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seahorsefanatic

MISPERFORATION Vs PERFORATION SHIFT Vs BAD CENTRING

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seahorsefanatic

HI there all

 

Lately, I have noticed an interesting "twist" used by some sellers regarding whether a stamp is misperfed or has a perf shift when it ultimately only suffers from poor centering.

 

Stanley Gibbons rates perfect centering as the goal of the collector. Very early material when stamps were imperf or when perforations were in their infancy is relative and subjective depending on the level of sophistication of the process. Modern material therefore has no excuse. Today poorly centring is merely described as a shift of perfoaration and it is claimed increases the value and scarcity of a particular stamp. ( to the benefit of the seller of course ! )

 

Misperforation - poorly aligned perforations which result in unusual shaped stamps

Perforation shift - movement of perforations in any direction which causes the stamp design to be off centre.

 

The same argument surfaces when there is a shift in colour. Again where many colours are used to complete a design, minor shifts are common and the buyer misled by the claim that this is "out of the ordinary'. When looking at the following RSA stamps, colour shifts are common;

 

1966 - 5th Anniversary of Republic ( SACC 254-257)

1972 - Verwoerd Dam ( SACC 312-314 )

 

At the end of the day, " let the buyer beware "

 

Then we have those items that are listed as colour variations and large premiums are claimed by the sellers. This is common on the 1974 President Diederichs ( SACC 381 ), 1973 Unisa 5c ( SACC 342 ), 1964 Nursing ( SACC 248 ) and there are others. Whilst sun and the elements are the cause of most fading there are also other processes at play. Stamps with gold and silver colours can react differently to the rest of the colour spectrum depending on the conditions where they are kept. I have a number of the 1973 Unisa 5c stamps where the gold has changed to a greenish colour. ( tarnishing like brass and copper ? )

 

In summary, when looking at colour, perforations, centering, colour shifts etc one has to be very carefull at what is genuinely rare and not get caught up in the rush for something that ultimately is a 'weed ' in your collection. :smile1:

 

Collecting can be as technical as you want it to be but the lesson here is to do your homework before parting with your hard earned dollars. :idea:

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dstorm

Hello David

While I fully agree with you on just about everything that you have said, I do feel that there is a real demand on BidorBuy for even minor perforation shifts.

My criteria for a shifted perforation is that the perforation must actually touch the design of the stamp (I now that the later printings of the RSA ½c Kingfisher and 1c xxxxxxboom are disqualified from this).

BidorBuy now accounts for about 40% of my turnover, with the vast majority of items sold being items that are out of the ordinary. Items that were previously ignored (mostly by the “traditional” collectors) are now in high demand.

But I think that it cannot be stated enough that a stamp which is just badly centered is worth much less than a well centered stamp.

Just look at this week’s Weekend Specials. There is a 30c Second Definitive on which is just badly centered, just about useless. The seller has it listed as a LARGE PERF SHIFT!!!! (capitals and exclamation marks as per the seller). How anybody could want this item for his / her collection is beyond me. I would have loved to report this description to BidorBuy as misleading, but would rather not.

Keep well and regards

Jacques

(after 20 years of selling to you, I have finally bought something from you!)

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ATA STAMP CENTRE

HI JACQUES,DAVID

Valid points made and i agree that there are many misleading listings out there-Some are done on purpose to mislead and others are purely through inexperience-However as JACQUES states there is a demand for minor varieties and flaws previously ignored and discounted by the traditionalist and there is no harm in sensationalising these flaws to ensure good viewership of the item as long as no irresponsible claims are made-

Who knows one day there may be a specialist catalogue that will detail these flaws and varieties and give a guideline to the prices expected to be realised as there is a demand for these type of items.

Many times i am astounded that good commonwealth sets that i sell dont realise 25% of catalogue value but a minor flaw will realise a few hundred rand and reward the seller with a good return.Makes it worthwhile to spend time looking for these minor varieties/flaws and i am definitely discovering some flaws that i was not aware of every day and that cannot be a bad thing!!

neil

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seahorsefanatic

Hi there

 

While I agree that we need to move away from "traditionalism" to allow for more scope in collecting, I strongly disagree with "sensationalising these flaws to ensure good viewership" and hence sales as this gives the buyer the wrong impression as to the scarcity of the item and can influence the buyer into paying more for an item than its worth. All for the sake of sales.....I think not.

 

This also goes back to a thread I started regarding the term "fine mint" or "fine used". Sellers claim the term applies to their stamp which on its own is "fine" in condition but has a poor smudged cancellation. When describing a stamp all the factors need to be taken into account. What use is a "fine" stamp in a collection when its cancellation is smudged or heavy. I would rather have an off centre stamp with clear cancellation.

Obviously, the time period the stamp was issued reflects the type of cancellation used. Therefore any modern material ( post 1950 ) should be collected with clear circular cancellations. Circumstances in our modern world may also allow for poor cancellations due to wars, disasters, remote post offices, etc.

 

Going back to the original thread regarding perforation shifts and off centre stamps - I think they have a place in a collection but must be seen for what they are - common unless the perforation shift is out of the ordinary i.e. the perforations touch or are within the design of the stamp.

 

Bottom line - do not claim something is amazing, rare, sensational, extraordinary, never seen before, etc when it is not - then you may as well be like some estate agents who love to abuse adjectives to the point of distraction - lets try and keep it honest .

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ATA STAMP CENTRE

HI DAVID

Please read my post properly-i did say no irresponsible claims must be made-when i say sensationalising i mean a description such as "rarely offered".spectacular perf shift(out of ordinary),"no -one has a fdc like this"(when i know it is unique due to my additions)etc.These descriptions are not irresponsible and do create interest in the item-I do not over describe items and do not practise irresponsible and misleading advertising of my items-My track record would not be what it is if this was so.

NEIL

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seahorsefanatic

Hi Neil

 

I do not doubt your reputation but have a problem with the word " sensationalising " which the Collins Dictionary defines as :

 

" to cause things to seem more vivid, shocking, etc, than they really are "

 

We will agree to disagree on this one - thats what the forum is all about.

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ATA STAMP CENTRE

HI DAVE-

OK wrong choice of word-Lets define it as plain advertising with visual impact to increase viewership-Sounds better?You must understand listing fees are high and we have to be innovative to attract views-But i agree with you always to the point of honesty with perhaps a little leeway allowed for creative advertising.

neil

Edited by ATA STAMP CENTRE

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