Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Postal stationery — stamped envelopes, postal cards, letter sheets, an so on (all with the stamp design printed on the mailpiece) — enjoys a small but active following in the United States.
While most modern issues from the 1960s on are readily available in mint condition and as first-day covers, finding examples correctly used in period can be quite a challenge. The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values for such items are often exponentially higher than the values for examples in mint condition.
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In 1988 the first of three Great Seal of the United States Official Mail postal cards was issued. The 15¢ postal card (Scott UZ4) was followed by a 19¢ Official Mail postal card (UZ5) in 1991 and a 20¢ Official Mail postal card (UZ6) in 1995.
The 2018 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values the mint Official Mail postal cards at 80¢ for the 15¢ and 19¢; the 20¢ Official Mail postal card is valued at 90¢. First-day covers for all three are valued at $1.25 each. The catalog values all three cards at $75 each in used condition, with the values in italics.
These postal cards are not easy to find in used condition. If you do, all three are a good buy in the $40-to-$50 price range. Postal cards used by military units also appeal to collectors of military postal history. Examples uprated by the addition of another stamp sell for much less.