US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: One size does not fit all first-day covers

Oct 5, 2023, 8 PM
This mock-up shows the use of both black and digital color postmarks on a first-day cover for the United States Thinking of You stamps issued Aug. 11 in Cleveland, Ohio.

By Charles Snee

The Oct. 23 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Oct. 9. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Oct. 7. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers.

First-day covers: one size does not fit all

When it comes to creating first-day covers and determining how best to present the stamps and postmarks on the envelope, one size does not fit all, as Lloyd de Vries explains in his First-Day Covers column. By way of illustrations showing various arrangements of stamps and postmarks, de Vries highlights some of the challenges facing cachetmakers and FDC collectors alike, particularly when dealing with a se-tenant (side-by-side) issue that comes in a block or a strip, such as the five United States Thinking of You stamps issued Aug. 11 in Cleveland. In the mock-up above, the use of black and digital color postmarks gives a crowded appearance and leaves little room for a cachet.

Tip of the Week: North West Pacific Islands

Stamp Market Tips columnists Henry Gitner and Rick Miller suggest keeping an eye out for the very first issue of North West Pacific Islands: the 1915 2-penny gray Australia Kangaroo and Map stamp overprinted “N.W. Pacific Islands.” According to Gitner and Miller, North West Pacific Islands stamps are of interest to collectors of German colonies, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Nauru. Read the full tip to learn why.

Kitchen Table Philately: 220 stamps from 31 countries

In each weekly issue of Linn’s, either E. Rawolik VI or E. Rawolik VII dissects the contents of a stamp mixture offered to collectors. E. Rawolik is a pseudonym that is also the word “kiloware” (a stamp mixture) spelled backward. This week, E. Rawolik VII breaks down a sample from a mixture of 220 stamps from 31 countries. Of the 74 stamps in the sample, Japan had the most, with nine, and France came in second place, with eight. The years of issue spanned almost a century, from 1896 to 1992. “This was a pretty good packet,” Rawolik wrote. “The stamps were low-priced, but interesting.” Enjoy the full review in this issue.

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