By Molly Goad
The American Philatelic Society is offering five one-day courses tailored to stamp collectors of all levels prior to the first few stamp shows in 2018.
Collecting First Day Covers (Jan. 25), prior to the Southeastern Stamp Expo in Atlanta. Participants will learn the history of first-day cover collecting; the components of a first-day cover and the variety of cachets found on them; how to identify cachet production methods; and the different types of first-day postmarks, including unofficials, errors, and predates. Cost is $45 for APS members and $95 for non-members.
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Competitive Thematic Exhibiting (Feb. 1), prior to the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition in Sarasota, Fla. This course will cover preparing competitive thematic exhibits for national competition; exhibiting using the guidance of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting and FIP rules; the differences between thematic and topical exhibiting; the “Big 4” criteria for evaluating exhibits; and more. Cost is $25 for APS members and $75 for non-members.
EFOs [errors, freaks and oddities] and You: How You Can Benefit From Postal Blunders (Feb. 15), prior to Arizona Philatelic Exhibition (Aripex) in Mesa, Ariz. This course will highlight the basics of main printing types: line-engraved intaglio, gravure, letterpress, and lithography; the basics of printing and processing, including gumming and perforating; how and why EFOs are created, and why some types exist only under certain circumstances; the basic skills for “reading” an error; how to diagnose an error’s cause and relative significance; and determining relative value of EFOs. Cost is $45 for APS members and $95 for non-members.
Two courses will be offered Feb. 22 ahead of the Ameristamp Expo in Birmingham, Ala. Cost is $45 for APS members and $95 for non-members for either course. What is Astrophilately All About? will detail early space covers; lunar, planetary, and other deep space covers; manned rocket and space flights; types of launch covers (launch, tracking, and communication); recovery ship covers; official cachets; and VIP covers. Participants will learn how to read a space cover, identify fakes and forgeries, and recognize the difference between good signatures and autopens.
The second course offered prior to Ameristamp Expo, The Black Heritage Series: Preserving Our Heritage, will include conversations about the politics, significance, and the future of the United States Postal Service’s stamp series (launched in 1978) honoring African-Americans and the roles they have played in our nation’s history.