The Philatelic Traders’ Society are delighted to announce the launch of the Stampex Talks; a series of informal talks hosted by some of philately’s leading experts and held at Stampex International from 11-14 September 2019.
“Over the last few months we have been looking at several ways to bring the exhibition element of philately back into Stampex. Visitors have enjoyed the small number of talks we have previously hosted and feedback has been that they would like to see more. We are delighted to be working with leading organisations within the philatelic community to launch the first series of Stampex Talks this Autumn.”
Suzanne Rae, Chairman, The Philatelic Traders' Society
The schedule of talks is below.
Bill Hedley Chairman of the ABPS Exhibitions and International Committee as he shares his wisdom on how to exhibit competitively.
Matt Hill Publisher of Stamp Collector Magazine as he talks to leading philatelists Edward Klempka & Frank Walton.
Stuart Aitken Curator, Philately at The Postal Museum will take you on a journey celebrating the 100 anniversary of transatlantic airmail.
Oscar Young from Stanley Gibbons as he uncovers more on the world of philately why are stamps issued, how to spot an errors, quirks in printing
Postal History Treatment Peter McCann in Association with ABPS
It is wonderful to see collectors exhibit. The hobby can sometimes mean that pieces of philately are bought and placed in a private collection and then not celebrated & seen by the general public. Exhibiting ensures people are showing some of their collections.
For the trade in general, this helps to generate sales as collectors spend more money on stamps to enhance their exhibits. Sometimes this can mean driving up prices as they work to display an exhibit by a set date. A collector will move from simply buying items they love to buying items they require for their exhibitions. A good dealer will work alongside collectors to help them fulfill their collection & ensure they are showing their best possible display. A dealer will work to help find pieces which might be missing.
When other collectors see their exhibitions it can lead to them collecting within this area, which means that you can restock pieces and it, can open up new fields and areas of interest. As the exhibitor becomes more knowledgeable, they may write a book. This always gets new collectors interested in a specific field. For instance, David Rouse wrote a book on Rainbow and this increased the number of people collecting different colours.
Exhibitors normally attend the show they are exhibiting in. When the medal results are out and the judges critique the entries, it in effect giving the exhibitor a shopping list which the dealers at the show can help them with.
The more money spent & the more people celebrating the hobby always filters down and indirectly or directly has a positive impact on all dealers & in turn the hobby as a whole.
By Mark Bloxham
With social media dominating so much of our free time nowadays it is easy to get ‘bogged down’ by the millions of accounts there are to choose from to follow. So, how do we know which one is the worthiest of our time? How do we know that by following a specific account that the content of each post will enrich our knowledge of the specific area of interest that individual account will give us? In this article we will guide you on which YouTube channels we feel are the most informative and helpful, not just from a personal perspective but also from a business point of view.
We start by wondering what type of content is useful. The answer to this is clear – what is it you would like to know? Is it perhaps improving the general look and feel for your brand? Is it to enrich the quality of the posts that you are sharing with your client base? Is it to show them the best material you have to offer? We can not only demonstrate verbally the importance of what it is we are introducing and sharing with the world, but also visually. A personal interaction does tend to get the best outcome as it puts a face to a name.
The PTS has put together some of what we feel are the most informative channels and would encourage you to familiarise yourselves with the content for your future philatelic reference.
Graham, the brains behind the Exploring Stamps channel, at time of writing, has almost 5,000 followers on YouTube, making him one of the biggest philatelic YouTube influencers. Graham frequently posts videos about specific stamps giving the audience a full break down on the stamps’ history and background in intimate detail. His videos are bite-size (between 6 and 12 minutes) and most have been watched thousands of times by audiences across the globe. Please read the comments on his videos to see what impact these videos are having on people’s love of stamps.
One of his most recent additions to his channel focussed on ‘The Apollo 15 Scandal’ and gave lots of information about a thematic stamp which featured the moon, a topical stamp for this year with 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing which took place in July 1969.
Image Below: Graham from Exploring Stamps
This YouTube account has almost 2,000 subscribers with lots of videos featuring a wide range of content from what philatelic material Royal Mail is launching next to insights on their staff. This really is a varied and informative account which makes interesting viewing.
One of Royal Mail’s most recent clips shows their release of the world-famous Marvel stamps which is both vibrant and highly collectable and will hopefully entice younger audiences into the world of philately by using an identifiable product.
Image Below: An example of a Royal Mail van
The Postal Museum
Many people may not know about The Postal Museum, or even what they do so their YouTube channel, with over 300 subscribers, is a tool which will reach audiences who may not have thought too much about philately or what even happens to a letter once it is posted. You can find all this content on their channel.
There is a 6 minute video which shows the journey of a letter from being written to when it finally arrives at its destination which is a lovely piece to share with people of all ages as it really focuses on the art of writing a letter and then demonstrates how technology is used during transit and then takes us back to the personal aspect of the letter being delivered and the joy of receiving it once it has landed in the recipients’ hands.
Image Below: The Postal Museum's Mail Rail
This channel boasts over 2,000 subscribers and has many videos detailing various collections that have been available to purchase through Sandafayre. This ‘video viewing‘ is a useful tool to show your clients what you have for sale without them making the trip to come and see the collection.
The first video you are faced with on this channel is presented by Vincent Green, Chairman of Sandafayre who talks the viewer through an album of USA stamps. Vincent gives some details about the items in the collection and gives the viewer a good insight as to the items the collection comprises of and reiterates the joy that stamps can bring to a collector.
Image Below: Vincent from Sandafayre
Mark Bloxham Stamps
Heavily centred around the Great Britain market, Mark Bloxham’s channel contains a lot of videos many of which have had several thousand views.
One video in particular is a beginners’ guide to collecting with details about what to look for in a stamp, the areas of collecting interest and the differences in quality that will ultimately determine a stamp’s value. This gives an insight to those who may not know where to begin with collecting and should ultimately give a budding collector a good starting point on where to build their collection from.
Image Below: Publication from Mark Bloxham Stamps Ltd.
Stamp & Coin Mart Magazine
Whilst the content may not be as up to date as some other channels, the content in this channel is still very rich. Stamp and Coin Mart magazine, or Stamp Collector magazine as it is now known, produce The PTS Membership Directory and the bi-annual Stampex International Show Guides. On this channel they visually show the audience upcoming snippets of what they are putting on the market and this gives the viewer a little taster of what they could have as well as descriptive video content about specific stamps.
There are many interviews on this feed one of which features PTS Member Paula Cant from Paula Cant Stamps whilst at The Business Design Centre, home of Stampex International, who gives an insight as to how she got into stamp collecting and her specific area of interest and what stamps are available for sale. This is a great way to show how diverse philately can be with the different thematic stamps there are available with so many variants for collectors.
Image Below: All About Stamps YouTube logo
Do you have a YouTube Channel where you promote philately in new and engaging ways? Or do you know of a channel you think passionate philatelists would be interested in? Add your comments below.
Follow us on social media @ptsandstampex to keep up to date with what the PTS is up to and subscribe to the free Stampex International newsletter at www.stampexinternational.co.uk/newsletter.html
Guest blog by Brian Austin, Buckingham Covers, a proud PTS member and Stampex International stand holder.
The PTS website provides some brief guidelines for those interested in valuing a stamp collection. Of course, how we define value differs from person to person but the context of this website page refers to possible financial value. The PTS outlines some factors which would generally suggest that a collection may have financial value. The PTS also outlines some factors which would generally indicate that a collection is unlikely to have any significant financial value. Under this latter section, the PTS states that “First Day Covers from the last 30 – 40 years are less likely to have value and that prices offered may be less than what one might have hoped for”. This is not a statement I, or we as a company agree with, so we were pleased to be asked by the PTS to write an article detailing more information about which covers should have a better future.
Any newcomer to cover collecting needs to do some research, decide what you are, and aren’t going to collect and learn the importance of condition, stamps and postmark.
So what is a First Day Cover, well in the simplest terms it is a set of stamps affixed to an envelope postmarked on the day they are issued. Most collectors will take this to the next stage by putting their stamps on a special illustrated envelope and getting a postmark connected to the issue.
If there is a new set of stamps with flowers on, use an envelope with a flower picture and take it to the Post Office near Kew Gardens to get a postmark. So from my notes above this has covered the research and postmark part (Kew has a good flowers connection). To cover the other parts, stamps, I would say that 90% of people collect covers with the full sets of stamps on one cover and this is what I advise you should do.
Finally condition, try and stick the stamps neatly so that the postmark will be able to be seen clearly (sometimes tricky with full sets). Send it to postmarking in another envelope and include one to send it back in. Address it lightly in pencil, never in pen and if possible don’t type. Addressing a cover is always tricky, Royal Mail regulations say you need an address on the cover, but when it comes to selling it, does another collector want a cover with your address on it?
So what tips can I give you on buying First Day Covers, well the above is not a bad place to start, clean covers, full sets of stamps and a connected postmark. To this I would add make sure it is first day. Just because it looks like one or has a special postmark it might not be. Get a catalogue and don’t be afraid to check your dates before you buy.
More and more people are not now collecting every new issue but picking and choosing which to collect. You could collect a certain period e.g. covers of the 1970s or by theme e.g. trains or even First Day Covers issued at Stampex.
So should you collect covers for investment? Well no, like anything, collect them for enjoyment and if they go up in value then that is a bonus. As a company we advertise the covers that have gone up in value and the ones we are buying, but are not allowed to use the word investment. Stamps and Covers are like anything, we don’t know what will go up in value, if we did why would we tell anyone? We do, through our experience, know what should be a good issue and what might be an error, a rare stamp, a cover that we have only seen a few times, or never before, and this is what keeps us looking through collections, dealers stocks and auctions.
I can say three things that we are not looking for and do not buy and would advise you to steer clear yourself:
I wrote once that I kept a First Day Cover Catalogue with my spare tyre in the boot of my car, and a good collector will hopefully use it more than the wheel, but which one should you buy? If you have got this far in my ramblings I am happy to send you one of ours free ‘The Collectors Guide 1840 – 1970’ (email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address quoting PTSFREE) this lists all the early issues plus some secret tips. For a good general catalogue covering everything, you need ‘The Booth Catalogue – Collect GB First Day Covers’. For something more specialised with strength in the different types of covers since 1971, look for a copy of Collecting British First Day Covers by Adrian Bradbury. I would say that you do not need to buy a new catalogue every year, in fact I regularly see collectors using the same old one, once you know your way round a particular edition it is easier to stick with it.
To sum up the above, like anything, you will get out of First Day Cover collecting what you put in. You may be completely happy with what you are collecting, but with a little time you could be producing or buying a much better first day cover, to take pride of place in your collection.
We approached Editor of Stamp Collector Magazine, Matt Hill for his take on online media trends concerning philately and philatelic publications. Matt details his views below.
Stamp Collector is definitely benefitting from our wider approach, which incorporates email, social media and our already popular website www.allaboutstamps.co.uk . The website isn’t just an extension of the magazine or a place to buy single issues and subscriptions, it’s an entity of its own, with a large audience of engaged stamp collectors.
So the print publication is a vital part of what we do and how we deliver content and advertisements to collectors, but it is one part of a larger stamp collecting brand. Just like the magazine, the website combines useful, interesting content with market insight articles, dealer advice, and our dealer directory, giving collectors all they need to make informed decisions and buy new material. Naturally some content will be used across the different platforms (though often in different formats to suit the medium), but much of the material is produced specifically for the web and/or for print.
Of course, selling magazines in the shops and at stamp fairs is still a hugely important part of our business, the website and regular emails increase our reach even further, and we do see many sales of single issues and subscriptions via these online channels. As many stamp dealers will appreciate, the online activity also means we’re reaching a global audience, reflecting the international aspect of the hobby and the popularity of auction sites such as ebay, and it’s very exciting to have these different platforms and be able to reach collectors in so many different ways.
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The PTS has approached keen philatelist Edward Klempka for his take on Rowland Hill’s Postal Reforms. Edwards explains below.
On 5th December 1839 the uniform 4d post was introduced in Great Britain and Ireland. On 10th January 1840 the rate of postage was further reduced to 1d for a letter despatched to any part of the Kingdom. The 1d rate was available for letters of a weight of less than 1/2 ounce, heavier letters were charged 2d for the first ounce and an additional 2d for each additional ounce. Crucially letter had to be prepaid; or if posted unpaid were subject to an additional charge (double the prepaid fee).
This benefit was considerable; citizen’s, merchant's and business men could communicate with each other at considerably reduced cost. These reforms are credited as being one of the significant catalysts that fed the growth of the Industrial Revolution.
Fig 1 illustrates an envelope which was posted at Exeter on 15th February 1840 and prepaid 1d for its journey to London, upon arrival the letter was turned and returned unpaid to Exeter on 17th February 1840. Upon arrival the recipient was charged 2d upon delivery.
Whilst today it seems rather obvious that Postage Stamps, Cancellation devices and Postal Stationery are available; but to the postal reformers of 1840 it was far from obvious.
Questions needed to be answered;
- What form of prepayment method was to be used. Initially postage was paid in cash, but on 6th May 1840 the 1d Black and 2d Blue postage stamps was issued together with prepaid Mulready stationery. The use of postage stamps and stationery evidenced the prepayment.
Fig 2 shows a cover franked with 1d Black, paying postage of 1/2 ounce, posted Halifax 28th July 1840 and addressed to Keighley.
Fig 3 illustrates 2d Blue paying postage of up to 1 ounce, posted Cromarty 24th June 1840 addressed to Edinburgh and at Fig 4 can be found an illustration of a Mulready letter sheet used from Bristol 8th May 1840 addressed to Oxford.
- Stamps and stationery were to be cancelled so as to ensure they could not be easily reused. The cancellation devise chosen (Figs 2 3 and 4) was the Maltese Cross obliterator. Post office instruction to Post Masters set out the composition and colour of the ink to be used to cancel the stamps and stationery.
- Higher rates of postage, other fees and payments for overseas postage continued to be paid in cash.
The reforms have stood the test of time as almost 180 years later most of the world postal authorities have introduced these measures and I doubt if Rowland Hill ever imagined that his reforms would create a new world wide hobby of stamp collecting.
Fig 1 & 2 Figs 3 & 4
The PTS will be hosting its Annual General Meeting on 12 September 2019 during the week of Stampex International this Autumn, at The Business Design Centre from 6pm. If you wish to attend we would greatly appreciate you confirming your attendance so that we can add you to our list.
We have recently launched a closed Facebook group for our Members. Are you a Member and would like to join and hear about exclusive industry updates and special offers? Then please click the link below and we'll gladly approve you!
Please note that this is only for PTS Members and Page Admins will decline non-members who apply.
New for 2019, The PTS will be running a series of exciting competitions each month with some fabulous prizes to be won. The PTS Team is working hard for you to obtain some wonderful prizes.
For your chance to enter, visit www.stampexinternational.com