Airmail stamps of Australia affordable and fun

December 06, 2005 10:11 AM

Collecting one category of stamps, such as definitives (regular-issue stamps) or commemoratives (stamps issued for a short time), is one way to narrow the focus of a collection.


Halloween, a spooky stamp collecting season

November 01, 2005 11:39 AM

When October rolls around, people today start planting tombstones and skeletons in their front yards. It seems as though some folks decorate more for Halloween than they do for Christmas..


Special delivery stamps show transportation

December 27, 2005 09:37 AM

In 1885, the Universal Postal Union established the basis for a special service for the speedy delivery of mail for an extra fee. This class of service is known as special delivery or express delivery.


A few of my favorite Christmas stamp things

December 20, 2004 09:52 AM

This year a new book was published that rapidly became one of my own favorite things: The Queen's Stamps by Nicholas Courtney. The book's subtitle The Authorized History of the Royal Philatelic Collection gives a really good clue to its contents. The 337-page tome ranks high on my list of the most fascinating philatelic books of all time.


Paquebot mail begins at sea, postmarked on land

December 13, 2004 10:00 AM

At the Vienna conference in 1891, the Universal Postal Union established special handling regulations for mail posted on the high seas aboard ocean-going vessels. The rules were further clarified a the Washington, D.C. conference of the UPU in 1896.


Cataloging stamps: an approach for beginners

November 29, 2004 10:25 AM

A Taiwanese stamp (Scott 2083) and a Japanese stamp (1337) are shown side by side in Figure 1. When reading horizontal inscriptions, remember that Chinese (including on the stamp of Taiwan) is written from right to left.


Another way to collect stamps: by service

November 22, 2004 10:38 AM

Each way can be broken down into smaller units. For example, if you are a country collector, you might only collect Albania up to 1940 or only the United States Washington-Franklin stamp series, but you are still basically collecting by country.


Buying and sorting stamps in box lots is fun

November 15, 2004 10:47 AM

At a recent meeting of my local stamp club, I succumbed to the irresistible call of the shoebox full of off-paper worldwide stamps, shown in Figure 1. This happy purchase proved to me yet again that I am hopelessly compulsive about stamps.


Add stamps to your collection through trading

November 08, 2004 11:28 AM

Once you embark upon the path of being a stamp collector, there are many ways to build your stamp collection.


A look at the other side: collecting postcards

October 25, 2004 12:41 AM

So far, the discussion has been primarily about the usage of postcards in the United States. The development of postcards in others countries generally followed the same lines as those in the United States.


Topicals: railway stamps and post offices

October 18, 2004 12:58 AM

Trains are one of the most popular topical subjects for stamp collectors. Rail fans could keep happily occupied for years with the thousands of topical postage stamps that feature trains, but there is more to collect than postage stamps.<


Postcards offer opportunities for stamp collectors

October 11, 2004 01:06 PM

Postcard collecting seems to be increasing in popularity, and a growing number of stamp and postal history collectors are recognizing an affinity between the two hobbies. Evidence of this is the number of stamp shows and bourses that are combining their events with postcard shows and bourses.


Yes! You can achieve the ecstasy of completion

October 04, 2004 01:22 PM

"Collect what you like," is great advice. Everyone has heard this on numerous occasions. But what happens when what you like cannot be accommodated within the realm of what you can afford?


Joint issues, stamp twins, colonial issues

September 27, 2004 01:37 PM

Finding a good working definition for a joint stamp issue is harder than you might think. Many of the standard philatelic references, including the reference section of Linn's web site, do not provide one.


Stamps incorporate many security features

September 20, 2004 02:02 PM

Postage stamps are accountable paper. That means post offices must keep track of them just as they would keep track of cash or other types of securities. Stocks of stamps must be recorded, and sufficient receipts for their sales must be provided.


Some stamps usually collected as multiples

September 13, 2004 02:12 PM

There are as many different ways to collect stamps as there are stamp collectors. For the most part, the different ways to collect aren't right or wrong: they're just different.


Stamp sleuthing is a skill you can acquire

September 06, 2004 02:22 PM

I have become addicted to a television program on the Public Broadcasting System called History Detectives. The premise is simple. An object from the past is shown. It is usually a family heirloom of some sort, with a story and a mystery attached. A historian then tries to find out if the family's story about the object is correct, and he attempts to solve the mystery.


Some useful tips for sorting foreign stamps

August 30, 2004 02:40 PM

Suppose you are a first-time collector and have just bought an all-different mix of 1,000 stamps. You have theScott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue and a pair of stamp tongs to work with. Now what do you do?


How to mount mint self-adhesive stamps

August 23, 2004 02:48 PM

Hardly a week goes by that Linn's does not receive a letter from a perplexed collector wanting to know the right way to mount mint self-adhesive postage stamps.


The frugal collector: dollar-box treasures

August 16, 2004 02:57 PM

It is amazing what a couple of dollars will buy at a stamp show. I attended one recently and decided to look for interesting items that didn't cost more than $2. At first it looked like this was going to be a problem. I was looking at items that would immediately fit into my collections, but they were priced well above my self-imposed limit.


Postage stamp: more than the sum of its parts

August 09, 2004 03:11 PM

Let's take a look at some of the parts that go to make up a postage stamp. We will speak in generalities, and of course, there are exceptions to every general rule.


Modern stamp collecting myths debunked

August 02, 2004 03:26 PM

Modern stamps and covers get a bad rap from some collectors who say that recent stamps are uninteresting, philatelically contrived or not challenging to collect.


Polo and pigsticking: feudatory states stamps

July 26, 2004 03:45 PM

Do you like exotic stamps? Are you looking for a new classic collecting area that will give you a break from the seemingly endless proliferation of new issues? Are you looking for a collecting area that is finite, yet has plenty of room for specialization?


To soak or not to soak? That is the question

July 19, 2004 03:56 PM

We stamp collectors are always on the prowl for stamps to add to our albums. I personally prefer collecting nicely canceled stamps that demonstrate they were used for the purpose they were printed.


Let's spell out some stamp collecting acronyms

July 12, 2004 04:09 PM

An acronym is a word formed from the initial letter of each of the successive parts of a compound term.


Have some fun with a funny stamp collection

July 05, 2004 04:29 PM

Stamp collecting is supposed to be fun, but there are times when it ought to be more obvious. It seems as if some collectors get unnecessarily exercised about the subjects of new stamp issues, the sales policies of the United States Postal Service, the cost of supplies, the decisions made by hobby leaders or sundry other complaints.


Franchise stamps removed burden of postage

June 28, 2004 01:09 PM

The dictionary defines a franchise as "freedom or immunity from some burden or restriction vested in a person or group."


Into the breach: provisional stamps fill the gap

June 21, 2004 01:24 PM

Provisional stamps are stamps that came into being to fill a short-term need or requirement. They can take many different forms.


The other empire: collect Portuguese colonies

June 14, 2004 01:37 PM

Today the words "colonialism" and "imperialism" are normally used only to disparage. It wasn't always so, and the listings of the stamp catalogs of the world exist to remind us of this fact.


Learn basics from Australian States stamps

June 07, 2004 01:52 PM

Australia has an interesting postal history. The country's foundation, much like that of the United States, is based on states, six British colonies that federated on Jan. 1, 1901. The date is not philatelically significant because postage stamps inscribed "Australia," were not issued until 1913.


There's more to the catalog than stamp listings

May 31, 2004 02:26 PM

Collectors often tend to overlook the wealth of information and accumulated collecting wisdom that can be found in the introduction to the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.


Holy hobby dilemma, Batman: Illegal stamps!

May 24, 2004 02:43 PM

At the forefront in this crusade against illegal stamps and abusive stamp issues are the International Federation of Philately (FIP), the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP) and Albertino de Figueiredo, chairman emeritus of the board of directors of Afinsa Group.


Take preemptive action to save your collection

May 17, 2004 02:50 PM

Most of the calamities that befall stamp collections can be avoided if you take preemptive action. Arguably the most common damage that can occur to a stamp is also the easiest to avoid. Stamps are fairly fragile bits of paper that get bent and creased very easily.


Mixtures, packets, lots: what's the difference?

May 10, 2004 02:56 PM

In Linn's classified advertising section, ads are grouped together by ad type. One type of ad in the index to the classifieds is listed as "Mixtures," and another is listed as "Packets, Lots and Collections."


Use stamps to connect with other interests

May 03, 2004 03:06 PM

One of the most surprising aspects of collecting stamps is that you can almost always find connections to other hobbies and interests you might have. Stamp collecting is such a broad field that branching off into something else is not only possible, it is probably inevitable.


British stamp denominations: £, 1/-, d and p

April 26, 2004 03:24 PM

Throughout most of the past, human beings have primarily counted by tens and by twelves.


What is the true value of your collection?

April 19, 2004 03:32 PM

Stamp collectors sometimes have an obsession about how much their collections are worth. We are blessed with a multitude of catalogs and reference materials that will tell us values based upon overall condition and grade.


Here's what you should know about catalog values

April 12, 2004 03:39 PM

One of the primary functions of a stamp catalog is to value stamps. That sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but it really isn't.


Exhibiting is a good way to learn, have fun

April 05, 2004 03:46 PM

If you have ever gone to a stamp show, perhaps you've spent some time looking at exhibits. Other collectors like you prepared these exhibits. If they can do it, so can you.


The ABCs of collecting United States precancels

March 29, 2004 03:54 PM

The Precancel Stamp Society uses this definition: "Precanceled postage stamps, or precancels, may be defined broadly as stamps that have been canceled before being affixed to mail matter."


Expertization a must for most expensive stamps

March 22, 2004 04:03 PM

You've just acquired the beautiful mint example of the 1/- British surcharge and overprint on the 1-mark Kaiser's Yacht Hohenzollern stamp, Samoa Scott 110, shown in Figure 1.


Expand your horizons: attend a stamp show

March 15, 2004 04:11 PM

Stamp shows come in all sizes. Some are simply bourses that are organized by a club or a dealer in order to offer a venue to buy and sell stamps.


Hawaii issued stamps as kingdom and republic

March 08, 2004 04:31 PM

You think you have exhausted the collecting possibilities for United States stamps. You've reached the point in your collection where you are only adding one or two older items a year, and the new issues just don't interest you or they are too easy to acquire.


Kick it up a notch: how to get specialized

March 01, 2004 04:40 PM

It doesn't happen to every stamp collector, but eventually some of us want more out of our collections than simply putting stamps into a preprinted album.


World postmark primer: how to decipher dates

February 23, 2004 01:04 PM

Generally speaking, the purpose of the postmark is to indicate the date and place of mailing. A postmark can also serve as a cancellation if it is applied by intent or happenstance to a stamp.


Use FDCs to introduce kids to collecting

February 16, 2004 01:19 PM

Stamp collecting is a great family hobby, but getting kids interested can be tricky.


Extra! Extra! Read all about U.S. newspaper stamps

February 09, 2004 01:34 PM

Some of the most beautiful postage stamps ever issued by the United States were never valid for prepayment of letter postage. They were used solely for prepayment of bulk shipments of newspapers and periodicals.


Capture worldwide POW mail for your collection

February 02, 2004 01:46 PM

Previous Refresher Course columns have told how war interrupts, delays, suspends and otherwise affects the sending and receiving of mail.


Alphabet soup: Scott catalog prefixes and suffixes

January 26, 2004 01:53 PM

"You can't tell the players without a program!" the stadium hawkers used to shout as they strode up and down the stairs between the rows of seats. That saying applies in spades to stamp collecting, which is what keeps postage stamp catalog publishers in business.


Myriad possibilities to postmark collecting

January 19, 2004 02:08 PM

In October 2003, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the new Margie Pfund Postmark Museum in Bellevue, Ohio. The museum, the crown jewel of the Post Mark Collectors Club, is an incomparable resource for anyone involved with state or hometown postal history.
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