US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: The language of first-day cover collecting

Feb 8, 2024, 10 AM
In First-Day Covers in the Feb. 26 issue of Linn’s, Lloyd de Vries unravels some of the subtleties associated with terms specific to FDCs.

By Charles Snee

The Feb. 26 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Feb. 12. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Feb. 10. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

The language of first-day cover collecting

Many stamp and first-day cover collectors are familiar with terms such as bourse, cachet, unofficials, killer bar and unveilings. But as Lloyd de Vries explains in First-Day Covers, deciphering some of this philatelic “jargon,” as he puts it, can be somewhat challenging and counterintuitive at times. For example, the USPS “calls pulling the covering cloth off a giant poster of the stamp an unveiling, even though almost everyone at the ceremony has seen the design,” de Vries writes. “Even sillier, local ceremonies held days after the stamp goes on sale are also called unveilings.” He has much more to say, so be sure to read his entire column.

When a collection comes to life

Cheryl Ganz, an expert collector, exhibitor and specialist in zeppelin stamps and postal history, shares a delightful experience that played out during the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition, where she “met longtime correspondents for the first time.” Ganz goes on to explain that she connected with “the descendants of two photographers whose real photo postcards I exhibited. They are not stamp collectors, but I invited them to the show to see my exhibit ‘Clements Photography: Prints and Postcards.’ ” Her exhibit focuses on real photo postcards by Rell Clements. “I smiled throughout the day because my collection came to life that day,” Ganz fondly recalls.

Kitchen Table Philately: U.S. mixture evokes childhood memories

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 VI sorts through a 52-stamp sample from a mixture of used United States stamps. “Handling these stamps was like a trip down memory lane,” Rawolik says. “As a 6-year-old child, my first stamp album was small, with pages for stamps from many countries of the world, but I had more stamps from the United States than any other place.” Enjoy the full review in this issue. It will definitely warm your philatelic heart.

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