Auxiliary markings tell the rest of the story

December 29, 2004 02:52 PM

Auxiliary markings are informational or directional postal markings, other than the postmark and cancellation, applied by handstamp to a cover.


Nondenominated stamps have values too

December 22, 2003 02:58 PM

None of the United States postage stamps pictured on this page bears a denomination. On most stamps, the denomination represents the postage value indicated by numerals printed as part of the design of the stamp.


Enjoy polar philately on a cold winter's evening

December 15, 2003 03:10 PM

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter begins Dec. 21. For those of us who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the long-range weather forecasts are pretty dismal. Both the National Weather Service and the Old Farmers Almanacare predicting a long, hard winter.


Perfins: maximum challenge, minimal cost

December 08, 2003 03:23 PM

Pardon me, sir, but your stamp has a hole in it. Several, in fact. This would be very bad news to most stamp collectors, but it's good news to those who collect perfins


How to collect and display those oddball items

December 01, 2003 03:31 PM

You have undoubtedly heard the advice to "collect what you like" many times. It is excellent advice. Collecting what appeals to you ensures you will have a collection that will hold your interest indefinitely.


Grade and condition are crucial to collecting

November 24, 2003 03:46 PM

For collectors who spend significant amounts of money on individual stamps and who hope to eventually sell those stamps for as much as they paid for them or more, no two words are more important than "grade" and "condition."


Registered mail offers collecting challenge

November 17, 2003 04:09 PM

Many classifications of mail besides ordinary first-class and bulk-rate mail are familiar to us today. Express Mail, special delivery, insured mail, special handling and certified mail are all categories of United States mail that provide extra service for additional fees.


Stamps document the course of civil wars

November 10, 2003 04:24 PM

Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines civil war as, "A war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country." Civil wars are known for being especially bitter and bloody, as fellow citizens often subject their opponents to atrocities that a foreign conqueror would eschew.


Locals include government and private stamps

November 03, 2003 04:40 PM

In the parlance of the Scott catalogs, a stamp listed with an "L" prefix is a local postage stamp. The locals listed by Scott are those that were issued, usually officially, by postal authorities for use in a specific region, or a limited postal system or city, but that were not valid for national or international delivery.


Machin stamps: finite, interesting, challenging

October 27, 2003 12:22 AM

Too often I hear collectors say they are losing interest in collecting and are on the verge of giving up.


Cry havoc! Occupation stamps chart wars

October 20, 2003 12:36 AM

Few events impede postal communications more than war. It is true that natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, fires, famines, pestilence and storms can and do cause havoc with mail delivery, but often these postal interruptions are over in a matter of weeks or months.


The road less traveled: telegraph stamps

October 13, 2003 12:49 AM

Some people see the philatelic world as broadly divided into two camps: postage stamp collectors and revenue stamp collectors.


Want lists and databases assist collecting

October 06, 2003 01:06 PM

You go to a stamp show, sit down at a dealer's table, and begin perusing nicely priced, good quality material.


Auxiliary markings an endless fascination

September 29, 2003 01:15 PM

During the past 75 years, I have formed and sold many collections of stamps and covers, but no aspect of cover collecting fascinates me more than auxiliary markings.


Don't let collecting craziness spoil your fun

September 22, 2003 01:23 PM

Stamp collectors are generally the salt of the earth. I cannot count the number of times that a collector whom I barely knew went out of his way to assist me in my collecting endeavors, solely for the reason that I, too, collect stamps.


Extra! Extra! Read all about newspaper stamps

September 15, 2003 01:34 PM

One of my daily rituals is padding down the driveway to collect the morning newspaper.


No geographic boundaries for some specialist groups

September 08, 2003 01:43 PM

Regardless of your topic or subject, there is probably a specialty or topical society that can assist and educate you in that area.


Internet a great boon to stamp collecting

September 01, 2003 02:06 PM

Collecting stamps, even stamps from obscure places that few people have ever heard of, is easier than ever because of the Internet


Specialist societies promote, study and inform

August 25, 2003 02:23 PM

Are you looking for a new collecting area? Do you need more information about an area that you already collect? Would you like to make contact with other collectors who are interested in the same collecting areas as you are?


Stamp collecting can be just a paper chase

August 18, 2003 02:34 PM

Even with today's modern technology, most of the world's postage stamps are still printed on paper, just as they were when they were first developed beginning in the 1830s and later. Yes, there are notable exceptions, such as stamps embossed in three dimensions from Bhutan and stamps printed on gold foil from Tonga.


Ottoman decay led to offices abroad stamps

August 11, 2003 02:45 PM

Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "extraterritoriality" as "exemption from the application or jurisdiction of local laws or tribunals."


Double your pleasure with two-part stamps

August 04, 2003 02:56 PM

Half a stamp is sometimes better than no stamp at all, especially for the many stamps issued in two parts.


Stamp collecting's strange lingo, translated

July 28, 2003 03:16 PM

To the uninitiated, the casual banter of stamp collectors discussing their hobby can sound like a foreign language.


Are you collecting stamps or just faking it?

July 21, 2003 03:32 PM

Stamp collectors use a wide variety of terms to describe philatelic material that, for one reason or another, is not as it should be.


Use precanceled stamps to cancel your boredom

July 14, 2003 03:42 PM

Many stamp collectors seem yoked to purchasing new, mint stamps as they are issued and to mounting them in a stamp album.


War tax stamps help finance the war effort

July 07, 2003 03:59 PM

War is also expensive. Many nations needing additional revenue to pay for their armed conflicts have imposed taxes of various kinds on their citizens.


Ahoy matey! A short history of U.S. naval covers

June 30, 2003 04:13 PM

During the 1930s, collectors of United States naval covers called their hobby "naval philately."


Stamps of free cities offer interest, limited scope

June 23, 2003 04:31 PM

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the ebb and flow of nationalism and imperialism occasionally left islands of one nationality surrounded by seas of another. Sometimes these islands took the form of free or international cities with their own governments and postal systems.


Postage stamp booklets add zest to collecting

June 16, 2003 04:45 PM

It is often difficult to foresee when an innovation will begin a trend that revolutionizes the way things are done thereafter.


Cook's tour: stamps for the offices in China stamps

June 09, 2003 08:19 AM

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the ancient Empire of China was at the mercy of a number of foreign powers.


Common designs: joint issue, key plate, omnibus

June 02, 2003 08:32 AM

Occasionally two or more postal administrations get together and issue stamps with identical or similar designs to commemorate a person or event of common interest.


Plebiscite issues make interesting collection

May 26, 2003 08:48 AM

Do you like collecting dead countries? Are you tired of the endless proliferation of new issues? Are you interested in history and geography? Are you looking for a collecting area with a limited scope that won't totally deflate your wallet?


A world of fun: worldwide stamp collecting

May 19, 2003 08:57 AM

A beginning collector often receives well-meaning advice to specialize in some aspect of the stamp hobby


Postage due stamps kept postmasters honest

May 12, 2003 09:09 AM

In the era of stampless letters, it was generally accepted that the recipient would pay the postage on a letter at the time that it was delivered.


State topic makes fun, affordable collection

May 05, 2003 09:20 AM

My home state of Ohio is celebrating its bicentennial this year. On March 1, the United States Postal Service issued the 37¢ Ohio Statehood stamp shown in Figure 1.


How do coil stamps fit into your collection?

April 28, 2003 09:32 AM

Linn's World Stamp Almanac defines coil stamps as "Stamps processed in a long single row and prepared for sale in rolls, often for dispensing from stamp-vending and affixing machines."


Stamp collecting has its own terminology

April 21, 2003 09:43 AM

Collectors have come up with specialized names for virtually every part of a stamp. The more specialized the collector, the more likely he is to spout a bunch of jargon and acronyms that you might not understand.


Lines of stamp classifications have blurred

April 14, 2003 09:53 AM

Once upon a time most stamps that paid for regular postage could be neatly divided into two broad categories: definitive stamps and commemorative stamps.


What else can stamp collectors collect?

April 07, 2003 10:36 AM

It seems like such a logical assumption, but stamp collecting, also called "philately," a word that implies intense activity and study, has such breadth and scope that stamp collectors can collect a wide variety of items besides postage stamps and still consider themselves stamp collectors.


How to track down the killers on your stamps

March 31, 2003 10:45 AM

Revenue loss from the re-use of canceled stamps has always been a major concern of postal administrations. Initially, some postal administrations used postmarks showing the town and date to cancel stamps. Others allowed pen cancellations.


What are essays, proofs and specimens?

March 24, 2003 10:55 AM

In the dark recesses of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, beyond the booklet panes and covers, remote from the carriers and locals, past the postal stationery, past the revenues, yonder of the hunting permit stamps, just past the savings stamps and right after the telegraph stamps, you will find essays, proofs and specimens.


Erin go bragh: stamps for St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2003 01:07 PM

It's St. Patrick's Day – time for the wearin' o' the green. So what if you aren't Irish? Neither am I, but you can get into the spirit of the holiday by spending some time appreciating your green stamps.


Symbols can be useful in identifying stamps

March 10, 2003 01:19 PM

If everybody spoke the same language and used the same alphabet, stamp identification would be much simpler (and much less challenging and enjoyable).


Challenging and affordable Australian KGV

March 03, 2003 01:30 PM

The stamps of Australia offer great opportunities for collectors looking for a subject around which a specialized collection can be formed on a limited budget. I previously wrote about Australia's Map and Kangaroo definitive stamps in the Sept. 16, 2002, Refresher Course.


Another world: semiofficial airmail stamps

February 24, 2003 01:47 PM

For those whose knowledge of airmail stamps is limited to what is listed in general stamp catalogs such as the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, there is a whole vast world of other airmail stamps waiting to be explored.


Postage stamp gum – a very sticky subject

February 17, 2003 02:46 PM

When Roland Hill wrote the description of his prepaid postage adhesive, the postage stamp, he prescribed that it would be "covered at the back with a glutinous wash."


Landmarks of airmail history: who's on first?

February 10, 2003 02:57 PM

Most collectors are aware that 2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight by a manned heavier-than-air aircraft.


Your stamp collection: 'How much is it worth?'

February 03, 2003 03:06 PM

"How much is it worth?" The question seems to follow stamp collectors wherever they go.


Conservation stamps make for good hunting

January 27, 2003 03:14 PM

Revenue stamps, seals and other non-postage items that look like stamps, broadly referred to as cinderellas, have been enthusiastically sought by stamp collectors since the beginnings of the hobby.


Easy tips for wrecking a stamp collection

January 20, 2003 03:20 PM

Stamps and covers are fragile pieces of paper. They will deteriorate quickly if subjected to mistreatment. Wrecking a perfectly good stamp collection that took years to assemble is easy. Just follow these simple steps.
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