Sunday, December 13, 2009

Altered U.S. Stamps

Some time ago, Sheryll Oswald wrote a nice piece on altered U.S. stamps warning collectors to be careful about what they buy on the Internet.

Sheryll writes, "If it sounds too good to be true….. it probably is!!" This is what I often hear from fellow bidders of classic U.S. stamps on eBay when they find out that the 'elusive bargain' they have won is nothing more than a cheap stamp misrepresented as its more expensive variety, or has even been altered to look like it.

She goes on to say, "As a stamp collector, I must confess to being a bit of a bargain hunter myself. And there are times when I have bought what looked like the rarer variety of pre-1930 U.S. stamps, only to find that an extra bit of artwork has been added to the design, or there are signs of a pen cancel on what I thought was an "unused" stamp."

"But the more likely case is that I am happy with my bargain buy because I don't even know that it has been altered in some way!"

Sheryll points out, "Altered stamps have been and still are found at stamp shows, bourses, bricks-and-mortar auctions and mail-bid sales. Thus the phrase 'caveat emptor' should be the refrain of any collector of early U.S. stamps, and careful study of the Scott catalogue and the extensive literature available a must before any major purchases are contemplated."

To read her entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM