insightsRecent U.S. Official envelopes likely to rise in value
December 30, 2016 08:00 PMPostal stationery is a collecting specialty with many followers in the United States. Official Mail postal stationery is a subset of the larger specialty. The first Official Mail postal stationery envelopes were issued in 1873. Since then, fewer than 100 Scott-listed major-number Official Mail postal stationery envelopes have been issued. The last three United States Official Mail postal stationery envelopes were issued at the domestic first-class rates of 39¢, 41¢ and 42¢, respectively, all of which were short-lived.
insightsLiberty series $1 Patrick Henry comes ‘wet’ and ‘dry’
December 30, 2016 10:00 AMThe United States Liberty series of definitive (regular-issue) stamps debuted in 1954. During its 26-year run, collectors discovered a bewildering array of varieties, including the so-called “wet” and “dry” printings. My focus this month is on the $1 stamp, which was first issued Oct. 7, 1955 (Scott 1052). This first printing is known as a “wet” printing, because the paper was slightly moist when the stamps were printed. This made the inked impression on the paper appear somewhat indistinct or soft.
blogBEP should consider loaning items to the National Postal Museum
December 30, 2016 08:02 AMLinn’s Washington correspondent Bill McAllister reveals one of Washington’s greatest secrets in the cover feature in the Jan. 18 issue of Linn’s. Specifically, McAllister presents a look inside the vault at the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
insightsColor misregistrations can produce startling visual results
December 29, 2016 05:45 PMWhat should be expertized? For starters, any item that is being suggested as a possible new addition to the catalog should be expertized. Over the last few years, I’ve had two questions come up where the finder thought that a new listing might be in order. In each case, though, the item turned out to be a collectible variety, not a new listing, and the finder was disappointed.
newsChanges coming to Linn's newsletter in 2016
December 29, 2016 09:02 AMIn an effort to improve user experience by limiting the number of emails we send our readers each day, Linn’s Stamp News is making a slight change to its free newsletter send schedule in 2016. Effective Jan. 1, our Auction House Planner, which currently goes out on Wednesday afternoons, will be sent out on Sunday morning.
insightsTip of the week: United States Vintage Seed Packets block of 10
December 26, 2015 06:00 AMOn April 5, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of 10 nondenominated (46¢) Vintage Seed Packets forever stamps (Scott 4754-4763). The stamp designs feature garden flowers as they were depicted on vintage seed packets. The stamps were issued in double-sided booklets of 20 (Scott 4763b), with eight stamps on one side and 12 on the other. They are generally collected as a mint block of 10 (Scott 4763a).
insightsNo new U.S. Christmas seal earliest-known uses to report this past year
December 23, 2015 07:45 AMNormally the earliest-known use (EKU) of a Christmas seal has to be tied to a card or envelope by a cancellation to qualify for a listing, but in the case of the postal card shown nearby, we can allow a little leeway. The 1911 seal is not tied to the card, but because of the message typed on the reverse, dated Nov. 24, 1911, there is no doubt that it belongs.
insightsJanuary cartoon caption contest: 1993 29¢ Christmas Snowman
December 22, 2015 08:00 PMIn expectation that the meteorologists have predicted correctly, and we will have many opportunities to shovel snow, clear off cars, go sledding, and build snowmen, I have selected the snowman on the 1993 29¢ Christmas stamp (Scott 2793) for the January cartoon caption contest.
insightsPost Office form, letter shed light on ‘Request for Better Address’ process
December 22, 2015 04:00 PMFor years I have studied and exhibited the return of unmailable and undeliverable mail. A year or so ago, I was able to buy the “REQUEST FOR BETTER ADDRESS” Form B-22 shown nearby. This request form was sent to the writer of a letter or postcard when the office of delivery recognized that the letter’s address was inadequate and the item, therefore, was undeliverable.
newsCost to collect stamps drops dramatically, new section for world stamp collectors introduced: Week's Most Read
December 20, 2015 09:00 AMAlso this week, Linn's Stamp News released its top headlines of 2015, the U.S. Mint floated the idea of ending mail orders in 2016, and online voting for the Linn's 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll opened.
newsMotor City Stamp & Cover Club fetes members with awards, honors
December 18, 2015 07:45 AMThe Detroit-based Motor City Stamp & Cover Club has a good grasp on the holiday spirit. At its recent club-wide Christmas party, members received awards and recognition for their work within the hobby, as well contributions to various events that the club has put together throughout the year.
insights1951 Santa Claus cinderella proof signed by Arthur Engler
December 17, 2015 03:45 PMOver the years, stamp collectors have commissioned or created stamplike images for use on Christmas cards. The design of this proposed Santa Claus cinderella stamp is dated 1951 in the lower corners. The proof is signed in pencil by Arthur Engler. Handstamped on the reverse is “Arthur Engler, 6340 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland 9, California.”
insightsGreetings sent via British Wireless Marine Service telegram on Christmas Eve
December 17, 2015 03:15 PMWhat would you do if you were aboard a ship as Christmas was rapidly approaching, and you had not yet sent your Christmas cards? In 1934, you could have taken advantage of the British Wireless Marine Service, which allowed for “Season’s Greetings by Wireless.”
insightsMore than just sales data found on websites of stamp auction firms
December 17, 2015 12:00 AMI recently visited the websites of two stamp auction firms, Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries and Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, and discovered that they offer a lot of information in addition to listing their auctions and prices realized online.
newsGeometric Snowflakes stamps receive Scott catalog numbers
December 17, 2015 11:24 AMIn early December, the Scott editors assigned new catalog numbers to the four Geometric Snowflakes stamps issued Oct. 23 in New York City. Imperforate Geometric Snowflakes stamps from uncut press sheets without die cuts also received Scott numbers.
newsAmeristamp Expo headed for downtown Atlanta Jan. 29-31
December 17, 2015 11:23 AMAmeristamp Expo, the nation’s second-largest annual postage stamp event, will take place in Atlanta in the Hilton Atlanta Downtown at 255 Courtland St. NE, Jan. 29-31. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Ameristamp Expo, co-located with the Southeastern Stamp Expo, is hosted jointly by the American Philatelic Society and the Southeastern Federation of Stamp Clubs.
newsBorn Dec. 17: Arthur Fiedler
December 17, 2015 03:30 AMArthur Fiedler was known to the American public as the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for almost 50 years. The orchestra’s many radio and television broadcasts and Fiedler’s genial nature made him a familiar figure to many around the world.
newsRevelations of who bought rare stamps among Linn’s top headlines for 2015
December 16, 2015 11:27 AMRevelations of who purchased the world’s most famous stamp, the British Guiana 1856 1¢ Magenta, and the elusive United States upright $2 Jenny Invert pane were among the top stories in 2015 for stamp collecting. These stories and other philatelic reports in 2015 not only made headlines in Linn’s Stamp News, but also captured worldwide media attention, providing much positive exposure for the hobby.
newsNovember cartoon contest winner: 'What happened to my better half?'
December 16, 2015 11:24 AMLack of oxygen and weightlessness in space were the two most popular themes for the November cartoon caption contest, which featured the astronaut half of the pair of 1967 5¢ stamps honoring accomplishments in space (Scott 1331).
newsCost to collect U.S. stamps drops dramatically in 2015
December 11, 2015 04:49 PMThe cost to collect one each of all of the mint United States postage stamps and postal stationery items issued in 2015 dropped to its lowest level in a dozen years, reaching a dollar value that is nearly half of the cost tabulated for collecting last year.
insightsTip of the week: United States 1896 Indian Maiden newspaper stamp
December 10, 2015 08:00 AMThe highest face-value stamps issued by the United States to pay a postage fee are the 1895 and 1896 $100 purple Indian Maiden newspaper stamps (Scott PR113 and PR125). The stamp designs are identical, but the stamp issued in 1895 is on unwatermarked paper, while the stamp issued Jan. 23, 1896, is on paper watermarked with a double-line “USPS.”
newsSports card honors Richard Graham as hometown hero
December 09, 2015 11:27 AMLongtime Linn's Stamp News columnist and postal history expert Richard B. Graham has been honored on a sports card distributed in Columbus, Ohio, where Graham, lived, studied and worked. The card is one of 24 recognizing Columbus-area veterans in a 2015 promotion sponsored by the Columbus Clippers AAA baseball team and other local businesses. Graham died in 2012 at age 89. Fans attending the July 4 Clippers game against the Toledo Mud Hens received a set of the cards.