Displaying items by tag: rarest stamps

Monday, 06 January 2020 04:54

Catalogs and Your Stamp Collection's Value

It goes without saying that stamp collectors could not do without their catalogs.

Catalogs should be recognized for what they are--guides, not the final word on the value of stamps. Unless, like Stanley Gibbons Ltd. catalogs, the publisher is also a stamp retailer. It's great for collectors who quote high catalog value of their stamp collections to non-collectors--the value impresses, while the collection's owner knows that he spent significantly less than the figure from the catalog he bandies about.

Sometimes catalogs are overtaken by events. Imagine catalog publishers trying to keep pace with the rocketing values of the stamps of China and India, two current stars of the stamp collecting world, thanks to ever-increasing demand.

A casual look at asking prices (eBay is a good casual barometer of stamp value) will show that there is a very large discrepancy between catalog value and realizations.

Sentiment Affects Stamps' Values

There are many factors impacting a stamp's value. One of those that the catalogs can't gauge until the market sets the tone, is sentiment. The values based on sentiment can be a mercurial thing. Think of the Princess Diana stamps and how they reacted to the attention cast on them by the tragedy of Lady Di's death. Prices of the Charles and Diana wedding stamps took a jump and then settled back into a more reasonable price range.

More recently, there was the blip of interest for the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's space flight in the Friendship 7, an event commemorated on a 4¢ stamp issued upon Glenn's return to earth in 1962.

As regards the Glenn stamp, there is an aspect that catalogs do not record--the impact of first day covers on a stamp's valuation. In a strict sense, considering the small number of first-day covers in relation to the entire stamp issue there shouldn't be a correlation.

Value of Stamps on Cover

While many catalogs, including the Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers list a number of first-day covers issued, what it cannot gauge is how the FDC interest impacts the value of mint stamps. Scott's Specialized will also give you a value for stamps used on cover up to 1940. These listings are, of course, beloved by collectors of postal history, as it gives them a guide for the value of their collections. The selling prices of these items are often closer to catalog value than the stamps themselves.

Today's Potential Cover Rarities

This should be a warning for those who think the collection of modern postal history is a dead end. Collecting current mail is a useless activity; it may turn out to be just the opposite. In fact, collectors may someday find themselves looking at rare items that are today just mail. After all, stamps are seldom used on mail: when they are it is almost an anomaly.

Some enterprising philatelic publisher could do well by producing a catalog showing the number of stamps used on the cover and offering their values--only as a guide of course. It is beginning to look, in 2012 as if these will be as rare--perhaps even rarer--than classic stamps that were issued in much fewer numbers than current stamps used on covers. Interestingly, stamp collection seems to have come full circle, and with rarities being created right under our noses.

Source: thesprucecrafts.com

Published in News

The list of the top Chinese stamps, sold on public stamp auctions during last years.

1. $474,000, 2009, Hong Kong. The large version of The Whole Country is Red stamp, two times bigger than the original one, was sold in 2009 in Hong Kong. The stamp, issued in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution, has a printing error. The map was not colored properly and was stopped selling and returned from post offices. Only a small quantity went to collectors.

2. $333,382.00, 2009. The 1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar Surcharge was a revenue stamp used as a postage stamp after being surcharged with the “One Dollar” wording. It was the first surcharged stamp during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). Only two sheets of 50 stamps were surcharged. The surcharge size was too small and was replaced with a bigger one. Only one used stamp, cancelled with the PaKua cancellation, is know now.

3. $276,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1925 surcharged in red on second Peking printing 3 Cts on 4c slate-gray, surcharge inverted error, used.

4. $172,500.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. 1923 surcharged in red on first Peking printing 2 Cts on 3c blue-green, surcharge inverted error.

5. $138,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1896 unsurcharged Red Revenue stamp, 3c red, perf. 14, never hinged.

6. $120,750.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen New York Print $2 black and blue, variety center inverted.

7. $115,000.00, December 2010, Cherrystone. China 1915 Hall of Classics First Peking Printing $2 black and blue, variety center inverted.

Source: mystampworld.com

Published in News
Sunday, 21 April 2019 05:19

Most Valuable Stamps - SBC (VIDEO)

Let's countdown the most interesting valuable rare stamps out there today.

This video explores the rare stamps that go for thousands and millions of dollars... such as the Inverted Jenny, the One Cent Magenta, and the Treskilling Yellow.

Source: exploring stamps

Published in News
Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

Spain's Dos Reales

The Dos Reales of 1851 – whose error of colour is well known as Spain’s most rare stamp – has had a strange existence. Although the value was needed right from the start of issuing stamps for Spain it wasn’t considered necessary. In 1850 the Spanish government preferred to print first the cheapest values (6 cuartos and 12 cuartos) and higher values to entertain regular correspondence with Belgium and France. Almost every stamp depicted the head of Queen Isabella II, who reigned from 1833 for 35 years.

It is Spain’s scarcest stamp, especially on cover or as single in good quality. In 1996 a perfect mint single was sold for $23,200 US and a good used copy is anything between $12,000 to 15,000 US. In 19th century Spain dos (two) reales – the cheapest registered letter rate, for Portugal – was normally paid in cash until the decision was made to introduce the Dos Reales from January 1, 1851.

First usage
The Dos Reales stamps of 1851, 1852 and 1853 had no use for foreign certified mail except for Portugal. Spain simply didn’t have much to do with Portugal if it wasn’t official mail. Only covers of approximately seven grammes qualified for the Dos Reales rate. Most covers were over this weight and contained heavy legal or commercial documents. Thus surviving covers of that time are franked with larger postal values.

The postal authorities were very optimistic when they ordered 13,600 Dos Reales to be printed in 1851 – 80 sheets of 170 copies each. They only sold 3,394 copies and had to burn the rest. It became law to send inland registered letters with Dos Reales in 1854. The 12 reales of 1851, Cerdena (rate eight reales) in 1852, Prussia and Austria (rate four reales) in 1852, or Belgium (rate eight reales) in 1853 increased the use of the Dos Reales.

All stamps were typographically printed from 1851 onwards abandoning the previous lithographic system. The Dos Reales were printed in sheets of 170 pieces and the complete issue was just valid for the 12 months of 1851 – January 1 to December 31. They used always the same paper although there are two notable different shades – the orange red and the dark orange or vermilion (which is much more rare and more expensive).

Existing copies
It’s difficult to know exactly how many of the 3,394 Dos Reales sold still exist. The expert D. Francesco Graus claims he knows 56 unused copies and 68 used ones – a total of 124. There are about 150 copies of which 40% are unused and 60% used.

The error of colour is due to the fact that one ‘die stone’ of the Dos Reales was placed by mistake into the printing plate of the six reales blue of 1851. It is without doubt the rarest stamp of Spanish philately and nobody knows of more than three copies. They were discovered in 1868, in 1886 and the last one in 1899.

The first copy is a used one with large margins cancelled with a black spider postmark. This copy was discovered in England and was in important collections such as Westoby, Ferrari, Hind, Dupont and Perpia amongst other.

The second copy appeared in 1886 and is apparently the only unused copy. It was sold to T.K.Tapling and lodges still in the Tapling collection in the British Library. Its margins are not as generous as the first copy but nevertheless a fine copy.

The third, and last discovered, is the best of the three and is part of the vertical pair together with the Seis Reales blue. So the famous two BLUE of which the upper stamp is the error of colour with the face value ‘DOS REALES’. The pair has good large margins and has a neat black spider postmark leaving the face of Queen Isabella entirely free. This pair was discovered by D. Antonio Vives in 1899 and was soon in the collection of Ferrari who had already the first one. The French Government, through an auction house in Paris, sold the two errors of colour (one and three) to another famous collector – US millionaire Arthur Hind.

Since the initial discovery of Mr. Vives, this famous pair had known several owners before the well known stamp dealer D. Manuel Galvez bought the pair in 1954 and ever since his death this piece has been with his heirs.

Source: My Stamp World

Published in Rarest stamps
Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

The ‘Abnormals’ stamps

A few GB stamps from the reign of Queen Victoria were rare from the outset – these are known to collectors as ‘the Abnormals’ because they were printed from certain plates which were never put into regular use. These stamps were produced by De La Rue between 1862 and 1880 and they arose from the practice of De La Rue submitting to the Board of Inland Revenue the first six sheets of stamps produced from each plate. These stamps were imperforate, but gummed and watermarked. The Board retained one sheet as the Imprimatur (Latin for ‘let it be printed’) and the other five sheets were either destroyed or returned to De La Rue who then perforated them and put them into circulation in the usual manner.

Normally these five sheets would be exactly the same as all the others produced from the same plate, but sometimes plates were modified or scrapped, or a change was made in the colour used for the normal printing. The resultant stamps from the five sheets were therefore classified as ‘Abnormals’. Only a dozen types of Abrnormal have so far been recorded.

Maximum figure
Bear in mind that five sheets amounts to 1,200 stamps, but that would be a maximum figure, depending on how many sheets were actually put into circulation. Most of the Abnormals are expensive in used condition, though they regularly turn up at auction and fetch sums in the low thousands – mint examples are definitely rare. Some of these stamps have acquired epithets, like the 3d ‘with dots’ (£17,000) or the 9d bistre ‘hair-lines’ (£7,000). Incidentally, the 9d was once a highly favoured stamp, but in the past half century it has tended to slip down the league table compared with some of the others, which points to the existence of rather more mint examples than was originally thought.

Other high fliers in this group include the 1s deep green (SG 91) quoted at £12,000, the 1s green Plate 14 (SG 150) at £14,000 (only five used examples recorded), the 4d vermilion Plate 16 (SG 152) at £14,000 (only 11 used examples known), and the 10d pale red-brown on Rose watermark, Plate 2 (SG 113) at £15,000. The latter stamp, from Plate 1, gives rise to an error rather than an abnormal, for this stamp, printed on paper with the Emblems watermark by mistake is one of the truly great rarities. No example of this stamp has been recorded so far in unused condition, and of the 13 used specimens, no fewer than eight bear the ‘C’ obliterator – indicating that a part sheet at least had been despatched to the British post office in Constantinople. This rare stamp is currently catalogued at £15,000 in used condition only.

The Tyrian Plum
To the Abnormals may be added the celebrated 2d Tyrian Plum of May 1910. This stamp arose because of a desire to economise on stamp production, as a result of which denominations which had hitherto been printed in two colours were re-issued in monochrome. A new 2d stamp, printed in this distinctive purple shade instead of green and red, was in production at the time of King Edward VII’s death and although a few sheets had been printed by De La Rue it was decided not to proceed with it. A solitary example is known on cover, addressed to the new monarch, George V (a noted philatelist) on the very day of his accession, which just happened to be the 70th anniversary of the Penny Black, and this is still in the Royal Collection. A handful of mint specimens subsequently leaked out and appear in the saleroom from time to time, justifying their current catalogue price of £14,000.

Published in Rarest stamps
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