I know using spices while cooking is often subjective and you would use spices that you deem appropriate for certain dish but it is undeniable that when you do use them, you should use fresh and good ones.
Now, this question is being made with intent of it becoming community wiki and a great resource for people trying to get good spices. To get to the question, how would you recognize superior spices when you go shopping? What would be some objective (and subjective) tests for determining spice quality.
In case this doesn't become a community wiki, I'll add a specific question so that this one doesn't get deleted and also to start the list of spices - how would you recognize great saffron from a lousy one?