Showing posts from September, 2015

Much Ado About Catalogue Values - Clearing Up Common Misconceptions

There are probably few topics in philately that are of greater consequence and that involve more misunderstanding among collections and dealers alike than catalogue values. It has been my experience over the past 37 years that most collectors have a wholly unrealistic idea of the relationship between catalogue values and market values, and what they should expect to pay for the stamps in their collection. This lack of realism exists on both sides of the spectrum: collectors who think that their stamps are worth way more than they actually are, and those who think that stamps that are actually scarce and expensive should be way cheaper.

One of the most widely held, and in my opinion mistaken beliefs about the relationship between market value and catalogue value is that market value is always a more or less fixed percentage of the catalogue value. You can often hear collectors say:"I never pay more than 1/3 of Gibbons", "Gibbons is way overpriced" or " I never …

The 1875-1888 Registered Stamps


In 1875 the post office department decided that it was desirable to have a separate series of stamps for the payment of registration fees. The stamps were not to be valid for postage - only for the payment of registration. Having a separate set of stamps made accounting for the revenue generated by registration services easier to determine. This may have been one of the reasons behind the issuance of these stamps.

There were three separate rates at this time for registration:

2 cents for local letters.
5 cents for US letters
8 cents for letters to the UK.

The 8c rate was very short lived, lasting only until the end of January 1, 1878, when the rate to the UK was decreased to 5 cents. In 1889, the domestic registration fee was increased from 2 cents to 5 cents. The postal regulations were relaxed somewhat, in order to use up stocks of the 2c, so that as long as a letter bore at least one 2c registered stamp, the remaining 3c could be paid with either regular stamps or a combin…