If you’ve ever collected stamps you know what an utter nightmare it can be to determine value. There are so many variables…. color, condition, perforation count etc.
My husband never had any interest in philately until both my aunt and his uncle dumped huge collections on him a decade ago. Numerous dusty boxes and files and books cluttered our office for months as he attempted to sort, categorize and value those stamps. I tried to help, and was interested in the history…. up to a point.
The point when my husband would come running in the kitchen waving a tweezered stamp in the air like a maniac. He’d have a big smile on his face, his body positively trembling with enthusiasm. Said stamp would be shoved in my face and I would be asked, ” Is this red… or magenta?” His anticipation was palpable. Think Howard Carter about to open Tut’s tomb.
Over and over again this would happen. “Red or magenta?” “Yellow or chartreuse?” “Blue or aquamarine?” And over and over again I would correctly name the color…. I am an artist’s daughter after all…. and my husband would be crestfallen. Desolate. Disappointed beyond measure because while the red, yellow and blue stamps were common and usually worth .20- .75 cents, the magenta, chartreuse and aquamarine could be worth thousands.
Needless to say he never found the 1856 magenta British Guiana 1c ( most expensive stamp ever sold, $9.48 million ) or the the 1918 U.S. inverted Jenny… a favorite among collectors for obvious reasons.
(That little oopsie goes for a million plus.)
But hope springs eternal, he knew he’d find a winner. And every time I’d identify the color that lost him $30,000? He’d get mad… at me! Like it was my fault lilac is not aubergine. After months of painful searching, the stamps went back in their boxes and eventually back in the cellar. Until now.
Now they’re floating back up to the living space with the rest of the
crap treasure he’s been sorting through… and once again I’m called upon to be the bad guy.
Yesterday he was smiling ear to ear. He’d found a $5,000 stamp!
And while he did have a 1926 2K Czech Hradcany, what he didn’t have was the rare watermark that makes it valuable.
And naturally, I was the evil witch who pointed it out.
He didn’t speak to me for 2 hours.