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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

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Woodstock
10 May 2009
05:05:11pm
I am seeking opinions on First Day Covers with Golden Replicas (22k) of U.S. Stamps.

No, I am not considering buying some, nor am I presently in possession of any. Personally, I have always considered them rather gimmicky, designed more for the "non stamp collector collector", sort of something for the "as seen on TV crowd", but that's just my opinion.

Well, a dear friend has been selling off, and giving away a stamp collection. Part of the horde are three very large albums full of those "Golden Things", and yes, you guessed it they are being offered to me.

So, there you have it. What do you think?

Bob
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Rgnpcs
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10 May 2009
06:35:36pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Gimmicky is a great under statement. Thousands of dollars went down the drain for anyone that purchased these covers. No dealers will buy them.
As a gift you are ok, but do not spend a penny on buying any,
Richaard

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Woodstock
10 May 2009
06:59:24pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Thanks Richaard. I think you are basically echoing what I have said in my post. Further, to clear any doubt, I wouldn't want to give them house room, let alone pay anything for them.

Perhaps I should have phrased my post as follows:

"What would be the best thing to do with these "collectibles"?

(eg. soak them for the stamps, save them for a cold winter night as kindling, donate them to a charity and take a write off, tear off the gold and sell them as scrap :-))

Bob

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Rgnpcs
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10 May 2009
08:32:29pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

A tax writeoff seems the best way to go. You could even try eBay and see if there is someone foolish enough to buy them. The binders should be worth something.
Richaard

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Harley
10 May 2009
10:54:01pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

The binders are good,,if they are the newer versions with three pockets to a page. The older version had two pocket pages,heavier vynl,stiff, and discolored after a year or so.
Yes,dealers pass them up.Value wise,or resale wise,they are at the bottom of the list. Mass produced,most likely in the 100,000s,,,they are by no means scarce,were over priced ,but advertised the free albums,,,forever.Which were actualy included in the priceing for the covers and why the covers were higher priced than other comparable FDCs of the time.
I thought the "gimmick" was a rather pleaseing looking cachet.I have several,and the binders. They do take up a rather unpleasant,odd space on my library shelves. With a section of shelves adjusted to the "taller" than usual album size.Nothing else as tall except my 1912 two volume issue books on "ALL ABOUT COFFEE" and "ALL ABOUT TEA".
The biggest problem with this supplier,besides pushing valueless (to dealers) FDCs, was thet they promised to make the covers for every stamp issued, but only serviced commemoratives,, and skiped a few issues that they deemed not in this catagory.I recall the non serviced Trans-Mississipi Reissued set.And with that,they lost a lot of their base customers.
I'm a goofy collector.Like the odd and unusual,so have saved the "Postal Commemorative Society 22k gold replica FDCs" as a gentle reminder of how the unwarry collector can be duped into buying stamps or covers because of the fancy ( false) advertisements.
This said,I'll gladly take those 22k gold replicas and the binders off your hands,and out of your library,your home,your city and state.
For a smallish price,,plus postage.
Email me with details.
TOM
harlsor@highvision.net

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Medfordor
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12 May 2009
02:29:14pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

I had someone give me an album of these. I researched the successful bids on ebay and found that WITH shipping included, a buyer would pay 75 cents to a dollar for each cover. I donated mine to my local stamp club's auction and they sold for about 20 cents each, as one unit. The club made some money to put toward our next stampshow, so I considered it a successful venture.

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Woodstock
12 May 2009
07:51:14pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Thanks to all. I was really taken by the suggestion made by Medfordor, and as a result contacted a local fellow who runs a youth stamp club. He will be getting in touch with a friend who is an auctioneer to see if he will include them in his next auction. Even if they only generate a fraction of what they might be worth, the money generated will help out with some supplies for the club.

A good solution!

Bob

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Harley
13 May 2009
04:19:22am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

A member emailed me about these gold replica FDCs, and I deleted the message by accident,in too big a hurry dumping the 30 some junk emails that came in.
Would this member please re-email me again.
TOM
harlsor@highvision.net

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Harley
13 May 2009
02:00:24pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Doing some contemplateing on this subject of Gold leaf ReplicaFDCs.
It seems a lot of people( collectors) only mention about the "bad investment" part of these covers.
I do not agree that they were "over priced", "never be worth their costs", as a reason to NOT buy into them.
I've gone over my buy statements and found that ALL FDC servicers over charge in the same range,some even higher,for their covers,that will "never be worth their costs".
With little exception ,all those 5,10,20 dollar FDCs by the thousands of servicers are listing at 1.00 and 2.00 dollars. (I said listed,and not what you would get if you tried to sell them).
So if those Gold replicas are "worthless, then so to are all the others.(modern cacheted FDC servicers).
IMHO

TOM

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Parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
13 May 2009
03:40:02pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

I have a few of these Gold Leaf Replica FDC's in my collection. I only collect certain issues and I try to get as many different cachets as I can find for these issues.

I don't think that you can make a blanket statement that all FDC's are worthless. You can't lump these FDC's in with cachet makers like Fred Collins, David Peterman, Lois Hamilton, etc.

Collins was voted the favorite cachet maker of the last half of the 20th century. Peterman and Hamilton hand draw and color each cachet in very limited quantities.

Here is a Collins Cachet:
Collins

Here is a Peterman Cachet:
Peterman

Here are closeups of 4 hand made Hamilton Cachet. You will notice that each design is similar but unique.

Hamilton1

Hamilton2

Hamilton3

Hamilton4

The 1st Hamilton is 19 of 175, 2nd is 41 of 175, 3rd is 57 of 175 and the 4th is 147 of 175.

Collins cachets will usually cost you between $5.00-$20.00 early ones will cost over $100. Peterman Cachets usually go between $15.00-$50.00 and Hamilton Covers $10.00-$30.00.

The Gold Leaf Replica FDC's along with ArtCraft, Artmaster are all mass produced and you can find them usually for under $1.00. They are not in the same league as these other cachet makers.

Bob

(Message edited by parkinlot on May 13, 2009)

(Message edited by parkinlot on May 13, 2009)

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Harley
14 May 2009
06:28:30am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Bob,
I agree there are a few "better" cachet makers, but they are an exception to the rule. The majority are all traveling in the same boat.
There are a few thousand newbies trying their hand at makeing cacheted FDCs, a few thousand un registered cover makers, about 600 registered makers, and out of all of them only a small ,,,very small,,, select few are good at it and get better recognition and obviously better prices and are collected avidly by a select few FDC collectors,which makes for price increases to match the demand by those few collectors.
Hand painted,are just that,hand painted,but over a printed image.To me a hand painted would be each individual cachet is created "by hand" intirely. No two images would match exactly.
Your images above of Hamilton with bird in various backgrounds shows a simulated hand painted.Notice the bird images are exactly alike in detail,and just "hand painted" in various colors. I would need to magnify the cachet to see brush strokes,paint overruns,angle and direction of strokes,or absence there of,and only showing a great many "dots",that would indicate a digital copy with or without additional painting applied.
The best artist in the world cannot "exactly" duplicate a hand drawn or hand painted picture.There is always a difference,even if ever so slight. At 175 covers produced, and no variations to all or part of the cacheted image would indicate it's just another "common" FDC and not noteable enough to garner those inflated prices that so many Servicers charge,and the few,like you mentioned,seem to think their artistic talents are worth.
Values for these FDCs ,like all philatelic products,is not judged by supply and demand,but by the prices paid for them in the after market.A few zealious collectors bidding,and outbidding each other to get a FDC they need to complete a set,or just add bulk to their holdings,will eventually give a false reading in the market,that those particular FDCs are worth more,or at least deserve a higher value listing in those FDC catalogs that you use as a guide to value your holdings.
I say holdings,instead of collection. (holdings=investments///collection=hobby)
I hope the average collector does not buy FDCs as an investment.They will surely be disapointed when,or if,they try to sell them in the anticipation of a huge profit.
It is better to "collect" covers,as something you like,an addition that inhances the beauty of your collection,or just because you like the looks of it.
TOM

(Message edited by HARLEY on May 14, 2009)

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Parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
14 May 2009
12:06:13pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Tom,

You know I love you but I totally disagree with your position on this. I'm going to try to make comments to each of your points:

01) "I agree there are a few "better" cachet makers, but they are an exception to the rule."

I disagree... There are really only a few mass marketers of FDC's. The majority of cachet makers are the middle and little guys. For each issue that I collect there may be about 10 mass market issues, the rest are the middle to little guys. ArtCraft/Artmaster/Fleetwood may issue more covers per issue than all the smaller cachet makers combined.


2)" a few thousand un registered cover makers, about 600 registered makers, and out of all of them only a small ,,,very small,,, select few are good at it and get better recognition and obviously better prices and are collected avidly by a select few FDC collectors,which makes for price increases to match the demand by those few collectors. "

I don't know where you are getting your statistics for this or what constitutes a "few" collectors. The AFDCS has thousands of members. The number of good cachet makers matter of personal opinion. Because I try to get as many different cachetmakers for the issues I collect, I have the good, bad and the ugly in my collection (mostly good).

3) The best artist in the world cannot "exactly" duplicate a hand drawn or hand painted picture.There is always a difference,even if ever so slight. At 175 covers produced, and no variations to all or part of the cacheted image would indicate it's just another "common" FDC and not noteable enough to garner those inflated prices that so many Servicers charge,and the few,like you mentioned,seem to think their artistic talents are worth.

Even if the the bird on the Hamilton cover was pre-printed on the envelope, the woman had to draw the bird and then you are discounting the labor it would take to color 175 covers. This is a 4 stamp issue so she colored and added backgrounds to 700+ covers for this one issue(she also did a few for the block of 4). I don't know how you can consider them "common". Each cover is unique. It's like having a cover with the same exact stamp but a different date or address on the cover but with much more labor involved. Perhaps because I have absolutely no artistic talent, I appreciate even the most mundane cachet.

Cachet maker Kendil Bevil just recently completed his cachets for his subscribers for the Celebrate the Century series (150 different stamps), almost 10 years after their issue - that's how time consuming creating these FDC's are. I know some people get really hung up on FDC's not being cancelled on the correct date and the cachet's being added afterward, it doesn't bother me at all. I appreciate their efforts. Some cachets are printed from wood blocks, some are made of metal, some are made of leather, some are made on computer. Some makers incorporate the stamp into the image.

4) "Values for these FDCs ,like all philatelic products,is not judged by supply and demand,but by the prices paid for them in the after market.A few zealious collectors bidding,and outbidding each other to get a FDC they need to complete a set,or just add bulk to their holdings,will eventually give a false reading in the market,that those particular FDCs are worth more,or at least deserve a higher value listing in those FDC catalogs that you use as a guide to value your holdings."

Of course supply and demand is a part of FDC collecting as in any other collecting. I don't consider my collection a "holding". It has been put together very meticulously. I have spent quite a lot of money bidding against other enthusiastic fdc collectors and lost some lots that I wish I had bid more because I haven't seen those cachets for sale since then. There are several different ways to collect FDC's. I collect by issue (stamps issued on my birthdate, looking forward to this years duck stamp on June 26th). I try to get as many different cachet makers as possible. Some people collect by cachet maker. Some collect by topic. Some collect with autographs. I'm sure there are other ways I'm missing.

5) "I hope the average collector does not buy FDCs as an investment.They will surely be disapointed when,or if,they try to sell them in the anticipation of a huge profit.
It is better to "collect" covers,as something you like,an addition that inhances the beauty of your collection,or just because you like the looks of it."

This statement could be made for any collectible including other areas of philately.

I don't want to discourage any collector from pursuing any aspect of philately. I'm just pointing out that there is a whole world of First Day Cover collecting beyond the ArtCraft, ArtMaster and Gold Foil cachets. These cachets are marketed to people outside of the stamp collecting community. Like CTO's they may actually bring some people into the mainstream. I agree that FDC's are philatelic in nature (except for the very early ones) but they are very much a part of the philatelic community. I will always defend FDC collecting whenever it needs defending. It's not for everyone, but for those who want to persue it, like any other aspect of philately, learn what's out there and have fun.

If anyone would like to see other cachet makers please visit my website and click on the First Day Covers Link.

http://home.comcast.net/~parkinlot/

All these covers are in my collection. I haven't updated it in a while. This conversation may have motivated me to add more images sometime soon.

Bob

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Harley
14 May 2009
08:34:39pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Bob,
we are of different opinions, and most likely because you are a FDC collector,and I am not.
I do have quite a few, but because they are coils and I could not find an on cover example,especialy those odd ball denominations-5.3,7.6,8.4,13.2,,ect. of the transportation series. So a FDC will suffice until I find a replacement.
The only FDCs that interested me ( as a first day cover) were the ones with cachets that extend enough to the right,that it recieves part of the cancelation. This type cannot be reproduced (add-ons) at a later date. A more proof positive that it is one of the first , original presentations of the cachet maker. Maxie cards are another,with the stamp and cacheton a post card or reproduction of one,the stamp and cancel is on the pic.Add ons cannot be done.
Well if nothing else comes of this thread,,at least it got you to revamp (update) you web site.That's gotta be a positive.
Tought for a while there,someone was going to jump in with a " Now now boys,fight nice"
have a happy day,
love ya
TOM

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
15 May 2009
09:58:08am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

actually, the boys are fighting nicely. I think the different perspectives are important, and I'm especially interested in hearing from an FDC collector about FDCs, about which, beyond the common Artmaster and Fleetwood cachets and the early pre-cacheted postally used material, I know virtually nothing.

It is important to distinguish the rarer and better cachets from the more common mass-market cachets, which is what Bob is doing. These are the cachets that we seldom see (although quite a few grace our auction pages and get bidders at not insignficant prices, confirming their value in a marketplace).

David

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Doe
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15 May 2009
10:57:50am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Covers are a small, but special thing of life. Just about every cover at one point was/is or still is important to someone for some reason. There are very few pieces of mail that come my way, that I don't know someone who woud like it for their collection. -Very few. My trading stock is filled with topics of no interest to me. It's virtually impossible to oraganize in way that makes it easy to find what every potential trading partner wants. States, towns, dates, cancel types, aux markings, labels, stamp designs, corner cards, surnames, rates, ink color, FDU, FDC, cachet artists etc... Every detail matters to somebody sonewhere. Many could want the same cover for very different reasons. Gold stamps fit into this as well. How else would I ever have an Inverted Jenny? All covers rock somebody's world. :-)

Peace,
Doe

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Woodstock
15 May 2009
07:19:10pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

You have to love this place! Start a thread and everybody gets an education.

It's not that anything said here would convince me to collect covers, but it sure is fabulous just to learn more about another area of the hobby.

Thanks y'all,

Bob

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Harley
16 May 2009
08:06:34am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Doe drings up an interesting point.
The PSC not only made FDCs,of current new issues,but also offered other series of the Gold Leaf Replicas.
Golden Replicas of United States Stamps (which are the 1st day covers)
Great Americans on United States Stamps (which have the cachet of gold replica plus the real stamp,(MNH-encapsilated)and to right is an artists rendition of the person and simulated cancel with name, date,and location of birth.
And finaly Golden Reolicas of U.S. Classic Stamps( which is where Doe got the Inverted Jenny,, they have the golden replica cachet,and to right is a picture of the stamp,beneath the pic says, enlarged reproduction of the Original stamp.
The last two are NOT FDCs.

btw Doe, I too have that Inverted Jenny cover.

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Rgnpcs
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16 May 2009
11:31:58pm
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

over-run_nations_1
\image}over-run_nations_2}

On this discussion of FDC cachets, All the early covers up to the 1960's can be found in the Micheal Mallone catalog.
Here is the Over-run Nations Set, with the 1st Smartcraft-Stahle cachets, very striking.

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Parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
17 May 2009
08:46:44am
re: Gold Replicas of United States Stamps

Very nice Richaard... Collecting 1st cachet is another popular way of collecting FDC's that I left out.

Bob

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