What we collect!

 

Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps
Discussion - Member to Member Sales - Research Center
Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps
Discussion - Member to Member Sales - Research Center
Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps



What we collect!
What we collect!


General Philatelic/Identify This? : Stamp Identification Reference Material

 

Author
Postings
michael78651

20 Feb 2013
10:26:00am
Proper identification of stamps is a challenge for newcomers to the hobby. There are times when seasoned hobbyists struggle with this as well. However, it is paramount that if one is going to collect stamps that they learn how to identify their stamps.

One way to do that is to create a reference collection. Building a library of catalogs and other books relating to forgeries, printings and other helpful items can be rather expensive and frustrating to read as the older books were written like technical manuals at times. A collector, especially a new one has a choice - start collecting books, or start collecting stamps. If someone is a stamp collector, it is more fun to collect stamps than it is to collect books. But what to do with the nightmare of identifying stamps?

One suggestion is to create your own reference material. Here is a way to do it that doesn't cost much and one probably already has most of the ingredients already at hand.

Many years ago, I created my own reference notebook. What I did was to take items that were just laying around the house not being used:

- standard three-ring binder
- old vinyl stamp stock pages
- old stamp catalogs (cheap to get in dealer box lots or dealer discount bins)
- duplicate stamps (everyone has plenty of these with little to no use for them)

I arranged the reference book into the following categories:

- Watermarks
- Ink Colors
- Common Design Types
- Classification of Stamps
- Paper
- Dies of British Colonial Stamps

Taking the catalogs, I went through and cut out all the illustrations of the watermarks and arranged them in numerical order on the stock pages. I even used actual stamps that clearly show watermarks, especially with larger watermarks that are too large to show on just one stamp. The introduction to the Scott catalogs has a list of all the color names used in the catalog. I cut that out and put that on a stock page. Then, using my duplicate stamps (can even use damaged stamps for this) I placed stamps that were only printed in one color in alphabetical order on the stock pages. I used a small label to identify the color of the stamp. I used multiple stamps where the colors were called the same in the catalog, but were noticeably different in hue. All the rest of the other categories were simply a matter of cutting out the information from the catalogs and placing them on stock pages in the binder. Simple and at very low cost.


Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
michael78651

20 Feb 2013
10:33:45am
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Here are two examples of pages from my reference notebook.
Image Not Found
Image Not Found

On the colors, you should use unused stamps, but if you only have used examples, try to use stamps that have only a small cancellation. You can always upgrade to unused later on. Notice the three hues of what Scott calls "Dark Green". The "Dark Brown" has a very different shade with the Czechoslovakian newspaper stamp on the right. Inconsistencies in the catalogs is part of the struggle in this hobby, but understanding that the catalogs have problems with consistency is one thing that has to be accepted as a necessary evil.

You can add even more categories if desired. Two that come to mind are counterfeits and reprints. Place a known genuine copy next to a known counterfeit or reprint, and include notes of the differences between the two.

Putting such a reference notebook together can be a fun project, and you can work on it a little bit at a time.

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
lisagrant87
Members Picture


It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis

20 Feb 2013
02:21:11pm
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

You have fabulous reference material there, Michael. I do think I will start putting together my own reference materials. Thank you for the idea and examples!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

lisaslunacy.com
DRYER
Members Picture


The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

25 Feb 2013
01:28:50pm
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Michael:

A simple idea, but very effective. It's depressing to admit that I didn't think of doing this for more than half a century.

You are organized, Michael, and that is why you accomplish more than I do. For me, it always seems to be "tomorrow country".

Upon reading your suggestion I immediately took a three-ring binder, labelled it MICHAEL'S MIND and , first thing tomorrow, I'm going to begin filling it with examples of watermarks.

John Derry

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

"Much happiness is overlooked because it doesn't cost anything. "

parklanemews@gmail.com
gregsvoboda

27 Apr 2013
03:06:10pm
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

That is a great Idea, Michael. I seem to spend a lot of time looking thrugh catalogs looking for water marks, common designs etc when I should make may own reference manual. I also keep varios article out of Linn's or Mekeel's which could or should be organized. My stamp area may share the same decor as Bobby1948

Like
Login to Like
this post
bluparrot

14 Jul 2013
07:19:20pm
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

One great website Big Blue 1840-1940. Very helpful for the Scott International collector, and many posts with examples and tips on identifying forgeries.

-Les

Like
Login to Like
this post
Noernberg
Members Picture


14 Jul 2013
07:52:28pm

Auctions
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

I agree, Les. Jim's postings are not only very informative, but also very entertaining and insightful, too.

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.noernbergstamps.com
larsdog
Members Picture


APS #220693 ATA#57179

22 Jul 2013
01:42:02am
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Michael alluded to a reference collection. I have learned that you can create an effective reference collection of many type differences of US stamps by collecting plate number singles or partial plate number panes.

As far back as the Second Bureau, plate numbers can be used as a lower-cost alternative to certs for Type differences:

Image Not Found

Partial plate numbers on these panes make them unambiguous:

Image Not Found

Plate numbers act as mini-certs, but also provide a valuable reference collection. If you have these two plate number singles:

Image Not Found

You will never have a problem with 2122 versus 2122b again.

There are many other similar examples.

Lars

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

stamps.colp.info
GeoStamper
Members Picture


Steve

06 Jan 2015
07:52:45pm
re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

While trying to identify a NZ Chalon, I came across an auction house that had several helpful listings. I have had no dealings with this company, and probably couldn't afford to, but their listings were quite helpful. Especially several in which the Scott numbers and/or colors are written down next to the stamp. Because there are several stamps side-by-side, I can see the differences among Vermilion, Orange and Light Brown (and unfortunately for my future hopes, among Blue, Blue, and Blue Hypnotized).

The site has a nice interface for the images that includes a stamp-sized magnifier. I don't know how long these listings stay active after the auctions close, if they do at all. The auction I used the most closes in a week (13 Jan 2015). However, I was able to download complete images to use as a future reference (right-click, "Save image as...").

http://www.sandafayre.com/countries/newzealandstamps.html

Of course, this site is also quite helpful as well, but I think it is already known to many:

http://www.nzstamps.org.uk/chalon/chalon0/index.html

Steve


Like
Login to Like
this post

"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
        

 

Author/Postings
michael78651

20 Feb 2013
10:26:00am

Proper identification of stamps is a challenge for newcomers to the hobby. There are times when seasoned hobbyists struggle with this as well. However, it is paramount that if one is going to collect stamps that they learn how to identify their stamps.

One way to do that is to create a reference collection. Building a library of catalogs and other books relating to forgeries, printings and other helpful items can be rather expensive and frustrating to read as the older books were written like technical manuals at times. A collector, especially a new one has a choice - start collecting books, or start collecting stamps. If someone is a stamp collector, it is more fun to collect stamps than it is to collect books. But what to do with the nightmare of identifying stamps?

One suggestion is to create your own reference material. Here is a way to do it that doesn't cost much and one probably already has most of the ingredients already at hand.

Many years ago, I created my own reference notebook. What I did was to take items that were just laying around the house not being used:

- standard three-ring binder
- old vinyl stamp stock pages
- old stamp catalogs (cheap to get in dealer box lots or dealer discount bins)
- duplicate stamps (everyone has plenty of these with little to no use for them)

I arranged the reference book into the following categories:

- Watermarks
- Ink Colors
- Common Design Types
- Classification of Stamps
- Paper
- Dies of British Colonial Stamps

Taking the catalogs, I went through and cut out all the illustrations of the watermarks and arranged them in numerical order on the stock pages. I even used actual stamps that clearly show watermarks, especially with larger watermarks that are too large to show on just one stamp. The introduction to the Scott catalogs has a list of all the color names used in the catalog. I cut that out and put that on a stock page. Then, using my duplicate stamps (can even use damaged stamps for this) I placed stamps that were only printed in one color in alphabetical order on the stock pages. I used a small label to identify the color of the stamp. I used multiple stamps where the colors were called the same in the catalog, but were noticeably different in hue. All the rest of the other categories were simply a matter of cutting out the information from the catalogs and placing them on stock pages in the binder. Simple and at very low cost.


Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
michael78651

20 Feb 2013
10:33:45am

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Here are two examples of pages from my reference notebook.
Image Not Found
Image Not Found

On the colors, you should use unused stamps, but if you only have used examples, try to use stamps that have only a small cancellation. You can always upgrade to unused later on. Notice the three hues of what Scott calls "Dark Green". The "Dark Brown" has a very different shade with the Czechoslovakian newspaper stamp on the right. Inconsistencies in the catalogs is part of the struggle in this hobby, but understanding that the catalogs have problems with consistency is one thing that has to be accepted as a necessary evil.

You can add even more categories if desired. Two that come to mind are counterfeits and reprints. Place a known genuine copy next to a known counterfeit or reprint, and include notes of the differences between the two.

Putting such a reference notebook together can be a fun project, and you can work on it a little bit at a time.

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
20 Feb 2013
02:21:11pm

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

You have fabulous reference material there, Michael. I do think I will start putting together my own reference materials. Thank you for the idea and examples!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

lisaslunacy.com

The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
25 Feb 2013
01:28:50pm

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Michael:

A simple idea, but very effective. It's depressing to admit that I didn't think of doing this for more than half a century.

You are organized, Michael, and that is why you accomplish more than I do. For me, it always seems to be "tomorrow country".

Upon reading your suggestion I immediately took a three-ring binder, labelled it MICHAEL'S MIND and , first thing tomorrow, I'm going to begin filling it with examples of watermarks.

John Derry

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

"Much happiness is overlooked because it doesn't cost anything. "

parklanemews@gmail.c ...
gregsvoboda

27 Apr 2013
03:06:10pm

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

That is a great Idea, Michael. I seem to spend a lot of time looking thrugh catalogs looking for water marks, common designs etc when I should make may own reference manual. I also keep varios article out of Linn's or Mekeel's which could or should be organized. My stamp area may share the same decor as Bobby1948

Like
Login to Like
this post
bluparrot

14 Jul 2013
07:19:20pm

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

One great website Big Blue 1840-1940. Very helpful for the Scott International collector, and many posts with examples and tips on identifying forgeries.

-Les

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Noernberg

14 Jul 2013
07:52:28pm

Auctions

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

I agree, Les. Jim's postings are not only very informative, but also very entertaining and insightful, too.

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.noernbergstamps. ...
Members Picture
larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
22 Jul 2013
01:42:02am

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

Michael alluded to a reference collection. I have learned that you can create an effective reference collection of many type differences of US stamps by collecting plate number singles or partial plate number panes.

As far back as the Second Bureau, plate numbers can be used as a lower-cost alternative to certs for Type differences:

Image Not Found

Partial plate numbers on these panes make them unambiguous:

Image Not Found

Plate numbers act as mini-certs, but also provide a valuable reference collection. If you have these two plate number singles:

Image Not Found

You will never have a problem with 2122 versus 2122b again.

There are many other similar examples.

Lars

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

stamps.colp.info
Members Picture
GeoStamper

Steve
06 Jan 2015
07:52:45pm

re: Stamp Identification Reference Material

While trying to identify a NZ Chalon, I came across an auction house that had several helpful listings. I have had no dealings with this company, and probably couldn't afford to, but their listings were quite helpful. Especially several in which the Scott numbers and/or colors are written down next to the stamp. Because there are several stamps side-by-side, I can see the differences among Vermilion, Orange and Light Brown (and unfortunately for my future hopes, among Blue, Blue, and Blue Hypnotized).

The site has a nice interface for the images that includes a stamp-sized magnifier. I don't know how long these listings stay active after the auctions close, if they do at all. The auction I used the most closes in a week (13 Jan 2015). However, I was able to download complete images to use as a future reference (right-click, "Save image as...").

http://www.sandafayre.com/countries/newzealandstamps.html

Of course, this site is also quite helpful as well, but I think it is already known to many:

http://www.nzstamps.org.uk/chalon/chalon0/index.html

Steve


Like
Login to Like
this post

"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
        

Contact Webmaster | Visitors Online | Unsubscribe Emails | Facebook


User Agreement

Copyright © 2024 Stamporama.com