ASG Celebrates 1 Million Stamps Graded

Posted on 6/1/2023

In the last six years, the third-party stamp certification service has brought greater security to the philatelic marketplace.

Authenticated Stamp Guaranty® (ASG®) has now authenticated and graded more than 1 million collectible stamps. The impressive milestone comes less than six years after ASG began accepting submissions in January 2018.

ASG joins other companies within the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) in passing the 1 million mark. Others include Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®), which has graded more than 58 million coins, medals and tokens; Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), which has graded more than 8 million banknotes; Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), which has graded more than 10 million comic books and magazines; CGC Trading Cards®, which has graded more than 2 million Pokémon and other TCGs and non-sports cards; and Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®), which has certified more than 1 million sports cards.

ASG authenticates vintage and modern stamps and accurately grades them on a 100-point scale. The stamps are then encapsulated in a high-quality holder designed both to preserve the stamp and to protect against counterfeiting. ASG's certification services are helping to create a safer and more vibrant marketplace for collectible stamps.

Below are some of the rare stamps that ASG has certified:

A Bowker Collection highlight

Several dozen vintage Chinese stamps certified by ASG were offered from the prestigious H.F. Bowker Collection at a November 2022 auction. Together, the group realized $57,336, led by a Block of Four China (1885-1888) Qing Dynasty - Small Dragon 1 Candareen graded ASG VF/XF 85 Mint OG that realized $4,320. This is one of the highest-quality blocks of these stamps, which offer a stunning snapshot of early Chinese postage history. To learn more, click here.

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A seldom-seen Red Revenue stamp

ASG has certified several rare Red Revenue stamps, including this China (1897) 5 Dollars Surcharged in Black on a 3 Cents graded ASG VF 80 Mint POG. When the Chinese government launched a new national postal service in 1897, the Coiled Dragons stamps were not yet available. So, the Red Revenue stamps that the government had on hand were pressed into service. These have earned a cherished place in Chinese philately. To learn more, click here.

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A beloved lunar stamp

China has issued many stamps celebrating the 12 animals of the lunar calendar. Perhaps the most iconic is the 1980 8 Fen Year of the Monkey, with this block of eight certified as ASG XF/Superb 95 Mint OG. The stamp is also known as the Gengshen Monkey or the Golden Monkey, and its red background and denomination of 8 Fen are both considered auspicious. It was the first of the lunar stamps issued by China, and the depiction of the monkey marked a change from past designs, which often featured military or political heroes. To learn more, click here.

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A mid-century rarity

The People’s Republic of China issued Military Postage Stamps for use by its soldiers, including this block of purple stamps. However, it was quickly recognized that the stamps would make it easy to identify mail that possibly contained sensitive information. So these stamps were recalled and most were destroyed. To learn more, click here.

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A stunning sheet from Macau

This beautiful sheet from Macau, issued during its Portuguese colonial period, is among the stamps that ASG certifies. ASG grades most modern stamps issued by the People’s Republic of China, including Hong Kong and Macau, from 1950 to present. Chinese stamps issued during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese stamps issued before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and stamps from other countries are accepted on a case-by-case basis only. To learn more, click here.

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