Jay Tell, Americana Stamp and Coin Galleries, Gallery, rare stamp coin dealer collection estate buyer appraiser appraisals agent, expert witness stamps coins testimony litigation arbitration mediation, errors inverts misprints mistakes EFO's varieties oddities, currency paper money, buying appraising U.S. world wide foreign mint used, top cash prices paid for postage stamps coins collections estates lots, inheritance inherited probate, heirs liquidation liquidator insurance, accumulations holdings hoards properties boxes albums, evaluator evaluations investments, consultant adviser, we buy all collectibles, So Southern California downtown E W West Los Angeles L.A., SF Simi Sun Fountain San Gabriel Fernando the Valley Diego Bernardino Jose Mateo Francisco Dimas Marino Marcos Clemente Luis Obispo Pedro, Encino Van Nuys Sherman Thousand Oaks Palms, West E N No North Hollywood Tujunga Silver Toluca Lake Lynn wood view Terrace Forest Village, S Pasadena Glendale Burbank Altadena, Ontario Pomona Chino Signal Shadow West Mission North Granada Woodland Hidden Laguna Anaheim Agoura Beverly Hills, Brent West wood, Tarzana Reseda Northridge, Canoga Monterey Baldwin Newbury Moor Park, Winnetka Chatsworth Porter Ranch Calabasas, Fairfax Wilshire Miracle Mile, Panorama Carson Virginia Temple Cathedral Century Culver Studio City of Industry, Bel Air Pacific Palisades, Malibu Oxnard, Santa Monica Clarita Ana Paula Barbara Catalina Susana, Orange Ventura Riverside LA County, Arcadia Sierra Madre, Sylmar Montrose Azuza Temecula, W Covina El Monte, Camarillo, Commerce Whittier Bell flower Gardena, Alhambra Hawaiian Gardens Downey Pico Rivera, Montebello, Paramount Hawthorne Torrance Inglewood Compton, Marina Playa Corona Del Rey Mar Vista, Manhattan Redondo Hermosa Seal Huntington Newport Laguna Niguel Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes Estates Cucamonga, Irvine Fullerton, Hacienda Rowland Heights, Carpinteria, Upland Lancaster, Palm Lawn Irwin dale Desert Hot Springs, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Diamond Bar, Topanga, Encinitas, Coronado Oceanside, La Jolla Puente Verne Crescenta Mesa Canada Flintridge, Catalina, Dana Point Magu Dume, old letters envelopes papers notes post cards, stampless first day crash covers, proofs essays, mint plate number # blocks souvenir sheets, coils booklets panes, double die prints over date, off planchet mis struck, raw un graded PCGS NGC CAC type colonial copper, 20 3 small large cent nickel half dime, silver gold coins, patterns experimental test coin age tokens, St Saint- Gaudens Ultra High Relief With out Motto, Liberty Indian quarter half double eagles, Morgan Peace Trade dollars, proof un circulated mint type sets, 24¢ Curtis Jenny bi plane 1918 inverted center, #C3a invert upside down airplane, world's most famous stamp error, #164 America's rarest stamp, unique one-of-a-kind 1875 24¢ Winfield Scott ribbed paper, Lost Continental Bank Note Co, Nobel Prize medal, missing omitted color errors, imperforate shifted mis perforations, pre printing paper crazy fold over crease, double transfer print, regular commemorative, air post airmail special delivery, parcel post postage due, revenue duck back of the book B. O. B., British No So North South Central America, Canada Mexico, W West East E Europe an, Israel Australia, Asia India, China Japan, Graf Zeppelin Zepps, Titanic, celebrity film cinema movie TV stars, space sports Olympic pioneer aviation aviator legends press pins, Washington Jefferson Madison Jackson Lincoln, Grant Sherman Lee, T A Edison Teddy TR Franklin D Roosevelt FDR, Lindbergh Earhart, Churchill Einstein JFK Kennedy LBJ Johnson, historical presidential military army navy air force marines, signed documents manuscripts books autographs patents, signatures photos photographs memorabilia mementos posters, antiques artifacts newspapers, pamphlets diaries maps, Civil First Second World War WW One 1 Two 2 II, political buttons ribbons tokens, Territorial Enterprise Mark Twain, Philatelic Foundation PFC PSE PSAG APS authenticated errors classics classical rarities finds gems treasures showpieces, History Channel's Pawn Stars stamp coin currency expert [SEARCH WORDS]    

'Buying and selling since 1958'



  • Jay has more than 50 years experience as a rare stamp and coin dealer
  • Polished expert witness, buyer, appraiser, consultant, trusted agent
  • Specialist in 19th and 20th century classics, rarities, inverted centers and all errors, historical and presidential documents, rare autographs, etc.
  • The History Channel's Pawn Stars expert for stamps, coins, currency
  • First dealer to buy and sell America's Rarest Stamp ($397,838 in 1999), the internet world-record for the most valuable single stamp
  • First dealer in history to buy and sell a coveted Nobel Prize
  • First stamp and coin editor of the Los Angeles Times and creator of the popular Sunday column 'Stamp and Coin Corner' which ran for 30 years
  • First dealer to buy and sell the highest grade gem U.S. $10 Indian Head gold coin (1913S) known to exist
  • Former consultant-contributor to the Scott Stamp Catalogue
  • Owner and operator of five Los Angeles stamp and coin stores from the 1960's to the 1990's; and a bonded auctioneer
  • Member American Philatelic Society since 1963, APS Life Member
  • Member American Numismatic Association, ANA since 1964
  • Member National Stamp Dealers Association, NSDA since 1998
  • Member United States Stamp Society, USSS since 1983; etc.


60 Ventura Blvd., PMB 110A, Encino, CA 91436

Phones: 818.905.1111  or  818.515.1222      
Fax: 818.905.1114

By appointment only, please.
Emails: americanacorp@sbcglobal.net
or jaytell@hotmail.com

This website address: http://www.americanastampcoin.com

***** NEWS:
The World's Most Valuable Stamp, the unique 1856 British Guiana 1¢ magenta, the 'Mona Lisa of Philately,' will be auctioned June 17th by Sotheby's in New York with viewings in London and Hong Kong. This icon of the stamp world (discovered by a 12-year old boy) sold for $1.50 in 1873, $750 in 1878, $35,000 in 1922, $45,000 in 1940, $280,000 in 1970, and $935,000 in 1980 to the heir of the du Pont fortune. Pre-sale estimate is $10 to $20 million, and is sure to eclipse the previous record of $2.2 million for one stamp (1996). This sea-change event (the first time this prize has been offered in 34 years) is attracting mega-buyers and unprecedented worldwide media coverage, increasing interest and demand for all rare stamps. For a century and a half this treasure's mystique, allure, romance, excitement and value grows with each new generation. This 'stuff of dreams' was once owned by Count Philippe la Renotiere von Ferrary who amassed the world's greatest stamp collection. In 1922 King George V was the auction under-bidder, so this is the only major British rarity missing from the Royal Heirloom Collection. ***** Story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Guiana_1c_magenta


Jay has more than 50 years experience as a rare stamp and coin dealer. He is a skilled buyer and appraiser, polished expert witness (court-certified), confidential consultant, trusted agent - and a lifelong specialist in U.S. and world stamp and coin classics, rarities, inverted centers and all errors. He handles presidential and historical documents, autographs, currency, other collectibles, gold and silver. He was born in North Bergen, New Jersey in 1944 and is a former newspaper editor, publisher and lifelong writer.

Jay is The History Channel's Pawn Stars stamp, coin and currency expert. Pawn Stars is a popular weekly reality show on cable and satellite TV with tens of millions of loyal viewers from coast to coast, and is syndicated in many countries. To see Jay's  Pawn Stars show segments (4/9, 4/23, 5/28/12), which are often re-run, left click: http://sharpcut.com/jaytell.html

Jay began his lifelong love-affair with stamps and coins as a boy, and had his first show booth in 1958 when he was 14, shared with a friend, at the first New York Interpex Stamp Expo. As a teenager, Jay visited old masters on legendary Nassau Street (hundreds of dealers in a few blocks) for his specialty, misprints. He pioneered the tiny error field which later grew to unimagined popularity. Jay became trusted by major dealers who taught him 'Your word is your bond;' 'High ethics are moral and good business;' and, 'You are not just selling stamps and coins, you are selling knowledge.' And, 'Everything a dealer buys should be for sale. Don't compete with your collector and investor clients.' In the 1960's rents soared on Nassau Street (adjacent to Wall Street) so dealers were forced to move, ending the hobby's Golden Age - the final years of which Jay treasures as an integral part of his values.

Jay owned and operated five Los Angeles retail stamp and coin stores from the 1960's to the 1990's, starting in 1965 at age 21. He has handled more than 100,000 career transactions for perhaps $100 million. Jay has never had a complaint filed in his years as a licensed and bonded California stamp and coin auctioneer - and has been with the same bank since 1970.

In 1975, at 31, Jay was the first dealer in history to buy and sell a coveted Nobel Prize, the 23k gold medal awarded to Sir Cyril N. Hinshelwood for Chemistry. The Prize, had been flatly rejected by the world's oldest and largest dealers and auction houses (Sotheby's, Christie's, Spink), as there simply was no price history prior to Jay's bold landmark purchase and sale.  It was believed to be the only Nobel Prize treasure since the first in 1901 to leave a recipient's family's possession until 2012 when Neils Bohr's 1922 Nobel medal for Physics sold for about $50,000. That record was resoundingly thrashed in April 2013 when a third Nobel Prize - awarded in 1962 to Francis Crick as the co-discoverer in 1953 of DNA - was sold for $2.27 million! 

Registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. © ® The Nobel Foundation.
Nobel Prize (physics, chemistry) inscribed: 'For they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.'

Jay made philatelic history when he bought and sold the only UNIQUE United States stamp,
Scott #164, the 24¢ Winfield Scott. It was printed in 1875 on 'ribbed paper' by the Continental Bank Note Company, so Jay dubbed it the Lost Continental. The original discoverer, from San Diego, California, was unable to sell it for 31 frustrating years (1968-1999). In three decades he had only one offer, $2,000. The stamp was rejected, ridiculed and belittled by the world's leading stamp dealers and auction houses who disparaged its legitimacy, convincing major collectors and world-class investors to 'stay away.'

When approached by the disheartened
owner in 1999,
Jay became certain the purple adhesive was authentic. He researched its amazing history and launched a major editorial, publicity, advertising and promotional campaign at his own expense. He boldly took on powerful interests who were determined to protect another stamp, the 1¢ Franklin Z Grill of 1868, Scott #85A, which was widely but 'incorrectly' promoted for 30 years as America’s rarest stamp. There are two known examples of the Z Grill, so, if Jay’s #164 - with only one known to exist - was validated with a meaningful sale, the famous Z Grill would drop to second place. Quite simply, one extant is rarer than two. Despite millions spent for three decades by industry leaders on hundreds of ads and articles ‘erroneously’ claiming the Z Grill to be the rarest U.S. stamp, it was soon to topple off its lofty perch.

Legendary philatelic authors were the pioneer stamp experts of the late 19th and early 20th century
(Luff, Brookman, Chase, Perry, Ashbrook), but they could only presume or surmise that #164 should exist, since no 24¢ Winfield Scott had ever been found on 'ribbed paper' which positively identifies it as a Continental Bank Note Co printing. Additionally, the #164 has a partially weak plate impression, as predicted in Lester Brookman's 1947 three-volume master work. Undiscovered since 1875, lost to the sands of time until 1968, the Lost Continental was not truly acknowledged for 124 years until Jay's landmark 1999 sale. 

Jay’s ground-breaking #164 research
was featured in stories, large ads, and his hard-hitting four-page Tell Tales column (12/17/99) in America's oldest stamp weekly, established in 1891. His media blitz headlined that 'the famous Z Grill was NOT America's rarest stamp' as major dealers and auction houses had widely but 'incorrectly' promoted for three decades. Jay made an unprecedented, compelling case for the authenticity of the 24¢ Winfield Scott 1875 'ribbed paper' classic. The romance and excitement of Jay’s Lost Continental fact-filled expose earned full-page editorial support and comprehensive news coverage in the three most influential stamp publications. After 31 years of ridicule by so-called ‘experts’ with ulterior motives, in a special one-lot internet auction (12/21/99) Jay sold the #164 treasure for $397,838, still the internet world-record price for a single stamp.

News of the historic event rocked the stamp world.
It is by far the rarest, most valuable philatelic showpiece ever exclusively marketed on the internet. The sale earned banner news stories in the philatelic press and in daily newspapers, and Jay was interviewed on three TV news programs. In January, 2000, amid armed guards, the only known example of the 1875 Lost Continental was the top exhibit for three days at San Diego’s 28th annual SANDICAL Stamp Expo. 

Scott #164 is now recognized by the renowned Scott Stamp Catalogue
(established in 1868) as the only UNIQUE United States whole-numbered postage stamp. It is certified as the only authentic #164 by the prestigious Philatelic Foundation of New York (established in 1945) - the 'Supreme Court' of philatelic expertise. The Lost Continental is celebrated in the Court of Honor as America's Rarest Stamp by the American Philatelic Society (established in 1886) the world's oldest, largest, and most respected stamp organization. Jay joined the APS in 1963, is proud to be a Life Member, and has received the APS 50th Anniversary Medal.

No museum has #164, not even the Smithsonian.
No one can complete a U.S. stamp collection without the Lost Continental. Even the $8 million Zoellner collection, once the most valuable U.S. collection in history, did not have the key stamp, #164, which now resides in the fabulous Bill Gross stamp collection reportedly valued at more than $100 million. His award-winning 19th century U.S. stamp collection could not be complete without the UNIQUE Scott #164, the only one in the world.
Jay’s 1999 acquisition of the Lost Continental and its historic sale for nearly $400,000 is the crowning achievement of Jay’s career, begun as a collector since the age of five, and as a dealer since at age of 14, in 1958, in his New Jersey attic. 

In 1962, 18-year-old Jay was the first stamp and coin editor of the Las Vegas Sun, creating a Sunday magazine editorial, photo and advertising spread. The world’s largest stamp newspaper, Linn's Stamp News (established in 1928), reprinted some of Jay's articles. Jay attended Nevada Southern University (later to become UNLV) serving as editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. He worked nights in 1962 and 1963 as a busboy and waiter at the legendary Sands Hotel, epicenter of the entertainment world during the peak of the luminous 'Rat Pack' era of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, etc.

Jay co-managed his first political campaign at age 18,
in 1962, before he could even vote, and the stunning victory of unknown Ted Marshall for Clark County District Attorney remains one of the biggest upsets in Nevada political history.  A decade later, in 1971, Jay’s newspaper, the Las Vegas Free Press, ran an explosive expose which prevented a 'cinch’ win by the huge favorite in the Las Vegas City Commission race, Paul Price, the powerful but corrupt top columnist for the Las Vegas Sun. After his shocking defeat, Price sued for $500,000 for libel, but charges were proved and the case was settled totally in Jay's favor.

In 1964, at 19, Jay opened his first office,
in downtown Los Angeles, soon opening a store on Spring Street in the financial district, the first of his five Los Angeles retail stamp and coin stores spanning four decades, the 1960's to the 1990's.

Considered one of the most beautiful stamps, this $1 Cattle in the Storm (from a John MacWhirter painting)
is part of the nine-stamp set (1¢ to $2.00) commemorating the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha.

In 1965, at 21, Jay became the first stamp and coin editor of the
Los Angeles Times, creating 'Stamp & Coin Corner' a popular Sunday column that ran for 30 years. In 1965, he leased the Lesser Building penthouse on Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, installing the first nationwide coin teletype system - serving clients from all walks of life including film and TV folks. In 1965-69, his Fairfax store (adjacent to LA's Farmers Market) pioneered and helped create the modern stamp, coin, and bullion business.

His next three retail stores were in LA's San Fernando Valley:
Sherman Oaks 1973-74, Studio City 1974-83, and Tarzana 1984-92, his largest, a 2,000 sq ft retail showroom and auction gallery featuring rare stamps and coins, classics, errors, historical and presidential documents, rare autographs, paper money, floor and mail auctions, jewelry, antiques, books, gold and silver. 

Jay Tell’s memberships:

  • American Philatelic Society since 1963, APS Life Member
  • American Numismatic Association, ANA since 1964
  • National Stamp Dealers Association, NSDA since 1998
  • United States Stamp Society, USSS since 1983; etc.
  • Jay served on the Board of Directors of Sandical Stamp Expo, since 1972 San Diego’s oldest/largest stamp exposition.                                          

Jay is a former newspaper publisher and editor. In 1970, the infamous Howard Hughes proxy trial was an epic battle for control of an empire. Upon request by Hughes' dynamic lawyer, Chester C. Davis, Federal Judge Roger Foley admitted Jay's newspaper as evidence, saying from the bench, 'The Las Vegas Free Press may be the only paper in the nation to get the story straight.' Among many other important stories, Jay exposed Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun and Hughes-Nevada CEO Robert Maheu who fleeced billionaire Hughes, then the world's richest man, of $20 million+ ($110 million+ in today's dollars). 

Jay's fearless investigative reporting championed civil rights, protecting the environment, a drug-free non-smoking healthy lifestyle and natural foods.
He backed stronger health care coverage, equal opportunity and protection for all Americans. He supported equal pay for equal work for women, the first Fair Housing Law and the new Public Defender's Office so each accused gets a Constitutionally-required attorney, principles which were then controversial but are now widely accepted. Jay opposed the Vietnam war but supported our valiant troops and mourned his fiancee's brother and 58,220 brave U.S. military who tragically died there. In the 1970's Jay owned Nevada's first health restaurant, Food for Thought. 

Bobby Darin was Jay’s close friend
and business partner, and his death at only 37 in 1973 is still an irreplaceable loss. Bobby wrote and recorded 'Splish Splash' and 'Dream Lover', and sang 'Beyond the Sea', 'If I Were A Carpenter' and the mega-hit 'Mack the Knife' winning two Grammy awards. Bobby recorded more than 300 songs, 30 albums, and outdrew Frank Sinatra at the Copacabana and other famous nightclubs. He co-starred in 13 films, was nominated for an Oscar, and won a Golden Globe. In 1970, with life-threatening health issues and in retrospection rethinking the meaning of fame and fortune, his career was quiet. Jay truly believed in Bobby's amazing talents and negotiated (gratis, as a friend) Bobby's highest-ever salary, $40,000 a week, at top Las Vegas Strip Hotels. A month of main room sold-out performances at the Landmark Tower was followed by two engagements, of one month each,  at the famed Desert Inn Resort. Bobby's career took off (again) and in his last year with us, before his 'final curtain', he starred in his own weekly NBC-TV one-hour prime-time variety show. Since childhood, Bobby had suffered from heart-damaging rheumatic fever and he knew, since the tender age of eight, that he would not live a long life - but boy, did he live a full one!

In 2003, on the anniversary of his friend's passing, Jay wrote the 'Bobby Darin 30th Anniversary Tribute', now published on more than 30 websites (given gratis, upon request). Enjoy Bobby's moving 'Horacio Alger' story at:

   ...and...   http://www.bronxbabe.com/Page27.html

Bobby Darin, his son Todd, his wife Sandra Dee

Jay's late father, Jack Tell, was an assistant editor at The New York Times.
A relative was stamp editor of the New York Post, so Jay grew up within both the journalism and philatelic communities. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno and Las Vegas. In 1960, Jay's parents, Jack and Bea Tell, purchased Mark Twain's world-famous Virginia City Territorial Enterprise newspaper from history and railroad author Lucius Beebe and moved the family West. At 17, Jay cut his journalistic teeth writing, researching, editing, and setting headlines with ornate hand-carved wood fonts. He helped run the same century-old Mealy flat-bed press actually used by Mark Twain and an historic Linotype melting lead ‘pigs’ for hot type galley proofs.

The Tell family founded the Las Vegas Israelite in 1965 - Nevada's only English-Jewish newspaper - well-respected, still going strong in its 50th year of continuous publication, and still family-owned with Jay's brother, Michael Tell, at the helm. 

In 1958, Jay's first major ‘find’ was an 8¢ Liberty plate # block with only one plate number instead of two (one for each color, blue and carmine). It was rejected as a ‘fake’ by major New York stamp dealers. The owner disagreed, since he’d purchased it at the post office. Veteran dealers referred him to an 'error specialist’ across the Hudson River in New Jersey. He was shocked and amused when the ‘Mr.' Tell turned out to be 14 years old with three attic rooms of Lionel trains, planes, toy soldiers, stamps and coins. The man’s asking price was only $3.75 which included 50¢ for his round trip bus fare. After inspection, Jay purchased the widely scorned item and was thrilled to get a certificate of authenticity from the Philatelic Foundation in New York. He soon sold the error for $250, a fortune for a ninth grader in 1958 and a life-changing confidence builder. It was the first of only five 8¢ Liberty (Scott #1041) one-number errors ever discovered, and Jay has handled three (ask for the Tell Tales story gratis, via email).

At 14 years old, Jay's first major 'find' with only one plate number instead of two.
Of five of these rarities known to exist, Jay has handled three, including the first.

In 1959, at 15, Jay published a 16-page illustrated price list, the first solely devoted to stamp errors, now a classic in the field.  Jay has announced major finds of rarities and errors not in catalogs. In 1961, Nassau Street dealer Morris Greebel consigned a 1918 Jenny Inverted Center (Scott #C3a) to Jay who sold it for $4,500, turning a tidy $500 profit for the 17-year-old. Today, Jenny Inverts are the world's most famous stamp errors, having sold for $150,000 to $977,000 each (depending on condition). From the only sheet of 100 Jenny Inverts discovered, by William T. Robey, 98 are known (request the exciting Tell Tales story, gratis). 


The 1918 Jenny Invert unique Plate # Block of Four - the 'stuff of dreams' - sold in 1951 for $18,250, in 1989 for $1.1 million, and in 2005 for $2.97 million, and increase of 16,274%. Along with many other philatelic treasures, the Jenny Invert Plate # Block of Four is displayed in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's new 12,000 square feet  William H. Gross Gallery.

1918 Jenny Inverted Center, the unique Plate # Block of Four sold for $2.97 million in 2005.

In 1966, at 22, Jay helped list silver dollars on the New York Mercantile Exchange, on which Jay owned a seat which he later sold for a profit. Bank depository receipts for 'Morgan' and 'Peace' silver dollars (1878-1928) in 1,000-coin bags became America’s newest trading commodity, and the landmark event earned a spread in Fortune Magazine. Jay was interviewed on TV and radio programs, including the nationwide Joe Pyne Show broadcast on hundreds of stations. Jay urged listeners and his clients to invest in rare stamps and coins with a finite supply and strong demand, which have since greatly appreciated.

In 1967, at 23, Jay purchased the famous Whitney-Green coin and stamp collection for $350,000 ($2.5 million in today's dollars), a celebrated acquisition which was banner national news. His weekly spreads (often in color) in Coin World, the world’s largest numismatic newspaper, brought thousands of mail orders and store clients. Jay is an innovator and advertiser since 1958, and, in the 1960's, when in his early 20's, his Los Angeles stamp and coin firm with 26 employees grossed millions. 

Jay became the first dealer to buy and sell the highest grade U.S. $10 Indian gold coin ever discovered (1913S). In 1979, he boldly outbid two lifelong world-class coin dealers, purchased it for $15,500 and within weeks sold it for a record $35,000 ($120,000 in today's dollars), yielding a $19,500 profit. With this landmark purchase and sale of the finest known gem U. S. $10 Indian Head gold coin (1913S) known to exist, Jay earned a special place in numismatic history.

In 1983, Jay ran the biggest advertisement in philatelic history, ten pages in Linn's Stamp News, then and now the world's largest and most influential philatelic publication. This landmark stamp mail auction, the first-ever to top $1 million, featured 1,639 lots of 19th and 20th century classics, rarities, errors, showpieces. In this lavishly photographed sale were four world-famous inverted centers: 1869 Pictorial Issue 15¢ and 24¢ inverts, 1901 Pan American Exposition Issue 1¢ invert, 1959 Canada Seaway 5¢ invert; each a coveted treasure never before sold together in the West. 

15¢ 1869 Pictorial INVERTED CENTER depicting 'The Landing of Columbus'.
Of 90 known, Jay has handled perhaps 15. This one fetched $120,000 in 2008.

In 1987, Jay was exclusive stamp buyer for John D. Rockefeller Jr's grandson, handling acquisitions of many fabulous errors, inverted centers, rarities and treasures. Jay was selected to appraise the iconic grandfather's original stamp collection.

4¢ 1901 Pan-American Exposition INVERTED CENTER depicting an electric
car. Only 35 examples are known unused. This one realized $90,000 in 2009.  


Jay's 1992 Elvis Presley driver's license promotion earned priceless TV, radio and print publicity including an entire Liz Smith New York Post column internationally syndicated in many newspapers. Jay has written hundreds of news and feature stories on current events, history, philately, numismatics, politics, celebrities, book and show reviews, etc.  

Jay has been the author of popular Tell Tales columns featured in America’s oldest stamp weekly, Mekeel’s and Stamps Magazine, established in 1891; archived in philatelic libraries worldwide (ask for Tell Tales columns, gratis, via email). 

Roosevelt Albums were created in 1904 by visionary and progressive President Teddy Roosevelt, a lifelong stamp collector, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, builder of the Panama Canal, author of 47 books ('Rough Riders'), and father of the environmental movement who protected enormous forests, wetlands and national parks for posterity. He was the trust-buster extraordinaire who broke up railroad and oil monopolies which lowered prices for ordinary citizens. TR expanded the Navy (The Great White Fleet) making America a world power. His Bully Pulpit pioneered the government's new role ('The Square Deal') in safe food and drugs, workers' compensation, truthful product labeling, workplace safety, and in making child labor illegal. TR inspired Franklin D. Roosevelt's grand reforms: Social Security, massive infra-structure building, the CCC, NRA, FDIC, SEC, FTC, FDA, etc.
Each of the original 85 embossed, gilt-edged,
leather-bound Roosevelt Albums (each with 302 U.S. proofs 1847-1903 complete, printed from the original plates) was an incomparable gift from the American people to key statesmen, Supreme Court Justices, kings, queens, cabinet members, and renowned industry moguls Rockefeller, Astor, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Mellon, J.P. Morgan and other luminaries. Over time, most of the 85 presentation albums were broken up for sets and singles. Today, perhaps only ten albums remain intact outside of those preserved in museums (The Smithsonian, Sagamore Hill, Hyde Park). Each Roosevelt Album is an integral part of our American culture, our legacy, our priceless permanent record of intertwined, inseparable U.S. and philatelic history. Jay may be the only dealer to buy and sell three complete, coveted, intact 1904 Roosevelt Albums. 

304P2, 5c Blue, small die proof on wove, on original card backing from a Roosevelt album, extremely fine a special printing of small die proofs was produced in 1904 by theRoosevelt administration, only 85 Roosevelt presentation albums were c
One of the 302 small die proofs, 1847-1903, on gray card backing cut from a 1904 Roosevelt Album page.

145P2-55P2, 1870 1c-90c National Bank Notes, small die proofs on India cplt., mounted on complete full page from a Roosevelt presentation album, intensely fresh colors (15c slightly oxidized), bend to card at bottom left corner (resulting in spl
One page from a 1904 Roosevelt Album. Perhaps only ten complete albums still exist outside
museums. Jay may be the only dealer to have bought and sold three intact Roosevelt Albums.

In 1990, Jay purchased a mint sheet (100) of the 50¢ 'Iron Betty’ Lamp, 44 stamps with black color 100% omitted. The seller, who'd purchased the sheet in 1979 for $50 at the post office, had offers from four dealers. Jay paid his asking price without negotiation, and later sold this exciting new find to America’s legendary stamp dealer Robert A. Siegel - the world's largest stamp auctioneer - for $20,000, yielding a sizable return. They reminisced about a teenage Jay's visits to Siegel's mid-town Manhattan office decades earlier (searching for errors) and Siegel offered Jay a 50-50 partnership on a handshake. The stunning error sheet was consigned back to Jay to break up and widely promote, and they split a hefty additional profit. Today, the discovery is listed as a major error in the Scott Stamp Catalogue. The 'Iron Betty' Lamp was used in Plymouth Colony (perhaps at the first Thanksgiving?) and for three centuries, burning animal fat, fish or vegetable oil, and designed to save the drippings for re-use.

              #1608a "IRON BETTY" 50¢ BLACK OMITTED MAJOR ERROR BQ5237
              Normal stamp                 Black 100% omitted

In 1991, a major discovery of Jay’s was again news. The 20¢ multicolored 1982 'Love' stamp plate # block of four contained the only two copies known to exist with the purple color 100% omitted, a unique rarity certified authentic by the Philatelic Foundation of New York. Jay's publicity blitz yielded front-page stories and the one-of-a-kind showpiece sold for a record $22,000. The treasure is now listed without a price as a major error (#1951e) in the Scott Stamp Catalogue.

Jay is a former consultant to the prestigious Scott Stamp Catalogue, since 1868 the premier annual philatelic reference essential for millions of collectors, dealers and investors around the world - the indispensable 'standard of the industry.' 

Jay has handled world-class rarities, famous errors, proofs, essays, covers, 19th and 20th century classics, unique treasures, one-of-a-kind showpieces. Jay has bought and sold perhaps 300 U.S. inverted centers, probably more than any other dealer except major auction houses. Most collectors and dealers have never owned even one prized inverted center in their lifetime. 

24¢ 1869
- depicting 23 Founders at the
of the Declaration of Independence. Of 90 known, Jay has handled perhaps 12.

Since 1958, Jay has bought
and sold rare autographs, letters, signed photos,
historical documents such as large, ribbon - bound Presidential Patents (1825, 1833, 1856) signed by Presidents John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and James Buchanan; and Henry Clay, famed Speaker of the House. Jay sold a signed Albert Einstein handwritten letter, and signed photos of Einstein, JFK, FDR, a Ty Cobb letter; and a 1957 N.Y. Yankee team baseball with 23 signatures: icon Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Don Larson (only World Series Perfect Game), Slaughter, Martin, Skowron, Bauer, Shantz, Carey, Kubek, Terry, etc.


A four-page 1834 letter by Gov. Jose Figueroa was rejected by the nation's leading autograph dealers and auction houses. With his lifelong love of history and thirst for knowledge, Jay had the letter translated and his original research revealed the document's world-class importance, substantiating a surmised but never-before proven plot against Mexico to return California to Spain. This event, described in the University of California-Berkeley Bancroft Library's (2.8 million vol) world-renowned History of California master work, was, with this document, finally verified. After a major promotion, Jay sold the historic letter for a record $20,000. 

Jay is a polished stamp and coin expert witness, consultant, incorruptible strategist, available for advice, mediation, arbitration, depositions, courtroom testimony. His career is a wealth of front line experience in marketing, purchasing, retail, appraisals, auctions, public relations, advertising, promotions, mail order; and as a writer, editor, and former newspaper publisher.

Jay's most exciting moment as an expert witness:
In a fire-loss stamp collection evaluation, bitter litigation
was frozen for four years. Just 30 minutes after Jay’s presentation destroyed the key arguments of the opposing expert (the PhD Chief Curator of Manuscripts for the world-famous Huntington Library), the defendants’ attorneys suddenly raised their ‘immovable’ offer by $1.25 million. Minutes later the case was settled for $4.25 million; thus giving a nice family, who had been totally wiped out, a fresh start. Amid hugs and tears of joy from his clients, it was the most gratifying moment of Jay’s career as an expert witness.

Jay is a devoted family man,
and lives and works in accord with the example of high ethics and values his parents set for him when he was a boy. He enjoys time with his close-knit three daughters, their soul mates, and his 'delicious' grandchildren. 


From the 1869 Pictorial Issues (1¢ to 90¢), the top
value of the beautiful
steel-engraved set of 11, the very first American commemorative stamps.

Emphasis is always on buying.
‘You make a profit when you buy, collect it when you sell.’ Jay purchases stamps, coins, currency, documents, autographs, and other collectibles from the sensational to the sublime, rarities to accumulations; one hoard was 33 cartons. In any economy, whether markets rise or fall, lucrative profits may be derived from buying and selling based on current market prices.
Buying is sometimes 'selling' a hesitant owner to part with his or her material. Southern California and Los Angeles is the west's largest and most lucrative collector market with a huge population and a seasoned, century-old collector base, with thousands of collections and estates ripe for purchase and auction. (Capital funding $1 million partner welcome; call for details.)  

The stamp and coin business thrives during any economy, recession or inflation. Liquidity equals strong buying power, assuring profits whether prices go up or down. A daily stream of people needs to sell for immediate cash. For certain sellers Jay's evaluation agreement has an agreed fee only payable if his cash offer is not accepted. The fee is 100% waived if they sell, so most collections are sold. Buying is the key to all profits. When you buy anything 'right' there is virtually no risk. If funds must be replaced quickly to prepare for the next deal, the purchase can be quickly sold to others for a modest profit. If 'flush', however, and if time is available, profits can be greatly increased through retail, internet sales, floor and online auctions, trade shows, mail order, etc.  With online bidding (PC, Lap Top, Smart Phone, IPad, Tablet) now widely enjoyed during the actual auctions by eager collectors and investors around the world (+listening to the live calling of each auction lot), the future of the exciting auction business is unlimited.

Future inflation is virtually guaranteed, in Jay's opinion, as trillions of new dollars have been printed (or electronically created) to support the economy. To protect against the ravages of coming inflation, shrewd collectors and investors are quietly buying rare stamps and coins which may perform much better than gold and silver. Jay is a veteran buyer, appraiser, expert witness, consultant, trusted agent, marketing pro, and skilled deal-maker. With lifelong expertise and credentials, he advises clients on acquisitions for their legacy collections. Jay says, 'Buyers seek future price appreciation, but they also love the knowledge, the beauty, the rich history behind each item purchased. Profits are important, but this business is also great fun handling so many fascinating treasures - each with its own unique story.' Decades of solid accomplishments await the saga's next chapter; the best is yet to come! ###

'Buying and selling since 1958'


60 Ventura Blvd., PMB 110A, Encino, CA 91436

  • Jay has more than 50 years experience as a rare stamp and coin dealer
  • Polished expert witness, buyer, appraiser, consultant, trusted agent
  • Specialist in 19th and 20th century classics, rarities, inverted centers and all errors, historical and presidential documents, rare autographs, etc.
  • The History Channel's Pawn Stars expert for stamps, coins, currency
  • First dealer to buy and sell America's Rarest Stamp ($397,838 in 1999), the internet world-record for the most valuable single stamp
  • First dealer in history to buy and sell a coveted Nobel Prize
  • First stamp and coin editor of the Los Angeles Times and creator of the popular Sunday column 'Stamp and Coin Corner' which ran for 30 years
  • First dealer to buy and sell the highest grade gem U.S. $10 Indian Head gold coin (1913S) known to exist
  • Former consultant-contributor to the Scott Stamp Catalogue
  • Owner and operator of five Los Angeles stamp and coin stores from the 1960's to the 1990's; and a bonded auctioneer
  • Member American Philatelic Society since 1963, APS Life Member  
  • Member American Numismatic Association, ANA since 1964
  • Member National Stamp Dealers Association, NSDA since 1998
  • Member United States Stamp Society, USSS since 1983; etc.

Phones: 818.905.1111  or  818.515.1222       
Fax: 818.905.1114

By appointment only, please.
Emails:  americanacorp@sbcglobal.net   or   jaytell@hotmail.com

Jay's Bobby Darin Tribute:

Michele Tell-Woodrow, Jay's niece, PR and media expert:

Actor/director/producer Sean Astin, Jay's nephew, on call-in radio:


Melissa Davis, Jay's friend, authority on The Beatles, Music and Society:

This website address: 

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