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Stamps (Philately)/curious about a found stamp.


I found this stamp in a house I was contracted to demolish. It looks gold and its in a protected plastic case covered by velvet. On the envelope its enclosed in. It says "Pacific Coral Reef" "Magnificent Sea Anemone & Pink Anemonefish." Then stamped under mid of envelope. Is Honolulu HI, January 2, 2004, 96820. And to the right says FIRST DAY OF ISSUE.
The stamp on the envelope is the same print as the protected gold stamp. USA 37 is the cost of it. It claims to be trademarked and copyrighted US postal service. What is its value? And any information about it would be greatly appreciated.thank you.

Hi Delsey,
  Well, these things are actually quite common.  The gold "replica" is really virtually worthless.  They were a marketing gimmick used by a few groups, Franklin Mint and the "Postal Commemorative Society", both of which are pretty worthless.  The claim from some are 22k gold, and while that may be slightly true, it's not really the real picture.  They coat a "carrier" (basically tin foil) with a near vapor layer of 22k gold, which has effectively 0 value.  Then they sell the replica with a "First day cover" of a modern stamp as a "collectible" to the unsuspecting.  In truth, stamp collectors are not interested in these, and hence have no actual collector value.  The First Day Cover is likely the most valuable element of such replicas (it's a real first day cover of the stamp), but because this is a modern stamp, there are millions, making their scarcity very low.  This stamp is position f of the sheet "Pacific Coral Reef", there are 9 stamps on the commemorative sheet (Scott Catalog #3831), 3831f is as you described: "Pink anemonefish, magnificent sea anemone".  It has a value of 90cents as a MINT stamp, as a First Day Cover, the value is $1.25.
  Wish I had better news for you, but this is not much a treasure.
Hope that helps,

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

Member of APS #222356.

1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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100's too numerous to mention.

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