Gustamps’ message for visitors to Gustamps’ shop

If you have visited Gustamps shop recently, Gustamps would love to hear your views about Gustamps and your comments about Gustamps. Please leave your valued review of Gusamps here… thank you.


Gran’s locket was worth over £500

Jill Mackie looked into Gustamps shop for a second opinion. Jill had inherited a locket from her grandmother and before coming to Gustamps Jill had taken the locket to a jewellery shop which was in the Brighton lanes nearby to Gustamps. The lady in the jewellery shop told Jill that the locket was made of silver and the value might be around £20. Jill’s locket contained an old green stamp. The lady in the jewellery shop offered to pay Jill £20 for the locket but she would not be able to pay anything for the stamp, however she said she would like Jill to leave the stamp in the locket as it might help to sell it. The locket had sentimental value for Jill and so she kept the locket. Leaving the lanes Jill noticed Gustamps shop in nearby Prince Albert Street and went into Gustamps to get a second opinion about her locket and the stamp. Gustamps stamp valuer told Jill that the stamp was a Canadian $5 stamp of 1897. Gustamps valuer carefully removed the stamp from Jill’s locket and after close inspection, Jill was told that the stamp was in perfect condition and was probably worth over £500. The locket and stamp had great sentimental value to Jill and so she decided not to sell it. Jill was really grateful to Gustamps for their help in identifying her Grandmother’s stamp, and realised how lucky she was not to sell the locket and stamp for only £20 to the lady in the jewellery shop. Gustamps would like to thank Miss Jill Mackie for letting Gustamps publish her valuation experience at Gustamps.

Are animal stamps worth collecting?

Gustamps was contacted by young stamp collector Tony (aged 13). Tony collects worldwide stamps depicting animals and Tony was disappointed when his school friend said that animal stamps are not worth collecting as they are never worth much. Gustamps was asked by Tony if what his friend said was indeed correct. Gustamps answered Tony by telling him about the Chinese New Year stamp issued in 1980 by P.R. China. Gustamps said he stamp was worth approximately £800-£1,000 per stamp. Thanking Gustamps for their reply, Tony said, “I can’t wait to tell my friend about the Chinese New Year stamp and how wrong he is.” Gustamps told Tony that if he liked collecting zoological stamps that he should carry on doing so regardless of their catalogue value and that he should not be put off collecting animal stamps by his school friend’s comment.

Missing country name… Gustamps explain

GB philatelist George Foote quizzed Gustamps about British stamps. George asked Gustamps, “why when all the countries in the world have their country name printed on their stamps is it that the UK doesn’t?” Gustamps answered George’s question by explaining that as Great Britain was the first country in the world to issue adhesive postage stamps, it was not necessary to have the country name printed on British stamps. Gustamps added that UK stamps often have emblems for different regions i.e. a lion for Scotland and a dragon for Wales. Gustamps added that British stamps are easily identified as they bear the monarch’s head.

Gustamps would like to thank Mr. Foote for his interesting question to Gustamps and for allowing Gustamps to publish it together with Gustamps’ reply.

Are my Nepal stamps local issues?

Bruce contacted Gustamps with a question about his Nepal stamps. Bruce told Gustamps he collected the stamps of Nepal dating back to the first issues of 1881. Gustamps heard that a friend told Bruce that his stamps were not proper international issues but only locals, Bruce’s question to Gustamps was,”is it true my Nepal stamps are only local issues?” Gustamps reply to Bruce was “yes, the earliest Nepal stamps were only valid within Nepal, but were used to carry mail to neighbouring Tibet and India.” Gustamps said, “it was not until 1959 that Nepal stamps were officially recognised by the U.P.U. (Universal Postal Union).” Gustamps added that, “the early 1881 stamps of Nepal are very collectible and those still on covers (envelopes) are quite scarce.”

Gustamps thanks Mr. Bruce Atkins for his question to Gustamps and allowing Gustamps to publish it.

London man’s valuation enquiry

On the 9th August, Benny from East London telephoned Gustamps after getting in touch with a London stamp dealer for a valuation. Benny told Gustamps that the London dealer said that Benny’s stamps were not worth much because they were ‘perfins’. A bit perplexed, Benny asked Gustamps “what are perfins?” He also asked Gustamps, “why do you think the dealer’s valuation was low?” when Benny knew that the catalogue value was quite high.

Gustamps Answer to Benny

Perfins are stamps which are perforated with symbols or often initials by private companies in part to advertise the companies’ organisations but mostly for security reasons to stop the stamps being appropriated and misused privately. Gustamps added that sometimes postal authorities might use perfins instead of overprinting stamps for example stamps of Australia are perfined O.S. (Official Service) for government use only. The general understanding is that philatelists prefer stamps which do not have perfins and stamps which have perfins are regarded as having a lower value than similar stamps which are listed in the catalogue.  Gustamps told Benny that the stamp dealer’s valuation most probably reflected the market value being lower for a perfin stamp as opposed to a counterpart stamp without a perfin.

Gustamps point out that in contradiction to this many collectors specialise in collecting only perfin stamps and to these collectors perfin stamps are highly collectible, especially as they can be obtained on the market at a fraction of the price of similar stamps without perfins.

Gustamps would like to thank Mr Benny Foxhill from East London for his question to Gustamps and allowing Gustamps to publish it together with Gustamps answer.

Gustamps reason for Mum’s stamp covers

Welcome Gustamps customers – please leave your comment about your experience at Gustamps here – thank you.

You can also read on to hear about a recent stamp collectors question to Gustamps.

Gustamps was posed an unusual question by Ella Newman. Ella told Gustamps she had discovered a box of old envelopes which had belonged to her mother. Gustamps heard the envelopes had been posted by Ella’s Mum during 1962. All the envelopes had different addresses and had been sent back to her. Ella told Gustamps they were all posted in America. Ella asked Gustamps if there could be any logical explanation for the batch of stamped envelopes none of which had any letters inside which could help to explain the mystery.

Gustamps asked Ella if she knew if her mother had been  fan of Elvis Presley. The answer Gustamps received back from Ella was yes. The only reason Gustamps could think of was that Ella’s mother who was a fan of Elvis had posted letters to the wrong address and had the U.S.A. Post Office send them back to her. Gustamps explained that the U.S.A. Post Office would stamp the envelopes with a ‘Return to sender – address unknown’ official Post Office cachet. Gustamps said these types of envelopes were collectable by stamp collectors and Elvis fans after Elvis Presley recorded the hit song ‘Return To Sender – Address Unknown’ during the Spring of 1962.

Thanks from Gustamps to Mrs Ella Newman for the interesting question  to Gustamps and letting Gustamps publish it together with Gustamps reply.