Condition grading can sometimes be very confusing as it is a subjective evaluation and even veteran experts may disagree on some points. The overall quality must be taken into consideration before a grade can be determined. Many points must be examined in detail, both front and back, before a conclusion can be made. A close study of the centering, the perforations, the cancellation and the paper must be made in order to determine the presence of any hidden flaws. A very fine appearing stamp may under close examination be downgraded to fine or even to defect. This knowledge is necessary and very important as the grading of a stamp will dramatically influence the price of a stamp.
Welcome to the fascinating world of stamp collecting. Everyone has different reason for collecting, some enjoy collecting according to specific themes, others to learn about history, others still as an investment. Whatever your reasons, starting a new hobby can be a little intimidating at first and you may feel you need help getting to know your way around. That is why Arpin Philately has decided to post a series of articles helping you to understand the basics of stamp collecting-the stamp ABC’s!
Some of the most frequent questions we receive have to do with tagged stamps. What is tagging? How can I detect tagging? What is the difference between phosphorescent and fluorescent tagged stamps? Winnipeg vs General tags? Many collectors have these stamps but are unable to differentiate them from the regular issues and that can be very frustrating.
This article has been updated, with a solvent free solution. Please check this new post: UPDATE: How to remove self-adhesive stamps from a paper backing?
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to remove a self-adhesive stamp from an envelope or paper backing. Soaking it in water simply isn’t a consideration, as many of you already know. A little bit or research on the internet turned up this fool-proof method.
A common question in the stamp collecting world is: where can I get my stamp expertly valued? Oftentimes, if an individual wants to sell a rare stamp, a buyer will require a certificate of authenticity. Why? Well, because there have been several instances where a catalogued stamp has turned out to be a fake, or a stamp has been cleverly altered to make it look like something it is not. Who wants to buy a fake? (see article:Fakes and Forgeries-Beware!)
There are many hobbies in this world. Generally, a hobby is undertaken by a person for purposes of relaxation or pleasure, as something to do in their spare time. Personal tastes play a large role in what hobbies a person might adopt; what is interesting for one individual may be boring for another.
One of the questions that I get asked the most as a stamp dealer is «What is my stamp collection worth? ». Obviously, many collectors adopt this hobby simply because it is a passion, but others also hope that their collection may eventually have some re-sale value. How can you tell what your collection is worth?