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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Russia 1913 Romanov Tercentenary stamps


We are only three months away from the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Russia's Romanov Tercentenary stamps. They are always popular and will be more so in the coming months. But how much are they worth?

Used stamps with nice postmarks are not difficult to obtain and dealers accumulating used stamps in quantity should be able to offer a Set of 17. But four catalogues which give Set prices offer very different guidelines:

Stanley Gibbons specialised Russia 2008 has £40 (about 50 € at today's rate) with £19 of that in the 5 rouble alone
Michel Osteuropa 2010 / 2011 proposes 60 €, with the rouble values little differentiated (1 rouble - 10 euro; 2 rouble - 12 euro; 3 rouble - 12 euro; 5rouble - 15 euro)
Russia's own Standard catalogue 2009 suggests 1400 roubles, about 42 €, with the highest price on the 5r at 450 roubles 
The Russian Soloviev catalogue of 2009 / 10 has 550 roubles, about 14 €, with no stamp higher than 150 roubles (the 5r gets this)

So the range is from 14 at the bottom to 60 at the top, with an average of 41.5 euro.

Personally, the values I sometimes can't find for set making are the 2 and 3 roubles. The 1 rouble is very common and the 5 rouble is not hard to find. I ask about £20 (25 euro) for a used Set with nice postmarks. The chalky paper used for the kopeck value Romanovs does mean that a lot of those stamps have unattractive smudged cancels which I would not include in a Set.

Mint stamps are more complicated. For a few values there do seem to be remainder stocks available, even today, so that is is possible to get ** stamps and blocks 4. But to make a Set which is ** is extremely hard. For some values, most collectors will have to accept * stamps. In addition, many stamps now suffer from gum toning.

Let's look at our four catalogues again:

Stanley Gibbons has £95 (about 119 €) for a * Set and, as normal, offers no price for **
Michel has 75 € for * and offers no ** price
Standard has 5000 roubles(about 125 €) for * and 30000 (about 750 €) roubles for **
Soloviev has 4500 roubles (about 112€) for * and 12000 (about 300 €) for **

So the range is 75 to 125 for * and 300 to 750 (from just two catalogues) for **

All the catalogues except Gibbons make the 2 rouble the scarcest stamp. Gibbons price the 5 rouble highest but here I think Gibbons is wrong, even allowing for "extra" interest in Nicholas II. The 1,2 and 3 rouble stamps are all harder to find * or ** and different collectors and dealers will have different ideas on what is the scarcest - quite often, I am told the 1 rouble * or ** is hardest to find. 

As for kopeck values, I give one example, the 35 kopeck illustrated at the top of this Blog gets these valuations:

Gibbons £1.40 (about 1.75€) for *
Michel 2.50 € for *
Standard 120 roubles (about 3 € ) for * and 800 (about 20 €) for **
Soloviev 60 roubles (about 1.5€) for * and 150 roubles (about 3.75 €) for ** with 700 roubles (17.5 €) for a ** Block 4.



  



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