Saturday, August 21, 2010

The sad plight of stamps in the postal history era




Here are two lovely William IV stamps:  the 2½ F with the cds of Colmar-Berg, 6 May 1913, and the 5 F official, with the cds of Luxembourg-Gare.  Both carry hefty catalog values in Scott and Prifix:

  Scott 2009 Classic Prifix 1997
2½ F Wm IV $ 91.50 € 100
5 F Wm IV official $ 47.50 60


As a juvenile collector in the 1950s, I built a worldwide collection with penny approvals.  It was many years later before I could acquire gems like these.  And then, they were not acquired for pennies!

But today you can buy stamps like this for little more than I paid for  penny approvals in 1955.  These two stamps — offered as "Luxembourg Mi 82-3 used stamps CDS cat 165 euro" — sold for $20.50 (plus $1.28 shipping) after drawing two bids on eBay on August 1, 2010.  In 1955 dollars, that would have been $2.56 (plus 16c postage).  And whether in 1955 or 2010 dollars, that is little more than chump change for these two scarce stamps.

Granted, the 2½ F might not be as scarce as its catalog value suggests, but with the Colmar-Berg cancel it holds its own in my collection of bridge & bar cancels, some of which are shown below.  And my experience has been that the used 5 F official is considerably scarcer than the used 2½ F definitive, catalog values to the contrary notwithstanding.

Results such as this are commonplace on eBay.  So when reading catalog values for most 20th century Luxembourg stamps, just move the decimal point one place to the left.  The prices will then be a lot closer to actual market value, given the increasing amount of material entering the market and the paucity of collectors who still collect 20th century stamps. 



Bridge-and-Bar cancels
FSPL Type 33


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you include your email address in the blog?