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Recent Experiences - The Good And The Bad

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Posted 10/21/2020   11:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add knick1959 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'll start with some good experiences. And this makes my 50th post ... which is good. Right? Would you be surprised to know that my bad list will be longer? Nothing terrible, but it will likely be offered in several separate posts to this thread.

I've been collecting stamps and coins for a long, long time. Pretty dormant in stamps for years until recently. I've assembled my WW collection by buying a healthily populated Scott Part 2, then the same in a Part 1 and built on these (I have pages to 2015 now). I was buying other filled albums, taking what I needed and passing them on. Then country collection lots. I still have a massive backlog. While researching what to do about my smaller US "accumulation" and waiting for an album decision, I decided to pick away at my WW mess with some great surprises.

I had purchased a Part 8 "recently", during my time off. Not sure what inspired me. But it was long enough ago that I had forgotten about it. I pulled it out to merge with Part 8 from my set and was THRILLED at how many spots I filled or upgraded. I found my eBay purchase email and this wasn't cheap (one of the large eBay resellers - NS) but it was well worth it. And I still get to resell the remaining set.

This album was obviously picked through before but there was certainly plenty left. I'm assuming others build their collections in a similar manner? I used to only add to my keeper albums placing new under the old. More recently I've been swapping the upgraded stamp back into the remnant album so as to pass it on to the next owner.

Very happy with that experience. I then looked over the mess I have and saw a white plastic bag with pages inside. Seemed like the obvious next thing to clean up.

This was a collection of Germany on pages (not sure the MFG) from 1982-2004; pretty thick and well populated. But so is my collection in a combined album set for these years. Once I got into it, tho, this turned out to be extremely productive. I found almost all of these new stamps way better (light, minimal cancels, for example) that what I had and filling almost all of my holes at the same time! What a great acquisition! I'll have to try to match this up with evidence of a purchase but I have a feeling this was a quick show purchase with no paperwork. I'm not always good with tracking these and I should be better.

Remnant pages near the end, where I was light on existing examples, are now bare. I have a very short list of single stamps I need to make this year range "complete" for me, at least as far as Scott's spaces go. There is still material left to "share" but I'm in no hurry.
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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 11:18 am

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Posted 10/21/2020   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
But wait! There is more - almost forgot.

Working through the Germany collection on pages, I started noticing many SOTN / bullseye cancels. As I progressed, it became obvious that the original collector had a strong interest in these. For one, the SOTN cancels broke with the overall theme of light/minimal cancels. But often there would be a mint or extremely lightly canceled primary example with a SOTN duplicate behind it. I've been actively collecting/accumulating these, so it was like a big bonus. I should have counted but didn't ... I likely added between 1 and 2 dozen examples to my hoard (I still should be able to count as they should be at the top of my new "stack" - 21 examples + ones I mounted into my album).

Walking through album after album while building my collection allowed me to pull tons of SOTN examples. This set was way too concentrated to be random; the original collector was specifically seeking these out too.
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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 12:36 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   12:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some are faint but easily readable "in person". Since I unstacked as found, they should be in mostly date-issued order but not guarenteed:

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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 12:41 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   1:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll make the first "bad" a short one. A mistake on my part.

I mentioned I've been around awhile but dormant for a long spell until recently? I made some use of the StampsToGo website when previously active. I had my Part 2 (since it was my first, it also seems to see much favor from me) nicely populated (old count says over 11k, 17k for my Part 1 - these are filled spaces and don't include duplicates or loose items). I decided to try to fill in a few more items using this web site. I don't believe I did a ton of business there, but I remember I was happy with the results.

A short while ago I needed a few individual US stamps so I went there again and found my old account still intact. I looked for the C18 I needed for my airmail set and found a nicely priced MNH example. No image. After emailing the seller, a nice older (aren't we all) guy it was obvious I needed to snatch this up. I added to my order a short list of commemoratives I needed to fill holes (THAT story is still to come) and placed my order. Shipped quickly.

After awhile I started wondering where these were. To make an already long story less-longer :), I never checked the shipping address on-record with StampsToGo. It was my home address that I left some 8 years ago! Crap.

These haven't shown up at all. I contacted the seller (who I think was under the impression I was trying to get my money back; I fixed that notion quickly) and I contacted the current owners of the house. They claim to have not seen anything, and how am I to argue?

So I lost out and a wonderful example of the less common C18 is likely gone. In a way I hope it didn't just get thrown out and may continue life as a collectible. I'll likely never know.

My address is up-to-date now. I'll have to watch and make sure any of my "old vendors" don't also have an "old address". I also have a nice C18 from another source; still light on some commems but that's easy to solve.
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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 1:14 pm
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89 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The Trouble with Mounts

And another bad, although the net result was a positive ...

So I'm used to starting or extending my collection by buying other collections. I had US stamps in 3 Liberty albums in various shapes, and some other riff raff. Some early Scott pages, mostly blank. While making a decisions on which US album to use for the long-term (I chose Mystic's hingeless). I was browsing at the same time on eBay looking for additional material to use.

I found a nice Heritage album nicely filled; some early issues but not as full as the 30's and past. This is a commemorative only album; no regular issues. The presentation was beautiful; black mounts that all seemed to be right for the stamp within. I wondered if I could use these pages as-is. Alas, my decision was to not.

I won this. Seller was another volume eBay seller who's name came up in a recent forum on questionable bidding - PS. I paid more than I thought I would have to, but less than my max, and the underbidder wasn't very clever ... I guessed his max bid and it was exactly what I thought it was.

Received the album and it IS (well, was) beautiful. Once my first couple of Mystic albums arrived, I started migrating over to it. Went fairly well although I was taking my time, studying each page as I transfered. But wait ... what's this?

These were split back mounts and I had hit a snag. A stamp was stuck in the mount and quite stubbornly. As it turns out, this wasn't uncommon. When this happened, both the top and the bottom of the mount were affixed to the page and I'd have to try and get the stamp out the side. On occasion I'd just slit the top of the mount. Fortunately the number of alleged MNH stamps that were no longer was low in count and value. Still, it was heartbreaking to see a beautiful, pristine stamp stuck like this. The mounts were beautiful, but in this case proved quite destructive. I'd estimate 20-30 (low cost) commems ended up with some level of marks on the reverse.

This happened on various pages all the way to the end. It certainly wasn't consistent, thank god. I've never had this happen before and I hope it doesn't again. I don't know if the previous owner had added these himself, or if it was an owner before him, or if he was the only and had learned the proper way to do it over time. But my beautiful collection was marred by some over zealous mount moistening.
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584 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   3:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thx for sharing
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Edited by funcitypapa - 10/22/2020 03:19 am
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89 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   3:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
> Knick: respectfully, is there a point to this?

Thanks for the reply.

I am simply detailing some recent experiences. This is what I often do. Sorry if you find it uninteresting. I'm not making anyone read it. But I do have more. Stay tuned, just out of time for right now.
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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 3:22 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   3:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's kind of sad that someone who buys mounts doesn't understand (or care about) the practical physics of using them.
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466 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   3:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My takeaway from this is the fun in the reading. Chasing the tale, if you will. I enjoy reading other's experiences, knowing that there is no expectation of an answer to something. Thank you Knick.
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Posted 10/21/2020   4:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Knick - I'm also enjoying reading about your experiences. Not sure why others have to comment if they have no interest - I skip over plenty of threads that don't pique my interest without feeling the need to comment. Looking forward to more.
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I find it entertaining as well. Some folks have to comment. I used to share recent purchases and a couple of people felt a need to jump in just to criticize them. Or when people express anger at the nature of a thread. Change the channel. Kind of like ending up on a porn channel, watching for five minutes and then complaining that you saw too much. Or tuning in to MSNBC and complaining that it is too liberal.....
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the support, guys. I just received some depressing news. I was looking forward to this weekend's CuyLorPex show close to me. It's been Covid-Canceled. Ohio's statistics are bad!

I have another post or 2 to make. For my smaller observations, I'm likely to bunch some one or 2-liners in single post. Then perhaps I'll ask a question or 2 as some are in my mind. Can I finish this evening? I'm sure some other thoughts will pop in after I think I'm done. I have to be careful with the next one; it's again a "mostly positive" experience, but I have some gripes.
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sometines SON cancels look CTO to me. Are all CTO cancels minimal, or are some "favor" cancels SON?
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Posted 10/21/2020   7:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've purchased half a dozen or so partial Part 1/2 collections over the past couple years and in each it was obvious that someone had picked through them at some point. Still, I've ended up with quite a few stamps added to my collection. I'm not sure such a thing as a truly unpicked collection exists anymore.

Dale
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Posted 10/21/2020   7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knick1959 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

My New Hingeless Albums (and ... people writing on perfectly good album pages)

Background: So I mentioned having some Harris Liberty Albums in "previously owned" condition. Varying conditions but ONE of them is also beautifully filled with nicely trimmed black-background mounts. I have NOT checked any of these for abusive mounting and I'm a bit anxious. I will try this soon, but.

My original thinking was that this nice Liberty album would be my keeper. Afterall, gobs of spaces were beautifully filled, many mint and I shouldn't, but I'm assuming, never hinged. Additional Liberty binders and pages are dirt cheap (relative to Mytic Hingeless part, at least). In fact, when I bought this album for dirt cheap, my wife, also a collector but way less serious than me, want this for herself. No way! It would sit on a shelf forever or until she retires (which now isn't so far in the future!) But I wanted it and I decided to buy it ... she's not going to call dibs on MY album. At this point she doesn't even remember this. I do.

I'm looking over my holdings and I really wanted to use the Liberty album, buying some things to extend it (including some black-backed Hawid mounts). Taking a close look at this, there was a ton of writing, some on almost every page. Lightly and in pencil, but it was still unacceptable for a keeper album. I tried, carefully, a pencil eraser (on the end of a pencil) and was not satisfied. So I bought one of the highest rated erasers Amazon offered. It did much better but I can still see the marks. And there are tons of them (mostly catalog values). All over this otherwise beautiful album. So I decided this wouldn't do, although still a treasure-trove of material. It was obviously (to me) a dealer's holding where he was offering onesies to his customer. And some are missing, but not many (some empty mounts).

A request from someone who often appreciates the pristine (reusable) album page as well as the stamps on them? Please don't write on the album pages unless they are deemed otherwise unusable. I know, I know, "you own them", but I have already not pbid on a couple of sets even TODAY that I would have if there wasn't obnoxious writing on them. I'm not overly picky, really.

Ok, I'm finally to my decision to buy the Mystic Hingeless. I like the idea of hingeless and I like the open-top style of the mounts. I AM losing out on the black background; I really like the look. Anyway, I ordered the first 2 volumes over a month ago and have been picking at additionals over time. I have one more I want/need (up until 1999) but I'm in no hurry for this one.

I love the albums themselves. The pages are thick and nicely printed, the deluxe binders seem fancy (remember, I'm coming form the context or building on second-hand albums, although I do have some new Scott Jumbos in use). As I mentioned before, I've been swapping over stamps and have had a few minor nits to pick:
  • The binders ring assembly have no open tabs on the end. You have to pull on a ring to open and the other 2 seem strained ... like you may cause separation issues.

  • I noticed pages catching slightly on the joint of the top ring of one binder as you turn the pages. Hoping this isn't an overall issue. I can work with one binder, but if it is an overall thing?

  • One mount popped off the page on slight touch. I was able to easily and more permanently reattach.

  • I found one mount to be completely missing. I have Hawid mounts and will assume these are close enough to match. Haven't tried yet.

  • Certain stamps seem to be ... thicker paper maybe? and the mount doesn't lay flat but open at the top like the stamp is acting like a wedge. In particular my early J stamps are doing this. Most lay flat ... I'm hoping this settles over time.

Overall I am happy with these. Time will tell. I did buy an extra binder so I can collect all of the airmail sections in one contiguous place. Hopefully the page-catching issue is just an oddity. We'll see.

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Edited by knick1959 - 10/21/2020 7:51 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   7:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
shermae - although there are no hard and fast rules, one thing I try to remember is that the post office (any post office in the world, likely) cancels the stamp so it cannot be used again. CTO cancels are put there to allow the postal admin to sell a stamp for less (which may be where the market is) to a collector. Presumably, the collector wants it to look nice, so CTO's tend to look nice. OF COURSE, a postally canceled stamp can have a nice cancel, and OF COURSE a CTO stamp can have a cruddy cancel. A nice postally used stamp is probably much more likely than a cruddy looking CTO stamp.

If you can't tell one from the other, you are not alone. One way is to look at a million of an issue and you will begin to see similarities and differences. If you see a bunch that are cancelled in the lower left corner from the same town/city (and especially with the same date!), well, you've got a bunch of CTO's most likely. Another helpful source is that some of the catalogs will tell you if you can expect a CTO, or at least warn you of the existence of them for a particular issue, or country, or era. There are sources out there that list some of them, too.

If you ask me, CTO's have gotten a bad rap. The argument is that they have not been postally used. I get it, but still.
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