Stamps (Philately)/Expert Profile

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My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.

Experience in the area

30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.


Member of APS #222356.


1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)


Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

Past/Present Clients

100's too numerous to mention.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Have extensive experience in the many varieties of papers used in US philately, particularly early use papers. I have perfected a method of detection of Ribbed Paper, which is photographable, and enables anyone to see this feature.

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Jeff Stroman01/02/17101010Mr. Payton, Thank you for your timely .....
Tricia11/10/16101010Very easy to follow driscription of identifying .....
Eben11/04/16101010What an amazingly detailed response. I can't .....

Recent Answers from Scott Payton

2017-01-04 colour variety:

This is what is known as a "Changeling".  Stamps of original color can become another color under certain conditions.  Exposure to sulphur in the air (near plants, mines, etc), can cause orange stamps

2017-01-03 US war savings bond stamps:

Hi Bruce,    I'm so sorry for your loss.  My older brother passed away 3 years ago and he was my inspiration to start collecting when I was 12 in 1980.    The short answer to your question is "maybe".

2016-12-25 scott 596?:

Senthil,     The odds of your having a 596 is incredibly remote.  To be 100% certain, this stamp needs to be examined in person, as a scan will not provide the proper measurement.  Can you send me a photo

2016-12-25 printing error:

Senthil,     The reason you are probably having difficulty finding this stamp is because it's not an official stamp.  These were issued by the government in exile, and never used for postage.  As a result

2016-12-23 watermark:

this is not particularly unusual.  It's the leading edge of the sheet so the entire length of the sheet will have this line.  Perhaps not all leading sheet edges have this, but it's barely classifies as


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