Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
In additon, in two weeks there will be a new Massad sheet issued for Philately day. If this is anything like the last few, it will be a tete-beche sheet of 10. There are normally 2 different sheets, 1 with 10 copies of the inland letter rate stamp, and 1 with 10 different values. I believe there will also be a souvenir leaf issued for the occasion as well.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I also found that a few side benefits to this. I was able to request 4 books from the APS library. One of these is the Kaplove catalog of JNF stamps. This catalog is hard to find, and when it does come up for sale, it is pricey! I also signed up to receive the Israel circuit books. My first circuit arrived yesterday, and to my surprise one of the books contained Israel revenues. Most of the ones I need in the book are under $2, and I will be picking up 5-6.
I also have been pretty active on e-bay the last few days. I picked up a few more landscape plateblocks, leaving me needing only about 25 more to complete the date set. Of course, I need mostly expensive ones, but there are still a handful in the under $10 category that may be obtainable.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I have never had to use my stamp insurance (knock on wood), but still think it is prudent to maintain coverage. I had no issues with CIA. Until now. I received my renewal notice in the mail yesterday, and they have tacked on a $25 Policy Fee to my renewal amount. This is about 24% of the total policy. I think this is ridiculous. So I called Hugh Wood. They can give me a policy, with no fees, for $40 less than the total renewal price with CIA. The only catch is I have to be an APS member. Membership is $45 for a year.
So, I have a choice. It will cost $5 more out of my pocket to use Hugh Wood, but I would get all the added APS benefits. Are these benefits worth $5 a year?
Monday, October 13, 2008
There has to be a better catalog out there for Israel stamps. Does anyone know of one?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I got an offer from a stamp dealer offering this sheet for $100. Apparently, only 2000 or so were made. That is in additon to this set of sheets, a different My stamp sheet with a 9-11 rememberence theme. Last month, it was this set of sheets wishing good luck to some soccer team. There are jsut too many sheets being printed, and they are all being offered at huge markups. For a mint sheet they are being offered at $25 and up per sheet, with FDC's starting at twice teh mint price! Time to back off and just collect the basic sheet with the generic picture they come with from now on, I guess.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
- Add an online catalog - The IPF site in Israel has an online listing of stamps and cancels, why can't the SIP website have one? Having items like the different dated definitive plateblocks would help, as would listing items other than stamps, such as revenues, postal stationary, and machine vended postage (Frama, Klussendorf, Amiel, Massad, etc).
- Add a place for members to swap items - I have a ton of duplicates that I would love to swap with other collectors. They are not really worth posting on E-bay (special cancels, plateblocks, etc), but would be great trading material if there were anyplace to trade it.
- How about press releases from Israel Post? After I had bought the items I needed from a dealer from the Jerusalem 08 show, I got a letter from the philatelic service offering me many of the items at face value. Had I known in advance about this, I could have saved some money.
- Even better, have the SIP sell some of the unique items from the shows through the website.
- How about a list of dealers of Israel material with links to there web pages?
- A list of what books are available from the SIP library. Even better, a way to request a book from the library online. I have only tried to borrow a book from the library once, and was unsuccessful in doing so. Apparently the book I requested was listed in the inventory published in the SIP newsletter (I have only seen the list published once, can't remember when) but was not able to be located.
- How about some articles? There really is no content on the current site. Instead of just having a list of slide presentations available, how about posting them as PDF's?
- Virtual meetings? How about having regular virtual meetings? It can be done via NetMeeting, live chat, some kind of conference call, etc.
- A place for members to post a want list.
Anyway, there are some quick suggestions. The most important thing to do is to get content on the site that drives people to visit it on a regular basis. The trade and discussion forums are pretty useless on there, since no one is visiting the site to leave messages. Until today, it had been a few months since I visited the site, and that was only to pull up the e-mail address of some of the officers. On the other hand, I visit the virtual stamp club every few days, just to read up and see what is going on.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So, after attending the baby naming, my dad and I packed my daughters in a car with my grandparents, my mom, and my wife, and saw them on there way back to Long Island via the Bridgeport Ferry, we headed out to the show. We got there around 1pm on Saturday. This gave us about 3 hours to look around before we had to make our way home. After signing in, I went and visited at Garel’s booth for a few minutes. I have been buying stamps from George ever since I started collecting, over 20 years ago. Since I get my new issues from George, I saved myself some postage and picked up my next shipment in person.
My next stop was at Coverman’s booth. Since he has boxes of covers separated by country, I figured I could pick up a few interesting ones to add to my collection. What a disappointment. He had a box of Israel covers alright, and I did indeed find a few that I needed. However, when I was informed of the price (the covers are not marked, you had them to the dealer, and he gives you a total), I was shocked. He wanted $10 for a 1952 cover with a common stamp and a slogan cancel! He said someone had recently shown him the same cover in a catalog for $40. I told him it was worth $1 to me, and that was probably high. As far as I know, the last catalog to price Israel slogan cancels was the 1969 Mosden catalog, and none of the covers was listed for that much. He stood firm on his price, and I simply returned it to the box and left. I assume it will still be in the box the next time I see him at a show (in 4-5 years!) Too bad I didn’t bring my box of duplicate covers from the same time frame, I would have gladly offered them to him for $2 a piece, and been ecstatic to get that! In fact, if I could sell my duplicates at 2 for $1, I would take it in a heartbeat. Some people just have inflated opinions as to what their stock is worth. You see it all the time on E-bay, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see it in person at a show.
Of course, the opposite is also true. I did stop at several of the dealers who stock the world by Scott number, and made some incredible finds. I picked up an Egypt NC26 (Palestine overprint airmail stamp) for $2. I am not sure what the value of this stamp is, but I needed it, and $2 is cheaper than I could get it on E-bay (assuming I could ever find it there) once I factor in the shipping. Another dealer had an Egypt N117, another stamp missing from my collection, and at 20 cents, I couldn’t go wrong. Then came the steal of the show. A dealer had a bunch of Jordan N18-22 sets, at $4 each. Now, I have this set already, but one of the dealers sets caught my eye. One of the stamps had the overprint misspelled “PLAESTINE”. This is a known variety of the stamp, and I think there was 1 per sheet. I have bid on these on E-bay, but have always been outbid. The last one I can remember went for around $100, so when I saw it in a set listed at $4, I grabbed it. Well, I must have missed some sign at the table or something, because while $4 was the catalog value of the set, the dealer only charged me $2! If I hadn’t needed the stamp, I might have been tempted to tell the dealer about his mistake, I have done it before when I saw varieties missed by dealers, but since I needed the stamp, this thought didn’t cross my mind at all. There was one more bargain I found at yet another dealers table. Again, it was the same Jordan N18-22 set. Only this time, it was 3 of the stamps with inverted overprints. And this time, the dealer had identified the variety. Still, he was only asking $30, and I thought it was reasonable, so I added it to my purchases.
I only made one other purchase, and this was of a cover. It was at the DragonCards booth (run by Lloyd De Vries, who is also the founder of the virtual stamp club that I visit daily (and comment on infrequently). I had stopped at his booth to talk to him about the site, and introduced myself. He does his own cachets, mostly for US stamps, but when I mentioned that I collect Israel stamps, he was able to point me to one he did for a pediatric medicine stamp. It was an interesting cover, and at $3.50, I added it to my collection.
I did stop at a few other booths, including House of Zion (Ed Rosen) just to say hello. I also stopped at Henry Gitner’s booth, and he actually had a bunch of Israel material, but he was too busy buying stamps from some dealers who stopped at the table to spend any time going through his stock with me. He had 4-5 customers sitting at his booth waiting to be handed material to look through, but he was more interested in purchasing some stamps from another dealer to help anyone. I don’t understand this lack of customer service, but I know it cost him any chance of doing business with several of us. I waited a few minutes, and actually spent some time chatting to the customer next to me, who collects Israel Revenue stamps (his name escapes me now, but I have his card in my luggage). Hopefully, I will be able to do some trading of duplicates with this collector in the future.
In total, I spent about $40, and came away with a few new stamps for my collection. While none of them were Israeli stamps, I think it was worth the trip. I just wish I would have been able to fill in more items from my want list, but there is always the fact that the 2012 Stampshow will be in Sacramento (~20 minutes from my house) so I will have another shot in 4 years!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
I also had time to go through more plateblocks. I spent the most time on the seven species issue. There are 42 dated plateblocks listed for this issue in BALE. The Wallach catalog does not contain much info on this issue, only listing the first date of the 1.40 value. I found that I had multiple varieties of each date, usually one with a corner cross-hatch mark, and one without. For the higher value items, I found some with wide spacing on the margin, and some with narrow. I have a fairly complete set of duplicates, including at least one example of each of the 42 dates, and I have listed this on E-bay as well.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I really haven't had much time to spend on stamps recently. With the time I have been able to find, I did finish scanning and inventorying my shekel plate blocks. I ended up with over 300 different plateblocks, including some varieties not included in the Shekel definitive plate block catalog by Wallach. The Wallach catalog only goes through 1982, and some of the plate blocks were from late 1982, 1983 and 1984 printings. In addition, I found some phosphor errors (partially missing phosphor bars, phosphor spillage, and miscellaneous plate varieties. I haven't looked yet to see how many known varieties I am missing, but my early assessment was that there were 425 cataloged varieties. So, I am approximately 75% complete.
E-bay has been relatively slow recently. Nothing really interesting is being listed. My watch list has 5 active items, with 4 of these being Palestine overprints on Jordan stamps that I am hoping will go cheap. Even looking at recently sold items, there are only 2 interesting lots that I saw. The first was a complete set of Shekel plateblocks (98 dates), this sold for $102, catalog value for this is well over $300, so this is not a great result. Doing much better was a complete set of 21 olive branch plateblocks. This sold for $110, against a catalog value of $136. Guess selling my thousands of duplicate shekel plate blocks should wait.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The most interesting lot I have seen on E-bay in a while is one of the largest I have seen offered on E-bay. This lot had over 5800 mint sheets, plus a whole bunch of extras. This lot started at 499 British Pounds, and attracted 20 bids, from 5 bidders to reach a final price of 15,850 Pounds (~$31,000). The seller claims that the 2004 catalog value of this lot is in excess of $150,000. However, the seller had set a reserve price (unknown what it was), so it did not sell. Obviously, this lot was well out of my reach, since I don't have an extra $31K around. Even if I did, I would not put it towards my stamp collection. But, it was interesting to see this lot, and I am sure it would have been a very interesting lot for someone had it sold.
One set that I have written about often on my blog here is the 10-14 vertical gutters. This week, there were 4 lots for this issue that I took notice of. The first was a set of vertical gutters with color tabs that failed to attract a single bid at the $4820 start price. The second was a partial set (just the lower 2 values) of plain tabs that also failed to attract a single bid, although at a much lower $170 start price. The third lot was a used set of plate number gutters without tabs. This one actually sold after 22 bids from 12 bidders for $228.50. The fourth was a matched set of plateblocks of 6 (plate #4). The plateblocks I have for this issue are all gutter blocks, but this lot was without the gutter pairs. This one attracted 19 bids and closed at $182.50.
The last lot I want to highlight was a large collection of Jordan stamps overprinted Palestine. These are relatively hard to find in MNH condition, and this lot had lots of blocks of 4, as well as some varieties (inverted overprint, double overprint) that would increase its price. But, the 43 bids from 10 bidders took this lot from its single cent starting price to a final price of $1150. I was expecting it to go for less than half that. Ever since the 2006 Bale catalog started listing these items, I have seen a steady increase in price and bids on these.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
- Provisionals - 19 needed of 42
- Zodiac - 88 needed of 124
- Town Emblems - 116 needed of 161
- Landscapes - 58 needed of 169
- Towns Airmails - 7 needed of 22
- Birds Airmails - 1 needed of 7
So, overall, I need 289 of 525 plateblocks, or 55%. Of course, I probably need the majority of the expensive ones, but this is not a bad start.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
One more update on the Telabul draw your own stamp. I see someone is very optimistic on E-bay, offering a full sheet (20 stamps, 3 with tabs, plus the central label) for $2000. While this is a rare issue, I don't think the price is justified. I would rather buy J1-5 tabs for that price.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
A second interesting lot from last week was a set of 10-14 Tete-Beche plateblocks. This closed at $350, which was about double what I thought it would go for. This was a mixed set, with at least 3 different plate positions represented in the set of 5 (2, 5, and 6). A few months ago, I bought a matched set of position 1 for significantly less than this one closed at.
On another topic, I have been reading a lot of discussions on teh Virtual Stamp Club message board about the APS. I used to be a member of APS, but allowed my membership to lapse years ago. One of the discussions currently is about what could the APS do to increase membership. I am not sure about everyone, but the one feature I would use would be a wantlist matching service. What I am thinking about is a reverse of the typical use of sites like E-bay. I would like to be able to enter my want list into a site, then have dealers make offers to sell me items from my list. If done right, not only would this entice members to join, but it could offer a new revenue stream, as dealers could be charged a percentage of sales (or a flat monthly fee) for access to the list.
Wow, two updates in 3 days.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Not only did I put some stuff away today, I went through and wrote a list of all the albums I have in my collection. I counted 107. The majority of these are for my cancel collection. I have 17 Super Safe albums with special cancels, and another 5 with Slogan cancels. I have another 10 Super safe cover albums with FDC's of regular issues, and 10 with maximum cards. 11 more albums contain my Bulletin collection. I still have boxes of covers to inventory, so I will probably end up with another 20 albums at least. I am going to need a bigger room for all this.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Another interesting item that closed last week was a draw your own stamp from the Telabul show. This one was without tab, and sold for $86. Right after the show, I was able to buy a tab stamp and a FDC (without tab) for less than half that price. Looks like people are starting to realize the rarity of this one.
One lot I did buy was a 4 stamp set from Egypt with Palestine overprints from the Nefrettiti issue (N53-6). There were 3 identical sets for sale, by 3 different sellers, all closing in a span of 3 days. The first one had a starting price of $25, and it is the one I ended up buying (I was the only bidder). The second set went for $42, and the third set for $22.50. If I had waited, i might have been able to get it for a little less, but I might not have.
There is also one lot that I saw listed 2 times, and it failed to sell both times. It was a sheet of the Shrulik Tete-Beche issue from the 12/28/97 printing missing the cyclometer number. I guess a small number of sheets were printed this way. I remember when it first came out being offered a mint sheet, a FDC sheet, a booklet, and a FDC booklet all with this error. I turned them down at that time, and have been seeing them come up on E-bay sporadically. What is interesting to me is that the original listing for this sheet was at a start price of $125. After 10 days of no bids, the price dropped to $115 but still no takers. I don't recall the exact price I was offered these at but I think it was a bit above this offering (around $150).
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Other than that, I bought a small set of the 1.00 Town Emblem plate blocks with different dates, a tabbed FDC for the 1952 Tel Aviv issue, and a 10ag over 32ag accounting tax revenue. Another half dozen or so items off the want list. Only a few thousand to go. If I can ever finish inventorying my plate block collection, I will be able to go through my post office openings collection and really knock the want list down.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I have been reading on the Virtual Stamp Club message board about the large drop in APS membership recently (over 4,000, nearly 8% of all members). I used to be an APS member, but dropped my membership years ago. I really saw no benefit of staying a member. I didn't use the sales circuits, and the American Philatelist magazine never had any articles that interested me. The magazine was geared to people who would think nothing of spending a few thousand dollars on a stamp, not to the average collector.
This is similar to the reason that I stopped subscribing to Linns. I would read the weekly magazine in under 10 minutes. I guess if my collection was Great Britain or US stamps, it would be more relevant, but the vast majority of the time, there was nothing for an Israel collector. When I let my subscription lapse, they sent a letter saying how the hobby had lost another collector. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am still actively collecting, I just find that I can do so without paying for a Linn's subscription.
How can stamp collecting grow? My best guess would be to capture the average collector. Rather than targeting only the high end, someone should be targeting the 95% of the collecting population that sees buying a one hundred dollar stamp as out of there price range. In my previous blogs, I posted about a lot of items that are harder to find, but the vast majority of them can be found for under $100. I can't recall every spending more than a few hundred dollars for a set of stamps (Doar Ivri tabs, First Airmails), most of the time, I buy items for $5-10 each. I think that is what the vast majority of collectors do as well.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
First, there are 4 prestige booklets, with a total retail price of over $75. I am not sure how much markup is included in the retail price over the face value, but it doesn't seem like a lot, since I see 3-4 dealers all advertising approximately the same prices. FDC's of the 4 booklets will cost at least the same as the mint booklets, but could be as much as 2x the price. This isn't the first show with prestige booklets (Israel 98 had one, as did Telabul 2004), but to have twice as many new prestige booklets in this show as in all previous ones seems excessive to me.
Another special item they are only offering at the show is the show book. This book will contain an imperf souvenir sheet. This book will only be available at the show, and the imperf souvenir sheet is available only in the book. I am not sure how much the book will retail for yet, but it will probably be in the $40 range. Of course, a FDC will be prepared by dealers in Israel, and there will be a markup over the mint sheet as well.
The next items are the Massad Tete-Beche sheets. There will be one issued every day of the show (8 total), and each will have different text (opening day, collectors day, etc). The sheets will have a face value of about $15 each, meaning a set of 8 will be $120. Again, FDC's will be available from dealers for a premium over the mint sheets. In addition to the 8 sheets of 10 values each, the opening day of the show will feature a special sheet with 10 stamps with the 1.55 NIS value.
Then, there are the SIMA stamps. 2 different machines will be used (001, and 060). Normal sets are 8 different values. Each set will again be $15 or so. Not only are there FDC's, but there are maximum cards as well. Since this will be the first time the 001 machine is in use since they converted from purple ink to black ink, the 4 most recent SIMA issues will also be available in black print for the first time.
There will also be a new Israel 60th anniversary booklet, a 60th anniversary poster souvenir sheet, and a 60th anniversary definitive. There will also be a Jerusalem of Gold souvenir sheet (the perforated one that will be imperf in the book). This souvenir sheet will have gold leaf and a rather hefty price tag by itself.
Last, there will be 2 new flower sheets that will be able to be printed with custom stamps ("My Stamp"). I believe these will be scratch and sniff stamps as well.
I hope this is all the issues, but I am sure there will be a surprise or two. I am already trying to figure out what I will buy, since 1 of each is clearly out of the question (I would rather buy a set of J1-5 tabs for almost the same price). I will probably use the money I earned selling my duplicates to fund my purchases, which would put me at around $300.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
I also listed another 11 lots on E-bay. These are all artist signed folders. I tried listing them with a start price of $4.99 instead of the $0.99 I started the previous lots at. The lots end this weekend, so I will see how I do.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
I have been to this show in the past, and it is usually pretty good. However, there is always some dealer whose response to my typical question of "Do you have any Israel?" is "Yes, I have just what you are looking for, but I forgot to bring it." This frustrates me to no end. I understand dealers can't bring there entire stock, but still, there is always an SIP meeting at the Westpex shows, so if you were a dealer, wouldn't you bring your stock that is guaranteed to have a collectors asking for?
Instead of leaving it to chance, I decided to e-mail all the dealers participating in the show. Luckily, the show website has e-mail addresses for 90+% of the dealers, so I just copied and pasted from there. So far, 2 of the e-mail addresses bounced, 2 dealers said they would bring what they had, and about 5 dealers said they don't carry the material I am looking for. I guess in 2 weeks, I will know if it did any good.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I started all lots at 99 cents, and all but 3 of the lots sold at more than that. The lot that went for the most was a bunch of Egypt stamps overprinted Palestine. There were 47 stamps in the lot, and it went for $39. Artist signed FDC's did very well, with most going for over $5 each. Souvenir leaves were the weakest, with 2 of the six that sold only garnering a single bid for the minimum, and the others not going for much more. The 2 postal stationary items I sold didn't do much either, with neither going for over $3, and the UPU plate blocks only went for $1.04.
I decided to list some more lots yesterday. This time, I listed 15 lots, most of them are special show booklets. I also listed a 1041a souvenir sheet (The imperf version of the Ardon Windows souvenir sheet from 1990) and 907-9a (the FIP overprints on the Israphil 85 souvenir sheets). So far, a little over 12 hours in, 9 of the 15 lots have bids, some have several.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I haven't had much time to blog recently. Work has been busy, and home has been hectic. I just haven't had time to work on my stamps. I finally got an hour or so to do more work on my stamps today, and spent the time going through my plateblocks and getting them scanned, inventoried, and put away. I am now caught up through 1960, and am ready to get to work on the Zodiac issue shortly. There are 124 different dated plateblocks for this issue, and it looks like I have about a quarter of them. I have been watching e-bay daily, and bidding on a few items here and there, mostly cheaper items to fill in random spots in my want list. I lost out on quite a few lots of modern maximum cards, which was a bit disappointing. I bid them up to about $1 a card, and they went just past my bid (the winner sniped them at the last second). At $1 a card, they would have been nice, since when they are listed individually, the seller usually wants $3-5 a card. No big deal, maximum cards are not a big priority. I did make 1 buy of an item that has been impossible to find, whether on E-bay, through dealers, or even through my contacts in Israel. It is volume 1 of the official Israel post cancels catalog. Volume 1 lists the new post office openings, and while I have a listing, having the actual catalog will make things easier to find. I even tried to borrow a copy from the SIP library at one point, but even though they list this book as part of the library, it is apparently missing.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
I started going through a few plate block collections I bought this weekend. I am trying to get an idea of what I have, and what I am missing. I found this is much more difficult than I thought. Take this issue, for example. According to my Bale catalog, there is just a single plate block of 4 listed for this. I was able to find 4 distinct varieties, one with fully perforated margins, 1 with fully imperf margins, and 1 each vertically and horizontally perforated margins. Is this the case for all issues? Is there a catalog, or some other source, that lists all the varieties available for each issue? The only other source I know of is the Wallach definitive specialized catalog, but it doesn't list issues like this one.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I still have a bunch of items I am tracking in E-bay, but nothing real exciting. E-bay did recently increase there fees. They positioned it as a decrease, but digging in to the details, you pay more for each sold lot. Listing lots is cheaper, but the Final Value Fee (basically, E-bay's commission) has increased significantly for lots that close at less than $25.
On a positive note, the ads on this blog are starting to pay off. I got my first check from Google last week, for the first 3 months the blog was up, I earned $120 or so. In January, it looks like another $100. If this keeps up, maybe I can finally get the 7-9 tabs I have been waiting for...
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Well, I did a double take when I was searching through e-bay today. I saw a new lot that looked familiar. Of course, most FDC's from Israel look the same, since nearly everyone uses the official cachet cover. This one, however, was uncacheted. And it looked very familiar. A quick check through my covers turned up nearly the exact same covers as shown in the lot. I think the address is different (it is hard for me to tell), and the ones on E-bay show the designer name on the cover, but otherwise they are the same. At least, they were similar enough for me to do a double take. Now, I will watch the auction to see what they sell for. I don't keep good enough records, so I have no idea what I paid for these covers, nor do I recall where or when I got them, but I know I must have paid less then the start price for the e-bay auction. So, assuming it sells, I did well.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
While I have spent a lot of time talking about the items I do collect, there are a few things that I have decided to avoid. One item I have avoided is Souvenir Leaves. I do collect the ones that are available through the philatelic service, but the vast majority of these souvenir leaves are never sold to the public, and are instead printed in limited quantities for specific organizations. Some of these limited edition leaves "catalog" for insane amounts of money. The only catalog that I have seen to list these is the Carmel catalog. When I see these for sale on E-bay, the seller usually lists them at 10% of the catalog value, and 99% of the time, they fail to attract a bid. My conclusion is that the catalog values are extremely inflated. In my opinion, these are one step above the gold leaf stamp covers in collectability, and in value.