Monday Morning Brief | Stamp sets and series

Mar 14, 2016, 4 AM

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses United States stamps that are issued in a set or in a series.

Full Video Transcript: 

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for March 14, 2016.

One aspect of the stamp hobby that many collectors enjoy is collecting stamps in a set or a series.

A set of stamps can be something as simple as two stamps or four stamps that were issued at the same time, or even a set of 20 or 50 stamps that all come on the same pane. The Batman stamps issued in 2014 make up a set of eight different stamps, but they were issued in a pane of 20, so some of the stamps appear more than once in the pane.

Some of the earliest United States commemorative stamps were issued in sets, such as the 1893 Columbians, which were issued in a set of 16 to celebrate the voyages of Christopher Columbus. These stamps weren’t all issued in the same pane, like the Batman stamps. Instead, each value was issued in its own pane of 50 stamps or 100 stamps.

Most collectors try to complete the set because they enjoy having all the stamps to study and admire.

A series is a little different from a set, because even though the stamps might share a common theme or design style, the series is usually issued over a longer period of time, rather than all around the same time.

Many stamps issued today by the United States Postal Service are part of a series, such as the Black Heritage commemorative series, which began in 1978, or the Legends of Hollywood series, which began in 1995.

The Music Icons series began in 2014 with a forever stamp honoring Lydia Mendoza, and has since added stamps for six musicians in all. A seventh stamp, honoring singer Sarah Vaughan, will be issued March 29.

The Postal Service recently began a new series of coil definitive stamp showing fruits. A 10¢ stamp showing pears was issued Jan. 17, and a 5¢ stamp showing grapes was issued Feb. 19.

At this point we don’t know how many stamps will be issued in the Music Icons series or the Fruit series, or how long they will go on. But if you want to start collecting a series today, you could begin with one of these newer series while the stamps are readily available. You can choose to collect mint stamps straight from the Postal Service or your favorite stamp dealer, or collect used stamps that you find on mail.

You can learn more about the different ways to collect stamps by reading Linn’s Stamp News and visiting Linn’s online at You can also follow Linn’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Michael Baadke.