By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Although it is not valid for payment of postage, you have probably seen dozens of the 15¢ Letter Carrier certified mail stamp (Scott FA1) that have successfully passed through the mails as just that.
Even if a postal clerk actually looks at the cover, most don’t realize that it isn’t a postage stamp. It isn’t hard to find large multiples of the stamp lurking in dealer’s discount postage boxes.
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Issued June 6, 1955, the 15¢ certified mail stamp paid only the certified mail fee. Additional postage, airmail, or special delivery stamps were required to pay for the type of mail service desired.
The 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values a first-day cover for the issue, but does not value an on-cover use. First-day covers are plentiful, as are obviously collector-created souvenir covers.
Look for a commercial certified mail cover bearing the stamp mailed in 1955 to 1957. A regular certified mail cover bearing the stamp is a good buy at around $5.
Airmail and special delivery covers are good buys in the $10-to-$15 price range. Uses on smaller envelopes, such as No. 6¾ envelopes, are more desirable than on the larger No. 10 envelopes.