United States — On Jan. 20, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of five 85¢ Birds of Prey stamps (Scott 4608-4612). The birds featured are the northern goshawk, the peregrine falcon, the golden eagle, the osprey and the northern harrier.
Despite the fact that these stamps feature an excellent topical subject, they were overlooked by almost everyone. It might have been because they were denominated above the letter rate, and dealers and collectors chose not to spend the extra money for them. They were only on sale for about a year before being withdrawn, and some folks might have been caught napping.
The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint se-tenant strip of five (Scott 4612a) at $8.75, or roughly double face value. This is an elusive and difficult strip to find. I recommend buying it if you see it offered at Scott catalog value or less.
A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on ZillionsOfStamps.com at the following prices: United States 4612a — $6.75, se-tenant strip of five, mint never-hinged, very fine; Paraguay C74a — not found.
Tip of the Week
Paraguay — Paraguay is a small landlocked nation in central South America. Paraguay has suffered from two devastating wars in its history. From 1864 to 1870, it fought against an alliance of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in what remains to this date South America’s bloodiest war. Paraguay was resoundingly defeated, more than half of its population was killed, and it lost extensive territory to Argentina and Brazil. From 1932 to 1935, Paraguay fought the Chaco War against Bolivia. Paraguay’s casualty estimates run from 30,000 to 50,000, but at least Paraguay was the winner this time, securing control of the disputed Chaco region.
Paraguay has had a relatively robust stamp-issuing policy, and many of its issues have been airmail stamps with popular topical subjects.
In the 1930s, Paraguay issued a number of Graf Zeppelin airmail stamps for use on mail carried by that Germany airship, as well as for sale to collectors. Zeppelins were then and remain a popular topical collecting area.
The 1932 4-peso ultramarine Graf Zeppelin airmail stamp exists as an imperforate pair error (Scott C74a). The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the imperforate pair in unused hinged condition at just $19. Here is your chance to own a genuine Zeppelin airmail error stamp. I think this error is underpriced in the Scott catalog. If you see it offered at anywhere near the Scott catalog value, snap it up. — H.G.
July 03, 2015 05:03 PMRegency Superior held a sale June 3-7 in conjunction with the Napex stamp show in McLean, Va. The sale included space memorabilia and autographs, as well as stamps and postal history. In common with other such sales, however, there were some crossover items that covered multiple categories. Read More ›
July 01, 2015 10:28 AMIn the Spotlight on Philately column this month, Ken Lawrence presents a lengthy and fascinating history of the United States 30¢ orange Benjamin Franklin stamp of 1917 with gauge 10 perforations on unwatermarked paper. Read More ›
June 30, 2015 05:14 PMSince the abhorrent murder of nine African-American churchgoers by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, calls have spread across the United States for symbols of the old Confederacy to be removed from public places. Read More ›
June 25, 2015 03:34 PMThe hardcover edition of the 2015 United States Postal Card Catalog arrived on my desk in mid-June. The catalog is published by the United Postal Stationery Society, of which I am a longtime member. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the announcement that Scott catalogs is assigning Scott number 5000 for United States stamps.
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses a new Spanish stamp commemorating the first international congress on bullfighting as cultural heritage.
Chad Snee reports on the National Postal Museum reception for the display of the British Guiana 1¢ Magenta stamp.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on the recent U.S. postage rate changes and the 10 new stamps being issued this week.
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.