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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Re-gumming

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Newfydad
04 Sep 2016
02:22:48pm
I recently acquired an accumulation on pages and while integrating some of the stamps into my main albums, I notice most of the USED Czechoslovakia stamps after 1960 or so have complete gum. And many of them are stuck to the pages so firmly I will have to soak them off. I suspect these stamps were re-gummed at some point.

Or...

Is there a practical method of removing used stamps from covers while preserving the original gum? If not, why go to the bother of re-gumming an obviously used stamp with a cancellation that cant be missed? I personally cant see that re-gumming adds anything to the value or desirability of a used stamp but perhaps that's just my naivety showing. Any thoughts?
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Ningpo
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04 Sep 2016
02:29:01pm
re: Re-gumming

These may have been cancelled to order (CTO) stamps. These are more often found with the gum still intact. There would be absolutely no point in anyone re-gumming used/CTO stamps.

There is no need to try and preserve gum on used stamps. Just soak them off properly.


Have a look here at the raft of Czechoslovakian stamps on eBay. Most seem to be CTO:
Czech CTO's. Notice the first item in the list (Songbirds) is described as LMM (lightly mounted mint) but CTO. Total nonsense; it's one or the other. In this case 'cancelled to order' and therefore 'used'.

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Ningpo
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04 Sep 2016
02:55:59pm
re: Re-gumming

From Wikipedia: Cancelled to order


Image Not Found

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Sep 2016
08:40:24am

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re: Re-gumming

there were also tons of Czech stamps on FDCs, ever so lightly affixed at the top so that the buyer could either fully seal them to cover or easily remove and have a cancelled stamp without the official CTO quadrant cancel

in either case, these are considered used, and gumming them post use would have been silly. Scott differentiates between CTO and used stamps, and generally considers the latter more desirable. In all but the definitive series, CTOs are certainly the more plentiful

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Newfydad
05 Sep 2016
02:41:25pm
re: Re-gumming

Thank you both for the education.
I've learned something about CTOs and it appears thats exactly what these Czech stamps are.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Sep 2016
05:21:51pm

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re: Re-gumming

Newfy.... that's about 90% of my post WWII Czech collection.

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okstamps
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05 Sep 2016
06:12:57pm
re: Re-gumming

When I first started collecting back in the mid-1970s I quickly learned about CTO stamps when obtaining examples of Eastern European CTO stamps in approval mixtures. They were looked down upon by the more knowledgeable collectors, with stamps that had actually seen postal duty always the preferred choice. Many refused to even consider putting a CTO stamp in their collection. You can still see many advertisements for worldwide mixtures in Linn's Stamp News where it is promised that the mixture does not contain any CTO stamps.

So I had always looked down on CTO stamps and only put them in my worldwide collection if I couldn't find a legitimately used copy. They seemed to abound from Eastern European, independent Africa and "Dune" countries. Imagine my surprise when going through some collections and accumulations that I purchased in the last 10-15 years and finding CTO stamps from Switzerland, Germany (not DDR but West Germany or the unified Germany post-1990), West Berlin, Belgium, France, etc., and finding CTO stamps from those countries. I wondered if someone had purchased them at a post office and had the postal clerk cancel them just so that they could have "used" stamps. They all had sharp fresh cancels and complete unblemished gum. These collections or accumulations also appeared to have originated in Europe.

In my last issue of Linn's Stamp News in the Collectors' Forum section there is a question from someone who found a bunch of such CTO material from Switzerland with these stamps from the 1960s and 1970s. He asked if these were actual CTO stamps or something else. Linn's came back with a long explanation that stated that the aversion to collecting CTO issues has changed, especially among European collectors. An expert they referred to stated that many Western European countries will provide CTO stamps with first-day-of-issue-dated cancels applied to the stamps for collectors and that they are sold at face value, not at a discount. The expert stated that in the European market these CTO stamps are preferred for more recent issues and that a premium will be paid for them over issues that have been applied to an envelope, canceled, passed through the mail and have then been soaked off the paper.

My, how times have changed. But if no commemorative stamps are used because no one mails anything anymore, how are the relatively large numbers of stamp collectors in Europe supposed to update their used stamp collections? This is apparently the answer, with the Post Office in each country making a nice profit from each canceled stamp sold since they will never be used for their intended purpose.

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Ningpo
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05 Sep 2016
06:25:46pm
re: Re-gumming

I don't have any Czech stamps as such, just the odd cover. Here's one I was enamoured with, because of the design. Some of their issues I love but if they mostly come CTO then they're not for me.

In some ways this could of course be classified as CTO, or cancelled by favour. But at least it has been through the postal system:


Image Not Found

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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..
05 Sep 2016
07:52:34pm
re: Re-gumming

" .... that's about 90% of my post
WWII Czech collection. ...."


Finding these colorful topical labels
postally used is quite difficult.
Although these countries had a very
literate population, mailers generally
affixed the smaller, usually boring,
definitive stamps on the mail.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
05 Sep 2016
08:44:20pm
re: Re-gumming

Quote:

"Linn's came back with a long explanation that stated that the aversion to collecting CTO issues has changed, especially among European collectors."



I don't know if Europeans ever had a position on these. When I was a kid living in Germany circa 1969-72, the local gas station premium was a small pouch of stamps. Most in there were CTO.

As an American, I read Linn's Stamp News and belonged to the stamp and coin club on our Army post. I was taught "No CTOs or Sand Dunes" so I wasn't happy with the contents of the gas station stamp pouches!

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sheepshanks
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05 Sep 2016
09:18:02pm
re: Re-gumming

My personal thoughts are that a CTO is not postally used, having never delivered mail. I put it on a par with FDC's that are not addressed and therefore have possibly not ever seen a mailbox. Therefore they never go into my collection.
The same applies to uncancelled stamps that have gone through the mail but never franked (or sharpied)
Now this begs a further question, what are our members thoughts on stamps that have passed through a mail service but only have the Grey/Blue dots marking them, rather than an actual postmark or slogan. Does this count as a sign of postal use?


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Ningpo
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05 Sep 2016
09:59:43pm
re: Re-gumming

Quote:

"Now this begs a further question, what are our members thoughts on stamps that have passed through a mail service but only have the Grey/Blue dots marking them, rather than an actual postmark or slogan. Does this count as a sign of postal use?"



No doubt purists would scoff at these but reading more and more posts on other forums, collectors are slowly (forced to) accepting this sort of marking. Just look at how wavy line (machine) cancels are mostly the norm nowadays.

I've even seen posts where individuals have said that even sharpie markings or those awful misplaced P.O. labels on cover should be accepted, as they actually have been through the post and should be considered as modern postal markings.

I do not collect current stuff, either mint or used, unless it has special relevance or tickles my fancy. So, luckily I can evade all this adulteration.

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michael78651
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05 Sep 2016
11:46:19pm
re: Re-gumming

What about the blue crayon lines on stamps from over 100 years ago? That had international meaning that the mailing was being sent by registered mail. Those should be accepted and not discounted.

So, if one accepts Sharpie markings, the application could be considered the result of an error in handling whereby the cancellation process was somehow bypassed. Just thoughts.

Tom, I spent three summers in Germany (1969, 1971, 1973) living with my German grandparents. I remember going to the post office and seeing people buy stamps only to put them on a small slip of paper and have the clerk cancel them. Definitely CTO.

While I was surprised to see this, my thoughts were "to each his own". Collect it or don't. Do as you want it is your hobby. One doesn't gain anything by doing it the way others do. Stamp collecting doesn't have rules of conformity as regards to what one collects. I don't think I would enjoy the hobby at all if I was concerned all the time as to whether I was collecting the "right" stamps as determined by others.

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Stevo45
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06 Sep 2016
01:17:03am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Re-gumming

If you don't like CTO's ................. Send 'em to me, I Luv 'em........ :-)

Cheers

Steve.

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okstamps
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06 Sep 2016
09:05:35am
re: Re-gumming

Michael, I have seen high denomination stamps from Great Britain (Queen Victoria one-Pound stamps) with red or orange crayon markings on them even though they had otherwise been canceled in a normal fashion. The reason for those crayon markings had me wondering why they were there; your comment above may have very well answered that question.

Just looked through some German stamp auctions that are running on Sandafayre. Several more recent used collections (1980s-2000s) look to be composed of CTO stamps. The cancels are all to perfect and the stamps appear to be much too bright and fresh to be actual used stamps. So this method of collecting "used" stamps may be more prevalent and accepted than what I had ever imagined.

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upsguy62
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15 Sep 2016
08:27:28pm
re: Re-gumming

It's funny. When I first started collecting stamps as a kid, I didn't know about CTO's and was happy with every stamp I could get. As I progressed and found out what CTO's were, I was disappointed that they weren't "as good" as my other stamps. Now, the stigma of the CTO seems to be diminishing. If you wait long enough.....

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
16 Sep 2016
07:45:52am

Auctions
re: Re-gumming

Art,

Stigma..... no, it's all about resale value. I have tons of Czech stamps that are CTO, and I'm happy to have them. There aren't really many postally used, so it's either CTO or the far more expensive mint.

David

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michael78651
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16 Sep 2016
06:41:30pm
re: Re-gumming

One can call their stamps anything that they want. However, when using catalogs to identify and value stamps, all catalogs refer to canceled to order stamps as being a category of "used". It is misleading to other collectors to insinuate that because a stamp has full gum on it and has never been hinged that it is mint, never hinged.

Terminology is important. Using it wrong leads to misunderstandings, especially with those new to the hobby. Misunderstandings lead to frustration and for some an exit from the hobby. One doesn't call a car a horse cart just because it has the word "Mustang" on it.

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musicman
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APS #213005
16 Sep 2016
07:50:10pm
re: Re-gumming

Quote:

"Terminology is important. Using it wrong leads to misunderstandings, especially with those new to the hobby."




Michael makes a very good point here.
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whitebuffalo
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16 Sep 2016
11:04:39pm
re: Re-gumming

I would also have to agree, if it's no longer usable, then it's because it's already been used. Maybe not postally, but still...

Even using GCI as a terminology, C = cancelled.


WB

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michael78651
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17 Sep 2016
03:01:35pm
re: Re-gumming

This is where the APS can step in to create a set of standards for the hobby. Heck, model railroading has a national association that does just that.

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