United States — The U.S. Postal Service kicked off the Scenic American Landscapes series of airmail stamps May 12, 1999, with the 48¢ Niagara Falls stamp (Scott C133). It quickly became one of the most popular recent U.S. stamp series with collectors.
The designs in the Scenic American Landscapes series offer colorful views of breathtaking landscapes across America. Many of the stamps were on sale for only a short period of time due to changing postal rates.
The mint panes of 20 in which they were issued is a popular collecting format with many collectors.
On June 28, 2009, the Postal Service issued a 79¢ Zion National Park Utah airmail stamp (Scott C146). The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint stamp at $1.60 and a mint pane of 20 at $32. Both values are roughly double face value, the catalog minimum for recent mint stamps.
This stamp is one of the better issues in this popular series. Some dealers are paying more than face value for mint panes of 20. If you find a mint pane of 20 offered in the $25-to-$30 price range, it is a decent buy.
A Linn’s editor did not find this week’s recommended stamps on ZillionsOfStamps.com.
Tip of the week
Qatar — Qatar is located on the Qatar Peninsula on the east side of the Arabian Peninsula in the Persian Gulf. Along with the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, it was part of the Ottoman Empire until after World War I, at which time it became a British protectorate. Qatar gained full independence in 1971.
An emirate, Qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the 19th century. It has the highest per capita income in the world, primarily due to huge natural gas and oil reserves.
Qataris are overwhelmingly adherents of Wahabist Islam, the official state religion, and the country has been known for its ruling family’s support of Islamist movements elsewhere in the Middle East. Qatar made headlines recently when it agreed to take in five top Taliban detainees who were being released from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Several years ago, there was notable speculation in Qatari mint stamp sets, supposedly because of large scale buying by someone in the Qatari royal family.
While prices for mint stamps fueled by speculation have cooled, demand remains surprisingly strong for Qatari cacheted first-day covers. For example, a cacheted FDC for the Sept. 3, 1972, Independence Day First Anniversary set (Scott 317-320) recently sold in an online auction for the equivalent of $80. The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the mint set at $27. FDCs for other sets have been selling equally well.
While Qatari FDCs are uncommon, you might be able to find some cheaply in dealers’ cover boxes at stamp shows, as few nonspecialist dealers or collectors would suspect they are as valuable as they are. — H.G.
blogOn June 28, 1914, by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip with the squeeze of a trigger sparked would become to be known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” Read More ›
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Marty Frankevicz discusses the controversy in Canada over increasing postage rates, the elimination of home mail delivery and the erecting of cluster boxes.
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
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.