US Stamps

Why stamps from two countries are found on one cover: U.S. Stamp Notes

Jun 24, 2016, 3 AM

by John M. Hotchner

A facet of stamp collecting that I haven’t previously looked at in this column is covers bearing the regular postage stamps of both the United States and another country.

Unlike simple postage due covers bearing the due stamps of the receiving country, covers with regular postage stamps from two countries are quite scarce.

An incoming example and an outgoing example are pictured with this column. 

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The cover sent from Germany to the United States in July 1941 is addressed to Washington, D.C. 

The two Germany stamps (Scott 423 and 428) pay the Atlantic clipper rate to the United States.

From Washington, the cover was forwarded to an address in Wauwatosa, Wis. 

Had it been forwarded by surface mail, the German stamps would have included that service. But the forwarding was by airmail, and that was an additional service with an additional charge. The charge was paid by the three 2¢ Prexie horizontal coils (Scott 841).

The outbound example was sent from California in 1977 to Antigua in the West Indies. It appears that this cover arrived after the addressee had gone or had returned to the United States. 

The 25¢ U.S. airmail stamp (Scott C289) paid the airmail rate to Central America. Had the cover been marked “undeliverable Return to Sender” in Antigua, the 25¢ stamp would have covered that service, but forwarding to a new address by air required the 50¢ Antigua postage that was added (456). It was canceled on Feb. 17, 1977.

These types of covers are nice additions to any collection, but awfully hard to find. 

More U.S. Stamp Notes:

Using stamps as a promotional tool

How did a mailing get to Japan without paid postage?

Messages on airmail covers promote the use of special delivery service