Volume 95, October 2004

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    Plate Block FAQ
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Overall prices for plate blocks are still on the rise. As always there are pockets of strength and weakness. We endeavor to bring some of these to your attention as our research allows.

As most of you are aware, we are in a unique position to evaluate the market. It isn't rocket science to determine when certain stamps are in demand, nor when they are in short supply. We make every effort to keep our inventory in balance, but with so many items and no true source to obtain them it is truly a difficult task. Some of the following plate blocks and souvenir sheets are increasingly difficult to locate at this time and we recommend that you expend extra effort to find them if you don't already own them.

Nearly all of the issues NOT in our catalog fall into that category, especially the early issues before Scott No. 611 and the Kansas Nebraska overprints (Scott Nos. 658 through 679). Very Fine never hinged plate number blocks of many of these stamps are becoming more scarce with every passing day. It is not that they don't exist, it is more that they are held in collections which are not for sale at this time. Given the fact that collectors are wont to sell their best stamps, that some will be passed down to the next generation it is sometimes years before they come to market. Additionally, when a collection does surface it generally has only one each of the most desirable items. Catalog prices reflect the scarcity and continue to escalate almost monthly.

Regarding more modern issues, the situation is not much different. More issues than we would like have been deleted from our current catalog because we have none and despite our efforts have no idea when we will be able to accumulate enough to offer them again.

The following is a partial list of recent issues that we regard as worthy of inclusion in any collection

World War II issues….. five different issues (Scott Nos. 2559, 2697, 2765, 2838, and 2981). Some of these stamps are more difficult than others to locate but ultimately we feel that full sets will be most desirable.

Scott No. 2524A: The 29 cent Tulip issue with perforation 13 x 12 ¾

Scott No. 2998a : The 60 cent Eddie Rickenbacker issue with large date

Scott No. 3014-17: A plate number coil of eight stamps.

Scott No. 3072-76: Indian Dances, plate block of ten stamps.

Scott No. 3226 : Alfred Hitchcock, plate block of four stamps and pane of twenty

Scott No. 3277: Flag over City issue, water activated

Scott Nos. 3409 through 3413: Five Souvenir Sheets issued in July of 2000.

Scott No. 3446: Edward G Robinson plate block of four stamps and pane of twenty

Scott No. 3469: 34 cent Flag over Field water activated

Scott No. 3653-6: Teddy Bears plate block of four, ten, and pane of twenty

Scott No. 3787-91: Lighthouses plate block of ten and pane of twenty

With regard to stamps that are evidencing weakness during the past few months, there are two areas that stand out. First, promotional stamps, mostly involved with the issuance of the state quarters. For the most part they are stamps that were not particularly desirable prior to the promotion. As a result of said promotion they were bid up in value to an unsustainable price. Many of these stamps have slipped back to a more reasonable value.

The second category is Air Mail issues. As a group, they have not increased much in value and some, even among the earliest issues, have actually declined.

The five cent Sea Coast plate number coil has been reissued in many forms. As of this date it is available in the following varieties:

Scott No. 3693 self adhesive with 2002 date

Scott No. 3775 water activated with 2003 date

Scott No. 3785 self adhesive with 2003 date

Scott No, 3864 water activated with 2004 date

Unnumbered at this time self adhesive with 2004 date, has no perfs on top or bottom