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What are Your Thoughts on Stamp "Grading"?  
 

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Valued Member
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Posted 12/07/2016   12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 91stang to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
boy I cant wait for the lions and the tigers and especially those Elephants-I really like them!
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Posted 12/07/2016   12:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 91stang to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


And don't forget this ONE of only one hundred--is it real? Fake?

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Posted 12/07/2016   6:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Magguss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's a matter of perspective in my opinion. If I had powerball money, I would have no desire to buy a $100,000,000 yacht. I would buy a $5 for $500 to satisfy my OCD demons in a heart beat. I collect stamps more to collect and enjoy rather than investment. Mostly because I don't have a ton of money, I don't have a lot to even get horrible looking space fillers. But on more common stamps I've paid a fair more for a nicer looking stamp than the one I have. Those that do pay big money for well centered and fault free stamps for thousands of dollars are just in a higher tax bracket than me. I feel graded stamps would be more of a focus point for me. If I could buy a stamp that was the highest graded stamp recorded, I would buy it if I could, only because I would know that I couldn't get a nicer looking stamp when I flip through my album.
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Posted 12/07/2016   7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paul78703 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My eye is as good for determining the eye appeal of a stamp as is the eye of any "professional" stamp grader, so I consider grading stamps to be stupid, frankly, and intended, primarily, to (a) make a quick buck and (b) push up the prices of common stamps.

Now, authenticating the genuineness of a stamp is a completely different matter. A certificate of authenticity from a reputable firm is always welcome in this hobby.
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Edited by paul78703 - 12/07/2016 7:46 pm
Valued Member
United States
229 Posts
Posted 12/07/2016   9:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 91stang to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, grading is like with coins--Novice buyer are buying the 'slab' or the grade of Sup-89 and not the beauty of the stamp. Or the stamp needed for that collection. And yes, in my area of fun, authenticated stamps are a must when you get into the high dollar stuff-protects the seller as well as the buyer---
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Posted 12/07/2016   10:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Graded coins do not destroy multiples. Graded stamps frequently have, and continue to do so every day. Including rare multiples. Helping to ruin the hobby every day.
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Posted 12/08/2016   01:07 am  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Following your logic, anything smaller than a complete sheet is a crime and stamp collectors are ruining postal history collecting.
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Posted 12/08/2016   01:07 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...And yes, in my area of fun, authenticated stamps are a must...


Just to be clear, getting a certification or authentication document is different than grading.
Don
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Posted 12/08/2016   07:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... Following your logic, anything smaller than a complete sheet is a crime and stamp collectors are ruining postal history collecting ...


I, for one, don't follow your following.

I don't see anyone actively campaigning against cutting-up a 3x3 block of utterly common stamps to make a jumbo; it would be dumb, but it would be no more consequential to philately than using the same stamps in a collage or a lamp shade, and the fact that it would be inconsequential financially is probably all the brake we need to hold the trend in check.

And I don't see anyone actively campaigning against ever breaking-up a sheet or a block, because four people getting to own one stamp has some benefit over one person owning a block of four, especially in an age where the plating information need not be irretrievably lost.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 12/08/2016   3:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Grading is a world class rip-off, IMHO, and designed solely to push up prices of common stamps.

GeoffHA: I have seen a few Canadian graded stamps, but I agree that it's basically a USA thing.
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Posted 12/29/2016   10:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Crouse27 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is a great thread juxtaposing the grading of coins, which is about 20 years more mature, to stamp numerical third party grading. It's a niche that will grow with time and, as with most things, there are a few bad apples that can be called out which the politicians rightly draw attention toward.
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Posted 12/29/2016   10:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paul78703 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Grading and encapsulating coins makes some sense, because, for one thing, no one has ever invented a safe, convenient "album" for coins, and collecting them in "slabs" is safe and convenient. Not so with stamps. And, really, anyone can "grade," or assess the attractiveness of, a stamp. It's all about eye appeal, nothing more. Does the stamp look fresh? Is the gum intact? Are the perfs intact? Is the centering attractive? Overall, does the stamp look good? Not so good? Etc.

I stand by my previously stated opinion that grading stamps is intended (a) to push up the price of common stamps and (b) to separate chumps from their money. The professional "graders" are no more than hucksters. I read the hooey on PSE's website and almost burst out laughing.

The dealers who sell graded common stamps for a small fortune to the unwary want the unwary to think that they have something "special" and valuable, when in reality they have nothing more than a nice common stamp.

"Expertising," on the other hand, is totally different and legitimate, of course.
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Edited by paul78703 - 12/30/2016 3:31 pm
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159 Posts
Posted 12/30/2016   4:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Totally agree with Paul78703. Why do you need to pay anyone to tell you what you can see with your own eyes
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Posted 12/31/2016   11:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Crouse27 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One of my coin friends who is a savvy experienced collector, laments whenever he goes to the big coin shows he cannot find any raw nice grade coins. Everything that is nicer quality is "already slabbed" and priced at its absolute book price. He misses the days when a savvy astute collector could find undergraded coins at attractive prices that a dealer missed. It was rare to do that though as far more common was finding overgraded, problematic, overpriced coins that lead to dealer delight upon sale and buyers remorse later on.

Most uncommon coins that are not encapsulated and numerically graded these days are collector coins at lower grades or with problems. They may or may not be appropriately described and priced by the dealer.

Purpose of referencing coin grading in this thread is that there are parallels to stamps. Numerical stamp grading will continue much to the chagrin of some who just see the rotten apple exceptions that unfortunately occur with stamps (and coins too to this day). Those examples are poor for the hobby and do disservice. Keep in mind it is dealers who espouse this, and not the third party grading firms. We should blame the shooter, and not the gun manufacturer.

There are very nice coin albums by the way that protect coins as well as stamps. Dansco are an example. And coin albums have been around for a longer time than has grading and encapsulating. Coins are far less delicate than stamps but one reason coin collectors might like numerical third party grading is it provides a less biased opinion on condition, it protects the coin, there are competitive registries that build commeraderi and shared accomplishment, and values are well documented and easily accessed.

Stamp grading still has a long way to go to catch up with coin grading maturity, but 15 years into the journey it has done far more good for philately than harm. Some who are novice may get burned by a few ultra common ultra high priced "gems" sold by some dealers, but many others will find great enjoyment, challenge, commeraderi, and even potential rewards from pursuing third party numerically graded stamps.
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Posted 01/01/2017   02:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One Word = SCAM!
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