• Print colour should be fresh, not faded.
  • There should be no marks or scratches.
  • The gum should have a smooth colour.
  • There should be no tone spots _ marks of a brown, rusty appearance _ on either side of the stamp.
  • Hinge remnants, where the stamp has torn away rather than letting go of the stamp, should be clear and clean and not thick and dirty.
  • The perforation teeth surrounding the stamp should look nice, not be too short or torn.
  • For cancelled stamps, the same guidelines should be used but note the postmark. The stamp should have a clear cancellation mark but not too heavy, as that could affect its price.
  • In other words, the price of a stamp in good condition can be higher than the catalogue or even market price.

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