One only has to read my last post to see that fine used stamps today are a good bet for the future. Some of the more difficult values seem to be holding their value very well.
At one time most people collected used, but as time passed, for whatever reasons in the 1960s & 70s (my self included) they turned their attentions to collecting mint unhinged.
My reason for turning my attentions and collecting mint is the fact that I could not obtain the material I wanted in the condition I sought. Far fewer stamps were being used on domestic mail, the ones that were used seemed to be obliterated by postmarks and had many other faults.
Ok, we could have collected stamps soaked from first day covers, these seem to generally acceptable to some, but I feel that they are not exactly postally used and get a nagging thought that they resemble something like cancelled to order. Perhaps its just me being to fussy? But I am not alone, several of my friends feel the same.
Before we start what do we categorise as modern fine used?
I think the most important things to consider is the centering, perforation condition and a postally used light ( round if possible) cancellation. If a stamp has all these factors above then I would consider it to be very fine used or even superb used. If one or any of the factors mentioned above were absent I would perhaps categorise these as just fine or average used. If several of the factors mentioned were missing I would just call them poor, or another word for them would be space fillers.
With the Internet and WW Web tons of used stamps are being offered on online auctions, it is sometimes possible to find the used stamps we require in very fine condition, but as Michael of CCD Stamps has pointed out they are few and far between. This is perhaps the reason that these days quality used have such a good resale, market or catalogue value.
Sadly the majority of used stamps for sale on auction sites are of very poor quality, so if you want them for investment pick the best available to you, I think if you can find them it is worth paying just that little bit more for quality.
Michael Dodd who replied to my last post is a member of the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association and describes all of these used stamp conditions to a T on his website. If you want more detailed information its well worth a visit.