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Massive Stamp Collection

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Valued Member

United States
19 Posts
Posted 03/29/2021   8:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add serf_tide to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My brothers and I have inherited our Dad's stamp collection. Unfortunately, he did not use software and we have 3 ring binder after 3 ring binder filled with stamps. Over 30 of them. He collected my entire life and I'm 56. I don't know anyone who has knowledge of stamps.

My biggest question: Is there software that will take a picture of a stamp, match it to the known Scotts number and catalogue it?
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Posted 03/29/2021   9:31 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome.
Google image search is an effective online ID tool. It might not get you a Scott number every time but gets you plenty of sites to ID and also includes eBay 'sold' links which can be a better indicator of market value than a catalog.
Don
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United States
129 Posts
Posted 03/29/2021   9:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobbyT to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I haven't heard of any such software serf. The best you can hope for is StampManage, but it is merely a type of spread sheet for recording what you have.

It sounds like you have a lifetime of work to catalogue what you have. Libraries check out the Scott catalogues, or you can buy on line versions of them, but they won't catalogue for you. I doubt anyone will ever be able to scan a stamp, other than truly common ones, and have software identify it. The subtleties are too fine for even your best scanner - and someone with vast philatelic knowledge would have to enter all the information in any case. Not likely to happen.

My question to you is whether you and your brother wish to become collectors? Or do you just want to dispose of your father's collection?

BobbyT
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364 Posts
Posted 03/29/2021   10:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Serf, do you have any clue as to what you inherited just in terms of age/country/region and so forth?

I'd suggest putting up some scans and/or high quality photos of what you know or think are the oldest stamps if you'd like some advice. There are many collections of stamps that have lots and lots (as in thousands) of stamps that are worth (literally) pennies per stamp, and a rare few collections that are quite valuable; and of course everything in between.

Some visuals would likely help get you steered in the right direction as there are plenty of experts here.
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United States
19 Posts
Posted 03/30/2021   06:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add serf_tide to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My Dad has Scott catalogues with things highlighted. Other than that, we don't really know. I'll get some pictures and post them.
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United States
144 Posts
Posted 03/30/2021   09:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There's an app in the iOS store called Stamp Identifier, that does a good job, if you have an iPhone. It may exist in the Google Play store for Android phone, not sure.

Take a clear picture of the stamp in the app, crop it to eliminate perfs and margins, and 8/10 times it will give you the correct stamp. I don't believe it's good enough to identify color variants (blue vs Prussian blue) and the like, but it will at least give you a place to start. Quite handy.
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Posted 03/30/2021   10:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 03/30/2021   10:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The amount of time you may want to invest may depend largely on what you and your brothers wish to do with the collection - and the value of your own time.

Do you wish to retain everything?
Do you wish to retain a small portion (a binder or two) most representative of his favorite items?
Do you wish to liquidate everything?

Coming up to speed on someone else's lifetime collection can take many years. There are many common and rare stamps which are look-a-likes except to the seasoned collector. To paint broadly, in sorting the wheat from the chaff, 95% of the value will be in about 5% of the items. And the items with the most market value may not have been the most interesting items to your father.

I would recommend contacting the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte, PA who can put you in touch with several dealers/collectors in your area who can take a look at the collection in a few hours and give you an idea of what you have. There may be a modest fee involved if you get into a formal appraisal, but this is a small amount to pay for their years of experience.
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Posted 03/30/2021   2:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A couple of representative photos from the three ring binders will permit us to guide you and also tell you the likely value of what you have. Page after page of common stamps is unlikely to yield a diamond in the rough whereas a single high value stamp may be the tip of the iceberg. We're there any expertizing certificates in the collection. I would post a few photos here first before seeking out dealers and the APS.
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Canada
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Posted 03/30/2021   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Over 360 views and they can't make a third posting?
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my best friend has four legs
and a soft pillow
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United States
61 Posts
Posted 03/30/2021   7:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldboldandbrash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They'll probably end up posting the whole thing on eBay for 30,000 with 2 pictures of a room full of binders. Stamp sorting can be so difficult and time consuming, especially when you have no particular interest or eye for them.
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Edited by oldboldandbrash - 03/30/2021 7:57 pm
Valued Member
United States
19 Posts
Posted 04/05/2021   9:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add serf_tide to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Got some pictures of his "catalog" system. This represents 21 of his binders.

Here is the link on my Google Drive:

https://drive.google.com/drive/fold...?usp=sharing

It should be open shared. I have the pictures of the room in the house that has binder after binder. 3 trunks that we haven't even touched.
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United States
19 Posts
Posted 04/05/2021   9:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add serf_tide to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I took one of his plate block notebooks which is not one of the binders listed above. These are a whole sheet of the same stamp repeated. They are under the A1 folder.
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Posted 04/05/2021   10:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I viewed your photos. While your effort is appreciated it leaves more questions than answers. The St. John's Newfoundland stamp, if genuine, could have some value. Most of the photos are of his notations regarding Scott numbers and how many blocks or sheets there are. The vast majority of noted stamps are semi-modern and modern Face value stamps. They would sell for the most part at a percentage of their face value. That said there appears to be a large amount of face and their could be some more desirable items amongst it all. Again though, for the most part, it would sell as discounted postage.
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Canada
1135 Posts
Posted 04/05/2021   10:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For the safety of the collection, whether valuable or not, I recommend that you take down or block out the address in any images that contain the location of the collection. Never display addresses as you may inadvertantly invite unwanted guests. You never know when a pair of eyes with bad intent may be lurking. Most household insurance only covers $1000 in collection value, unless the owner purchased other if he wanted to protect the collection if worth much.

Mike
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Edited by No1philatelist - 04/05/2021 10:18 pm
Valued Member
United States
19 Posts
Posted 04/06/2021   08:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add serf_tide to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good point on the address. That address does not house the collection any more, but your comment is well spoken. I thought that the sticker might give a clue to what was in it.
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