Buy, Sell, Swap & Catalog Collectibles at the Collecting Community™

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Today's Focus: Gillete Razors Collection 

A remarkable Gillete Razors Collection has been added to the site by one of more enthusiastic collectors. 

Gillette is a brand of Procter & Gamble currently used for men's safety razors, among other personal care products. Based in BostonMassachusettsUnited States, it was one of several brands originally owned by The Gillette Company, a leading global supplier of products under various brands, which was merged into P&G in 2005. The original Gillette Company was founded by King Camp Gillette in 1901 as a safety razor manufacturer.
The first safety razor using the new disposable blade went on sale in 1903. Gillette maintained a limited range of models of this new type razor until 1934 and the introduction of the "Aristocrat". The great innovation of this new model was the "Twist to Open", or TTO design, which made blade changing much easier than it had been previously, wherein the razor head had to be detached from the handle.
1947 saw the introduction of the new "Super Speed" model, also a TTO design. This was updated in 1954, with different versions being produced to shave more closely—the degree of closeness being marked by the color of the handle tip.
In 1958, the first "adjustable" razor was produced. This allowed for an adjustment of the blade to increase the closeness of the shave. The model, in various versions, remained in production until 1986.
The Super Speed razor was again redesigned in 1966 and given a black resin coated metal handle. It remained in production until 1986. A companion model, "The Knack", with a longer plastic handle, was produced from 1966 to 1976.
The Gillete Razors Collection on includes a beautiful set of antique razors presenting different models from different periods, all available for sale on the site. 
We hope you enjoy reviewing the collection!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Shilling

The shilling is a popular coin among coin collectors whom are looking to complete shilling series from different countries and periods. The shilling is a unit of currency used in some current and former British Commonwealth countries. The term shilling derived from the word schilling which in the past used to be an accounting term to value a cow or a sheep.

In England, a shilling was a coin used from the reign of Henry II until the Acts of Union ended the Kingdom of England (when, in the terms of Article 16 of the Articles of Union created by the Acts of Union of 1707, a common currency for the new United Kingdom was created). The slang term for a shilling as a currency unit was a "bob"  as in 'Have you got a couple of bob you can lend me?'. The origin of this term is uncertain, although a 'bobe' was a French one-and-a-half denier coin of the 14th Century.

The last regular issue shillings were minted in 1966. Two years later the new five-pence piece with identical dimensions began to be issued prior to decimalisation in 1971, although profft shilings dated 1970 were issued later. 

Shillings and 5p coins circulated together until the end of 1990, when they were superseded by a new small 5p coin. Thus ended the 488 year history of the shilling. 

The shilling was used not only in the british commonwealth countries but also in several additional countries. Shillings were issued in the Scandinavian countries until the Scandinavian Monetary Union of 1873. Shillings were used in Malta, prior to decimalisation in 1972, and had a face value of five Maltese cents.

Elsewhere in the former British Empire, forms of the word shilling still remain in informal use. In Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, selen is used in Bislama and Pijin to mean "money"; in Malaysia, syiling (pronounced like shilling) means "coin". In Egypt and Jordan the shillin is equal to 1/20th of the Egyptian pound or the Jordanian dinar.

In the thirteen British colonies that became the United States in 1776, British money was often in circulation. Each colony issued its own paper money, with pounds, shillings, and pence used as the standard units of account. Some coins were minted in the colonies, such as the 1652 pine-tree shilling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After the United States adopted the dollar as its unit of currency and accepted the gold standard, one British shilling was worth 24 US cents. Due to ongoing shortages of US coins in some regions, shillings continued to circulate well into the 19th century, for example being mentioned as the standard monetary unit throughout the autobiography of Solomon Northup.

About the Author:

One of the great sources to your collecting activity is where you can buy, sell, exchange and catalog your collection or simply review collections of other collectors. You can also become a member of the sites growing collectors community, connect with other similar collectors exchange collectibles and ideas.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Psychology of Collecting

Collecting is one of the oldest activities of mankind, beginning as early as 2,000 years ago in Egypt and continuing up until today when millions of people all over the world collect different items covering an enormous range of fields.

Today the field of collecting includes the standard collections such as stamps, coins, comics, postcards and trading cards etc., and the more peculiar collections such as empty toothpastes, Aladdin lamps, beer coasters, antique telephones and more.

Collectors range from different cultures and from all ages, all similarly devoting a large amount of time, resources and energy to this hobby. 

Understanding the motivation of collectors, is not only a fascinating aspect in the psychology field, but could also bring an important awareness to collectors, making their collecting activity a more pleasant and a satisfying one. 

The desire to collect begins at birth. The infant's favorite toys are brought to bed to provide an emotional security. The sense of control and ownership is facilitated through the possession of different objects. Freud took a very extreme position on the origins of collecting and postulated that all collecting stems were linked to the anal retentive stage in childhood. Frued suggested that collecting ties back to the time of toilet training and that the loss of control and what went down the toilet was a traumatic occurrence. Therefore, the collector is trying to gain back not only control but “possessions” that were lost many years ago.

Muensterberger, on the other hand, believed collecting to be a "need-driven compensatory behavior where every new object effectively gives the notion of fantasized omnipotence." Jung argued that collecting and completing sets have archetypal antecedents of the collecting of "nuts and berries" once needed for survival by our early ancestors.

According to Mark B. McKinley, Ed.D., a professor of psychology at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, for some people collecting is simply the quest, in some cases a life-long pursuit that is never complete. Additional collector motivations include psychological security, filling a void in a sense of self or it could be to claim a means to distinction. According to McKinley, for some, the satisfaction comes from experimenting with arranging, re-arranging, and classifying parts of a-big-world-out-there, which can serve as a means of control to elicit a comfort zone in one’s life. The motives are not mutually exclusive, as certainly many motives can combine to create a collector.

While some collectors have a more dark side in their collecting activity or are commercially motivated in buying and selling their collectible, most of the collectors are emotionally driven with the positive aspects associated with this hobby. According to M. Baker, an author of autograph collectibles books, most of the autograph collectors are emotionally driven with no intentions to sell their collections. The thrill of the chase, seeing who will sign that day and actually meet in person the people signing are all a great motivation for this activity. 

As long as collecting does not become an addictive activity, it is mostly associated with positive emotions that could bring a great satisfaction and joy to the collector. The excitement of finding new collectibles, the social activity involved and the bond that is could bring with family members are all important factors that make it such a popular hobby. 

About the Author:
One of the great sources to your collecting activity is where you can buy, sell, exchange and catalog your collection or simply review collections of other collectors. You can also become a member of the sites growing collectors community, connect with other similar collectors exchange collectibles and ideas.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Collectors Category - So Cool ! 

We welcome our new Collectors Category - Routemaster, the bus icon of London in the second half of the 20th century. 

The AEC Routemaster is a London double-decker bus built by Associated Equipment Company (AEC) in 1954 until 1968. Front-engined buses generally with rear platforms, a small number were produced with doors and/or front entrances. Introduced by London Transport in 1956, the Routemaster saw continuous service in London until 2005, and remains on two heritage routes in central London.

Here we can see an example of one of the many models the collector presents. It is a DSCN16461 Corgi 477 Routemaster Bus Disneyland. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The US One Dollar Presidential Coin

In honoring the institute of the US presidency, in December 2005 the US Congress passed an Act of which directed the United States Mint to produce a one dollar coin with the engravings of former US presidents portraits on the obverse of the coin.

Beginning at 2007 and as referred to by the US Mint, ”the one dollar presidential coin program” included the issue of four presidential coins per year, in the chronological order of the president in the office.  The coin includes on the obverse, the president’s portrait and on the reverse, the image of the Status of Liberty, the inscription “$1” and “United States of America”.
Along the edge of the coin is the year of minting or issuance of the coin, the mint mark, 13 stars, and also the legends E Pluribus Unum.  In 2009, the inscription “In God We Trust”  was moved from the edge to the face of the coin.  The size, weight and metal composition of the Presidential one dollar Coins are identical to that of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar  and the Native American one dollar Coins.  

Letter edged coins were produced back in the 1790s when they were made to prevent shaving of gold coin edges and were last used in 1933 until the one dollar presidential coins issue. 

The act specifies that for a president to be honored, the former president must have been deceased for at least two years before issue. Thus, It would take about ten years to honor all currently eligible presidents. The series was therefore expected to end in 2016 after honoring President Ronald Reagan, unless one of his successors would die before 2014. Once the program has terminated, producing coins for those presidents not honored would require another Act of Congress

From 2007 and up until the year 2011, the US Mint produced a large number of the Presidential one dollar coins until there were a large number of unused one dollar coins in the market. By 2011  1.4 billion uncirculated $1 coins were stockpiled.  Thus, On December, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that the minting of Presidential one dollar Coins for circulation would be suspended. Future entries in the program, beginning with that of Chester A. Arthur, would be issued in reduced quantities, only for collectors

In addition to its recognition of the Presidents on $1 coins, the United States honored the president’s spouses through the issuance of proof and uncirculated quality one-half ounce 24-karat gold ten dollar coins emblematic of the life of each spouse.  The United States Mint issued these coins under the same annual release schedule as the corresponding Presidential one dollar Coins.  These 24-karat gold coins generally have an obverse image of the first spouse and a reverse image symbolic of that particular spouse's life and work. 

The George Washington Presidential Coin

 Annual Presidential Dollar Release Schedule
Years Served


George Washington
John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

James Monroe
John Quincy Adams

Andrew Jackson

Martin Van Buren

William Henry Harrison
John Tyler

James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor

Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant

Rutherford B. Hayes

James Garfield

Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland

Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland

William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt

William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Warren Harding
Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard M. Nixon
Gerald Ford

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Development of the US Paper Money

During 17th and 18th centuries, the American people used English, Spanish and French paper money. In the years to come, the development of the US paper money was affected very much by the political and financial circumstances as well as the government’s reserve of gold and silver.

In the early 1690s, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first out of the thirteen colonies (which gathered to become the United Statues) to issue a US paper money, followed by the different colonies to issue each its own banknote. This money was not redeemed in gold or silver and thus was depreciated.

In 1775, during the American Revolutionary War, and to finance the war, the Continental Congress issued the Continental Currency. This paper money expressed the new nation’s sovereignty and instead of pictures of the crown or the king of England, they featured different motifs of the colonies. However, because of the inflation and as they were easily counterfeited, they became valueless and gained the phrase: "not worth a Continental". 

In 1777, after the declaration of independence was signed, the first notes with the words “The United States” were issues signed by some of the famous revolutionary figures.
In 1791 and with the adoption of the United States new constitution, the Congress chartered in Philadelphia the Bank of North America - the first nation's bank and of which was authorized to issue banknotes. The Congress also determined that the official monetary system would be based on the dollar, only to begin with a few years later. In 1816, the congress chartered the Second Bank of the United States which existed for twenty years until 1836. These banks were privately owned and were authorized to issue paper bank notes and serve as the fiscal agent of the government. In 1832 Andrew Jackson vetoed the re charter of the Second Bank.
This followed by an era of which the American banking was comprised of state-chartered banks without federal regulation or uniformity in the operating laws. By 1860, an estimated 8,000 different state banks were circulating "wildcat" or "broken" bank notes in denominations from half cent to twenty thousands dollars.
Only on 1861 and again to finance the war (the Civil War), the Confederate Congress met in Montgomery, Alabama and authorized the government to issue paper currency (in the form of interest-bearing notes). Such notes were originally printed by the National Bank Note Co and were called Demand Notes or “Greenbacks” because of their green color.  In 1862, the Congress discontinued issuing Demand Notes and issued Legal Tender Notes, also known as the United States Notes. They were the first national currency used as a legal tender for most public and private debts.
Effects of the war such as shortage of gold and silver (and as a results shortage of coins) and existence of substitutes for paper money, waned the demand for the United States Notes during the war but it was resumed when the war finished.
Following the war, the Congress passed the National Banking Act in 1863 which established a national banking system and a uniform national currency to be issued by the new national banks. In later years, the government also, in a move to increase its reserve of precious metals, offered certificates in exchange for deposits of silver and gold.

By 1865 approximately one-third of all circulating currencies were counterfeit, and the Department of the Treasury established the United States Secret Service in an effort to control the counterfeiting.

By 1866 the National Bank Notes, backed by U.S. government securities, became predominant. By this time, 75 percent of all bank deposits were held by the nationally chartered banks. Notes were printed by private bank note companies under contract to the Federal government until 1877 when the Department of the Treasury's bureau of Engraving and Printing started printing all the U.S. currency.

As a result of the 1893 and 1907 financial crisis, the congress passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which created the Federal Reserve System as the nation's central bank to regulate the flow of money and credit for economic stability and growth. This Federal Reserve System was authorized to issue Federal Reserve Notes, now the only U.S. currency produced and 99 percent of all the currency in circulation. The design and signs of the Federal Reserve Notes has changed over the years.  For example, in 1929, the size of the notes was reduced; in 1955, the inscription "In God We Trust" was added. 
In 1990 a new series of notes were introduced to improve the security and prevent counterfeiters using a security thread and micro printing.

US Paper Money:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How much is my Mint Stamp Worth?

Mint Stamp is referred to, in philately, as a postage stamp which is unused, unmounted with a full gum (if issued with a gum). James Mackay, a professional philatelist and novelist, defined a mint stamp as being in its original state. In practice, many collectors refer to mint stamp as any stamp which has not been in use and therefore has never been cancelled, even it is has been mounted or does not have a full gum.
The term mint applies both to postage stamps and revenue stamps. Postage stamps are strictly for postage usage and revenue or tax stamps are stamped on tax collection documents, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, drugs and medicines, hunting licenses and different legal documents.
Hinges are small strips of gummed paper used to mount postage stamps in albums. Stamps which have not had hinges applied to them are classed as "unmounted." Stamps which have been mounted are referred to as mint stamp which have been hinged. A stamp can also be in a mint condition despite its condition as long as it was not in use.
There several common variations of the term Mint to describe the condition of the stamp:
Mint hinged (MH) - the stamp is unused but has been previously hinged. Remains of the hinge or gum disturbance are visible.
Mounted mint (MM) - the same as Mint hinged.
Mint no gum (MNG) - the stamp appears to be unused but has no gum. It might have been used but not cancelled, or have been issued without gum.
Unmounted mint (UM) - the stamp is unused and has never been mounted.
Mint never hinged (MNH) - the same as unmounted mint but with an assertion that the stamp is not a formerly mounted stamp that has been tampered with to remove traces of mounting.
The value of a mint stamp is usually higher than a used stamp because of its rarity and as often it is in a better condition. As a result, some sellers try to forge cancellations. However, this is not a general rule as the value at the end of day depends on several factors such the stamp condition and its supply and demand. There are cases where used stamps are more valuable where a large number of specific mint stamps are available. Countries often print a high volume of mint stamps more than their actual postage needs for collectors, as it is a good source of income for the postal office.
In general, it is important to maintain your mint stamps in an excellent condition, to keep its value. Organizing your stamps in a stock book, a stamp album or in an individual glass mount is a must. There are many stamps price guides which can assist with evaluating your mint stamps collection. The more known ones are Michel, Scott, Stanley Gibbons, Yvert et Tellier. Some of these guides provide online services as well.
Use the value given as a guideline and it is advised to review several price guides to receive a more accurate value for your stamp. 
Collectors usually buy mint stamps through dealers, auction websites and at the postage office. If you wish to sell your mint stamps it is important to know that dealers will demand their commission. Thus, it may be more lucrative to try and sell your mint stamps directly to buyers online in an auction website for collectors.

About the Author:
One of the great sources to your mint stamps collecting activity is where you can buy, sell, exchange and catalog your mint stamps collection or simply review collections of other collectors. You can also become a member of the site growing community; connect with other similar collectors, exchange mint stamps and ideas.

A Swiss Mint Stamp