insights

To collect Martinique, begin and end with the stamps of France: Stamp Collecting Basics

August 21, 2016 02:00 PM

Martinique is a small island in the Eastern Caribbean, within the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

insights

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

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

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

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

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

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

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

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

Simple science makes yellow stamps easy to see

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

Advertising covers document an Ohio city’s growth and development

August 19, 2016 01:00 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.

insights

Be a wise consumer when buying stamps and covers

August 19, 2016 01:00 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?

insights

Looking at the affordable stamps of an overlooked dead country: Stamp Collecting Basics

August 15, 2016 08:00 PM

There are many stamp-issuing countries that no longer exist. Some of these so-called “dead countries” are so obscure that they get overlooked and bypassed by many collectors.

insights

The Virgin Islands: an explorer, a legend, and many beautiful stamps

July 15, 2016 07:00 PM

The use of British stamps in the Virgin Islands lasted until 1860, and the first Virgin Islands stamps were issued in 1866. These first stamps had images recalling the history of the islands’ name.

insights

Getting lost in a Romanian souvenir sheet is a history lesson: Stamp Collecting Basics

June 30, 2016 03:44 PM

The stamps on a 1937 souvenir sheet seemed to provide more questions than answers. A study of related Romanian issues led to a better understanding of that country’s turbulent history.

insights

Eureka! Finding stamps with curious overprints: Stamp Collecting Basics

June 14, 2016 09:08 AM

It is kind of amazing how one little stamp can incite a collector to go off on not just one but several tangents. Here is a good example.

insights

‘Exotic’ is in the eye, and the albums, of each collector: Stamp Collecting Basics

June 02, 2016 08:40 PM

Let’s face it: Some of the stamps in our albums are mundane in appearance and others are breathtaking. But how many people have been converted to the stamp-collecting hobby simply because of the image of an exotic stamp?

insights

United States territorial history and stamps make an interesting study: Stamp Collecting Basics

May 20, 2016 09:05 AM

Often during “man on the street” interviews, when the questions pertain to geography, the person is likely to be clueless. Not if they're a philatelist.

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Difficult covers fun to collect, challenge to decipher: Stamp Collecting Basics

April 28, 2016 08:41 AM

Collecting covers as postal history is a lot of fun, and it also can be quite challenging. The fun of covers, especially difficult ones, is in working out where they went, how they got there and why.

insights

Stamps printed on colored papers can be intriguing to collect

April 14, 2016 11:07 AM

If you have been collecting stamps for a while, you will have noticed that most of them are printed on white paper. Every once in a while, however, you might find a stamp that seems to have been printed on colored paper, and this makes it stand out among the other stamps that live in your stamp albums.

news

Nameless stamps of the Americas and Africa

April 01, 2016 02:17 PM

Examples of stamps from Europe and Asia that do not have country names were addressed in previous Stamp Collecting Basics columns (March 21 and April 4 issues of Linn’s). Fewer stamps were issued without a country name from the Americas and Africa, and these two continents will be discussed in this column, beginning with the stamp in the first illustration.

news

Stamps without a country name present a special identity challenge: Stamp Collecting Basics

March 18, 2016 03:50 PM

It’s surprising how many of the world’s postal administrations have issued stamps without the country’s name. So many, in fact, that it is taking more than one of these columns to cover all of them.

news

Identifying Asian stamps if you don’t know the language: Stamp Collecting Basics

March 04, 2016 11:24 AM

Stamps printed without a country name, especially from countries using a different alphabet than ours, present a definite challenge for stamp collectors. Having a stamp identifier book nearby is helpful. Linn’s Stamp Identifier is extraordinarily useful, though even with that handy reference it sometimes can take a while to be able to answer the question, “Where is this stamp from?”

news

A personalized reference manual can be a beneficial problem-solver

February 21, 2016 07:00 AM

It may not take long for a new stamp collector to become discouraged both with stamp-collecting terminology (often a language all its own) and stamps that are difficult to identify. Let’s face it: It isn’t always easy for longtime collectors, either.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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?

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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."

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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.

insights

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?

insights

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.
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