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.