Why are there different values ​​on the stamp

Canceled stamps: value

The second most frequent question which philatelists get from their non-collecting friends and acquaintances is: "Which stamps are now worth more, canceled or unused?". This question can not be answered generally. However, this article is intended to provide assistance.

For the sake of completeness: the most common question is about the “Blue Mauritius”. In addition to the Blue Mauritius, there are also many other valuable and rare postage stamps. We have summarized the most important in one article.

Which stamps are more valuable? Stamped or unused?

From a post-historical point of view, postage stamps are more valuable. These have a very special charm: you can read a piece of (postal) history from them. The stamps reveal the place of use of the stamps, the date, sometimes the time, and often many other circumstances in which the stamp was used. We also learn that the postage stamp was used for what it was made for: to postage postage.

However, the monetary valuation of a collector's item always according to supply and demand. In a figurative sense, this means je rarer and more sought-after a postage stampis, the more valuable it is. If canceled stamps are rarer than unused ones, they are more valuable and therefore more expensive.

The rarity depends on various factors. Some stamps could only be used for a short period of time or in a small area. Therefore these are less often found stamped. Other postage stamps are rarely found unused, as the unused remnants have been destroyed.

In addition, the preservation of the stamps plays a major role. Therefore, when determining the value of a stamp, one should always use a stamp catalog or even consult an examiner.

Evaluation of canceled stamps

In the case of postage stamps, canceled means that they are used in the sense of "used". That is why there are many of the stamped stamps that have not been properly preserved. They were often roughly separated from the other stamps, stuck on a letter, the letter was transported and then the stamps were "deviated" from the letter and put in the scrapbook. This means that there is a full range of preservations, especially for canceled stamps. Starting with “totally battered” to “perfect”. That is why the condition of used postage stamps is a special criterion when it comes to valuation. This means that you have to take a closer look at stamped brands.

In addition, there is how clean a stamp is, whether the place, date and time are clearly recognizable and, last but not least, whether a Postmark rare is. A well chipped stamp with easily recognizable information is often referred to as a "full stamp". Stamps with a full stamp are of course rated higher than stamps that only have a stamp fragment.

Postage stamps that have been canceled with an event-related special cancellation are particularly valuable. If these are on a piece of letter, the value often increases again.

On the other hand, badly knocked off stamps can downright devalue the stamp. The philatelist then speaks somewhat jokingly of "extermination stamp". This refers to the unpopular machine stamps and also heavily smeared and illegible stamps. Even stamps with only a small fragment of the actual stamp devalue the stamp.

Courtesy stamp

The so-called courtesy stamps are quite unpopular and therefore less highly valued. These philatelic cancellations, as they are also called, can usually be found on more modern postage stamps. The stamps of the GDR were stamped en masse for the collector, usually with a cliché stamp when the stamps were printed.

However, there are also courtesy stamps from earlier times. For example the Danzig brands of the 1920s. Gdańsk's stamps are really rare and difficult to get. Accordingly, they are rated highly in the catalog. However, there are many Gdansk brands that have a courtesy stamp. However, these are only worth a fraction of the brands that have really run. To distinguish between the cancellations is sometimes quite difficult. The philatelist must have precise knowledge of the stamps used at the time. Help can be provided by the working groups in the relevant area (www.poststempelgilde.de) and, of course, the examiner.

Differences in value between canceled and unused stamps

Issues of German Inflation, ca.1916-1923:

Here you can get mint stamps in excellent condition for a few cents. At least if you put a little effort into choosing your stamp dealer. You can get a complete collection of postage stamps from German hyperinflation in perfect mint condition for less than € 100. A complete collection costs many times more if it is properly stamped. This is the normal case if you value genuine and, of course, stamped stamps.

The stamped stamps are so expensive in this collecting area because in these times, due to the rapid inflation and the associated continuous inflation, new stamps with higher denominations had to be printed or overprinted. It just stayed not much timeto use the brands and this is what makes them so rare. Conversely, there were tons of unused inflation marks. This is why mint stamps from the period of German hyperinflation can be obtained very cheaply.

Bergedorf, Old Germany 1861:

Here, too, you can get the five values ​​of the Bergedorf stamps very cheaply. Used and neatly stamped, the Bergedorf brands are worth a small fortune. Again, this is because the brands have only been used for a short time. In addition, that Validity area for the postage stamps Bergedorf relatively small and this accordingly had little audience to use. The same applies to the postage stamps from other collecting areas in Old Germany. These include, for example, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Bremen, Holstein and individual editions from other German states.

... it also works the other way round:

Baden, Old Germany 1851

The unused postage stamps of the German state of Baden are much rarer than the used postage stamps of the same issue from 1861, and they cost many times as much. This is very often the case with classic postage stamp issues. This is due to the fact that from the postal service at the time after the validity of the postage stamps has expired, the remaining stock is destroyed were. The example applies to many issues of classic postage stamps in Germany, Europe and the world.

Distinctions in terms of face value

Everhigher the face value is, the more rarely is the use of the corresponding postage stamp as a rule. This fact can be easily observed when leafing through the catalogs.

Examples: The market values ​​of the ship expenses of the German colonies. The 5 mark value of the issue of the 1st Control Council after World War II in Germany. The 12 Kreuzer value of the country postage stamps from Baden ... There are many examples here, but always bear in mind: Exceptions prove the rule!

Vice versa: For postage stamps with common, small denominations, it is like the 80 cents stamps of today. These are needed for the most popular form of mail (the normal standard letter in Germany) and are therefore used often. Deutsche Post delivers around 50 million letters of this type every day. Stamps with common denominations are therefore quite common and less rare, at least compared to their mint never hinged colleagues. Here too, it is worth taking a look at the catalog. If only to confirm that fact.

So what do we conclude from this?

Now one can certainly well imagine that when unused stamps are available for “pennies”, the canceled stamps of the same issue often cost many times more. Therefore, such postage stamps are often postmarked. Unfortunately, this happens with many stamp issues, even if the canceled ones are only worth a little more than the mint stamps in this issue. Therefore, an up-to-date examination by a recognized examiner, such as the "Bund Philatelistic Examiner - BPP" is often advisable. Especially with certain stamps that are at risk of forgery due to the cancellation. Unchecked canceled stamps of different issues are often almost "not for sale".

Determine the value of stamps yourself:

Before sending a stamp to the association auditor, you can evaluate your collector's item yourself:

  1. Take a catalog to hand (Michel, Philex, DNK ...). Look when the brand was issued was and how long they are valid for post was. to compare You this period with the date of the stamp. If the date of the stamp is not recognizable, don't get too many hopes ...
  2. Pick up the stamp with tweezers and hold it with the Back at an angle against a light sourceso that you can recognize the relief of the postmark from the postmark. You can recognize such a print through even with very "tenderly" chipped stamps, unless, unusually, it is not a steel stamp. If such a relief cannot be seen at all, caution is advised.
  3. Now you need a good magnifying glass and stamped Comparison pieces of the brand, that are real. Inspect both brands against each other without bias and let both stamp images work on you for the first time, take your time and repeat this. Notice differenceseven if you cannot define them precisely, needs to be checked more closely.
  4. Gather experience as often as possible through the action steps listed above and document them. It is advisable to have your own Album with comparative pieces to apply, especially by federal auditors for "incorrectly" checked pieces. You will be grateful!

Conclusion of the independent evaluation

The aforementioned steps cannot and should not replace the examination by a recognized association examiner. However, you can save yourself money and the examiner's time if you do not send in counterfeit stamps that you have exposed yourself in advance for the examination. Obvious stamp forgeries carry, for example, old stamps with new stamps, or stamps on which stamp images applied with a computer printer can be recognized by their rough appearance. Remember, however, that the examiner should always have the final say, so please don't be too quick to judge.

The time before the stamps

Incidentally, stamps have been around much longer than postage stamps. In front of the stamps, items were often franked in cash, and then a stamp was evidence of this. Usually, however, the recipient paid for the shipment, then the postmark was usually used as the posting stamp.