In order to convince each and everyone of searching for good cancels, a little help.
For long I was searching for an 'instrument' to determinate the quality of a cancelation.
Is there a 'standard' way to determinate whether a cancel is good, very good, or even excellent?
Of course, a lot depends on what kind of feeling you have yourself when looking at a used stamp.
If a cancel was made within an acceptable timeframe after the stamp was issued, then we're on the good way.
A 'black penny' with a year 2010 cancel is out of the question.
Secondly, with very old stamps, and perfect cancellations... always be careful for forgeries.
Better ask a specialist.
For 99% of our collections : this little, but oh so useful instrument :
This 'meter' was developed by the dutchman P. A. la Gasse.
It was meant for determinating the quality of small round cancels on early dutch stamps, but it can be used for any kind of 'classic' stamps.
For modern stamps, large sized stamps or irregular shaped stamps it's also useful, as long as you put the 'to be measured stamp' perfectly in the middle of the A-sheet (as shown below).
|La Gasse 'cancelation meter'|
Make sure it's perfectly in the middle, for bigger stamps, or round stamps for example, put the centre of the stamp exactly in the middle of the page.
(N O Z W = Noord, Oost, Zuid, West, or North, East, South, West)
|detail A-sheet la Gasse|
Now we need the second sheet of the la Gasse-meter.
This should be printed on a transparent foil, an be put over the first (A)sheet.
The exact size of the sheets doesn't matter too much, as long as A and B sheet are exactly the same size!
|La Gasse - sheet B|
North of the compass should be north-side of the cancel.
The circles on the compass are to be placed on the cancel and the line west-east become the horizon of the cancel.
|La Gasse compass - detail|
If you do so, the little box (south of the Z-point) will show a number on the scale, printed on the underneath A-sheet. (scale from 0 to 200)
|the box will show the 'value' of the cancel, as indicated in the A-sheet below|
The scale in the box gives an upgrade of downgrade of the catalogue value in %
200% doubles the catalogue price, 50% brings it down to half the price.
... to be continued...