A Find

If you like stamps it can be a lot of fun being a stamp dealer. You spend all day going over stamp collections- cataloging, grading and researching philatelic material. Day in and day out, like most jobs, much of what we do is routine. The classic stamps where most of the value and interest of our hobby lies have been around for a century or more often in a score or more collections. They have been looked at by competent collectors and professionals and it is unusual to find anything of great value or interest that hasn’t been noted before. But sometimes you do. Last month, we were looking at an ordinary United States collection that had been left with us for appraisal. Our policy is to try not to give quick off the cuff offers to sellers without looking carefully and professionally at their stamps and this time that preference paid off. We saw a United States one cent 1851 which had been identified as a #7 (catalog value $150) by countless buyers and sellers for over 150 years. It looked to us like a #5A- a subtle difference in type but a significant difference in value as it catalogs $10,000. We sent it to the Philatelic Foundation for confirmation and low and behold the owner was $10,000 richer and we earned a larger commission and had perhaps the greatest philatelic pleasure-a significant find.

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