Monthly Archives: August 2018

  1. On Goodness

    Image result for rowland hillFew people today understand the technical revolution that the invention of the postage stamp produced. In many ways, stamp invention had as great an effect on 19th Century communication and commerce as computers and electronic communication has had on ours. Ease of contact facilitated business and social interaction. Business was enhanced. Newspapers and book readership increased as it became cheaper to deliver texts to readers. Social barriers fell as the lower classes could communicate with relatives and have access to employment and commercial opportunities that had been denied them. And the inventor of the postage stamp w

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  2. A Remarkable Coincidence

    Image result for travelStamp Dealers travel quite a bit for business and as a young man I did my share. One evening some thirty years ago I was visiting some clients in upstate Pennsylvania to purchase their stamps. It was getting late and as usual I was getting lost. I decided to look for a hotel and the closest one was a tiny inn in the most north east part of the state- The Inn at Starlight Lake. The Inn was a popular summer and weekend vacation spot for New York City people but during the week in the fall it was quite empty. The rooms were tiny and the Inn was built around the concept that you sat around the fireplace in the evening and met the guests and your hosts. There were no guests other than me and soon

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  3. Why and When

    Image result for repairsOne often sees discussions concerning repairs on lower priced stamps. While collectors do need to be careful about repairs and alterations it is important to remember that stamps are repaired for a reason and that reason is so they can be sold as non damaged items at higher prices than they would be otherwise. Thus repairing a stamp is an economic act, not someone engaging in an esoteric activity. I say this so that you'll keep in mind the two questions that reasonable philatelists ask when they are examining an item for repairs; Why, and when? If a stamp has been in a collection for thirty years and was thought to be a cheap stamp thirty years ago why would anybody waste th

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  4. Iceland Parliment

    Image result for Iceland flagThe Althing is the parliament of Iceland and is considered to be the oldest Parliament in the world (though whether this is "continuous" or not is subject to some dispute). But the Icelanders are rightfully proud of their Parliament's longevity and have publicized it on two 1930 sets which commemorated the one thousandth anniversary of the Althings founding in 930. These sets have always been popular not only among Iceland philatelists and Scandinavian collectors but among all stamp collectors who like well designed and printed stamps and who like good value for their money. Iceland has always been one of those countries that has enjoyed great philatelic popularity despite limited internal demand for their

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  5. When Collectors Buy Stamps

    Image result for information ageRemember how you organized your day in 1970? Your clock radio alarm went off and you listened to a bit of news or some music while the percolator made coffee. The morning newspaper was at the front door and you read that before going off to work. At your office you did your professional tasks while looking forward to a date later that night with your Apfelbaum Auction catalog, or Linns, or whatever philatelic item would come in the mail that day. People's lives were compartmentalized and the change in this aspect of our lives is probably why you hear so little about conversations around the water cooler anymore. They no longer exist, as the Information Age has allowed us access to who and what we like, whenever we want. No more waiting to go home to read the news

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  6. Part Time Stamp Dealing

    Image result for auctionHaving a small business going into retirement can be a very nice part time activity. Using your collection duplicates and carefully adding to your stock can help you build an inventory that is salable and desireable. Here are few ground rules for making it work. First, stick to selling the stamps of one country or topic. Success in stamp dealing depends on repeat business and, since most collectors collect one or two countries, by only selling one country you maximize your chances of establishing a continuing business relationship with each customer. Second, have a presence on eBay. It's hard to overemphasize what a boon eBay has been to the casual and newer dealer. In the years before the Internet it could take decades to have the market penetration in stamp dealing tha

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  7. Stamp Sparking

    Image result for heartsAngie was in her early forties and had began collecting in a serious way after her husband died. She was in social service work, comfortable financial circumstances, and was an interesting and attractive woman. Will was a few years older, a widower, attorney and also an avid collector. Both would come to our office every couple of months and it took a bit of time for me to put together what a great a match this would be. Here were two serious collectors, each well educated, interesting and fun, of the same religious background and in similar places with their kids. What's more they both collected the same area-Butterflies on Stamps. It seemed like a match made in heaven and one afternoon when they were both at my o

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  8. Pink

    One area where the Scott catalog is inconsistent and unreliable concerns shades. Most stamps of the Nineteenth Century exist in numerous shades. The reason is simple. Ink colors were hard to match and when different printings of the same stamps were made, while the printers attempted to match the inks, there was no foolproof way of matching the color exactly from one printing to the next. The Scott catalog on US stamps attempts to list most of the major shades and usually they are listed as minor varieties which is what they are. But sometimes the shades are a bit more startling or glamorous and the early catalog editors made them into entirely

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