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Stamp questions

I have a few stamp questions. First, I collected stamps as a child many, many years ago and still have that collection somewhere. After stumbling onto this forum, I realize that stamp collecting has changed dramatically. Could someone answer some simple questions, please keep in mind that I am less educated than a newbie.

1) Why are hinged stamps bad? I thought it was stupid to put stamps in books with hinges but thats what they did. Now it seems they are penalized if ever hinged.

2) Someone here stated that PSE now encapsulates stamps. Is this the same hard plastic case used in the coin grading business (PCGS)? Any pics? What I have seen is mostly a heavy but flexible plastic envelope.

3) Who the heck is Scott? I assume that someone named Scott wrote a book? Stamps are reference by the Scott book? I'm I right.

Any helpfull comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  • KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭


    I can answer #2:
    Yes, PSE 'slabs' are very similar to the PCGS coin slab. The PSE slab is thinner and a bit taller than it's coin counterpart. You can find pics of PSE slabs at either of these websites:

    David Lawrence Rare Cons
    Steve Crippe - gradedstamps.com

  • Tcoins - An attempt to answer:

    1. - Hinged stamps aren't bad, they are just worth less in the market than never hinged. The craze started in Germany in the 1960's really when dealers wanted to fatten profit margins by offereing a new product. The result is that re-gumming has become so good, most collectors can't tell the difference. I strongly suggest collecting used. I might also mention that I am a curator for several "large" collectors and hinge everything.

    2. - The ones I've seen may be slightly less thick than the coin holders.

    3. - Scott catalog is the standard reference book in United States for stamps. Should be available from your library and on the internet. A good, standard reference- particularly for US material in the Scott Specialized.

    Richard Frajola
    Richard Frajola
  • TCoinsTCoins Posts: 566 ✭✭
    Hey, thanks for the quick reponses. I'm afraid that I like the stamp capsules.
  • dougwtxdougwtx Posts: 566 ✭✭
    1. hinging is not bad as Covers mentioned. Matter of fact, its kind of a waste of money to use hingeless albums/mounts for cheaper stuff especially worldwide.

    2. Without seeing them, the plastic envelopes you have seen are probably an approval cards, widely used in philatelics.

    3. Scott is probably the most popular used here. There are many other reference catalogs using their own numbering scheme which are of value to specialized collectors of other countries. Like Redbooks, the older Scott catalogs have become collectibles themselves.
  • coinpicturescoinpictures Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭
    #1 - If we're talking mint (unused) stamps, then yes, hinging them is bad. If we're talking used stamps, it makes no difference whatsoever unless there is damage caused by placement/removal of a hinge, or excessive hinge/album remnants.
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