I started with a small early 80s PRC collection from my mother.
I was on & off, until I went to college when I really started to fill my Lighthouse album in earnest.
I joined CSS in 1997 at which point I was about 21 years old. Ironically it was at that point I realized that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the market. I soon shelved my Chinese collection.
Twenty years later, my economic situation is much better and I am back for good.
I've been preoccupied with the early PRC C and S issues, i.e. reprints vs. originals. I've acquired specimens from eBay which were listed as original as well reprints. Utilizing very sparse online references both in English and Chinese, I've tried my best to convince myself that my S1, C5, and C8 are originals. I probably will still need expertization to ever come to peace.
In fact last night, I was at auction with Interasia. Lot 1465 had my name all over it. C1, C1NE, C2, C2NE, C3, C5, C7, C7NE, C8, C8NE all originals. Not a certificate, but I would've trusted Interasia over my own eyes! Alas, bidding started at HK$3000 and I kept up until HK$8000 at which point I gave up. I just couldn't rationalize spending so much for these relatively low values!
Also got beat very badly on a beautiful C6&C6NE set. Only thing I took home was an M1 and a J25M.
Glad to be back! Look forward to catching up!
You and I share similar life experience. Ever since I immigrated to the US 20+ years ago as a kid, I stopped collecting. Then I started picking up again 3 years ago and I obtained my CSS membership this year in order to join the auction.
For the last 3 years, I have spent a lot of my hard-earned money to finish my collections for PRC 1970-2016 without being noticed by my wife. Now I am working on PRC 49-69 stamps, but I don't think I can afford them all. I bought the followings off eBay along with many others from some big time eBay stamp dealers:
1). CTO C94M
2). Scott 620-627 or C94 imperf
3). S61M & S61 set
4). W1-W6, W8, W9, W11-W18
I know even these big time eBay stamp dealers sell suspicious, sometimes fake stamps. I took my chance until I realized some auction houses have better credibility than these sellers.
My best eBay experience was getting a T46 monkey stamp(value at $1,500) for free. Basically, eBay told me to keep the stamp due to the fact that the seller didn't update his return address; as the result, they ended up paying it. However, a local dealer found this monkey stamp suspicious because he thought the red color is too heavy. It should be PINK RED. See the attached below.
I got out-bid on a MNH C94M in John Bull's auction last month. Then I decided to spend the money on a C94 imperf set. Now pretty much all my money from my "secret" bank account are gone.
My wife has been complaining I spent too much time on stamps. Perhaps I need to find a balance in my life from now on.
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You are right. Maybe I get it expertized before I re-sell it in the future. BTW, what do you think of the C94 below?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/CHINA-MEILAN-F ... true&rt=nc
honestly I have no idea and no serious judgement can't be made on blurry photos. But possibly ok, as there are tonings on the stamps (but for this the selling price was too high). But you need always to examine them when you receive them by comparing with a genuine set. You can buy damaged or CTO stamps for low price to build up a stock of genuine stamps. For a quick check this could be helpful.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Thanks again! What should be the fair price in your opinion? I paid $4000 instead of $4500. After reading your comments, I look around and I notice one with similar condition was sold for $3800 in John Bull auction house back in 2016 (Lot: 2216), but that is 2 years ago.
https://jbull.com/en/_auctions/?action= ... h_submit=1
I really wish these stamps are available in CSS.
CSS can only sell what members offer. So the supply varies greatly over time.
I assume you all have checked the standard catalogues for PRC? Scott, but remember it is not a specialist catalogue. Stanley Gibbons, Yang and now the one from Singapore, the CS Philatelic Agency? But yes, some of the reprints are very challenging to sort.
Roman gives good advice when he suggests buying damaged and used stamps to start building a reference collection.
But what I do not hear is talk of joining an existing group. If you do not have one handy with any Chinese stamp collectors, try a stamp show. Often groups of China collectors will gather and talk at one of these. I just attended NAPEX in the Washington, DC area. CSS had a society table and we had collectors come by all three days, maybe 30 total. I am sure someone would have been willing to look at your stamp questions and offer their take, wrong or right.
But remember you do not have to collect all Chinese stamps, not even all PRC stamps. There is fun and a lot of missing information about many issues. Collect, study, and don't spend all your money in one place. As in many things, time will often be your best friend.
Thanks for your info! Yes... Roman is definitely right! I have started collecting used/damaged ones for references since I bought a fake J25 which cost me a few hundred dollars. I have a used C94 set. And today, it helps me spot the imperf set that I purchased off eBay is obviously a forgery. The seller has very good reviews and is selling alot of high value stamps on eBay!
1). Compare them with my magnifier. It should be heliographic printing, but it is not.
2). The paper tends to be white under UV light. My legit & used one shows some shining spots.
Questionable: My used:
Anyway, I am going to return it and get my money back.
I live in SF Bay Area. It seems most of the groups and collectors are located in the East Coast. Do you know any of them from the West Coast?
You live in a perfect area to collect Chinese stamps, both ROC and PRC. San Francisco or maybe I should say the greater San Francisco area has a CSS chapter, the Chiu Chin Shan Chapter.
Here is the last China Clipper entry for them:
California, Chiu Chin Shan Chapter (San Francisco Bay area):
Ron Biell, Secretary, [url]email@example.com[/url}
The Jiu Jin Shan Chapter is having a membership meeting at WESTPEX at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Hugh Lawrence, CSS Librarian, will give a presentation on the Gold Yuan issues of China.
Contact Ron Biell for chapter information.
As you can see we have a little difficulty sometimes with the Chinese to English conversion. But they have members who speak English and Chinese, and I am sure other languages as well. You will be warmly welcomed and some of the members can pretty much answer any questions you might have.