In my areas of interest, I usually stay with mint. That is not always possible, so I will take a stamp, no matter. As stated by others, it is nearly impossible to obtain non CTO from certain countries. If I have a CTO and find the same stamp in mint then I switch them around. To me a stamp is a stamp, is a stamp.
Hi everyone! I'm a newbie from India.I recently found my childhood collection, and am trying to examine whether I have any fakes and cinderellas.
A lot of stamps from south-east Asian countries and from the middle east in my collection seem to be CTO's. Some of them seem to have printed cancellations and no gum. My question is, do they qualify as genuine stamps? Or are they just colour printouts and thus fakes? I don't mind hand stamped CTO's, but these ones just look fake!
Also, could someone give me tips on how to identify CTO's? Please redirect me if it has been discussed in a previous thread.
Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
In the past 30 years, CTOs have gotten a little more complicated. They used to be easy to identify -- identically positioned same year corner cancels on gummed stamps, sometimes (but not always) lacking specific date cancel. Examples include 1960s-1970s stamps from the Trucial States (often only year cancel), and stamps from Eastern Europe in the 1960s-1970s.
Back then, the only real confusion would be with "favor" cancels, bulk payment cancels, remainder cancels, and fake cancels.
Since the 1980s, a new type of "CTO" has come out in which the cancel is actually printed during the production process, not applied afterwards. This is somewhat similar to some of the pre-printed French precancels. I do not consider these to be "CTO" (my opinion), but cinderellas. The reasoning -- they were never valid for postage. In my opinion, a genuine CTO is a stamp that was originally valid for postage, but cancelled and sold as cancelled so that the stamp is no longer valid for postage. The pre-printed CTOs of SE Asia and Africa, common in the 1990s and 2000s were never valid for postage. In fact, some of those CTOs don't even exist without the pre-printed cancel -- I consider those not only cinderellas, but bogus stamps. A few of those, in fact, are illegal bogus stamps.
I'll try to start a thread on identifying CTOs, and the various types, sometime this week or next. Or if someone else wants to start one, that's fine with me.
The reasoning -- they were never valid for postage.
I tend to agree with you there khj ,. They're no better than cheap colour printouts IMHO.
But, where does that put the new FDC's I get every few months from my post office? Saw a post about servicing FDC's, could you explain what that means?
Another question, and it's a bit silly. How do I know if there's gum at the back of a CTO, or for that matter, any stamp? A lot of the new stamps don't have the yellowish tinge of adhesive at the back. And do miniature/souvenir sheets have adhesive at the back or are they just meant for collectors?
Some CTO's (I think) from my collection. All 3 are listed in the Michel catalogue according to Colnect.
Will have to use my phone camera till I get a scanner.
Yes, all 3 of those stamps are CTOs. On most bulk produced CTOs, the cancel is not the same as the cancel used at the post offices. So it is not just a matter of clean corner cancel, but the cancel type itself gives it away.
Most (not all) CTOs were sold with gum. But I've seen plenty of CTOs that are not gummed -- I assumed they were soaked by a previous owner. I've got a few "bricks" of CTOs that I had packed too tightly in a glassine and left them laying flat under a stack of stuff one humid summer.
Here in the US, contemporary first day covers can be obtained in several ways (some methods may now be obsolete, as I no longer collect FDCs):
1) purchase as blank cover (no cachet) with stamp already affixed with first day cancel -- I consider these to be CTO 2) mail off to issuing post office in prescribed time limit, they apply cancel with back-dated first day cancel and they mail the cover back to you -- this is genuine postally used stamp, but I would consider it a type of "favor cancel" (few people do this anymore because cover is too easily damaged) 3) present stamped cover to issuing post office for first day cancel -- favor cancel, but not CTO and not genuine postally used 4) purchase from first day cover dealer (they typically have it favor-canceled in large batches) 5) stick it on an envelope and mail it from the issuing post office on the first day of issue -- I like these, but they are often philatelic mail rather than personal/business mail
Once you soak it off cover, can't really tell if it is CTO, genuine postally used, or favor cancel... The only exception would be #5, if you can get an example with a normal cancel on the first day of issue (rather than special "FIRST DAY OF ISSUE" cancel.
On a side note, and example of philatelic mail on the first day of issue comes from UN philatelic mail for subscribers to new issues. UNPA typically mails them out on one of the new issue days, so all the mail you get from them typically has First Day Cancels and are genuine postally used! Here is an example:
Regarding the gum -- yes, some of the European stamps in the past 2-3 decades have a nearly invisible "dry" gum. People have asked regarding this problem with determining "mint" stamps, not just CTOs -- "is the stamp mint, or unused with no gum?". Of course, the self-adhesive stamps have nearly put an end to that. But the problem remains for those stamps that were already issued with "invisible dry gum". There are only a couple of US issues that have the problem, including the 50-stamp 20¢ state birds/flowers stamps. I tore up a whole pane of them to use for postage, thinking the previous owner had soaked off the gum. Then I noticed the stamps were sticking to my fingers as I was putting them on the envelope. Then I remember, invisible dry gum...
Hmm, will have to ask my local Philatelic Bureau if they service FDC's. Thanks for that info!
Those UN stamps look neat! Just saw the UNPA website. Unfortunately they don't have an official sales outlet in India. Will have to fill up a standing instruction form, but it'll be beastly expensive to get those stamps from abroad via registered mail. I guess getting an annual subscription makes sense.
I used to do a lot of mailings (batches of hundreds).
It took me awhile to adjust to the self-adhesive stamps. Everyone told me it was so much easier. But I'm a creature of habit. I don't use a sponge. I'm a literal "lick-n-stick" guy (I believe in leaving a little of my DNA on every piece of mail I send out!).
After accidentally licking a few self-adhesives (yuck) in my rush to get the mailings out, I made sure I separated my lick-n-sticks from my self-adhesives! To this day, I still find it much faster to affix lick-n-sticks than self-adhesives when doing large mailings. I guess I'm just not very fast when it comes to peeling off stamps.
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