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United States/Stamps : Early US is really hard!!!

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Harvey
05 Sep 2019
07:40:40pm
My wife and I started collecting US stamps many years ago, some of the early stuff I have no idea where it came from, we spent hours on individual stamps. The early Washington's and Franklin's area "crazy hard"! I was just looking at a #482, an imperforate 2 cent carmine type I that I hadn't checked in years. I just noticed it was a Schermack, just not deeply cut and only on the right side. I wonder how much of the rest also need a bit of work. I know some of my early postage dues have problems, I definitely have J29 (CV $725 ) but my J30 is the wrong colour. Thankfully I have the more expensive one of the two. Moral of the story - check your early US again, I bet you will find a few mistakes!!!
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dani20
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05 Sep 2019
08:40:45pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Good suggestion. This is an area of continued interest to me (Scott#1-600) and I wondered if there were enough folk to start an in-house mini-group of the U.S earlies. Object-to share info, enable swapping/sales and just good stamppal back and forth. Perhaps there already is one and I'm just out of touch.
Thinking out loud.
Dan C.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
06 Sep 2019
12:55:55am
re: Early US is really hard!!!

I agree that early US is hard! I took an approach that has me 2 stamps away from completion. It's not for everyone, but worth consideration:

http://www.larsdog.com/stamps/philosophy.htm

I'm still missing the 10c Third Bureau flat plate coil (356) and the Third Bureau 2c Kansas City Roulette (409 var).

I'm also missing two stamps from BOB, but that's a different topic.

Lars

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ernieinjax
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06 Sep 2019
03:09:49am
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Lars,
That's an outstanding treatise and rationale for your collecting direction. It makes alot sense.

If memory serves correctly you use White Ace pages, correct? Did you decide on White Ace because their product excludes so many of the face duplicates and/or do you prefer their layout?

I went with the Scott National because they seemed to be the "Gold Standard" and the classic way to collect, store and display your U.S. stamp collection.

Do you know if there are Steiner pages available that are arranged similarly?

I was never a fan of the extra artwork and commentary on the White Ace pages.

I think similarly limiting the scope of collections could breath some new life into binders and reinvigorate some dormant collections.

Thanks Lars


Ernie

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Sep 2019
11:35:55am
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Quote:

"Do you know if there are Steiner pages available that are arranged similarly?"



Steiner US pages are arranged as in Scott numeric order with all the stamps included. There are no "simplified" pages.
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
06 Sep 2019
11:41:04am

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re: Early US is really hard!!!

I've been circling around / ignoring this issue for a while now myself and am agreeing with you! The Scott Specialized Catalog is enough to drive you buggy and in eternal confusion. There are two full pages on US 1 & 2, showing all the minor varieties and fly specs. And I'm not a fan of how they number their images (A56 for example), where you have to go through pages of text, never sure that you have found all the face same stamps! Just too intense.

I have found the Harris catalog to be ideal for our brand of collecting. Here's a couple of pages to illustrate it. (Not ignoring their copyright as this is pretty much an ad to sell copies of their catalog!)

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The catalog uses Scott numbers and the images are in color. The Scott numbers for the face same stamps are all listed under each image! Cannot ask for more.

So looking at the first two stamp series, I can choose what to and not to collect to have a representative collection.

So for the first series, I do own Scott 1 & 2 on cover. I find postal usage interesting so I have chose to have these two stamps that way. I will ignore Scott 3 & 4 since those are the 1875 reprints that were essentially souvenirs and never used as stamps.

Moving to the 1851-61 Classic Issues, there are 8 face different stamps that 43 different main Scott numbers. There are two main varieties, imperforate and perforated (5 imperf, 7 perf) are only 12 varieties to collect. And if you just go face different, there are only 7 stamps total. That set is achievable except for the 90 cent Washington (Scott 39) which is way above most of our pay grades. And of course I'm ignoring the 1875 souvenir reprints.

And it gets a bit more complicated as we go into the 1861-67 issues with grilles and such, but you get the idea. If you are into the classic designs and engraving and are willing to have just face different stamps, it's fairly doable, and the Harris catalog makes this much easier!





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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Sep 2019
01:40:43pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Since Amos Media owns Scott and Harris, one would think that it would be easy to do that with both catalogs, or combine them into one catalog. They are coming from the same place after all.

I'm also curious if the values in the Scott and Harris catalogs are the same?

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BrightonPete
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06 Sep 2019
02:03:22pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

... and it is spiral bound! Unitrade is spiral bound too. What's up with Amos. It's like their iOS app for catalogs. I bought into that but it was terrible. I sent them an email with all my grievances. They said they'd fix them. They never did, but at least I got my money back from Apple for that boondoggle of an app!

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
06 Sep 2019
02:36:49pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Whitman Publications owns Harris. Harris has been using the catalog numbers for years and may not even paying a royalty. If memory serves me correctly, Brookman does not either but was challenged when Brookman changed ownership. I had preferred Brookman due to spiral design, more illustrations, and better readability.


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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Sep 2019
03:19:37pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Then Amos is selling Whitman and Harris products, including coin supplies, for Whitman. Looks like they sell other brands too. Sort of hurts one's own product lines to sell other ones too...

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
06 Sep 2019
04:52:13pm

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re: Early US is really hard!!!

I like the Harris catalog for a number of reasons. First, the simplicity I stated in my original post. Second, it will lay flat. And third it's easy to scan, and find things. For instance when I was listing first day covers on Stamporama I had to book laying open flat to two years worth of commemoratives to find the Scott numbers.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
06 Sep 2019
08:45:09pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Quote:

"If memory serves correctly you use White Ace pages, correct? Did you decide on White Ace because their product excludes so many of the face duplicates and/or do you prefer their layout?"



Ernie, yes, I use White Ace. I started with their Simplified Regular Issue pages and expanded on them because they we a bit TOO simplified, but not a bad start. By now about 90% of the pages are pages that I printed myself. I'm not crazy about the graphics or layout, but I like the paper size and thickness. I wanted something that I could print with a standard printer. I use White Ace blanks for my US and Topical collections, but the OFEC collection is just card stock of the same thickness. A 3/8" corner cutter makes the pages the identical size as White Ace.

I started this process 20 years ago when I was trying to find something better than the Old Minkus album I had from childhood and settled on White Ace. I found a boatload of Commemorative pages full of common mint stamps for right about face value. Normally a batch of stamps like that would go for 75% of FV, but the pages and mounts made it worth the while!

Lars

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
06 Sep 2019
10:09:15pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

I had a conversation about 10 years ago with the President of PSE about a new album based on their USD numbering system. He even sent me a set of pages for an opinion. I don't think the album pages ever took off, because it would be difficult to tailor. I like the idea of one number for each face different stamp. I suggested suffixes like B for booklets and C for coils. That works beautifully below:

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The "A" stamps could be USD 555, 555B, and 555C instead of Scott 1735, 1736, and 1743. (NOTE: I'm just making up USD numbers)

Even press differences could command a major status:

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Here the press varieties could be P1 and P2, so you would have 567, 567P1 and 567P2 for Nimitz. You could even break down the tagging/gum differences with minor numbers like 567P1a. (Again, I am making up USD numbers). This was looking like a great idea!

Third Bureau could be broken down by format, press, type, watermark, paper, perforation - in that order, but how do you support the different needs for printed pages?
That's where the discussion fell apart. It's hard to know what parameters a collector is using if they want MORE than face different and LESS than every major catalog number. Maybe they want press difference AND watermark difference for 3rd Bureau but don't care about press differences for Nimitz. Or, like me, they want ALL press differences, not just the ones that have major catalog status in Scott. We are all empowered to lay down our own markers and I think that's a GREAT thing, but it also means we need to be more nimble about creating our own pages as needed.

A numbering system with the face different design as the base is an attractive idea, though!

Cheers!

Lars

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bluparrot
07 Sep 2019
05:07:39pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Hey Lars. PSE did put out a guide book to their design numbering system. There is a PDF available here - http://gradingmatters.com/set-registry.html On the right side of that page is a link to the guide which explains the methodology behind their system, a full set of pages, and a table at the end that gives the design # and what Scott #'s would qualify for that space. I'm not sure if the "album pages" are the right size for a proper collection, but it gives a nice idea of how to lay it out. There is also mention of printed pages available, but I'm not sure if they still are. Direct link to the guide is here http://psestamp.com/pdf/USDGuide.pdf
-Les

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
08 Sep 2019
01:12:22pm
re: Early US is really hard!!!

Les,

I have a copy of the USD numbering system, but they stop at face different. There were already simplified pages for face different but I found those to be too simplified for my taste. I would like to see a tool that empowers the collector to define his or her own parameters. I finally defined my own parameters spending countless hours combing through the Scott Catalog, and a USD guide would have been helpful 15 years ago. I don't collect paper, watermark, or grill differences and I don't collect perforation varieties per se, but I do collect press differences and perforation can often indicate which press was used. That has caused me to collect a lot of minor catalog numbers in the Transportation series. I also collect format differences - perforated sheet, booklet, coil, imperforate. I collect all major type differences, except the pre-Civil War types that can be found on the SAME plate! (So I have two of most pre-Civil War perforated stamps: One from the original plates and one from the reduced design plates). In the Third Bureau there are 42 different catalog numbers (including the minors for the booklets) for 2¢ stamps (not counting the TWO CENT stamps). I have 20 different 2¢ stamps that I believe adequately represents those differences in press, type, and format, so it's a LOT more than face different.

Face different is easy. It's not cheap, because there is no getting around 2, 39, 118, 122, 243, 244, 245, 292, 293, and C15, but it's easy to define. I would like to see a tool that makes it easier to go beyond face different so you can easily INCLUDE all post-Civil War Type differences but ignore grill differences. Include format differences (like coils) but exclude paper types (like bluish paper). Include press differences but exclude watermarks. Adding suffixes to the USD system could do that. Maybe.

A face different collection through 1999 has a minimum CV of $25,800 (2008 Scott Specialized). A greatly expanded collection is much less than double that. You could add watermark differences for only $6506 more. Over a lifetime it's not impossible to complete such a collection, or come pretty darn close!

Lars

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