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 They were only on sale for about a year before being withdrawn, and some folks might have been caught napping.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.
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
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.