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Shreves' ''Elite'' Collection Brings Extremely Strong Prices

KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭

PSE on Shreves sale results

The writing is on the wall for everyone to see.

KJ

Comments

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    KJ - I would very much like to hear your thoughts on what exactly those numbers do mean. Please enlighten me as I do not understand how the "coin" guys view the current surge in graded stamps.

    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
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    KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭

    hi Richard,
    I can't tell if your comment "please enlighten me" is a put down or a serious question. I think the PSE story and the Shreve comments speak for themselves.

    I wouldn't call myself one of the "coin guys" although I do have a background in numismatics. I've also collected US and world currency. I was briefly into philatelics back in the mid 80's. I bought a few nice stamps but ended up quickly selling them because it was too problematic to know for sure if they were actually of the quality/authenticity they purported to be of. Certification and PSE grading, which I discovered only earlier this year, removes this area of doubt in my mind.

    I don't want to sound like an 'investor' but what you've called "the current surge in graded stamps" reminds me of when I bought gold at $140.00 back in the mid 70's. The writing then was on the wall and I saw it clearly. My gut feeling this time is that PSE grading and PSE encapsulated stamps will transform the world of philatelics. I think we're just now seeing the beginnings of this change. If the past history of coin and currency collectors is any indication of how this will happen in stamps, old timers will resist the change with a passion but, in the end, results such as the recent Shreves Elite sale will become the norm, rather than being something remarkable.

    Just my .02¢

    Which side are you on?

    KJ

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    KJ - That was NOT a put-down, it was an honest question. I am trying to understand where the demand for graded stamps is coming from (I happen to be an expertizer for both PSE and the Philatelic Foundation but don't do grading). As near as I can tell, the graded stamps have added a new, and quite separate market, to stamp collecting. One of the leading dealers in graded stamps is my friend Steve Crippe.

    That said, I want to understand why (and who) are buying these graded stamps, and particularly the slabbed stamps. Many pre 1930 graded stamps are going to advanced, and semi-advanced "traditional" stamp collectors. I have no idea why anyone is buying graded stuff from 1930 up, or slabbed. I am also trying determine how deep the market is for slabbed as I am concerned for another investment craze and crash like what happened in 1980.


    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
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    From the perspective of a long time experienced collector of rare coins and paper money and a newbie in the area of stamp collecting I will give my answer.

    There are many variables that make the value and having seen it way too often in the coin world I do not want to put up $1000 on a nice looking stamp that has some reason to be only worth $200. I don't have the experience or the knowledge in stamps and don't want to spend the next 2-5 years getting burned while I learn.

    It's well worth the premium for the insurance factor. Now I argued for the last 2 years with the currency gurus who were all in arms when the TPGs came to town. They said that everyone should learn to grade themselves. What they meant is that they couldn't take advantage of the newbies if they bought/sold pre-graded material.

    Of course the real benefit is for those who can grade like a TPG and can buy raw gems at low prices. I did this for years and made out well. So if you can do this then hop on the train. Find the nice stuff , get it graded and sell it off. In any event don't try to buck the trend. It came to coins and Paper currency and Id guess that some day most all stamps worth anything will be in a TPG holder.
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    KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭

    hi Richard
    Thanks for your reply. I could see from visiting your website you know much more about philatelics than anything I will ever realize. This was part of why I asked your motive in asking your questions. I've already learned it's not at all difficult to find viewpoints expressing outrage anyone would pay 10,000 x CV for a gem low census PSE stamp. Their argument is always that you can go into your local stamp shop and find an identical stamp for .60¢. Oh, really? A stamp that will pass PSE standards and come out grading = to the big bucks gem low census PSE stamp? As Coyn says, make that stamp and sell it if you have the eye and good fortune to find it for .60¢

    I have bought several very nice PSE stamps from your friend Steve Crippe. His customer service is EXCELLENT. I think his prices are usually very fair. If you know Steve Crippe and Charles Shreve then you already have sources who can tell you who is fueling the post 1930 PSE graded demand.

    I am definitely a PSE encapsulated type of collector. I'm working up my second PSE submission to have a few graded cert only stamps encapsulated. I find the encapsulated 'product' takes good care of the physical stamp. I would be even happier if I had a good PSE storage box to keep our slabs in, but, that's another forum thread.

    Have you considered the PSE stamp registry as a factor in some of the recent PSE graded stamp price increases? The PSE stamp registry is probably more fun than it's PCGS coin counterpart. I did buy a few lots from the Elite auction to improve our registry sets. Shreves had many low pop high grade stamps you don't often see offered for sale. I only wish I had the deep pockets to have been even more successful in my bidding.

    Will there be a 1980's market crash? LOL. I've said before that even if it was announced the sun was turning into a red giant next week, dooming all life on earth, some of us collectors would still be scurrying around trying to find the final items we need to complete our sets. The bottom line for me is this .... as long as PSE maintains the integrity of the PSE grading service, I'm not too worried about a potential market crash.

    All best wishes image

    KJ

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    dougwtxdougwtx Posts: 566 ✭✭
    I wonder if TPG stamps will create a bunch of stamp doctors as it has in the coin and currency world; if it hasn't already??? Nothing you can do about the centering, but I suppose some master can fool experts if financially worth it to them to regum/reperf/repair a stamp. People have tried in the past and got away with it. An advantage to buying cert stamps, but as we all know in the coin and currency arena, even the experts don't notice (AT comes to mind). Nice thing with currency is once slabbed, then if it pops up again in a higher grade and looks looks different, it will most likely be spotted by someone watching those and the serial# is the tell-tale.

    I think one factor on the rise of graded stamps is competition among collectors. Some want the best; look at registry sets. I equate the post-1930 TPG stamps to modern coins. People will pay a handsome figure for a pop 1 or low pop modern coin. Like they say, buy the coin, not the holder. One thing I don't like to see is where people cut out a large "block" to get a single superb gem wasting the attaching stamps.

    I am not knocking TGP stamps; just pointing out some things that I perceive.
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    KJ - Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am glad I have finally located (directly) a buyer of slabbed stamps. I have spoken with Steve Crippe at length on the subject and even went to the recent ANA show in Denver partially to see if anybody had stamps for slae (none). As you probably figured out on my website, I don't deal in stamps really and haven't for a long time as I prefer postal history. Back in the mid 1970's I was a buyer for Simmy's stamp auction company which was actually the first firm to promote "jumbo" stamps.

    And yes, the registry thing should help stimulate the market in graded, post 1930 material. However, the registry stuff is in extreme infancy and the census number for post 1930's material will likely expand 500 fold in short order (that is, the census of a 10c Famous American in "100" that may be 3 now will be 1,500 in 5 years).

    Now, regarding PSE maintianing grading integrity, I have little fear on that score. However, everybody makes mistakes. I saw a graded stamp with clean PSE cert on David Lawrence's site for sale at $47,500 that had a visible crease that PSE missed. If that stamp went to the PF, I think they would call it and, correctly described at an auction, it would sell around $7,500. In short, I still think a collector has to learn for themselves all they can about stamps.
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
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    Doug - The stamp whizzers and restoration artists have been at it for years already.

    What are "TPG" stamps?
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
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    dougwtxdougwtx Posts: 566 ✭✭
    Sorry Richard, TPG probably comes from my use in coins. Third party grading. I just assumed you could use that term with PSE or APS graded material.
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    Richard, and everybody else, it's as simple as this. Coins were zooming. Curremcy and Stamps lagging. Coins began to falter and currency started to show life. Money began to go into currency. A whole bunch of "dealers" and others in for the money missed out. So, they leap frogged over currency and into stamps. Bunches of people that know coins didn't even have an idea that stamps were being "slabbed".

    I find this to be the only real explanation to the run up in stamps prices...STARTING back at the March DC Show.



    Jerry

    ---Richard, I'll send you a PM tonight...in response to yours.
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    I don't know that I can add much to what has been so well said by coynclecter, KentuckyJ and dougwtx.

    In a nutshell, I was in the coin market from 1975 to 2004, and witnessed both the "crashes" of 1980 (precious metals bubble) and 1990 (coin fund bubble). I observed the "gradeflation" of the early 1980s and I also watched the phenomenon of PCGS and NGC transform the market in 1986-87.

    So, with 30+ years in the biz, I can confidently say that third party grading of collectibles, honestly and competently done, is a HUGE boon to any hobby. It largely removes product risk, giving the collector or investor the opportunity to fairly buy and sell material with some assurance they are getting the quality they are paying for. I realize that TPG servies aren't perfect. PCGS and NGC both have been known, on more than one occasion, to assign a different grade to a coin upon a second examination. PSE likewise has missed a few. But when you compare that to browsing an average dealer's retail list prior to third party grading, and buying what is offered at the grade that was represented, it's night and day.

    I'm probably not exaggerating too much when I say that prior to TPG, the average coin or stamp dealer worked on between a 40% and 50% markup. Today, that number is well under half that amount, and sometimes as little as 10% or 15%. However, as dealers have discovered, their earnings are not really negatively affected due to the higher prices and increased volume they are able to enjoy. So, everybody wins. Dealers sell more material, and buyers get a vastly higher REAL liquid value for their retail or auction purchase.

    I realize as well, that some of the huge prices seen for modern material may be subject to fluctuation as the populations of some of these issues in ultra high grade rise. That is normal, and to be expected. However, if that is accompanied by an ever-increasing collector base, the overall effect on the market will be a net positive. And if any market needs new, younger collectors, it is the stamp market.

    Yes, the old-timers shake their heads, and grumble about how things aren't like they were in 1956. Not much other than the Grand Canyon is.

    Michael Sherman
    Director of Numismatics
    PCGS
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    Anybody catch any of the Regency auction in St. Louis?



    Jerry
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    Hi

    Try this stamp website Poppe Stamps collection by theme and category
    It's a very nice website. The images are very clear & good.. THe website and navigation is very good also..

    You can find thousands of stamps..

    opaw
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    Thanks Opaw. And welcome here!



    Jerry
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    dougwtxdougwtx Posts: 566 ✭✭


    << <i>Anybody catch any of the Regency auction in St. Louis?
    Jerry >>



    I've only won a couple lots from their auctions; guess I don't bid strong enough. I love their catalogs. Their most recent one, I was going to bid on a few, but then I just received Dale Enterprises auctions and figured I may have a better chance there.
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    KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭

    Mike Sherman, thanks for sharing your thoughts image

    KJ

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    A couple essential differences between the early 80s boom and crash and the current craze over graded is that
    1. The stamps selling for multiples of catalogue value are GRADED, not as in the earlier boom when any stamp was being pushed on an investor/collector as a superb top quality stamp that would triple in value in a year with only the seller's word to back it up.
    2. There are probably even less possible high grade pre-1920 stamps than 20+ years ago just because of the passage of time.
    3. Probably a very small % of pre-1920 stamps sold in the early 80's as "superb" would/will actually get a 95 or 98 grade if submitted now. Therefore there is a much smaller amount of stamps that are selling for a very high amount versus catalog. That's the old and supply and demand issue when talking about earlier MNH in higher grades.
    4. Like Mike said earlier this(grading) could even draw in more collectors which will only increase demand on already scarce high grades.
    Later stamps will come down in value for sure, but the graded earlier higher denominations are always going to command strong prices, unless people stop collecting.
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