Unedited Comments on Regumming

You pays your money and you takes your choice!

Posted by tomloweculturalanthropology (113)   The $3 Columbian looks a bit small and the perfs are too sharp. Also, I don't see any gum crystals around the perf edges and holes. So, from the front, I'd guess as a dealer it's RP and RG. That's my 2c.



Posted by evrytania (37)   Tom Lowe: I had the same feeling about the perfs, but I don't mind that. Interesting what you say about the regumming probability. I would think that if you saw crystals around the perfs, then that would be a sign that it was regummed...not vice versa. I just believe that most Columbians of such great centering would have been part of collections, and therefore almost certainly hinged. It would be the lesser quality (eg. Ave or F centering) Columbians that collectors would not put in collections and therefore more probable that they would be NH.


Posted by tomloweculturalanthropology (113)  g.1--that's a very nice 50c Columbian, fresh, and I like it a lot better than the $3.
Nowallp--very interesting and accurate point you made. Gum crystals are a sign of fresh separation. RG or humid natural environment sweating usually mats down the perfs and tends to make them stiff depending on how bad the condition occurs. Dealers run the soft edge of their finger along the perf edges to see how stiff they are. If they are stiff, RG is suspected. If they give and sparkles from minute gum crystals appear, they're a better bet on og.


Posted by laum1@aol.com (572)  Tom Lowe - the regum test of running fingers along the perfs, can one do it with more recent commemoratives. I mean, not all of us will encounter mint $3 Columbians to perform test. Is the test valid for issues up to, let say, the 1930s. Will there be gum crytals on these issues or did the Columbians used a unique gum?

Posted by srailkb (1271)  regarding looking for regums, I strongly recommend against running your fingers over the perf tips. I don't know any major dealer that uses this old "trick" for telling the difference, and the regums today can be very good & very deceptive and wouldn't even be detected doing that anyway...

The easiest way (still) to spot a regum in my opinion is looking at both sides of the stamp with a good loupe (I use 15x) & good light source. There's almost always evidence of gum on the front (or edges) where it shouldn't be, or evidence on the reverse that the gum wasn't applied all the way to the edge of the perf tips. Sometimes, they'll apply gum to the major portion of the stamp and carefully brush it over to the perfs (where you can usually see brush strokes).

Also, original gum (different for different issues, different for different "periods") has a definite "look" to it that is very difficult (almost impossible) for regummers to duplicate (even if they DO have the original formula). No way that I know of to teach that, other than to look at lots of stamps... you'll start to spot a regum without even taking the loupe out...

The only thing that can happen by running your finger along the edge of the stamp is bad... Please don't do it - you'll damage more than you'll detect regums on.


Posted by srailkb (1271)   BTW, for regums, using a UV light can also be helpful. The "newer gum formulas" that stamps are often regummed with must have something in them that causes a different look under UV light when compared to an original gum sample. If you use stamps from the same set to compare with, you're "usually" OK (lots of exceptions though so use this in conjunction with other methods). Since many collectors have a UV light for checking for removed cancels, tagging, etc, it's another (good) use that you should keep in mind.


Posted by srailkb (1271)  evrytania, usually the "lack of gum" is pretty uniform around the edge of the stamp. I've separated a lot of blocks, and rarely see "no gum" at the very edge of the perf tips to the extent that you'll see with regummers who use this technique. In fact, when I separate mutliples, I rarely notice much gum loss at the very edge at all...

If they brush gum out, the brush strokes are difficult to see without good magnification, and good light (at the right angle). Takes a while to be able to spot those with any degree of accuracy. Those can be very deceptive...

The most difficult stamps to tell regums on are those that are hinged, and especially those that have disturbed gum. Hinging / disturbances can get gum on the perf tips which makes it much more difficult (see the UV light post, etc)



Posted by europhil (100)  Regumming:

Remember that in most cases, gum causes a stamp to curl. When gum is removed, the stamp lies flat. More often than not, when a stamp is regummed, it still lies flat. This gives rise to Jay's 10 second regumming tests:

1. Holding the stamp gum side up on the middle of one side (with your tongs), gently blow on it. If the gum is original, the stamp will curl.

2. Holding the stamp the same way, rub the face of the stamp across the hairs on the back of your hand. Again, if the gum is original, the stamp will curl.

If you're afraid of spitting on the stamp, use test 2. If you don't have hair on the back of your hand, use test 1. Carefully.

Disclaimer: I do not guarantee that this will work in every case. Do not neglect learning the other detection methods that have been discussed.



Posted by meel10 (315)  europhil-If you hold a stamp face down in the palm of your hand and it curls up it is regummed.Feel around the perfs if they feel stiff it is regummed.Lay the stamp face down on on a flat surface and examine the gum closely,if uneven(except very old stamps)it is regummed.


Posted by europhil (100)  meel10 - My experience has been the opposite - if it doesn't curl then it's regummmed. But then, that's why I included the disclaimer in my post.

Try this for a learning experience. Take an expensive NH stamp to a stamp show and offer it to several dealers. Then watch how they examine the stamp.



Posted by srailkb (1271)   Jay writes:Try this for a learning experience. Take an expensive NH stamp to a stamp show and offer it to several dealers. Then watch how they examine the stamp.

If you want even more fun, offer the stamp back to the same person that sold it to you in the first place.

It's amazing how eyesight & expertise improve when the transaction is going the other way :-)



Posted by srailkb (1272)    To clarify something stated yesterday, tomloweculturalanthropology wrote: Ken Srail--the high end early mint U.S. seen with PF certs results from the fact that APS will not certify gum.

This isn't the case. APS has certified "original gum" for as long as I can remember. I think it's only more recently though that they started certifying "never hinged" (i.e. "full original gum") on the certs. They don't have any disclaimer or otherwise state that they won't certify gum as original in their submission form. PSE also certifies gum as original (but charges $2 extra if you want to know if it's never hinged). The choice of PF for the earlier unused stamps is not a result of others not "certifying" the gum.

From posts on July 27-28, 1999