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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Why save selvage?

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rniekamp
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30 Jan 2014
05:17:18pm
I noticed some collectors like stamps with the selvage attached. To me, it's just waste. I have removed some selvage, but have stopped doing so because we're apparently supposed to keep stamps intact, even though they're not as attractive and are harder to fit neatly into an album. Why save selvage?
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
30 Jan 2014
05:41:40pm
re: Why save selvage?

There are many good reasons, among them help in identifying the issue, via plate number; the plate position; and sometimes the pane position. In addition, selvage makes stamps rarer in the sense that a pane of 100 stamps can never have more than 40 stamps with selvage while having 60 without. Of those 40, only 10 can have selvage on left margin and 10 ..........

Selvage can reflect times, as with Mr ZIP, and can also provide ready information about individual.

All things being equal, I ALWAYS take selvage over naked stamp

David

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Les
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30 Jan 2014
05:57:55pm
re: Why save selvage?

In my opinion, selvage on modern stamps is not too important, unless it conveys some message. Example could be the "Legends of Hollywood" panes which have photos and stories about the star. If you are collecting the entire pane, you would want the selvage. The Great American series had information about the person on the stamp printed on the selvage. When collecting plate numbers you might want the selvage to match the multiples.

Older stamps are often considered more valuable if they have selvage. The primary reason for the increase in value is the scarcity of the item in certain conditions. An 1893 Columbian with the selvage showing the imprint will command more than an identical singleton. In philately, selvage can give some indication of the position of the stamp on the plate. In the era of rampant speculation on the future value of stamps, many collectors chose to collect positions and conditions that were most valuable in the past. Like the stock market past performance is no indication of future value. Despite the relative rarity only one plate block per pane of 50, plate blocks rarely sell now for more than face.

The bottom line is that you should collect what you want to collect in the way that you want to collect it. Value is in the eye of the beholder or in this case the future collector.

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cocollectibles
30 Jan 2014
06:11:23pm
re: Why save selvage?

One reason I don't remove selvage is that this very process could damage the stamp, or at least the perfs.

I know collectors who fold the selvage to place in their albums, but this risks the two adhesive sides sticking.

Personally, I tend to leave selvage on the stamp as it makes it seem almost unique, as Dave pointed out.

Peter

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khj
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30 Jan 2014
08:46:11pm
re: Why save selvage?

This a variant of the age old question that has dogged selvage collectors -- why keep stamps attached? I know many mint selvage collectors argue that it is a waste not to use up the postage. But there are plenty of valid reasons for keeping the stamp attached.

Some points that might be helpful(?):

• the attached mint stamp can be trimmed and used to mount the selvage in your album (I prefer stockbooks rather than album pages, so I don't use this method)

• keeping the stamp attached helps protect the selvage teeth

• some stamps are actually rather colorful or well-designed, and complement the selvage

• it's sometimes convenient to write the selvage ID on the white margins of the stamp (I can't stand it when people write the ID on the back of the selvage! At Wits End )

• the stamp provides an illustration to accompany any descriptive text on the selvage

• the stamp makes it easier to notice EFOs, especially color missing errors since some selvage only has one color marking per tab

• on large panes, the stamps help provide support for any narrow selvage sides

• one of the great difficulties in selvage collecting is the proper orientation and IDing the correct position -- the attached stamp can prove very helpful on those blank tabs

• on used selvage, the additional real estate of the stamp sometimes does a better job of capturing the entire postmark -- let's face it, socked on the nose selvage is very difficult to find

• for corner selvage collectors, the attached stamp helps keep the "L" shaped selvage perpendicular

• let's face reality, selvage frames (i.e., complete attached selvage with the all stamps removed) do look better with stamps inside; it's like picture frames look better with a picture (forgive the stretched analogy, I realize that selvage frames are far more desirable than picture frames)

I could go on, but I think you get the idea for the corresponding reasons for stamp collectors to keep the selvage attached.

But, of course, if you really don't want the selvage, feel free to send them my way...

Big Grin k


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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
30 Jan 2014
09:10:26pm
re: Why save selvage?

Grooooaaaan! Why did I know that the above post was heading our way!D'Oh

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
30 Jan 2014
09:44:33pm
re: Why save selvage?

My personal choice is to discard selvage unless it is useful.

There are many ways selvage can be useful. One way, mentioned by David, is a plate number that may identify a type variety:

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Another example is when selvage can easily differentiate a sheet stamp from a Souvenir Sheet single:

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Yet another good reason to keep the selvage is when the design of the stamp itself runs into the selvage:

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Sometimes selvage can identify the perforation type and thus the catalog major or minor. Sorry for no scan on this one since I recently acquired the 3 varieties, but something as simple as a corner single, with selvage, is all that is needed to IMMEDIATELY differentiate US 1580, 1580B and 1580c because the perforation types are apparent at the margins.

And sometimes, although the selvage isn't REQUIRED, it can really help illustrate a variety, like this:

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or this:

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However, I do agree that selvage that doesn't add any useful information is a waste. If I had a plate single of a US Zeppelin, I would offer to trade it for a single at least as good, but absent an offer I would not hesitate to rip off the plate number and stick the stamp in my album. It my stamp. I own it. I can do as I please with it.

Lars



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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
30 Jan 2014
10:47:54pm
re: Why save selvage?

Ray:

Personally, I do not think there has to be a reason to save selvedge.
Some people save things for no reason whatever.

As I write, I'm looking at a refrigerator-size box full of unsorted
postage stamps that I have "saved" and my neighbours say I am "unreasonable".
I agree with them.

Do you need ten linear metres of used wax envelopes by any chance?

John Derry

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DavidG
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APS member since 2004
30 Jan 2014
11:07:50pm
re: Why save selvage?

Larsdog:

I use the White Ace album pages for my U.S. Air Mail collection.

How did you manage to do the same border around the stamps as the printed album, on your computer?

David

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
31 Jan 2014
02:09:42am
re: Why save selvage?

Quote:

"I have removed some selvage, but have stopped doing so because we're apparently supposed to keep stamps intact"



If that is the case, then all stamps MUST be collected in full panes. As soon as you remove a stamp from a pane, you have destroyed how is was printed.

I have purchased collections where the collector kept the selvage on the stamps and mounted the stamps in specialty albums. Of course it looked horrible as the stamps were not mounted in their spaces since the selvage overran the boundaries.

Kim, I knew you were going to reply like that. Too funny. I have seen collections of stamps with selvage where the collector wrote the catalog numbers on the stamps and left the selvage clean. I'm sure that's a collection you'd pay dearly for. I passed on it.

Bottom line, if you want the stamp with selvage on it, keep the selvage on it. If you don't, remove it. Just remember, though, that in some instances as stated by others, the information on some selvage can help you ID the stamp.

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cocollectibles
31 Jan 2014
09:04:43am
re: Why save selvage?

Is it selvage or selvedge? Nerd

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BobbyBarnhart
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31 Jan 2014
10:34:59am
re: Why save selvage?

Peter

I believe either is acceptable.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
31 Jan 2014
10:56:54am
re: Why save selvage?

For Kim it's salvage.

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BobbyBarnhart
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31 Jan 2014
11:31:41am
re: Why save selvage?

Quote:

"For Kim it's salvage."


            Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
31 Jan 2014
12:39:58pm
re: Why save selvage?

Quote:

"How did you manage to do the same border around the stamps as the printed album, on your computer?"



Easy. I buy blank pages from Washington Press. There is a blank Regular Issues page, a blank Commemoratives page (Style S-200), a blank Airmail page, and a blank page with no heading that I use (style S-205). (They also sell a blank Commem page with the title down the left side (S-201), but I have not purchased or used them). They also have blank pages available for just about every topical area.

For times I want to add a page without any border (like to display a certificate of authenticity), I use a similar weight card stock and a corner cutter to round off the corners.

Lars

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DavidG
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APS member since 2004
31 Jan 2014
09:47:40pm
re: Why save selvage?

Lars:

I mean the border around the stamp itself.

I have the US Air Mail Blank pages for my collection, that I was able to match the font for.

David

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
01 Feb 2014
12:19:04am
re: Why save selvage?

Quote:

"I mean the border around the stamp itself."



OK, now I understand! For the borders around the stamps, I scanned a few pre-printed White Ace pages. It's easy to get a typical horizontal commemorative, vertical commemorative, etc. and use those on pages you make yourself. The challenge is to put together a database of oddball sizes as well, like booklet panes and blocks of 4 or more.

I now have an inventory of about 15 or 20 different sizes of borders that I have scanned from various pre-printed White Ace pages. I simply find the border that most closely fits my needs and adjust the width and height of the image to match that particular use. I usually guesstimate the dimensions, print a demo page on blank paper, and compare the item (in mount) to the borders and figure out what percent I need to increase or decrease each dimension. I make a final print on normal printer paper to verify all dimensions and the text that is included. If all is OK, I print to the White Ace blank page.

Hope that makes sense.

Lars

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Bobstamp
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01 Feb 2014
01:01:35pm
re: Why save selvage?

Lars wrote, "It's my stamp. I own it. I can do as I please with it."

True, which is one of the pleasures of living in a democracy. But, do you truly own your stamps? I prefer to think of myself as a temporary cudstodian of my stamps (and covers and other ephemera).

Since I collect mostly older material, I am indebted to the collectors who took good care of them and thoughtfully made them available to other collectors and even collectors who hadn't even been born.

I've been working for a few days on a new web page based on an Irish cover and enclosed letter. It was posted in January, 1890 by a young student in a public school in Dublin. As a philatelic item I suppose that it's rather mundane. It's dirty, deeply toned by age and exposure to various pollutants, and is franked by one of the commonest of British stamps, which itself isn't in great condition. But…

That Irish cover and letter taken together are nothing less than an artifact that brightly illuminates the Irish class system and society as a whole, politics, commerce, and religion, not to mention the postal system of that time. As an artifact, it's among the most interesting items in my collection, and I'm doing my best to ensure that its condition doesn't deteriorate under my care. And I feel an obligation to ensure that it returns to the philatelic community when I am no longer able to appreciate it. I think the concept of the philatelist as a custodian, not an owner, is an important philosophic viewpoint for collectors to keep in mind.

My comments here have little to do with whether one should remove selvedge from stamps. I myself often remove selvedge, but only when it is blank. And this thought occurs to me as well: selvedge with any sort of information printed on it should not even be considered as separate from the stamp it's attached to. In other words, a stamp with "informative" selvedge is not just a stamp with selvedge, but a different entity entirely.

Bob


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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
01 Feb 2014
07:59:34pm
re: Why save selvage?

Quote:

"But, do you truly own your stamps? I prefer to think of myself as a temporary custodian of my stamps (and covers and other ephemera)."



Bob,

We will simply have to agree to disagree, then. I truly own my stamps. I have no obligation to save them for anyone. I would be an idiot to use my mint Zeppelins for postage, but that would be my prerogative. I certainly HOPE someone down the road gets half as much enjoyment from the stamps I have painstakingly collected as I have, but I feel no obligation.

I can see how postal history could be a different matter. There may be clues on a cover that are important to a future generation. Mint stamps are plentiful. Each cover is unique.

Lars

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dani20
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02 Feb 2014
08:46:11am
re: Why save selvage?

Lars & Bob,
If your conversation is restricted only to the stamp issue at hand you indeed can agree to disagree.Yet both your discussions speak to me as a metaphor for life itself, and in that you are not disagreeing at all.One argues that he is a custodian for the future, and the other argues that he is his own man responsible to himself for what is done with his acquisitions.

There is a philosophy that holds that all that we do serves to teach us a lesson. if the lesson is learned, we then move on to other lessons to be learned. If we don't learn the lesson before us, it will continue to be repeated until we do learn from it. If our hobby is of such a nature, then the way we conduct ourselves with our stamps speaks not to the stamps per se, but to us, our learning ability and our own behaviors.

From that perspective, we are indeed custodians of that which we encounter (Bob's view) and responsible for what we do/say(Lars point).

Or have I wandered astray?

Best,
Dan C.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
02 Feb 2014
09:24:22am
re: Why save selvage?

Dan

Sounds like you subscribe to the philosophy of Edmund Burke ("Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.") and George Santayana, as do I. (My tag line at the bottom of my post is another Burke quote). Life is but a series of lessons, and we do not stop learning until we die. (I won't get into "after life" philosophies - a whole 'nother can (or bucket) of worms).

I agree with your assessment of the current dialogs. We are all of the family of man (in the non-gender specific sense) and many of our so-called disagreements are nothing more than misinterpretation of one another's stated ideas.

BTW, I save selvedge 'cause it's "purty" (Texican for pleasant to look at).

Bobby

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dani20
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02 Feb 2014
01:16:31pm
re: Why save selvage?

"I agree with your assessment of the current dialogs. We are all of the family of man (in the non-gender specific sense) and many of our so-called disagreements are nothing more than misinterpretation of one another's stated ideas."

With that thought, Bobby, you have spanned the entire disconnect between individuals,families,nations at large.The issues faced by us all as we journey on our paths. Awesome indeed my friend.

(I won't get into "after life" philosophies - a whole 'nother can (or bucket) of worms)."

I LOVE THAT BUCKET!!I'd welcome that exploration-keeping in mind that
'We are not humans in search of a spiritual adventure-we are spirits in search of a human experience.'

Namaste,
Dan C.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
02 Feb 2014
02:47:05pm
re: Why save selvage?

This just got too deep for me. My philosophy of life isn't defined as much by Kant or Locke or even Nietzsche. My philosophy is more in tune with Ron White. Everyone needs something to believe in. I believe I'll have another drink.

Lars

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dani20
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02 Feb 2014
03:09:05pm
re: Why save selvage?

Lars I hear you, and you are saying what my wife often reminds me of- I have a tendency to go off and appear to be preaching. My apologies for that. I tend to be boring, and overthink things which tends to dilute the original thread. My bad.
Dan C.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
02 Feb 2014
03:51:11pm
re: Why save selvage?

Dan,
No complains from me. I really enjoy your posts!
Lars

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Feb 2014
04:55:10pm
re: Why save selvage?

Well, we all know that Imanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
02 Feb 2014
05:38:05pm
re: Why save selvage?

"Why can't we all just get along." - Rodney King

'nuff said.Big Grin

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Feb 2014
08:52:48pm
re: Why save selvage?

But Socrates himself is particularly missed.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
02 Feb 2014
11:02:07pm
re: Why save selvage?

Yes, as Ted "Theodore" Logan wisely said to Socrates: "All we are is dust in the wind," dude.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Feb 2014
11:23:51pm
re: Why save selvage?

...and Rene Decartes was a drunken fart I drink therefore I am...


(Guess I need Doug to chime in on this...)

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
03 Feb 2014
12:05:10am
re: Why save selvage?

Yeah, where is that MBA wannabe when you need him?!? I think he graduates this spring if I'm not mistaken (probably because he's studying instead of following our idle banter).

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