Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Collectors are usually gratified when they can purchase at face value mint examples of the stamp or stamps being tipped.
On Feb. 16, 2017, the U.S. Postal Service issued a pane of 11 nondenominated (49¢) Oscar de la Renta forever stamps (Scott 5173). One stamp features a portrait of the famous fashion designer, while the designs of the other 10 utilize his colorful and evocative designs. In our opinion, this is one of the most beautiful panes of U.S. issues ever produced.
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De la Renta (1932-2014) was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Puerto Rican father and a Dominican mother. Finishing his education in Spain, he became the first Latino designer to be accepted by the Parisian fashion houses.
The 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the pane at the standard double face value for new issues, $11. The pane is still available at many post offices at face value. Demand for used examples of modern U.S. se-tenant issues almost always exceeds the supply.
In addition to a mint pane, buy an extra pane and use the stamps on mail to recipients whom you know will return the stamps or covers to you.