US Stamps

Collectors continue to favor line-engraved, soakable stamps

May 1, 2017, 3 PM
The original designs on which the Classics Forever stamps are based were used on these United States stamps and others (top left to right): 1851 12¢ gray black Washington (Scott 17); 1851 1¢ blue Franklin, type I; (5), 1860 24¢ gray lilac Washington (37);

Editor’s Insights — By Donna Houseman

In what has become an annual event, in this issue we announce the winners of the 2016 Linn’s U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll. Each year we invite readers and visitors to to participate in a poll to let the world know what they think about the latest U.S. stamps and postal stationery.

The results of the 2016 poll can be found here.

Participants choose the stamps they believe to be the best designed, worst designed, most important, and least necessary. And, of course, we can assume that the overall favorite stamp is the most popular among voters.

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Reporting on the 2016 poll winners, Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke says, “You can’t beat the classics.” Indeed, he is correct. The overall winner in the 2016 U.S. stamp poll is the set of six nondenominated (47¢) forever stamps known as the Classics Forever issue. Collectors once again expressed their love for line-engraved stamp designs by voting for the pane of six U.S. Classics Forever stamps.

These stamps have an added attraction to collectors, because they have pressure-sensitive, water-soluble adhesive, although they can be difficult to soak. Soaking the stamps requires hot water and a lot of patience. Linn’s managing editor Charles Snee recounted his experiences with soaking the stamps here. Nevertheless, collectors prefer line-engraved, soakable stamps, and the results of the 2016 Linn’s U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll confirm this.

The six stamps feature redrawn designs of the black 1851 12¢ Washington (Scott design number A16), the blue 1851 1¢ blue Franklin (A5), the 1860 24¢ gray lilac or blackish violet Washington (A17), the 1860 90¢ blue Washington (A19), the 1866 15¢ black Lincoln (A33), and the 1861 1¢ blue Franklin (A24).

The stamps were issued June 1, 2016, during World Stamp Show-NY 2016, the international stamp show that took place last spring in New York City.

The Classics Forever stamps came in second in the best design category for commemorative stamps, right behind the set of eight Views of Our Planets stamps. Our quarterly Linn’s U.S. Graded Stamp Report can be found in the May 15 Linn’s monthly magazine. Be sure to check out the latest review of the U.S. philatelic market and how it affects a selection of U.S. stamps in eight grades. You can subscribe to Linn's here.