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Europe/Other : Czechoslovakia Regummed??

 

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adam31415926
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18 Jan 2015
07:39:02pm
A friend gave me an envelope of stamps and one of the types is from Czechoslovakia. The front of the stamp has a cancellation on it, but the back has the original gum. What is the deal with this? If it is regummed why would someone bother with a low value stamp? If it is not, then why would it be cancelled? The gum on many of these is not disturbed at all.

Thanks for any help.

Here are 3 examples:

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

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TuskenRaider
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18 Jan 2015
08:21:18pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Hi Adam;
Those are known as CTO or Canceled-to-Order. Many nations take unsold stamp sheets and
cancel them to sell in bulk to stamp dealers, for stuffing packets. They are collectible but aren't
worth as much as postally used. Many collectors don't really care, because they are just trying
to collect as many different as they can. If you want to reduce the risk of them getting stuck
down (Czech stamps are very prone to this) in humid weather, soak the gum off, but don't try
to pass them off as postally used, that would be dishonest.

Keep on Stampin'....
TuskenRaider

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Bobstamp
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18 Jan 2015
08:25:02pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

TuskenRaider beat me to "Submit Message," and almost everything he said is correct. I don't think he's correct that unsold stamps are used to create CTOs. My understanding is that CTOs are usually created as part of the printing process, and were never intended to be used as postage.

Some CTOs have been issued by countries such as Australia and Switzerland. Sometimes collectors ask for postal clerks to cancel mint stamps at the counter so they'll have a (fake) "used" stamps. Such stamps are more accurately called "favour-cancelled" stamps. I once purchased a complete set of "used" Columbus commemoratives from a dealer in the U.S., but what I got was a set of favour cancelled stamps. I complained, but he blew me off.

I have many CTOs in my collection, most from Russia and North Vietnam. Postally used copies of these stamps exist, but they're a lot more expensive, and I only want them to use as illustrations for my web pages and exhibits.

Bob

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GeoStamper
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Steve

18 Jan 2015
10:25:53pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Bob, I have heard both stories over the years; that is, CTOs come from both unsold stamps and intentionally printed for CTO stamps. I've never liked them personally, although I have a fair number of them in my album. After spending an afternoon mounting a couple hundred East German CTOs last fall, I felt as if I needed to take a shower! There's just something about a stamp that was sold with no intention of being used for postage that goes against the grain. And the fact that so many of the countries issuing CTOs were communist makes it even more "unclean"...I Don't Want To See

My big question with CTOs is: Are copies that are postally used generally available? Were East Germans able to buy those stamps mint and use them for postage?

You are spot on that CTOs are usually gummed and cancelled with sharp but unobtrusive cancels. Since I try to collect postally used, the two banes of my collection are mint sets and CTO sets that seem to have been printed just for collectors. I find many French and British colony stamps are mint only. Each new collection or album I acquire seems to have the same mint and CTO stamp sets, and often even the same specific denomination. Maybe I just need to look harder.

Steve

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TuskenRaider
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18 Jan 2015
11:04:58pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Hi Everyone;

Bob is probably correct and I think that 90% or more are created at the time they are
printed, especially East Europe, Russia, and the dunes junk. Bob, I'm very surprised to
hear that Australia and Switzerland issued these also. I never knew that. I should have
researched this topic first, before my reply, but I just had to beat ya to the button!

I wished I was that fast with my light saber.... Rolling On The Floor Laughing
TuskenRaider

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Poodle_Mum
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18 Jan 2015
11:15:42pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Steve - there were some DDR stamps out of every set that were issued for regular post use. Often you will see these listed in italics for values. I have come across others that are generally CTOs but are used postally - tough to get some though.

My DDR is all MNH and then I have the CTO section. The catalogues list the "used" as CTOs. I have come across singles off paper that you can tell are not CTOs simply because of the location of the cancel as well as the fact that the cancels are slightly smudged whereas CTO cancels are clean.

Just my experience.

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malcolm197

19 Jan 2015
10:57:51am
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

There are 2 types of CTOs - those where the stamp is printed and then a "proper" inked postmark is applied - and those where the postmark is printed on as part of the design! Both are less desirable then genuine postally used but in my opinion the former are more "respectable" than the latter as the stamps were printed as part of the print run of genuine postally available stamps.

I have quite a lot of the Czech ones because I like the designs, and the quality of the production - and yes I have removed the gum, in the interests of the longevity of the item.It is my honest opinion that ultimately the gum on mint stamps will destroy the stamps themselves - and that used stamps are actually more durable. I do know that some museums actually blast-freeze mint stamps so that the gum cracks and drops off- leaving no residue to attack the paper.

I don't think anyone can "pass-off" Eastern Europe CTOs as genuine used - as people who are interested in collecting genuine postally used copies know very well -

a) Which issues were susceptible to CTO treatment.

b) can recognise the appropriate cancellations with ease.

Malcolm

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adam31415926
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19 Jan 2015
11:08:54am
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks everyone for the responses! I have certainly learned a lot of good information.

I have a follow up question. I was wondering why it is desirable to remove the gum? I understand the longevity issue, but wouldn't the same issue be found with MNH stamps? Couldn't it also cause confusion to future collectors thinking it was postally used, but it was really a CTO?


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GeoStamper
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Steve

19 Jan 2015
11:52:40am
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks, Kelly. Good to know that legit used versions of CTOs exist. I don't think I'll attack that problem yet, as I've been working my 1840-1959 International collection for less than a year, and I still have a lot of material to go through!

I learned from this discussion that others have removed the gum from CTOs - something I have considered, but have yet to do. I really don't want any gum in my album... Malcolm, thanks for the details. Now, it's time to remove some gum! Hurry Up

Steve

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Bobstamp
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19 Jan 2015
12:01:57pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

GeoStamper said,

"My big question with CTOs is: Are copies that are postally used generally available? Were East Germans able to buy those stamps mint and use them for postage? "



Some stamps that we normally see as CTOs have been sold in mint condition and used as postage. A few years ago a member of my stamp club sold me his small assortment of covers that he had received from a friend in East Germany during the Vietnam War. All of the stamps were issued in support of North Vietnam's fight to unite North and South Vietnam under communist rule. In addition to the cover shown below, In my collection I have both mint and CTO copies of the Ho Chi Minh stamp and the one picturing the woman fighter and the girl.

Image Not Found

My understanding is that some countries issued stamps exclusively for sale to foreign nations, so that even their own citizens could not use them.

GeoStamper also wrote,

"I was wondering why it is desirable to remove the gum? I understand the longevity issue, but wouldn't the same issue be found with MNH stamps? Couldn't it also cause confusion to future collectors thinking it was postally used, but it was really a CTO?"



Modern gum probably isn't as much an issue as it is with classic stamps. I've never heard of any collector routinely removing gum from modern mint stamps.

Collectors of truly classic mint stamps do sometimes remove gum to prevent it from cracking and ultimately damaging the paper. I believe that the Scott catalogue recommends this procedure for some stamps. Some stamps issued in Germany during the Nazi era had gum that contained a small amount of sulphuric acid. Those stamps are slowly yellowing today; mint examples should be washed to preserve them; here's an example of both of the German stamps on cover:

Image Not Found

Novice collectors are often confused by gumless CTOs, but a little experience helps them to easily identify CTOs by their neatly placed corner "cancels".

Bob



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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

19 Jan 2015
12:38:08pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

A correction on the comment regarding the italicized stamp values for DDR (and this applies to Czechoslovakia as well). Those stamps were issued in limited quantities, therefore the italicized values. It has nothing to do with their availability for postal use. As CTOs they were also available in limited quantities compared to the other stamps in the set.

All of the stamps were available for postal use, with some available at very small quantities. It can be very difficult to find many stamps that have been postally used. However, most were canceled to order and sold to dealers at huge discounts. It was a means for the countries to raise hard currency. For DDR, the CTOs were created and sold as new issues. This is probably true for most other countries, although some did cancel the stamps as remainders when the stamps went off-sale.

As stated, some countries issued CTOs with the cancel printed on the stamps at the same time that the stamps are printed. Belize is one such country. Most others were hand canceled.

The CTO stamps from Australia, for whatever reason, are sought after and command a premium. Don't know if this "fad" has died down any. Perhaps Brian (Snowy) can give us an update on that.

Generally, it is not that difficult to spot a true postal cancel from a CTO cancel.

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Poodle_Mum
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19 Jan 2015
01:34:31pm
re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks Michael for clarifying the italics in Scott. I don't use Scott for my German collection because it doesn't list all my issues - so I only use it to compare issue dates and find sets (Michel separates issues - Scott puts sets together that were issued over a period of time - so instead of flipping through Michel to see if something is part of a set, that is when I use Scott).

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Author/Postings
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adam31415926

18 Jan 2015
07:39:02pm

A friend gave me an envelope of stamps and one of the types is from Czechoslovakia. The front of the stamp has a cancellation on it, but the back has the original gum. What is the deal with this? If it is regummed why would someone bother with a low value stamp? If it is not, then why would it be cancelled? The gum on many of these is not disturbed at all.

Thanks for any help.

Here are 3 examples:

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

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www.ebid.net/us/stor ...
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TuskenRaider

18 Jan 2015
08:21:18pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Hi Adam;
Those are known as CTO or Canceled-to-Order. Many nations take unsold stamp sheets and
cancel them to sell in bulk to stamp dealers, for stuffing packets. They are collectible but aren't
worth as much as postally used. Many collectors don't really care, because they are just trying
to collect as many different as they can. If you want to reduce the risk of them getting stuck
down (Czech stamps are very prone to this) in humid weather, soak the gum off, but don't try
to pass them off as postally used, that would be dishonest.

Keep on Stampin'....
TuskenRaider

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Bobstamp

18 Jan 2015
08:25:02pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

TuskenRaider beat me to "Submit Message," and almost everything he said is correct. I don't think he's correct that unsold stamps are used to create CTOs. My understanding is that CTOs are usually created as part of the printing process, and were never intended to be used as postage.

Some CTOs have been issued by countries such as Australia and Switzerland. Sometimes collectors ask for postal clerks to cancel mint stamps at the counter so they'll have a (fake) "used" stamps. Such stamps are more accurately called "favour-cancelled" stamps. I once purchased a complete set of "used" Columbus commemoratives from a dealer in the U.S., but what I got was a set of favour cancelled stamps. I complained, but he blew me off.

I have many CTOs in my collection, most from Russia and North Vietnam. Postally used copies of these stamps exist, but they're a lot more expensive, and I only want them to use as illustrations for my web pages and exhibits.

Bob

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GeoStamper

Steve
18 Jan 2015
10:25:53pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Bob, I have heard both stories over the years; that is, CTOs come from both unsold stamps and intentionally printed for CTO stamps. I've never liked them personally, although I have a fair number of them in my album. After spending an afternoon mounting a couple hundred East German CTOs last fall, I felt as if I needed to take a shower! There's just something about a stamp that was sold with no intention of being used for postage that goes against the grain. And the fact that so many of the countries issuing CTOs were communist makes it even more "unclean"...I Don't Want To See

My big question with CTOs is: Are copies that are postally used generally available? Were East Germans able to buy those stamps mint and use them for postage?

You are spot on that CTOs are usually gummed and cancelled with sharp but unobtrusive cancels. Since I try to collect postally used, the two banes of my collection are mint sets and CTO sets that seem to have been printed just for collectors. I find many French and British colony stamps are mint only. Each new collection or album I acquire seems to have the same mint and CTO stamp sets, and often even the same specific denomination. Maybe I just need to look harder.

Steve

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"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
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TuskenRaider

18 Jan 2015
11:04:58pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Hi Everyone;

Bob is probably correct and I think that 90% or more are created at the time they are
printed, especially East Europe, Russia, and the dunes junk. Bob, I'm very surprised to
hear that Australia and Switzerland issued these also. I never knew that. I should have
researched this topic first, before my reply, but I just had to beat ya to the button!

I wished I was that fast with my light saber.... Rolling On The Floor Laughing
TuskenRaider

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.webstore.com/sto ...

A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
18 Jan 2015
11:15:42pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Steve - there were some DDR stamps out of every set that were issued for regular post use. Often you will see these listed in italics for values. I have come across others that are generally CTOs but are used postally - tough to get some though.

My DDR is all MNH and then I have the CTO section. The catalogues list the "used" as CTOs. I have come across singles off paper that you can tell are not CTOs simply because of the location of the cancel as well as the fact that the cancels are slightly smudged whereas CTO cancels are clean.

Just my experience.

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malcolm197

19 Jan 2015
10:57:51am

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

There are 2 types of CTOs - those where the stamp is printed and then a "proper" inked postmark is applied - and those where the postmark is printed on as part of the design! Both are less desirable then genuine postally used but in my opinion the former are more "respectable" than the latter as the stamps were printed as part of the print run of genuine postally available stamps.

I have quite a lot of the Czech ones because I like the designs, and the quality of the production - and yes I have removed the gum, in the interests of the longevity of the item.It is my honest opinion that ultimately the gum on mint stamps will destroy the stamps themselves - and that used stamps are actually more durable. I do know that some museums actually blast-freeze mint stamps so that the gum cracks and drops off- leaving no residue to attack the paper.

I don't think anyone can "pass-off" Eastern Europe CTOs as genuine used - as people who are interested in collecting genuine postally used copies know very well -

a) Which issues were susceptible to CTO treatment.

b) can recognise the appropriate cancellations with ease.

Malcolm

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adam31415926

19 Jan 2015
11:08:54am

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks everyone for the responses! I have certainly learned a lot of good information.

I have a follow up question. I was wondering why it is desirable to remove the gum? I understand the longevity issue, but wouldn't the same issue be found with MNH stamps? Couldn't it also cause confusion to future collectors thinking it was postally used, but it was really a CTO?


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GeoStamper

Steve
19 Jan 2015
11:52:40am

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks, Kelly. Good to know that legit used versions of CTOs exist. I don't think I'll attack that problem yet, as I've been working my 1840-1959 International collection for less than a year, and I still have a lot of material to go through!

I learned from this discussion that others have removed the gum from CTOs - something I have considered, but have yet to do. I really don't want any gum in my album... Malcolm, thanks for the details. Now, it's time to remove some gum! Hurry Up

Steve

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"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
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Bobstamp

19 Jan 2015
12:01:57pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

GeoStamper said,

"My big question with CTOs is: Are copies that are postally used generally available? Were East Germans able to buy those stamps mint and use them for postage? "



Some stamps that we normally see as CTOs have been sold in mint condition and used as postage. A few years ago a member of my stamp club sold me his small assortment of covers that he had received from a friend in East Germany during the Vietnam War. All of the stamps were issued in support of North Vietnam's fight to unite North and South Vietnam under communist rule. In addition to the cover shown below, In my collection I have both mint and CTO copies of the Ho Chi Minh stamp and the one picturing the woman fighter and the girl.

Image Not Found

My understanding is that some countries issued stamps exclusively for sale to foreign nations, so that even their own citizens could not use them.

GeoStamper also wrote,

"I was wondering why it is desirable to remove the gum? I understand the longevity issue, but wouldn't the same issue be found with MNH stamps? Couldn't it also cause confusion to future collectors thinking it was postally used, but it was really a CTO?"



Modern gum probably isn't as much an issue as it is with classic stamps. I've never heard of any collector routinely removing gum from modern mint stamps.

Collectors of truly classic mint stamps do sometimes remove gum to prevent it from cracking and ultimately damaging the paper. I believe that the Scott catalogue recommends this procedure for some stamps. Some stamps issued in Germany during the Nazi era had gum that contained a small amount of sulphuric acid. Those stamps are slowly yellowing today; mint examples should be washed to preserve them; here's an example of both of the German stamps on cover:

Image Not Found

Novice collectors are often confused by gumless CTOs, but a little experience helps them to easily identify CTOs by their neatly placed corner "cancels".

Bob



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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
19 Jan 2015
12:38:08pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

A correction on the comment regarding the italicized stamp values for DDR (and this applies to Czechoslovakia as well). Those stamps were issued in limited quantities, therefore the italicized values. It has nothing to do with their availability for postal use. As CTOs they were also available in limited quantities compared to the other stamps in the set.

All of the stamps were available for postal use, with some available at very small quantities. It can be very difficult to find many stamps that have been postally used. However, most were canceled to order and sold to dealers at huge discounts. It was a means for the countries to raise hard currency. For DDR, the CTOs were created and sold as new issues. This is probably true for most other countries, although some did cancel the stamps as remainders when the stamps went off-sale.

As stated, some countries issued CTOs with the cancel printed on the stamps at the same time that the stamps are printed. Belize is one such country. Most others were hand canceled.

The CTO stamps from Australia, for whatever reason, are sought after and command a premium. Don't know if this "fad" has died down any. Perhaps Brian (Snowy) can give us an update on that.

Generally, it is not that difficult to spot a true postal cancel from a CTO cancel.

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A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
19 Jan 2015
01:34:31pm

re: Czechoslovakia Regummed??

Thanks Michael for clarifying the italics in Scott. I don't use Scott for my German collection because it doesn't list all my issues - so I only use it to compare issue dates and find sets (Michel separates issues - Scott puts sets together that were issued over a period of time - so instead of flipping through Michel to see if something is part of a set, that is when I use Scott).

Like
Login to Like
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"Let's find a cure for Still's Disease, Breast Cancer and Canine Addison's Disease. We CAN find a cure and save lives!!"

emmettslegacy.webs.c ...
        

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