Coming this Sunday, the second "unofficial" Hipstamp Zoom meet-up!!

Rene Bravo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Come on over for an hours or so for the second ever Zoom stamp forum meet up...
We will hear from many of our forum favorites in person, it will be fun ( and it's free!)

SUNDAY, JAN 22, 3 pm Pacific Standard time , 6 PM Eastern Time. ( make sure you get the time correctly!)

Topic: Hipstamp Forum Zoom meet-up Jan 2023
Time: Jan 22, 2023 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 832 3952 1895
Passcode: 364650
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Meeting ID: 832 3952 1895
Passcode: 364650
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  • 22 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Thanks Rene!

    I would like to add an official invitation to the Hipstamp staff... anyone listening? Would be great to have an actual Hipstamp member(s) join us as well. We'd love to get to know you too.
  • edited January 22 0 LikesVote Down
    Is there an agenda? I'm not certain I can attend, but I'd hate to miss something that is up my alley. 6 pm can sometimes be tough for me as I am chief cook and dog feeder (3 big galoots).
  • Well done and thank you Rene for organising. very good and interesting conversations .
  • Another learning experience. Thank you Rene.
  • Thanks, Rene. I had a blast.
  • Thank you all for letting me bloviate about my favorite subject. Im certainly looking forward to next time.
  • Phil, your imperfs are an inspiration.
    They ALMOST make me want to collect world wide imperfs. :)
  • I want to find me some millesimes now.
  • edited January 23 0 LikesVote Down
    Hoo boy. That is not a millesime. No digit, no fidget. That's just a gutter pair with wings. I have two millesimes, so far, and I'll try to get images posted tomorrow. By the way, there are indeed millesimes without date digits, but those are collectible ONLY in blocks with the first gutter pair and the top margin.

    And Scott, go for it. Welcome to the dark side... But really, I not only like the look of my French imperfs, I like that they are not easily found. Eventually I would like to move on to Hungarian imperfs, but that is down the road a bit.
  • Yeahhh, I knew it.You gots to get up pretty early in the morning to . . . hold on; I just got a reply from a Nigerian Prince I sent a money order to.
  • Sorry for the short visit....the roast was done. Great stuff....thanks. Never new anything about the Order of Malta, and loved the French stamps info.
  • We will meet up again next month sometime. Yes, I learned things and it was fun. You all are an interesting, fun, knowledgable group!
  • Wonderful--every part was a learning experience
  • Just to follow on to our discussion today, here are two methods for calculating the grade of a stamp:

    Method #1:

    1. Choose 3 widely separated spots on each margin of the stamp and measure the distance from the edge of the design to the base/bottom of the perf hole. Average the three measurements and this gives you the average width of each margin.
    2. Divide the width of each margin by the width of the largest margin and assign this value to each margin. The largest margin becomes 1 and the others are a fractional value of 1 (or, rarely, another margin has the same value of 1).
    3. Multiply the value of the margin opposite to the largest margin by 100 and that is your grading score.

    Method #2

    1. Place a straight edge so that its edge is aligned with one of the stamp design edges. At each corner of the stamp, measure the distance from the edge of the stamp design to the base/bottom of the nearest perf hole.
    2. Repeat this for all four margins.
    3. At each, corner take the ratio of the two margin width measurements, always dividing the small number by the larger. You will now have 4 corner ratios based upon the relative widths of the margins .
    4. Add up the four margin ratios and then divide this by four to produce an “average” of the corner ratios- this is the centering grade for the stamp.

    The latter method is what is essentially used by PSE before they apply condition to grading.
    We grade the same way (Method 2, and then apply variation for condition).

    Also, if a stamp is altered, then it CANNOT be graded. (i.e. reperforated, design alterations, margins added, fake cancellations added, cancellations removed, repairs, etc). What can be graded is a stamp with pencil mark on back, hinges, etc, but this will reduce the overall grade of the stamp slightly. Major faults and damage to stamps also renders them ungradable.
    Let this be a WARNING to stamps from PSE, PSAG and PF all who grade stamps by default. (You have to specifically ask them NOT to grade, if you don't want it graded). But the key clue here is, when you see a cert from any of these 3 certification authorities, the absence of a grade is TELLING. There IS something wrong somewhere with the stamp, whether noted or not. (And it should be noted).
    Some services do not grade, like APEX. Absence of a grade on their certs is not an otherwise red flag, because the don't offer the service.
    We offer grading as an option, though we may change that to graded unless otherwise requested. So no grade on a Weiss cert usually means it was not requested.

  • For the benefit of others, can you tell us who "we" are and how they can obtain your service?
  • Hi Ted,
    "We" are Weiss International Expertizing. I am the protégé of the late William "Bill" Weiss Jr. Bill and I wrote a number of articles together, and I worked with him for several years before he passed away in November of 2015. Bill and I had made arrangements for me to acquire his expertizing reference collection, as well as the rights to his written works as part of a deal before he passed away, that would allow me to continue working on an untitled book that we had in the works at the time, as well as moving forward with the expertizing work in the Weiss name, which I had promised him I would do.
    We have been "incognito" for the most part for the past few years, but I resumed the expertizing work in 2016 for a few former clients, and to date have not taken on any "new" clients, while we've continued to work with existing requests. It is my long term intention to resume the service on a full time basis but I'm not ready for that yet, as I'm still working on a number of things both related to the expertizing service, and to a couple of my other businesses (own two other businesses besides Classic Philatelist and Weiss Expertizing International).
    So, stay tuned.
  • Scott , that’s very impressive but also explains your knowledge , patience and kindness towards others seeking advice . I would say you do your mentor proud . Thank you !
  • Thank you Rene. Bill was like a father to me. (After my father passed away, Bill started to call me "Son", and I would call him "Stamp Dad". He got quite a kick out of that actually.)
    I've had a very hard time returning to philately actually. I took about 4 years off after he passed away... didn't really collect, sell or write, it was just too heart breaking. Writing here, helping people, answering questions that might seem obvious has been a sort of "therapy" for me, and has reignited what that work was all about. I have even collected some of my responses here for segments of the still untitled book. I had wanted to call it "The Weiss Method", but he flatly rejected that idea. We bantered around several other title ideas over time, but none of them ever really stuck with us. So I can't publish it until I find an appropriate title. I have a promise to keep there, and lately, I've been feeling like digging it out, and starting to work on it again.
    These forum gatherings have been a real source of inspiration, and I can't thank you enough for the idea, and the effort to make them happen.
  • Bill Weiss was a legend in philatelic circles . I’m glad to hear you’re finding these forums therapeutic. Same here … this has become a bit of an escape place from a challenging world . Keep it up Scott , you are valued here .
  • Rene---Your comment on Scott's "knowledge, patience and kindness toward others seeking advice" is spot on. Very thoughtful!!
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