EXPERTIZING & AUTHENTICATION
Expertizing and authentication is very important in todays stamp market with many stamps worth significant value. Collectors who spend more than $50 per stamp are considered advanced and can amass a valuable collection over time. As they add scarce and expensive items, it is important to be sure you are getting full value for your collecting dollar. You may have a favorite dealer or two and may even purchase occasionally at auction. These are all great sources of philatelic material but must be researched with the same due diligence we employ when buying a house or buying a used car Many sources claim to be ‘expert’, and for that matter, may know everything ‘about’ a particular stamp or set or collecting area.
However, ‘expertizing’ a stamp is completely different than knowing all the different shades and varieties of a particular stamp. This isn’t to say that knowing the shades is not important and that it is vital for proper identification. However, the real rub comes down to experience in examining stamps for faults, repairs, reperfs and alterations..
What tell-tale signs do you look for in checking for reperfs or checking for professionally cleaned cancels on Classic stamps? This experience is rare indeed and takes many years of submersion in the subject to become proficient. Further, it is now very important to master the new and evolving available forensic equipment. Expertizing has graduated from the ‘Geezers with tweezers’ to the philatelic and forensic expert of the future. Without these new devices, it is very difficult or impossible to detect some of the modern professional repair techniques. Removed cancels, faint watermarks and professional alterations are very difficult to detect using the old ‘dipping’ in watermark fluid or using a standard long and short wave UV light.
Thus, it is prudent and wise to get items of significant value examined by PSAG, the leader in advanced expertizing techniques. Even if you have full confidence in your stamp sources, it is best to check the higher value items. And when it comes time to sell your prized collection, dealers and auction firms offer significantly more when they see that you took care in your purchases and have key items certified. It simply takes the guesswork and worry out of the equation.
A quick example of the value of certification becomes clear when you compare certified vs. uncertified stamp realizations at auction. Openly competitive bidders are willing to pay more for items with certification as opposed to lower prices for uncertified philatelic material. It is just the simple fact of removing the questionable nature of a stamps quality and therefore value. Without the worries, bidders are much more aggressive with certified stamps. PSAG Authentication and Grading engenders that feeling of trust and authority. Our experts are drawn from the leaders in all fields of specialization, from front-of-the-book to back-of-the-book issues. Most have over 30 years experience and some over 50 years experience.
Finally, PSAG hopes you enjoy this most fascinating hobby and take the time and judgment to insure your philatelic purchases. Many collectors only find out the facts about their stamp acquisitions when selling. It is best to know long before that. Remember the old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Make wise decisions and buy with confidence with PSAG authentication and grading certification. You won’t regret it.