Stamps (Philately)/stamp values

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Question
QUESTION: Hi Mark, I have been buying some stamps over the last few years and depending on who I talk to I have been getting mixed answers on what they might actually be worth. this is what I have, Scott # c-91 & c-92 1978 wright bros misperfed , color shifted pair,Scott# 328- Jamestown Expo set,Scott#255 1894 US Grant, Scott# 77P 1869 15Cent Abe Lincoln proof, Scott# 77 1866 15Cent Abe Lincoln, and an 1861 5Cent Thomas Jefferson proof rejection. All are in excellent condition and un-used and stored in acid free packaging. I do not have grading certificates for them, but there is a company that wants me to send them to them for grading and then claim they will send them back to me and eventually sell them for me. The company is Stanford Myers Investment Group in Las Vegas. Are you familiar with this company? What would you guess the values to be on these stamps and proofs? Any help would be much appreciated, Thank You in advance.

ANSWER: Ron,

Regarding the misperfs and color shifts, I should warn you that the market for error stamps is highly speculative.  In general, the more dramatic the error, the more an EFO (error, freak and oddity) collector is willing to pay to get it.  I recommend searching ebay.com for similar errors to get a feel for what buyers are paying.  Regarding the regular issue stamps, proofs and essays, you can look up the value of those items at your local library.  Ask at the reference desk for the Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers.  There you will find photographs and current values for every United States stamp ever issued, sorted by date of issue.  The proofs and essays are in a section near the back of the catalog - check the table of contents.  Note that the values listed in the Scott Catalog are for fault-free, eye-appealing examples.  Stamps in lesser condition change hands for less than catalog value.

Regarding Stanford Myers Investment Group, I've never heard of them.  Unless you are well experienced with stamps, I recommend staying away from buying them as an investment.  At a minimum, I would recommend to any novice buyer to not spend over $100 for any single stamp unless it is accompanied by a certificate from the American Philatelic Society (APS), the Philatelic Foundation (PF), Professional Stamp Experts (PSE), or Philatelic Stamp Authentication and Grading (PSAG).  Do not be concerned if the certificate does not include numerical grading.  Condition and eye-appeal are the key factors for any valuable stamp.  

Good luck!

-Mark Leon

I deal in United States Stamps
http://www.forwardedge.com/usmints.html
American Art Glass
http://www.forwardedge.com/accent.html
and Halloween Costumes!
http://www.forwardedge.com/costumes.html




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: How does one know if the certificates that Stanford Myers is offering to get for me are actually the real thing and is there typically a fee for them?

Answer
Ron,

The certificates from the services I mentioned are embossed with a seal and printed on security paper.  There is a per stamp expertizing fee for all four services that typically ranges $25 and up, based on the catalog value of the stamp.

-Mark Leon

Stamps (Philately)

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Mark Leon

Expertise

I am a collector of United States postage stamps, and also a stamp dealer. I`m a member of the American Philatelic Society (APS). My principle area of interest and expertise is in United States Stamps.

Experience

I've been selling stamps on the internet since early 1996. I maintain a stamp web page that concentrates on mint US stamps issued generally between 1890 and 2009. I'm an active seller on ebay.com since 1996, under the user id "mleon". You can find my web page at http://www.forwardedge.com/usmints.html

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1984.

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