Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
As we have previously noted, recent years have seen huge changes in the nature of collecting and the market for recent United States stamps. The shrinking number of collectors, the high face values of most stamps, and the huge volume of new issues all contribute to the fact that no one is stocking recent U.S. stamps in any real quantity. A slight increase in demand is usually sufficient to wipe out whatever stocks the few dealers who have bothered with them have on hand. For collectors looking for recent issues in the marketplace, this creates both problems and opportunities.
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On April 5, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued 10 Vintage Seed Packet forever stamps (Scott 4754-4763) in booklet panes of 20 (Scott 4763b). Because of the way that the double-sided pane is laid out, there is only one block of 10 (Scott 4763a) per booklet of stamps.
The 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the booklet of 10 in mint never-hinged condition at $13 and the mint booklet of 20 at $26 against a current postage value of $9.80. Theoretically, you could buy the booklet pane of 20 and strip the other 10 stamps off the pane leaving yourself with a block of 10. In our opinion, few collectors or dealers will do that. Most will save the booklet intact. The booklet pane of 20 is an excellent buy at or slightly above $20.