• us-2005-robert-penn-warren-stamp
    Dec 31, 2005, 21:40 PM

    2005 U.S. Stamp Program

    The 2005 U.S. Stamp Program contains information about all of the U.S. Postal Service products released during 2005, including those honoring Ronald Reagan and the Muppets.

  • united-nations-2005-international-year-of-sports-stamp
    Dec 31, 2005, 11:41 AM

    2005 U.N. Stamp Program

    The 2005 U.N. Stamp Program contains information about all of the U.N. products released during 2005, including those honoring International Year of Sports and nature's wisdom.

  • canada-2005-td-bank-financial-group-stamp
    Dec 31, 2005, 11:22 AM

    2005 Canada Stamp Program

    The 2005 Canada Stamp Program contains information about all of the Canadian Postal Service products released during 2005, including those honoring Flowers and Youth Sports.

  • rc8_1206_big
    Dec 6, 2005, 11:11 AM

    Airmail stamps of Australia affordable and fun

    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.

  • rc9_1101_big
    Nov 1, 2005, 11:39 AM

    Halloween, a spooky stamp collecting season

    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..

  • Oct 31, 2005, 14:39 PM

    How much is your stamp collection worth?

    If the collection was formed in the normal way by soaking stamps off covers gleaned from the mail and purchasing cheap stamp packets and individual stamps from dealer nickel boxes, count the stamps and multiply by 2¢. That's how much such a collection is probably worth.

  • rc9_1024_big
    Oct 24, 2005, 15:52 PM

    Special stamps proliferate in stamp programs

    Broadly speaking, regular postage stamps can be divided into three categories: definitives, commemoratives and special stamps.

  • rc9_1017_big
    Oct 17, 2005, 16:11 PM

    Variety of overprints found on British stamps

    Many British stamps have been overprinted. What are those overprints doing on British stamps? It all depends on what the overprints say.

  • rc9_1003_big
    Oct 3, 2005, 16:42 PM

    Stamp twins: joint issues and emulators

    Stamp twins are stamps issued by different postal administrations that have the same or similar designs. There are several different kinds of stamp twins.

  • rc9_0926_big
    Sep 26, 2005, 16:54 PM

    Condition enhances or detracts from value

    A previous Refresher Course looked at factors of stamp condition related mostly to whether the stamp was unused or used.

  • rc8_0919_big
    Sep 19, 2005, 17:14 PM

    Britain and the Commonwealth: collect by reign

    Collectors of United States stamps can choose to limit their collections by time period, stamp issue or type of stamp.

  • rc8_0912_big
    Sep 12, 2005, 17:32 PM

    Condition a key component of stamp value

    The condition that your stamps are in is crucial to their value. Knowing and understanding the standard terms that stamp collectors and dealers use to describe a stamp's condition is a must in forming a stamp collection.

  • rc4_0905_big
    Sep 5, 2005, 17:42 PM

    Human interest enhances postal history

    My Refresher Course column in the July 18 Linn's elicited a surprising result. That column, about French colonial stamps, illustrated the cover sent in the 1920s from Tahiti to Boyerstown, Pa., shown again in Figure 1.

  • rc9_0829_big
    Aug 29, 2005, 14:18 PM

    Strange stamps lurk at the back of the book

    The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue lists regular postage stamps first with catalog numbers that have no prefix letters.

  • rc6_0822_big
    Aug 22, 2005, 14:36 PM

    Not everyone on a postage stamp is a hero

    People and the stories behind them have been a part of postage stamps and stamp collecting since the very beginning.

  • rc4_0815_big
    Aug 15, 2005, 14:43 PM

    You can learn quite a lot from a ministudy

    I like to form small specialized collections for ministudies. I learn a lot from them.

  • Aug 8, 2005, 14:50 PM

    Fakes and forgeries: cull them or collect them?

    Some call them album weeds. Chances are that a few are lurking unrecognized in your stamp collection. But don't run screaming into the night in terror.

  • rc7_0801_big
    Aug 1, 2005, 15:10 PM

    Collect intriguing and pretty illustrated mail

    Illustrated mail is a broad collecting category that is dominated by cacheted first-day covers. These are covers bearing a stamp postmarked on the day it was issued and some sort of an illustration that relates to the stamp subject.

  • rc5_0725_big
    Jul 25, 2005, 15:20 PM

    Dead letter office gave rise to official seals

    In most countries, when a first-class mailpiece is undeliverable as addressed, it is returned or forwarded. If there is no return address on the outside of the mailpiece or the return address is invalid, the mailpiece is forwarded to the dead letter office.

  • rc9_0718_big
    Jul 18, 2005, 15:47 PM

    French colonialism left stamp collecting legacy

    When I was a young collector, French colonial stamps ranked high among my favorites. They were colorful and from exotic faraway places, and they were cheap. I could buy packets of them from the H.E. Harris counter display at my local Woolworth's store for 25¢ to 50¢.

  • rc6_0711_big
    Jul 11, 2005, 15:57 PM

    The language of cover collecting: terms H to W

    This Refresher Course continues the discussion of cover-collecting terminology begun in the June 27 Refresher course.

  • rc1_0627_big
    Jun 27, 2005, 16:33 PM

    Cover collecting has its own terminology

    Cover collecting is one of the larger subcategories of stamp collecting.

  • rc8_0620_big
    Jun 20, 2005, 16:43 PM

    Stamps and covers spark African adventures

    A recent Refresher Course column noted my new interest in stamps and covers of Malaya, specifically those used during the civil war that took place between 1948 and 1960 known as the Malaya emergency.

  • rc9_0613_big
    Jun 13, 2005, 16:56 PM

    Seebeck made many cheap stamps for collectors

    There was a time when the name "Seebeck" was used in stamp collecting in the way that "Quisling" is used in political discourse.

  • rc7_0606_big
    Jun 6, 2005, 17:06 PM

    Current events yield modern postal history

    Extraordinary current events are often reflected in mail that ordinary folks send and receive. An event of importance might be mentioned in a letter, which in turn gives insight to the impact and effects the event had on the sender. Sometimes the covers (the envelopes and cards) themselves carry the evidence of historic events.

  • rc9_0530_big
    May 30, 2005, 17:24 PM

    Topical collecting: an individual approach

    No collector ever will have an example of every one of the hundreds of thousands of postage stamps that have been issued. Instead each collector has one of the gazillion possible subsets of all stamps

  • rc7_0523_big
    May 23, 2005, 17:36 PM

    Vichy issued its colonial stamps in France

    In the 2004 edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, Scott catalog editors symbolically pulled part of Vichy France back out of the rubbish bin of history and put it in the catalog.

  • rc2_0516_big
    May 16, 2005, 17:42 PM

    Washington 2006: a once-a-decade opportunity

    Lately I've been hearing all kinds of strange ideas about stamp collectors and collecting. One is that collectors are moving all their hobby activities to the Internet. I suppose that is at least partially true.

  • rc7_0509_big
    May 9, 2005, 17:51 PM

    Hyperinflation offers an engaging pursuit

    Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines inflation as "an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services resulting in a continuing rise in the general price level."

  • rc4_0502_big
    May 2, 2005, 14:18 PM

    Rainy day tips for successful stamp soaking

    One of a stamp collection's greatest assets is its ability to sit quietly and patiently on the shelf until a collector can devote time to it

  • Apr 25, 2005, 14:34 PM

    U.S. collection going nowhere? Try possessions

    There comes a time in the life of most United States collectors when just about all the U.S. stamps that are affordable are already in the album.

  • rc5_0418_big
    Apr 18, 2005, 14:44 PM

    Dollar-box cover leads to a new collection

    Sometimes we collectors fall into a rut. The longer we collect, the more difficult filling those spaces becomes. That glorious feeling of having a bunch of new stamps or covers to add to the collection becomes merely a happy memory from the past.

  • rc9_0411_big
    Apr 11, 2005, 14:56 PM

    Separation: perforations, roulettes, die cuts

    With few notable exceptions, such as the early stamps of Portuguese India that were handstamped from a single die, most stamps are printed as multiples. They might be printed in sheets as small as six or 12 stamps or as large as 400.

  • rc7_0328_big
    Mar 28, 2005, 14:13 PM

    Country name changes affect stamp collecting

    Most collectors today started out as worldwide stamp collectors. The great majority go on to specialize in one or more areas, but a few never abandon the passion for worldwide collecting. That includes me.

  • rc4_0321_big
    Mar 21, 2005, 14:23 PM

    One cover per country worldwide collection

    In response to my Jan. 17 Refresher Course about the joys of collecting the stamps of little countries, Linn'sreader Kimber Wald told me of a collection he is making of worldwide covers. Wald is trying to complete a collection of at least one cover from every country up to 1940.

  • rc9_0314_big
    Mar 14, 2005, 14:36 PM

    The resurgence of regional postage stamps

    One of the notable trends of the past 20 or 30 years is the practice of issuing postage stamps for regions, nations, states or districts that are part of a larger political entity.

  • rc9_0307_big
    Mar 7, 2005, 16:05 PM

    How to get your two-bits' worth of stamps

    I am always looking for new things I can do with my stamp collection. Although I enjoy sticking stamps in an album, the real thrill for me is working out why stamps were issued, what or who is depicted on the stamp, where it came from and how it was used.

  • rc8_0228_big
    Feb 28, 2005, 16:19 PM

    Many revenue stamps show payment of fees

    The Feb. 14 Refresher Course noted that some collectors discriminate between revenue stamps that show payment of tax and those that show payment of fees for government services.

  • rc6_0221_big
    Feb 21, 2005, 16:28 PM

    Postal stationery wrappers offer challenge

    There are other limbs on the tree of philately besides postage stamps. One of the limbs is postal stationery.

  • rc7_0207_big
    Feb 7, 2005, 17:03 PM

    Aussie BCOF stamps challenging but affordable

    Who occupied Japan at the end of World War II? Ask most Americans this question, and a majority would answer "the United States." That's only partly correct.

  • Jan 24, 2005, 17:37 PM

    Nondenominated U.S. stamps have values too

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

  • rc6_0117_big
    Jan 17, 2005, 17:18 PM

    Stamps of little countries deliver great fun

    One of my New Year's resolutions is to learn something about all those mysterious countries that no longer issue stamps but that are found in my worldwide album. Collectors refer to postal administrations that no longer issue stamps as "dead countries."

  • rc9_0110_big
    Jan 10, 2005, 17:31 PM

    Special delivery plus: hybrid express stamps

    The Refresher Course column in Linn's issue of Dec. 27, 2004, discussed special delivery stamps. This column will expand that discussion by looking at stamps that provided for special delivery plus an additional service or purpose.

  • rc8_0103_big
    Jan 3, 2005, 17:42 PM

    Flashy engraved stamps good for the hobby

    It is puzzling to me when I hear some collectors complain of what they call "gimmicky" stamps.