US Stamps

Which Scott catalog is right for you? Work begins on the specialized catalogs

Apr 27, 2021, 5 PM

Here in Sidney, Ohio, when the hot, sultry days of summer are upon us, the Scott catalog editors begin to feel the heat of deadlines for the two Scott specialized catalogs.

Scott publishes two specialized stamp catalogs: the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers and the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940.

A question frequently asked by Linn’s readers is, “Why isn’t this stamp, variety, cover and so on listed in the Scott Standard catalogs?”

The answer is simple: Volumes 1-6 of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue provide basic information on all the stamps of the world, including U.S. stamps. The 2016 catalogs comprise the 172nd edition.

Today, the six volumes are each bursting at the seams. Imagine how large each volume would become if Scott were to cram specialized information for every issue into each volume of the Standard catalog. The price of each volume would increase accordingly.

For many collectors, basic information is all they need to maintain their collections. They are happy with knowing the value of a mint and used stamp and the set value for never hinged. They don’t collect covers, blocks of four, strips of three or color varieties.

For those who are more specialized in their collecting habits, Scott offers its two specialized catalogs.

The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog includes far more detailed listings than the U.S. stamp listings found in Vol. 1 of the Standard catalog.

The U.S. Specialized catalog also includes sections not found in Vol. 1, such as essays, proofs, savings stamps, telegraph stamps, commemorative panels, Colombia (SCADTA) consular overprints, and much more.

The 2016 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog will be the 94th edition. Some of the changes include the addition of imperforate stamps from self-adhesive press sheets without die cuts; more than a dozen new earliest-documented use (EDU) dates for classic-era stamps; and a complete reworking of plate-block listings for air post special delivery stamps.

The 2016 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog will be available in October.

The Scott Classic Specialized catalog is a close cousin to the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog, offering specialized listings for classic foreign stamps. The U.S. section of the Scott Classic Specialized mirrors the Vol. 1 Standard listings.

The 2016 Classic, the 22nd edition, will be published in November. This specialized catalog includes greatly expanded listings for classic worldwide stamps through 1940, except for British Commonwealth listings, which extend to 1952. The listings in the Classic include, where available, values for never hinged, on cover, color varieties, specimens and more.

A peek at the highlights of the 2016 catalog reveals more than 1,000 listings for never-hinged stamps added to the Russia listings, in addition to new values for unused and used; a greatly revised listing of the Iran Ahmad Shah First Portrait issue with new values; and almost 500 value changes for New South Wales.

This is a sneak preview of the many changes to the specialized catalogs. More details will be revealed as we get closer to publication.