Two recent United States stamps were used on mail before their official issue dates in April and June.
Figure 1 shows a chart of all 2014 earliest-known uses that have been reported to Linn’s.
The Charlton Heston forever stamp, part of the Legends of Hollywood commemorative series, was used on mail nine days early. The stamp is shown with its cancellation in Figure 2, digitally cropped from the cover. It has a difficult-to-read Charlotte, N.C., sprayed-on cancel dated April 2.
The Postal Service issued the stamp nationwide April 11.
A Linn’s reader in South Carolina reported the find.
Another reader sent in an example of the Heston stamp used six days early, postmarked April 5 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Hot Rods forever stamps issued June 6 in a set of two were also sold early.
The early use cover has a June 4 sprayed-on postmark from the Indianapolis, Ind., mail-processing facility. The stamp is affixed to an envelope received by Linn’s circulation department.
Figure 3 shows the red Hot Rods stamp and its early use postmark.
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.