World Stamps

Look for set of Swiss 1933-37 grilled gum stamps

Feb 11, 2021, 11 AM
The 1933-37 Switzerland set of seven airmail stamps with grilled gum (Scott C4a-C12a) is undervalued in unused hinged condition and mint never-hinged condition and would be an excellent buy at Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue value.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Many Swiss definitive, airmail and Official stamps of the 1930s and 1940s have so-called “grilled gum.” In reality, it was actually the paper that was grilled during the gumming process to prevent the stamps from curling when stored.

The vertical and horizontal grid points can be seen from the back of the stamp, with or without magnification depending on how good your eyesight is.

Some stamps with grilled gum, such as the 1933 Shield set (Scott 200a-203a), are also on chalky paper. This helps identify the grilled gum varieties as it gives the front of the stamp a brighter and shinier appearance than the stamps that do not have grilled gum.

A good set to look for is the 1933-37 set of seven airmail stamps with grilled gum (Scott C4a-C12a). The set is undervalued in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue at $40.75 in unused hinged condition and $80 in mint never-hinged condition. If you find the set offered at Scott catalog value, it is an excellent buy.

Some collectors confuse stamps on regular paper with normal slight gum cracking with true grilled gum examples.

For identification of stamps offered as the grilled gum varieties, you can compare them with the stamps of Switzerland’s 1934 Landscape set (Scott 219-225), as they were only issued with grilled gum.

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