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David F. Hull Stamp Company

5211 Hedrick Drive
Greensboro , North Carolina  27410
Dave Hull
Ph: 336-250-3869
www.hullstamps.com
      David F. Hull Stamp Company provides exceptional service and value to sellers and seekers of choice U.S. stamps. Dave Hull, a member of the ASDA, a Tiffany Program Donor and Dealer member of the American Philatelic Society, and member of the United States Stamp Society, founded the company in January 2008 after having collected stamps, especially U.S.,  since age nine. We serve clients worldwide from Greensboro, North Carolina.

     We specialize in choice U.S. stamps, from Classics to Back of the Book, 1845- 1935, most of which have been graded by Professional Stamp Experts (PSE). We also have stamps that have been graded or certified by The Philatelic Foundation, and the American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX), a.k.a. APS. We also have stamps that are certified but not graded, and inexpensive Twentieth Century stamps without certs at all.



"The Cert Is Just the Start"

     Without question, third-party graded stamps have the potential to deliver and ensure measurable value for the collector, investor, philatelist, and dealer. PSE, the initiator of the Graded Stamp Movement and the leader in grading stamps, and The Philatelic Foundation, do great jobs grading stamps.

     That said, the motto of David F. Hull Stamp Company is, "The cert is just the start." We carefully hand pick and inspect extremely carefully all candidate stamps to enter our inventory, for it is possible for even graded or certed stamps to possess anomalies that decrease value. Such anomalies can occur through principally seven avenues:

1. By far the most common source of cert anomaly arises when a stamp is damaged after it has been graded.
  • Many collectors of choice stamps are familiar with the orange or yellow stamp with a clean cert that has turned blackish from oxidation-- clearly after the cert was issued.
  • Gum can become disturbed post-certification-- from poor storage, inappropriate mounting, or from someone fooling with it. And when it comes to used stamps... I recently saw two stamps with certs in a top-tier auction that had post-cert damage in the form of hinge thins. Apparently, the collector had hinged them into his or her album after the cert was issued. When the hinges were subsequently improperly removed from the stamps, thins were created.
  • Improper storage after certification, causing toning, foxing, discoloration, gum disturbance, and more.
  • As I have experienced, stamps can become torn. One time, I won a lot in an auction, only to have to return it. I found that the stamp had been torn-- not only after the cert had been issued, but after the stamp had been scanned for the auction catalog and most likely the day before the live auction!

2. The second-most common cause of "mistake certs" is, the certificate has simply become technologically obsolete. Particularly during the last 15 years, important advancements in the technology of expertizing have been made. Repairs and cancels that were heretofore virtually undetectable are now being exposed on stamps with older, "clean" certs.

3. The third type of cert anomaly arises from the expertizers being human. They can make mistakes in implementing their own standards.  rare because at PSE, The PF, and APEX, at least three qualified experts examine a choice U.S. certed or graded stamp, including a "Master Grader," or "Finalizer."

4. The fourth type of cert anomaly arises from the prevailing grading standards being flawed in a couple of ways:
(a) Did you know that a stamp that is certed/graded as "hinged"-- not "previously hinged," mind you, but "hinged"-- can either (i) be previously hinged (not lightly) OR (ii) have a hinge remnant? 

In my opinion, each and every cert that says "hinged" when the stamp actually has a hinge remnant is a "mistake cert," as such a characterization overstates the value of the stamp. If a stamp has a hinge remnant, the cert should say so. I shall continue to nag PSE and The PF accordingly. Please join me.

(b) Here's a type of cert anomaly that's going away, but can be of concern chiefly for PSE certs issued prior to 2012. It is possible for a stamp to be graded PSE 95, 98, or even 100, and not be as well centered as its grade suggests, much less centered with "mathematical precision." This is due to the Eye Appeal adjustment factorhaving the same maximum value, +10, for all sound stamps, regardless of the preliminary grade, which is based on centering. So, a stamp with a "preliminary" centering grade of 90 can be given Eye Appeal points of +8, for final grade of 98. I have seen them and you have, too, if you've been collecting graded stamps very long.

I observed a line-up of a number $2.60 Zepps, all with the same high grade, and all graded by the same grading organization. There was significant variance in the  centering of the stamps. 
Should a stamp be graded 100 if it is not at least extremely well-centered to the naked eye? I think not. What do you think?

5. Infrequently, a cert is mated with a stamp that is not the stamp portrayed on the cert. Either an honest mastake a switcharoo. One must compare very carefully the photo of the stamp on the cert with the stamp received. Have I experienced this? Yes.

6.
A sixth type of cert anomaly involves the certificate itself: the counterfeit cert, or an altered cert. So far, they are very rare. I have not encountered one. The PSE and The PF go to great lengths to minimize phony certs, and they have succeeded admirably. 
Of greater concern and frequency are stamps that are sold with an obsolete cert-- i.e., a cert that has been superseded by a more recently-issued cert. It is unethical to discard the most current cert and keep the old cert(s) that have preferable opinion(s) and grade(s). Fortunately, both PSE and The PF give us the capability to verify certs on their websites. One of the advantages of buying on Collectors Corner is that the certs are pre-verified, so you don't have to worry about it.

7. Finally, and most concerning of all: expertly-made repairs that even the expertizers "miss"-- for reasons that baffle the mind.
In September 2014, I considered purchasing a valuable 19th century stamp that catted $22,000, and could be had for $12,500. It was graded 90 in the early 2010s by a well-known and esteemed expertizer and grader of stamps (not PSE).
One must conduct due diligence. I  found that the stamp had a clean 1976 cert from the same expertizer. The same stamp also had a cert from the 1990s from the same expertizer, stating the stamp had a tiny tear on the bottom. Evidently, between 1976 and the early 1990s, the stamp had been torn. Bummer! But it happens.

Subsequently, a crook, with talent, closed the tear, resubmitted the stamp to the expertizer, the repair wasn't detected-- and it was awarded a clean cert, graded 90!
I learned-- from the horse's mouth, mind you-- that this expertizing organization does not research the certs it has previously issued before issuing a cert: "We get so much material submitted, we don't have time." I retorted, "Even in the case of a stamp that cats $22,000, and that one pays $600 for the cert?!! The answer: that's right. C'mon, man!



Don't get me wrong: Graded certs are great. But they are just the start in delivering full measure for your money. No one should end up "holding the bag." No one should be taken. No one should be swindled.

My Most Important Job

     The way I see it, I must do more than satisfy you or "exceed your expectations." My most important job is to do everything I can to make sure you are getting, at the minimum, the value you are paying for. It's The Right Thing To Do. In many businesses, this is not difficult. With stamps-- made only of paper,ink and gum-- it's a daunting challenge-- but gratifying.

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80 Mint OGph
Scott# 208, 1882 6c Rose re-engraved, PSE VF 80, Mint OGph


Lovely, fresh, well-centered example. Hideously under-graded.
Seller: David F. Hull Stamp Company
Posted: 02/26/16
$1,000.00

95 Mint OGnh
Scott# 315, 1908 5c Blue imperf, PSE XF-Sup 95, Mint OGnh


Extremely Fine- Superb. Large margins all around; brilliant, rich color; ...
Seller: David F. Hull Stamp Company
Posted: 02/26/16
$1,950.00

95J Mint OGnh
Scott# C9, 1927 20c Yellow green, PSE XF-Sup 95J, Mint OGnh


Extremely Fine-Superb Jumbo, very large and even margins all around.
Seller: David F. Hull Stamp Company
Posted: 06/26/11
$145.00

85 Mint OGph
Scott# E7, 1908 10c Green, PSE VF-XF 85, Mint OGph


1908 10c Green. VF-XF. Well-centered to top, appears superbly centered. R...
Seller: David F. Hull Stamp Company
Posted: 08/15/09
$59.95