cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Monday, December 28, 2009

Machin at auction

Hello, I was browsing an auction site today and found this.

Listed for opening bid at 5c (US) with a comment that the Scott listed price was 20c. This had me thinking about something to write about. The Cat listed value for these stamps is really just a "price to cover a cost" in my view. Any price at 20c means - as I say, in my view - there is really no value to the stamp. I have no idea how many were printed but you can expect many millions and everyone has one or a hundred!! I have over 200 in my stock album (and many more in unsorted boxes) and one day maybe I will even study them. One day eh!! Basic SG price listed in the 2009 simplified catalogue lists the 1 centre band at 35p and the 1 side band at 70p but I really think these are, lets say, exaggerated, and at best, for very fine used.

So my commentary here is that this and many, many, many other Machins that you might see listed individually at auction should not be purchased for 5c but in bulk lots at less than $0.1c or less per stamp. That is not to acknowledge that there are many Machins with good catalogue value, but you have to know exactly what it is you are looking at and thinking of buying.

Here is a scan of two stamps I picked from my stock.

Yes they look different because they are. This 11½p stamp issued in 1981 had a few printings, or varieties you may say. I won't bore you with details as I am sure I do not know all there is to know since I am not anywhere near an expert in Machins but you will find they were mostly issued with one centre phosphor band on fluorescent coated paper with PVAD gum (stamp on right). There was also one centre band at left(stamp on left), and one centre band at right, both from 50p booklet panes, and from different value booklet panes at that!

Oh yes, and there was a coil issue with one centre band. How do you tell the difference. Beats me :-)

Best wishes and happy new year. May stamp collecting in 2010 give you enormous enjoyment.



At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Charlie said...

Telling a coil from a sheet is simple with either sharp young eyes or a 10x glass.
The stamps are printed in sheets and then the strips are cut either top and bottom or left and right sides. The cutting runs down the center or nearly the center of the line of perforations. That gives the tips of the perfs a distinct sharp straight line cut.
The other two sides are torn which means the separation of the tips of the perfs is somewhat raggety.
As a shorthand, Doug Myall has devised the TCTC notation with "T" being "torn" and "C" being "CUT". A sheet stamp is "TTTT" since it is torn on all four sides. A coil is either "TCTC" or "CTCT". That is the top, right side, bottom and left side in order.
On the other hand a booklet minisheet may also have some "Cut" perforations, but will never be the two opposite sides. Depending on where the stamp is, or was, in the sheetlet that notation will be;
"CTTT" from the top middle,
"CCTT" from a top right hand corner,
"TCTT" from the right middle,
"TCCT" from a bottom right corner,
"TTCT" fromm the nbottom middle,
"TTCC" from the left bottom corner,
"TTTC" from a left middle and finally
"CTTC" if the stamp was on a left top corner.
These possibilities exist because a booklet mini-sheetlet can consist of four, six or more stamps arranged either verticaly or horizontally.
So with a little practice it becomes quite easy to determine if a stamp is from a sheet ---"TTTT", a coil ---"TCTC" or "CTCT", or a booklet which will have either a single cut side or two adjacent cut sides as listed above.

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