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What to look for when sorting definitives?  
 

 
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Valued Member
Israel
278 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Hello
Finally I came around to arrange my USA collection.
What should I look for at low value (not face value) definitives the kind that a beginner has?
Color? Perf? Size fluctuation? I can't check WM unless it's visible to the naked eye.
Are there commemoratives that have variations?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
5040 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:25 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think the answer to your question has been answered quite a few times on this forum: EDUCATION. Read the catalogs, read stamp magazines, read the posts on this forum etc etc.
If you are going to be looking for variations you will need a specialized catalog.
I have a feeling other folks can add to this list,

Peter
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Valued Member
Israel
278 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Peter
I was thinking of beginners differences, like two sets that differ only in triangles at the corners, or having dark and pale green of the same set intentionally and not a faded stamp.
I'll try to follow a catalog, and start with the Stamp-Collecting-World site.
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Valued Member
United States
50 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StampsInWV3 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i look for perf errors, cracked plates, color differences, over or under inked stamps
I also look for special cancels. And If it feels right I'll throw into my book(s) a perfect centered stamp no matter how many of that stamp I already have.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
5040 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:57 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RobRoy, I see hat you mean. If you go by a catalog you will need a good perforation gauge ( for early definitives ) and a watermark dish. US stamps are notorious for watermarks that are hard to see under the best of circumstances so you ill need a small black dish and some Ronsonol or watermark fluid from a stamp dealer.

Peter
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Pillar Of The Community
1151 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   7:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampmaster to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Rob Roy, may I make a suggestion, go by your library and search the card catalog (or computer) to see if there are beginning stamp collector books available.

No sense spending money if you can gather the information for free!

Stampmaster
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4199 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   8:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RobRoy,
Stamp Smarter has everything you need to ID US definitive including various visual identifiers, articles and other tools which makes sorting your stamps easy and fun.
http://www.stampsmarter.com/1847usa/1847Home.html

I am unsure of why Stampmaster would recommend that you go to your local library when everything you need is available online. Do Israeli libraries have a lot of US stamp reference materials?
Don
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Valued Member
Israel
278 Posts
Posted 09/13/2017   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, guys, for the warm and caring response.
I don't expect to find errors and uniqueness. I have about 1000 different US stamps, and my goal is mainly to identify the different sets and arrange them accordingly.
I will most likely not see WM, differences in paper, or differentiate the type of printing.
I didn't know of the Austrian varnish bars, or Belgian Sunday tabs and train parcel stamps, or Italian Syracusean Coin smaller image, or African back-of-the-stamp adds, until I ran into them.
As for unique features in US definitives, so far I know of town pre-cancellations, and I assume there are more such features that are unknown to me.
You've provided me great links and guiding lines. Thank you again.
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Edited by Rob Roy - 09/13/2017 9:11 pm
Pillar Of The Community
1151 Posts
Posted 09/14/2017   4:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampmaster to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi, I was in Israel back in early 1970's, went to the library, and back then there was a Scott Catalogs, I did not ask if the library took part in the inter library program or not.

Today I do not know if they have any Scott Catalogs in the library over there or not.

Stampmaster
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1539 Posts
Posted 09/14/2017   5:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mkfarm to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lol

Can never understand when people can access this forum they never think about searching the web. There is just so much extremely great reference material you would never get at a library. Of course you might use their computer to search the web. The only library I can think of is worth a visit for stamp info is ASP.

STAMPSMARTER IS GREAT TO START WITH
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Valued Member
Israel
278 Posts
Posted 09/15/2017   05:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the tips.

www.stampmasteralbum.com wasn't as helpful as Stamp-Collecting-World and Stamp-Smarter.

As for libraries - the nearest one will most probably not have stamp catalogs - I live near a red-neck town.

So far I reached 1922 in my reorganization. Even without checking WM (all looked unmarked to me), paper type and printing methods (don't know how to check these two factors) - I managed to find several specimens of the same stamps, based on perf and color variation.
BTW, regarding my perf gauge, indeed it wasn't accurate and I needed to print it adding 1% to its size.

I did find two new interesting issues:
1) Can the same stamps in the same set be issued in different sizes?



2) Are there more examples of the same image issued in different postal types?

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Valued Member
United States
282 Posts
Posted 09/15/2017   12:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ekbustad to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
1) Yes, different stamps from the same stamp issue can come in slightly different sizes. Your example was probably perforated one row at a time and they did not shift the sheet the exact same amount between each row.

2) Also yes, although I don't have any examples right at hand.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
5040 Posts
Posted 09/15/2017   1:33 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RobRoy, one thing you can try. Mystic has a free catalog of US stamps, and I think so does Kenmore. See if you can get one of them to send you one. If not, send me an Email.

Peter
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Valued Member
Israel
278 Posts
Posted 09/15/2017   2:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Ekbustad and Peter.
It seems that my simplified Scott catalog simply doesn't include USA.
Peter, did you mean kenm who posted once at 2011? And mystic226?
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Edited by Rob Roy - 09/15/2017 2:34 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
5040 Posts
Posted 09/15/2017   2:43 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No. Kenmore and Mystic are two stamp retailers here in the States.
www.kenmorestamp.com ,
www.mysticstamp.com .

Peter
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Edited by Petert4522 - 09/15/2017 2:44 pm
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