Click To Go Back To The Main www.GlenStephens.com Stamps Homepage
 


Welcome! -  You are visitor number   hit counter    To - www.Glenstephens.com


.



August 2020

 




Bizarre Battle of Hastings

 

 

Some of the stupid things that one sees on ebay just defy description.  A 50p coin issued in 2016 is worth exactly 50 pence to anyone sane.  That excludes many mad bidders, who last month went crazy, and bid this junk up to £63,100.  Why?  As the seller of course described it as *VERY RARE AND CIRCULATED*.

 

*VERY RARE* - so it gets £63,100

 

That of course was the sealer - *VERY RARE* - and of course was to be believed, and the Bunnies went into a frenzy, making 41 bids, and drove this tip-jar clearly circulated coin, up to £63,100 - which is about $A120,000.  There were a number of bidders, most with high feedback, so it might have been legit - who knows?

This coin is not scarce, even in superb uncirculated, or even in polished proof condition - in fact, about 6.7 million of them were placed in circulation.  The sale of this coin got wide national mass media coverage in the UK, including “The Mirror”, “The Sun” and BBC’s Newsround and many more smaller news outlets.

The reverse of this coin was designed by John Bergdahl, and is inspired by the famous Bayeux Tapestry.  It was created to commemorate the day when King Harold II was defeated by William the Conqueror, leading to the collapse of the English army, and the so-named Norman Conquest.

 

“First BREXIT - and now this!”

  I am sure Her Majesty’s effigy on the reverse would look something like the one shown nearby, watching the madness of some of her loyal subjects!  A slew of similar ebay listings were of course made soon after, with the dreamers listing up their tip-jar coins, with multiple “Buy It Now” listings even at £50,000 and £60,000, the newspapers reported.  Hopefully no Bunny was THAT dumb!  

STAMPEX UK goes “Virtual”!

 

This COVID-19 madness has of course had a devastating effect on global stamp shows.  Near everything, repeat EVERYTHING seems to have been cancelled globally.  Regular club meetings, National, and even large Internationals as our cousins in Auckland experienced, just as NZ 2020 had started earlier year, and the rug was pulled.  All cancelled.

 

Cancelled whilst in mid show.

 

For many stamp dealers, doing shows and nationals etc, are their main source of income and sales.  As a lucky break, I have never bothered, and sitting at home am doing 2 or 3 times my usual sales volume as recent years. Gazillions of collectors are stuck at home, and buying supplies and stamps online is where they gravitate to right now.

I’ve sold more Hagners and stockbooks in the past 4 months than I sold in the past 4 YEARS!  But the dealers who rely on face to face interaction at larger shows have really suffered, and I feel for them.  It is nothing THEY have done wrong, it is just this nasty virus impacting the lives of simply everyone reading this, globally. 

I have been a member of the Philatelic Traders Society London (PTS)  for many decades, and to their credit, they have come up with an interesting initiative to try and create awareness and interaction between dealers and collectors, that originally would have met face to face.  Now they are planning it for October 1, and calling it
“VIRTUAL STAMPEX”.

 

Do visit here, and take a look!

 

Anything new and innovative in these strange times is to be applauded by all, and you can visit their site here - tinyurl.com/Stampex20 for more detail of exactly what Virtual Stampex is all about.  Spink are major sponsors of it, and lots of leading dealers globally are actively taking part.  Well done all.  Hope it works wonderfully.

 

Europe's largest stamp Event.

 

STAMPEX is an institution in Europe, and run by the PTS.  It is Europe's largest stamp Event, and has been running for over 60 years.  Stampex International ordinarily takes place twice a year at The Business Design Centre in Islington London, with some of the biggest names in philately as regular attendees.  Dealers and collectors globally have it on their “Must DO and See” list on their calendars.

For each past STAMPEX very attractive stamp sheets were produced, and these have a strong following. Shown nearby is a most attractive one from Autumn 2018, with reproductions of ten different GB classic issues in superb condition - a fine Stamp On Stamp production.

 

Attractive STAMPEX sheets from UK.

 

To show the changing nature of this hobby, the Chairman of the PTS London, in the 40 years or whatever I have been a member, has been male, and an elderly male at that.  Nothing wrong with that as I have typed here before - it simply reflected the average stamp dealer globally.  And none had blue painted finger nails!  These things are changing.  Just like the hobby.

The subject of a recent widely reported "Guardian" newspaper article was Suzanne Ray, 37, who for near 2 years has been Chairman of the Philatelic Traders Society London (PTS).  They are now 91 years old, and run the vastly successful STAMPEX mega shows in the UK twice a year etc.  The black and white shield PTS member logo shown nearby, is synonymous with Stamp Dealing and Trust.

Anyway, having a 37 year old, tech savvy, with real world Business acumen Millennial, heading up the PTS has seen a lot of positive changes.  They have been nudged firmly into 2020 very noticeably, with a Facebook page, and blogs and Forum, and now Virtual Stampex and other such modern things and devices, that many collectors and dealers actually use often.

 

PTS - Industry leaders for 91 years.

 

Philately is gaining popularity among Millennials, many of whom see the creative pursuit as an escape from their screen-based lives.  Suzanne Rae said in the Guardian article - “Philately is tangible: it’s relaxing and unplugged.  It’s also very Instagrammable.  Twitter and Instagram enable young collectors to find people just like them, and see that it’s not only a geeky old man’s pursuit.”

tinyurl.com/StampYoungies has a detailed discussion of the new wave of Millennials entering the stamp collecting hobby, with many specific examples of those collectors given.  Not every 75 year old in a brown cardigan will agree with, or even understand the paragraph above, but it is the emerging stamp world in 2020.

 

Exactly WHO is a “Millennial”?

 

Wikipedia uses this definition - "Millennials are also known as Generation Y (or simply Gen Y)  Researchers and popular media use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted defining range for the Generation Y."

I've been a member of the PTS London for probably more years than Suzanne has been alive, and the Chairmen were always men, and pretty elderly men at that - like me!  Nothing wrong with that at all - it was just how things were always done in the stamp business, in those decades.

Anyway at age 37, Suzanne certainly fits the strict definition of the "Millennial" above, and she once worked for ExxonMobil Oil and with Deutsche Bank etc, and does not come from a lifetime stamp dealing career background, as most did in the past, who ended up as PTS Chairmen. 

 

Suzanne Rae - the new look of the PTS.

 

Suzanne has a University Degree with Honours, studying Economics and Business Management, and has an interesting and varied career background before starting her own stamp business in very recent years -  www.artstamped.com and has been Chairman of the PTS London for near 2 years.  
 

 
  As a PTS member myself, it is refreshing to see the changes and new ideas that can occur, when someone outside the usual profile of PTS Chairman hits the scene.  A lot of new social media presence, new business ideas, and a specific Five Year Plan etc unveiled, and savvy and interesting new approaches to things.  I hope Virtual Stampex is a huge success, and DO take a look at it here - tinyurl.com/Stampex20  

COVID-19 still impacting Stamp Hobby.

 

The COVID-19 global crisis is sadly still very much with us.  In March near everyone assumed it would be totally over and finished and gone by July or August.  Not so sadly.  New Second Wave outbreaks in many cities and countries are being reported, and are just as deadly or even more so, than the initial round.

“We live in interesting times” as the old expression goes.  So many strange knee-jerk decisions are being made by Governments and bureaucrats all over the world, on a daily basis, so by the time you read this, 100 more will have been made.  It may be illegal to leave your home for any reason, at some point in time.  Nothing is impossible.

One Federal Government bright idea here, was to hand out a fistful of money to many in the population, which our Prime Minister naively advised early March, would “do the job” of propping up the Australian economy.  It did not of course, it did not even remotely touch the sides, but no-one here targeted objected to getting a handful of free money from the Government, I am sure!

 

A free gift - AGAIN - for many Ozzies

 

Many simply banked it of course, or paid off the Mortgage, car or TV loan, old credit card debt, gambled it etc, hence creating ZERO economic stimulus to the ailing economy.  Handing out 7 or 8 x unique numbered $100 Vouchers that needed to be spent at any retailer within 1 or 2 months, usable nationally, on all goods other than alcohol, cigarettes or gambling etc, would of course see ALL the money flow into the economy near instantly, but Governments never think that logically or clearly or smartly.

“Government Goodies Gift Vouchers” essentially - which makes FAR more practical sense.  Sadly this Government would need 13 Committee and Sub-Committee meetings, 12 focus groups, 6 consultants and advisors, a few legal opinions, polling, and 2 White Papers, to even agree on the colour and design of them.  So the Virus would be long gone, before anything logical like that occurred.  Just wildly handing out tax-free wads of money with no strings attached, is simpler for them. 

 

“Cash Splash #2” made July 13.

 

The initial March 2020 Tax Free $750 “household stimulus” freebie cost the Budget a massive $4.76 Billion, and payments were made on 31 March.  All welfare recipients and concession card holders received the $A750 payment, including 2.4 million pensioners, and all those with a Commonwealth Of Australia Seniors Card.  If it was all spent at retailers on new purchases, well and good.  However, a very large chunk of it clearly was not.

Government gushingly advised us Treasury had estimated “a 150% return to the economy for every dollar spent”.  How that will occur if the $750 is banked, or paid off existing credit card bills, totally escapes me.  Prime Minister Morrison said the cash payments had a dual purpose - “to benefit those who received them, and to stimulate the economy.”  Anything to get a one-day headline - costing near $5 Billion added on to the skyrocketing surplus.

They had 4 months to work on a better and FAR smarter system to ensure the second round of $ Billions of Federal cash handouts were guaranteed to be redeemed entirely on retail spending.  However, being Government, 4 months is not enough time to discuss and agree on anything common sense like numbered “Government Goodies Gift Vouchers” so the first round was simply repeated again, and money just handed out again with no strings attached. 

What I do know was, in March when this same erratic cash splash occurred, is that it benefited stamp dealers!  Lots of collectors on pensions, benefits, and fixed incomes etc, took the chance to spend some of it to fill a few holes in their collection, or grab a few catalogues or stockbooks or Hagners etc, that they had been longing to get, but never quite had the spare monies to fund.

 

One set ALL stamp dens can use!

 

Last time our Government handed out free money here in March, I ran a special offer on sealed factory cartons of six, Stanley Gibbons “Stamps of The World” catalogues for $A399 which was $300 under retail - tinyurl.com/SOW399  I must have sold 40 sets, so have just trotted out the same deal again, to hopefully assist a few more collectors.  Not much profit here, but it gets money moving.  And at least, a 16 kilo carton represents ‘value for money’!

And I know our Prime Minister would much rather see the free money handout spent retail on things like that, as opposed to paying it off mortgages, or reducing year old Mastercard balances, or being frittered away on offshore on-line gambling etc, as so many did etc!  It may well be that Gibbons will cease printing paper copies of these catalogues, in which case owning a recent set will indeed be money well spent, as EVERY stamp den needs these.

The $A has weakened of course due to this crisis.  Cleary all stamp accessories, albums stockbooks and catalogues - being mostly made in Europe or USA etc, rose by the same % our dollar has dropped. And shipping rates to here have soared.  An American can buy a $A1,000 from down here for about $US680 as I type.  Brits and Europeans and Canadians etc also get stamps at great rates, and near always avoid paying any inwards VAT/GST from here as well. 

 

What is a "SUPERB USED" stamp?

 

I often get asked how does one accurately value older stamps, that are in far better than the usual condition found for that issue.  It is a very complex answer, and there is no real tried and proven formula to be honest, as very many different factors are at play.  This next piece will hopefully explain it in a little more detail, as little is written on this subject.

My big speciality is Superb Used Kangaroo stamps.  For over 40 years I have kept the best stocks in Australia of these issues, and my 5 gradings I set up in magazine full page ads in 1980, are still the ones I use, and are regarded by many as very accurate.  No other dealer here offers such a choice, and most do not have the stock to even dream of doing so, even if they took the time to sort them apart. 

In over 40 years of trading these, I have used these FIVE grades for every Australian stamp issue  - 1. Spacefiller.   2. Average Used.   3. Good Used.   4. Fine Used.   5. Superb Used.   All are priced accordingly.  And unlike the totally wacky and flawed American Voodoo “Numerical Grading” nonsense, these terms are quite easy to follow!

There are truly endless factors that separate each grade.  Centering, perforations, freshness, type of cancel, heaviness (or otherwise) of that cancel, colour intensity of the stamp and so on - in short “Eye Appeal” is what it all comes down to, in order to accurately sort 10 or 20 different stamps of the same SG number.

The Americans are fixated entirely on perfect centering.  Ugly and heavy cancels, weird corners, short perfs etc do not bother them - they will often give massive number grades to stamps that might barely make my second highest category.  A superb light steel cds on a slightly off-centre stamp can be a GEM grade piece to REAL collectors.

 

Try finding one of these SUPERB U!

 

It all comes down to long experience.  Some stamps like the 5/- CofA shown nearby are readily possible to source with attractive corner cancels. The 5/- issued before that this – the 1915/28 Crown over A, “THIRD Watermark” is near impossible to locate in my definition of SUPERB used. They had fluffy/woolly perfs generally, mostly horrid cancels, and despite the quite insane quote in ACSC, virtually no PO CTO copes exist, other than perf “OS”.

The very nearly Superb Used grade 5/- Grey and Yellow Kangaroo shown nearby (centred a tad low for SU) is in stock for $A60, and I have a dozen similar copies here for $A50-$60 each.  That is HALF the price of the current Australia Post Year Album at your post office!   And not so nice copies are $A25 each, so even bi-colour Kangaroos do not need to be expensive USED.  MINT hinged they are $A300.

I had a guy this month sent me with a long want list of used Roos, and he asked me for a range of scans front and back of a selection of each!  I am doing 100 hour weeks now filling REAL orders, and not even touching the sides, so sorry - no spare 2 hours to comply with this, and possibly hear nothing back!  Want Superb Used or Spacefiller Used, and I have both in stock - simply order the grade YOU want and let me be the judge of both!  

 

Half the price of a PO Annual Book!

 

These guys have been seduced by the common ebay trick where second or third grade stamps are listed up with scans showing both sides.  The usual cunning clause - “see scans for condition - no returns accepted for anything visible on scans” lets them get away with Murder.  Any experienced eye can see obvious thins, tears, repairs, foxing and faults, but this garbage always sells, and not all are experienced.  

Often what I sell as “Good Used” is regarded as “Fine Used” or even “Superb Used” by others who handle less copies than myself.  Or who grade Roos less precisely than I do.  Many dealers have just three prices for Kangaroos on their lists - “Unhinged”, “Hinged” and “Fine Used”.  Anything on hand in stock with a cancel on it, often magically qualifies for the latter grade, if that is all they have!

One thing you learn for sure if you deal in this area for decades, is that for every truly SUPERB postally used higher face value Kangaroo, there are generally several hundred ordinary copies floating around.  Try finding a truly SUPERB used  2/- Brown Third Watermark for example.  I can sell you a “nice” looking example all day long for $A30 apiece.

I have probably 50 of those “nice” grade on hand.  And a few 100 of less than “nice” graded copies.  Yet only about four REALLY great looking examples.  This stamp does NOT exist in neat CTO like the 5/- nearby, from the PO Specimen packs, from Second or Third watermarks.  So, that generally very handy source of supply is not available to us on this one.  To get a REALLY top end one, postally used, is TOUGH.

 

27 Million sold, 2/- Third Wmk Kangaroo.

 

Why so scarce in top grade used?   Who knows.  The ACSC tells us there were near 27 MILLION of this 2/- Brown stamp in Third Watermark sold over 8 years.  You’d think stacks of them would still be around, and in dealer stocks in top grade.  They are not, let me assure you.  Ask 20 dealers to scan you their FINEST example, and you’ll be horrified!

And bear in mind there are NINE totally different major shades recognised by the ACSC for this watermark alone, in the 2/- “Brown”.  Just two of them are shown nearby.  The ACSC lists prices from $A35 to $2,000 each, used for these 9 shades.  So for the true collector, with an eye to top quality, you could spend several years just sourcing this stamp alone in top grade, for all the 9 shades.

The Third Watermark 2/- brown was issued in 1916, in the middle of World War I.  The Germans were sinking shipping out of Britain, and the traditional source of printer ink and equipment was Germany and Austria!  So the Printer grabbed ANY ink that vaguely resembled “Brown”.  Or in the case of the 1d “Red” KGV, literally 100 different “Red” shades are recognised in ACSC, for the same WWI supply issue reasons.

This kind of “Holy Grail” quest chasing all the shades in top grade used has kept many of my clients, and myself, and many other dealers, very busy for decades.  It is the “fun of the chase” factor, and the very real challenge involved.  Often not a lot of dollars are involved, but boy, top grade copies of some “common” Kangaroos are of Needle in a Haystack scarcity.

 

1913 2/- First Wmk - not difficult.

 

These 2/- brown values were mostly used on parcels, often during WWI, and most got well and truly “clobbered” by the postal staff, and the huge Parcels Branch cancels mostly used at that time in all GPOs - and/or mangled or scuffed or creased or torn in transit.  And ACSC tells us many were used on Telegrams, and hence never entered the stamp market.

Now ask me for a SUPERB used 1913 2/- Brown First Watermark Roo - and no problems.  Only 960,000 were issued of that watermark, (v/s 27 million Third) but I can always find you a superb one like the marginal example shown nearby.  Such choice looking CTO copies are out there, and very buyable.  At many times the price of 2/- Third Watermark of course, but you CAN get them.

 

“Fluffy” or “Woolly” perfs.

 

Even the choice “VFU” collections of Roos I offer on my Rarity Page are tough to fill for a stamp like the 2/- Brown Third Watermark, as we have many factors to take into consideration.  This series often had “fluffy” or “woolly” perfs which most collectors do not like.  No WWI era access to new perforating heads ex Germany and Austria was the reason mostly.  (See the nearby photo, left hand stamp for an example of this.)

Heavy and/or smeary parcel cancels are of course the next biggest issue, as well as soiling, and scuffing from parcel use, and toning that gathers over a Century, and poor centering and fluffy or woolly ugly perfs - see photo.  See the pair of 2/- Browns nearby - SG 41 group.  The left hand one was a “trade-in” to me from a client who bought it off ebay as “fine used – light neat cancel”.  I kid you not.

By my conservative grading it rates as barely level two in my 5 grade scale - i.e. “Average Used”.  He paid $A32 for it on ebay.  About treble a real stamp dealer price for that grade.  Many collectors of course are perfectly happy with such an average stamp - it has no thins or creases, and my price for that grade is about $A10.  Or one third the ebay “bargain” level.

 

These look the same to you?

 

The 2/- Brown SG 41 group stamp on the right side in photo nearby is from stock, and is in the top end of examples for this stamp in quality.  Forget about $A45 for “Fine Used” in this value, as being in the uncommon Deep Brown shade, we are talking around $A75 here.

So from the left hand stamp at $A10, to the right hand stamp at $A75 we have a wide spectrum of condition - and price.  Very much like buying a used car - say a 2015 Holden Commodore.  The one-lady-owner, always garaged, low mileage car, versus the ex-Taxicab with a million miles on the clock from same model, is several times the price!   You ALWAYS get what you pay for in life.

 

Buying Used versus Mint?

 

And remember that no “fake” modern cancel will likely ever appear on this stamp to “improve” rusty mint copies.  In hinged mint this Third Watermark 2/- Brown stamp would be $400++ with this centering and perfs.  Even with NO GUM it would sell for around half that - or MANY times the VFU price.  So buying fine used is a no-brainer in this climate, as mint often tone and rust.

And that price differential has always been there.  My point is that no-one would likely EVER have applied a fake cancel to an unused 2/- Brown of ANY watermark.  Even over a half century back, in my 1965 ACSC catalogue this “common” Third Watermark stamp was priced more than twice as much mint as used, so selling it even as “no gum” got you more than used.

My gold-plated tip of the month is to buy up the 1915 2/- Brown SECOND Watermark stamp in nice USED condition.  Check your dealer's stock - I bet his few copies there (indeed, if he has one at all) all look VERY ordinary compared the one nearby, and you'll only then appreciate, just how hard truly nice examples are to locate.

 

SECOND Watermark VFU - a joy to behold.

 

So my “sleeper” from the 3 x different watermark 2/- Brown Kangaroos is the MIDDLE one issued, the “Second” Watermark, SG 29, cat a lowly £150 used, and $A350 in ACSC.  (There are zero shades in this watermark.)  Anything really nice you will need to pay $A300-$A350 or so for here, and put that aside with a smile.  The superb used “ARALUEN (NSW)” copy shown nearby I sold for $A350, and is as good as you will see offered anywhere on this.

Cancelled at a tiny NSW Southern Highlands town of just 200 population now, with a gold-rush history.  Cost - what the last two “Annual Stamp Year Books” sell for retail.  Madness.  What will THEY be worth in 10 years?  An example in my “Fine Used” strict grading would also delight most collectors, and still be the best looking stamp on their page, and they are priced around $A200.

This week I removed 5 x lovely clean VFU examples from “The Townsville Hoard” I flew back with, housed in eight huge removalist cartons.  The amazing 4 generation collection had a few dozen used, soaked off parcels a century back.  They’ll be a cool “bottom drawer” pick-up for someone at $A995!

This “Second” Watermark was a single Emergency printing in the middle of WWI.  Germans sinking shipping meant the Roo watermarked paper never arrived from the UK, and in a panic in early WWI, these were issued on the totally wrongly spaced watermark paper, meant for the KGV heads issue.  So the watermarks almost always are to either side of the stamps, as KGV heads are much wider than Roos of course.

 

Stamp Tip Of The Month.

 

The 1915 Second Watermark 2/- (SG 29) is a hard stamp to find in top condition used - mint are actually relatively plentiful.  This stamp rather incredibly sells (now) for around five times more mint, than it does used.  That is absolutely absurd, and does not reflect relative scarcity whatever.  My old 1971 ACSC says that mint was worth only 3 times used.  Today it is ACSC $350 used but $1,500 hinged. (And a truly silly $8,500 for “MUH” - 5½ times.)

Three times is about the correct ratio, not today's 5 multiple.  So from here, if used prices double and mint hinged stays the same, the ratios are about correct - again!  If you want my tip of this month, go and buy all the NICE used copies you can find.  Light cancels on this 2/- that have no other faults, are truly hard to find - trust me.  These seem to have creased readily due to the soft paper etc.

 

SG 29 - almost none recorded on postal piece.

 

There was just a single printing of 960,000 stamps, during a War.  Being an “un-sexy” looking pale brown, few were retained, versus the pretty bi-colour 4 high values above it.  Until 10 years back this 2/- value SG 29 had never been recorded on cover or parcel fragment - ACSC lists it thus as $6,000.  I sold the FU example recently on small parcel snipping, also with 2 x 2d Greys, on the day I listed it.  Even these are rare.

The reason Penfolds Grange Hermitage red wine sells for $500 a bottle when each Vintage is released, and rough reds are always $5 a bottle, is the same as VFU stamps.  SOME savvy folks recognise real quality - and will gladly pay for it!  Some folks enjoy filling up “Seven Seas” albums etc, for a kid or grandchild, and really only need “roughies” for that purpose, and happily pay accordingly. Others seek only the very finest.  Both grades sell equally well oddly.

 

Ebay Dreamer Tutorial!

 

Everyone grades differently.  Stampboards has a long “ebay dreamer” thread where totally clueless nutters list up stuff like the 1935 2d red stamp shown nearby, time and time again.  I kid you not!   tinyurl.com/EbayDreamer is something to spend an hour reading, and shaking your head at in despair, at the absolute stupidity and deception skills of many 100s of ebay sellers.  Until you read it, you literally have NO idea!

 

 

Ebay version of “Fine Used”!

 

Parts of cheap stamps totally missing, or obliterated by truly ugly postmarks. Or totally and hopelessly mis-described or priced, and they ignore all well-meaning advice relayed to them.  The term “Bunny” is being generous in many cases!   My “Used” grading was and is very rigorous, but the fanaticism for “MUH” has pervaded this market, and used stamps of all eras have been strangely overlooked for some reason in recent years. 

And they still often are, however the extensive regumming of “MUH” stamps I’ve warned about for decades, is changing that view rapidly, as folks finally wake up to the silliness of that.  As Rod Perry posted on stampboards.com - when he came into the trade 50 years ago, the number of truly “unhinged” £2 Roos one saw was hardly any each year, yet strangely today, you can buy as many as your Visa card can afford!

 

Mint £2 Roos are 25 times used.

 

A £2 Kangaroo cheapest Watermark used is about $600 in decent used, and a “MUH” example is TWENTY FIVE times that at $15,000 for cheapest watermark.  Madness.  So used is the only realistic collecting option for most.  Some present day dealers like Richard Juzwin started to illustrate Kangaroo used stamps in 4 grades on his widely distributed price list, that I have not seen for many years now.  A shame. 

I have typed a dozen columns over four decades warning folks that paying a 300%-500% premium for “MUH” 100 year old stamps was mostly just lining the pockets of the re-gummers, and their MANY local shonk agents, but I was near a lone voice in the wilderness.  I still hold that view. 

I have seen skilled German re-gumming that 95% of dealers could not pick, much less any collector.  Only a fool generally pays these silly 300%-500% premiums, unless they have GOOD provenance of the stamp origin.

 

Regummed 1932 5/- Harbour Bridge.

 

Ebay is awash with them, and the Bunnies still buy them with gusto.  When it comes time to sell, and a REAL dealer or REAL auction looks at your folly, the tears will come.  One chap bought me over his album of pre-war “MUH” stamps.  He had sourced most of them on ebay as “BAAHGEENZ” and spent just over $40,000, his records showed.

I gave him 10% of that - $4,000, and sold them to a chap intact for $5,000 as re-gums as he just wanted to fill al spaces in a Seven Seas album.  Seller was a not a happy chappy, but many years later, the ebay sellers are long gone of course, and no-one to get a refund off.

Had he bought light hinged of these exact stamps, he would have paid a quarter what he did, and they’d have looked identically nice in his album, and he would not have lost $36,000.  Or he could have bought the same stamps in Fine USED condition and saved $10,000s more, over buying even mint hinged.  In our climate it seems a no-brainer to me, AND you can afford to complete it then.

Some regums can look very convincing.  The 1932 5/- Sydney Harbour Bridge shown nearby was purchased in Europe as “MUH” by the owner I bought it off.  Fresh and clean, it would fool 99% of readers I am sure, but was a quality regum in my view, and far better than most.
 

I’ve seen well centered, good perfs, genuine MUH copies being offered at $1,750 these days by real local dealers.  I priced this one at more than $1,000 UNDER that level, and of course described it as a regum, and it sold pretty fast.  Offered on ebay etc, goodness knows what it would fetch.

 

Regumming is very prevalent.

 

Regumming in Germany is a business, and Germans are very good and diligent at any trade they enter into.  It is as legal as the guy who panel beats and resprays your car. They wash the gum off, and then use the same gum mix as on the originals, and use airbrushes like art retouchers, to spray on fine coatings of the gum.  The fast rough jobs, are $10 or so a stamp, and are pretty easy to pick, but even those fool most collectors.

Pay them a “DELUXE” fee of $100 or so, and they spend an hour on the stamp, and even most dealers cannot pick the end result.  In the case of the 5/- Bridge above, where there is a $1000+ difference between light hinged and unhinged - and very many $1000’s extra for higher value Roos, the financial attraction for the shonks is obvious.  Lots of Bunny buyers on ebay etc, so they get rich.

 

Try regumming corner copies!

 

Air brushing gum onto the back of a single stamp is one thing.  But a block 4, or a corner or marginal selvedge copy is quite different, as the gum spray clearly will get into all the holes, and is thus pretty easy to detect in most cases to the experienced eye. 

Also, when regummers soak the stamp to get rid of any old hinges, the margins of corner copies near always separate when soggy and wet.  Many savvy buyers like buying margin or corner copies on century old “MUH” stamps, as detecting regums is a then a breeze.

I added this 1913 1/- First Watermark Kangaroo nearby to my Rarity Page and it sold fast.  It shows readers just how hard it would be to regum it, and pass experienced scrutiny.  It is MUH original gum, and was in an old glassine since being purchased at a PO 107 years ago.  Stamps like that you can sell as a dealer with total 105% confidence, and trust me - when the buyer of such pieces comes to sell, you will thank your wisdom!

Stamps that the regummers have soaked in water to remove old hinges or foxing etc, also generally lose that nice original “sheen” that flat calendared printer mill paper typically has.  Stamps like the 1/- Green have that deep original colour and surface gloss, that you will never have after immersion in water.  Small points, and experienced dealers get a gut feel for such things, but for casual collectors, very hard to spot. 

 

 

 

 

 

"KNOWLEDGE IS POWER"  as I type incessantly -  I cannot over-stress the importance of having a solid library.  Often the very FIRST thing you look up, often pays for that book forever!  A number of wonderful reference books have appeared in recent times.  In many cases within Australia under the new parcel rules, buying 2 or 3 books costs the EXACT same shipping as ONE does, so do give it some thought!   Within NSW, 10 books costs about the same shipping as 1 book etc!  (Superb VFU, valuable franking used on ALL parcels as always.)  ALL in stock now - click on each link for FULL details of each book.  Hint for these as GIFTS!  Buy FIVE or more, and deduct 10% OFF THE LOT!  Glen

 

ACSC "KANGAROOS" 228 pages, Full Colour for first time. ESSENTIAL!  $A125 (Stock 382KQ)

“Postmarks of SA and Northern Territory” - THREE massive Volumes for only $A199 (Stock 583HW)

HUGE James Bendon "UPU Specimen Stamps 1878-1961" 534 page Hardbound $A170 (Stock 892LR)

Stanley Gibbons current AUSTRALIA AND STATES & PACIFICS - Near 400 pages $A85 (Stock 736EQ)

Hugh Freeman huge  “Barred Numeral Cancellations Of Victoria”  Now Full COLOUR!  $A195 (Stock 274BN)

Hugh Freeman Numeral Cancellations of New South Wales" Huge hard cover $A185 (Stock 736LE)

Hugh Freeman’s debut “NSW NUMERAL CANCELS” epic work on CD ROM just $A40! (Stock code 637KT)

Geoff Kellow the superb hardcover 'Stamps Of Victoria' Ret $165:BIG DISCOUNT - $A120! (Stock 842FQ)

Superb 2018 ACSC  "Australia Postal Stationery"  Catalogue - huge 484 pages colour $A240 (Stock 782DV)

ACSC New full colour catalogues for KGVI and QE2 – the BOTH huge A4 books $230 (Stock 892JC)

The Arthur Gray "KGV Reign" Collection, Superb hard bound leather Catalogue just $A65 (Stock 368WF)
 
"Plating Papua Lakatois" Book, 563 x A4 pages, RRP $110 - DISCOUNTED to just $A60! (Stock 432HA)

500 page ACSC New “Australia KGV Reign” catalogue in Full Colour - just  $A170 (Stock 382KX)

Stanley Gibbons superb "2020 British Commonwealth Cat" - 770 pages hardbound - $A180 (Stock 483HQ)

Stanley Gibbons colour GB "CONCISE" Cat - 500 pages – NOW REDUCED $A20 to just $A65  (Stock 483KA)

HUGE  Seven Seas Stamps "Australasian Stamp Cat."   *NO* dealers have stock! $A125 (Stock 792TQ)

 

 

                                   

Get my regular market update emails FREE!   Stamp gossip, price trends, record sale prices, and many one-time stamp specials, wholesale bargains,  and exciting offers and breaking philatelic news.  A mini stamp magazine in every email!   "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER".  The ONE stamp list you MUST be on,  to keep in touch with the rapidly changing world market.  One client made $65,000 profit in a few months after following my specific advice.  Sign up securely and quickly by clicking HERE  to access my automated data base.  And wiser still ADD your home AND work email, if I only have one right now.   Add a stamp friend's email address if you wish.  One short click and you are subscribed to probably the most read email list in the stamp world! 

 



 

If you would like to be notified of updates to this website, Click HERE. If have any questions,
or comments regarding my site, please email me at  glen@glenstephens.com

 

Search this site
 

Search all my 300+ web pages! Simply type in what you are looking for. "Penny Black", "Latvia", "Imprints", "Morocco", "Fungi" "Year Books", etc! Using quotes ( " ) is more accurf used with no quotes. Search is NOT case sensitive. Tip - keep the search word singular - "Machin" yields  far more matches than "Machins" etc.

 


 

I am a Proud Member Of :

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for over 35 years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association.  (New York) 
Also Member of; Philatelic Traders' Society (London)   IFSDA (Switzerland) etc
 

 

 

 


Time and Temp in Sunny Sydney!

 

 

 

GLEN $TEPHEN$

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for 35+ years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association. (ASDA - New York) Also Member - Philatelic Traders' Society
 (PTS London) and many other philatelic bodies.

ALL Postage + Insurance is extra. Visa/BankCard/MasterCard/Amex all OK, at NO fee, even for "Lay-Bys"!  All lots offered are subject to my usual Conditions of Sale, copy upon request .

Sydney's BIGGEST STAMP BUYER: Post me ANYTHING via Registered Mail for my same-day cheque.  Avoid copping the Now normal 45% Auction "Commissions" (15% Buyer + 20% Seller + GST, etc) AND their five-month delays!

 Read HERE for details.

"Lothlórien", 4 The Tor Walk, CASTLECRAG (Sydney), N.S.W. 2068 Australia

Phone 7 Days: (02) 9958-1333

PO Box 4007, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068
E-Mail:
glen@glenstephens.com The Number #1 Web Sites:

www.glenstephens.com  and  www.stampboards.com

 

 

Sign up AUTOMATICALLY to my world renowned bi-weekly stamp gossip mailing list!

Click here to see MANY 1000s of stamp lots for sale at low $A Nett prices

Click here for all you need to know re SELLING your stamps for SPOT CASH

Click here for the current Monthly "Internet Only" special offers - CHEAP!

Click HERE to read all my recent International stamp magazine articles.

Click here to get back to the main www.GlenStephens.com Homepage

Click here to ORDER on-line ANY items from ANY of my dozens of lists

Click for all info on Conditions Of Sale, Payments, Shipping, Returns &c 

Click here for the complete library of my very unusual world travels!

How to PAY me.  I accept EVERYTHING - even blankets and axes and beads!

Australia Post Annual YEAR BOOKS - massive stock - '27% off' discount offer today!

Visit my new page on RARITIES - Roos & other expensive photo items.


Stampboards where Philatelists Meet..


Instant Currency Conversion

FREE!
Just click here...

 

E-mail me at glen@glenstephens.com -