US Stamps

Time for a little perspective on Scott No. 5000

May 1, 2021, 3 PM

My colleague Marty Frankevicz, senior editor for new issues at Scott, recently blogged about the assigning of Scott No. 5000 to a United States stamps. He didn’t reveal which stamp it would be, but you already know the answer if you read our report of recently assigned U.S. Scott numbers.

The nondenominated (71¢) Wedding Cake stamp is Scott 5000.

If you’re rolling your eyes at this point, thinking that the U.S. Postal Service is a profligate issuer of stamps, hang on a minute.

Let’s take a step back and inject some perspective into this somewhat dubious milestone.

When I first realized that Scott 5000 was about to be a reality for a U.S. stamp, I recalled a couple of countries that have contributed mightily to the mass of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue over the years: Romania and Russia.

Both of these countries have issued, and continue to issue, large quantities of stamps.

A quick check of Vol. 5 of the Scott Standard catalog reveals that Romania reached No. 5000 on Oct. 4, 2007, when it issued a 5.60-leu souvenir sheet for the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik.

And what about Russia, you ask?

The former communist country hit Scott 5000 with a 4-kopeck stamp issued Dec. 2, 1981, to celebrate the forthcoming New Year. That was almost 34 years ago.

As of this writing, Romania recently surpassed No. 5500, and Russia is just a few Scott numbers beyond 7550.

So take heart, my fellow collectors. Scott 5000 isn’t such a big deal after all.