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United States/Stamps : Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

 

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Smaier
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Sally

05 May 2010
09:39:17am
Wondering if anyone can shed some light on how to value precancelled commemoratives? For example, I have several copies of Scott #628 and 629 with precancels. The precancel catalog lists values of $0.10 to $3 (for the precancel, not necessarily the stamp). I have been told that a precancel will lessen the value of any stamp. How do others view this? Is there some general wisdom that could be applied? Thanks, Sally
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Radud

05 May 2010
10:46:29am
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Hi Sally,

This is not an expert's opinion, but I believe it's in catalogues that you should look for information on this matter.
MICHEL, for instance, indicates values for precancels too, but not for all countries. Austrian and German stamps (from the DDR especially) are valued in at least three ways (where stamps are known to have been precancelled): mint, precancels, cancels.
Normally, precancels value less than the really cancelled ones: no wonder, since they were used for their main purpose: to cancel letters, post-cards, etc.
But unless you find some real indication in catalogues, you could hardly tell how much precancels are devalued if compared to really cancelled stamps.
Radu
Iasi - Romania

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 May 2010
03:07:25pm
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Sally,

Iasi gives good information. I am assuming you are talking about US Scott 628 and 629. For the general collector, MANY do consider a precancel to be defacing the stamp (which, it is, of course); while other general collectors see it for its presumed rarity (which, again, is true). To see if it has value beyond the general collector, you need to look at the catalogues for precancels. There are two basic types of precancels (prior to service-inscribed precancels): Bureau and local, with Bureau being added at the same time the stamps are printed by the BPE; locals were added later by the post office issuing them. We have a few precancel collectors in the club. If you can add a scan, i'm sure they can tell you whether it is a Bureau or local and give you a sense of its value.

What a long-winded way to not answer your question

David

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

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
Smaier
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Sally

05 May 2010
03:24:15pm
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Iasi and David,

Thanks for the information. I do have both bureau and local precancel catalogs (but no Michel catalog) and the precancels are all locals. Yes, the stamps are US Scott 628 and 629. I have put all of the stamps in my precancel album, but was just wondering if there is any general wisdom as to how a precancel affects the value of a commemorative stamp. Guess it just depends on the viewpoint of the collector. I have gotten different opinions from several members of our local stamp club. Thanks for you time........Sally

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Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society

05 May 2010
11:12:44pm
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Sally,

Hello. My precancel collection is dormant at this time, but I enjoyed picking up my collection and PSS catalogs again in search for an answer to your question.

You have been told "that a precancel will lessen the value of any stamp." In my opinion, the exact opposite is true for most cases. The vast majority of stamps on which precancels are commonly found are essentially worthless. Yes, Scott assigns a minimum CV of 20c to any stamp, but the true value of a used copy of the 1c Washington from the Presidents series is zero. However, if precancelled, the stamp now has value to a precancel collector, and even if it is the most commonest precancel it will be more valuable than a regular used copy.

If you have a precancel on an interesting and intrinsically valuable stamp (commemorative) the question becomes which of the two available catalog values prevails. Pricing of precancels in the PSS Town & Type catalog refers to precancels on stamps which do not add in any significant way to the value. On the other hand, the Scott catalog values for used stamps do not apply to precancelled stamps (see Scott forword). So, none of the two catalog values are directly applicable, and you have already given the answer yourself: "it just depends on the viewpoint of the collector."

Most collectors of "plain" stamps will discount the Scott catalog value for a used specimen if it is for a precancelled stamp. Most collectors of precancels, whose goal is simply one copy of each precancel, may not be willing to pay extra for a common precancel on a valuable stamp. However, for the few specialized collectors of precancels on commemoratives your item will be very much in demand.

Finally, with respect to Radu's comments -- the reference to GDR stamps makes me wonder if there maybe is a terminology/language confusion. Precancelled stamps -- in the US typically bearing an overprint indicating Town and State between bars -- are stamps that were 'cancelled', prior to being stuck on mail (mostly bulk mail, printed matter etc.) with the goal to expedite mail processing (stamps are already cancelled). The typical GDR cancelled to order (CTO) stamp was cancelled for sales purposes to ensure that stamps thereafter could not be used for mailing anymore. And, yes, some stamp catalogs give separate values for postally used and cancelled-to-order stamps.

(Message edited by rhinelander on May 05, 2010)

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Radud

06 May 2010
02:09:21am
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Rhinelander,

Thanks for the details. I believe you are 100% right!
Since I am in no way a specialist of the USA stamps, I had no idea about the fact that US precancels became precancelled for this particular purpose.
On the other hand, it is absolutely true that the GDR (or DDR) precancelling purpose was to make them useless for cancelling after them being sold. But it was also another "tool" used by the comunist regime of the German Democrat Republic to advertise at a low price by selling their stamps way below their face value, allover the world, based on the good name of the German stamps (in general). This I know for sure, since the same propaganda instrument was used by the Romanian comunist regime, for many years.
Thanks for the information, Rhinelander!
Radu

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Smaier
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Sally

08 May 2010
01:25:57pm
re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Rhinelander,

Thanks for all the info and for clarifying that the GDR info was for CTO. I know even less about worldwide precancels and didn't pick up on that. Appreciate your time, opinion, and expertise.

Sally

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Members Picture
Smaier

Sally
05 May 2010
09:39:17am

Wondering if anyone can shed some light on how to value precancelled commemoratives? For example, I have several copies of Scott #628 and 629 with precancels. The precancel catalog lists values of $0.10 to $3 (for the precancel, not necessarily the stamp). I have been told that a precancel will lessen the value of any stamp. How do others view this? Is there some general wisdom that could be applied? Thanks, Sally

Like
Login to Like
this post
Radud

05 May 2010
10:46:29am

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Hi Sally,

This is not an expert's opinion, but I believe it's in catalogues that you should look for information on this matter.
MICHEL, for instance, indicates values for precancels too, but not for all countries. Austrian and German stamps (from the DDR especially) are valued in at least three ways (where stamps are known to have been precancelled): mint, precancels, cancels.
Normally, precancels value less than the really cancelled ones: no wonder, since they were used for their main purpose: to cancel letters, post-cards, etc.
But unless you find some real indication in catalogues, you could hardly tell how much precancels are devalued if compared to really cancelled stamps.
Radu
Iasi - Romania

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this post
Members Picture
amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 May 2010
03:07:25pm

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Sally,

Iasi gives good information. I am assuming you are talking about US Scott 628 and 629. For the general collector, MANY do consider a precancel to be defacing the stamp (which, it is, of course); while other general collectors see it for its presumed rarity (which, again, is true). To see if it has value beyond the general collector, you need to look at the catalogues for precancels. There are two basic types of precancels (prior to service-inscribed precancels): Bureau and local, with Bureau being added at the same time the stamps are printed by the BPE; locals were added later by the post office issuing them. We have a few precancel collectors in the club. If you can add a scan, i'm sure they can tell you whether it is a Bureau or local and give you a sense of its value.

What a long-winded way to not answer your question

David

Like
Login to Like
this post

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

juicyheads.com/link. ...
Members Picture
Smaier

Sally
05 May 2010
03:24:15pm

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Iasi and David,

Thanks for the information. I do have both bureau and local precancel catalogs (but no Michel catalog) and the precancels are all locals. Yes, the stamps are US Scott 628 and 629. I have put all of the stamps in my precancel album, but was just wondering if there is any general wisdom as to how a precancel affects the value of a commemorative stamp. Guess it just depends on the viewpoint of the collector. I have gotten different opinions from several members of our local stamp club. Thanks for you time........Sally

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Rhinelander

Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
05 May 2010
11:12:44pm

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Sally,

Hello. My precancel collection is dormant at this time, but I enjoyed picking up my collection and PSS catalogs again in search for an answer to your question.

You have been told "that a precancel will lessen the value of any stamp." In my opinion, the exact opposite is true for most cases. The vast majority of stamps on which precancels are commonly found are essentially worthless. Yes, Scott assigns a minimum CV of 20c to any stamp, but the true value of a used copy of the 1c Washington from the Presidents series is zero. However, if precancelled, the stamp now has value to a precancel collector, and even if it is the most commonest precancel it will be more valuable than a regular used copy.

If you have a precancel on an interesting and intrinsically valuable stamp (commemorative) the question becomes which of the two available catalog values prevails. Pricing of precancels in the PSS Town & Type catalog refers to precancels on stamps which do not add in any significant way to the value. On the other hand, the Scott catalog values for used stamps do not apply to precancelled stamps (see Scott forword). So, none of the two catalog values are directly applicable, and you have already given the answer yourself: "it just depends on the viewpoint of the collector."

Most collectors of "plain" stamps will discount the Scott catalog value for a used specimen if it is for a precancelled stamp. Most collectors of precancels, whose goal is simply one copy of each precancel, may not be willing to pay extra for a common precancel on a valuable stamp. However, for the few specialized collectors of precancels on commemoratives your item will be very much in demand.

Finally, with respect to Radu's comments -- the reference to GDR stamps makes me wonder if there maybe is a terminology/language confusion. Precancelled stamps -- in the US typically bearing an overprint indicating Town and State between bars -- are stamps that were 'cancelled', prior to being stuck on mail (mostly bulk mail, printed matter etc.) with the goal to expedite mail processing (stamps are already cancelled). The typical GDR cancelled to order (CTO) stamp was cancelled for sales purposes to ensure that stamps thereafter could not be used for mailing anymore. And, yes, some stamp catalogs give separate values for postally used and cancelled-to-order stamps.

(Message edited by rhinelander on May 05, 2010)

Like
Login to Like
this post
Radud

06 May 2010
02:09:21am

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Rhinelander,

Thanks for the details. I believe you are 100% right!
Since I am in no way a specialist of the USA stamps, I had no idea about the fact that US precancels became precancelled for this particular purpose.
On the other hand, it is absolutely true that the GDR (or DDR) precancelling purpose was to make them useless for cancelling after them being sold. But it was also another "tool" used by the comunist regime of the German Democrat Republic to advertise at a low price by selling their stamps way below their face value, allover the world, based on the good name of the German stamps (in general). This I know for sure, since the same propaganda instrument was used by the Romanian comunist regime, for many years.
Thanks for the information, Rhinelander!
Radu

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Smaier

Sally
08 May 2010
01:25:57pm

re: Precancels on US Scott 628 and 629

Rhinelander,

Thanks for all the info and for clarifying that the GDR info was for CTO. I know even less about worldwide precancels and didn't pick up on that. Appreciate your time, opinion, and expertise.

Sally

Like
Login to Like
this post
        

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