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August 27, 2007

A Guide to Postcard Faults


Corner/Edge Wear: This postcard has softened edges and rounded corners. This comes from a card being unprotected by a postcard sleeve. Not as severe as a corner crease but may lower a postcard's value.





Corner Crease: This corner has been bent and then straightened leaving a fold in the card. Be very careful with your postcards because severe creases may significantly lower their value.





Missing Corner: It looks as if a rat has gotten a hold of this one. This is a rather extreme example of a missing corner. The entire corner of the postcard is completely gone.

A missing corner can be repaired with archival tape (provided you have the missing piece). Using any other type of tape only makes things worse as acids from regular tape will damage the postcard further.


Writing on the Face: Someone has written a message on the face side of the card. There can also be "proper writing on the face". This term is used for cards where the message was only allowed on the face side of the card before the divided back was used.

Anything on the face of a card that takes away from the image may lower a postcard's value.

Stamp/Cancel on the Face: A stamp was placed on the face side of the card and then canceled. Anything on the face of a card that takes away from the image may lower a postcard's value.

However, I was recently told that this stamp on the face signified a different postage rate in Europe and meant that the writer could include a message on the back next to the address.

Pinhole: Some naughty person stuck this card to the wall with a pin at some point. While I'm sure they got lots of enjoyment from seeing it hanging there every day, they didn't help it's value at all. They are usually found near the edges of the card.

This is different from a registration hole. In rare cases postcards were punched and used for registration in the process of printing the post cards.

Others:

Face/Back Thin: A piece of this card has been pulled off leaving a "thin" on its surface. These lower the value more when on the face side of a card.

Corner Album Marks: After being kept in an album for years this card has become discolored because of acids in the album's paper. These old fashioned albums are not safe for postcards and can eventually ruin them. These lower the value more when on the face side of a card.

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