US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Business reply envelopes get dressed up

Aug 14, 2020, 8 AM
In a feature article in the Aug. 31 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Ronald Blanks explores how various firms are modifying their business reply mail envelopes to garner more attention from recipients. An assortment of colorful labels and stamps are affixed to the business reply envelopes shown here.

By Charles Snee

The Aug. 31 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Aug. 17. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Aug. 15. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three brief reviews of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Business reply envelopes get dressed up in new ways

Ronald Blanks, in an informative and well-illustrated feature article, explores how charities and other firms are adding eye appeal to their business reply mail envelopes in order to stimulate attention from their recipients. For years some organizations, such as the Disabled American Veterans, have affixed stamps to their business reply mail envelopes to increase donor response rates. Research has shown this to be an effective approach. “But a different variation has arisen of late, and it doesn’t involve stamps, at least not the postage kind,” Blanks writes. Instead of stamps some groups are affixing or printing their own stamplike labels (collectors call them cinderellas) on business reply envelopes. Blanks illustrates a number of such envelopes, and he explains that different methods are used to affix the labels, which can be found in sheet and coil formats. The entire feature makes for an engaging read.

The 1951 postal tax stamp set of Jordan

In the Middle East Stamps column in the Oct. 29, 2018, issue of Linn’s, Ghassan Riachi wrote about the first set of postal tax stamps issued by Jordan in 1947. Not quite two years later, Riachi provides an in-depth look at Jordan’s second set of postal tax stamps, which were issued in 1951 in response to a change in the official currency of the country that took effect July 1, 1950. As Riachi explains, the currency “changed from mils to fils with 1,000 fils equaling 1 Jordan dinar.” Although denominated in the new currency, the 1951 stamps feature the same designs as the equivalent stamps from the 1947 set. For each of the designs, Riachi provides a brief but informative history lesson that provides useful context. Also included with the column is a table that provides basic information (color, design and quantity issued) for each stamp in the 1951 set. Riachi concludes with a review of relevant postal history, noting that the 1951 stamps are “difficult to find on commercial covers.”

Collectors’ Forum: Hatay color variety

The intent of Collectors’ Forum 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, the editors examine what appears to be a color variety of the 1939 10-para orange and aquamarine Map of Hatay stamp (Scott 12). “I have an example of this stamp that has a more brownish color,” writes the collector who was unable to find information about it in the catalogs he owns. In their response the editors state that the brown variety is “most likely a color changeling due to sulfurization of a component of the orange ink from chemicals in the air.” If you are stumped by an odd stamp or cover, Collectors’ Forum might just have an answer for you.

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