Free first-day covers, album pages, more out there for stamp enthusiasts

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

Let’s be honest: We all like to get something for nothing, and “free” is certainly a most welcome word in the world of stamps. And we stamp collectors are lucky, because there are many great free things available to enhance our collecting. You might be shaking your head in disbelief, but bear with me and I’m sure you will enjoy some of the free things mentioned here.


Stamps made personal for family and friends can be entertaining for all

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

There are a multitude of inexpensive ways to collect stamps and to make the hobby a fun, family activity. One good way to start getting the family involved is to use stamps to celebrate each person’s birthday.


Map out a plan for a productive stamp collector’s winter

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

Pamper yourself this winter by blocking out some time every week to attend to your collection. Schedule the tasks you have been setting aside and then make a firm commitment to get them done.


Advertising covers document an Ohio city’s growth and development

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

Around the middle of the 19th century, merchants, businesses and manufacturers began using specially printed mailing envelopes as a means of promoting their businesses and products. As commerce and industry thrived, more of these advertising covers appeared. Luckily for 21st-century collectors, recipients of those 19th- and 20th-century advertising covers sometimes saved them.


Worth a second look: doing double takes at your stamps is a good habit

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

Sometimes we collectors just don’t pay enough attention to our stamps. We acquire a stamp, we look at it long enough to find a place for it in our albums, and then we move on to the next stamp without giving a second glance to the stamp we just mounted.


Simple science makes yellow stamps easy to see

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

It might seem like magic, but viewing certain stamps with the use of simple transparent color filters can make it easier to see the stamp design and read hidden details of postmarks.


Be a wise consumer when buying stamps and covers

January 19, 2016 12:21 PM

It’s important to have a plan when considering whether or not to purchase a stamp or cover. Ask yourself: Is the perceived value of the item worth the cost to add it to your collection?


Still more free stuff for stamp collectors, from online sources

January 14, 2016 09:53 PM

In Linn’s issue of Jan. 4, a number of free resources for stamp collectors were presented in this column, and that theme will be continued here.


Love travels by mail for Valentine’s Day

December 29, 2016 09:15 PM

The origins of valentines allegedly lie in the late Middle Ages, in the form of handwritten romantic poems exchanged by lovers.


I like this unusual stamp, but is it an error, freak, oddity, variety or what?

August 19, 2015 12:19 AM

Let’s face it. We are human beings, and as such, sometimes we make mistakes, and that’s not usually good. But, one odd thing about stamp collecting is that collectors clamor for mistakes. Who wouldn’t want a globally famous Inverted Jenny airmail stamp?


The world’s stamps for social awareness are postal calls to action

June 12, 2015 01:13 PM

Stamps represent a great deal of responsibility and effort. Put a United States forever stamp on an envelope, place it in the mailbox and off it goes to its destination.


Is it a postmark or a cancellation? It’s collectible either way

June 01, 2015 04:21 PM

The words “postmark” and “cancel” often are used interchangeably.


Often seen on stamps, the ITU celebrates 150 years

May 18, 2015 04:20 PM

Stamps exist to facilitate communication, so an organization dedicated to the advancement of international communication is a natural subject.


Do secrets hide in your collection of stamps and covers?

May 04, 2015 05:20 PM

Stamps, envelopes, and letters contained within the envelopes sometimes hold secrets.


What to look for when you're looking for stamps

April 20, 2015 04:20 PM

The two stamps pictured together here are common stamps issued by Finland in 1967.


Methods to acquire more stamps for your collection

April 06, 2015 04:20 PM

How you add new stamps to your collection is determined by what you actually collect.


Is your stamp collection all caught up on its Zzzzzzs?

March 23, 2015 04:19 PM

The last few pages of stamp listings in Vol. 6 of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue contain the stamp-issuing countries beginning with the letter "Z."


Making new stamps from old with overprints and surcharges

February 23, 2015 04:19 PM

"Overprint" is a term used to describe stamps that have additional printing added on top of the original image on the stamps.


Love is in the air and on postage stamps used on the mail

January 26, 2015 04:19 PM

In January 1973, the United States Postal Service issued the first U.S. Love stamp.


Auctions offer an opportunity to obtain great stamps and covers

January 12, 2015 04:18 PM

Public auctions of stamps and covers take place nearly every week in the United States, and in cities all around the world.


There are endless varieties of United States revenue stamps

December 29, 2015 04:18 PM

Another type of stamp enjoys great popularity among collectors, and is part of a field filled with as many collecting challenges as postage stamps.


Start assembling a worldwide Christmas songbook on stamps

December 23, 2014 12:53 AM

Great Britain has issued several Christmas-carol stamps, beginning with its first in 1973: a set of six (Scott 709-14) that tell the story of "Good King Wenceslas" in pictures that the 1853 carol provides in verse.


Ten 'best practices' for caring for your stamp collection

December 22, 2014 03:02 PM

It doesn't take much to damage a postage stamp. After all, they are nothing more than little slips of paper that can be easily torn, creased, stained or lost.


Joint issues: when different countries celebrate together

December 08, 2014 04:48 PM

Joint stamp issues are created when two or more postal administrations enter into an agreement to issue stamps commemorating the same chosen subject.


Check watermarks to make sure you've got the right stamp

November 24, 2014 03:09 PM

Postage stamps are accountable paper. This means that stamps have monetary value, much like currency, until postmarks invalidate them for future use.


Tasmania and its stamps entice in person and in your album

November 23, 2014 10:43 AM

Stamps take us on a global journey without leaving the comfort of a favorite sofa or chair.


Keep your U.S. collection growing with stamped envelopes

November 10, 2014 03:19 PM

United States stamped envelopes offer the collector just about everything that postage stamps do — and in some ways, even more.


Stamps tell the story of 'a man, a plan, a canal: Panama'

October 27, 2014 03:26 PM

Panama was a sovereign state under Colombian dominion in 1878 when its first stamps were issued.


Indulge in time travel with illustrated advertising covers

October 14, 2014 11:31 AM

Stamp collecting is somewhat akin to time travel. Select any stamp or cover from your collection and close observation of it can transport you back into the time period it represents.


Postage values for nondenominated U.S. postage stamps

September 29, 2014 04:52 PM

For more than 30 years, the United States Postal Service issued various nondenominated stamps. Some were created in advance of rate changes, when the next letter rate still hadn’t been determined.


The road from French protectorates to independent nations

September 22, 2014 09:28 AM

The currency of Indochina changed from French centimes and francs to cents and piasters in 1918. Stamps were initially surcharged and later reprinted to reflect the monetary change.


Semipostal stamps pay for postage and a little something extra

September 08, 2014 10:02 AM

In 1897, the United Kingdom was celebrating the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, who became queen 60 years earlier.


Because of stamps, the Roman god Mercury really gets around

August 24, 2014 10:10 AM

It is not surprising that Greece was the first nation to use an image of Hermes on its postage stamps. In fact, Hermes graced the first Greek postage stamps, issued in 1861.


Souvenir sheets and miniature sheets can be hard to define

August 11, 2014 10:22 AM

The fact is, there just isn't a hard and fast definition of souvenir sheet that everyone agrees on.


See the world by forming a worldwide stamp collection

July 28, 2014 10:32 AM

The page layout is different from other albums, with spaces defined but not mandated by images of what should go there. You can select whatever stamp comes your way, or seek out one that you like best.


The characteristics of used stamps can affect how you collect

July 14, 2014 10:41 AM

Both of these stamps are attractive collectibles. Which one do you prefer?


Some cinderellas are associated with stamps and collecting

June 30, 2014 10:57 AM

Other cinderellas, including those created by stamp printing firms, have a closer relation to postage stamps.


Stamps recall how mail was carried by horse-drawn coaches

June 23, 2014 11:11 AM

Postal services the world over have used a dazzling assortment of methods to move mail from sender to recipient.


U.S. Official stamps sought to control government mail abuse

June 09, 2014 11:23 AM

Countries throughout the world have issued stamps that are identified in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue as Official stamps.


Innovation and function shaped the evolution of stamp booklets

May 24, 2014 11:47 AM

The cover and the panes of stamps are held together with a single stitch.


United States definitives form the basis for many collections

May 12, 2014 12:06 AM

Although this standard issue has little monetary value, the fact that it was available for so long adds to its collectibility in ways you might not consider.


A 91-year-old atlas gives stamps a historical perspective

April 28, 2014 12:56 AM

There were a number of changes after World War I when the Treaty of Versailles divvied up colonies claimed by the defeated and handed over to the victors.


Expand your topical collection with postmarks, stationery and more

April 14, 2014 12:05 AM

Many countries issue postal stationery that includes pictorial elements with topical subjects. The different kinds of postal stationery are all items with imprinted postage stamps, such as stamped envelopes, aerograms and postal cards.


Set parameters, be selective to collect classics on a budget

March 24, 2014 12:33 AM

A subject collector seeks out stamps that show one specific subject.


An essential stamp hobby tool: selecting and using stamp tongs

March 10, 2014 12:51 AM

Stamp tongs are special grasping tools that collectors use to handle their stamps.


Technology has always revolutionized moving the mail

February 24, 2014 12:17 AM

The delivery of postal mail continues to evolve.


Recipe for winter fun: mix two or more hobbies, stir well

February 10, 2014 12:27 AM

The coin-collector (or numismatic) part of the project could expand to select quarters manufactured at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, as well as proof coins.


Collecting an uncommonly common stamp from South Africa

January 13, 2014 12:36 AM

Beyond the appearance of such stamps that catch our eye, there also may be subtle or not-so-subtle varieties of them.


What treasures might be undetected in your collections?

December 09, 2013 10:07 AM

Figure 1 illustrates an 1816 stampless cover that was forgotten in an album containing worldwide stampless covers. I had not looked at them for a while, and probably had not looked at many of them very carefully to begin with.


Combine collecting and creativity to make your own album pages

November 12, 2013 10:51 AM

There is expense associated with buying and updating albums, of course, as there is with the pursuit of any hobby.
Show More