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New Member

United States
0 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   8:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Aec7465 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
First I would like to thank everyone in advance for any help, tips, and tools! I recently inherited a few stamp collection books and as beautiful as they are, I don't know what to do with them.

My real issue is a complete lack of understanding. I am completely inexperienced with the terms, values, and rarity. I don't plan on buying a mansion anytime soon, but I do feel like some of these stamps could be worth a start up nest egg. At the very least, an appetizer at Applebee's. I know the easiest and most accurate way to get the stamps valued is to take them to a certified collector in person. I live in a small town of 3,000 and it's a very long drive to anyone who would be certified. But I would like to get a better understanding of what collectors are looking for.

For example, I have a 1902 Benjamin Franklin 1C stamp. Watermarked USPS perforated 12. Some websites mention it having a large value, others are the more expected $2.00+ type value. The edge perforation is perhaps a little worn. I'm not sure if its hinged or unhinged, minted, unminted, gummed or how I would describe it. I tried to google the terminology and it went right over my head lol. I'll post pictures, and hopefully someone can help me identify the classifications! Thanks again, and I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

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Valued Member
Canada
288 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   8:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add XNBer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi and welcome. I don't have a catalogue for US stamps; but, a quick and dirty way to find values is Google. I did it for your stamp... and, saw it listed at 25 cents. That is without including the perf or watermark which may change the value.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
678 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   9:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A mint (not "minted") stamp is an unused, perfectly preserved stamp which bears at least some of its original gum. Mint never hinged (MNH) stamps are mint stamps which have never had hinges affixed to them.

Since this example of Sc #300 has some sort of cancel or other mark on it, it's not mint. And if not mint, then it's been used. And if it's used, then it doesn't have its original gum. Which mean it retails for about $1 give or take. This one looks bent as well, so less than $1. A MNH version would sell for about $10.

I'll be the first to offer you this: the odds that you've stumbled upon a great hobby are 100%, while the odds that this inheritance will give you any kind of nest egg are very, very slim. That just realism speaking. For every 10,000 people that think they have found something worthwhile, maybe one of them is right.

I'd suggest checking your local library for a copy of the Scott catalog (multi-volume, just borrow the one(s) for the relevant countries). Spend a little time trying to identify what you have; you don't need to be super thorough. Catalog value is anywhere from 2-10x of actual market value, so don't let the catalog mislead you.

Also, use stamp tongs (not your fingers or tweezers) to handle what you have. On the chance you really do have something good, you don't want to damage it.

Welcome to philately.
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Edited by classic_paper - 05/16/2022 9:38 pm
Valued Member
Canada
493 Posts
Posted 05/16/2022   10:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi there and welcome. If 'some websites' include Etsy then you need to turn and run. Fantasy prices from people that don't even know that stamp catalogues exist. Really.
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my best friend has four legs
and a soft pillow
Pillar Of The Community
United States
963 Posts
Posted 05/17/2022   01:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome! There is a coil version of the stamp that you are showing us, and it has a significant value. Your's is not the coil, but the run-of-the-mill issue. This 1c Franklin was the standard stamp of the era for postcards and other low-cost mails. There were billions (this is a guess, but an educated guess) printed and used. Because your's is cancelled, it is used. This used stamp has a very small value - the book value is 25c (the minimum that the Scott Catalog lists, which means it is very common and in reality has a value less than that).

Anyway, my point was that you may have seen a big number for the value - it was either an overly inflated value of this stamp, or perhaps the value of the coil stamp with the same design.

You will see this if you buy on eBay, or other online markets. People will put a price of, say, $10,000 on a stamp that is actually worth more like 5c. Nothing says they cannot do that. They are hoping to hit that one big sale. They hope to find that one idiot out there who has more dollars than sense. So:

A) Don't fall for it if you are buying.

and

B) Don't use those sale prices as value guides. If they never sell their 5c stamp priced at $10,000, it is not a $10,000 stamp in anyone's eyes really.
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Valued Member
United States
350 Posts
Posted 05/17/2022   04:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome!

Dale
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United States
10547 Posts
Posted 05/17/2022   05:52 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Some websites mention it having a large value...


Welcome.

Some websites use fantastic values as 'click bait', publishing philatelic pages with 'rarities' and large numbers is a proven way to generate more website traffic.

Unfortunately, these folks are often not around to explain that stamp collecting is more than 'rarities' and hitting the lottery. Nor are they around to properly setting expectations on what the hobby can deliver day in and day out as a great pastime.

You can learn more about your stamp, and the different varieties of it, here https://stampsmarter.org/1847usa/19...ntifier.html
Don
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
663 Posts
Posted 05/17/2022   11:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wkusau to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You should use the glossary, on the upper left of all pages of this forum, for any stamp related definitions.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
533 Posts
Posted 05/18/2022   8:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Asc7465,

Collecting for the enjoyment of collecting, whatever that might be, is the name of the game. Don't hesitate to ask questions especially if you need basic information and especially more advanced sources of information for any possible topic. You should be able to find folks on this board a little further along on their collecting journey glad to share experiences. Russ
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