US Stamps

Ameristamp Expo headed for downtown Atlanta Jan. 29-31

Dec 17, 2015, 7 AM
A first-day-of-issue ceremony for the United States Postal Service’s Botanical Arts stamps will be conducted Jan. 29, the opening day of Ameristamp Expo.

Ameristamp 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.

Stamp collectors, dealers, artisans, historians, and the general public will gather to learn about the history and value of stamps, buy and sell stamps, meet a stamp designer, or get an up-close view of rare postage stamps.

More than 55 domestic and international dealers will have booths at the show to buy and sell stamps and customized cover envelopes. For the bargain hunter, several special booths will sell items for $1 or less. At Stamps by the Bucket, youth (under age 16) will be able to browse through thousands of stamps, filling a bucket for only $1. Adults will be charged $5 for a bucket.

Show-goers also will have an opportunity to see a few of America’s rarest postal items, including the 1789 United States presidential “Free Frank” by George Washington, the earliest-known president free frank; the 1918 24¢ Jenny Invert (Scott C3a); 1931 APS membership applications of Franklin D. Roosevelt and other famous collectors; and the U.S. 1962 4¢ Dag Hammarskjold Invert pane (Scott 1203a)

In addition to these rarities, an estimated 300 exhibit frames will display competitive and educational stamps, postal history, and philatelic materials.

The United States Postal Service will issue 10 new Botanical Art stamps during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at 11 a.m. Jan. 29 in the Hilton Atlanta Crystal Ballroom.

A free ceremony program with a stamp and cancellation will be provided to attendees. Ceremony dignitaries also will be available to provide autographs. Participating dignitaries include Mildred Pinnell Fockele, vice president, Horticulture, Atlanta Botanical Garden; APS executive director Scott English; Kristen Seaver, area vice president, USPS; Austin Foo, Young Philatelic Leader fellow, APS; and Dawn Hamman, master of ceremonies, American Topical Association.

With the issuance of the new Botanical Art stamps, Friday’s focus is centered around a botanical theme. Saturday will feature Georgia history, and Sunday is Family Day. A specially designed postmark will be used daily for items mailed from the show.

Events related to these themes include:

“Postal History, Yesterday and Today,” Georgia Postal History Society, annual meeting, Jan. 30, 10 a.m.

“Historical and Cultural Themes on Stamps,” Thomas Broadhead, Knoxville Philatelic Society, Jan. 30, noon.

“Postage Stamps Related to the African Diaspora,” Ebony Society of Philatelic Events & Reflections (ESPER), general meeting, Jan. 30, 1 p.m.

“Adventures of a Philatelic Horticulturist,” Phil Stager, ATA, Jan. 31, noon.

“The Art of Postage Stamps and Cachets,” stamp designer Chris Calle, Jan. 31, 1 p.m.

In addition to his talk about the “Art of Postage Stamps and Cachets,” world-renowned stamp designer Chris Calle has again created the official Ameristamp Expo cachets for 2016. These specially designed envelopes will be available for sale, along with Calle’s customized cachets. Calle is credited with designing more than 200 worldwide postage stamps, including at least 25 for the United States.

Calle will be available for autographs at the APS booth. A number of other artists will be present with their original work at the cachetmakers bourse from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Among the most popular reasons to attend the expo is the “Stamps In your Attic” program, a free service to assist individuals with identification and evaluation of philatelic items. The public is encouraged to bring inherited collections of stamps or old family correspondence for input as to their worth, and suggestions on what to do with the stamps. 

Youth can learn about stamp collecting, compete for prizes, design stamps, play games, and pick up items for their stamp collections in the youth area, all for free.

Adults interested in learning more about the basics of stamp collecting can attend “Stamp Collecting 101” from noon to 2 p.m. on Jan. 31. This beginner course introduces collectors to the tools and techniques involved in handling, preserving, and storing a collection. The cost is $20 ($15 for APS members), and includes a starter collecting kit.

For those who want to learn more about stamps relating to Georgia, a free 16-page starter album is available for download from the APS website:

The Hilton Atlanta Downtown is just 1.5 blocks from the Peachtree Center stop on the MARTA subway. Parking is also available in nearby parking garages for as low as $5 on the weekend.

Complete event details are available from the American Philatelic Society at 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823. Additional questions may be directed to: (814) 933-3803 ext. 217, or email