US Stamps

Are there too many World Series of Philately stamp shows nationwide?

Jul 5, 2023, 12 PM
A purple ribbon for the grand award hangs on the top of Stephen McGill’s exhibit titled “Britain’s Marvelous Machins” at the Westpex 2022 stamp show. Photograph by Jay Bigalke.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

For those in the philatelic exhibiting world, especially the competitive philatelic exhibiting world, there is great familiarity with the World Series of Philately status for stamp shows.

According to the American Philatelic Society website, “These are U.S. national level shows that have gone through an accreditation process and must follow standards (WSP Rules/Requirements) to maintain their status.”

There are a few more than 20 such shows nationwide, a number that used to be in the 30s. But is even 20 too many?

These WSP shows have dealers, meetings and seminars, and competitive exhibits vying for the Champion of Champions title for single frame and multiframe exhibits.

This has been an unusual year, to say the least, for WSP shows for status and byes. The Sescal show in Los Angeles folded. The Nojex show in New Jersey is taking a bye for this year, as did Colopex in Columbus, Ohio, because its date was close to the Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland in August.

And then, there were two suspensions for violations for the Aripex show in Mesa, Ariz., and the Seapex show in Seattle, Wash., as reported in the July 17 issue of Linn’s.

A Champion of Champions listing of upcoming WSP shows is also included in the July 17 issue with the most current information available.

I guess with fewer shows for 2023, it could make the competition even more competitive for the next Champion of Champions contestants.

Many of these shows are run by volunteers, so there are definite challenges associated with keeping more than 20 shows going nationwide. If anyone has skills related to any element of running a show, I think raising a hand and volunteering would help the current shows continue.

We would welcome any thoughts for possible publication as a Letter to Linn’s. Please send an email to or write to Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365.

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