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Posted Jul 28, 15 17:10 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Stamps and Coins

What is this all involved

most stamp collectors don't collect coins and 
most coin collectors don't collect stamps

ok, i also collect Georgian Silver, etc., lets start a blog,
for a NY 2016 award i bought a 1780 Salvor, ratted out
and am keeping it, and got a later one at a lower price but 
within the CCC budget for the award


Posted Jul 28, 15 16:30 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Some serious coin collecting.

A Florida man has uncovered gold artifacts worth over $1 million from the wreckage of a Spanish fleet that sank in a storm off the Florida coast three centuries ago.

The find by Eric Schmitt was announced late Monday by a salvage company that owns the rights to the site where the coins and jewels were found.

"The treasure was actually found a month ago,” Brent Brisben of 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC told Florida Today. Keeping word of the haul from getting out was "particularly hard for the family that found it," Brisben added. "They’ve been beside themselves."

Among the artifacts are 51 gold coins, 40 feet of gold chain, and an extremely rare coin called a "Tricentennial Royal", minted for King Philip V of Spain. Schmitt told the Orlando Sentinel that the "Tricentennial Royal" alone is worth approximately $500,000 due to its rarity and near-perfect condition.

"These things were known as presentation pieces not meant to be circulated as currency," Schmitt said of the "Royal" coins, of which only about six are known to exist.

The Sentinel reported that Schmitt found the gold while diving off Fort Pierce, just north of Port St. Lucie, while on his annual treasure-hunting trip with his wife, sister, and parents.

The find was announced almost exactly 300 years to the day after 11 of 12 Spanish ships carrying an estimated 3.5 million pesos in gold and jewels, including some belonging to the Queen of Spain, sank in a hurricane while en route from Havana. More than 1,000 crew members were killed. Brisben told Reuters that the value of the ships' cargo would amount to about $400 million in today's money. Of that total, approximately $157 million has been recovered.

The Schmitts are subcontractors of Brisben's company, and have had success in their searches in each of the past two years. In 2013, the family found several pieces of a solid gold chain that ultimately measure more than 60 feet. Last year Schmitt found the back portion of a handcrafted gold-filigree pyx, a vessel used to hold the Eucharist during the observance of Holy Communion.

Under federal and Florida law, up to 20 percent of the treasure will be turned over to the state for display in a museum, while Brisben's company and the Schmitts will split the remainder.

Posted Jul 28, 15 9:51 by Mark Robbins (funcitypapa4051)

coins, stamps, postal history, and currency

I appreciate the opinions provided by others regarding the acquisition and study of the above referenced collecting fields.  Each I think have a lot to offer both emotionally and intellectually.

In addition to stamps, I have coins and some currency, and although I would not consider myself to be a postal history collector, nonetheless through collecting of historical documents have approached the history US and Confederate postal systems, if not by routes, then by organization and development.

My interest in coins primarily is focussed on the first 15 or so years of American coinage (draped bust), when the monetary system became truly American and departed from the British and Spanish coinage pre 1792. 

Currency has been an interest of mine for a long time, not only because of the beautiful engravings, similar to early US postage, but also because of the role that paper money played in the very early development of the United States when there was not enough specie to go around and there was a spirited discussion at the founding of the country as to whether monied interests would ultimately permit the issuance of paper currency, essentially backed by nothing, but without which the average American, farmer, proto-entrepreneur and businessman, might not have been able to get started.  In fact this sense by common people that Hamilton meant the money supply to be held purely in the hands of the monied interests and not the"people" probably contributed in part to the development of the two party system and Jefferson's ascension. 

In addition to currency permitting the economy and thereby the country to grow in a way that reliance on specie never could have, the development of paper money raised questions at our founding as to what entity (federal or state) would have the authority to issue paper money and had an impact on the concept of incorporation as a means of funding projects.         

Posted Jul 28, 15 2:15 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Coins and Grading

Years ago, as a young army officer, long before the advent of motorways, I had to drive from Plymouth to an artillery firing range at Cape Wrath on the northern most tip of Scotland. It was a mini minor car and my companion, a fellow officer, was my best friend - and, as many best friends was to try and steal my girlfriend away - but that's another story. So, a mammoth journey - and how did we make it go quicker? By stopping at shops along the way exchanging two shilling and half crown pieces for pennies. In those days you could find pre 1900 coins! By the time we arrived we had collected a pretty good run of consecutive years 1900 to 1966. What fun it was. That was the nearest I got to coin collecting. It lasted for one day.

Grading. A fantastic experience for me. Perhaps a touch misguided but my word it shook up the philatelic world. No longer could an auctioneer proudly announce a perfectly centred stamp with lily white broad walk margins when the stamp graded an 80. I think grading taught many of us to use our eyes better. It had become so easy to think one knew instictively what a fantastic stamp looked like when in reality it was our heart speaking and not our brain.

Posted Jul 27, 15 22:43 by Mike Ellingson (mikeellingson)

A few useful reference books available - SOLD

Found that I've picked up a few duplicate books over the years, and would like to offer them up here to clear out some shelf space.

1) Red River Runs North, Vera Kelsey, 1951 signed 1st edition.   Excellent historical view of the Red River of the North. ~300 pages.
2) Across the Wide Missouri, Bernard Devoto, 1947, ~480 pages, Contains 96-page section of contemporary watercolor paintings by Alfred Jacob Miller and others.  Fascinating account of happenings on the Missouri in the 1830s.
3) Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi, Wm J Petersen, 1968 reprint edition, ~575 pages, which includes 64 pages of photo inserts of steamboat history from the author's collection, as well as the collections of Floyd Risvold, Henry Meyer, Paul Rohloff, et al.

All three are very useful reference books for the subject matter they cover, are hardcover, sans dustjackets, and in very gently used condition.

Posted Jul 27, 15 13:51 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

South Dakota Coin Guys


I have heard you speak many times, so am biased to think that anyone who fell asleep needs to be put on an IV drip.

Posted Jul 27, 15 11:44 by Bill Weismann (billw2)

I also collect coins, currently I am building another set of VF Barber Halves (For the challenge as they're extremely rare in mid grades) and have some other US stuff.

The biggest disconnect with coins vs postal history is that it's MUCH easier to value a coin.  For commonly traded coins, like, say, White MS65 Morgans or common date Mercury Dimes or Saints or whatever the markets are quite efficient and valuations are quite easy.  Unless a coin has spectacular toning or something, generally I know what I can get, liquid, for my $20 Saint Gaudens coins TODAY.

Now, let's take, say, a Scott 68 on cover that has a value of, what, $75-100 or so in Scott?  Is it on a China and Japan Steam Service cover or is it on a cover from New York to Montreal?  In my experience it's this ambiguity that drives the coin guys nuts.

Posted Jul 27, 15 9:43 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Duplex hammer numbers

Number 3 in the San Juan duplex obliterator was assigned to an Army Postal Service mail clerk, indicating a volume of mail sufficient to occupy more than one.

Posted Jul 27, 15 9:37 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Roman Republic Coins

For those who may have missed it when I showed at TPR several years ago, a small collection of my Roman Republic coins is here.

I was helped by Ed Waddell in building the collection, one of the best advisors / agents in the field of ancients which do have some dangerous fakes.

Posted Jul 27, 15 9:15 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Coin and Stamp Collectors

John B - Your account of visiting the local "Coin & Stamp Club" some years ago is very similar to my experience. When we first moved back to South Dakota seven years ago, I attended the local Coin & Stamp Club in Mitchell, SD. Mitchell is a small town of about 15-20,000 and the club had (and still has) very good attendance with the usual crowd of about 20 collectors. They are all coin collectors, except me. There are one or two who go both ways (coins and stamps), but are primarily "coin guys". All the talk is grading, values, etc. etc. just like you mention.

They were curious about my "postal history" collecting interest and asked that I present on the subject. So, I brought them what I thought to be the most interesting aspect of Dakota Territorial postal history...the steamboat postal history of the Missouri River. I talked for about 30 minutes on some of the highlights of my collection, including the great Steamboat Yellowstone cover from 1832, various illustrated steamer covers from the 1860's etc. They sat glassy eyed (some actually fell asleep). A few tried to act interested, and one or two questions were even asked (by the cross-over stamp/coin guys). Half-hearted applause ended the presentation. Afterward, one of the "big" ($$$) coin guys came up to me and said, "what is the catalog value of X, Y, Z that you showed?". I tried to explain that there was no catalog, and that value was based on pure and demand. He gave me a mystified look and walked away. They just couldn't understand how you could collect anything that didn't have a catalog value, that you couldn't look up in some book, and that you couldn't use to fill in some space in an album.

i still attend the meetings on occasion, just for the collecting spirit (and for something to do during the long, cold, Dakota winters).

Posted Jul 27, 15 9:12 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Numismatics is an interesting hobby in its own right (and I play around with it from time to time) but I find that it doesn't really compare with the richness of postal history. I also enjoy currency (if you're collecting modern, you still have exchange rates, but at least you don't have to worry about intrinsic value and metal content, and dealing with engraved paper is familiar).

All three of my kids have stamp collections (and all three have exhibited), but they are also attracted to coins and paper money - those have an every day familiarity and, at least for the coins, a very tangible and tactile benefit (treasure! you can put it in a box! you don't have to handle it carefully!).

Scripophily (stock certificates) is a big and largely untapped field with lots of interest for philatelists. Again, you're dealing with paper. Lots of minor varieties for those who look for same, lots of new discoveries, lots of research opportunities, lots of overlap in printers, printing methods, vignettes, etc. And, of course, the revenue stamps that can be found on certificates.

Posted Jul 27, 15 0:19 by Rafael E. Perez (colona16)

#3 in the Killer Bar, what does it mean?

As you can see in the cancel (Puerto Rico Military Station #4, 1899), the Killer Bar has a number 3.  I had seen #1 and #2 also.  I had seen similar numbers in cancellations from the period.  Does anyone knows what the numbers were used for? 


Posted Jul 26, 15 22:30 by Rev. Stephen Knapp (bnkntguy)

Ancients collectors are a different breed

People who collect ancients tend not to have regard for slabbing of coins. Slabbed ancients tend to be liberated, and most of the really valuable ancients are not in slabs. This is counter to the trend in "investment collecting."

There is another characteristic of ancient numismatics that makes it more akin to certain types of stamp collecting than to the collecting of modern US coins. It is almost impossible to develop a serious interest in the coins of ancient Rome without becoming well versed in ancient history. Ancient Greek coins require one to become versed in ancient literary traditions as well. Ancient coins are studied very intensely on the basis of the historical contexts which produced them. That is only natural inasmuch as the imagery on ancient coinage, especially Roman, tends to be commemorative and emblematic in nature.

Most of the best references on ancient coinage are written by highly educated professionals on the staffs of national museums and universities, producing peer reviewed publications. In that regard they may have an intellectual leg up even on philatelists. Far more PhD dissertations have been written based on the studies of ancient coins than on the studies of stamps or even postal history. This is a far cry from the study of US silver.

Posted Jul 26, 15 22:07 by David Kent (davekent)

Coins vs. Stamps

I shared John's experience with a club, although it was the Cape Cod Stamp & Coin Club.
My real experience with coins, however, came when I was briefly employed by the Cleveland Stamp & Coin Co. in 1964, before I went into the Air Force. Principals were Dr. Jim Frackelton (of Rattlesnake Island fame), J. Roger Gratz (before and after a dealer/bourse promoter in Pennsylvania), the irascible Milt Cornman (a Garfield-Perry mainstay), and a couple of coin guys who I don't remember. What I do remember is that to coin collectors the primary interest was the "melt" value of the precious metal in the coins (one made of mere copper or nickel is referred to as a "minor" coin). Yes, there was occasional interest in year sets or "types" or ancient coins, but the whole heart of the business, and where we made our money, was in those with precious metal content. After all, if push comes to shove you can always melt down your coins, but you can't use your Confederate (or Victorian or Nazi) stamps for postage any more, and even if you could the postage value would be trivial. Although I was long out of the business by the time grading was introduced, I believe it made coin collecting even more concentrated only on cash value, rather than the historic interest that we have in our stamps and covers. The general public tends to lump stamps and coins together as collectibles, but I see them as vastly different concepts.

Posted Jul 26, 15 21:21 by John Barwis (jbarwis)



I do understand, but lack more than a passing interest in coins.

By the way, none of the collectors I met at my one-and-only visit to the club had even the slightest inkling that postal history existed as a study and collection area.

Posted Jul 26, 15 21:16 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Ancient. Coins

John B - you are looking in all the wrong places ... Ancient coins are much more akin to philately and the collectors are not interested in buying commodities.

The coins themselves were often minted using different die pairs and are collected by advanced collectors in all the variations (plating). You have fakes made while the coins while in normal circulation (postal forgeries). Cracked dies (plate cracks), they don't fade, they have all been cleaned, and many are quite evocative of another day (romance equal to the square of the distance, either distance or time).

I could go on but won't. Besides, that is a comparison with stamps, postal history is another level!

Posted Jul 26, 15 21:02 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Coin collectors vs stamp collectors

When I first moved to our small town 12 years ago, I went looking for potential philatelic buddies. First stop was the local "Stamp and Coin Club". About 30 people were in attendance (town pop. ~32,000) for the monthly meeting. I was impressed, given that I cannot remember seeing more than 20 at the Houston Philatelic Society meetings, where the population at the time was 2+ million.

As a first-timer I was asked to stand and describe my collecting interests. The room got very quiet as I went through the litany. Then someone asked "So you're not a coin collector?"I was the only philatelist that had turned up in years.

The entire meeting was people talking about how much they paid for something, how much they wanted for what they brought along, and what the market was doing. Not a single scholarly comment was made, nor question asked. It was basically a souk, with bags and rolls changing hands. Very friendly guys, but just focused on money in more ways than one.

Posted Jul 26, 15 19:52 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Bob B.....

The Red Book, the coin industry's standard catalog, does list major varieties such as overdates, over mint marks, arrows at date, and the different dies used on the early cents and half cents.  Coin collectors have always noted these as being different.  
Specialty books go into excrutiating detail on minor varieties - what comes to mind is the Morgan Dollar series.

Posted Jul 26, 15 19:32 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)

Type Sets

I'm actually surprised that leaders in nusmatism never picked up on and copied the cleverness of philatelists regarding the use of Major and Minor Types.  How many millions have the dealers and auctioneers in THAT hobby given up?  Not caring a %*@# about coins, I now await the %*@#-storm of correction from that quarter.

I'm also surprised at the lack of comparation with the numerical grading of wines, since I KNOW that more than a few lurkers have opinions on that subject.  Fire when ready, Mr. Gridley.


Posted Jul 26, 15 19:29 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)


... I think philatelic grading/describing is often the very definition of optimism. "Crease, small tear, and clipped perforations. Smudged cancellation. Otherwise, VF."

Posted Jul 26, 15 19:27 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

According to an article several years ago in Coin World by Beth Deisher, investors overtook collectors in the coin market after grading arrived. Coin publications thereafter have been dominated by what amount to bullion advertisements. Don Sundman points out that when we were kids the most expensive stamps far exceeded the values of the most expensive coins.

In the 1970s stamp boom, stamps were still in advance of coins, with both being promoted as investments for tax-sheltered retirement funds, but when stamps were not allowed in them (mercifully, in my opinion) the stamp market crashed. It has been a long slog back for us, but coins have been driven by gold bugs ever since.

Posted Jul 26, 15 19:23 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)


Grading increases the number of 'categories' that an item can be placed in and thus drives up prices for the best items. i.e. If you take 10 examples of the same stamp that are viewed as XF/Superb examples the total value of the stamps before grading is less than after grading became available. I am not saying that micro differences between grades say 98 and 100 are worth the difference in price but the grade does drive up the price of the best items. And reduces those not as spectacular. Both stamps and coins.

In addition, grading not only rates the stamp relative to centering etc. it also certifies the stamp is genuine. We can point to examples where bad stamps got good grades but by and large the grading increases the confidence that stamps are as described.

Overall I think that grading reduces the expertise needed when buying medium and high-end items, and gives those who want the best more confidence that the value will be preserved. I know there have been visible counter-examples but vast majority of items are evaluated correctly.

I hope Nick chimes in on this discussion as I think he is an expert on this issue and as they say put his money where his mouth is.

Posted Jul 26, 15 18:51 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


Yes, grading changed the selectivity/buying criteria of buyers in both coins and stamps, as did the NH craze for unused stamps, but not primarily the areas collected.

Collectors of anything have always wanted the best quality they could afford, whether they pursue synoptic accumulations (Richard's "regressive" collecting) or more detailed assemblages of varieties.

Grading may have changed the length of a vector (i.e., how much it costs to stay in the game) but not the vector's direction.

Posted Jul 26, 15 18:40 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

It's true that coin hobby historians date the drastic turn to 1984, when grading transformed coin buying and selling into what became touted as fungible sight-unseen transactions overtaken by gold bugs.

Posted Jul 26, 15 18:28 by Rev. Stephen Knapp (bnkntguy)

John B

Not sure but here's a guess:

"In 1984, Numismatic Certification Institute (NCI), the first privately owned grading service, was launched by the owners of Heritage Rare Coin Galleries (now Heritage Auction Galleries) of Dallas, Texas. In 1985, Ivy Press published the NCI Grading Guide, later renamed How to Grade U.S. Coins"

That's from Wikipedia. Nothing corresponds to that article for stamp grading. but there is a mood "out there" especially among numismatists that coin and stamp grading have taken off and transformed both hobbies. It's a Post-Modern thing. Or so I have read.

Consider the source of the original comment.

Posted Jul 26, 15 16:14 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Steve K

OK, fair enough. But what on earth does 1985 have to do with it? Nothing, in my view.

Posted Jul 25, 15 23:34 by Rev. Stephen Knapp (bnkntguy)

J Barwis on Stamping coins quote

No, it wasn't deleted, John.

Posted Jul 21,

Regressive Philately...

I always compare stamp collecting to coin collecting because before 1985 they were both the same and I am old enough to remember it. Many beginning and intermediate stamp and coin collectors collect TYPE SETS (One of each design).

In fairness to the original statement, he was referring to the conceptual similarity in collecting type sets of either coins or stamps.

Posted Jul 25, 15 22:24 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Penalty For Private Use - $300

I believe that the "Penalty For Private Use - $300" amount just happens to be an amount that was never amended and/or had no provision in the legislation/act that set it to increase it over time. Hence, same now as it was then. It is somewhat akin to the threshold amount for the applicability of prevailing wages in construction projects under the Davis-Bacon Act of 1930 --- which was set at $2,000 (then the average price of a home in the United States) and which remains the same 85 years later as it has never been amended.

Posted Jul 25, 15 20:09 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Argentina Cover 1890

I seem to be an attractant to covers I can not decipher.

According to Arfken in 1890, the rate from Argentina was 8 centavose (25 centimes) and a 4 centavos surtax (10 centimes). There is a 2 centavo stamp and just to the left under the US dues is a red Argentinian stamp. Based on what I found online it could be either a 5 centavo stamp or a 6 centavo stamp. There is an obviously missing US 1 cent due.

A couple of questions
1. should I add a complimentary 1 cent due stamp for aesthetic reasons
2. should I lift the due stamps to see what stamp is beneath

The rating eludes me.

Any ideas?


Posted Jul 25, 15 19:29 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Steve F

My apologies. It was evidently another contributor. Whoever it was had the good sense to delete that sentence from his post - it was probably written after happy hour.

Posted Jul 25, 15 14:03 by Rev. Stephen Knapp (bnkntguy)

Germany and the threat to collectors

The call to arms on the coin collecting matter has been misunderstood by most here who have addressed it at all. Since it is a topic that is not germane to the particular interests of the list I will make my comments brief. The issue at hand has practically NOTHING to do with the collecting of US coins. The company that originally sent this appeal here is the Classical Numismatic Group, the brainchild of Victor England who has been a North American leader in the collecting of ancient coins since the 70s and early 80s. He is not the prime leader in the collector response, but he is a major player. There is more to the problem than meets the eye, but its connection to stamps is peripheral for now.

At issue is the amount of international legislation being championed by archaeologists to curb the activities of private collectors. The assumption is that collectors provide the market that prompts looting of archaeological sites. In the name of scientific inquiry the archaeologists, and the universities behind them, would like to see private ownership of all antiquities, including coins (which are plentiful) become illegal. The hue and cry against private ownership is led by the US but is international inasmuch as more of the trade in material out of the ground is taking place in Europe. Germany has long been recognized as one of the key fences for illegal excavations and for material looted from museums.

Collectors have maintained, with some considerable justification, that shutting down a hobby with centuries of history because the archaeologists and the countries supporting excavation cannot stop looters more directly, is a repressive move that ought not be tolerated in free societies. Nonetheless, the universities are in a good position to demonize collectors in their development of the next generation of the young. If successful, the spillover to stamps will come about as people in society move further and further away from the collecting of any material deemed socially or historically significant.

I cannot do justice in three paragraphs to the implications of all this, but I do suggest that if all this is new to you, then for the good of our hobby you might want to give it some of your attention. "When they came after the X I didn't care because I was not one of the X... When they came after me, no one was left to care."

Posted Jul 25, 15 14:02 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Scott 236 Columbian Registry Usage on Official Mail

The answer is in the NOTE to Sec. 1037 of the 1893 PL&R.  Free registration applied in Washington D.C. but not other places, although free first class mailing did.

Posted Jul 25, 15 12:50 by Jeremy Crouse (crouse27)

Scott 236 Columbian Registry Usage on Official Mail

Does anyone know the postal regulation that required Official Business mail to add the registry fee? Wouldn't official business cover the full postal fee?

Also, it seems odd that the "$300 Penalty For Private Use" on Official Mail is the same today as it was in 1894. Any expert comments are appreciated as I learn more about this cover.

Posted Jul 25, 15 11:43 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Stamps & Coins Similarity?

John B:

I do believe you've misquoted me. I checked my earlier post which said:

"I also don't remember coin collecting and stamp collecting being the same."

Someone else, not me, said they were the same.

Posted Jul 25, 15 10:54 by Steve Walske (steve w)


I'll bet that there are just as many ways to lose money or be cheated in coin collecting as there are in philately. Grass is always greener...

Without dealers, I wouldn't be a collector. Collaboration with the likes of Frajola and Trepel are a key part of the fun.

Posted Jul 25, 15 5:39 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Steve F


I think we all know what stamp collecting is and how it works. But that was not your original point, which was that before 1985 stamp and coin collecting were the same. That is simply BS.

Posted Jul 25, 15 3:35 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Buying satisfaction


I resonate with much of your post and one point in particular 'I submit that a good knowledgeable dealer is your collector's best friend'. Now that the era of the stamp shop is dead and buried there are few stocks to pillage using personal knowledge as a weapon as it were. Where else are we to buy?

For someone like me living abroad it has become absolutely essential that I rely to a great extent on dealers to look out for material in my narrow collecting range. It betokens that you generally do buy what the dealer finds for you even if it is not quite what you are looking for. Otherwise, you will not automatically get first dibs on future finds. Yes, this is not the cheapest way to buy but is often far cheaper than battling it out in an auction room.

One aspect I slightly disagree with. I have never attached importance to the monetary value of what I buy and sell. This occured not only when I became more well off but also as a child spending pocket money. I feel the more important aspect is to look for condition and worry about the money afterwards.

My collecting breaks into two distinct periods. Graded stamps and cPostal History. They are worlds apart but certain common threads remain. It was as delightful to deal with Bobby Prager as it was/is to deal with Richard Frajola. So, you can see, I, like you, do not place dealers/collectors in an adversarial context. We need each other just as much. Great post!  Nick

Posted Jul 24, 15 22:38 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Printed Matter - No date in cancellation in the cancellation

It is NOT true that postal regulations "did not allow to have the date" on printed matter.   Rather, postal regulations required a date ONLY on first class mail.  For example, the following is from the 1887 PL&R:

Sec. 518. Mail Matter Other than Second Class to be Postmarked.---AIl mail matter, except that of the second class, deposited in any post-office for mailing, must bear a postmark giving name of post-office, name or abbreviation of the State, or name of railway post·office, and, on first-class matter, the date of the deposit.

This regulation is sometimes illogically convoluted to mean that postmarks on third class mail were forbidden rather than not required.

Posted Jul 24, 15 22:19 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Unscrupulous Behavior, Buying Satisfaction, etc.


It's my understanding that coin collecting is relatively straightforward, insofar as there is a minimum of variation (other than condition), that all known errors and varieties are well documented and catalogued, and this information is readily available to anyone interested. So far as forgeries and imitations are concerned, I suspect that any coin collector who spends more than $100 a year is well aware of such pitfalls.

By contrast, stamp collecting consists of an essentially limitless array of varieties and rarities, many of which can be purchased for less than $50 (such as covers and  postmarks on single stamps). Even the most advanced specialized catalogue can only provide relative valuations for some of these, mainly as a very relative frame of reference. And let's not forget forgeries and alterations; information about these subjects is not adequately disseminated to sufficiently protect both stamp dealers and collectors.

Based on the above propositions, I feel that since stamp collecting has an inordinate amount of items whose monetary value is subjective, it therefore lends itself to unscrupulous behavior (misrepresentation) more than coin collecting.

I think that everyone on this board would agree that making a good buy from a dealer is particularly satisfying. But I take issue with your suggestion that buying from someone who knows more than you do means that you're overpaying,

I just wrote up a cover from an area which I'm certain you don't collect, so I won't bother to describe it. If you or anyone else cares to send me a check for $2000, you can own it. Well worth the money (I swear on a stack of plate blocks). However, if I understand your post, based on the notion that I know more about this item than you do, even if I charged $50 it would be overpriced, and at $2000 I would surely be cheating you.

I submit that a good knowledgeable dealer is your collection's best friend. Of course that does not mean you should buy just anything such a dealer offers you, or always pay whatever price he or she quotes. But I've seen too many collectors talk themselves into buying what they think is a bargain, only to find out later that they overpaid badly (or never finding out, in which case their heirs experience the aggravation of finding out).

When dealers buy and sell from each other, both are supposed to make a profit from the transaction. Incidentally, dealers frequently make bad buys; it's part of the business.

In closing, here's some good news:
A certain NYC real estate mogul has been in the news a lot lately. Imagine if he decided to become a stamp auction describer. For starters, we could dispense with precise grading. Everything would be fantastic, huge, magnificent, and so forth. Since New York is still the center of the stamp industry in the Western Hemisphere, he wouldn't even have to move. Don't worry, though. Since he doesn't drink alcohol, there's at least one auction company that will never hire him.

Happy Weekend!

Posted Jul 24, 15 21:51 by Rafael E. Perez (colona16)

Printed Matter - No date in cancellation in the cancellation

As you know, on printed matter covers, there is no date in the cancellation of the  stamp. I know the regulation did not allow to have the date. Could someone tell me the exact regulation and what it said regarding this? I will appreciate the response.

Posted Jul 24, 15 15:42 by Scott Trepel (strepel)


The proposed legislation is more nuanced than the coin-dealer alert would lead one to believe. I do not know much about it, nor do I feel it impacts philately on a broad scale. However, I could see the German government claiming that a very valuable German States item cannot be exported from the country because it is a "national treasure."

Here is something I found that seems factual:

"The proposed legislation aims to scrutinize the sale of any artworks or artifacts valued at more than 150,000 euro ($164,000) and older the 50 years, intending to both stem the flow of the illegal sale of antiques and keep works in Germany which are considered 'national treasures.' While many in the art world agree the sale of illegal antiques needs to be better regulated - specifically in the wake of Islamic State's plundering of historic sites across the Middle East - they also insist the collateral impact on the wider German art market will be detrimental."

Posted Jul 24, 15 15:02 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Germany: New Anti Private Collecting Legislation

An email just received from CNG (Classical Numismatic Group)


Over the last couple of days many of you will have received emails from various numismatic dealers and organizations asking you to digitally sign a petition asking that legislators in Germany’s Bundestag vote against new legislation on cultural property in Germany.

The proposed restrictions would effectively eliminate the traditional trade in coins and antiques (i.e. cultural property) that has existed for centuries in Germany.

By law in Germany, the Bundestag has to answer any petition with 120,000 plus signatures. This is a case where numbers do matter. We are asking that you take a few minutes to sign the petition to preserve private collecting.

CNG supports participation in this online petition. It only takes a few minutes to complete. You can sign with your name or anonymously.

Posted Jul 24, 15 14:25 by caj brejtfus (stampnstuff)

PODCAST on Stamp collecting

A quick message and request -

Today we will be discussing the first issue of the USA.

If anyone has any interesting facts on it (something not regularly known about the issue or the back-story) please post it and we will give you credit on the Podcast.

For those who don't know - a Podcast is sort of a "Radio Program" posted to the internet and unlike a radio program, you can listen to it at any time.

The Podcast is Stamp Show Here Today at or on iTunes or PodBay or Pod Beam or - any of the listening platforms.

Posted Jul 24, 15 8:39 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: whether you are buying coins, or stamps. or ......

Morning all,

Whenever you let your fingers pull $$$ out of your wallet and hand them over to someone who knows far more about something than you do, "buyer beware". Remember P. T. Barnum who said, "...there is one born every minute." His efforts were immortalized on U.S. stamps .... :)

It is not how or what pleasures one gets from owning something; but, the fact the act of purchasing something gives the buyer pleasure, and the expectation of more later.

Best regards, Russ Ryle

Posted Jul 23, 15 21:45 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)


Having just returned from business trip, wanted to add example (belatedly) to Rev. Knapp's request about duplexes. This is a March 25 1854 example, which is on a fairly unusual cover as in is a March 1854 usage of the newly issued officially perforated One Penny Red.


Posted Jul 23, 15 9:25 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

North American Blockade Run Mail, 1775-1865

A new eight frame, updated, version of Steve Walske's exhibit has just been uploaded here.

Posted Jul 23, 15 9:05 by Lars Boettger (lars boettger)

Tunis Paket Stamp

Ken S:

Scott T is right. This is almost certainly a forgery. The stamp was used on small packages. On a letter the stamp does not make any sense. Also the design differs in almost all aspects from a genuine stamp.

All the best,


Posted Jul 23, 15 7:32 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

Stamp collecting vs. coin collecting

Which one offers the greatest opportunity for the unscrupulous?

Posted Jul 23, 15 6:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Internet Resources Page

I just updated the resources page here. Thanks to James Baird for a new link to Postal Bulletins & PLR's (1798 to 2013) and to Farley Katz (New Zealand Newspapers site).

Posted Jul 23, 15 0:01 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Rommel Stamp

Ken S:

The German Tunis military fieldpost stamp has been extensively forged. I think yours is not genuine.

Here is a link that might help:

This was used by Rommel's Afrika Corps. I'd like to find one on a genuine cover.

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