1990-2000. The exact years of cessation vary with what USPS issue was too outrageous - Mickey Mouse in 2004 killed it for some. Others stop at the self-adhesive era. There are threads where folks have shared their decision-making. Start and end dates seem to be the big determinants and within those dates, people try to get everything

The US I collected in my youth, then resumed recently after decades of hiatus.
I have since become interested in France, owing to some beautiful postings here on the work of French engravers. There I have not defined my scope but it will be used for the most part, and run up to perhaps 2000. Here I have found that having at least some language skill is useful in acquisitions and answering various questions about the material by means of specialist catalogues and websites covering issues not touched upon by Scott.

I have two topical areas that do extend worldwide: the 1939 NY worlds Fair and photography. These are what I house in Vario sheets.

Hope this helps in some small way.
- Jonathan
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Posted 05/08/2020   2:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome!!
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Al
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Posted 05/09/2020   11:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome!

Dale
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Posted 05/10/2020   12:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BFRomeos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jim, welcome to the forum. I hope you find it rewarding to navigate the content and the personalities that give the neighborhood its character.

So glad you say "Chicago" and not "Chicagoland." Go Bears!
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Posted 05/10/2020   5:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JasTwister to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jonathon - I hope you see this as this is the only way I found to reply back to you. Is there a BIG reply button somewhere that I am missing? Thanks for the information regarding the depth of collecting by different countries, by site expert. I'm still just finding my way around on it; there seems to be so much great information. I too collected generally when I was a kid back when you could do that with some confidence. After returning to stamps again 50 years later and about a year-and-a-half ago, I was fortunate to acquire four or five pretty good collections, I think. In any case, I've got an accumulation now of worldwide at I've been sorting the past year and learning all over again philately in general. I couldn't agree with you more about France. Some of the engraved issue are absolutely AMAZING. I'm still at the point where every stamp I pick-up seems like a work of art to me; I supposed that's the artist in me coming out (painter) in me. I love history as well so I look at each stamp as a "story" of some sort. This has all resulted in me sorting slower than probably usual because I really am still define my area/s or countries to collect. An interesting note - you had asked me about maybe the language challenges I might face for different countries. Earlier this week, before you wrote me about that, I registered to learn conversational French on Babel!
Finally, last question (for today anyway) concerns the "accumulation" I mentioned above. For example, I have a lot of US stamps up to about 1970 and some pretty good ones I think, including a couple dozen with Grills, which I find fascinating. So, in this case for example, I may just collect US "Grills" only and have to figure out what to do with the balance so toy collection becomes manageable.
Take care,
JIM
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Posted 05/10/2020   9:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you were looking for a way to do a private reply, the Forum infrastructure is set up so that new members (fewer than 50 posts) cannot use the SCF email feature to mail privately another member.

I did think so something else that might be of interest to you as you ponder your areas of interest and that is whether you would continue using a particular album which came to you with one of the collections, or whether you would want to get a specialized album. The threads here on what album is best (and afforable) for what area are interesting and might be helpful. Same would go for catalog. As an example, there is a discussion of Germany that you might find interesting at http://goscf.com/t/18014.


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Posted 05/10/2020   11:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ramshomerfan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Jim... or years I struggled with how to store my stamps. I finally decided on Scott Advantage stock sheets. But Hagner also makes excellent ones. I'm not a Vario fan primarily for the reason(s) you indicated. Albums are great too, but I've always felt they limited my creative skill sets...lol. I know other philatelists who create their own albums. This is nice too. If your stamps are graded you can list this information under the stamp with any provenance if desired. This is basically the route I've chosen but with the Scott Advantage stock sheets. Plus the fir in the National Album just right. Well good luck and enjoy.
Chris
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Posted 05/11/2020   10:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JasTwister to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Angore, I appreciate it!
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Posted 05/11/2020   10:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JasTwister to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Dale, I appreciate it!
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Posted 05/11/2020   10:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JasTwister to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks BFRomeos!
Yeah, I was never fond of "Chicagoland!" Except for four years spent in Evanston, I pretty much of my life in Chicago. Chicagoland always sounded rather pedestrian to me.
JIM
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Posted 05/11/2020   12:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome!!
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Al
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Posted 05/11/2020   1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Walkman82 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jim and welcome to SCF. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Dante Alighieri, Inferno.

I'm an intermediate US collector or nearly everything but revenue stamps (although I do have a few revenue areas I find interesting). I've been collecting for 46 years, since I was 10 years old, and grew up in Southern California and Nebraska before spending 20 years in the military. I started seriously collecting again in 2009 and have been spending my days learning, researching, and "playing with stamps" (as my wife puts it) ever since. While I focus on general US stamps, my first love is collecting plate number coil (PNC) stamps. I'm also the webmaster for the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club (www.pnc3.org).

I design and print my own pages as I've found that to be the easiest and most convenient way to collect my way. I'm currently in the process or creating some tutorials on designing your own pages and will post them to my website as they are completed. My entire collection can be viewed on my website, www.scottsstampcollection.com.

I don't know why, but there's just something about stamps in general that makes my passion for collecting flare up. I've often thought about expanding my collection to include other countries, but have resisted taking the plunge so far. I'm no expert, and certainly not as knowledgeable as some here on the forum, please feel free to ask me anything. Once again, welcome!!

Scott
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Posted 05/11/2020   1:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Jim. If you have grills that already defines a certain level of US stamp. Which issues do you have?
The good news is that this is not a race and questions that occur do not have to be answered all at once. I would think, that in addition to choosing countries to collect I would be figuring out whether you wanted to collect used or unused and if the former whether a particular kind of cancellation and if the later, og/NH, og hinged, or unused no gum. For myself I prefer og over unused no gum but the latter is fine with me if well centered. NH is not worth the premium to me as a collector. If I were an investor I would probably feel differently. For used I prefer either SON or CDS town cancel—but this is me talking in 2020; in the 1990's I had not formulated these preferences quite so precisely.

The other issue of course is your budget. In that regard, central/Latin America and South America offers beautiful engraved stamps from the classic era that are downright cheap. One could say the same for Portugal in the 1920's.
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Edited by funcitypapa - 05/11/2020 1:38 pm
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