Numerical Stamp Grading - will it ever occur in Australia?

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Numerical Stamp Grading - will it ever occur in Australia?

Post by RickStead »

A recent editorial in Canadian Stamp News stated the numerical grading would become the standard grading system in the not-too-distant future. I'm doing this fro memory, but I think it went on to say there would be no need for collectors to examine stamps anymore.

They would be graded by a certified agent and sealed in a clear holder for posterity. I know this is just some philatelic futurist's fantasy, but does anyone think there is a reasonable use for number-grading (other than Glen, who is never shy about where he stands!).

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Post by ozstamps »

A good point and very worthy of its own thread I think. :D

Numerical grading works for coins as coins always need to be in some kind of bulky mount anyway.

It will NEVER work for stamps (except for pure investor items of course) as stamps are hinged in albums or put into thin clear mounts.
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Post by ozstamps »

Some background added in this thread is below, for those who do not have a clue what "slabbing" is - which is 99.9999% of Australian collectors I am sure. 8)

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

Image

From my recent "Stamp News' column - this very common stamp just sold at public auction for 6,000 times full Scott catalogue value - ONLY because it was graded 100:

https://www.glenstephens.com/snmarch07.html


Sold for 6,037 times Scott Catalogue

Our American cousins often do strange things with their money.

In recent times they are paying quite insane amounts of money for incredibly common stamps that are very well centred.

My past columns have reported auction multiples of 100 - then 338 times full Scott catalogue in April 2006. That is very old news. Now we have reached 6,037 times full catalogue value.

I get regular auction catalogues from Nutmeg Stamp Sales in the USA devoted primarily to such well centred USA stamps.

The January 27 sale got some truly nutty prices for very common stamps.

This piece does not criticise those selling the "100" stamps - that is just business, but is a warning to buyers that price multiples like this will be short lived, and prove a very costly mistake to the buyers.

The 1934 3¢ Mt. Rainier stamp illustrated nearby - Scott 742 was one that caught my eye. The Scott catalogue value for mint unhinged on this stamp in "very fine" centering MUH is 20c. That frankly is what I'd sell it for.

Indeed, I sell these things at or under face value in 1930's full sheet job lots - as do most other dealers, as they are very plentiful. Many possess quite excellent centering and appearance.

Scott has 20¢ as a MINIMUM book value on any stamp - not to reflect its actual worth, but as a dealer "handling charge" in effect.

This stamp just sold at public auction for $US1,050 plus the ubiquitous 15% "buyer fee" = $US1,207.50. The kind of money that I just sold a reasonable mint 1913 £1 Kangaroo at.

That is 6,037 times full Scott value. For an exceedingly common stamp of which over 95 MILLION were sold. Clearly many THOUSANDS of identical copies exist - simply as no-one has (yet) bothered getting numerical grading Certs done on them!

The stamp was graded 100 out of 100. I certainly would not give it anything like a perfect grade, as I personally hate "hang-nail" corner perfs like this has at top right. In fact 3 of the corners I do not really like.

They visually detract from a "perfect" looking stamp. Well formed corners most certainly DO exist on perfect centred stamps. THEY might get a 100 score. But this one could most certainly be improved upon very readily.

The folks writing these Certs need to rapidly get a grip on reality. A "100/100" score indicates no finer copy can exist. With this copy I'd disagree with them most strongly. Thousands of copies would look better than this example. So how on earth did it get a perfect "100" score?

PSE appear to place no importance whatever on ugly, short or untidy looking perfs or corners in its "eye appeal" descriptor.

That in my view is a fatal flaw in their numerical grading system, if it is ever to be taken seriously on a global stage, and not become a laughing stock - www.psestamp.com/eyeappeal.chtml

In 10 years time will the buyer of this stamp, or the buyer of my similar priced £1 Roo, or 3 of the USA 1847 5¢ imperf classics below be better off financially? The answer to that question dear reader, I will bet my house on.

For anyone seeking more information on where such unsustainable prices for common stamps will most certainly end up, please google the words "Dutch Tulip Boom."

To perfectly illustrate my point, the very same auction sale offered a most attractive, 4 very wide margin lightly used copy of the USA 1847 5¢ Ben Franklin imperf.

Scott 1B with 2006 PSE Certificate - no thins or repairs. It sold for $US350 plus fee on a Scott value of $US850. THREE of those for $1,050 plus fee, or the one 3¢ violet above for the same price - absolutely NO contest for a wise buyer.

Last edited by ozstamps on 26 Apr 2007 03:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ozstamps »

This is a "slabbed" stamp.

No Australian collector IMHO will pay to have their stamps encased forever like this:

Image

I'll be interested in the views of folks on this.

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Post by petercollects0 »

I wouldn't touch it myself, although some might, reminds me of the lengths that coin collectors have to go to.

Look out for forgeries to start appearing, nicely cased in plastic to avoid scrutiny.

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Post by jrg »

Australian coin collectors haven't embraced numerical grading - look at the number of coins advertised (by dealers) with 'real' gradings. Ditto with UK coin collectors and dealers, although one grading & slabbing service has just started up in the UK. Its progress will be watched with interest.

Numerical grading is still predominantly for the US investment market, which is also the only market interested at this time in stamp grading and slabbing.

For stamps to be reduced to a single number, straight away we eliminate used stamps (think of the number of possible permutations of the stamp AND the postmark!). So we are looking only at the investment market in mint stamps.

To grade a coin on the numerical system, we are looking at degrees of wear - something which doesn't exist when "grading" mint stamps. When even two expert coin collectors can differ in grading the same coin, imagine the difficulty in trying to reduce a stamp to a single number ... is the one short perf a greater or lesser deduction than the centring being off by a quarter of a mm? The scope for argument would seem endless - and given that the purpose behind numerical grading is to avoid argument, what's the point?
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Post by gavin-h »

ozstamps wrote:This is a "slabbed" stamp.

No Australian collector IMHO will pay to have their stamps encased forever like this:

Image

I'll be interested in the views of folks on this.
They sell things like this in England.

We call them "Paperweights"!

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Post by admin »

This is a larger photo of a slabbed Duck stamp that the Americans use - I simply can't imagine locals embracing all their KGV heads being mounted like this!

Remember these are huge stamps, so the slab overall is quite large -- cigarette packet type sized.

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Post by RickStead »

I guess I'll have to reinforce the shelves that hold my collection!

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Post by Guest »

I have given a bit of thought to this subject - not like me at all. :)

Given that 99.99999 to the power of whatever you wish to make it, of stamps are worth between about 8c and 60c per hundred, the idea of graded stamps as a standard seems pretty pointless, and as already suggested on this thread would only apply to rarities. Which, quality wise, it pretty much does now anyway.

I have a box of probably 250,000 off paper stamps - and I add to it every time I acquire something I cannot use. At, say, $50 per certificate, I cannot see myself affording to get any of these graded. Nor the point. The certificate for one would cost more than most of them are worth put together.

Glen's 3c USA commemorative sale price is I suspect a "flash in the pan" thingy, which will collapse within a couple of years at the most (can you say Australian Decimals, Phone cards, Hong Kong, Ostrich Farms, Tulip Futures? Of course you can. :) )

Also to me, there is another issue. When you wish to show off your collection, and there is suddenly a gap, somebody is likely to ask why there is a gap. So you show them the stamp hanging off the wall in a framed certificate. No thanks.

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Post by fromdownunder »

Me again. Glen automatic log in seems to have a glitch. i.e., it does not work.

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fromdownunder wrote:
Me again. Glen automatic log in seems to have a glitch. i.e., it does not work.

Norm
These are known as USER glitches. ;)

You need to go to top right of screen and log in before posting any messages and bingo it all works perfectly then. :)

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Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Numerical grading - what a laugh!

A common stamp is worth a lot just because it's centred perfectly, perfect perfs., perfect OG, etc. - I don't think so! :o

What about rarity which is normally based on the numbers printed/surviving/demand, surely this has to be the big Kahuna!!!!

Based on the numerical grading system a really perfect $3000 roo is worth......lets see....$3000 X 6000 = $18,000,000!!!! :shock:

Now that would empty some moneyboxes! :cry:

Interesting to see what everyone thinks of the PSE grading system on their site (with examples):

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

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Post by admin »

Yes imagine buying the rare 90c described as "FINE condition - with certificate" and getting this ugly dog on top row!

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Post by jrg »

Hard to see the 10c in the bottom row being "superb 98" with the perfs as they are on the bottom.
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Post by GlenStephens »

John I agree .. but as per my aritcle they do not CARE about perfs it seems!

http://www.glenstephens.com/snmarch07.html
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Post by jrg »

Looking at the PSE grading methodology on their site, they at least pay lip service to perf faults. However, following their own rules shoots down that 98 rating very easily:

Here we see that a short perf can contribute as either a "very minor fault", a "minor fault", or a "fault" depending on the "degree of shortness".

http://www.psestamp.com/soundness.chtml

And here we see that an otherwise "gem" stamp with a "very minor fault" cannot rate above 95.

http://www.psestamp.com/soundnesscentering.chtml

Ergo, a rating of 98 on their example stamp is impossible.

And these are the guys who think they are setting the standards? Hmmmmmm.
John

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Post by Guest »

These are the coin guys; they just thought it would be better to move on to the stamp market and start a new craze since it is calming down in the coin market.

They just care about making 30 bucks a pop!

Jonathan

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Post by admin »

jonathanmakela wrote:
These are the coin guys; they just thought it would be better to move on to the stamp market and start a new craze since it is calming down in the coin market.

They just care about making 30 bucks a pop!

Jonathan
Absolutely - PSE - this crowd - is run by the biggest COIN number graders.

They'd love to muscle in on STAMPS!

(jonathanmakela - you forgot to log in. :))

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Post by Guest »

Sorry.
It won't log me in!

I copied and pasted my password and username from the email confirmation and it accepted and forwarded me to the front page but posted these messages under guest.

My email is jonathanmakela at comcast.net

Thanks!
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Post by jonathanmakela »

Sorry about that-I got back in.
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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Numerical grading??!!

One day I might write a book on this subject!! (just kidding!)

In the interum as I have noted elsewhere on this board, I will be writing a paper on condition - I intend to do a lot of research, it will be educational, informative and provocative as I do have some radical views.

For now, lets just say that in principle it is not such a bad thing for certain issues, however, based on the evidence I have seen for USA stamps so far I am of the view that there are significant problems in both the measurement/quantification methodology used and the consistency of how it is applied.

As noted above, there are problems with perfs that many people I know in Australia would reject a kangaroo at half the normal price, yet in the USA they seem to pay 10, 20, 50, 100 and sometimes more times the normal price for such stamps. For some reason I do not know of, in the USA they do not seem too concerned with perfs and that is a big worry. Yes, it is only one factor out of several, however, it is a crucual one in evaluating the appearance of a stamp.

Glen has written on this in the past and I agree with much of what he has written.

Yes, some issues are rare in any condition and even not known in perfect or near perfect condition. In an ideal world, every stamp that is graded should have an 'absolute' score based purely on the condition as a whole regardless of how rare it is as such. Then it could be given a 'weighted/adjusted' score (based on 'rarity' ... as in working out how to evaluate a perforamnce based on 'degree of difficulty' for gymnastics or diving, etc.) eg. if the best example known scores 82 (out of 100), perhaps that second score is lifted; the only problem being if a better one turns up, then the weighted/adjusted scores have to be revised.

There are numerous issues involved and I believe that unless some alterations are made to the current system, it will fall flat.

... more on this at some other time!

Simon Dunkerley

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Post by erich »

There is something to be said for the high price of "super grade" stamps if they are older issues where the condition actually does vary quite a bit, and it is hard to find nicely centered examples. It is INSANE to pay these "investor" prices on common stamps from the last 60 years or so, where most of them were made to good quality control and are normally found VF centered or better.

The same is true, IMO, for coins -- the modern issues, particularly proofs and other made-for-collectors items are essentially created perfect and (one hopes) never taken out of their plastic capsules -- so it is no surprise when one comes back from a grading service Proof-69 out of 70. If you can find a coin like that from 100 years ago, then you really have something, but not with the modern stuff.

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Post by jrg »

Following my post above re PSE's 98 grading, I emailed them asking how it was arrived at.

Is anyone surprised to know that the silence in the three weeks since has been deafening?
John

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Post by admin »

jrg wrote:
Following my post above re PSE's 98 grading, I emailed them asking how it was arrived at.

Is anyone surprised to know that the silence in the three weeks since has been deafening?
I do know myself, Simon Dunkerley and Gary Watson all got involved in a detailed friendly email correspondence with the chap who runs PSE, after my article ran.

To summarise it, he did seem to agree with our points that the perfs, in this instance had not been fully taken into account when the 100 grade was issued.

My argument remains that any stamp with those corners CANNOT be regarded as a perfect "100" stamp.

I have no doubt if I had 20 sheets in front of me of this same 10c retail stamp, I could find an example that was better, hence this 100 grade was nonsense.

He did seem to indicate that in future more weight would be added to perfs, and to corners.

His company of course runs the PSE grading service for coins, which in the USA is massive.

I will add that my article (which was also published in the UK) created a quite hysterical response from USA dealer Bob Dumaine from the Sam Houston Duck Company.

Bob, who I have met in Texas and done business with, went troppo emailing many US dealers who offer graded stamps inputing that hillbilly yokels from Australia were slagging this lovely little business niche he and others are making a fortune from.

Some of the correspondence I'd love to share here, but in fairness without his permission can't do, but needless to say many here would get a smile from them. :)

Bottom line, this is a market where USA dealers run huge ads each week in Linn's buying these era stamps for literally 10c apiece.

The good looking ones they submit to PSE for a number cert, and the other they use up on mail or on-sell at ~10c - their purchase cost.

To pay 10c and see that same stamp sell for $US1,207.50 clearly is an incentive to scream blue murder when "hillbilly yokels" who have no horse in the race point out the bleeding obvious - the stamp was in no way "perfect" - and that 1000s of identical or better copies clearly exist. :)

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Post by fromdownunder »

admin wrote:
jrg wrote:
To summarise it, he did seem to agree with our points that the perfs, in this instance had not been fully taken into account when the 100 grade was issued.

He did seem to indicate that in future more weight would be added to perfs, and to corners.
Interesting response you received Glen. I wonder that if in the land of the free and the home of the lawsuit whether or not the person who paid over a thousand dollars for a three cent commemorative will get a refund (and from whom) if this stamp is resubmitted after a (possible) change in grading policy, and it only rates, say a 90/95.

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Post by admin »

PSE cover themselves with acres of fine print you will notice. :)

Of course anyone owning a "100" Cert will never, EVER, re-submit it, you can bet on that! 8)

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Post by admin »

erich wrote:
It is INSANE to pay these "investor" prices on common stamps from the last 60 years or so, where most of them were made to good quality control and are normally found VF centered or better.
Yep Erich, that was pretty much my point. :)

This nut who paid $US1,200 for that stamp of 20¢ catalogue value will NEVER get his money back - not even close- I'll bet on that. :idea:

(And good to see you posting here .. had not noticed in the rush of activity in the last few days! Your wide knowledge will be most welcome here. )

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Post by fromdownunder »

See http://www.stampwants.com/categories.php?parent=2014 for examples af asking prices for common USA stamps with "100" grading.

I gave this fad 2 years at the most to last at it's present crazy heights about 3-4 months ago. I stand by this statement.

The longer it goes on, the more "graded 100" items will come onto the market and it will reach saturation, and become a sellers market. And watch the balloon pop.

Having said that, and not wanting Australia to go where the USA has gone, I do believe top quality stamps at the middle level of the market (say high value 1930's commems etc.) are somewhat underpriced at present.

Do any of the Americam members of this board have a feel for where the grading trend for USA is heading?

Norm

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Software I would like to see

Post by erich »

At the last NYC stamp show, I had a discussion with a dealer (who handles mostly US and usually has a huge stock of modern and relatively modern sheets) who wanted to know if there was a program around that would grade stamps from scans.

It turns out there is one called "EZGRADER" (search in Google and you can get a demo and/or buy it) -- I tested it out with mixed results. It only works on a scan of a single stamp.

What I (and the dealer I spoke to) would really like to see is a program that could examine a SHEET or PANE of stamps and show the centering-based grade of each one.

In the long run this would probably kill the price of graded singles and raise the price of "common" mint sheets.

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Post by ExtremeStamps »

These are the words I live by. After 25 years of buying and selling graded coins, currency, and comics to over 40,000 dealers and collectors I can guarantee you not only is stamp grading here to stay it will continue to become the driving force of the "hobby".

With grading comes new collectors and investors eager to learn more and more about our love of stamps. In the past, many collectors and investors have learned the hard way about the pitfalls stamps collecting. Now they know their stamps are not only genuine and liquid, but a true sense of their true rarity. We all know that grading is subjective and not perfect, but it will attract the NEW buyers and put upward pressure on prices.

Skeptics will soon discover eventually cave into grading simply because when time comes to sell, the graded examples will far outsell "raw" stamps by a mile.

So cheer up and enjoy the ride. If you have a meaningful collection it is increasing in value daily ... you'll be thrilled.

By the way, I am one of those crazy guys that will pay those "stupid" prices. So when your ready to cash in ... call me.

I welcome your questions or comments.

Stay tuned .... I'll share some great ideas, money making tips, and hold your hand through this grading nightmare.

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Post by SimonDunkerley »

Based on what I have seen of this grading scene so far I am far from convinced it has any real future. For that to even be a remote possibility, I believe there needs to be some concrete changes ...

Only a few of these are that the criteria need to be tightened up and reworked; it needs to be applied more consistently and for a stamp to score 100 it must be 100% perfect in EVERY respect. In other words, it must be a stamp that can never be improved on ie perfect perfs, perfect centring, perfect gum, perfect freshness ... the list goes on. Scores below 100 can be a 'range' of quality as in some stamps that rate 98 may be ever so slightly better than others that also rate 98, however, 100 must be perfection in every respect. Otherwise in my view that score loses credibility and with it every other score does as well.

I have seen pictures of stamps with a score of 100 that I know would be rejected at the same price as a normal stamp by some of my better customers for Kangaroos who spend big $ ... let alone paying any kind of premium for them. Examples include stamps with tiny inclusions or stamps with a shortish perf. Until such anomolies are corrected, I believe that the grading system is fundamentally flawed.

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Post by fromdownunder »

For anyone who is seriously interested in this topic, there is an interesting discussion going on here:

http://www.stampwants.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=59030

I will stay on the sceptic side of things, because I saw what happened to the comics market when it got too hot, the Australian decimal stamp boom in the 1980s, Phonecards in 1994, Ostrich Farms, Tulip futures a couple of centures ago...

See this discussion on Australian decimal prices then and now:

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=187

He**, people still fall for chain letters, pyramid schemes, MLMs, and getting $US15,000,000 from some poor dying cancer patient in Nigeria.

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Post by David Benson »

The question was " will it come here "

and the answer of course is who knows, but if it does then hopefully we can do a better job then they do in the US with the major criteria being condition and that centering comes a long way down in the methodology of appointing the actual grade,

David B.

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Post by erich »

I have some experience with coins (and was seriously involved with them when 3rd party coin grading and "slabbing" started in 1986) and expect the stamp grading will go similarly. Which means:

(1) It will mostly (90%+) be a US phenomenon. The coin graders (PCGS, NGC, etc) initially did not grade/slab foreign coins at all. Once they did start, it didn't catch on with foreign coins in nearly the same way as with US. You DO see slabbed foreign coins...generally better items...but they don't usually bring huge premiums for it.

(2) Graders will come and go, and grading standards from the same graders WILL change over the years. With coins, both have happened. The "wrong" graders inflate their standards and the market knows it. The mainstays, PCGS & NGC have changed their standards over the years and most of the coins sent in the 80's and 90's have been resubmitted. If a coin is still in an "old" holder dealers say so.

(3) Some items will be long-term winners (I would guess high grade classic stamps will do fine over the years) while other stuff (super grade modern issues) will have their trendy moments but be an extremely risky investment.

A story related to point 1: Around 1987, US coin prices were going crazy in the wake of the grading services (and people were having the same kind of "will it last?" conversations we're having now about graded stamps). Meanwhile, non-US coins were relatively unaffected, since none of the services were grading them. I figured it was only a matter of time before they would grade, say, British coins and the prices would get similarly silly. Rarities in British (and Colonial) coins have long been relative bargains in terms of what you get compared with US coins of similar rarities. So I sold all my US coins in 1987 and started building a nice collection of 19thC British (and some colonies). I did a good bit of research and got to know this area quite well.

A few years later, I had built up quite a nice collection -- there were some great items in it -- an 1860 GB copper halfpenny (5 to 10 known); a unique 1892 proof florin (if you ever see one in an NGC PF-64 holder, that was mine) etc. The day NGC announced they would grade foreign coins, I thought I had won the lottery, and sent all sorts of nice coins in to be graded. Most of them came back to my satisfaction, but suffice to say, I did not win the lottery. The foreign coin market never took off the same way the US market did, and my collection did not do all that well when I sold it (Stacks auction in 1991...pre eBay alas).

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Post by iomoon »

There are two major problems with graded stamps.

Firstly, the majority of those that are buying them are "investors" rather than collectors. Or if collectors, collectors who are buying second copies to "hedge their bets".

Secondly, blocks are being broken so that the better stamp in the block can be slabbed. :(

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Post by petercollects0 »

My reaction to graded stamps is a bit like my reaction to getting a certificate for a stamp - if the stamps is common don't bother but if it's often faked or is a bit of a rarity, a certificate is worth considering.

Paying a premium for a graded common stamp seems silly to me, but then the beauty of stamp collecting is that YOU decide what you want to collect. For me stamps in slabs just aren't appealing.
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NUMERICAL GRADED STAMPS - THE FOOLS GAME

Post by theswedishtiger »

NUMERICAL GRADED STAMPS - THE FOOLS GAME

You will see on my website that I detail sales of PSE graded stamps. I have done so for three years, two observations

1) The price of any PSE graded stamp will GO DOWN in price as more of that grade recieve certificates at that grade. This has already happened on quite a few issues.

2) Two PSE graded stamps, recieving the same grade have sold at vastly different prices when sold back to back, at the same auction, countless times. What does this say about the consistency of their grading.

By the way, on the last point, speaking to auctioneers, the reasons for this is that PSE does not take into count the detail of the printing (first printings usualy sell at a premium, but PSE ignores this) and as previously mentioned, perfs.

PS Seen in the art market!

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Post by gavin-h »

Image

I said this a month ago, and it bears repeating now:

They sell things like this in England.

We call them "Paperweights"!
8) :lol: :wink: :roll:

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Making The Grade

Post by ExtremeStamps »

"1) The price of any PSE graded stamp will GO DOWN in price as more of that grade recieve certificates at that grade. This has already happened on quite a few issues. "

Can you give some examples to look at? It's important to know the context. A graded certificate is not an excuse to slack on your homework. You shouldn't buy a stock without researching the fundamentals, the same goes for a graded stamp. POP reports, grade, desirability are always important considerations. If a stamp is easy to obtain in high grades then it's obviously not a good investment if you plan to sell it one day.

Here is an example on the opposite side. Let's take Scott# 233 - 1893 4 cent Columbian in 98 Mint OGnh. PSE Pop report lists 27-95's, 9-95j's, 12-98's, 1-98j, no 100's.

Here is the chart on that stamp showing the % change in SMQ value over the past 2 and a half years for the various grades...
Image
80, 85 and 90 grades are pretty much flat. 95 has shown a 250+ percent increase, 98 has shown a 550% increase. That same stamp ungraded would bring a fraction of the price. Is paying the premium for a 95 or 98 worth it for a rare, high grade, desirable stamp?

Cheers,
Eric

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Post by waroff49 »

Eric,
Just a query. What have prices for high quality un-graded stamps risen/fallen by in the same period, for the above stamp?
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Prices

Post by ExtremeStamps »

waroff49 wrote:Eric,
Just a query. What have prices for high quality un-graded stamps risen/fallen by in the same period, for the above stamp?
This chart shows the SMQ Prices reported for the last 10 quarters for the various grades. Jan of '05 this stamp at 98 was priced by SMQ at around US$1,250, in Jan of 07 the SMQ noted it at US$6,950.

Eric

Image
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Re: Prices

Post by gavin-h »

ExtremeStamps wrote:This chart shows the SMQ Prices reported for the last 10 quarters for the various grades. Jan of '05 this stamp at 98 was priced by SMQ at around US$1,250, in Jan of 07 the SMQ noted it at US$6,950.
(My highlighting)

Eric, which stamp are you talking about?

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Post by waroff49 »

I just wonder what the Gray Collection would have got if it had been graded? I believe most or all of the stamps didn't even have a certificate.
I wonder how many would have made it to 98? or even 90?
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Post by GlenStephens »

waroff49 wrote:
I just wonder what the Gray Collection would have got if it had been graded?

I believe most or all of the stamps didn't even have a certificate.
Correct. :)

As I typed after attending the $7¼m sale in NYC:

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

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

The interesting thing to many American observers I was given an insight was that virtually none of the 849 offerings were accompanied by any kind of certificate of genuineness, or independent expert opinion as to gum or overall condition, and were offered thus.

American buyers in general are totally obsessed with Certificates. They seek them even for stamps that clearly are what they are, and ordinarily will not buy anything without them. This sale seemed to show common sense and a practiced eye was sufficient for most buyers.

See my article in the March 2007 magazine about nutty American bidders paying 6,037 times full Scott value for a common 3c stamp, usual retail 20¢, with bodgy corners that someone had graded "100".

Not one numerical grading certificate was to be seen at Gray, yet a record Auction $$$$ total was achieved. Food for thought. Seemingly not every buyer needs an "expert" to tell him via a piece of paper that a stamp is well centred and attractive!

I understand this sale is Shreve Auctions largest ever grossing sale, just eclipsing the William Floyd USA classics auction of 2001. Quite remarkable given the many high ticket USA collections and world material he has offered under the hammer over the years.


Someone cheerfully paid $265,000 for this, with no cert and no number grade. :)

Image
.
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Post by petercollects0 »

gavin-h wrote:
Eric, which stamp are you talking about?
Gavin,

I think 233 is this one:

Image

Note this is probably a minus 87 :D
Peter

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Post by gavin-h »

GlenStephens wrote:See my article in the March 2007 magazine about nutty American bidders paying 6,037 times full Scott value for a common 3c stamp, usual retail 20¢, with bodgy corners that someone had graded "100".
Precisely :!:

A 20¢ stamp is a 20¢ stamp in PERFECT condition.

If it's less than perfect it's worth less than 20¢.

It can't be "more than perfect", so it can't be worth more than 20¢.

In spite of what an Investment Broker in a suit with a Paperweight might try to tell you.

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Re: Prices

Post by ExtremeStamps »

gavin-h wrote:Eric, which stamp are you talking about?
The post was in response to waroff49 and was regarding Scott 233 NH. Here is a little nicer version of it than Peter's although he gets an A for creativity.
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!

Image
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Post by Greg Ioannou »

Extreme's slabbed stamp is prettier, but Peter's has more character. I love that kind of emergency cancel. 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. Emergency noseprint postmarks like Peter's are enthusiastically collected. Specialists can identify the individual postal clerk from the fine details of the noseprint, sort of like fingerprinting.

Greg

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Post by David Benson »

It is no use comparing what happens in the US to what happens in Australia. As Glen wrote the buyers at Arthur Gray's sale of Roos knew what they were buying and most of them were buying for resale and knew the consequences of financial loss if they overpaid.

David Benson

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