Monday, April 25, 2011

A new look at souvenir leaves

As I have previously blogged, I am not a big fan of souvenir leaves. They are sold in very limited quantities through private organizations in Israel. Personally, I only collect the ones that are available to collectors through the philatelic service. This weekend, I saw something new. Someone took a relatively common Hanukkah souvenir leaf from 1995, one that was sold through the philatelic service, and added a new stamp and cancellation in 2009. Apparently, the Carmel catalog then added these updated souvenir leaves to its catalog, and they are listed for several hundred dollars. So, to recap, they took a leaf that is available on E-bay for $5 or less, added a stamp and additional cancel, and somehow it is now worth 50X what it was before? It looks like several of these were done with different base souvenir leaves as well as different reasons for adding the additional stamps (I saw a 40th anniversary leaf have a 60th anniversary stamp and cancel added, for example). I don't understand why the Carmel catalog would add these as if they are official leaves. Sure, they are nice, if you like this type of thing, but I don't see any way the valuations are justified. I think all collectors should be cautious, and not just blindly trust any catalog valuation. If a catalog value doesn't make sense to you, it could be because it is not based on sales data, but on what the seller wants to get for them.