Basic collecting terms: what you don't know can hurt you

December 31, 2008 03:54 PM

Stamp collecting is laced with terms peculiar to it. Not knowing the meaning of such terms can hurt you.


Christmas customs, stamp collecting and children go together

December 24, 2007 04:07 PM

As in many recent years, the stores were ablaze with Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Shelves and racks groaned under the weight of goods vying to be taken home, wrapped and given to delighted (or bewildered) friends and family members.


Collecting cancels and postmarks adds spice and knowledge

December 10, 2007 04:17 PM

Collecting postally used stamps seems to have become less popular than it once was. Modern United States self-adhesives have become increasingly difficult, although not impossible, to collect used.


Stamps with teeth: perforations need not perplex collectors

November 26, 2007 10:42 AM

Perforations and the proper use of the device used to measure them, called a perforation gauge, often baffle beginner collectors and sometimes even those who are not so new to collecting.


Veterans Day: stamps and covers remind us of service and sacrifices

November 12, 2007 11:21 AM

The Ken Burns multi-episode documentary film The War recently aired on Public Broadcasting System television.


The evolution of franking: different ways to indicate postage was paid

October 29, 2007 11:31 AM

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, defines the noun frank as, "1a: the signature of the sender on a piece of franked mail serving in place of a postage stamp" and "b: a mark or stamp on a piece of mail indicating postage paid."


Hiding in plain sight: basics of tagged stamps and ultraviolet light

October 22, 2007 11:39 AM

Luminescence, phos-phorescence, fluorescence, ultraviolet lamps — what does any of this have to do with stamp collecting? A lot, actually.


Confessions of a happy hinger: how to use stamp hinges to mount stamps

October 08, 2007 11:45 AM

It was easier to be a stamp collector 25 years ago. If you needed hinges to affix stamps into an album, you just went to your local F.W. Woolworth variety store and bought a pack of 1,000 peelable hinges, which would set you back only 25¢.


To heighten enjoyment, plan new stamp collecting projects step by step

September 24, 2007 11:51 AM

New projects can be daunting, even if they are hobby related. Sometimes we just pick the wrong projects, but most often we simply bite off more than we can comfortably chew. The cure for that problem is to take smaller bites.


Keys to cataloging a stamp: check watermarks and measure perforations

September 10, 2007 11:59 AM

This Refresher Course continues a discussion of cataloging begun in the Aug. 27 Refresher Course.


Cataloging stamps requires a perforation gauge and watermark fluid

August 27, 2007 12:18 AM

Being able to correctly identify stamps is an essential skill for any stamp collector. This includes stamps a collector already has and those on a want list. Basic identification skills enable a collector to properly place stamps in an album, prepare want lists and buy stamps with the confidence that what is being paid for is exactly what is received


Stamp-selling tips: choose a method that suits your stamps and your goals

August 13, 2007 12:25 AM

Perhaps your collecting interests have changed, or perhaps you bought a large lot or a collection that contains stamps that do not fit into your collection. Maybe you acquired many duplicates. Possibly you just ran out of space.


Don't pass a cover up just because it's scruffy — it might tell a good story

July 23, 2007 01:26 PM

Sometimes in stamp and cover collecting, scruffy is good.Some collectors seek stamps and covers in perfect, pristine condition. Others assess each item and acquire those that interest them, regardless of condition.


Cover collecting 101: basic terminology and definitions used by collectors

July 16, 2007 01:37 PM

One of the strengths of the stamp hobby is that collectors have so many options. One of those options is cover collecting, which has its own language and specialist terms.


Who's in charge here? Postage stamps reflect changes in government

July 09, 2007 01:51 PM

I am sure that you have heard the expression, "You can't tell the players with-out a scorecard."


Organizing and mounting your collection: beyond printed album page

June 25, 2007 02:03 PM

Most stamp collectors use printed stamp albums to house their collections. I use a combination of printed stamp albums, self-made pages, albums for special collections, stock books and cover albums. This might sound somewhat jumbled, but it suits me just fine.


More tips for when to soak a stamp and when to save a cover intact

June 11, 2007 02:35 PM

The May 28 Refresher Course discussed how stamps, cancels, senders or recipients, and auxiliary markings can affect a decision to keep a stamp on an envelope or remove it.


Soaker's remorse: here's what to check before ripping a stamp from its cove

May 28, 2007 02:43 PM

How many interesting, valuable or historically significant old folded letters or envelopes with stamps and postmarks (known as "covers" to stamp collectors) do you suppose have been destroyed by people who did not know what they were doing?


Topical collecting: music hath charms to soothe the savage collector

May 14, 2007 02:54 PM

Many of the world's most famous singers appear on stamps, from classical and opera to folk, blues, pop, rock and any other genre. The evolution of singing would make a great topic for a stamp collection.


Stamp terminology: sheets, panes, souvenir sheets and miniature sheets

April 30, 2007 03:09 PM

One of the most misunderstood and misused terms in stamp collecting is "sheet of stamps." In common parlance, what collectors and noncollectors alike often refer to as a sheet of stamps is in fact a pane of stamps.

Buying stamps and covers via the Internet can be fun, fast and easy

April 23, 2007 03:17 PM

You can buy stamps from vendors in Australia, India, Singapore or Brazil with just a click of your computer's mouse. You can pay for those purchases just as easily. Within a week, or maybe a little longer for orders coming from overseas, you have a new treasure for your collection.


Books, publishing and literature find their way into stamp collecting

April 09, 2007 03:36 PM

An ice storm in February left my husband and me without power for three days. Because we heat with electricity, no power means no heat, it was the coldest three days of the winter.


In issuing stamps and collecting stamps, rules are meant to be broken

March 26, 2007 03:51 PM

Recently, the United States Postal Service amended its long-standing rule that a person had to be dead at least 10 years to be honored with a stamp, reducing the wait to five years.


Cheap thrills await the collector of old, inexpensive, fascinating stamps

March 12, 2007 03:59 PM

The advice to specialize is often given to beginning or intermediate collectors by those who have been collecting for a long time.


Collecting advertising covers can be your window on a vanished world

February 26, 2007 04:06 PM

Advertising covers from the 19th and early 20th centuries bring out the historian in me.


Postal administrations use technology to protect revenue, speed mail

February 12, 2007 04:18 PM

Since 1840, postal services have looked for new ideas to protect revenue and improve mail handling. A quick flip through a worldwide stamp album will uncover many of these innovations that reflect the technology of the day.


Collecting covers: in period, proper use, single use and related terms

January 29, 2007 04:27 PM

Almost without exception, what was being offered were up-rated, out-of-period uses priced at or near the Scott values for postal stationery used in-period in the ScottSpecialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.


Make a stamp calendar for a fun and inexpensive New Year's project

January 22, 2007 04:37 PM

At this time of year many collectors are busy transferring doctor appointments, birthdays to remember, stamp shows to go to, and other dates of significance from scraps of paper to a new 2007 wall calendar.


Here's how to hinge, mount and handle stamps to avoid damaging them

January 08, 2007 04:43 PM

Not long ago I watched a very experienced collector ruin a nice stamp through careless handling.
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