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.
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 ›
June 17, 2015 04:15 PMDuring its most recent board meeting, held by telephone June 10, the American Philatelic Society board of directors approved the Institute for Analytical Philately as an APS affiliate. 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.