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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Where do I begin

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ckwray
09 Feb 2016
07:38:31pm
I inherited my Uncle's stamp collection. He was a frugal man so I didn't think there was much to the collection even though it was comprised of seven boxes. Today I realized he was likely more than a casual collector. Unfortunately the binder covers of some of the collections are moldy; should I order replacements? Also there are two boxes of loose stamps still in the special paper envelopes that have not be put into books. How do I begin?
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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
09 Feb 2016
08:32:47pm
re: Where do I begin

Greetings, with the info you have provided there is no way for us to know anything of what you might have. The best stamps are most likely to be mounted in albums. I fhtere is a U.S. album showing the first couple pages would give us enough info to see if you might have something worth looking into. Besides the first few pages that have some stamps showing the first page that is mostly complete would also help. If there are any other country albums showing the same type pages will help. Most stamps have very little value
it's quite possible that there is nothing of any real value to worry about protecting them from anything.

(Modified by Moderator on 2016-02-16 17:54:54)

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
09 Feb 2016
08:45:31pm

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re: Where do I begin

And on the other hand, who knows? There may be some gems!
This is part of the fun of the hobby...to stumble upon a valuable rare stamp when you think it is all ordinary common stuff. And the valuable stuff may well be hidden, such as a rare perforation gage, an unusual watermark, or just a stamp that is like the others in the set, except it just was not issued in large numbers, and therefore is worth a lot more.
Have someone knowledgeable take a look, after you sort it out.
So have fun exploring what you have. You can consult a catalog..even if it is not the most recent one, to get an idea of relative value. (remember, most stamps don't sell at catalog value, but more like at 20-40% if you are lucky.)
Now a word about mold. Make sure the stamps are not moldy..and for that reason alone you may want to discard moldy covers or books and if they got too close to the stamps on the pages, you may want to air them. I am highly allergic to molds, and if I go into a dealer shop that smells of mold, I will start to cough and sneeze...so I often have to walk out. Same at stamp shows.
rrr...

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"E. Rutherford: All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
youpiao
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10 Feb 2016
07:20:26am
re: Where do I begin

Quote:

"And on the other hand, who knows? There may be some gems!"



I'll second that. My niece collected stamps, for a short time, before she was a teenager. Later, when she "grew out" of the hobby (i.e. lost interest) my sister gave me her album. As you can imagine, the modest collection was made up entirely of packet material. However, there, on the Great Britain page, I found a nice used example of the 1919 half-crown "Seahorse," Scott #179, SG #450), not a spectacular find, but a nice one, considering the album it came from. Good uncle that I am, I let her know about my find, and she was all, "Meh, that's nice; you keep it." Big Grin

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pedroguy
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16 Feb 2016
11:47:27am
re: Where do I begin

Welcome, For starters you've come to the right place..GOOD START

I just want to point out that sometimes what you can't see is more important than what jumps off the page. For instance WATERMARKS..Here's a few examples of Great Britain that might help illustrate my point.

Scott #188 Issued 1924 Mint Value $1.10, but with a sideways watermark $22.50
Scott #190 " " Mint Value $2.90, sideways watermark $110.00
Scott #211 " 1934 Mint Value .45 cents sideways watermark $15.00
Scott #213 " 1935 Mint Value .55 " sideways watermark $90.00

Just a few examples of stamps that aren't that old and are fairly common until you check
the watermarks, SO you never know what may be lurking in those albums.

The fun is in the DISCOVERY

Bill

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
16 Feb 2016
06:06:13pm
re: Where do I begin

Hi Ckwray,
As the others have suggested, be very careful of the mold issue. Get rid of it as best as you can. Mold can completely destroy your collection.

So now to the stamps. Your local library will have catalogs that you can use to start to understand what you have. Keep a look out on the libraries book sales. Often they offer catalogs at a fraction (like very small fraction) of what it would take to buy full copy of the catalogs. Stamps don't change that quickly, so any catalog issued in the last 5 years will meet 90% of your needs.

Hope this helps.

Tim.

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