Friday, March 15, 2013


Today I want to talk about some of the most beautiful stamps ever printed. These stamps are not for postage but are for raising money for bird refuges. They are called Duck Hunting Stamps and are permits for duck hunters. The post office started printing the stamps in 1934 and continues to this day to produce these works of art. In 1934 the cost of these stamps were $1.00 and today they cost $15.00. The program now raises about $25 million annually, and over 5 million acres of wetlands have been purchased with the Duck Stamp Revenue. Every year the post office has a competition between artists to submit their paintings of different ducks and the post office duck committee picks one for that year issue. Only one stamp a year is issued so it's an easy collection to maintain. The preface in Scotts catalog is RW. Please enjoy these work of art as much as I do.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

STAMP COLLECTIONS - What to collect

What to collect? Question all new collectors ask themselves. There are many ways to collect stamps, but people usually tend to start collecting stamps in the country they live in. These collectors find it more convenient to find stamps where they live.Following is a list of the most popular collections.

1--U.S. Mint only
2--U.S. Used only
3--U.S. Mint and used
4--Country you live in.
5--Disney stamps from around the world
6--Stamps with birds only
7--Triangle stamps
8--Stamps with animals only
9--Very popular Queen of England stamps

Those are some suggestions. It is up to you to pick a Country or a Topic.

Where to acquire these stamps of choice is up to the individual. Some times the best way to get started is to purchase large packets of the Country of choice. This will give you a wide selection of stamps and will get you started. Next you will need to purchase a stamp album that picture all varieties printed on the topic you chose. If you want to become a serious collector, you will need a Scott Catalog, a perforation detector, and a watermark finder. A good place to purchase these items is on eBay. A hint in buying a Scott catalog is to buy one around 5 years old because you probably will have no problem identifying newer stamps from the pictures in your album. Problems start in earlier issues where stamps were minted with different perforations, imperforated, with different watermarks and different paper. You should also buy a stamp tong to handle your stamps. To place your stamps in your album you have choices. The most popular is to use stamp hinges. The next popular way is to use some type of crystal mounts which give your stamps better protection.

Remember pick a topic that you will be interested in for years to come. Collecting stamps can be a life long hobby.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today I'm going to cover stamp abbreviations used world wide, from the mundane to the obscure.
Starting with : MNH------------Mint never hinged
                        MH--------------Mint hinged
                        MNG------------Mint no gum
                        MPG-------------Mint with partial gum
                        UNUSED-------Mint no gum
                        USED-----------Stamp has been canceled
                        CANCEL-------Stamp has been post marked by USPS
                         USPS-----------United States Post Office
                         HINGED-------Back of stamp shows mark left by previous hinge
                         HR--------------Hinge remnant--part of previous hinge still on back of stamp
                         THIN-----------Part of back of stamp is missing
                         CREASE-------Stamp has a bend
                         PIN HOLE----Hole in stamp the size of a pin hole
                         PERFS---------Perforations around the outer rim of stamp
                         IMPF-----------Stamp has no perforations
                         COIL-----------Stamp came off a roll and has 2 straight edges and 2 perforated edges
The following are prefaces used before Scott Numbers
                         C----------------Air mail
                         CE--------------Air mail special delivery
                         CZ--------------Canal Zone
                         E----------------Special delivery
                         F----------------Registration stamp
                         J-----------------Postage due
                         JQ---------------Parcel postage due
                         Q----------------Parcel post
                         QE--------------Special handling
                         O----------------Government departments
                         R----------------Revenue stamps
                         RW--------------Duck hunting
I hope this list can be a help to you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Today I want to blog about my favorite stamps of all time, which of course is, the three Graf Zeppelin stamps of 1930. Although 3,260,000 stamps were printed only 10% or a little over 300,000 stamps survived. The mint, after disappointing sales, destroyed 90% of the remaining stamps. Think of 10"s of millions of collectors through out the world trying to buy the 300,000 remaining stamps. Now you know why the value of the stamps have stayed high for the last 40 years.
The Zeppelin was a rigid air ship that flew more than a million miles between 1928 and 1937. the Hindenburg, the most famous of the Zeppelins crashed in 1937 in New Jersey and 35 people died out of the 97 on board.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Columbian Exposition Commemorative's

What does every stamp collector want? In 1893 the post office printed The Columbian Exposition Commemorative  stamps for the Chicago World's Fair. The denominations went from 1 cent to $5.00.
What makes this such a sought after set is the fact that in 1893 the average salary in the country was less then $5.00 a week. The smaller denominations sold at a very good pace, but times were bad in the country and the higher denominations were a complete flop. The post office sold so few of the $1.00 to $5.00 stamps that they became very rare. Today, as collectors, we have to pay premium prices for the higher denominations. In following blogs I'll bring you interesting and sometimes little known facts. If you have any questions on early United States postage stamps, don't hesitate to ask Sheldon.