Croton Stamp Company
Over the centuries many Christian leaders have chosen to demonize science, while those in the scientific camp see Christianity as irrelevant or irrational. Both sides of this debate are short changing themselves. Why x 2 explains why.
Stamp collecting as a hobby is often associated with older rather than younger people. And that may well be correct. But if that’s true, in my opinion, it’s because the mature hobbyist is more attuned to the search for “meaning” within his/her own chosen hobby. Croton Stamp Company has been buying and selling U.S. stamps, Canada stamps, and Newfoundland stamps for over 35 years. It is that experience that has enabled us to see how stamps are directional arrows that point us to meaningful stories—stories about people and events in history that help us to define who we are and how we got there. These stories offer us the context from within which we can define and better understand our personal identities.
As an example, there are many stamps in the U.S. stamp inventory which contain the image of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also affectionately known as FDR. He led the United States through and out of, not only the Great Depression, but also World War II. These stamps sparked my curiosity about FDR, so I bought an 1100 page biography of FDR called “Franklin Delano Roosevelt—Champion of Freedom” by Conrad Black. This book goes beyond comprehensive, but it is a great read. Because of FDR’s actions and his character, he has enabled and enriched millions of people’s lives that came after him. He changed who we are as a country, and for many people, who we are as individuals.
A second and very distinct reason people enjoy collecting stamps is for their physical beauty—they are miniature works of art. This is especially true for stamps issued before 1940 that were created by engravers, especially Canadian postage stamps and Newfoundland postage stamps. Many people are fascinated by stamps for the same reasons they are fascinated by art. Art combines different elements such as lines, shapes, colors, and textures into some kind of meaningful configuration that we can relate to on an emotional level of some sort. Here are a few examples.
Another reason many people find stamp collecting so engaging is that it calls forth the detective in us. When the collector is going through a stash of new stamps (from wherever), the naturally occurring questions that come up are: where does this stamp come from? How old is it? What is its catalogue value? Is it a special variety that might make it valuable? The following is a true story that happened to me about 20 years ago that illustrates the excitement of discovery.
I was working for another stamp dealer at the time, and he had just come back from a stamp show with a pile of stamps he had purchased from various different sources. In this mound of stamps was a part sheet of a U.S. 2 cent Washington stamp (approximately 40 stamps) that was offered and purchased as a Scott Catalogue #540. This dealer was the last of four or five other stamp dealers that had been offered this item. It was poorly centered but sound and never hinged, so my employer agreed to purchase this piece for $100.00 after the other dealers had turned it down. This was just one of hundreds of items that were purchased at this particular stamp show that weekend. My employer was getting aggravated at me though for spending so much time in examining this particular item. So he told me to just put it away and move onto the next purchase. I told him that I suspected that it was not a #540, but rather something far more precious, a Scott #539. Differentiating between a #539 and a #540 can be quite challenging without the proper reference materials and tools. So he allowed me the time to explore it more closely. Upon completing my examination, I concluded that it was, in fact, a #539, which was later confirmed by an expertizing agency. A single never hinged #540 has a catalogue value of $27.50 whereas a single #539 catalogues $4,000.00. So this part sheet of stamps I was holding had a catalogue value of $160,000.00. And my employer had no recollection of who he had even purchased this item from because it is not uncommon to negotiate with several hundred sellers at a stamp show that size. Without the detective instinct that is so prevalent in many stamp collectors, that sheet might have just been put into stock and not looked at again for another 20 years—a very rare gem lying totally undiscovered. And these undiscovered rarities are really out there; ready to be discovered by someone with the curiosity, instincts, and know-how of a good detective.
We encourage you to explore other pages on this site that relate to: US stamps, Canada stamps, or Newfoundland stamps. Also be sure to stop at our “philatelic newsletter” for additional stamp information for the collector, and we also have a special page on “Altered stamps” and how to detect them.
of the stamps we sell are accompanied with philatelic certificates of
authenticity, we are now offering
U.S. graded stamps
accompanied with a PSE graded certificate. This grade is a score of the
stamp's centering condition less points for any faults or detracting
factors that the stamp may possess. By offering the option of purchasing
Croton Stamp Co. is taking one step further in its efforts in insure that
our customers are getting what they think they are getting when
they buy one or more of our stamps.
You may also wish to check out our sister web site at: www.PostersFromTheHeart.com. It is a source of inspirational posters and fine art prints, and offers a superb photo retouching and restoration service.
Thomas Vaillancourt, President and Webmaster
Croton Stamp Company
PO Box 242, Goshen, New York 10924