this link to go directly to Craig's latest article on postcards.
My name is Craig A. Morris
and I have volunteered my time and postcard knowledge to our Web site.
I will keep to the basics in the beginning because our hope is to entice
new members world-wide into the pursuit of airline postcard collecting,
and to share knowledge so mistakes are limited. First, however, a little
something of myself: I am 52 and have always been a collector my entire
life. I started with baseball cards in the 50's and 60's. After my service
commitment ended in 1969, I collected coins. This lasted until 1987 when
I got very tired of the hassle in buying coins due to the indifference
in dealer attitudes with regards to grading. So, I decided to find another
interest. My father was a pilot for TWA for 36 years and he retired in
1981, so I decided to collect just TWA material. Well the blinders came
off rather fast.
Down to business. This first
article will be on condition and grading of postcards; along with a couple
of suggestions. Postcard valuations, identifying the age of postcards,
types of postcards and other postcard information will follow in later
articles. As with old coins, stamps, books, etc., the condition of a postcard
is an extremely important factor in determining the price for the collector.
Damaged, worn, creased, or dirty cards - cards in less than very good condition
- are almost uncollectible unless they are to be used as a space filler
until a better one is found. There are books for sale that give general
perimeters for grading. I have read a few and found the general rule of
thumb for grading is as follows:
A couple suggestions - Years
ago when I started to collect airline memorabilia (postcards and timetables)
I had no idea what I was looking at, particularly dealing with postcards.
I thought there had to be clubs of some sort that could help me learn.
I didn't know a "chrome" from a "linen" from a "real photo" card. I looked
in the Yellow Pages and found a few. I called them up and got the number
for the San Jose Postcard Club. I joined the next week and started going
to meetings. Boy, you talk about a learning experience - it was great.
It has kept me from making serious mistakes in buying postcards - especially
purchasing real photo cards. I cannot stress the importance of joining
such clubs especially for the newcomer. If you live in an area with postcard
or paper shows - go and start to look around and ask questions.
You will learn quickly what are the common and uncommon cards. My
own experience is that the regular postcard dealers will help you . It
is to their advantage to help - I still buy lots of cards from my first
contacts simply because they helped me learn and they have the material.
I've come to know some of the biggest postcard/paper dealers in the country
and they save cards for me, which makes me feel good. Of course it has
taken 7 years to get to this point (I've been collecting for 12). If anyone
has questions PLEASE get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mint - A perfect card just as
it comes from the printing press. No marks, bends, no creases. No writing
or postmarks. A clean and fresh card; also seldom seen.
Near Mint - Like Mint but very
light aging or very slight discoloration from being in an album for many
years. Not as sharp or crisp.
Excellent - Like mint in appearance
with no bends or creases, or rounded or blunt corners. may be postally
used or unused and with writing and postmark only on the address side.
A clean, fresh card on the picture side.
Very Good - Corners may be just
a bit blunt or rounded. Almost undetectable crease or bend that does not
detract from overall appearance of the picture side. May have writing or
may be postally used on the address side. A very collectible card.
Good - Corners may be noticeably
blunt or rounded with slightly noticeable bends or creases. Less the VG.
Fair - Card is intact. Excess
soil stains, creases, writing, or cancellation may affect picture. Could
be a scarce card that is difficult to find in any condition.
This category will cover
postcards (both airline and non-airline issued), photographs, 35mm slides,
videotapes, and any digital images of aircraft.