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.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
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.