Information for Bidders

Reference to grading, abbreviations, terms and catalogs used when describing stamps and covers.

Catalogs Used

All numbers and values are referring to the current editions of the Scott Standard or Specialized Catalogues unless stated otherwise. Other specialized or foreign catalogs are often referred to as well. These include Datz (U.S. Errors), Unitrade ("U", Canada & Provinces), Stanley Gibbons ("SG", Great Britain and British Commonwealth), Michel ("Mi", Germany, Europe and Worldwide), Zumstein ("Z", Switzerland), Facit ("Fa", Scandinavia) and others. Values from foreign currencies are posted in their respective currency. Any conversion of foreign currency catalog values into to US$ is usually based on the foreign exchange rate published in Linn’s Stamp News at the time of description.

Grading Referring to Centering


Perfectly centered within large margins, imperforate stamps that have extraordinarily large margins all around.

Extremely Fine

Virtually perfectly centered within large margins, imperforate stamps have large even margins.

Very Fine

A slightly off center stamp with even margins on three sides, imperforate stamps with ample margins all around.


An off center stamps, for 19th century issues sometimes with perfs touching, imperforate stamps with clear margins sometimes touching on one side.


Perfs touching, imperforate stamps cut into the design, often with small faults.

Comments Regarding Gum

Mint Never Hinged

Original gum that has never been hinged, i.e. in the condition as when it was originally sold at the post office.

Lightly Hinged

Original gum that has traces of a light hinge mark.

Hinge Remnant “hr”

Original gum with one or more hinge remnants.

Part o.g.

Partial original gum. The back of the stamp either shows partial gum or much of the gum is hidden by a large hinge remnant.

Disturbed o.g.

Original gum that shows sign of disturbance, i.e. glazing from mounts, climate problems or similar.


No gum.

Comments About the Condition of Covers

It is normal for 19th century envelopes and covers to have minor edge and flap tears, small nicks and slight reductions on either side. Most folded letters will also show at least one file fold. It is not unusual to find smaller mends of minor blemishes such as edge tears, to preserve the cover from further damage. These conditions are normal for 19th century covers and are not always included in the description. If the bidder is concerned about the condition of a certain auction lot, it is recommended that the bidder contact us before bidding on the item for a more thorough description of the condition.

Abbreviations Used in the Descriptions


Original gum


Hinge remnant


Datestamp (cancel)










Trial Color Proof


Scott catalog number



Contact Paradise Valley Stamp Company

Always buying entire stamp collections and entire stamp accumulations.

PO Box 2884
Concord, NH 03302

  (603) 223-9651

Fill out my online form.

Paradise Valley Stamp Company, Inc.

PO Box 2884
Concord, NH 03302

Phone (603) 223-6650
Fax (603) 223-9651