• us-2004-sea-coast-stamp
    Dec 31, 2004, 21:40 PM

    2004 U.S. Stamp Program

    January 2, Pacific Coral Reefs. Ten 37¢ commemorative stamps in pane of 10 (Scott 3831) depicting plants and animals native to Pacific coral reefs: emperor angelfish (3831a); humphead wrasse (b); bumphead parrotfish (c); black-spotted puffer (d); hawksbill turtle (e); pink anemonefish (f); snowflake moray eel (g); lionfish (h); triton's trumpet (i); oriental sweetlips (j); AV; Honolulu, HI 96820; Linn's, Aug. 25, 2003, page 1; Dec. 15, 2003, page 1; Dec. 29, 2003, page 1; USPS item No. 457140 (pane).

  • united-nations-japanese-peace-bell-stamp
    Dec 31, 2004, 11:41 AM

    2004 U.N. Stamp Program

    The 2004 U.N. Stamp Program contains information about all of the U.N. products released during 2004, including those honoring road safety and the Vienna International Center.

  • canada-2004-st-joseph-oratory-stamp
    Dec 31, 2004, 11:22 AM

    2004 Canada Stamp Program

    The 2014 U.S. Stamp Program contains information about all of the Canadian Postal Service products released during 2004, including those honoring Army Cadets and The Year of The Monkey.

  • rc9_1227_big
    Dec 27, 2004, 10:37 AM

    Special delivery stamps show transportation

    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.

  • rc5_1220_big
    Dec 20, 2004, 10:52 AM

    A few of my favorite Christmas stamp things

    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.

  • rc5_1213_big
    Dec 13, 2004, 11:00 AM

    Paquebot mail begins at sea, postmarked on land

    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.

  • rc4_1129_big
    Nov 29, 2004, 11:25 AM

    Cataloging stamps: an approach for beginners

    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.

  • rc7_1122_big
    Nov 22, 2004, 11:38 AM

    Another way to collect stamps: by service

    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.

  • rc3_1115_big
    Nov 15, 2004, 11:47 AM

    Buying and sorting stamps in box lots is fun

    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.

  • rc2_1108_big
    Nov 8, 2004, 12:28 PM

    Add stamps to your collection through trading

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

  • rc4_1025_big
    Oct 25, 2004, 13:41 PM

    A look at the other side: collecting postcards

    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.

  • rc8_1018_big
    Oct 18, 2004, 13:58 PM

    Topicals: railway stamps and post offices

    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.<

  • rc2_1011_big
    Oct 11, 2004, 14:06 PM

    Postcards offer opportunities for stamp collectors

    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.

  • rc7_1004_big
    Oct 4, 2004, 14:22 PM

    Yes! You can achieve the ecstasy of completion

    "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?

  • rc9_0927_big
    Sep 27, 2004, 14:37 PM

    Joint issues, stamp twins, colonial issues

    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.

  • rc9_0920_big
    Sep 20, 2004, 15:02 PM

    Stamps incorporate many security features

    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.

  • rc7_0913_big
    Sep 13, 2004, 15:12 PM

    Some stamps usually collected as multiples

    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.

  • rc4_0906_big
    Sep 6, 2004, 15:22 PM

    Stamp sleuthing is a skill you can acquire

    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.

  • rc7_0830_big
    Aug 30, 2004, 15:40 PM

    Some useful tips for sorting foreign stamps

    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?

  • rc5_0823_big
    Aug 23, 2004, 15:48 PM

    How to mount mint self-adhesive stamps

    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.

  • rc5_0816_big
    Aug 16, 2004, 15:57 PM

    The frugal collector: dollar-box treasures

    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.

  • rc9_0809_big
    Aug 9, 2004, 16:11 PM

    Postage stamp: more than the sum of its parts

    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.

  • rc6_0802_big
    Aug 2, 2004, 16:26 PM

    Modern stamp collecting myths debunked

    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.

  • rc9_0726_big
    Jul 26, 2004, 16:45 PM

    Polo and pigsticking: feudatory states stamps

    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?

  • Jul 19, 2004, 16:56 PM

    To soak or not to soak? That is the question

    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.

  • rc5_0712_big
    Jul 12, 2004, 17:09 PM

    Let's spell out some stamp collecting acronyms

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

  • rc9_0705_big
    Jul 5, 2004, 17:29 PM

    Have some fun with a funny stamp collection

    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.

  • rc7_0628_big
    Jun 28, 2004, 14:09 PM

    Franchise stamps removed burden of postage

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

  • rc8_0621_big
    Jun 21, 2004, 14:24 PM

    Into the breach: provisional stamps fill the gap

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

  • rc9_0614_big
    Jun 14, 2004, 14:37 PM

    The other empire: collect Portuguese colonies

    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.

  • rc9_0607_big
    Jun 7, 2004, 14:52 PM

    Learn basics from Australian States stamps

    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.

  • rc8_0531_big
    May 31, 2004, 15:26 PM

    There's more to the catalog than stamp listings

    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.

  • rc5_0524_big
    May 24, 2004, 15:43 PM

    Holy hobby dilemma, Batman: Illegal stamps!

    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.

  • rc4_0517_big
    May 17, 2004, 15:50 PM

    Take preemptive action to save your collection

    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.

  • May 10, 2004, 15:56 PM

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

    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."

  • rc5_0503_big
    May 3, 2004, 16:06 PM

    Use stamps to connect with other interests

    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.

  • Apr 26, 2004, 16:24 PM

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

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

  • Apr 19, 2004, 16:32 PM

    What is the true value of your collection?

    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.

  • rc5_0412_big
    Apr 12, 2004, 16:39 PM

    Here's what you should know about catalog values

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

  • rc3_0405_big
    Apr 5, 2004, 16:46 PM

    Exhibiting is a good way to learn, have fun

    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.

  • Mar 29, 2004, 15:54 PM

    The ABCs of collecting United States precancels

    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."

  • rc1_0322_big
    Mar 22, 2004, 16:03 PM

    Expertization a must for most expensive stamps

    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.

  • rc2_0315_big
    Mar 15, 2004, 16:11 PM

    Expand your horizons: attend a stamp show

    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.

  • rc8_0308_big
    Mar 8, 2004, 17:31 PM

    Hawaii issued stamps as kingdom and republic

    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.

  • rc5_0301_big
    Mar 1, 2004, 17:40 PM

    Kick it up a notch: how to get specialized

    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.

  • Feb 23, 2004, 14:04 PM

    World postmark primer: how to decipher dates

    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.

  • rc5_0216_big
    Feb 16, 2004, 14:19 PM

    Use FDCs to introduce kids to collecting

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

  • rc8_0209_big
    Feb 9, 2004, 14:34 PM

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

    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.

  • rc6_0202_big
    Feb 2, 2004, 14:46 PM

    Capture worldwide POW mail for your collection

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

  • rc2_0126_big
    Jan 26, 2004, 14:53 PM

    Alphabet soup: Scott catalog prefixes and suffixes

    "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.

  • rc7_0119_big
    Jan 19, 2004, 15:08 PM

    Myriad possibilities to postmark collecting

    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.

  • rc9_0112_big
    Jan 12, 2004, 15:23 PM

    Railway stamps delivered letters and parcels

    A stamp that is issued by a government authority and is used to indicate prepayment for delivery of letters, newspapers or parcels is a postage stamp, right? Not necessarily. It could be a railway stamp.

  • rc5_0105_big
    Jan 5, 2004, 15:32 PM

    New Year's resolutions can help your collecting

    In the Northern Hemisphere, the solar New Year is celebrated shortly after the winter solstice, in late December.