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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : How to spot regummed stamps

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Susan Simon
25 Nov 2002
02:13:56pm
Hi Everyone,

How can you tell if a stamp has been regummed? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Susan
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Roy Lingen (Roy)
25 Nov 2002
02:37:18pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Take a 10x magnifying glass and look at the ends of the perfs. There are several different clues:

1) single fibres at the ends of the perfs are covered in gum,

2) no fibres at the ends of the perfs (regummer, knowing people will look for (1) trims them off

3) look at the holes between the perfs. if there is slight gum on the front -- regummed.

4) knowing the type of gum to be expected helps - if it doesn't look right -- probably regummed (a good reason to keep cheap, hinge remnant values of a set for reference.

However, all that being said, regummers are getting very good. A couple years ago, I heard a great story about a German dealer who brought a stockbook of very high value US stamps to a major US dealer at an international show. They were all $ value Columbians, Trans-Mississippi's etc -- lots and lots of money! Especially since they were all NH.

The US dealer went through them all and made two piles without saying a word. Of course, the German dealer wondered what he was doing, but kept silent. When he was finished, the US dealer said "I can use this pile, but that pile is all regummed." Whereupon the German dealer looked at him in disbelief, declaring, "Are you kidding? They are all regummed -- I did them myself!".

Roy
Webmaster

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Ann Mette Heindorff (Mette)
25 Nov 2002
02:42:56pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Thanks Roy, for a very good answer and a great story that will go straight to my local Danish clubs :)
Mette

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Susan Simon
25 Nov 2002
02:45:23pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Thanks, Roy,

If a dealer can be fooled, then I haven't got a chance! I have two strikes against me - I'm a neophyte collector and my eyesight isn't as good as it once was.

The reason I asked the question is because I found several stamps with undisturbed glue (or what appears to be undisturbed glue) but they are obviously cancelled stamps. Why anyone would regum a cancelled stamp is anybody's guess (unless they were practicing.) ;)

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Roy Lingen (Roy)
25 Nov 2002
02:50:53pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Oh, that's a different issue. What you have are are undoubtedly CTO's (cancelled to order). Do a keyword search (menu at the left) for other discussions on the board about "CTO".

Basically, these are stamps cancelled by the issuing country so they can be sold cheaply to collectors with no postal liability. Many collectors frown on them and won't collect them, others say "there is no other way to get the stamp, so who cares -- I like it anyway".

Roy

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
25 Nov 2002
02:53:19pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Which (responding to Roy's story about the dealer who was taken in by regummed stamps) is a good reason to ignore the NH "fad" and stick to LH stamps, at least for the expensive ones.

Consider collecting used stamps, if you don't already do so. Used stamps, at least those with cancellations that contain information about their usage, are far more interesting in my estimation than mint stamps, and occasionally can be much more valuable. Sometimes, in fact, the cancel is far more interesting and collectible than the stamp, but you kinda have to collect the stamp as well as the cancel. I've heard of "lifting" cancels to create "mint" stamps, though. I wonder what they do with the "lifted" cancellations? :^)

I try, within the limits of my budget, to collect both mint and used stamps. I like to use mint stamps on my web pages when the stamp itself and not its usage is the subject.

Bob

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Susan Simon
25 Nov 2002
03:03:08pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hi All,

Maybe I should have mentioned that the stamps that I've been discussing are USA stamps. I really haven't gone too far away from North America, yet. Did the USA ever issue a CTO? From the discription, I'm guessing they didn't.

Susan

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Ann Mette Heindorff (Mette)
25 Nov 2002
03:20:42pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Bob, there are techniques to "lift" (or remove) a cancel, but please don't ask me how or where to find them. Such techniques are sometimes used by philatelic magazines in order to show an image of a mint stamp, simply because the editor only has a used one at hand.
Mette

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David Teisler (Teisler)
25 Nov 2002
04:05:05pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

I have seen older cancelled US stamps still with full gum. Possibilities could include "precancelled" for use as dues or cancelled for other services, for instance bulk mailings or bulk dues. Is it also possible it kept gum because it was lightly stuck to the envelope?

David

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Dakota
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25 Nov 2002
05:14:23pm

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re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hey gang!

About 10 months ago I was privy to an (honest) dealer's explanation of how to use a child's toy to fake a 'skipped' stamp into becoming an MNH - also how to make a lightly cancelled stamp into an MNH.

A word of warning - if the stamp appears to be MNH and a high value issue then demand a 'cert' for the stamp. If the seller refuses - then go on to another dealer - don't dally around trying to get a better price - just get the heck away from that dealer.

But, I gotta say, with the method described to me - I'd be wary of even the 'cert'.

On the other hand, if the cert sez 'geniune' then - well it must be. But I'd still have to question it!

Handshakes,


Dakota

No, I won't tell you how it was done - there's only one member here whom I'd trust to share this info with! Bob, ya out there?

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www.hipstamp.com/store/dakota-stamps
Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
25 Nov 2002
06:49:31pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Here is a cancel that I "lifted" from a copy of U.S. C11 by scanning it raising the contrast to the maximum amount, and removing the parts of the design that remained with image manipulating software.

{lifted cancel}

Bob

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
25 Nov 2002
06:52:33pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Damn! I'll try again.

Here is an image of a cancel that I lifted from a used copy of U.S. C11:

lifted cancel

Bob

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Mark Dyck (Mdyck)
26 Nov 2002
09:24:09am
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hi,

I was talking to a dealer on the weekend who told me this story:

He was working with a member of the APS who was heavily involved with expertising. He was told that they no longer certified stamps as Never Hinged, since "the german regummers are getting too good" His advice was to not pay a premium for "NH" stamps earlier than, say, the 1920's (he used the example "earlier than the admirals" for a canadian example)

So the dealers advice to me was to look for stamps that were "perfect" from the front, and lightly hinged on the back.

That was the story, for what it's worth. It's not the final word on the subject, but it's neat that we had a similar conversation at about the same time!


My dealer also said that by regumming a 'dry printing' stamp, it made it look like a 'wet printing' stamp, since you could no longer see the stamp 'embossing' from the back side. I could see what he showed me, but I can't describe it very well. anyone else want to take a crack at it?


Mark

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Roy Lingen (Roy)
26 Nov 2002
10:12:14am
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Mark said:
since "the german regummers are getting too good" His advice was to not pay a premium for "NH" stamps earlier than, say, the 1920's... So the dealers advice to me was to look for stamps that were "perfect" from the front, and lightly hinged on the back.

Guess what? The regummers know that too, so now they are "lightly hinging" regummed copies --- so that's no guarantee.

Dry Printing:
The stamp is printed on pre-gummed paper resulting in embossing on the back because of the pressure of the engraving:

dry
(from a 2c yellow Canada Admiral block imperf between)

Wet printing:
The stamp is printed on sheets of wet (damp) paper and gummed after printing so no embossing shows.

wet

2c brown Admiral War Tax issue

Hope that helps

Roy

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Mark Dyck (Mdyck)
26 Nov 2002
11:38:24pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Lightly hinging regummed stamps? You've got to be kidding!

Hmm...so I either stick to stamps cataloging under a buck, or go back to hockey cards. :-)

Thanks for the scans Roy,

Mark

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Scott
27 Nov 2002
12:38:59am
re: How to spot regummed stamps

These kinds of stories make me very happy that I only collect used stamps!

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Rob Vlaardingerbroek (Rob)
27 Nov 2002
05:14:56am
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hi Scott and all,

Scott, so do I, but it's not a guarantee either.

How about a soaked re-gummed mint Pax series from Switzerland with a neat cancellation of just a quarter of a circle in the corner as a cancellation?

And even when it is bullseye, can we be sure?

Any stamp that is worth more cancelled than mint must be looked at very carefully, but you probably will know that. Had to make that remark however.

A very interesting article on forgeries and cancellations is written by my friend Toke : http://www.norbyhus.dk/stempler.html

Best regards,

Rob.

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Scott
27 Nov 2002
05:22:26pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hi Rob,

I was thinking about my comment last night and realised someone might say just what you said. I guess there is never a guarantee. Stamps from FDC's could be a good example. Usually easy to spot because of the fancy cancel but has it been used? Maybe yes maybe no. For now I think I will go on faith and not pick the stamps with suspicious cancels.

Scott

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
27 Nov 2002
05:34:55pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Well, that's one strategy, but just what is a unsuspicious cancel? A good forger is going to pull all the stops in creating cancels that don't look suspicious, and he will fool most collectors most of the time. He'll even fool expertizers. Most of us don't stand a chance.

Fortunately, I simply can't afford expensive stamps, so my chances of getting ripped off by a fake cancel are relatively slim. Few forgers, regummers, etc. would bother altering the stamps and covers that end up in my collection, simply because they are worth very little by comparison with "rare" stamps.

Earlier in this discussion the topic of regummed stamps was being booted about. One wonders if these dishonest practices will ultimately destroy the market value of mint stamps, and put the regummers out of business, I have rarely purchased expensive mint stamps, and now I certainly will not! I am currently contemplating the purchase of an unusued (no gum) Swiss airmail stamp, and find myself hesitating only because it doesn't have gum. Otherwise, it's beautiful! I have a couple of mint German airmail stamps (Scott C57 & C58) which were issued with highly acidic gum that is in the process of destroying the stamps. The damage is obvious on any mint, gummed copies, and smart collectors have long since soaked the gum off. They are perfectly content with the ungummed copies of this stamp, so why are they (we) so hung up on MNH stamps? What is the origin of this fetish for gum? There must have been some clever marketing at some time in the fairly recent past, no doubt by a regummer!

Bob

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Ann Mette Heindorff (Mette)
27 Nov 2002
05:56:36pm
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Bob, I think that many collectors are hung up on MNH stamps simply because they consider them "little banknotes", which is, of course, mostly wishful thinking. But there are examples of stamps that were issued with the intention of normal use, but for various reasons never got into circulation. I have such one from Denmark, issued 1963 during the Cold War. I have only seen it catalogued in my Danish catalogue. Personally I collect MNH stamps for my webpages, because it is -- to quote yourself -- the stamps that are the subject (arts on stamps), not the cancel. However, I do have an extensive collection of the same stamps, postally used. So any Group7-stamp, postally used, will be welcomed ;)

Mette

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Rob Vlaardingerbroek (Rob)
28 Nov 2002
03:33:44am
re: How to spot regummed stamps

Hi Bob,

Interesting question, which I will not answer ;-) but I will give my opinion.

Earlier I said that I collect cancelled stamps, which is true, but not meaning I have no mint stamps in my collections too. A lot of sheetlets from Scandinavia to start with. They are hardly to be found used (and in that case I rather have them mint than mint precancelled).

My Slania collection is mint, just because this collection is about the grandmaster of engraving, so I want to see his work and not the cancellations which will disturb the picture. But I will take uncancelled (no gum and cancel) too, as I want the pictures. The last is rare however, but sometimes a letter comes in that is not cancelled. For my Scandinavian collections I want the same stamps but cancelled.

For this reason I can understand fully why someone that collects for instance ships (or any other topic) wants mint stamps. They are fond on what topic they collect and want to see the topic. My wife for instance has a nice small collection about human rights (UN stamps), she can read the text because it is mint.

Many collectors, many opinions, that is the nice thing I noticed since I am on the internet.

I am collecting since age 7, for 43 years now. As a kid I was told on the youth club what dangers there where in collecting stamps. Unwanted issues (now that is a topic), regummed, fakes etc. etc.

Since some years I buy a lot of bunches, I also am the volunteer webmaster of a big shop here in the Hague. Well I managed to buy some regummed series once in a stockbook (6 or 7 years ago), cracked gum and clearly regummed, I didn't look proper enough at all the material in that box.

I used them to give fellow collectors a stamp as reference, so it had it's use. I also managed to see some cancellations that where to doubt about, maybe 4 or 5. And I saw some forgeries, because there are people that are collecting this too but I had to ask for the last at my dealer. By the way, this doesn't mean that I can't have some in my collection, I just didn't noticed it in that case.

In the same 43 years I saw the above I also saw thousands of good stamps and enjoyed myself very well.

Best regards,

Rob.
Who still tries to find a cancelation of every post office that exists or existed in Scandinavia

http://www.xs4all.nl/~pkv

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