By Janet Klug
The glossary of philatelic terms on the Linn's web site defines local stamps as: "Stamps valid within a limited area or within a limited postal system. Local post mail requires the addition of nationally or internationally valid stamps for further service. Locals have been produced both privately and officially.
"Local stamps issued for local use only" are among those that will not be listed in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, according to the catalog listing policy section found in the catalog's introduction. However, there are many exceptions to this rule.
In fact, there is even a special catalog number prefix "L" for local stamps listed in the Scott standard catalog. However, while some of the stamps listed with this catalog number prefix meet Linn's definition of locals, many do not.
For an example, let's look at the stamps issued for the Australian Antarctic Territory. The largest territory in Antarctica claimed by any nation, the Australian Antarctic Territory covers approximately 42 percent of the entire landmass. Other nations have claimed parts of the same territory.
The first Australian Antarctic Territory issue in 1957 included a 2-shilling stamp (Scott L4), shown in Figure 1, that cleverly flaunts Australia's territorial claim with a map in its design.
Although this and all other Australian Antarctic Territory stamps have catalog numbers prefixed with "L," the stamps do not match Linn's definition of a local stamp. A note at the beginning of the catalog listings states, "All stamps are also valid for postage in Australia."
Guernsey and Jersey in the English Channel and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea are not a part of the United Kingdom, but are dependencies of the British crown. In 1958, the British General Post Office issued regional stamps for all three dependencies. The stamps were sold only in the dependencies' post offices, but were valid for postage anywhere in the United Kingdom.
The 3-penny Queen Elizabeth II stamps (all three are Scott 2) from each of these dependencies are shown in Figure 2.
These stamps were based on and bore a resemblance to the British Queen Elizabeth II Wilding definitive stamps in use at that time. The Scott catalog editors did not assign catalog numbers prefixed with the letter "L" to these stamps, although they are similar to Australian Antarctic Territory stamps in issuance and use.
Guernsey and Jersey established independent postal administrations and began issuing their own stamps in 1969, and the Isle of Man followed suit in 1973. Unlike the regional stamps issued by the British General Post Office, these stamps cannot be used to mail letters in the United Kingdom.
Listings for all of these stamps are found in the Scott standard catalog immediately following the listings for Great Britain.
Figure 3 shows a Guernsey 13p Point Robert, Sark Island stamp (Scott 134).
A Jersey ½d Elizabeth Castle and Queen Elizabeth stamp (Scott 7) with sailboats in the foreground is pictured in Figure 4.
Figure 5 shows a Manx 31p Karran Fleet, Sumatra stamp (Scott 258).
In 1983, Guernsey began issuing stamps for Alderney, one of its islands. The stamps of Alderney are valid for postage throughout the bailiwick of Guernsey.
The Alderney 34p Saunders-Roe Saro Windhover stamp (Scott 22), shown in Figure 6, depicts an aircraft flying over a pasture with Guernsey cows.
In 1958, the British General Post Office also began issuing separate definitive stamps for three of the four nations that comprise the United Kingdom.
The 3d Queen Elizabeth II stamps from the first issue for Wales and Monmouthshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland are shown in Figure 7 (all three are Scott 1).
England, the fourth nation in the United Kingdom, got its own definitive stamps beginning in 2001.
Shown in Figure 8 is an English 40p Oak Tree stamp (Scott 10). The stamp appears to be embossed, but it is a clever trick of creative design and printing.
The regional stamps for England, Wales and Monmouthshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland are located in the Scott standard catalog in the listings for Great Britain just after the Mulready postal stationery envelopes and lettersheets and before the Machin definitive stamp listings. The catalog numbers for these stamps do not have a letter prefix.
These stamps are sold only at post offices in their respective nations, but are valid for postage throughout the United Kingdom.
The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers lists local stamps that fall within the range of the Linn's definition of being used within a limited area and requiring additional postage for service beyond that area. These stamps include those of the many local posts that carried the mail on a private route or within a city.
Figure 9 shows the 25¢ Mounted Pony Express Rider local post stamp (Scott 143L8) from the famous Wells Fargo Pony Express.
What local stamps lurk in your albums?
July 30, 2015 08:04 PMIn the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail. Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 09:01 AMAs in previous years, Rarities Week, the series of sales conducted June 22-26 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York, included several name sales as well as an assortment of notable items from around the world. The week kicked off with something of a do-over: a sizable assortment of better United States stamps and covers that had appeared in four previous sales, but whose winning bidder then failed to pay for them. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 04:35 PMThe Tieton, Wash., post office is a simple 1935 cement block building with a slat wood facade. Townsfolk in the agricultural community of 1,200 in central Washington believe the post office could become a landmark, if only the United States Postal Service would allow them to cover the front with a stamp-like mosaic. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 03:11 PMThe American Philatelic Society will host the nation’s largest annual stamp exhibition Aug. 20-23. The show will take place at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses the largest souvenir card produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The card is one of three issued to honor the centenary of San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses Canada’s recently recalled $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamps featuring inaccurately described Hoodoo rock formations.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the discovery of another pane of the intentionally created upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp.
Chad Snee discusses the recent sale of the glass locket containing the famed 1918 Jenny Invert airmail error stamp.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.