A Fine Collection

That’s what this fellow, Wayne Gehret, said of my father’s stamp collection when I sold it to him today.

Joe started collecting as a kid in the 1930s, steaming canceled stamps off of envelopes and pasting them into a hand-made book. For many of the stamps, he had actually cut off the little… chads, I guess… to make the stamps a much cleaner square.

He became a bit more serious about it later in life, probably after he and mom had settled in P——-n and weren’t worrying about money so much anymore. Most of what he had came from his lifetime, and the majority of that from the post-war period. Wasn’t worth much more than face value. But he had some blocks of stamps dating from the 1890s to 1920s that were worth something, and I sold the entire collection for just under $5,000. Joe, of course, alleged the collection was worth twice that, but as the collector, he would be prone to overvalue things. Add in that I would have to sell each block individually to get top dollar (and he had hundreds of blocks of stamps), selling to a dealer at a discount made sense.

Wayne asked if there was any story behind the collection. I felt like I was depriving him of part of the experience because I didn’t have a story to share. Stamps were something Joe did on his own. He tried to get me interested, but it never took. That was it, really.

I spent some time looking through Joe’s coin collection, too. Except for some worn, circulated silver peace dollars from the 1920s and a couple of Indian head nickels, everything dated from 1970 onward. Worth a few dollars for each set.

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