Numerical Stamp Grading - will it ever occur in Australia?

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PennyBlack1840
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Post by PennyBlack1840 »

I am in the UK and believe this grading system is patently not going to work worldwide. Its an American fad and will crash and burn. As for slabbing what a joke.

A rare stamp is rare and will always be a reasonable store of value. In many caess a recognised certificate will be of far more use than a grading certificate.

The other factor is that what is valued in one market is not in another so worldwide grading will never occur. e.g. German collectors want unmounted mint material for Third Reich period, mounted mint sells for a miserly percentage of what the unmounted equivalents do simply because that is what the collectors there want.

Perforations - Line perf and comb perf will naturally give different visuals one being far more pleasing to the eye. But some stamps only exist line perf and others comb perf so no grading system can account for that. For sure my PUC £1 is never going to grade 100% but then who's will because of perforations? That's how they look even the good ones.

It is my strong belief that grading is being pushed by those selling stamps as an investment, which for most people they are not. Only Stamp dealers who make a living from stamps truly do that. A knowledgeable collector who buys wisely may find that he makes a good investment over time, but the canny investor makes money in good times or bad (as on the stock market) and collectors by their nature hoard rather than trade. Thus Stamp Dealers are the investors. Anyone else being sold an 'investment' in stamps is a punter in my view taking a gamble not a certainty. No different to buying stocks and shares

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Post by David Benson »

One of the main reasons why it is working in the US, and that cannot be denied is the aggressive advertising by the promotors who are reaping in a fortune charging for the grading and it is in their interests to keep on promoting it. As long as there are buyers out there willing to gamble that grading and slabbing will give them higher returns than what they could get elsewhere then it will survive but as soon as it is found out that the market is about to burst then it is just another bubble scheme that foundered. Hopefully it will be contained in the US and not allowed to spread to Australia,

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Post by petercollects0 »

ExtremeStamps:
Here is a little nicer version of it than Peter's although he gets an A for creativity.
Cheers Eric - yours is much nicer, but if I put mine on E.bay and describe it as "extremely fine, rare example, a sure investment winner" some idiot WILL probably buy it! :roll: (sorry, wrong thread)

Greg :
In the US, a postal clerk who couldn't find the postmark hammer was authorized to dip his/her nose onto the inkpad and use the nose to postmark stamps.
Fascinating, any other body parts authorised? This could make a great themed exhibit :shock:

Back to the subject, I think PennyBlack1840 makes some excellent points (particularly about the perforations) - how does the grading system work where perfect examples can't or don't exist? The classic example would be the Perf OS Roos from Australia, where off centre sheets were deliberately used, so "perfect" examples are treated with considerable suspicion?
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Post by admin »

"Perfect" examples are scarce of many line/rotary perf stamps. And when they do a "100" Cert might well be warranted.

"Perfect" 10 scores in Gymnastics or high board diving are also rare but they do occasionally occur.

Simon Dunkerley and I and Gary Watson all had EXTENSIVE (and polite) email correspondence with the head of the PSE grading service in the USA a few months back base don my article which was published on 3 continents.

We all said (in summary) that this stamp below was NOT a "100" stamp as HUNDREDS if not 1000s out there would have that centering but far BETTER perfs and corners. If re-submitted today I **BET** it would not get a 100 grade based on our emails.

In the end it is fair to say he agreed they needed to add some weight to ugly corners as this one has.

I've typed it before and I'll type it again and again, the peanut who paid $US1200+ for this 20¢ Cat stamp will NEVER get his money back even if he lives to be 200 years old.

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Post by admin »

And I have been on this same band wagon for years.

This is from my column wirrten 2 years back.

https://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust05.html

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Simon Dunkerley advised me this week Harmers of New York had auctioned a USA $5 Columbus on June 24 for a record price. I looked up their website for details, and a day later saw a detailed report in the July 11 'Linn's'.

That $5 stamp illustrated nearby has a very obvious short perf at base that the gushing catalogue description does not mention at all calling it 'flawless in every regard'.

It is PSE graded 95 from 100, and I have no idea how that high a grade could be assigned, with a top right corner like this, and a short perf.

This stamp has a Scott catalogue value of $US9,000 for MUH condition. It sold for $US67,500 plus the 15% "Buyer Fee" or total $US77,625 = $A105,066.

That is near NINE times full Scott catalogue value for a MUH stamp seemingly far easier to find than any MUH 1913 £2 Kangaroo.

Was the buyer a collector? Quite possibly not - Greg Manning purchased it on behalf of a client, so it may well have been purchased as an 'investment' by someone. Manning purchased 37 of the 290 lots.

Manning said: "In my nearly 40 years of conducting philatelic auctions, I have never witnessed such a wide discrepancy between price realizations to the Scott catalogue valuations as in this auction.

Realizations of 5, 10, 20 and even 30 times catalogue were commonplace as bidders contested virtually every lot."

Realised 9 times catalogue

Numerous large blocks exist of this $5 stamp, Harry Hagendorf showed me blocks of 4, 6 (all MUH!) and 8 at his stand at 'Pacific 97'.

He even had complete plate proof sheets of the Columbian issue! I have personally seen complete sheets of 100 for values as high as $1 and there may even be sheets/part sheets of higher values.

I have seen covers bearing sets of Columbians, and I am sure have seen illustrated single $5's. The 1913 £2 Roo does not exist on cover or parcel tag, and no larger multiple than a block 4 exists.

Other stamps in the Columbus series also did very well. The 6¢ violet sold for about 7½ times Scott. The 15¢ sold for $US4025 or about 6½ times Scott. Even the $2 Brown sold for $US25,300 or near 7 times the Scott unhinged mint value.

Even the very common 1¢ lowest Columbus value, Scott #230, catalogue $US50 for MUH sold for $US805 (=$A1091) - more than 16 times full catalogue value. This is an exceedingly common stamp and some 450 MILLION were sold. Every schoolboy album has an example.

The high value Columbus stamps are like the Australia 1932 5/- Harbour Bridge - with quite low printing numbers, but nearly all seemingly ended up in collector hands, and postally used are not often seen of either.

In fact this auction of 290 selected MUH American stamps saw DOZENS of stamps bring 10 times catalogue value or greater. Many bought 15 times or more. A 5c 1891 Postage Due sold for 34 times catalogue.

Sold for 57 times catalogue!

The 1924 17¢ Woodrow Wilson stamp shown nearby catalogues $US24 for MUH and sold for $US1,380 - or more than 57 times full Scott catalogue value for MUH!

I would have to agree it is attractive, but 57 times catalog?! Any wide margined stamp of that era from Australia no dealer would ask (or get!) even double normal.


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Post by SimonDunkerley »

I agree with PennyBlack's comments above and believe for Australian stamps that we will never see the kind of prices for highly graded stamps currently being seen in the USA.

As for the $5 Columbus above, when I first saw the auction catalogue and was told the price this stamp had fetched over a coffee with a friend the morning after the sale I nearly fell off my chair, and I am normally unshockable at the best (or worst) of times.

I could not believe that such a stamp would even sell for full catalogue, let alone multiples. Yes, when you consider the corners, allowance should be made for the single-line perf factor, however, the top-right corner is poor - it is not visually attractive compared to the other corners. Even if you accept that, I believe that the short perf at base should not be accepted.

If a basic kangaroo issue (comb perf and would require good corners) with everything else being equal, had such a short perf it would be a miracle if it sold for the price of a normal stamp - with no premium. Most of my clients who buy superior quality kangaroos would reject it out of hand at the price of a normal. To put it bluntly, I would not waste my time or their time showing it to them.

It could be commented that there might not be a better example known ... and that I cannot answer, however, I do know the response that I would get - 'We shall just have to wait and see'.

Simon Dunkerley

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Post by erich »

I am amazed too at the price the $5 Columbian reached. Yes, it's a difficult stamp to get nice, and it is the high value in a popular series, but that one is far from "flawless".

As a side point, I can see the Columbians being a good set for numerical grading -- there are a lot of them around, but the quality control was not great on their production i.e. many are found off-center. Many were used, and there seem to be a disproportionate number of heavily hinged, toned, thinned, and otherwise beat-up Columbians in old US collections. They are not really rare, but difficult to find nice, which gets to the point of the grading system.

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Post by erich »

My favorite joke items in the numerical grading trade are the impeforate stamps graded 100J. What this means in practice is that there is part of the adjoining stamp attached in every direction...so one stamp is perfect and the eight stamps surrounding it on the sheet have been ruined. :(

Here is one: http://tinyurl.com/33qr5z actually this one is a left-margin stamp so they only had to ruin 5 stamps to get it.

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Post by admin »

Erich .. that one is simple math. :)

Wreck 5 stamps worth about $20-$30 each - IF you ever sell them anyway, and get a $1,000 item for your trouble, which is their asking price as you can see. :idea:

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Re: Prices

Post by gavin-h »

ExtremeStamps wrote:
gavin-h wrote:A 20¢ stamp is a 20¢ stamp in PERFECT condition.
If you've got this PERFECT 4 cent I'd be happy to pay you 4 cents for it. Heck I'd even double your money cause I'm such a nice guy!
Let me re-phrase my original statement, as it appears to have been misunderstood...

"A stamp catalogued at 20c is worth 20c in PERFECT condition".

It CANNOT be any more than perfect, therefore CANNOT be worth more that 20c...

In other words, as Glen was saying earlier, and I was trying to reflect, you'd have to be a COMPLETE IDIOT to pay 6,037 times retail for one.

I have seen the results of one so-called "boom" in the 1970s which pushed up the prices of even the type of modest stamps shown in this thread and spoiled the hobby for many people.

I for one DO NOT want this to happen again. It is my personal opinion that I have NEVER seen anything as ridiculous as so-called "graded" stamps, which appear to have NOTHING to do with an honourable hobby and trade and EVERYTHING to do with making a fast buck.

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Post by waroff49 »

My sentiments exactly.
With the imperf, five stamps ruined for the sake of 1. That also increases the cost of the stamp because now there are 4 fewer to go around. What is the point of mutilating stamps for the perfect copy. Better to have a block of 5 which may have been of a slightly less standard but still 5 stamps.
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Re: Prices

Post by GlenStephens »

gavin-h wrote:
ExtremeStamps wrote:
gavin-h wrote:A 20¢ stamp is a 20¢ stamp in PERFECT condition.
If you've got this PERFECT 4 cent I'd be happy to pay you 4 cents for it. Heck I'd even double your money cause I'm such a nice guy!
Let me re-phrase my original statement, as it appears to have been misunderstood...

"A stamp catalogued at 20c is worth 20c in PERFECT condition".

It CANNOT be any more than perfect, therefore CANNOT be worth more that 20c...

In other words, as Glen was saying earlier, and I was trying to reflect, you'd have to be a COMPLETE IDIOT to pay 6,037 times retail for one.

I have seen the results of one so-called "boom" in the 1970s which pushed up the prices of even the type of modest stamps shown in this thread and spoiled the hobby for many people.

I for one DO NOT want this to happen again. It is my personal opinion that I have NEVER seen anything as ridiculous as so-called "graded" stamps, which appear to have NOTHING to do with an honourable hobby and trade and EVERYTHING to do with making a fast buck.
I'll be the first to say that a really choice copy of anything not often found that way I'd be asking well over full catalogue for.

i.e. Just because Scott or SG might say a common penny red Kangaroo is cat 20c I'll still charge you a couple of dollars for a superb postal used one .. mainly as it will waste 15 minutes of my time to find one .. i.e.. it is more a time cost than a stamp cost! But I agree with you - 6000 times Cat is just insane.

But on a superb looking example of much HIGHER Cat stamps, most times I am delighted to get half cat or less.

This one I just sold off my rarity page. SG #1 and near unbeatable in quality and freshness, but I still happily sold it for well under half Gibbons:

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Post by gavin-h »

Thanks, Glen,

Good point well made :!:

And spoken like a true dealer/collector with a PASSION for Philately...

...not like a b****y stockbroker with a passion for nothing but money :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by GlenStephens »

gavin-h wrote:Thanks, Glen,

Good point well made :!:

And spoken like a true dealer/collector with a PASSION for Philately...

...not like a b****y stockbroker with a passion for nothing but money :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Well folks can mail me money if they wish. 8)
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Post by GJ50 »

Someone asked here "what was grading", I'm not sure if it was in this post or another,

Anyway here is a website that explains the "bullsh.t" better

http://www.virtualstampclub.com/grading_kl.html

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

It was asked on the thread about whether we might have another stamp market crash etc. ... not that we ever really had a true stamp market crash; it was limited pretty much to 'straight' material that had gone up way over its real value; some stamp prices fell but many also rose subdstantially in the wake of 1980.

I left info on stamp numerical grading and comments there as it was in reference to what the grading bubble as i call it might do to the stamp market.

There is a good reason for the two threads to be combined ... as they are strongly interralated.

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

It was the one titled 'Are we in for a big stamp market crash?' and I referred readers to the Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) erbsite ... read it there.

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Post by David Benson »

Simon & Glen,

http://www.stampauctionnetwork.com/ax/ax1536.cfm

Lot 116 has been discussed on another chat.

It has a grade of 98,

Never mind the short perf. at top right,

David B.

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Have a look at lot 116 for yourself ... it is graded 98 with a whole perf pulled out near top-right ... that is complete nuts to my way of thinking. The description says it is one of only 4 examples of this Scott number having a grade of 98 according to the latest 'PSE' population report.

Mod - Dead link deleted

I don't know how many points deducted from 100 for an otherwise perfect stamp that a missing perf like that should result in, however, if it is only 2 then I believe there is something radically wrong with the grading system. 98 is supposed to be a premium grade, however, how can such a stamp be worth a premium?

If that were a kangaroo, no matter how well centred or fresh or anything else it was conditionwise, it would not sell for the standard MNH price of an average stamp, let alone any kind of premium.

Not only is it graded 98, the auction description for the stamp above does not mention the pulled perf. Maybe it was damaged after lotting, maybe they really didn't see it, maybe they didn't want to see it, maybe they don't consider it worth mentioning, ... this I can't answer so I can only let you be the judge of such things ... it certainly baffles me!

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Post by GlenStephens »

348, SUPERB, (98 ) 1908 1c Franklin Coil Single, Never Hinged, Extremely fresh and spectacular quality, A beautiful showpiece with gorgeous centering and brilliant bright color, 1 of 4 examples attaining this grade, and is THE HIGHEST GRADED #348, according to PSE's population report

============

This above is the Nutmeg auction write up. Not even a mention of the entirely ripped out perf.

I agree that is NUTS, and indeed it is most unprofessional of Nutmeg to omit mentioning that, whilst calling it SUPERB and "spectacular quality" - IMHO.

This is a DEFECTIVE stamp. A 10 year old can tell you that. It is not superb by any measure, and is is certainly not of "spectacular quality"

Some froot cake has already bid it up to $US500 and the auction is not done.
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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Lets keep an eye on it and see what it goes for - shame we can't notify the leading bidder ... then again, if someone bids a stamp like that up to such a level, maybe they are beyond the trouble of such things?

David, where is the chatboard mentioning this stamp?

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Post by David Benson »

Simon,

it was mentioned on Richard Frajola's Chat Board,

http://www.bulletinboards.com/v1.cfm?comcode=frajola&stm=yes&svalue=1

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Post by GlenStephens »

GJ50 wrote:
Anyway here is a website that explains the "bullsh.t" better

http://www.virtualstampclub.com/grading_kl.html
ESSENTIAL reading for those following this debate. And was only written this month.

Ken is a highly respected USA figure and just ran for APS President.

To get one stamp called hinged and unhinged and number graded differently when it was re-perfed which neither mentioned is quite appalling. :twisted: :twisted:
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Post by fromdownunder »

GJ50 wrote:Someone asked here "what was grading", I'm not sure if it was in this post or another,

Anyway here is a website that explains the "bullsh.t" better

http://www.virtualstampclub.com/grading_kl.html
GJ, thanks for that link. It was a great read.

Norm

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Post by David Benson »

I think laws should be enacted to stop grading of stamps being introduced into Australia.

It should be controlled by the AFP & The Department of Immigration as well as the Prime Minister & the Foreign Minister, if it does enter Australia then they can blame each other,

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Post by ozstamps »

David - no those laws are already in place. All we need to do it write on packet outer:

"These stamps may have possibly been lent to or licked by, or were intended to be licked by, a distant relative, or other unknown persons, of someone who may or may not be a terrorist, terrorist sympathiser, or reader of "Boy's Own" detective novels, and may or may not have been in Glasgow, New York or Nairobi or Bali."

700 public servants and Feds will interrogate the package for a month in solitary confinement, compile a 5000 page report of the package contents filled with inaccuracies, and then deport it. :shock:
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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Whilst I have only read a small amount of the 'Frajola' debate on grading - and will read it all soon, there seems to be some acceptance of grading as being a 'creative' thing and I cannot come at that. That sounds a bit like 'policy on the run' and could be frought with danger.

I hope we do not get numerical grading here, however, if we do I hope it will show that something can be learned from the current USA problems in grading.

In an ideal world, every stamp from any issue in any period, no matter how rare or common must get the same grade as any other stamp that is in exactly the same condition. And any score of 100 for any issue must always mean perfection in every possible way. Anything less and I believe the system loses all credibility at the outset.

In international gymnastics competitions I understand there is maximum possible points score of 10 based on a perfect performance of a routine with a high degree of difficulty. For each possible error/fault in the performance there is a specific points deduction that is made by each judge. Yet, the judges can't even agree on scores, so either they are averaged or in some instances, the highest and lowest scores are deleted and the rest averaged.

In stamps it does not need to be as complex as that. If a system is devised with set criteria for gum or postmark as appropriate, centring, freshness, clarity of impression, colour, perforations or margins as appropriate, and anything else you want to add into the mix, it should not be that difficult to either designate a maximum possible score for each factor, or to deduct from 100 a set amount for each secific level below perfection.

For example, a perf completely pulled out like on the stamp above should have a set deduction... and so on it goes.

This is all based on the thought that we might one day have such grading here, yet it is my hope that we do not.


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Post by sherro »

ozstamps wrote:David - no those laws are already in place. All we need to do it write on packet outer:

"These stamps may have possibly been lent to or licked by, or were intended to be licked by, a distant relative, or other unknown persons, of someone who may or may not be a terrorist, terrorist sympathiser, or reader of "Boy's Own" detective novels, and may or may not have been in Glasgow, New York or Nairobi or Bali."

700 public servants and Feds will interrogate the package for a month in solitary confinement, compile a 5000 page report of the package contents filled with inaccuracies, and then deport it. :shock:
Respect, Glen 8) No wonder Australia gets a mention in Amnesty International's reports year in year out.

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Post by ozstamps »

I emailed David Coogle who runs Nutmeg after I posted above, to ask if the photo was correct on the 1c and this was Nutmeg's reply today:

----- Original Message -----

From: Tom Mills
To: glen@glenstephens.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 6:45 AM
Subject: Nutmeg Graded Sale #153


Glen, the photo is correct, Lot #116 has been withdrawn, as it was damaged after describing and though it is a very small perf that is now missing it is a major fault which it was not noticed in the proofing. Tom Mills
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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Even though in this instance, where the perf is stated to have been damaged after lotting, the problems with the grading system in general still remain.

It is apparent that the Americans who do such grading are generally more fussy on centring than we generally are in Australia. At the same time, they appear to be less fussy on perfs and gum than we are.

So even though 'recent' damage to the stamp above appears to have occurred in this instance, the issue remains. Past examples discussed elsewhere and a quick search of items that have been graded 98 and even 100 show a number of stamps with what I would define as significant perf problems. Other problems that I believe should preclude stamps from receiving these illustrious grades often seem to be overlooked.

Although still a problem, this would perhaps be less of a problem if the price variations based on the grade given to the stamps were insignificant. However, when it turns an otherwise common stamp of 'no commercial value' or of 'little value' into one that is potentially 'worth' several $100's through to $1,000's; or a stamp that is otherwise catalogued at $9,000 into one that is sold at auction for $77,000+ in the case of the $5 Columbus above, then it is a huge problem in my view.

Another example of a potential problem that I have discussed via email with one grader is that of 'natural' paper flaws, specs and gum skips. A stamp can be in otherwise superb condition and as fresh as it was when it was issued. However, issues such as these are still a problem.

One argument says the 'cause' of a problem is paramount and such stamps with 'natural' problems that were issued that way should not preclude the stamp from obtaining the highest grade as '100 is a range'. Yet, I firmly believe that if the stamp is not 100% perfect in every respect, then it can not be given 100. Full stop.

In other words, if a better example on any stamp - even a 2007 new issue can be found, then it should not get 100. My reasoning for this is that once you lower the bar, it becomes very subjective and the lines become blurred to the point where there is no consistency. And that is where the problem has evidenced itself in my view.

I don't mind if no perfect example of a particular issue exists. If the best known (or should I say the best 'graded so far') example of a stamp is 98, or 95, or even 75 or whatever, that is not an issue. If it is a particularly difficult issue to find in any condition, or in better condition that is not relevant to the grade it is given. It only becomes relevant when describing the stamp for sale; in terms of how scarce or otherwise it might be in this particular grade.

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Post by admin »

A near parallel discussion on this numerical grading topic can be found here on these boards.:

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=1999

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

As that other thread began with a question and issues relating to the market/prices and grading, my suggestion would be to combine into one that thread with this one if that can be done.

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Post by admin »

Simon - sadly posts can be split off from any thread and a new one started with a new title - and in any forum, but posts from 2 different can't be merged into 1 for some annoying reason!

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Post by David Benson »

I have changed my position regarding TPG, Third Party Grading and originally thought it was a dumb idea and that is was a scam promoted by individuals who thought they could make big bucks from it but now I am beginning to see the merits in it as long as it is used sensibly and the grading is done in such a way that it gives buyers a genuine idea of what a perfect example should be. The grading should be done only for classical up to the end of say KGV period and I think in about 10 years time it will be readily accepted.

The main criteria must be condition as well as appearance and if imperf then the width of the margins all round and if perf. then centering but it must be CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION first and foremost and any faults even minor will cause the grade to be lower. Each & every stamp should be treated as a separate entity as some rare stamps are easy to obtain in perfect condition whilst others are almost unkown without some faults,

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Post by ozstamps »

So David, which of these 2 stamps gets the highest grade under your new plan, assuming reverse is identical on both:

Image

Image

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Post by David Benson »

Glen,

the answer is neither, both are ungradeable as they are damaged, cut into's receive a zero. If there was any margin at the base then it would be graded but would only receive a low figure,

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Post by ozstamps »

David - you do not understand even the basics of numerical grading it seems. Shame on you. 8)

EVERYTHING gets a number grade. Better the appearance, higher the grade. A cut into margin still gets a grade -- for sure.
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Post by ozstamps »

From PSE's own site:

http://www.psestamp.com/photo_guide/page1.chtml

Mod - Dead link deleted

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Post by David Benson »

All right, I concede, I will raise my zero to a 20, that make you happy,

David B.

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Post by David Benson »

Glen, thats the main problem at the moment, giving grades to stamps with faults, even low grades.

The problem lays with the basic fact that most US collectors place a value on cut into or faulty stamps at a percentage of catalogue value and to them grading them makes sense but we tend to value faults and cut into at almost minimal value and grading makes no sense.

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Post by ozstamps »

David, you will never make an American grading fan, I can see that. They will pay you to change your view again. ;)

PAY ATTENTION .. 30 is lowest. ;)

Now let me take a guess here .. and this is using thier OWN table and their OWN photos! -

If I offered a Sydney View or Chalon with these 2 appearances, and the left hand one was priced at $50 and one was priced at $250 - that's the real world difference between a 30 and a 75 .. there would be no contest .. you'd sell the 30 all day long.

To most collectors they are near the same I'd suggest. :idea:

In fact I know MANY collectors would say the face free cancel left stamp appeals to them more than the rather un-attractive blue bars on face cancel at right even if the price were near the same in $$s.

To put it another way, if I offered FIVE copies of the left stamp for the $$$ price of the right stamp, there would be a STAMPEDE to buy.

ImageImage
Last edited by ozstamps on 02 Aug 2007 19:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Benson »

Glen, agreed, I am not a fan of the American system. Firstly a damaged stamp is a no grader whether the damage is major or minor and cut into constitutes damage and secondly there has to be a cut of date for grading and like I said as far as British Commonwealth material it should be at the end of KGV issues.

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Grading System

Post by svscnz »

Let the "Yanks" keep their fad if they want to and let's stay with what we already have.

The "Yanks" love fads!

Everyone knows that rare stamps that are in fine condition usually fetch premium prices anyhow. :evil:

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Post by David Benson »

svscnz,

It is not a fad, it is here to stay and can't be ignored. It won't be too long before it's down here and some entrepreneurs will set up a grading company for the Antipodean market.

Hopefully they will use more commonsense than the US model and stick to what I envisaged, no grading for damaged stamps and a cut off date for grading.

It may be next year, the year after but heed my words, IT WILL COME,

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Stamp Grading

Post by svscnz »

Campbell Paterson use a grading system in their catalogue for NZ "Full Face Queens" which seems to work OK.

They state that each stamp needs to be individually graded before a value can be assessed.

Noting the relative scarcity and difference in quality of these stamps, it seems a reasonable system.

I can't see much point in grading stamps which are only worth a few dollars.

Could anyone who has paid a premium for a highly graded 'common' stamp expect to get a premium price for it if he sold it at a later date?

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Post by David Benson »

What I said was that 3rd. party grading is a good idea, the marketing of modern and low value stamps with high grades is a bad idea.

Using NZ FF's is a perfect example of what should and what should not be graded. To have them graded by a third party who has no financial interest in them such as buyer, seller, auction house & without any fancy descriptions and misleading adjectives is in my opinion inevitable.

The future of philately is completely different from the past whereby most collectors started off young and either continued without a break or had a hiatus in between and the future which will be collectors starting off later with money to spend on their chosen limited field but without the background knowledge regarding condition which evolved earlier and need help in evaluating condition and the varying terminologies used by the various sellers,

David B.

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Post by waroff49 »

Hi David,

While I agree with your ideas in the third paragraph, I don't agree with your conclusion. There is and always will be collectors who have no regard to condition but only a desire to fill that elusive hole. To have a copy of a stamp at any cost.

Even some of the best collections have copies which which may not be regarded as pristine but they are the best available at what the collector can afford or is willing to pay.

Only at the top end philatelist/investor does such condition come into play. I have recently began collecting Victorian numeral postmarks, which often devastate the stamp, but have a really good cancel number.

In this collection it doesn't worry me if the stamp underneath is a 5c or $5 stamp, a clear heavy number is the important thing, a perf off or a rounded or missing corner matters little (although I prefer a well centred, no missing perfs, no tears copy). That is what is so fascinating about stamps, you collect what you want to collect at a price you can afford.

The main factor being one of knowledge. As you say, in the future many collectors will have money but not the background to judge the condition of a stamp. I don't think grading is the way to go, at any cost. As I think Simon D. said in one his posts the recent sale of The Kangaroo Collection was made with not a certificate in sight and yet achieved record prices.

Today knowledge is more accessible than ever. With the push of a few buttons, you can find out information about almost anything, anywhere(almost) in the world. This board is an example- You ask a question and within minutes have an answer, you can even post a scan and have it detailed quickly,with an opinion.

A couple of months ago, I knew little about state stamps, I asked a question, got several replies. From that, I now have knowledge about Victorian stamps, have decided not to try and collect all Aust. states ( because I don't have the knowledge, reference or inclination-at this stage) and I can collect happily knowing that I know something about them, albeit not to the level of Glen or others on this board. One day I may get there but it doesn't worry me if I don't.

Grading to me is imperfect and a waste of time and money, I'll buy and pay what I think a stamp is worth (to me) whether it be top-notch or second grade. That's why collecting is so much fun. I think that's why most collectors don't give a hoot about grading. It doesn't concern them.

As for investors, that will have to wait for another post.
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Post by ozstamps »

waroff49 wrote:
.... the recent sale of The Kangaroo Collection was made with not a certificate in sight and yet achieved record prices.

I was talking to Arthur Gray only a few hours ago. As you know his Kangaroos sold for a world record $A7¼m in New York, and yes there was barely a cert among the 849 lots, much less a GRADING number, which I commented on at the time:

http://www.glenstephens.com/arthur-gray-kangaroos.html

I mentioned to Arthur my current article wheres Bill Gross had also got over $US10 million for his GB, - also with hardly a certificate in sight:

http://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust07.html

Arthur just chuckled and said something like: "real collectors can spot quality and rarity and do not need any third party to tell them a stamp is nice."

But would would folks like Arthur know, who still has a Gold medal winning collections of King George V, King George VI collection, and Australian Booklets. ;)

And I doubt there are more than a couple of Certs among the LOT!
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U.S. Stamp Grades

Post by palsy2001 »

I am a U.S. stamp collector who is not crazy for current grading. And I'll tell you why. Starting with a 1916 Scott stamp album from my Uncle Ben, I was attracted to the U.S. precancels as well as to the older European stamps.

For the precancels, we gave them letter grades such as A- or B+ which were very descriptive compared to XF or F. A "Fine" stamp may get a C. The value depended more on the rarity than the quality of the centering. If it was from New York or Chicago, it was worthless.

If it was rare, the stamp condition greatly affected the value. The quality of the overprint also affected the price. So I would rather have another 10,000 stamps than 1 mint stamp in plastic.

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Post by David Benson »

waroff,

thanks for your opinion but third party grading is only for collectors (or investors) who want an opinion from an informed source what the condition of the item is and has nothing to do with collectability. It is a free world and if anyone wants to collect spacefillers then let them.

To grade stamps that have obvious faults would be a nightmare and could never be done and faulty stamps have to be excluded from grading. This includes trimmed perfs., cut into, heavy thins, tears, repairs, cleaned cancels and a myriad of other problems that occur. Minor faults, such as a small thin spot, gum thin, short perfs. etc. can be graded but that is soemthing that would have be worked out at a later date,

David B.

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