Probably one of the most common ways of collecting stamps is individually, as singles. However, many collectors also like to collect blocks of stamps. Stamp blocks make for an attractive display in a collection and in some cases, even turn out to be a valuable investment. Several different types of stamp blocks exist and this article will help you to understand the difference between a regular block, a plate block and an inscription block.
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.