US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: A dollar-sign stamp hiding in plain sight

Jan 25, 2024, 8 AM
In Dollar-Sign Stamps in the Feb. 12 issue of Linn’s, Charles Snee argues that the new U.S. nondenominated ($1.16) Saul Bellow 3-ounce-rate stamp is a dollar-sign stamp.

By Charles Snee

The Feb. 12 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Jan. 29. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Jan. 27. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Saul Bellow stamp is a dollar-sign first hiding in plain sight

“When I first looked over the Postal Service’s production details for the nondenominated Bellow stamp (published in the Dec. 28, 2023, Postal Bulletin),” writes Charles Snee in Dollar-Sign Stamps, “I immediately noticed that its postage value was $1.16, making it the first of the Literary Arts 3-ounce-rate stamps to cross the $1 franking threshold at the time of issue.” Although the Saul Bellow stamp doesn’t picture a dollar sign, Snee considers it a dollar-sign stamp. “Now my hunt for a Saul Bellow stamp properly used on a letter weighing up to but not more than 3 ounces can begin,” Snee explains.

Collectors’ Forum: Spanish mystery stamps

The intent of the Collectors’ Forum column is the publication of letters and requests for the exchange of information within the hobby. Linn’s editors give answers or partial answers when known. This week Linn’s editors and a well-known specialist assist a collector from Florida with identifying several Spanish stamps not listed in the Scott catalog. One of the stamps is a local stamp issued during the Spanish Civil War during 1936. Read the full column to learn more about the other stamps.

Mailed maritime menus: where are they?

In paper ephemera circles, the collecting of vintage menus is a popular pursuit,” explains Wayne L. Youngblood in The Odd Lot. “A subset of that topic is the collecting of maritime menus, which do not seem to be as plentiful as menus for land-based establishments.” Youngblood admits to his fascination with maritime menus, despite not collecting them. The dinner menu he illustrates was given to a passenger on the evening of May 10, 1931, aboard the Chichibu Maru, a Japanese ocean liner. When the ship arrived in San Francisco not quite two weeks later, the passenger mailed to Copenhagen, Denmark. To make it easier to mail, the menu “was designed to be a perforated (for ease of opening) and folded letter sheet,” according to Youngblood, who has much more to say in his column. Be sure you don’t miss it.

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