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United States/Stamps : Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

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Parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
10 Dec 2010
02:44:47pm
There is a catalog for Plate Number Singles. I have the Herbert's 2000 spiral bound at home. It lists the value of every plate/position. Also has values for coil stamps. I just searched ebay and a seller has the 2007 version and it is currently listed at $12 with no bids
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Purrfin
10 Dec 2010
08:14:23pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

Way back in the 50s when I first started collecting, it was quite the "fad" to collect the plate number singles, but I've seen a decline in the modern issues, which remains to be seen as to whether they are desirable or not, some prefer them now and some don't. Then it was "used plate singles" that were "hot" for awhile. I didn't realize that there was an American Plate Number Singles Society. But I am not surprised ! ~ lol !!!

Now with the smaller panes and four availabe plate numbers on the majority modern, one can easily acquire them straight from the Post Office.

I haven't experienced a "demand" lately for them... and I usually give them a choice of plate position singles, doubles, pb#of 4, plate number singles, and invariably they pick just the plain one with no difference in price (except for the block, of course). I've tried a higher price for the plate number singles but have not seen sales until I lower the price and that includes the issues from the 50s to date...

...one can only give it another shot to test the waters, right, especially if its a really nice Scott#241?

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
11 Dec 2010
12:55:00pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

There are several factors that are depressing the PNS and PNC collecting communities. PBs, of course, took a huge hit when the USPOD instituted multiple plate numbers, one for each color, and ran them the length of a sheet's selvege, effectively making PB4s into PB16s and PB20s. What once cost 24c now cost $1.20. This lasted a number of years, and during the experiment, many left the collecting area, never to return. Many of these PBs can still be had for discount postage. Morevoer, a PNS no longer existed as a complete record of that stamp's plate; 4 or 5 different PNSs were needed.

the advent of SAs made PBs essentially obsolete EXCEPT as mint examples. The die cutting effectively separated the stamp from the selvege. Moreover, a sheet of 20 with 4 PBs made every corner a PB and cheapened the product, the exact reverse of the experiment in the 70s.

PNCs, which first came into being in the 1980s, suffered immense harm with the USPS's decision to make every plate #1, even when changing plates. I'm seeing wholesale fleeing from the field, and expect the collecting community to concentrate on pre-Failor PNCs, if they do anything at all. This will put the Ersartis and Rabinowitzs of the world out of business within a decade. Or so I predict. I used to avidly collect PNCs, but i've since sold or traded most of my material.

Still, PNSs might find an audience here. Myself, I always believe a stamp with selvege is more valuable than one without; one with PN even more so. And for the pesky WFs, PNs make identification foolproof, which suits me just fine.

David

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
Larryc3a
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11 Dec 2010
07:33:59pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

David,
Very informative summary. But I do not know your references to Failor, Ersartis, or Rabinowitz.

Liz,
I am looking forward to your auction offerings as I admit that I am attracted to PNS's.
Larry

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
11 Dec 2010
07:57:10pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

David Failor is head of stamp acquisition. he's the guy who determines the printers, specifications, quantities, etc. He's basically the main policy guy in determining stamp production. Robert Robinowitz and Steven Ersarti are two of the leading PNC dealers

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
ernieinjax
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10 Feb 2017
07:11:25am
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

Just received several hundred mnh us plate blocks in a bunch of stuff I bought. 1950s and 60s. Pristine condition. I don't collect these but I find it hard to believe they're just postage. But I guess if you found them in "a bunch of stuff", that's just what they are: postage.

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whitebuffalo
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10 Feb 2017
08:03:19am
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

When I bought a "bunch of stuff" a couple of years ago, there was a large stockbook full of MNH plate # singles from the late 70's to early 90's, all U.S. I kept them intact and have added a few since. There was another stockbook with matching Mr. Zip singles, most likely from the same sheets. I have considered it as another focus area, but then I do that a lot.Happy So many stamps, so little time.


WB

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
10 Feb 2017
11:09:50am
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

they're postage, unless you want them as a collecting interest. they're easily available at face, often at a discount. this is another aspect of collecting that's fallen on hard times, in my opinion, by the advent of SAs, which don't allow for PB collecting as before.

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
khj
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10 Feb 2017
02:47:52pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

Since I'm not interested in collecting for profit (or even breaking even long-term), I find that when the retail value associated with a collecting area drops like a rock, it is a great time to start/restart focusing on that area. Of course, that often means the "market" determines what I am focusing on currently. But as a WW collector, I don't consider that a problem.

Thanks for pulling up an old thread. I missed this when it first started. Just for the record, the name mentioned the earlier posts is "Stephen G. Esrati", not Ersarti. He passed away last August. Incredibly knowledgeable on US coils and some of the US definitive series. A major loss for modern US philately.

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
10 Feb 2017
05:59:31pm
re: Plate Number Singles, Plate Number Coils, Plate Blocks

I also could did not worry about picking up a plate block collections off ebay more or less at face in a Minkus album. I personally prefer the Minkus style over White Ace plus the Minkus pages were (not sure about today) heavier stock than White Ace (2006) pages.

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