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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Why would someone regum used stamps?

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rookieinCO68
26 Mar 2021
01:12:10am
I am a "renewed" collector but very much a novice. That said, I have come into some used stamps from Poland (used meaning there is postal cancellation on them, although light) but some of the stamps appear to have gum on the back. So, since removing the stamp from a cover (on which is was attached and then cancelled) would likely destroy or at best damage the glue. And yet, these used stamps appear to have a glue of some sort. I looked for dark edges on the perfs to detect if it was re-gummed, but do not see any. I read about this approach to detecting a re-gum on another thread, but I am not sure if this is the only way to tell. The glue looks pristine, and almost makes me wan't to mount it rather than use a hinge, but I the stamp catalog shows they are very low value stamps.

My question is: why would someone re-gum a used stamp? What idea would a dealer or company selling stamps (they shall remain nameless) have for doing so?

This is a great forum, and I read so many comments in the topics and threads in StampoRama. I am very grateful to connect with experienced collectors who are kind enough to share their time, knowledge and insights!

Thanks!
Ed
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banknoteguy
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26 Mar 2021
07:05:36am
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

Maybe the stamp in question was never on an envelope but is/was CTO i.e., cancelled to order for resale to collectors? Some collectors prefer postally used stamps and there are a lot of stamps just cancelled without ever being used. One clue to this is that the cancel is sharply sruck and only on a fraction of the stamp -- like a quarter, so they could hit four stamps at once. Post an image of the stamp.

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pigdoc
26 Mar 2021
11:13:30am
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

Yes, and there were also political mandates for cancelling stamps in bulk prior to dispersal. I have not tried to document or understand these.

For some issues, or issuing countries, it is virtually impossible to find mint stamps that have not been cancelled. North Vietnam is a good example of that.

Another reason for creating CTOs was to satisfy collectors of stamps with ceremonial or commemorative cancellations.

As a devoted collector of GPU (genuine postally used), one has to constantly be on the lookout for CTO. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. When the 'real thing' is scarce, a cancellation dated 'just right' is more likely to have been done as a favor, and to never have traversed the mails. That's just one reason to prefer full covers for stamps that have rare cancellations. And, also, why such covers are often quite expensive.

And, then, there are the "fiscally cancelled" stamps. If a postmaster took in more money than he had sold over the counter in stamps, he had to balance the books by cancelling stamps that were not actually used. The 14c Danish West Indies bicolor is a good example of this, being a stamp printed for a low-demand postal rate. The majority of "used" 14c DWI bicolors have been fiscally used, not postally used. Typically, applying these cancels was a task delegated to lower level employees, who were still learning how to artfully use cancelling devices. Hence, the fiscal cancels are often sloppily applied. It is thought by some that the way these stamps made it into the marketplace is that they were given to less-well paid employees as a bonus. Then they were, in turn, sold to dealers or collectors. Still, it's rare to find fiscally used DWI stamps that still bear gum. Dealers probably soaked the gum off to complete the deception that they were postally used. And, many DWI stamps had their gum disturbed prior to issue at post offices, due to moisture on the ocean voyage from Denmark, or storage in the tropics. But, that's another story...

-Paul

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rookieinCO68
26 Mar 2021
03:14:20pm
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

@BankNoteGuy - Thanks for your reply!


Image Not Found

I think your explanation, along with some comments from PigDoc, makes sense. Attached are two photos of the stamps. You are correct in that almost all of them seem to have a cancel in one quadrant of the stamp, so I surmise that they were part of a precancelled block of stamps which never were used postally.

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In fact, after you said this, I found this to be true on some German precancelled, se-tenant blocks of 4 which were gifted to me.

The gum looks so nice on the backside that it made me pause as to whether I wanted to use a mount to put them in my album, or use a stamp hinge! Happy

Also, just to seek your further input, I attach a picture of the backside on the orange 60zl Castle in Warsaw in the 2nd photo. While the reflection off of the gum does not show well, it does show that the perfs are uniform color (no dark edges I have been told) showing the "rag" fibers on the perfs. So, again, from what I surmise, it is original gum, not re-gumming.

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Is there a collector category for precancelled, almost like mint stamps? Big Grin

I really appreciate the knowledge of all the folks on SOR in educating me about these topics. I hope someday I will grow enough tobe able to give back!

Thanks very much!

Ed

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Philatarium
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APS #187980
26 Mar 2021
06:22:09pm
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

Ed: Just curious:

What is that square measuring device you show in that last pic?

It looks like it could be handy.

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rwillis29
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30 May 2021
08:25:19pm
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

Image Not FoundImage Not Found I bought some MNH US airmail stamps. you can see the hinge mark under the gum. Probably practicing on cheap stamps.


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Webpaper
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30 May 2021
08:36:57pm
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

The square measuring device is a thread counter (or linen tester). /many sizes and powers - I have 4 of them - they are cheap and sure beat using the scale on a perf gauge and trying to coordinate it with a magnifier.

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Philatarium
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APS #187980
30 May 2021
11:58:22pm
re: Why would someone regum used stamps?

Thanks, Carol! Looks promising. I will investigate ...

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