El propósito de este blog es divulgar la historia filatélica de Honduras (en primer lugar, claro por ser mi país de origen) y de Centroamérica en general, promoviendo la filatelia en sí.

Además, el blog busca ser un medio para que cualquier amante de este bello hobby, pueda adquirir información sobre las últimas emisiones postales de la región y para poder hacer contacto con otros coleccionistas, de forma que puedan adquirir o intercambiar material filatélico de Centroamérica y del mundo en general.

Sea bienvenido a navegar por todo el blog.


3 de enero de 2016

Como entrenar su... "Ojo Filatélico"

Quiero compartirles un artículo escrito por Andrew McGavin, Autor y Director General de Universal Philatelic Auctions, UPA y que me llegó a través de la correspondencia digital que recibo de Linn's Stamp News. 

Se pierde demasiado en la traducción utilizando el traductor de Google, así que para evitarlo les copio literal el artículo:  

Over the years, one of the most important and overlooked aspects of "understanding quality" that I have noticed – is ..... amazingly ....., that many collectors do not carefully examine their purchases – but more than that – they don't appear to know "how" – and that is perhaps because nobody has ever explained 'how to train your philatelic eye'.

How have I reached this rather fundamental conclusion? I have lost count of the times that I have handed over a x10 magnifying glass to collectors, inviting them to look at the stamp we are examining together. Most collectors do not realise that the focussing distance of the most practical magnifying glass is actually having their eye and the 'glass' approximately one to two inches from the stamp. That is how close you need to get in to examine the detail of a stamp.

Understanding this opens so many doors to what you are actually looking at and what you may start looking for.

Now that you are perhaps thinking of examining stamps "closer up" than before – start by consciously selecting a point that you will consistently start from – say the top left north west (NW) corner ... then actually work your way "clockwise" around the stamp. What you are now doing is 'disciplining' your eye to work to a pattern – you'll be conscious of this to begin with – but soon it will become an unconscious efficient process which will prove invaluable when looking for varieties.

1. Start by examining the perforations all of the way round the stamp, are any too short, "pulled" or missing? Don't forget to look for "closed tears" – or even scissor cuts. Closed tears are easily missed – but easily detected if you look for fine lines emanating from the perforations and running into the design. (Tip – flex the stamp gently, but not with your fingers! – a good time is when filing the stamp into a mount or stock-card).

Depending upon scarcity of the stamp, one pulled out/missing perforation – upon a commonly available stamp is not acceptable when you can so easily have a perfect example. The scarcer and older the more 'forgiving' you can become.

2. Now examine the margins/centring of the design to the perforations or the width of margins of an imperforate stamp. How off-centre a stamp are you prepared to have in your collection? This can have a big impact upon price in classic issues, and in modern issues – do you need it – when you may relatively easily obtain better.

3. Next, look for thins or pinholes – not just upon the reverse - but also for facial abrasions. Thinning has one of the heaviest impacts upon price. Hold the stamp against good quality background light – preferably a "daylight" type bulb. Invest in a good quality desk-light – seldom seen when I visit collectors to value their collections.

4. Now, check the colours of the stamp – are they "true" – how do they compare with other stamps in your collection. Beware of faded stamps; consider the period of stamp you are working with – for example Queen Victoria GB often have crayon marks (from registered envelopes) – stamp 'improvers' often 'reduce' such marks in an attempt to reduce their overall impact upon the stamps appearance.

5. Is the stamp "toned"? – if mint – is the gum creamier than it should be. In this area – everything is 'relative' – toning on a modern stamp within the last 50 years is pretty unacceptable as it is unnecessary to accept it. Earlier stamps – a degree of overall toning becomes more acceptable and in some cases virtually the only quality available. But, beware of tone/rust spots – these can be severe. As with everything the degree of severity affects the price. Remember that some stamps the gum was always brownish, creamy or off-white. In the British Empire KGVI 'key types' high values, for example, a brownish streaked gum often indicates an early printing which actually went to the colonies.

6. Toning in used stamps – this can often be minimised – even eradicated with careful repeated application of a difficult to obtain product called "fox-it". Try "Googling" for 'fox-it + stamps". Be careful – "fox-it" type products are a bleaching anti-fungal – apply from the reverse in numerous applications – dried in between each application – watch for fugitive facial colour "leaching".

7. Creasing – look for creases – minor bends/ gum bends are common in classic issues and in some cases hard to purchase the stamp without such. In used stamps – particularly the "top" end a pressed out crease can as much as halve the value of the stamp, sometimes more. Look for a crease as you would look for a phosphor band – let the light from your desk-lamp glance across the surface of the stamp. Remember that all creases are not vertical – diagonal, even horizontal are common. 

Victorian/classic stamps are likely to have the highest chance of bearing a crease. A crease can convert an 'exhibition' appearance stamp to an 'also-ran' worth 50% or less. Be aware that heavy creases are often 'pressed out' – so the crease could be a "finer" line. "Improvers" use "hydraulic presses" these days to eradicate creases.

8. Look at the postmark – is it a beauty? Stateside you have a philatelic phrase which has 'travelled' – SON - otherwise "socked on the nose" – probably the finest quality of a used stamp is a full crisp clear cancel beautifully positioned and with perfect balance/harmony between adhesive and postmark. However there are many who term a contemporary part CDS (circular date stamp) cancel as the finest quality sought – particularly clear of profile is highly desirable in typically heavily cancelled Queen Victoria line engraved issues such as the 2d blue. No matter how 'sound' the stamp, the heavier the cancellation – the lower the resale price.

     Finally consider that a combination of defects – whilst acceptable in the unique British Guiana (which realised about US$10 million) – are less and less acceptable in lesser high-flying stamps. When you are considering the value of a stamp – it helps not to think of 'how many US$'s or GBP£'s to deduct for this or that' – a sure-fire way to confuse oneself – think in terms of ... is this a super-fine stamp – in which case you may think to yourself it's an X % of catalogue value example, incrementing down to it's a 'space-filler' with multiple faults worth say 5% to 10% of catalogue value to you – or no value at all to you – if it lowers the tone of your collection too much.

     By adopting a systematic approach to examining stamps you will soon "train your philatelic eye" so that all of what I have written automatically, effortlessly and enjoyably becomes second nature to you.

If you start to think how faults relate to value this will stand you in good stead when understanding quality.

     This is Part II – In part I of "Understanding Quality" we discussed the benefits of stamps being "flat" (!) and just how helpful this is in making quality comparisons. I hope that you have been making comparisons between the "best" and most expensive dealers internet illustrations and those of other vendors at say, eBay.

     Have you been horrified at what you have seen? Certainly we are – regularly. We don't profess to be perfect – and with up to 28,000 lot quarterly auctions we are always going to make our share of errors too – but never deliberately and always guaranteed by prompt full refund or credit if required...

...So – if you would like to receive my Stamp "Tips of The Trade" and/Or a free 28,350 lot auction catalogue by airmail whilst you View your catalogue on-line – I urge you to please click the link – you've nothing to lose and plenty to gain PLUS to get you started – if you're new to my auctions and live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or West Europe your 1st US$84 auction winnings are FREE so that you can test my auction without risk or obligation - start here now:

Thanks for "listening" ... may I wish You A Happy New Year to come

Andrew presentando an The Kay Goodman Philatelic Lecture Philatelic Congress in Great Britain in 2015
PS YES, that's right – Your 1st US$84 FREE so you can test my Unique Buyers Premium FREE auctions without risk and all lots fully Guaranteed

PPS If you've enjoyed this article ... please don't hesitate to sign up for my regular free 'Stamp Tips of The Trade' ... philately is a wonderful hobby – but I remember 50 years ago when I was starting – nobody gave me advice on some of the information I've touched on today ... and sadly nobody has written about 'How to Train Your Philatelic Eye' till today... Here's the links to get started: 

And for my Tips of The Trade – sign up here:

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