Monday Morning Brief | Philatelic signs of autumn

Apr 29, 2021, 3 AM

Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty announces the release of the 2017 edition of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, and highlights new autumn-related stamps from the United States and Sweden.

Full video transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for October 3, 2016.

Along with shorter days, chilly evenings and falling leaves, another sign that autumn is here is the publication of the latest edition of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

This catalog lists and values United States postage stamps and much more, including postal stationery, revenue stamps, duck stamps, essays and proofs, postmaster provisionals, plus the stamps of the Confederate States, U.S. possessions and territories, and the United Nations.

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Not only has this catalog changed dramatically from the first edition in 1922, there also are thousands of changes from the 2016 to the recently published 2017 edition of the Scott U.S. Specialized.

The 2017 edition include more than 5,000 value changes, along with new additions and editorial enhancements, from the 2016 edition.

Want to purchase the 2017 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog? Order now on!

In her From the Scott editors column, Donna Houseman reports that as with the 2016 edition, “the biggest push this year was to a get a great many desired editorial enhancements into the catalog.”

Two sections with numerous enhancements along with major new numbers are those for computer vended postage and test stamps. Computer vended postage is relatively new, with the first examples from 1989, but test stamps date back to the 19th century. Also known as “dummy” stamps, they were produced and are still produced to test printing presses or to test stamp-printing processes or equipment.

Another sign of fall is the appearance of carved pumpkins and other Halloween decorations, and this year it also means the first Halloween stamps issued by the United States Postal Service.

Just one day before the four stamps were released on Sept. 29, the Postal Service announced that approximately 5 percent of the production run of the Jack-o’-Lantern stamps may be affected by out-of-register die cuts. The production run was for 50 million stamps.

Sandra Lane, the vice president of Banknote Corporation of America, which printed and processed these stamps, said, "Stamps with out of register die cuts have been identified as being shipped to the USPS. Out of register die cut is part of the normal process variation and requires segregation. Unfortunately, not all the material was segregated correctly ... "

How severe these die-cut shifts may be remains to be discovered.

And a discussion of signs of autumn wouldn’t be complete without new stamps showing trees in the gold, oranges and reds of the season.

On August 25, Sweden issued five booklet stamps picturing photographs taken by Christoffer Collin, known to his more than million followers on the social media site Instagram, as Wisslaren.

Postnord, the combined postal administration of Sweden and Denmark, describes the photographs as featuring fall motifs of different trees, including maple, rowan, beech and birch.

Postnord has fittingly named this booklet Autumn Glow.

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For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott catalogs, I’m Denise McCarty.