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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

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3cents
30 Jun 2019
05:30:53pm
Hey Team!

So my first question has specifically to do with my NGAI Farleys. I've saved a significant amount of money buying hinged examples of one souvenir sheet, a number of gutter pairs, etc. Is there any harm in soaking hinge remnants/dried gummy stuff off the backs of these MH Farleys, a couple of which are a bit valuable?

And second, what about 19th-century used stamps of intermediate value whose backsides are a bit of a mess? I'm not talking about sending anything out to be conserved. They're not *that* valuable. Would it depend on the type of paper or if there are any thins?

And lastly, what about the dubious hinged MNG's? I've got higher-denom Columbians and TransMisses, among a few others, that might benefit from a nice bath. And some of these, were I to ever sell them, might even benefit from a re-gluing. So, as long as the gum is already gone, is it safe?

Oh, and even more lastly, since I don't collect stamps beyond 1992, I have no experience with self-adhesives, but some of you sellers (you know who you are) have been putting them on the envelopes you've sent me. Are those gonna fall right off when I soak them?

And fifthly, just kidding. I'm done. But feel free to comment on anything relevant that I've missed.

Thanks team!!!

Doug

PS: If you're wondering why I haven't just taken a few inexpensive examples of each of the above and tested them myself, it's only because I'm presently at quite a disadvantage with my badly-broken leg raised in the air nearly 24 hours a day. My time at the "stamp table" is very, very precious, and I don't see me being able too do anymore than a single soak over the coming months. I need to make it count.
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phos45
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30 Jun 2019
05:41:26pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

1 can safely remove hinge remnants using prinz UHU remover. it even repairs gum that is cracking. cover stamps can be removed for watermark inspection.

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3cents
30 Jun 2019
09:42:50pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Thanks, Mack-

That's some neat stuff! I always wondered how to check a watermark on a stamp on cover without building a small lab, and now I know. I can envision a can of that magical fluid in my future, however, because it "retains gum" by design, I'm not sure that's the approach for me to take on stamps that have no gum -- just the gummy bits left there by the gluey stuff on the hinge itself. I want that stuff gone, and hopefully, any icky stains along with it.

But I'd suspect this product could prove useful when attempting to removed a hinge remnant from a MH/OG stamp. Am I right? Is this what the pros use?

Thanks again,
Doug

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jmh67
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01 Jul 2019
08:28:26am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

NB: An unused stamp is "mint" only if it has all of its original gum, and has not been hinged - basically, as it was sold in the post office, allowing for age. Hence the German expression "postfrisch". Anything else is just "unused". Re-gummed unused stamps must not be valued higher than stamps without gum, because re-gumming is actually considered cheating. Better have a clean specimen without gum, than a dirty one with gum, or one with dubious gum.

I'm also not sure whether lifting stamps off envelopes to check watermarks is a good idea. There must be other, less invasive methods.

What I'd do (after checking whether the printing ink is waterproof):
Used stamps: Soak.
No gum, and hinge remnants: Soak.
Heavily damaged gum with hinge remnants, or stains: Soak unless there are varieties where the gum makes a major difference (but even then, you'll only have a damaged stamp).
Multiple hinge remnants, but largely intact gum: Try the hinge remover. Note that the "repairs" made by the hinge remover liquid do not make the stamp "mint" again!
Mostly intact gum, and a single hinge remnant: Leave as it is, as long as the gum is not affecting the condition of the stamp paper.

But most importantly: Get well soon!

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3cents
01 Jul 2019
05:48:50pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Well, Martin-

Thanks for writing. It appears we do not have a consensus regarding this whole mess of mint vs. unused and whether re-gumming has any merits. Let me explain.

Officially/technically, it seems that you're correct about the "mint" classification. However, throughout the world of philately, in practice, it seems to me that mint is more often than not extended to include any stamp that has the appearance of an unused stamp, which I assume means any stamp without visible cancellation. I mean, it wasn't me that made up the oft-seen term MNG! (I was, however, the first person to coin the term NGIA, which should have been NGAI. Oops.)

I'd asked about this re-gum in another thread...

Quote:

"I get a warm feeling when I see stamp dealers listing stamps as repaired. But I don't really get "re-gummed." Isn't that a used stamp that avoided cancel with new gum on the back? Would anybody pay any more for a "re-gummed" or a MNG "missing gum" stamp than they would for a used stamp with a missing or ultra-light cancel? This confuses me greatly. Is there a consensus or protocol here?"



The response surprised me:

Quote:

"Stamps are regummed for many reasons. 19th century stamps often have old glue, bad gum, multiple messy hinging, etc which makes them pretty unsightly and unsaleable. Soaking off the gum and perhaps a touch of your favorite liquid can eliminate foxing, enhance colors, even out stains, etc. This gives you a "no gum" stamp which if undamaged is very saleable - I sell a lot of them at 15% of catalog. If the soaking uncovers damage (old repairs, rebacking, hidden thins, etc the stamp will be repaired and regummed to cover up these defects to the naked eye. Regumming is also used as a means of helping to conceal "washed" or eradicated cancels.

Yes, MNG can be worth a lot more than used (even with a trace cancel). Scott prices classic US stamps as gummed, no gum and used. A Scott #114 (my avatar) with gum catalogs $250, no gum $80 and used $20 (2012 pricing)."



And yes, granted, she quoted Scott prices, but not specifically for "re-gummed." But I think I know enough about this poster to know that she is an honest and trustworthy dealer -- the type that would sell a re-gummed stamp as "re-gummed," which I see quite a bit on listings these days. Even on eBay!

I'm with you regarding pulling a stamp off-cover to check for a watermark. It scares me.

Your advice on whether or not to soak a stamp is greatly appreciated, and makes good sense to me. Thanks a lot for the advice!

I've got some used examples of most of the Farleys, so I could get two matching stamps and soak the heck out of one of them to see if there's any issues with the ink. If anybody else has already tried this, please let me know what your findings have shown. Maybe there's a list somewhere that documents by Scott# which stamps have water-tight ink and which don't. I couldn't find one.

Thanks, Martin!

Doug

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ikeyPikey
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02 Jul 2019
05:48:53pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Quote:

"... I'm with you regarding pulling a stamp off-cover to check for a watermark. It scares me ..."



Siegel (a high-end auction house) is particularly diligent about noting that a stamp was 'lifted' from a cover in order to confirm the watermark; if the presence/absence of a particular watermark has a large impact on the price, they would be remiss to list the auction lot as "maybe Scott X, maybe Scott Y, buy it and see!".

You, however, are welcome to leave such an item in your collection, note that it is "maybe Scott X, maybe Scott Y", and wait for the day when your skills are up to the task.

Problems with re-gumming include "why?" and "how to ensure that the information is not lost".

Simply put, I can think of no good reason to ever re-gum a stamp. Period. And, should you re-gum, I can think of no good way to ensure that some buyer, some day, does not pay for Original Gum. Period. (In ancient ethical texts, this is known as putting a stumbling block before the blind.)

Whether/not you, in the privacy of your own home, should retain or remove disturbed gum is, well, pretty much up to you. Ugly hinge remains are ugly but, let's face it, they are not on the face of the stamp. Moreover, removing that hinge or post-postal gum may reveal the faults (thins, tears) that the hinge or gum was there to hide.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey (who cites Siegel, above, only because, their being local, I've spent more time pawing thru their catalogs than those of other, equally reputable auction houses)
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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..
02 Jul 2019
08:01:51pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

" .... However, throughout the world of philately,
in practice, it seems to me that mint is more often
than not extended to include any stamp that has the
appearance of an unused stamp, which I assume means
any stamp without visible cancellation. ....


Not in any world of philately that I know of.
Maybe among scammers on eBay, but certainly
not among reputable auction houses or as far .
as I can recall anyone I have dealt with.

Maybe my head has been in the clouds for
the last ten or twenty years, but
that description is "verboten" and would
get you an ever so kind hint to correct
or remove any lot posted here or just
about anywhere I would be interested in
stamping..

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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. .... "
phos45
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03 Jul 2019
06:01:36am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

rushing to soak ... may incur ink bleeds, or loss of chalk surface.

UHU solution applied sparingly with an artists brush is more secure method.

I no longer use hinges, as the whole process of soaking is messy and time-consuming.

rubber cement /thinner allows quick replacement of album items...

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
03 Jul 2019
06:15:08am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

It is quite common to see the description "Mint Hinged" by sellers and do not consider them all ebay scammers. ebay is a diverse selling platform and there is no enforced code of descriptions. The usage does not concern me.

What irks me more is all those adjectives sellers use to describe stamps - rare, stunning, etc.

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ikeyPikey
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03 Jul 2019
08:55:18am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

'
The use of MNH ("Mint Never Hinged") invites the use of MH ("Mint Hinged").

There is no ambiguity in "Mint (but) Hinged"; I know exactly what that means.

And, since "U" could be used in place of both "used" and "unused", they are no help.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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lemaven
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03 Jul 2019
03:55:35pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Classifying stamp conditions has been a recurring unresolved debate on SOR for as long as I've been here (3-4 years) with endless tedious/pedantic discussions and arguments with no resolution.

There are different "authoritative" (or perhaps just "outside/independent") opinions, and many more "personal" classifications. But all just seem to get us bogged-down in arguing trivial details. (Didn't I read something recently about the classification of "lick marks" on gum?)

What if we just dismissed the rest of the world's opinion as unimportant, and did what we want for us? "MSORGA"!!! So everyone can describe as they want outside (e.g. in eBay), but "in here" (i.e. SOR), this is how we do it! And then we could codify it so all SOR members agree to use the same convention.

So, should we look to make some reasonable rules for "our gang" to follow, or just keep wanking this around for years to come?

(A Very Cranky Today) Lemaven.

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mbo1142
03 Jul 2019
04:33:12pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

AMEN!!!

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ikeyPikey
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04 Jul 2019
12:42:54am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

'
Well, AMEN to the "cranky" part, anyway.Big Grin

We've got enough rules/terms/etc for the newbies to read - and little enough luck getting them to read & comply with them - to add vocabulary lessons & glossaries.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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musicman
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04 Jul 2019
07:38:22am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Quote:

"We've got enough rules/terms/etc for the newbies to read - and little enough luck getting them to read & comply with them"




And not just Newbies - many 'old-timers' here as well are of a mind to continue
using their own terms.
And there are also some sellers who don't even read these discussions OR the rules.


I think this is all an exercise in futility.

Happy

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lemaven
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04 Jul 2019
08:24:21pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Glad I only mentioned it but didn’t exercise any futility! I realized trying to simplify things is too complex.

I’m just going to add MLL (Mint Lightly Licked) to my descriptions and leave it at that.

Slightly less cranky now...

Dave

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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 Jul 2019
01:05:07pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

" .... (Didn't I read something recently about
the classification of "lick marks" on gum?) ...."


Good lord, I hope not.
That would ruin an otherwise decent week.

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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. .... "
cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
05 Jul 2019
01:11:52pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

" .... And there are also some sellers
who don't even read these discussions
OR the rules. ...."

Maybe we could invite a troop from the
sheriff's posse over for a weekend's
cultural exchange.

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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. .... "
cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
05 Jul 2019
01:13:02pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Maybe we could invite a troop from the
sheriff's posse over for a weekend's
cultural exchange.


No ???
That's what I thought.

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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. .... "
musicman
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05 Jul 2019
10:02:26pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

What time is the posse comin'??

I wanna be sure and be elsewhere.....

Winking

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jmh67
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06 Jul 2019
04:00:33pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

ikeyPikey, because of possible ambiguities when abbreviations are used, some catalogs use signs for the conditions of stamps. You have surely seen them already, but I'm going to list them for the benefit of newcomers reading this thread: ** stands for mint, * for unused, (*) for unused without gum, the sun symbol for used (postmarked), a wiggly line for used with manuscript cancel, and three parallel lines for other cancellations. As the latter three symbols are not usually found on computer keyboards, the sun symbol is often substituted by an o. For the other two we might use a tilde and an equal sign if need be (my proposal).

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Harvey
06 Jul 2019
04:08:09pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Is there a list out there anywhere of stamps with water soluble gum. I know it is sometimes listed with the stamp but that means we have to look! Also how about the odd stamp that is printed on gum side? Soaking one of those would be a problem!

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angore
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06 Jul 2019
04:29:27pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Mounted Mint anyone?

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"Stamp Collecting is a many splendored thing"
ikeyPikey
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06 Jul 2019
10:54:33pm
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Martin, the catalogs use symbols like * ** (*) in a designated area in their tables, but characters like these do not lend themselves to use in sentences because, if written in a paragraph (like this one), they would send people off to find footnotes.

Therefor, in text - forum postings, press releases, journal articles - authors use character strings like MNHOG, MNH, MH ... and CTO, FDC, SOTN, etc.

This is especially important when describing newer & narrower categories, such as UXBOS. (*)

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

(*) Unexploded Booklet, Original Staple

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jmh67
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07 Jul 2019
02:03:14am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

@ikeyPikey:

Abbreviations aren't necessarily better than symbols, because in both cases you have to know what they mean. While you can look up the latter in the catalog, the former depend on the language used, may be subject to local variations, or may even have been created on the spur of the moment. Besides, some may be just as wrong as the expression they are derived from - see examples above ...

@Harvey:

To the best of my knowledge, there is no such list, although I would agree with those who find it useful. I mean, if catalogs print information about self-adhesive gum (Michel does, for instance), then surely they can also state whether the stamp can be soaked or not. Perhaps, if we write to the publishers, some day this will happen ...

-jmh

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
07 Jul 2019
05:44:50am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

At least for US stamps, Scott indicates soakable self-adhesive stamps in their catalogs

Wikipedia has an entry on stamp condition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamp_condition

The notes refer to Stephen Datz source.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
09 Jul 2019
10:43:08am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Quote:

"should we look to make some reasonable rules for "our gang" to follow"



This question was in regards to stamp condition terminology. We have had an article regarding this subject since 2016. It can be found under the Auction link. There are/were plans to review it and revise, if deemed necessary, but there hasn't been any time to do it. Anyway, here's the link to the "Descriptive Terms" document:

https://stamporama.com/faq/faq.php?faq=descriptive-terms
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ikeyPikey
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09 Jul 2019
10:49:07am
re: Should I soak hinges off of MH/NGIA issues? Or any used or MNG stamp?

Quote:

"... Abbreviations aren't necessarily better than symbols ..."



Martin, my point was not about 'better' but 'context'.

Reading a sentence like "I hinge all of my # and & stamps, but prefer mounts for my * and ** stamps" strikes me as beyond jargony.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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