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the Future of Stamps

GRADING

and

ENCAPSULTAION



GRADING

ASSIGNING A NUMERICAL SCORE TO
DETERMINE QUALITY AND VALUE

Over the past several years, the coin experts at PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) became the first company to develop an encapsulation method for coins, to preserve their graded condition. This method of preservation created the sight-unseen coin trading market, one of the most important breakthroughs in the industry.

In 1999, Collectors Universe, the publicly-traded company that owns PCGS, acquired Professional Stamp Experts (PSE), and together they spent several years working with experts and collectors in the philatelic community to develop a credible, third-party stamp grading scale, and create the first uniform standards for rating a stamp’s quality.

A stamp grade is a numerical assessment of the centering, soundness, and eye appeal of each stamp, resulting in an extremely accurate reflection of the stamp’s value. This independent, impartial approach enhances certainty and confidence on the part of buyers. Additionally, PSE guarantees the numerical accuracy of the grades they issue. The wide ranging adoption of these standards has already increased liquidity in the rare stamp market, through the consistency afforded by a PSE grade.


An example of a published grading scale from Stamp Market Quarterly.
Scott#
Den
Color
Cond
FR-10
G-30
VG-50
F-70
VF-80
XF-90
XF-95
SUP-98
287
4c
orange
USED
2.00
4.00
6.00
12
24
48
+140
+255
287
4c
orange
OG
2.10
5.00
7.50
15
30
55
80
+110
287
4c
orange
NH
2.40
600
12
29
65
170
+425
+730

ENCAPSULATION

PRESERVATION OF ASSET CONDITION



Encapsulation, encasing a stamp in a permanent, archival plastic holder, adds security to the certainty of grading. It provides the investor with a simple way to handle, examine and store their valuable asset, and the knowledge that the stamp will not lose quality through wear and tear once it has been graded. As with rare coins, encapsulation has established a platform whereby anyone, anywhere can now trade rare stamps, sight-unseen, with confidence in the condition and value of the item.

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