The preserved condition of the stamp is the main factor to evaluate the market value which is beyond the grading company guidelines. Please be aware, the book value is not the same as the market value. As a professional dealer and collector, have done extensive research and as a novice collector, I encourage you to follow the same guidelines stated above! We have provided an extensive variety of rare Coins, Currencies and US & Worldwide Stamps for your references. The following grades convey how well centered the stamp is and the width of the stamp's margins.(EF) or extremely fine (XF) is a perfectly centered stamp with wide margins. Is sometimes used for a perfect stamp. (VF) is a well centered stamp with ample margins. (F) is a stamp that is significantly offset but still has four margins.
Is a stamp that has no margin on at least one side with a portion of the design trimmed off or cut into by perforations. Heavy cancellations which obliterate the design can also be considered.
Only great rarities such as the British Guiana 1c magenta, a stamp which is heavily canceled, soiled, and cut to shape, are collected in poor condition. (MNH or Mint NH, NH, u/m) is an unused stamp that has full original undisturbed gum with no trace of damage done by a stamp hinge. Stamps sell at a considerable premium if they are in this condition. (LH) is a mint stamp which was hinged but only slightly disturbed.
(HH) is a mint stamp which was hinged and damaged in the process. (HR) is a mint stamp which has part of a stamp hinge on the back.(OG): A stamp with its original gum, yet deteriorated by age. (NG): Stamp's gum has been washed off. Rarely, stamps are issued with no gum. (RG): Fresh gum has been applied to the stamp. Poor regumming can be detected by examining the end of the perforations under a microscope. The fresh gum may interfere with the small strands of torn paper or even form small droplets. Stanley Gibbons uses the following to describe stamps with disturbed gum.
Mounted mint (mint hinged) with the majority of original gum. Mounted mint (mint hinged) with less than 50% of original gum. Postally used stamps usually have no gum and these terms do not apply. An apparently used stamp with gum, for example from the former Soviet bloc, may be "cancelled to order" ("CTO") and have little or no value to collectors.
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