US Stamps

John M. Hotchner

What exactly was the intended use of ‘coin stamps’?

March 18, 2017 07:00 AM

  • The mystery behind these “Coin Stamps” was solved, thanks to Part 1 of the recently published Drummond’s Catalog of Philatelic Miscellany.
  • The five different “Coin Stamps” shown in the first illustration were used to cover a dime being sent to an insurance company, using the card pictured here.
  • A frame surrounds the spot where the “Coin Stamp” is placed on the card that is pictured in the second illustration.

U.S. Stamp Notes — By John M. Hotchner

Cinderella collecting is often a difficult field because these postage stamp look-alikes are not neatly cataloged and valued the way government issues are.

Now comes a major new reference work that will make cinderella collecting easier and more interesting: Drummond’s Catalog of Philatelic Miscellany. Edited by James N. Drummond, the catalog was published in three parts in 2016.

In Part I (A-L), I found a gold mine of information, answering questions I’ve had for years.

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For example, I have been adding large cinderellas with the inscription “Coin Stamp” to my accumulation, usually at about a dime each, when I have seen them in dealer’s miscellaneous boxes. 

How many different versions are there of these cinderella stamps? What was their purpose? Until Drummond’s book, I did not know the answer to these questions.

It turns out that I have the entire set of five different coin stamps. Four are perforated and one is imperforate. And now I even have an explanation of their use.

According to Drummond, the creator of these cinderella stamps, the Old American Insurance Co., “was established in 1939. Their [current] website is www.oaic.com. The idea behind these ‘coin stamps’ was that the applicant would apply the stamp over the coin on their insurance application, to pay for the first 30 days of coverage .“

The coin to be covered was a dime, and the means of sending it was the “Safe Coin Carrier” which includes these printed instructions: “Place 10¢ in the slot. Paste enclosed coin stamp over 10¢.”

The 446 pages in Part 1 of Drummond’s catalog cover 34 categories of cinderella material, including such esoterica as Arctic air mercy flight stamps, Frederick H. Dietz labels, grocery store stamps, and interplanetary postage stamps. 

All three parts of the catalog are available from revenue dealer Eric Jackson, Box 728, Leesport, PA 19533, or inquire by email.