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Author Topic: A friend has a load of unused 15 year old British stamps...can he still stick th  (Read 21850 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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A coin-collecter friend of mine has a load of unused 15 year old British stamps...can he still stick them on Christmas cards?

These stamps are fifteen or twenty years old. Maybe more. But totally unused. Are they still legal tender?

They do not say simply '1st Class' or ''2nd Class' like 'inflation proof' new stamps but actually say the price he paid for them..
12p or 15p etc.

Are they still legal tender?

Do stamps ever go out of 'currency'?

Or is there an 'age limit' on stamps after which they have to be redeemed at the Post Office (if you can find one) or are they unusable after a certain period no matter that they have never been used before?
[/b]
"I live in hope"

Offline siasl

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The simple answer is "yes", and that's from a Royal Mail spokesman a year ago:
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-1721593/Can-I-still-use-old-value-postage-stamps.html
If they said "1st" or "2nd" on them, you would not need to add more postage, however as they have a monetary value on them he must combine them to raise the stamped cost of the letter being sent to the appropriate amount.
I have no idea whether you can use an old "1st" stamp, the small sized ones, to post a letter in a larger category though.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Thanks for your answer Siasl!

Another question instantly springs to mind... [/b]These stamps my friend has are Queen Elizabeth II stamps, and she is still on the throne.

But...What happens if, say, I have a heap of unused, mint George VI stamps? Could I still use them? Or does the 'use by' date of a stamp expire with the dead monarch whose face adorns the stamp?


 Would I, for example, (if I were daft enough) be able to plaster fifty or sixty Victorian Penny Blacks on a Christmas card and still have them accepted by the Post Office as 'legal tender'?


PS (and this has absolutely nothing to do with this question)… Just noticed those symbols along the bottom of the George VI thruppenny
stamp above...the trowel and the callipers…it's a Masonic stamp!
Didn't know that the Royal Post Office commemorated  Freemason events...but then, senior members of our royal family have long
been active freemasons and heads of masonic orders, even though it’s not widely publicised.  [/b]
« Last Edit: 28 February, 2017, 03:33:48 AM by P-Kasso2 »
"I live in hope"

Offline siasl

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Not sure what the rules are regarding currency (or royalty) conversion from shillings (or Goerges) to modern pennies (Lizzy), but I do recall a scene in Brewster's Millions where he buys one of those rare stamps with an upside-down bi-plane on it. The bankers hoping he'd fail in the task of spending $30million in 30 days rejoice at his investing in something (which will mean he fails the task and thus not inherit a much larger amount of cash) but then they receive a postcard with it on (now franked, and value well and truly destroyed).

Offline P-Kasso2

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Not sure what the rules are regarding currency (or royalty) conversion from shillings (or Goerges) to modern pennies (Lizzy), but I do recall a scene in Brewster's Millions where he buys one of those rare stamps with an upside-down bi-plane on it. The bankers hoping he'd fail in the task of spending $30million in 30 days rejoice at his investing in something (which will mean he fails the task and thus not inherit a much larger amount of cash) but then they receive a postcard with it on (now franked, and value well and truly destroyed).
[/color][/b]

I always thought (as a junior stamp collector in short grey flannel trousers) that a franked rare stamp was usually worth far more than an unfranked rare stamp because the franking made it unique(r) since only that stamp had that particular date and place franking whereas an unfranked rare stamp was the same as other unfranked similar stamps.

Maybe things have changed?
"I live in hope"

Offline siasl

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This would have been an Inverted Jenny, only 100 existed, and sticking a 1985 postmark on it surely doesn't make it that special.

Still, perhaps the point of the skit in the film was to show him getting value from what he bought in that the stamp was used to post a postcard - after all, you never ask for the franked stamps you have used to be returned to the sender, you just chuck them away.

Owen

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I know it's a bit late, but since no-one has actually answered the second question... any DECIMAL stamp is still valid at face value (of course, this means QEII only). ½p stamps still hold their value, but the total amount will be rounded down if it isn't a whole value.  eg a 3½p stamp on it's own is only worth 3p, but two of them are worth 7p.  I do a fair few sales on ebay, and have a few hundred sets of the 1979 centenary of the death of sir rowland hill mini sheets, four stamps with a total value of 49½p - so all they need is an extra 1p stamp to make 2nd class, or stamps to 10½p for first.
Regarding NVM stamps (none value, 1st, 1st Large, 2nd, E, Worldwide etc) these are equivalent in value to the current rate they represent - an E stamp, even though not produced for a few years, is worth 88p at the moment and can be used towards any postage costs not just letters to Europe. A 1st of whatever era is worth 60p, and can have an extra 9p added to it to make a 2nd large, or 30p added to make a 1st large.
Going to pre-decimal stamps, the whole pound value stamps are still valid for QEII and KGVI, but shillings and pence are not.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Thank you Owen for your highly informed answer. But how come you are still only a guest? Get yourself in here! Sharpish!

I'll even come up with more stamp questions if that is your speciality. Here's one for you (or for anybody else just as knowledgeable as Owen)....it's a question about the stamp you can see in the picture at the very end of this question. Take a look.

When I was avid stamp collector about 11 or 12 years old I had a mint condition Victorian One Shilling money order with (I believe) a pretty rare history and value...The shilling was in the form of 12 Victorian penny stamps stuck on to the money order.

It was for money paid to a lunatic asylum inmate as assistance money on his release from the infamous Banstead Lunatic Asylum in the 1880s. Nicely printed form too...all attractive copperplate graphics etc, typically Victorian. 

But even more interesting was this...this money order was never cashed in...and the twelve penny stamps were totally unfranked, in pristine mint condition (except for being gummed down to the original printed inmate's release form from Banstead looney bin).

Adding probably more value today to collectors, the shilling's worth of penny stamps were made up of a block of six and three more blocks of two, total 12 pence which was the one shilling for subsistence and/or travel assistance money that ex-inmates were given to help them in their early days of gaining their freedom.

I have never seen one of these before or since so it was probably unique as all the other 'release money' money orders from Banstead would almost certainly have been cashed in. Why this one wasn't I do not know.

Now for the really terrible news! Although I got this antique little bit of philatelic history for free (it was in some old books I'd bought in a junk shop for less than 3p in today's decimal dosh), being in a book had preserved it's 'fresh-as-the-day-it-was-issued' quality. Like it was just printed yesterday.

Like a total idiot, I swapped this sheet of stamps for a little plastic toy submarine you could play with in the bath!

(It had a tube with a bulb on the end you could squeeze to make it sink and surface which made it a real state-of-art toy back then...a fair swap for this bit of philatelic history or so I thought at the time.)

How much would those blocks of stamps be worth today? Remember...a block of six, three blocks of two...pristine unfranked condition...on a probably unique Banstead Lunatic Asylum inmate release form...date early 1880s (can't remember the exact date or the inmates name).

I reckon the plastic submarine would be worth about 50p now if my mum hadn't chucked it away when I grew out of playing 'Run Silent Run Deep' in the bath.

How much do you reckon my stupidity has cost me? Should I cry?


« Last Edit: 23 June, 2013, 09:18:50 AM by P-Kasso2 »
"I live in hope"

Andrew quarrie

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I remember asking this question of my local postmaster and he gave me the definitive answer.
British stamps are legally valid for the reign of two subsequent monarchs.
So, any stamps from the two preceding monarchs to QEII are still legal tender.
AFAIK, they haven't changed the rules on this since I asked.

Offline Duffield1

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Would this make stamps a good investment product, then?  So, if I buy £100 of first class stamps on the day before there is a 5p increase in the cost, I'll have 'made' 5p per stamp?

Offline antonymous

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Would this make stamps a good investment product, then?  So, if I buy £100 of first class stamps on the day before there is a 5p increase in the cost, I'll have 'made' 5p per stamp?


Yes - but only if you sell them (illegally?) to a third party. Unless you simply want to impress your Christmas card addressees with your affluence  by using first class post! ;D
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Jon

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Thays all great but I've stamps which just say 88 and 97 with no pence sign is this the year? If so what is this worth in postal terms?

Offline Duffield1

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Hi Jon, and welcome to IA.  Could you post any pics of the stamps?

Maurice Waite

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Jon, those are certainly valid stamps, worth 88p and 97p. Various odd values are issued when they are the rates for particular services, such as a worldwide postcard, or a 10g letter to International Zone B. I have in front of me a 2010 presentation pack of stamps celebrating the centenary of Girlguiding in the UK, and their values are 1st (valid indefinitely for the lowest weight step of a 1st Class letter, however much that goes up), 56p, 81p, and 90p (each still worth that number of pence).

Duffield1, you don't have to resell those 1st Class stamps to make a profit, only use them from the next day on! If you bought one on 28 March 2016 and used it any time from 29 March on, you would have made 2p profit, or 3.22%. Even if you took a year to use it, 3.22% p.a. is better than you would have got for your money in a bank account! When, a few years ago, 1st and 2nd Class rates went up 11% and 13% respectively (though it may have been the other way round), I bought enough stamps for my Christmas cards before the rise and so made that profit after about 9 months, equivalent to about 15% and 17% p.a.!

Offline siasl

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Duffield1, you don't have to resell those 1st Class stamps to make a profit, only use them from the next day on!
Oddly, with the recent price rise announcement, I was talking about this with a colleague just yesterday. In the last 10 years or so, the price of a first class stamp has doubled (or thereabouts), which equates to a 7% pa investment yield. So, if you bought a boat-load of "1st" stamps for a million quid ten years ago, you could theoretically sell them for two million quid today and laugh all the way to the bank (via a tax return where you get clobbered on capital gains tax, no doubt).
I doubt it's illegal to sell unused stamps to a third party, though, as was speculated earlier on in this thread, but you may have trouble shifting your million quids worth of stamps on the open market as not many people get through that many stamps without getting their own franking machine to save their tongues from all that licking.