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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : I should have never looked through the catalog!

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malby66
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13 Aug 2017
12:58:08pm
I was able to get my hands on a 2007 Scott catalog volume 1 yesterday. Trying to stay focus on my United States collection I should have never looked through it. There are so many stamp sets from other countries that I would love to get. And this is just a 2007 catalog countries A to B. I couldn't imagine if I was able to look through the entire current catalog set for all countries. My want list would be crazy. I promised my wife I would not go crazy with this hobby like I did with my sports card collection but its going to be tough. Looks like I may start buying what I like and not limiting myself to a few things. It'll keep it more interesting for me.

I have a few questions that I need help with.

1) Is MUH mint never hinged like MNH or is it mint with the hinge taked off like the stamp has been unhinged? Saw it explained both ways.

2) How can I tell if a stamp has been CTO? Are these stamps real?

3) I bought 2 Vario binders and Vario pages for my other interest stamps. Do I need to mount the stamp then put them in the pages? I have seen this done.

Thanks for the help and any other collecting advice will be much appreciated.

Mal
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michael78651
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13 Aug 2017
01:37:17pm
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

First, read the introduction to the catalogs, and look at the back of the catalog as well. Most of your questions will be answered there.

Answers to your questions also lie in the Discussion Board topics and articles available on this site. Explore the site. There is plenty of information here.

If you want to economize buying stamps, especially if you want to start a new country, try to find a country collection. You can usually find these in used albums, and the cost is far less than if you bought the stamps one at a time. You will accumulate duplicates, but then you can do like many do, and that is sell the duplicates so you can buy more stamps!

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1938324
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13 Aug 2017
02:13:03pm

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re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Hello Mel!

I'm certainly no stamp expert, but I would answer your questions this way:

1) I prefer to describe a stamp as MNH, MH, Postal Used, or CTO. I don't like MUH. The stamp is either MNH or MH.

2) CTOs. They certainly are real stamps, but have been cancelled in bulk by the selling country and are sold for a lower price. They are Used, but not Postal Used. How can you tell if a stamp is a CTO? In many cases the selling country would like to deceive you. If the cancel is just too perfect, and shows just in a corner of the stamp, be suspicious. If the cancel is just too perfect, and has gum on the back, it's a CTO. Some countries (Czechoslovakia comes to mind) uses large cancellations on its' CTOs. If some enterprising seller then soaks the stamp to remove the gum, it's almost impossible to tell if the stamp is Postal Used or a CTO. When I sell stamps I always price CTOs less than other stamps.

3) I would not use hinges on stamps in Vario Binders or on Vario Pages. If it's a MNH stamp, you've just decreased its' value by putting a hinge on it. In addition, if you don't hinge the stamp, you have the flexibility of shifting things around as your interests change.

Concerning StampoRama - I'd like to give them a big plug here. I have been listing more expensive items on Ebay and less expensive items on StampoRama (Approvals and Auction). I participate in local Stamp Club Auctions, the APS Stamp Store, the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors (ISWSC) Auctions, and the Armed Forces Stamp Exchange (AFSE) Auctions. StampoRama gives me more pleasure and, perhaps, a greater financial return simply because I'm processing a much larger number of stamps. Hope this gives you a little insight.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Aug 2017
03:10:52pm

Auctions
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

to expand on Bob's CTO comments

in many countries, CTOs are easily found by looking at the quarter cancel: that is, exactly one quarter of a cancel, so that one strike kills four stamps, without really defacing them. In addition, most CTOs are sold with gum, meaning that if nothing further happens, they'll have nice cancel AND gum.

most of us, not all, prefer unused or postally used to CTO. in many cases, like Bob's Czech example, used stamps are often difficult to find and CTOs plentiful.


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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
13 Aug 2017
08:38:59pm
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Before you just jump in collecting you would best be served by seeing what the world has to offer. I have one of the largest private collections on the planet and it is scanned and put up on the internet for everyone to view.
You can easily see what most all countries have issued from the beginning up until the later parts of the 20th century. I find stamps after mid 1900's to be rather boring. Many of which are just produced to make money off of collectors and will never have any real value.
I daresay a majority of collectors feel the same way. When you have a better idea of what's out there and what countries interest you then as Michael has said; find a used album for that country that has many stamps in it and start from there.
Buying new issues from the post office is probably the worst way to start off as you will spend lots of money on stamps that will be worth half as much after you get them home. I've spent many thousands of hours on my website for people like you who are getting started but really do not know what is out there. So please take advantage of it and have a good long look at the 300 or so countries before you jump in with both feet.
The A-Z index of countries can be found at: Antonius-Ra.com
Country index pages will show the whole country in thumbnails clicking on a thumbnail of a page will bring up a large page of it, another click on it will further enlarge the page.

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nigelc
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14 Aug 2017
07:50:35am
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Some people write "MUH", others write "MNH".

Here in the UK people usually write "UMM" or "U/M" etc.

It all means the same: the stamp still has its gum and has never been hinged.

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nigelc
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14 Aug 2017
07:59:24am
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

When I think of CTO stamps I first think of stamps with full gum with either a neatly handstamped or printed cancellation. Many of my first stamps from the old Eastern Bloc were like this and also many from the Middle East and independent Africa.

However, there are other kinds of CTOs.

In many countries post offices sell stamps cancelled to order to collectors, usually at full face value. Official "first day covers" are often created in the same way even after the issue date to fulfil collectors' orders.

In Australia, there was a tradition for many years of selling packets of mixed "CTO" stamps to collectors and these are now collected in their own right by many people.

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
14 Aug 2017
08:43:14am
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Yes, FDC's are essentially CTO unless they travel through the mail individually yet they are not treated with disdain like individual stamps.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
14 Aug 2017
11:45:09am

Auctions
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Al,

I'd argue that secondary market pricing for FDCs indicates that there is little interest in them outside of topical areas or for the individual cachet artist's work, not the stamp per se.

but now we're starting to wander

David

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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..
14 Aug 2017
05:31:55pm
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

One last thing that was briefly refereed to.
Some CTOs are cancelled during the printing process so the "Cancellation" has been built into the printing plate.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
ekbustad
13 Sep 2017
07:07:58pm
re: I should have never looked through the catalog!

Regarding your want list, if just starting out I would suggest keeping an "Have List", listing the stamps that you have acquired, rather than a list of stamps that you don't have yet.

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