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Popular Ways To Collect Moderns For A Newcomer?

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Valued Member
United States
66 Posts
Posted 12/01/2022   5:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jmgi2022 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
New member here, and to stamp collecting in general. With a tiny budget for this kind of stuff, I'm thinking that I would like to start by collecting all the U.S. issues that appeal to me from the self adhesive era, since they will likely be the most inexpensive ones, and then go from there. My question right now is, how are most moderns collected today, singles, plate number blocks, sheets? Or does it even matter? Thanks!
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United States
237 Posts
Posted 12/01/2022   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldboldandbrash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's however you like to! I've seen singles sheets no diecut press sheets booklets, the world is your oyster. Mint used anything goes. However you like to collect there will be a dealer out there that can provide. Do expect to pay many times over face for anything except ultra moderns which can be bought at the post office today. I worked for a dealer who broke up sheets, sold strips from sheets, sold singles from booklets, who sold blocks of 4. I personally collect sheets just so I can have all designs intact as well as the selvage and borders, but of course this will always cost more considering duplication. Much to consider
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United States
66 Posts
Posted 12/01/2022   7:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jmgi2022 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks oldboldandbrash, I thought you would say something like that, lol! Excuse my ignorance of all the terminology right now, but ultramoderns are stamps that are still being issued today and sold at P.O.'s? It doesn't appear like collectors know how many stamps of a particular design were made, is that right, or not? Thanks!
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Edited by jmgi2022 - 12/01/2022 7:07 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
3169 Posts
Posted 12/01/2022   8:03 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
USPS announces quantities printed in the Postal Bulletin. Commems are almost never reprinted, so those quantities are correct. Definitives are usually reprinted and they don't announce reprint quantities, so the total printed is unknown to us.

If you want to start cheap to get your feet wet, try the 3c-5c issues of the 1940s-60s.
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United States
38 Posts
Posted 12/02/2022   12:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jdtrue66 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well Sheets wont be cheap and as you expand can become very expensive and almost impossible with older issues. Used is cheaper then new and block plates with numbers are more than just blocks. But other than just cost what looks good to you? The most popular by shear numbers are singles. Most albums unless you buy a special one like for blocks will be singles.
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United States
99 Posts
Posted 12/02/2022   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RXC to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Almost all US stamps of the 1940s to the 1980s are readily available in MNH condition at prices near face value. You can fill a lot of album pages and learn a lot about the hobby as well as US stamps and history at a very reasonable cost. The current rate for a mint "forever" stamp is 60 cents, you can get a lot of 3, 4, 5 cent stamps for a fraction of that cost. And at those prices you can afford to make the mistakes we all make as beginners.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!
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United States
59 Posts
Posted 12/02/2022   12:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add YbT to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am with RXV, go for some with a bit of age, I think they look nicer (nicer printing techniques) and MNH they are cheaper than new stamps. Plus, they have a bit of class. Don't get caught up in the USPS games of pop culture stamps, many variations on the US Flag, and the like---unless that tickles you, then go for it!
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123 Posts
Posted 12/02/2022   12:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will reiterate some of the excellent points made as well add my own.

RXC is correct you can get Mint Never Hinged stamps from the 1940's thru the early 1980's at very affordable prices with the cheapest being those from 1940 - 1960. When I get these I like getting plate blocks - not too large to make storing cumbersome but more attractive to collectors than getting just one stamp. A plate block of four will be four stamps together with a number indicating the plate from which the stamp originated. I like bardo stamps and sellers on stamporama for excellent deals.

You can also get at affordable prices stamps from after 1927 - 1940, mainly the commemorative stamps. There are a few pricier ones but still nothing expensive.

From 1980 - 2007 there remains plenty of stamps you can get at an affordable rate --- I like to get old stamp commemorative books (and for some years definitives).

For stamps after 2007, the prices go up due to postal rates and that production runs are less than they are for those before 1990 overall. I suggest contacting the postmaster at the Oneco, CT post office as they have a philatelic desk - one that sells stamps to the public and to collectors. To save money on modern commemoratives ask for a strip of 5 with the plate numbers or half a pane. Low denomination stamps in pane and coil formats are fun to collect and not too expensive.
Get a pane of 20 for stamps you really enjoy. To splurge ask the Oneco, CT post office or call USPS philatelic desk to get one of the Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail stamps - although high denominations, a single from each should total less than $40. Other options are to get at the USPS the High Value stamp packet .

Finally, set a yearly budget and then break it up by month. Try to target what you collect as you will still want to check many items and this will help you reign in spending or make you aware when you are overspending. Also, when you buy from stamp dealers be sure to ask for stamps to be used. You can get some nice used stamps from them --- also inform friends and family of you interest in philately and sign -up with post-crossing.com to exchange postcards sometimes, you may get some nice used stamps - both domestic and international while not spending too much money.
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Posted 12/02/2022   12:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RXC the best way to get those stamps in MNH is to buy an existing collection. Those stamps, even by bought individually or by years, you will overpay even at face value+shipping. There is no shortage of them, and the entire 20th century after 1940s could probably be had on the cheap. Look on eBay for US collections for this type of material.

Obviously if you want to go out and buy things individual and collect over time, you can - but you will certainly pay a premium buying effectively .03-10c stamps for a good number of the years.







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Edited by rismoney - 12/02/2022 12:08 pm
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United States
66 Posts
Posted 12/02/2022   5:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jmgi2022 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to all who have replied to me, lots of good suggestions to consider! I like the idea of collecting plate block numbered stamps, they just look appealing to me, and they are much more scarce I assume than singles of the same stamp. After looking at some prices for mint stamps from the 1940's, for example, its amazing to me that they are still so inexpensive after nearly 80 years, there must be many thousands of panes of these still around!
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Edited by jmgi2022 - 12/02/2022 6:07 pm
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Posted 12/02/2022   6:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes. I would highlight that if a stamp remains the same diminimus value for 80 years, chances are it will not improve in value for the next 80.
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123 Posts
Posted 12/03/2022   11:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rismoney -- I disagree somewhat. It depends on the amount produced but I will concur that since production amounts skyrokected as early as the mid 1920's for US stamps through the 1980's, it will take a hundred or two years for them to accrue a significant premium. This is more reason to get stamps from those years - but ones to be enjoyed first, investment being a distant third. Some of the stamps from these decades were produced in such large quantities they are much like the bronze coinage of late Roman antiquity which some can be bought for $20 despite their antiquity.
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Posted 12/03/2022   12:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The production levels were so high, that its statistically near impossible that demand will ever outstrip supply and the valuation will become more of a storage cost associated. Worse yet, they are all valid postage. I doubt 100 years will make a difference (barring a major earth event), or some reversal in stamp popularity a la a beanie baby trend. There are plenty of stamps from the 1800s that ain't worth squat due to availability. Only when you have something, someone can't easily get somewhere else does value increase.
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United Kingdom
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Posted 12/03/2022   1:08 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The only current example of previously cheap stamps jumping in, and maintaining, price is that of China, where pretty much any old thing will sell on eBay. Most countries have an over-supply.
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269 Posts
Posted 12/03/2022   1:54 pm  Show Profile Check DC3's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add DC3 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have fun creating maxicards!
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Posted 12/03/2022   1:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You may want to give consideration to purchasing a large lot as opposed to smaller groups or singles. You may blow the budget on one purchase, but you will get more bang for your buck and a lot of fun out of processing it. One of my favorite auctions for inexpensive large lots is Modern Stamps on Stamp Auction Network (SAN). A link is below. You will rarely spend more than a couple of hundred dollars for a ton of good quality stamps. Will keep you busy for a long, long time.

A couple of examples from todays auction:


Quote:
ACCUMULATION, 1935-94 Period, Couple Thousand Mint Stamps & P# Blks. (in Mounts on Pages), Mostly 3 c. to 29 c. Values, Sound Cond., OG, MNH, F-VF, Face Value is $256.00


SOLD FOR $160


Quote:
COLLECTION, 1954-86 Period, About 550 Total Items, Mtd. in 2 "Lindner" Hingeless Albums (18-Ring), With Slip Cases, Includes Many Bklt. Panes, Coil Line Pairs & Coil Strips, Mostly 13 c. to 20 c. Commemoratives, Includes 2 Sheets of "Birds & Flowers", OG, MNH, F-VF, Face Value is About $219.00


SOLD FOR $140 (The albums are worth more than that!)

https://stampauctionnetwork.com/D/D506.cfm
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