Latest user responses
- 2015-07-29 Keijo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? @Gerben... Once a gain you raise an interesting point when stating
... once the interest is there.
Does it really have to be so? I mean, people (both kids and adults) pick up new hobbies without any prior interests. All they need is that something to spark the interest. And for that 'something' starter kits could be one possible alternative.
Like stated a number of times, the stamps should be made more easily available. These days unless you walk into a stamp store (almost extinct) or buy stamps online (very difficult if you're underaged), there is very little (hardly any) chances to come across with (worldwide) stamp packets etc. collecting related items.
Stamps and collecting stamps are no longer part of the ecosystem kids live in.
Some still do it. For example postcrossing is mostly populated by youth, and they've got roughly half a million folks around the world sending 750 postcards per hour day after day throughout the year. Quite many of these postcrossers do 'collect' either postcards or stamps, but not the 'traditional way'.
- 2015-07-29 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Raúl,
as said on the introduction/presentation of my exchange, I don't do topical or country specific exchanges on this swap of mine. Sorry.
all the best,
- 2015-07-28 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? Keijo
You once again triggered an interesting discussion. I would say that the cost of getting started is not what prevents kids from collecting stamps. Even the starter kit you propose can easily be brought together through presents for birthdays and Christmas - once the interest is there.
I tend to agree with those that commented that kids are not confronted with stamps anymore is a key factor. As has been said when I first started collecting, stamps were all over the place and easy to come by. Just ask family, friends, neighbors to save their stamps for you and you would be secured of a steady stream of new stamps. Not so these days......
Another element I would like to ring into the discussion is that when I started collecting in the late 1960's half of my class in school would collect stamps. It was a 'cool' thing to do. You would pick up the hobby from a friend who had picked it up from an older brother - yes, mainly boys would collect stamps - and so on. Not so these days......
Stamps and collecting stamps are no longer part of the ecosystem kids live in. And so I should think that people won't start collecting until the have matured and decide for themselves what their ecosystem should look like. Which is exactly what I did when I returned to stamp collecting at the age of 30 after a break of 15 years.
- 2015-07-28 Raúl Caetano wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Keijo
I'm a beginner. I'm from Portugal and I'm looking for used stamps from the theme "Europa/CEPT". I offer some used stamps of Portugal, Azores, Madeira and other countries. Are you interested in exchange? Have you a want list from this coutries?
Raúl Caetano from Portugal
- 2015-07-28 Keijo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? @Phil...
Kids will spend $60 on a computer game, $300 on cell phones $10-$20 a month and music and video services
Kids will spend money on absolutely anything if allowed ;) But in the end it's often us parents that pay the bills & keep/set the limits where money is spent. Despite being father of five, I'm still not sure if it's tail wagging the dog or the other way around, LOL.
I just think it’s going to take more than dropping off a big bag of CTO, 2p Machins and Franco stamps at the local elementary school to revive this hobby.
Agree. The kids (and adults) of today need the media involved. Something fun like 'Logo quiz' (very catchy mobile game) but with stamps.
- 2015-07-28 Phil Boyd wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? Very interesting article and good comments. But I don't necessarily agree that it's the cost of supplies that keeps kids away. Kids will spend $60 on a computer game, $300 on cell phones $10-$20 a month and music and video services ....... I spoke to a kid that figured that he had spent $900 in in the previous 6 months on a game on his cell phone. I don't think money is an issue.A couple of people noted that stamps just aren't being used anymore and I think that has a lot to do with it. Nobody sends letters anymore. The vast majority of stamped mail I see in the USA are those butt-ugly Forever Stamps that you can't even get off the envelopes anymore. I honestly can't remember the last time I received mail with a commemorative stamp on it. I would love to share my passion of stamp collecting. Believe me when I say that I honestly have no personal knowledge of any other stamp collectors in my life. My kids weren't really interested growing up. I'm hoping maybe my grand kids will be interested but I'm not optimistic about it. Supposedly there is a stamp club in my city. The only way I know about it from an entry on an obscure website about a stamp show they will have in the Fall in 2015. There is absolutely no contact listed that I can find. I don't know. I try to share my interest when and where I can but by and large, not many people are interested. Sure they are polite about it but no one is running to any stamp shows with me. I just think it's going to take more than dropping off a big bag of CTO, 2p Machins and Franco stamps at the local elementary school to revive this hobby.
- 2015-07-28 Allan Ward wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hi Keijo,
once again, many thanks.
- 2015-07-28 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Yet one more scan of unidentified stamps from Allan with lovely note "You've helped me clear up about 4 years of accumulated puzzles." :)
IMHO these are
1A Batum British Occupation (plenty of fakes around)
1B Spain, Charity seal used to collect funds for Zarazoga school rebuilding (sin valor postal = no postal value)
1C German charity label for Search and Rescue Service; there are at least 8 different ones (I've got two)
2A Spanish State (Franco's Spain), late 1930s
2B Hamburg private mail stamp 1863; likely a fake
2C Afars & Issas (currently Djibouti)
3A Norwegian charity label against cancer
3B Spain, postal tax stamp
3C Uruguay, late 1930s
4A Taiwan, mid 1950s
4B Central Lithuania, postage due, likely a fake (check the perforation)
5A Label, no idea of origin (except French postmark)
5B Italian revenue for town of Villa Franca
- 2015-07-27 Cathy wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? My cousin's oldest is in 2nd grade this coming year and I think I am going to see if she might have an interest. The Wisconsin stamp club site had a PDF for a little stamp book that is an appropriate size for any of the American Girl dolls. I printed it up and will send it with some loose stamps from the countries on the pages. One can hope...
- 2015-07-27 Keijo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? @Max... Thanks. Charts like this help to put things into a perspective (and the output is definitely pretty scary).
I was almost weeping when Bill wrote (few comments up) that regular US postage is 'still' 49 cents. In Finland the cost of single new issue/stamp is about threefold (and increasing).
- 2015-07-27 pablo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? It is not a high cost. I 've started with even less material. The problem is today kids don't see stamps in real life: Very few letters arrive to people's homes, and even fewer of them have any stamps on them.
- 2015-07-27 Max wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? Yes, it is. In some countries (like Romania) the very high face value of new stamp issues makes kids unable to buy new stamps. There are also some countries (I think France could be an example) who have a too high number of new stamps issed each year. So a collection for a single year costs too much for a kid.Four years ago I wrote a short article on my blog regarding this subject. I used the tables offered by Michel with yearly values for each country. Then I made a simple graphic. It is shown below. The post can be read here (it can be translated in any language using the button on the upper right side): hope this can be a good answer to your question.
- 2015-07-27 Keijo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? @Miquel...
The main difference between now and the old times is that nowadays kids don’t see stamps in their real life,
Except those poor kids of collectors ;) But true, it's hard to become interested of something that is non-tangible in day-to-day life.
In fact, I presume (and assume) that ours is a fading hobby (no tears, anyway).
I wish/hope that there's always the next generation coming (thinking what's happening with other collectibles such as books, vinyl records etc). But even in worst scenario, I'd think in words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. "
I think that a child’s interest and attention span should be considered when promoting the hobby, not how to train him or her how to be a professional.
- 2015-07-27 Bill wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? I became interested in stamps back in the 40's when an aunt gave me her beginner collection and a one volume Scott catalog. It belonged to both my brother and I so very soon we each received a small soft cover album with pictures of many of the primary stamps from around the world and spaces for others. I was most fascinated by all the countries and the brief write-ups of each of them. My brothers interest soon waned but I continued. Several people including family members and neighbors saved stamps for me. An older French woman who lived down the street gave me envelope after envelope of French stamps. I wish I had them all now, I bet there were some that today have value. In addition I used my ten cent weekly allowance to purchase approvals, advertised on match book covers and every comic book. Then there was trading with friends, that's when my excessive number of French stamps came in handy. Eventually I was given a "real" stamp album which is still around somewhere within the family. Everybody used hinges in those days and I don't think we were concerned with perforations or watermarks, we just wanted to fill the spaces.
I think that a child's interest and attention span should be considered when promoting the hobby, not how to train him or her how to be a professional. Cost is relative, today there are lots of cheap stamps available on the internet and through trading with others. I used to spend three cents to send a letter, now it is forty nine cents and rising. We as adults should not be mandating what and how to collect anything, it is the collection that counts and the child's interest in it. Where do we think all the "heavy hinged" stamps we encounter today came from?
- 2015-07-27 Miguel wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? The main difference between now and the old times is that nowadays kids don't see stamps in their real life, I mean, there are no stamps incoming home from mail. When I was a kid there was a continous flow of stamps in the postbox every day or week, and was a starting point for collecting. I still receive an amount of mail either at work and at home, but only collector's covers carry stamps on them. In fact, I presume (and assume) that ours is a fading hobby (no tears, anyway).
- 2015-07-27 Keijo wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? @Philip...
...bearing in mind child protection issues and procedures
Yet another hurdle for the 'knowledge passing' to bypass, sigh. Sometimes I even wonder how they managed to survive back in the old days ;)
...perhaps they could suggest what we collectors could do to help them?
That's a really good/valid suggestion... Very likely there are plenty of points we collectors can't even think about. For example I once thought of giving away a bag of damaged stamps as 'crafts supplies' to pre-schoolers, but it turned out to be "no-no" due to health hazards. Possibility of mold/mildew, spores etc. doesn't really sound that good, LOL.
t took me nearly 3 or 4 years to discover that such thing as Scott or Michel do exist.
Same for me, LOL.
Nowadays, kids have the internet and don’t even need to invest on “how-to” books. They can easily find online some pen friends to send each other covers.
This is something we'be been trying to talk our kids into, but it's complicated... Our oldest kid just came back from Spain where she was participating 'a EU cultural exchange programme' with other kids of her age all around Europe. Now she wants to sign up on Facebook to keep in contact with some new friends. Feeling a bit sad as she's definitely not into 'traditional messaging'. Kids. Sigh.
Isn’t it fair to say that nowadays stamp collecting is even cheaper than back in the 80’s?
On some parts at least... Shopping around (for stamps & accessories) is definitely easier and cheaper than ever.
- 2015-07-27 Ray wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? I also started stamp collecting in the 80's. There was always a book about stamps sold in most of the book stores, one day I bought one of these. It wasn't Scott nor Michel but a simple book about stamps in general with lots of pictures written for teenagers. I remember being excited looking at the topical stamp section with color pictures, then it had "the most bla bla" section (like the oldest stamp, the biggest stamp or the most expensive stamp and whatsoever...). The book was very well written to grab teenager's attention putting technical stuff like "how to soak stamps" on the back of the book. It took me nearly 3 or 4 years to discover that such thing as Scott or Michel do exist. My first investment was probably that book and a single stock book. I have collected them from letters that arrived to my house and my relative's house, so it was totally free. Nowadays, kids have the internet and don't even need to invest on "how-to" books. They can easily find online some pen friends to send each other covers. Isn't it fair to say that nowadays stamp collecting is even cheaper than back in the 80's?
- 2015-07-27 Philip Reynolds wrote on Is the cost of becoming a stamp collector too high for the kids of today? As you rightly state, stamp collecting (leading to philately?) can be an inexpensive or a very expensive hobby. Some children may just delight in a wide-ranging selection of 'cheerful' stamps, that should be cheap! Perhaps others can be attracted by a thematic collecting to enhance their other interests in, eg, sports, insects, horses, cars, and so on. Some Philatelic Societies can make up simple useful home-made starter packs, and encourage youngsters to join those societies (bearing in mind child protection issues and procedures) free of charge or with a minimal fee to promote membership. Some teachers run stamp clubs in schools, though they often have enough already on their plates - but if a teacher (or volunteer with scouts or other youth activities) reads your blog, and would like to encourage stamp collecting, perhaps they could suggest what we collectors could do to help them?, and what they might need? Stamp collecting can be a great interest and we should encourage young people: though of course there are fewer postal items going to their homes, as most of us use emails more and more. Best wishes, Philip
- 2015-07-25 Keijo wrote on How often do you view Your collection critically? And what actions do You take if You notice anything alerting? @Bill...
First I want to say I cannot get into The Premium Member articles. I I am sure I can give you an answer to your Liberia problem if I can read the article.
Hmm... I just gave your credentials a try, and all worked ok. So possibly a typo or similar. Anyway, I'm re-sending you the credentials right now (please check your email).
What is a “natural light ” lamp and which do you recommend?
It's a lamp that provides/mimics the characteristics of natural (sun)light. I think the official term for it is 'full spectrum light'. A lot of artists, graphical workers etc. use it because it lets you see colors accurately.
As for what I recommend... What I did was walked into a specialized lighting store, explained my situation and asked for suggestions. What they gave me was a $25 full spectrum bulb that I simply plugged with my old desk light. Very happy with the results... Different companies have different ideas about what constitutes a full-spectrum light source, but the key metric/identifiers (for accurate colors) are called CRI and color temperature(K). These are usually mentioned on the box of each light/bulb you buy. For CRI aim for value at range of 90-100 (the higher the better), and for color temperature aim for value in range of 5000-6000K
I also believe that with any large number of stamps, especially those coming from someone else’s collection, there is likely to be some unseen contaminates that unfortunately join our collections. Regular planned vigilance is neccesary.
So true. It's an never ending battle...
- 2015-07-25 Keijo wrote on A matter of color - identifying stamp colors accurately
- 2015-07-25 Bill wrote on How often do you view Your collection critically? And what actions do You take if You notice anything alerting? Hi, longtime! First I want to say I cannot get into The Premium Member articles. I I am sure I can give you an answer to your Liberia problem if I can read the article.
Now to the above. What is a "natural light " lamp and which do you recommend? As to flaws I do, as many have stated, keep looking for a better example. I bin almost anything with foxing or rust and try to carefully avoid purchasing anything with a flaw, especially now that I have most of the inexpensive stamps I need and am now purchasing the next level in value. There are a few exceptions. I acquired a couple of very expensive Togo stamps in a random low priced purchase. They are foxed, rusted, whatever. So I keep them in a glassine away from my stock books and other stamps, but I keep them since I well never replace them unless I win the lottery. Before storage I soaked them in alcohol and will check them in the future for further contamination. I also believe that with any large number of stamps, especially those coming from someone else's collection, there is likely to be some unseen contaminates that unfortunately join our collections. Regular planned vigilance is neccesary. Tears, missing perfs etc. can all be upgraded but they are what you have until you find an improved replacement.
- 2015-07-25 Andrew wrote on A matter of color - identifying stamp colors accurately Hello Keijo,
Just a thought regarding colour names. My friend worked for J. & P. Coates of Paisley, Scotland. One of the major manufacturers of cotton thread for sewing cloth. They did not use colour names, everything was given a number. I seem to remember that it was a "B.S." number which means there is a list of colours somewhere to allow for comparison. Perhaps Brian might know about this,
- 2015-07-24 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about SCB newsletter Just a quick update that newsletter #12/2015 is being mailed to subscribers right now.
If you’re a subscriber but haven’t received your copy, please check your junk mail folder (and if you can’t find the newsletter there either, then try adding email@example.com to your contacts list and it will hopefully fix any delivery issues in the future).
- 2015-07-24 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Allan...My pleasure. These have been lots of fun.
- 2015-07-23 Allan Ward wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hello Keijo,
many, many thanks for your help. I am really impressed by your knowledge and speed in identifying the stamps. I have a lot to learn!
- 2015-07-23 TC wrote on How often do you view Your collection critically? And what actions do You take if You notice anything alerting? Although I am very new to stamp collecting as I'm going through the current collection and placing the stamps in categories accordingly by country, any I find that are not in good condition I am putting aside to use in my artwork: mixed media - though this is more with creases and tears if there was one with an actual bad issue like foxing or spots I would probably just throw it away.
- 2015-07-23 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? And yet one more email / bunch of items from Allan for quick id...
1A - Spain, 1941 unissued charity stamp (not in major catalogs; Edifil does list these)
1B - Nicaragua (1920s)
1C - Spain, postal tax stamp
2A - Bulgaria, 1920s
2B - Belgium, 1896 (missing the sunday delivery label)
2C - Macau, postal tax stamp
3A - Too small a scan/image to say anything conclusive except cyrillic 'posta'.
3B - Hungary, revenue stamp?
3C - Ukraine #1
4A - Georgia (1920s)
4B - Sedang, a supposedly Vietnam-related kingdom (but actually a bogus) from the 1880s
4C - A German cinderella/label (for Salvatorkolleg, Bad Wurzach)
5A - Yugoslavia
5B - Austria/Bosnia-Herzegowina
5C - Spain, postal tax or revenue stamp (similar design was used for both purposes)
- 2015-07-22 Allan Ward wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hi Keijo,
many thanks - you are quick! I'll be able to add some of those to my collection now.
- 2015-07-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Received another email from Allan with a page full of 'mystery items'. Some nice ones in here...
And here's what I think these are from.
1A - Schleswig-Holstein (a German plebiscite)
1B- Occussi-Ambono; a bogus from the 1970s
1C - Austria 1858
2A - So called Ido Europa label. Printed in Prague 1961, and perforated in West Germany
2B - Bahrain, postal tax stamp
2C - South Africa (1993)
3A - DCS service label. Private courier label used on tourist greetings sent from Dominican Republic
3C - Hyderabad, a Indian Princely state
4A - Mexico, likely a documentary revenue
4B - Turkey, 1860/70s
5A - Hejaz
5B - Bolivia, late 1930s
5C - a sticker/label of sorts; likely for FIFA ;)
- 2015-07-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Allan... Of course ;)
- 2015-07-22 Allan Ward wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hi Keijo,
many thanks; you really are good at this! I've got some more for you! Up to the challenge?
- 2015-07-21 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Got an email from Allan asking about a bunch of unidentified stamps, and with his permission I'm sharing the image & response here.
First, here are the stamps:
And IMHO they are from:
1A - Liban (late 1930s)
1B - Jordan (postal tax stamp)
1C - Jordan (postal tax stamp)
2A - Angola (1940/50s)
2B - Liban (postal tax stamp)
2C - Georgia (1910s)
3A - Ethiopia (1930s)
3B - Azerbaidzan (1910s)
3C - Egypt (1946)
4A - Likely Turkey?
4B - Iran / Persia (1940s)
4C - Iran / Persia (1920/30s)
5A - Ukraine (1993)
5B - Belarus / WhiteRussia (bogus)
5C - Belarus / WhiteRussia (bogus)
Sorry if some years/decades are off. Just pulled these straight from the hat/stamps.
- 2015-07-20 Keijo wrote on About StampCollectingBlog.com @T.Chavis.... Thanks for the praise.
Re the "wanted section" for my exchange... What works best is taking a look at the 'my stamp collection' section and checking country and era specific statistics. The lower the completion percentage for the country & era, the more likely the stamps will add to my collection. As a general rule I can says that the more 'exotic and far-and-away the country (for example Vanuatu), the more likely it will add to my collection. But on the other hand I'm still missing thousands of 'common' stamps from France, Sweden etc. common places.
- 2015-07-20 Tom Geren wrote on A matter of color - identifying stamp colors accurately @Brian Jordan: I found your attempt to define a standard set of colors to identify stamps to be extremely interesting. I would very much like more information from you on the status of your project. I too think that some kind of a spectroscopic definition of a particular color would be valuable. But we would probably need some range of values for each color. I would like to see a product that could examine a stamp under pure light and return a color based upon a spectroscopic analysis. It sounds like that is what you are trying to do
Do you have a product now or do you expect to have one in the near future?
I plan on visiting the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte PA in early August and I hope to find someone to talk to about this very issue.
Again Brian, please keep me up to date on your project and product status. We absolutely need some kind of a standard color definition for each major stamp color that's out there. Perhaps based on scans from stamps in some reference library.
- 2015-07-19 T.Chavis wrote on About StampCollectingBlog.com Hello Keijo:I am really enjoying your blog - such great information for the newbie! Yesterday I bought a bag of stamps at a garage sale for $5 USD. I primarily purchased the bag due to my love of ephemera and my idea is to use some of it in my mixed media art. The stamps are from all over the world and very beautiful. I was looking at the stamp exchange - do you have a "wanted" section of countries/types you are looking for?I would be happy to send any stamps that are desired to a "good home" as my focus is not on money-making; I am just enjoying learning about stamp collecting and the history of the stamps themselves. Thanks for your time.
- 2015-07-18 Keijo wrote on Yet Another Epic Failure From Stanley Gibbons @Kat...
At the end of the day for us, collectors, stamp is a stamp, does not matter what value it has. It has a value to us.
So true :)
- 2015-07-18 Keijo wrote on The unusual stuff found on kiloware Hi Silvia,
and welcome back to 'worlds greatest hobby'. Hope you're having a blast with it ;)
Regarding the kiloware question.... There's often times a somewhat straight connection with the price and quality of kiloware. The questions you need to look for:
1) Is the contents mostly common (small) definitives or (large) commemoratives ?
2) Is the contents mostly common countries (US, UK, Germany, Australia and Japan) or something else?
3) From what years are the stamps from?
These are all about basic supply and demand. The 'scarcer' and more sought after the commodity, the higher the price.
For the 'lowest of low' (common definitive stamps from the 1960/80s; ie. dutch Julianas, US flags, UK Machins, Japanese insects etc) I would not pay more than 5-6$ per kg.
The usual 'stamp dealer mixtures' are something like 70% definitives and 30% commemoratives from the 1950-90s era. These usually average on 20-30$ per kg for common countries, and 50-100$ per kg for something more unusual.
Then there's 'crème de la crème' kiloware that is either highly unusual (such as PNG kiloware) or otherwise desirable (such as very modern commemoratives from recent years). These are often priced at hundreds, sometimes in thousands of $ per kg. Personally I see very little reason to pay such insane prices, because when/if you have patience to wait (years, possibly decades), the stamps will eventually come your way at much more sensible budget.
Hope this gets you going,
- 2015-07-18 Kat wrote on Yet Another Epic Failure From Stanley Gibbons I have been collecting stamps for years, but never actually had time to sort them out properly. Finally, I have bought myself SG catalogue and I am very dissapointed. Many stamps either have been put into the appendix, which is confusing, or have been missed out completely. At the end of the day for us, collectors, stamp is a stamp, does not matter what value it has. It has a value to us. I am glad I am not the only one who sees this as a problem and hopefully SG editors will realise their selfishness.
- 2015-07-18 Silvia wrote on The unusual stuff found on kiloware Hi Keijo,
I found your blog two days ago and now I can't stop reading and reading and reading and... :-)I started collecting stamps as a child (for a short while), but my family talked me a bit out of it. Don't know why, but they didn't like me to spend so many hours in a cellar room with nothing but small pieces of colorful paper, a bowl of water and a bundle of catalogues...Now I'm 32, have an autistic diagnosis, and I'm looking for a hobby that allows me to spend some time in a quiet room far away from all crowds, noise, stress... and I thought by myself: Something with small pieces of paper and some catalogues would be great :-)
I like everything that can be collected, categorized, arranged and re-arranged.The idea of re-starting with stamp collecting is not completely new, but at first I was a bit frightened off by the information I found on most websites, forums, blogs... All the people there seemed to be philatelists with a very "serious" motivation of getting a perfect and tangibly valuable collection - with all the necessary constrictions that come with that.That's not what I wanted, I simply enjoy the fun of collecting and of discovering the various illustrations of stamps. Learning more about philately will be great - but is not my first goal. So that's why I like so much what you do and I appreciate all the information you provide here without a "wagging finger".
I have one question concerning kiloware: I would like to buy some kiloware as a starting point and I have looked through ebay and some other ressources. Now I'm quite confused because the prices differ way more than I had expected. There is such a large range of products - and now I'm a bit helpless. Where should I start? And how much money should I spend for what amount of stamps? If you could give me just a rough range, I would be very thankful.
Greetings and best wishes,Silvia
- 2015-07-17 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Update on the exchange list... Received lots #40 and #41 on Wednesday. My thanks to both Allan and Miguel; found a good number of useful items from both lots. The responses have been placed on mail today.
- 2015-07-14 Keijo wrote on The story of Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria @Bill... I agree. I've always thought the portrait looks a bit like Jiggs (of Bringing up the Father) by George McManus, LOL.
PS. Sorry for dumping the link to your website on your 'profile'. It had some NSFW/adult content ( and I'm trying to keep the links on this site safe/friendly for collector of all ages).
- 2015-07-14 Bill wrote on The story of Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria Prince Luitpold portrait on the stamp is one of the best old gentleman look I have seen so far.
- 2015-07-13 Phil wrote on The real value of Elvis and other celebs on stamps - what pop culture on postage stamps has left us with? I am a lifelong collector of most every area (though I've never been much interested in Latin America). I was about 15 years old when the Elvis stamp was issued, and it was the first (and last) time I had seen that much excitement about a stamp. It was a little crazy.
Since then, I think collecting in the United States has suffered. It is seen as an "old" hobby and I am sometimes considered strange for being so into it. I think they would do well to issue more modern and relevant stamps as Britain, Canada, and Japan seem to these days. In the US, you must have died a number of years ago to even be on a stamp! So I think modern people and topics are the best ones.
- 2015-07-11 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Allan,
that is great news indeed :) Looking forward to a next batch....
- 2015-07-11 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? The one on the right is a poster stamp for Art and Industrial Exposition of 1897 in Stockholm. I've seen mint copies sold at few euros.
On the right you've got Göteborg stadpost (Gothenburg citymail) local stamp from April 1888. The complete series has got three stamps (1 öre blue, 2 öre green, 3 öre red) featuring portrait of king Gustav II Adolf who granted cityrights to Gothenburg in 1621. All in all the Göteborg Stadpost was pretty shortlived private local mail courrier as they went bankrupt in March 1889 (whereas their main competitor Göteborgs Private Lokalpost continued to grow and succeed).
- 2015-07-10 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hello Keijo,
a quick note to say your stamps arrived this afternoon. Many, many thanks, you sent me some really excellent stamps which I haven't got. I'll be posting another exchange to you either Saturday or Monday if that's OK.
- 2015-07-10 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Looks like I have a couple of Sweden cinderellas. Any thoughts on what they are? Thanks!
- 2015-07-10 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Update on the exchange list... Received lot #40 from Steven yesterday. Absolutely fabulous lot (take a look of those Mt. Athos stamps :) And rest of the mixture was very nice as well). Response will be placed on the mail in about hours time.
- 2015-07-08 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Rick... If genuine, without faults and properly identified, then you've got something very much worthy in there.
The 1877 series is about 1,500€ in Michel.
The 1881 series is cheap except for the 20 Franch stamp (Mint is catalogued at 30€, used at 200€)
- 2015-07-08 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Update on the exchange list... Received a bulging cover (#39) from Corne. It had gotten wet and bit bruised along the way, but fortunately everything was undamaged. All sorts of nice stuff inside :) I will be placing the response on mail later this evening.
- 2015-07-08 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? I ran across an (incomplete) series of Swiss telegraph stamps. I saw 7 sold on ebay for only $1.25 US and others are listed at a suggested price of $1-$5. I assume these are all pretty low value. Is there anything particularly interesting about these things (I didn't find much online)? Thanks! PS - I apologize for the large image but I thought seeing the whole album page might be helpful!
- 2015-07-07 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Rick.... Yep. Likely a result of long term exposure to light.
- 2015-07-07 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? This color difference is extreme. Scott's only lists the darker color. Is this just a changeling?
- 2015-07-05 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8 Hi Herb,
Sadly you're not alone with this question, and it's been covered time and again on the blog. See these entries (and especially the comments/discussions):
-Soak US – What US stamps you can soak, and what not
- Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them...)
In short there are two schools out there. First, there are those who advocate the use of chemicals (such as Ronsonol, Bestine, Pure Citrus etc) to get the stamp lifted. And then there are those of us who advice against use of any chemicals and recommend to wait for some 'scientific research' on whether or not these chemicals are safe to use. Either way, you're facing a possibility that the stamps might get damaged on the long run (either by the chemicals on the self-adhesive, or by the chemicals you've used to dissolve it).
- 2015-07-05 Herb wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8 My dad and I just subscribed to this great site and we have what may be an easy question to answer. How do you safely soak stamps off of envelopes, etc. safely, especially U.S. stamps?
The adhesives are giving us issues.
- 2015-07-04 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8 Hi Paul,
actually that's the way Israel collectors prefer their stamps. Catalog values etc. apply for stamps with attached 'decorative selvage', or as they say 'with a tab'; copies without the tab are somewhat close to 'toxic waste' (except for worldwide collectors, LOL).
The tab in itself is just a decorative selvage located right below the stamp. Many Israel issues up to the mid/late sixties had a plain selvage under the Tab and they are commonly referred as stamps with 'Full Tab' (whereas stamps without the selvage but with a tab are known as 'part or half tab specimens').
All in I'm not really sure what's the motive/history behind of collecting and using them 'as is'. In the end it's nothing more than a decorative selvage (or as Germans would call it, a 'zierfeld'), and there's no reason why it should increase/decrease the value of the stamp.
Hope this helps,
- 2015-07-04 Paul Thiessen wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8 So I was working through my Israel collection, and something I have noticed before about used stamps of Israel is that they have a much greater percentage of stamps with selvage attached than any other country. As I don't do anything with mint stamps, so I don't know if this has anything to do with the nature of the sheets they come in, or is there something about people that mail letters from Israel tht is different in that they keep the selvage attached to the stamps to a much higher degree? Perhaps you or one of your readers has something to say about this little mystery.......
- 2015-07-03 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Miguel,
actually it did arrive on todays mail and will be shipping back tomorrow (or actually on Monday afternoon when mail is collected). Found some nice stamps (as usual) and the cover was very nice as well (you'll be getting a minisheet in return as well).
Re, the Finnish summer... Actually Finland does have a summer, of sorts. It usually starts around midsummer and lasts till mid/end of August. Right now we're having somewhat hot weathers (28,8 °C degrees, relative humitidy of 29%) flowing from Europe. Very comfortable (though a few degrees less would be ideal)... .But if you head to northernmost parts of the country, there's still some snow left ;)
- 2015-07-03 Miguel wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 I always thought linking Summer and Finland was kind of oxymoron :)
We are under 35ºC degrees in Barcelona, with lots of humidity.
Bad for stamps and bad for collectors. Anyway, you've got another letter of mine looking for fresh air beside the Finnish lakes. Hope it gets to you soon.
- 2015-07-03 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Two lots, #36 from Allan and #37 from Sarah this week.
@Allan... Nice mixture of this and that as usual; especially Gibraltar stamps hit their way to my collection. Though I don't usually pick mint items, the Austrian facsimile sheet was nice and will end up to my 'fakes and forgeries' collection. Hope you enjoy the Estonian Mare Balticum booklet I put in return. The cover was sadly uncancelled (sigh).
@Sarah... Also a lovely mixture. Can't even recall when was the last time I came across with postally used North Korean stamps. So here's a :) :) :) Very nice cover (with nice cancels) as well. Came through very well without the CN22.
Responses to both will be mailed out in about hours time. After that I'm off to prepare and barbecue a family dinner (how I enjoy the summer... )
- 2015-07-02 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Thanks!
- 2015-07-02 Keijo wrote on Which stamps are worth money? Hi Richard,
you might entertain yourself with this article called 'Help, I inherited a stamp collection. What should I do with it?'
Hope you enjoy the advice it provides,
- 2015-07-01 Richard lewis wrote on Which stamps are worth money? i really could use help finding out about a stamp collection which me and my partner we left by her late grandfather. I'm based in the UK but really do not have any idea when it comes to stamp . Any info on where to begin would be a huge help for us
- 2015-07-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Rick... The top one is a propaganda label (from WW2 era if I recall properly). Worth a buck or two.
The bottom row items are reply stamps for military use. In words of Facit these are 'combination of postal stationary and a stamp for postage-free correspondence in both directions between military personnel and families at home. The military cover is intended for letters from the soldier while the reply-stamp is used on covers to the soldier'.
- 2015-07-01 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Here’s some items I'd love to get your help with -- thanks in advance!
Thanks in advance!
- 2015-07-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Rick... That's a Swedish charity/Christmas seal issued in 1909 by Svenska Nationalföreningen mot Tuberkulos (Swedish anti-tuberculosis society). The stamp was designed by Viktor Andrén. Worth few bucks.
- 2015-07-01 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Here's one I could use some help with (Sweden):
- 2015-06-28 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 @Corne... That is excellent news :)
- 2015-06-28 Corne wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Dear Keijo
Your return letter arrived with the large sheet, thank you very much! The envelope was damaged a bit, but the sheet came through undamaged!
- 2015-06-27 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 @Allan... Thanks for letting me know. Not sure about the Australia facsimile, but I think I'll know once I see it.
- 2015-06-27 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Keijo,
I just posted an exchange packet of about 300 stamps to you. I've added a facsimile block of some 1933 Austrian stamps. I don't know if you will want it, but I thought I'd include it just in case.
- 2015-06-27 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Gerben... That's pretty much what I was expecting.
Let's see if any other folks care to check their catalogs for these before I report these to catalog editors.
- 2015-06-26 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Keijo
You are certainly putting us to the test. I checked my Scot 2009 and SG 2012 and guess what: I drew a blank, not listed......
- 2015-06-26 Keijo wrote on Beautiful La Semeuse (the Sower) Hi Charles,
from the looks of it, this is likely an 'irregular dust speck flaw' and as such not listed in the catalogs (at least my very much outdated Yvert France doesn't list this).
I've displayed some similar items (on modern stamps) from here to here (and possibly on few other posts as well).
But still a VERY nice looking variety that will grab some eyeballs ;)
Hopefully folks with more recent editions (and especially Maury) will chime in as well.
- 2015-06-26 Charles Smith wrote on Beautiful La Semeuse (the Sower) Good Afternoon,
I have attached an image of a 5c Green La Semeuse type stamp (1907+), which I found loose inside an old album from an auction lot that I bought late last year.As you can see, there is a small circle to the upper left hand side of the 5 in the value, which I believe, on closer inspection, can only be associated with the printing of the stamp. Unfortunately, I do not have access to, or own any specialist French catalogues and would like to know more about this variety/error?
My thanks, Charles.
- 2015-06-26 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hello all,
Here's another unlisted 'mystery stamp' for which I'd need a bit of help:
This one is from Senegal, from the so called 'Senegal elegance' definitive series that has been issued since 2002. Again, the 2013/14 edition of Michel provides absolutely nothing about the 450 Franc stamp though plenty of other values are included. Also WADP/WNS has got nothing about the 450 Franc stamp.
I'd appreciate any of you folks with recent Scott, Yvert and Gibbons would check whether or not this is listed other titles? Based on the imprint, this has been issued ca. 2007 (but as the series started in 2002, I'd start from there).
- 2015-06-25 Keijo wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... ) @Rick...
I was wondering what you thought about the poster who suggested not using hot water, for example.
It's just a bad advice IMHO. Cold or even warm water does not work for stamps with this type of gum/adhesive.
Yes, the heat may make colors bleed more easily (especially if on dreaded red or bright yellow envelope), but it's a risk you'll have to deal anyway everytime you place something for a soak.
Can't even understand why somebody would use/recommend chemicals like Ronsonol for these, because these are very easily soakable.
the worst problem being the sticky adhesive that does not really come off.
When you've managed to lift the stamp, the adhesive either sticks with the backing paper or the stamp (it can swing either way, and there's nothing you can do about it). If it sticks with the stamps, pick the stamp out of water with hands and gently pinch/grab the adhesive layer (with fingers). Then simply pull/lift the adhesive layer off; it will usually peel very nicely as one piece.
- 2015-06-25 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Gerben... Thanks. Still looking for folks to check recent editions of Scott and Yvert for this.
- 2015-06-25 Rick Young wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... ) Actually, not wanting to look like bad student, I must tell you I did already read your post. I was wondering what you thought about the poster who suggested not using hot water, for example. Also, and issue I had was the stamps actually came off easy enough with Ronsonol, but the Aussie self adhesives are thin and so peeled and curled, with the worst problem being the sticky adhesive that does not really come off. so I am going to give water soaking another try, barring any others suggestions from this blogs posters.
- 2015-06-24 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? Hi Keijo
I checked my SG 2012, it's not in there. My Scott and Y&T are older so that doesn't help. I'm curious to know what will be the outcome of this search.
- 2015-06-24 Keijo wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... ) @Rick... Actually I've covered the Australian stamps on response #59
Based on my personal experience with Australian stamps, the recommended 30 minute soak is way too long. The paper starts to get mushy and you end up with damaged stamps. I usually leave the stamps in hot water for 4-5 minutes, and then start testing if they are ready to be 'peeled off' from the backing paper (just bend the paper/stamp from the corner - if it's ready, the stamps seems slightly loose, and you can raise it off with gentle and steady diagonal lift) . Usually I'm done with the entire lot in less than 10-15 minutes.
The essential factors are use hot (but not boiling water) + timing (you've got only about 10 minute timeframe to work with, and you must start immediately the stamps go into water) + and steady peel move (with fingers, not tweezers). I've soaked several kilograms of these, and haven't lost any since I found the 'correct combination'.
Another further tip... If they're on postcard pieces, then remove the 'top layer' (most postcards have a layer of plastic coating that prevents moisture absorbing through quickly enough).
- 2015-06-24 Rick Young wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... ) I am currently interested in removing used self adhesive Australian stamps from paper -- it's what I have been experimenting with lately. I was convinced by an article on this blog an a few I read online that one could use very hot or even scalding hot water to remove the stamps http://www.ebay.com/gds/SOAKING-RECENT-AUSTRALIAN-STAMPS-OFF-PAPER-SECRETS-/10000000000126970/g.html. Another article I read recommended NOT using really hot water but using room temperature water http://aussiestamps.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-soak-self-adhesive-postage.html. A third recommended doing one soaking, drying, and re-soaking http://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=5306. Other Stampboards posts recommend pure citrus (also at stampboards), and others complain that the odor lingers. Still others recommend using baby powder to counteract the leftover stickiness, -- others warn against doing so, or say to use only hypoallergenic (non-organic) powder!
So let me tell you my experience. Hot water worked for several, but I also ruined a few, because the stamp became too flimsy. I do recall one site saying to do the each of the two soakings for only 10-15 minutes and no longer, to prevent damaging the stamps. Anyway, frustrated, I tried using Ronsonol ligher fluid, which I have used on US stamps pretty successfully. The problem with that with the Australian stamps is some (but not all ) of them remained sticky. Any further observations or suggestions?
- 2015-06-24 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? OK folks.My turn to ask some help ;)
I've been working with Ghana stamps I've gathered over the past 6 months, and I've now stumbled with this Kwame Nkrumah centenary stamp.
It's nowhere in Michel. I'm using the 2013 West-Afrika catalog, but I did check the online catalog as well. Nothing.
I've found few online sales /references of this (and the other 4 stamps in the series), but none of them mentions any specific catalog numbers. Just vague "issued in 2009 or 2010". So my question is "Is this one listed in Gibbons, Yvert or Scott? And if so, with what details"
- 2015-06-24 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Sarah,
very likely it will pull through. The issues may come up only if the custom inspects the cover and believes it's value exceeds the treshold.
- 2015-06-23 Sarah Halliday Surace wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi,I made a mistake in mailing your stamps for exchange today. I forgot to put a customs form on the back of it. My apologies. The postman was in a hurry and and focused on selecting some lovely stamps for the cover. Should I plan on those stamps being returned?
- 2015-06-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada Hi Paul,
unfortunately the image didn't come through properly (it seems you tried to upload straight from computer/mobile, which does not work here. Instead you should upload the image on some photosharing service like photobucket, google+, twitter, facebook etc. and then provide a full link starting http into the image field).
Anyway, based on the description I'd say it's a favor-cancelled item and almost guaranteed to be of philatelic origins/nature; most likely a heavy parcel or registered letter sent by some stamp dealer / auctioneer (these vary in quality whereas collector-made items are usually with excellent cancellations). The Dec 0 on the other hand sounds very interesting.
Anyway, I'll be emailing you shortly.
- 2015-06-21 Paul Thiessen wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada Hello
I received an interesting item in an unsorted bag from Oxfam Canada. It is a book of self adhesive stamps that are already cancelled. Canada does not do any CTO and I doubt that this was done for the benefit of a collector since the cancellation quality is pretty poor. The date also just seems to say Dec 0. If you shed some light on this I would love to send you a booklet if you want one, I received 3 like this.
- 2015-06-20 Keijo wrote on Welcome to SCB Store @Annamary... Thanks for becoming a premium member of the blog.
When you paid for the membership, the system sent you two emails straight away.
The first email (with subject "Stamp Collecting Blog: Thank you for becoming a premium member") contains your login credentials as well as information on how to log in. The second email is just a receipt of your purchase.
Depending on your email settings it's possible that your email/ISP provider has automatically blocked or deleted the messages (for example AOL is notorious of the latter). If you don't see the emails on your inbox, then check the junk mail folder. If they are not to be found anywhere, then please give me a howl and I'll send you a copy of the originals.
- 2015-06-19 Annamary Kennell wrote on Welcome to SCB Store I am just trying to find out where to setup a newaccount. I paid premium membership today, but do not see a place to setup my account. Only to login after I have set one up.
- 2015-06-19 Keijo wrote on Men who changed stamp design forever @Gerben... I'll think about... This is one of those issues that is far easier said than done from technical perspective.
- 2015-06-19 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Men who changed stamp design forever Hi Keijo
Great post and a great idea to show the stamps thus enlarged so that we can see the details of the engraving. I have a small suggestion though. I think the designers were very much aware of the fact that the best effect of their design would be achieved at the size in which the stamps would be issued. So my suggestion would be to first present the stamps in the size in which they were issued and then 'zoom in' as you have done in your post.
Gerben van Gelder
- 2015-06-18 Keijo wrote on Q&A: US stamps @Jorma... No problem. Hyvää jussia myös sinnepäin Suomea :)
- 2015-06-18 Jorma wrote on Q&A: US stamps Thanks Keijo ja hyvää juhannusta!
- 2015-06-17 Keijo wrote on A Quick Review of Michel Russia Specialized Catalog @Pablo... Sadly not.
- 2015-06-17 pablo wrote on A Quick Review of Michel Russia Specialized Catalog Hi Keijo,
Does this catalogue include the Russian Zemstvos stamps?
- 2015-06-17 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Update on the exchange list... Received 'double-lot' #35 from Steven on Monday. As usual, some nice stuff all around the globe :) Will be mailing my response out today (and due to Midsummer festivities there will be no further updates on the exchange list this week).
- 2015-06-17 Keijo wrote on Q&A: US stamps Hi Jorma,
Never seen these, but considering the size and complexity of US back-of-book items I'm not amazed, LOL.
WFM was similar to Akava, PAM and other labour unions in Finland - here's Wikipedia article for them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Federation_of_Miners.
Based on the text 'due stamp', these were used to pay (membership?) due's. Here's some of your stamps on 'piece': http://www.workerseducation.org/crutch/constitution/wfmcard.html and http://www.pasty.com/reflections/id225.htm (very nice to see Finnish surname on this).
PS. Sorry for moving your question, but I thought it would attract more 'eyeballs' under the Q/A of US stamps.
- 2015-06-17 Jorma wrote on Q&A: US stamps Hi Keijo,I was wondering of these "stamps" I found from old envelope that I got from last finnish auction. They looks like as a stamp but I can´t find any informetion, pictures anywhere. I thin that WFM is some kind of local organisation in America but any information about these "stamps" helps me a lot - thanks
- 2015-06-16 Miguel wrote on Is a complete all-era worldwide stamp collection possible? Well, a worldwide complete stamp collection is probably beyond any reasonable chance of achieving it for even the most devoted stamp collector. I've seen some fellow commentators have detailed their way of dealing with the immense mass of stamps produced so far (and being constantly produced).
I have set a time-border in 1959 (included), and to that date I collect all stamps issued. From 1960 onwards, when stamp production starts to mount to nowadays' permanent flux, I only collect definitives and engraved commemorative issues. That puts a limit to the collection and also, due to the decreasing engraved stamps produced, makes me dream of being able someday of being updated.
Even with these limits a full stamps collection is, I guess, unachievable. But the fun is the same whatever the criteria chosen.
- 2015-06-13 Keijo wrote on Japan - Animal, plant and national treasure definitive series Bumb - article updated with images and information of the 2009-2014-releases.
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