Stamps (Philately)/gum


As a newby stamp collector I have bought many many us stamps most of which I notice are the removed from envelopes type.  my question is when the definitions say no gum or used do these stamps I have fall into no gum or used, and are they really worth anything at all.  I know the gum is gone because of the soaking, but does that mean they are worthless, or do they now fall under no gum?  Hope this makes some sense.

Hello John,

Thanks for the question and welcome to this fun world of stamp collecting!

The issue of gum vs. no gum is one that has been going on for a long time.  I try to live by one simple philosophy.  To be a mint stamp, it must have the original gum (og) still on it, never have been hinged, and never cancelled.  In my opinion, it any of these criteria are not met, they it falls into the used category.  As for collecting, I try to find the best quality of the stamp I can.  I will place a used stamp in my album until I find that same one in mint condition and then replace it.

Thanks again for your question and let me know if I can be of any more help.

P.S.  Please remember to rate my reply to your inquiry.  Appreciate it.  

Stamps (Philately)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry Tipton


I have been involved in philately for most of my 56 years. I specialize in United States Issues and Postmarks. I have numerous reference sources to research if I do not know the answer. I am organized and promise swift courteous answers. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society. I also have my own philatelic mail order business.


As I mentioned, I have been collecting philatelic items for most of my 56 years. I have several albums of United States issues (most of them are pages I designed myself) and I also have numerous albums of postmarks sorted and researchhed by state.

American Philatelic Society, All Nations Stamp Club and Harford County Stamp Club

Linn's, All Nations Stamp Club Website, and local Newspaper

Awards and Honors
Board of Directors for Christmas in April 1990-1996

©2016 All rights reserved.