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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

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Cattywumpuss
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08 Aug 2015
04:01:07am
Greetings all. As I was sorting through my collection again tonight I came across some interesting stamps. These stamps lacked perforations around their edges. The first one is a US stamp. It looks like a proper stamp in every sense, apart from the fact that it does not seem to have any perforations at all. Here is a picture of it:

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What I am wondering, is whether this is still an actual 'stamp' or not? Would it have still been valid for postage at the time? Is there a reason for the lack of perforations?

Next I came across these two stamps. One was perforated and one was not. These stamps looked identical to me at first, but then when I took a closer look I could see there were slight differences in color and such. Here they are:

Image Not Found

Again, are they both valid postage stamps or not? I wonder if one of these is a fake, but I really do not know anything about fakes. They both seem to have cancellations marks on them though, which leads me to believe they were used for postage.

Once again, any help or insight anybody can provide is much appreciated. Thanks, and hope you all have a great weekend,

Paul.

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pedroguy
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08 Aug 2015
06:16:26am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Paul.....The US stamp is Scott #762 Special Printing and is genuine.
The Romanian stamps are also genuine Scott #C155 perforated and is also listed as imperf,
very minimal value they were issued in 1964 they appear to be C.T.O.

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Cattywumpuss
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09 Aug 2015
11:43:40pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi pedroguy. Thanks for the reply and the great information. You mentioned the Romanian stamps were "CTO". What does this mean exactly? Thanks so much,

Paul.

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TuskenRaider
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10 Aug 2015
01:00:22am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi Paul;

CTO means "Canceled To Order". It could have been done for various reasons, two of the commonest are

1) disposal of unsold stamps or left-overs, at a discount to stamp dealers,

2) part of a run of a stamp issue was never meant to be sold for postage but sold at a discount from face
to dealers for packet stuffing.

3) Another reason, is the whole issue was never meant for postage and is not recognized by the Universal Postal Union. I would have been produced to get rich off of naive collectors.

The UPU is the international governing body in charge of stamps issued by various nations for non-domestic postal use.

Keep on sortin'....
TuskenRaider

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Bobstamp
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10 Aug 2015
01:57:26am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

The U.S. stamp is one of "Farley's Follies," which refers to a philatelic scandal during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. See this National Postal Museum web page. The stamps, both the regular issue and the ones from the special printings, are common, and uncommonly attractive in my opinion. Here is a web page showing one of signed Acadia imperforate sheets.

Bob

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
10 Aug 2015
03:43:45pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

As Bob notes, once again, there is a vast well of very interesting history, and in this case politics, involved in real stamp collecting. It is not just a matter of catalog numbers, dollar (or Pound) values, perforations, overprints and watermarks, but the history of civilization's achievements as well as its failures.

The best part of that is that you needn't jump into the deep end of the pool right away.

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Cattywumpuss
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10 Aug 2015
03:51:31pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi TuskenRaider. Thanks for the "CTO" information. I knew it could not have stood for "Cut To Order", LOL. "Canceled To Order" makes much more sense. At least in this context.

Thanks for the great links Bob. I couldn't resist clicking on them right away, even though I am at work. It was cool seeing a whole sheet of the "Acadia" stamp that I have too. Must have been nice I guess, being able to help yourself to whole sheets of stamps fresh off the press.

As cdj1122 says, I am quickly discovering that each stamp is an education in itself. I really enjoy following the leads though, and seeing where things take me. Thank you all, for sharing your knowledge. Hope you all have a great day,

Paul.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
10 Aug 2015
03:57:24pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Here are some links with information regarding stamp collecting:

American Philatelic Society Starting-a-Collection

http://www.kenmorestamp.com/guide-to-collecting

In addition, the introductions and back pages to the various stamp catalogs offer a wealth of information that is often overlooked.


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Stevo45
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07 Sep 2015
03:37:36am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi cattywumpuss,

Sometimes (often) I think the non-perf stamp is more valuable..

Here is a 2006 mini sheet containing "Semi" imperforate stamps and the Red Back Spider is FULLY imperforate, quite hard to find and expensive ( about $40.00 AUD) for the mini sheet.

Image Not Found

Also regarding CTO's - while they appear to be a little unpopular with American collectors they are quite popular in other countries and if you just want a very good example of the particular stamp then they are good.

Some collectors don't like 'em because they are not "Postally Used" .. But then mint stamps are not used either..

As always .. each to their own - - - I like CTO's..

Steve

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musicman
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APS #213005
07 Sep 2015
09:07:32am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

I agree with Stevo -

I believe CTO's are collectible/useable right alongside other stamp issues.

One for-instance would be a topical collection. I would not have nearly as many cheetah stamps in my own topical collection if I were to disregard CTO's! Happy
As we all have said numerous times here - collect the way YOU want - there's no right or wrong way as long as you are enjoying your collection! Make it fun for YOU.






Randy

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sam931
09 Sep 2015
05:47:52pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

As it states above, Cancelled To Order. Here in Australia I can order from Australia post new issues cancelled.

Essentially making it a used stamp(with full gum), though not postally used it can never be used as valid postage, already cancelled.

Good Quality cancelled modern Australia(postally used) is not always easy to find, especially in full sets, blocks, strips, gutters etc. CTO solves this problem.

A lot of our modern stamps CTO now sell with retailers at the same price as MUH.

Sam

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Stevo45
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11 Sep 2015
02:52:40am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi sam,

Some of those CTO's now have a "printed" post mark.. Not even hand cancelled.

I wonder if there is a legal issue here as they are "not really" cancelled..

Still.... In, MHO, good stamps to collect.

Steve.

Fabulous dogs, by the way..

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HungaryForStamps
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11 Sep 2015
04:08:51pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Printing cancels on CTOs is not a new thing. This is the hallmark of the CTOs from the large producers in the 70's; the cancels were applied by the press on entire sheets and not by postal clerks but during stamp production.

This is contrasted with a favor cancel in which the item (possibly a cover or whatever with the entire set) is handed to the postal clerk by the customer to be hand-canceled and then handed back.

(edit: CTOs were applied by hand as well, usually the older issues, but again not at request of the customer but to produce stock for sale. I'm just pointing out that printing CTOs by press is not new and not unusual. Also, I find favor canceled items to be collectible but prefer to avoid CTOs if possible).

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
12 Sep 2015
09:04:25pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

" .... Some collectors don't like'em because they are not "Postally Used" .. But then mint stamps are not used either.. ...."

Which is why I avoid "Mint NH" as well, unless I can't find nice postally used examples at a price I can afford. Just about all "Mint NH" become Mint Hinged in short order in my collections. And sometimes I will dump some "M-HN" into the soak off tub jut to remove the gum.
Why, because that is the way I choose to collect stamps.

And that should be a part of everyone's #1 rule (Not necessarily the soaking.) but collecting what you like the way that you most enjoy the endeavor.
It is your collection and in all likelihood, if you are really a committed stamper you will be just someone's tender memory when the time comes to sell the stamps from your collections. If that concept bothers you, then make the necessary arrangements and collect postage stamps however you feel will best achieve your goals.

" ... Printing cancels on CTOs is not a new thing. This is the hallmark of the CTOs from the large producers in the 70's; the cancels were applied by the press on entire sheets and not by postal clerks but during stamp production. ...."
From the late '50s, certain nations, and pretend nations, fired up their printing presses and set the dial to 'overtime' producing what were sometimes dubbed "Jam Jar Labels"

The culprits were countries behind the Iron Curtain, certain independent and quasi independent islands, reefs and shoals in the Caribbean area, and Sheikdoms along the Saudi side of the Persian Gulf, who printed labels showing every conceivable subject that looked like postage stamps, but in many cases were never on sale within the borders of the sponsor country. In a few instances the illustration actually violated the local customs by showing works of art of semi-naked subjects and were someone caught with them or were they to try to use them to carry the mail, the often draconian consequences of Sharia Law would likely have ended that experiment.

That said, if that is what you enjoy putting into your album, it is strictly your business. It is your album.

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musicman
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APS #213005
13 Sep 2015
10:08:58pm
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Exactly what I was referring to earlier, Charlie -

thank you for expounding on it Happy







Randy

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sam931
01 Oct 2015
02:53:52am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Hi all, I have put together some info/description on what a CTO is, or pertains to be.
its in pdf format.
http://www.austamps.com/CTO_Description.pdf
any feedback very welcome.
Sam

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
01 Oct 2015
04:20:29am
re: Perfless, Worthless, Or Both?

Very nice Sam, I think you covered just about all the bases. One general difference between CTOs and Favor Cancels is that the former are usually released at less than the face value while the latter will have been bought at the post office for face and if it is done for a dealer to fill his stock for customers, will be sold for the face value plus a service charge.

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