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Stamp Certification: At what value level (say, based on SMQ) is it practical to have a stamp certif

ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,518 ✭✭✭✭✭
I did some browsing on the PSE website -- looking at the various service levels offered, and glanced at the SMQ value guide. I have a number of pre-1937 mint stamps and wonder if it is worthwhile to get some of the more valuable ones certified. Some questions:

1. Is there a "rule of thumb" for value (say based on SMQ) in which it makes sense to have a stamp certified?

2. Under what situation is it better to have a graded certificate instead of a "slab" or vice versa? It appears they both cost the same, so I would think the slab would be preferred.

3. Should blocks of stamps be kept intact? I suspect yes, but then one could only get the graded certificate and not a slab. They may be a paritial answer to #2.

4. Should I get souvenir sheets (such as #630) graded? Or are they too big even for a certificate?

5. Are there any post 1930s stamps (i.e. "stamp modern crap") worth certifying? For example, cherrypicking Superb Jumbo 98s from the common "Famous Americans" series like you would cherrypick a MS-67 1970 quarter from a pile of mint sets?

Thanks for your input! image

Comments

  • WondoWondo Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭
    Slabbing runs about $20 per stamp unless you can do a high volume. The rules that the coin and card folks follow applies here, as well. If the stamp will sell better (by $20 or more) expertised, than the cost is justified. I truly believe that, although lagging, the stamp market will follow its sisters in that "slabbed" stamps will become the norm and preferred commodity. This is why I have elected to buy slabbed stamps now and what will be the driving force in bringing "new" money into the market.

    I have to say, the slabbed stamps look cool and port well - I am not a fan (due to ignorance) of the cert process.


    Anyway, to get back to your question, remember, SMQ only prices "slabbed" stamps and if it represents a significant premiuim over "raw" ,than it is worth expertiseing.

    just my humble opinion based on other market history.

    John
    Wondo

  • Conecticoin - Expertisation is most often desired when the particular stamp has been frequently faked (like coils and certain imperfs like #315). This includes stamps that are worth more used than mint and may have fake cancels added. Also classic stamps where re-perforating and washing pen cancels is more prevalent. You should learn to recognize faults on your own without the need for certification as it is a waste of money getting something certified if it has something wrong with it that you should be able to determine.

    You can also ask on some of the forums for help as many faked stamps can be spotted from good scans.

    Finally, please don't slab anything .....

    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
  • Do you have any idea what the stamps may grade?



    Jerry
  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,518 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Do you have any idea what the stamps may grade?
    Jerry >>



    I would say about 60% are F/VF, 30% are VF, and 10% XF, mostly MNH.
  • WondoWondo Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Finally, please don't slab anything ..... >>




    Richard! image
    Wondo

  • storm888storm888 Posts: 11,701 ✭✭✭
    VERY general rules:

    1. Slab anything over $100.00 retail (raw), if you can reasonably ask for an XF.

    2. Rare/Scarce stuff should be slabbed on principle alone.
    Folks Who Bite Get Bitten. Folks Who Don't Bite Get Eaten.
  • KentuckyJKentuckyJ Posts: 1,871 ✭✭✭

    > Finally, please don't slab anything .....


    LOL. I slab everything. I call it encapsulation image

    KJ

  • Slabs/capsules suck in my opinion as a collector, but they are the best way to keep the stamps from unintentional damage and to reassure future potential buyers if you sell. I like certs myself, I only have one encapsulated. I wouldn't get a grade on anything under XF-90, except on REALLY scarce or expensive stamps and even then I would have a minimum grade of 85. You can get graded and ungraded on the same submission form . Just put a "minimum"grade that you know a stamp won't acheive and you'll get a plain cert or slab, on the others you want a grade for just put the minimum you are willing to accept. This way if you have a good sound but maybe off-center stamp that has some decent value you can still have certification(without a grade). I do this all the time. I think lower grades on a cert can make the stamp unsalable to most experienced collectors. Costs for PSE per stamp are $18.00 for most post Sc #405 and $25 for earlier stamps, so it can get pretty expensive(the fees for very expensive stamps). I usualy sit on a batch of 20 or so stamps for at least a couple of months and check them over and over. I usually end up pulling 4 to 5 stamps from the original batch that I discover problems with after repetitious examination.It's really easy to miss grade-lowering defects/flaws if you aren't very thorough. The first batch of stamps I sent to PSE (in 2002) all got 85 down to 70's andI thought I was such a good grader. Be picky because PSE will be.
  • Oh yeah GO COLTS!!!! What an incredible game with Patriots! I chewed my nails off watching that game!
    I'm an Indiana boy.
    COLTS!
    COLTS!
    COLTS!
    It's gonna be a great Superbowl!!




  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,518 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Oh yeah GO COLTS!!!! What an incredible game with Patriots! I chewed my nails off watching that game!
    I'm an Indiana boy.
    COLTS!
    COLTS!
    COLTS!
    It's gonna be a great Superbowl!! >>



    This is about a good a chance as they are ever going to get. Despite the great AFC champoinship win, Manning will be re-labeled a choker if he can't beat Rex Grossman.
  • <<SMQ only prices "slabbed" stamps>>

    Where did you come up with that?

    I fully agree with Richard Frajola - don't slab.

    Rolin Lewis
  • connecticoin,
    So true about Manning,so I hope they win.
  • WondoWondo Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭


    << <i><<SMQ only prices "slabbed" stamps>>

    Where did you come up with that?

    I fully agree with Richard Frajola - don't slab.

    Rolin Lewis >>




    I misspoke,

    SMQ list market prices for stamps which they have expertised, either by cert or encapsultion.
    Wondo

  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,518 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>VERY general rules:

    1. Slab anything over $100.00 retail (raw), if you can reasonably ask for an XF.

    2. Rare/Scarce stuff should be slabbed on principle alone. >>



    So if I have a VF stamp with a SMQ value of $150, it is not worth slabbing based on this criteria?
  • Forget SMQ values. What Scott number? Show us a scan (front and back).
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
  • dougwtxdougwtx Posts: 566 ✭✭


    << <i>Forget SMQ values. What Scott number? Show us a scan (front and back). >>



    I agree with Richard. Show us a pic and what Sc# and we can offer our opinions for free as to whether it would be feasible to submit.
  • Forget SMQ values if getting ungraded (slab or cert)
    I would pay attention to values if your getting grades, but that's my opinion.
  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,518 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am not really looking for grading opinions -- assume that I know how to grade.

    I am just looking for rules of thumb, if any, based on approximate values, whether it is $100 SMQ, $200 Scott, whatever. Or, in general, reasons I should or should not have the stamps slabbed or certified. It looks like there are some opposing viewpoints, which is fine, I welcome all input.
  • Having a stamp expertized, or not, is not a function of value. There are many cheap stamps that have been faked and some stamps over $150 real value that are almost certainly not faked. Maybe you are confusing expertizing and grading. They are two very different beasts.
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
  • And ... using an expert service to tell if a stamp has faults or not can get very expensive, very fast.
    Richard Frajola
    www.rfrajola.com
  • Richard,

    While I would certainly agree with your statement, I might also point out that buying high value stamps without certification can get even more expensive, faster. Having signed some 35,000 certs over the past year or so, I personally wouldn't touch an unexpertized stamp worth more than two figures. I can appreciate that some advanced collectors may have abilities that obviate the need for an outside service. My guess however, is that most collectors do not.

    Michael Sherman
    Director of Numismatics
    PCGS
  • caitlincaitlin Posts: 858 ✭✭✭
    Mike
    I agree with your statement and would like to know if you can grade my German stamps ? I have a 3" book of them starting in the mid 1800s up to 1980s. Any help would be appreciated.
    A collector of high grade TONED BUFFALO NICKELS ,working on a PCGS REGISTRY SET.
  • Caitlin, you do realize that Mike is in the business of grading stamps and the minimum charge is pretty much $18 per stamp?
  • PSE doesn't grade foreign stamps at this time. It will probably come to the point that someone somewhere will though. I think Canada would be next considering they are our next door neighbor and have somewhat similar stamps printed in English.among other factors.
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