How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

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Ricky93
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How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

Hello everybody,

I am collecting the stamps from the UK and their islands.
So UK-Mainland and Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man.
But I want to collect all of them, from the 1st one until the most new stamps.

I have the designated catalogs of those area's, but there are so many stamps.
And I put them into stockbooks, at least, those stamps that I have collected/acquired.
I am tired of looking each individual stamp up in a catalog and then look if I have it or not.
That is taking tons of time (I have a lot of spare time, but not unlimited).

What is the simplest way to collect the stamps of a whole country, and not have to browse the catalog from front to back, to look one stamp of that country up?
So how do you guys do that?

I hope you'll can advise me on this one.
Kind Regards, Ricky93
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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Greaden »

If I have only a few stamps from a country I collect, I print out a wantlist that lists the appropriate catalog numbers, and then indicate I am looking for anything EXCEPT those stamps.

Once I get most of the stamps in a collecting area, I list those that I still don't have, and cross them out as I find them. I use a bold font if I really want a stamp, italic for stamps I don't have but probably can't afford.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Number-O-Ne »

Commemorative stamps with date and event mentioned on it, are easy. There is no way around checking Machin stamps one by one, for example.
Many countries have same issues. "Workhorse" ordinary issues with several printings generate similar-looking but different stamps. Examples familiar to me are Siracusana or Castles issues of Italy.
Your visual memory will improve after the first couple hundred stamps.
Good luck.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Rockyman44 »

Alternatively you could use an old copy of a catalogue like Stanley Gibbons “Collect British Stamps” and cross off the catalogue numbers of each stamp as you get it, mint or used......
Collecting worldwide used stamps 1918 - 2000, geology & fossils on stamps

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by AdmiralCollector »

Well, instead of a stock book for your stamps, you could use a printed album for whatever country you collect.
With all the stamp you have mounted in the correct spaces, the empty spaces are the stamps you do not have.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by faro »

For Guernsey, Jersey and IOM it's possibly still not that much more expensive to buy a printed album with all the stamps already in, although that does leave the unfortunate matter of curtailing the collecting thrill-of-the-chase due to lack of gaps!

Extending beyond the "end date" at acquisition becomes a problem in its own right, of course; keeping a consistent style with existing pages costing very much more unless continued with "homemade" pages.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by fromdownunder »

For all issues prior to Elizabeth II, it is quite easy, as there are not that many of them, only a few pages of Catalogue to search through, and they are further simplified by the portrait of the Monarch of the day, and of course for the area (Great Britain only - the Islands are only from Elizabeth onwards)) that you collect very straight forward.

The easiest way for 1953 onward is do not purchase randomly. Pick a decade, a period, or even a year at a time, check what you are missing, and buy those. Then move on to another decade./period/year.

The Islands are even easier. A while ago, I purchased, for not much Money, a complete run of Isle of Man 1973 to 1984. Done for that era, and I have been adding by year ever since, although Isle of Man is not actually high on my "must do" list so I have stopped around 1992. You could probably purchase the entire Country up until 2000 under face without a lot of effort, then the paging through the entire catalogue becomes redundant for that era.

The same applies to GB and the other Islands from 1953 onwards.

That said, the currency change to decimal, was in 1971, an easy break by checking the currency used. Post 1971, well the face value of the stamps helps a lot as well. You will learn more of this with practice, that there is no point looking for, say, a 31p Commemorative prior to 1983, or after around 1988 as just one trick you will learn and remember. This just comes with time and practice.

Machins are harder, but one cut off point is the start of eliptical perforations in 1993. The easy way, which is for simple people like me, just collect them face different and leave them in currency order.

When filling whatever medium you are using to store them, put them in Catalogue order and leave gaps for all the ones you are missing. Make sure you have enough storage for everything you intend to buy.

And finally, the more you look in the catalogue, the more you will learn and remember. It becomes much easier over time. I will add that I use most of the above methods among others, for every Country in the world, and can recognise most stamps by country and at least within the decade of issue by sight, even if they are not dated. Then again, I have been collecting whole world on and off for for 60 years
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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by ebay »

With my Commonwealth QV i used a A4 diary page per day
and slowly but over time listed all the stamps i need per country including Revenues, Telegraphs ect.

And once bought i tick them off, putting a U for used M for Mint VL for Very light used ect by the tick.
( usually i only do this for the revenues )

I have my own index at the front telling me what country is at what date.

If i'm on ebay and see a stamp and i'm not sure if i have it or not my diary is at the side of my laptop
i can find any commonwealth stamp and its condition within a few seconds.

Works for me anyway.

I got fed up with seeing a stamp and having to run upstairs to check my collection.
And sometimes i only had a minute or so before bidding was over and didn't have time.
DSC00929.JPG
My mission: To get one decent example of every single Queen Victoria stamp. ( minus a few impossible to get. )

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

First of all, thank you for all the great ideas you have put here.

I think I split the countries up in about 4 or 5 years at a time and collect first the years 1940 to 1945, and if that is complete, I will move on to the next 4 or 5 years.
Also the solution that @ebay mentioned with a diary book or other paper sheet, seems very neat to me.
I am going to use that one too in combination with the split up search of the UK and her islands.

Thanks for the help, and more input is alway appreciated! Good night from Amsterdam.
Ricky93
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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by The Pom »

Many collectors use spreadsheets/database software to inventory their collections. Depending on the format/setup, these can be used to generate "wants" lists.

I simply use excel. Columns H & I are the catalogue values, and J & K are what I've got. Anything yellow is a stamp I still need.


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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by ebay »

When i look at the spreadsheet above that The Pom has shown and compare it to my written out diary page
i'm feeling i am very much behind on the times.

Now where did i put my quill ?
My mission: To get one decent example of every single Queen Victoria stamp. ( minus a few impossible to get. )

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by MJ's pet »

Rockyman44 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 07:39
Alternatively you could use an old copy of a catalogue like Stanley Gibbons “Collect British Stamps” and cross off the catalogue numbers of each stamp as you get it, mint or used......


Agree. Or photocopy pages from a newish Gibbons and tick off what you have.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by TrinityB »

I am using the Excel list and a catalog method to show me what I need. Following this to see if I can do better

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by piccinini78 »

Another suggestion, if you want to invest at least a little in this collection, would be to buy a small collection, at an affordable price with a good start to the collection, at least with a good part of the stamps of less value, with space for the more expensive ones, since the first to some year ahead, for example 1840 to 1960. it would already give a good sense of space. And then you could choose classifiers, ready-made albums, which are expensive, or assemble your own album sheets at a much lower cost to your liking with the arrangement of stamps and series in the way you like best.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by aviwire »

fromdownunder wrote:
20 Oct 2020 14:08

The easiest way for 1953 onward is do not purchase randomly. Pick a decade, a period, or even a year at a time, check what you are missing, and buy those. Then move on to another decade./period/year.

That said, the currency change to decimal, was in 1971, an easy break by checking the currency used. Post 1971, well the face value of the stamps helps a lot as well. You will learn more of this with practice, that there is no point looking for, say, a 31p Commemorative prior to 1983, or after around 1988 as just one trick you will learn and remember. This just comes with time and practice.

It becomes much easier over time.
Takeaways for me. Thanks a lot fromdownunder, ebay and ThePom.

I was about to sort my GB stamps (which were acquired over last few years randomly :roll: ) but was baffled by absence of years on many stamps. Now I know how to tackle that. Learnt some good tricks for the sorting and building the collection.
I Collect: Used Stamps - India, Australia & Great BritainStamps on Stamps/Post/Philately, Medicine/Health

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

I remain with a litle question about collecting the UK stamps.
I would like to break the UK stamps up in several groups for faster searching.

How are the non-Machin stamps called? Are they called commemoratives, or what?
Thanks for the help, in advance.
Thanks for reading my message!
Greetings, Ricky93

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Brit-Col »

In your opening post you said you wanted to collect all UK from number 1 to the latest.

The Machin design was first introduced in 1967; the Penny Black was introduced in 1840. So you’re contending with 167 years of stamps, just to that point! A lot of commemoratives and even more definitives

For older stamps I suggest you first sort them into reigns, i.e., Queen Victoria stamps, King Edward VII stamps, etc.

Then secondly separate those that just have the portrait of the monarch (the definitives) from those that have some other picture or design (in most cases commems).

Once you are in the Machin era, 1967 and later, yes, the non-Machins will be commems, or at least mostly so (I don’t collect GB past 1970).

Hope this helps at least a bit.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by kuikka »

A practical difference between commemoratives and definitives is that commemoratives are usually printed in one go and if that runs out, then there is not going to be a second print.

Definitives are the ones that are intended to be always available at post offices. If the stamps seem to run out, a new print is ordered. Reprints can continue over a decade. Often the high values (in UK) may look more like the commemoratives.

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Somerset »

MJ's pet wrote:
24 Oct 2020 13:51
Rockyman44 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 07:39
Alternatively you could use an old copy of a catalogue like Stanley Gibbons “Collect British Stamps” and cross off the catalogue numbers of each stamp as you get it, mint or used......


Agree. Or photocopy pages from a newish Gibbons and tick off what you have.
I use a highlighter so I can still read the cat value

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Brit-Col »

Brit-Col wrote:
10 Nov 2020 19:56
The Machin design was first introduced in 1967; the Penny Black was introduced in 1840. So you’re contending with 167 years of stamps, just to that point!
Oops! I made a typo. I actually can do arithmetic!!
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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

Brit-Col wrote:
10 Nov 2020 19:56
In your opening post you said you wanted to collect all UK from number 1 to the latest.

The Machin design was first introduced in 1967; the Penny Black was introduced in 1840. So you’re contending with 167 years of stamps, just to that point! A lot of commemoratives and even more definitives

For older stamps I suggest you first sort them into reigns, i.e., Queen Victoria stamps, King Edward VII stamps, etc.

Then secondly separate those that just have the portrait of the monarch (the definitives) from those that have some other picture or design (in most cases commems).

Once you are in the Machin era, 1967 and later, yes, the non-Machins will be commems, or at least mostly so (I don’t collect GB past 1970).

Hope this helps at least a bit.

BC
Yep that's true, I still want to have/collect them all.
But I needed some information about cracking them down in categories.
I just got a bag full of on-paper UK and Isles, so I hefty need to sort them down to which I still need and which I already got.
So that is why I asked that.

More help is always appreciated, and thank you BC from me.
I wish everybody a nice evening, from Amsterdam, see ya all later!

-- Ricky93
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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

ebay wrote:
21 Oct 2020 07:55
With my Commonwealth QV i used a A4 diary page per day
and slowly but over time listed all the stamps i need per country including Revenues, Telegraphs ect.

And once bought i tick them off, putting a U for used M for Mint VL for Very light used ect by the tick.
( usually i only do this for the revenues )

I have my own index at the front telling me what country is at what date.

If i'm on ebay and see a stamp and i'm not sure if i have it or not my diary is at the side of my laptop
i can find any commonwealth stamp and its condition within a few seconds.

Works for me anyway.

I got fed up with seeing a stamp and having to run upstairs to check my collection.
And sometimes i only had a minute or so before bidding was over and didn't have time.

Image
Hello ebay,

This looks like the best way to write down the stamps I want to collect.
But how would you write down the commemorative stamps of the GB??
They all have other images, so writing down looks to me like a hell of a job...
I hope you, or someone else, can help me with this.

Kind regards,
Ricky93
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Greetings, Ricky93

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by ebay »

When i started out collecting GB i just brought a Collect British Stamps Catalogue and as i brought each set i ticked them off.

I noticed you mentioned buying stamps on paper so i am guessing you're not buying complete sets but making the sets up over time.

even so the catalogues list all the individual stamps as pictured below
DSC00978.JPG
DSC00980.JPG
DSC00982.JPG
As for writing them all down like i've done for my Victoria commonwealth it took me a very long time and even now i am still adding to it.

With about 2,500+ different Queen Victoria stamps and about the same again for revenues, fiscals, duties, telegraphs ect. I've had to list over 5,000 stamps.

I guess its a little old fashioned and spread sheets are the way to go for most but it works for me.

I can't really give you a third option, sorry.
My mission: To get one decent example of every single Queen Victoria stamp. ( minus a few impossible to get. )

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Re: How to sort out which stamps you still need...?

Post by Ricky93 »

Ebay, thanks for your extended reply.
My question is/was more about "how to" write them down on paper.
As you did explain to me, with that diary.

So I wanted to write them up on paper as you did, not especially in a diary, on (copy) paper or so.
How would you write the stamps up, lets say all the UK commemorative of the year 1990.
Can you give me an example of how you would do that...?

I hope you can help me out.
Thanks for all the help and for the help in advance.

--Ricky93
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Greetings, Ricky93

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