The Jimi Hendrix stamp arrived onstage early: The stamp expected March 13 appeared on mail postmarked March 8.
Another recent United States stamp was sold early as well.
Two collectors sent examples to Linn’s of these U.S. stamps used on mail before their official issue dates.
The Jimi Hendrix stamp was used on mail five days early. The stamp with its cancellation is shown in Figure 1, digitally cropped from the cover. It has a Cleveland, Ohio, sprayed-on cancellation dated March 8. The Postal Service planned to issue the stamp — and officially reveal its design for the first time — March 13.
Linn’s reader Tom Zuercher reported the find.
The other report was for the Sennett Security Products version of the Star-Spangled Banner forever coil stamp. This variety was officially issued March 3. The early use has a Feb. 24 handcancel at a mail-processing plant in New York state.
The stamp is a plate number single indicating that it is the Sennett coil variety. Other varieties of the Star-Spangled Banner stamp were issued Jan. 28.
Figure 2 shows the Star-Spangled Banner stamp and its early use postmark.
These are the first 2014 U.S. stamps reported to Linn’s as early uses. The number of stamps used early so far this year is significantly fewer compared to this time last year. Likely causes include stamps not being sent to post offices before the issue date.
If you think you have an early use cover, Linn’s editors need to see the actual item to verify that it exists.
Actual covers allow for better reproduction so that the stamp and cancel date can be clearly pictured.
Address items to Early Uses, Linn’s Stamp News Editorial, Box 29, Sidney, OH 45365.
Modern U.S. early-use covers have nominal value in the stamp market.
Earliest-known-use (EKU) dates can change as earlier examples are found. Linn’s welcomes reports of other early releases of U.S. stamps. Send covers to Early Uses, Linn’s Stamp News Editorial, Box 29, Sidney, OH 45365.
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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.