US Stamps

Used U.S. airmail postal cards offer an affordable challenge

Jun 9, 2022, 8 AM
The United States 1985 33¢ Marlin M-130 China Clipper Seaplane airmail postal card is a good buy in used condition at full Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Starting with the 1949 Eagle in Flight airmail postal card (Scott UXC1), the United States has only issued 28 airmail postal cards. Most are very affordable. If you are looking for a small collecting area that you could reasonably complete, airmail postal cards might be the ticket.

Because so few of them see actual postal use, most airmail postal cards are much more valuable in used condition than in mint condition, although none are prohibitively expensive even used.

For a bit more of a challenge, try to complete a collection of used airmail postal cards. Used cards should be correctly used in period, not favor canceled, not obviously philatelic in origin, and not uprated with the addition of adhesive postage stamps.

One of the most attractive designs is found on the 33¢ Martin M-130 China Clipper Seaplane airmail postal card (Scott UXC22) issued Feb. 15, 1985.

The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the card in mint condition at $1. A card in used condition is valued at $30 with the value in italics. The catalog values a first-day cover at $1.50.

A used card that meets all of the aforementioned collecting criteria is a good buy at up to full Scott catalog value. Uses to unusual destinations can increase a card’s value.

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