Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Five Places Every Stamp Collector Would Like To Visit One Day

Steve Pendleton writes about five European microstates in the August edition of The American Philatelist.

Pendleton pens, "A microstate — at least here — means a sovereign land consisting of less than 200 square miles. There are only five such places in Europe: Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino,and Liechtenstein."

Using the country's stamps as illustrations, he goes on to give readers a philatelic grand tour of the five places in Europe stamp collectors dream about visiting. 

To read A Philatelic Study - The European Microstates and Their Boundaries, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stamps Change Boy's Life Forever

"When he was 12 years old, Bert Raymond's life was forever changed by the power of a used stamp that probably had a value of less than a penny," writes Brice Stump on the DelMarVa Now website.

Raymond, now 87, is quoted in the article as saying, "When I was 12, my mother met a wonderful man and remarried. He was from Germany, coming here before World War I. He wanted to befriend me, so being a stamp collector, he bought me an album for about $1 and a packet of about 500 stamps for a few pennies, a packet of hinges and stamps tongs. He showed me how to sort the stamps and put them in the book. I really got into it, so, by 12, I was into collecting stamps."

He goes on to say, ""In school, between the ages of 12 and 15, I was a whiz in geography, history and current events because of stamps."

According to the article about 15 years ago, Raymond decided to become a dealer, while remaining a collector figures. He has about one million stamps.

Shown above, Raymond  with some of his framed topicals.

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Australian Swimmers Get The Gold and a Stamp

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic Athletes and Landmarks Merge on New British Stamps

To kick off the summer Olympics in London yesterday, Royal Mail released four new stamps that pay tribute not only to the athletes but to some of London's most recognizable landmarks.

According to Fast Company's Co.Design website, "The four first-class stamps visually blend dynamic shots of athletes (a diver, fencer, runners, and a cyclist) with formal images of architectural monuments. The front wheel of the bicycle, for instance, becomes the London Eye Ferris wheel, and the circular path of a track flows seamlessly into the curves of the Populous-designed Olympic stadium."

Reporter Belinda Lanks says designing and photographing the athletes  (all of whom are members of the British team and due to compete) and the landmarks proved challenging.

Gareth Howat of Hat-Trick, the London-based studio that designed the stamps, is quoted as saying, "“One of the trickiest was the fencing and Tower Bridge stamp. We had to shoot the athletes first, and we had to make sure that we listened carefully to their advice about making sure the technical side of the sport was represented correctly--the right angle of attack for the lunge was shot over and over to make sure we had the right angle and exact form of the fencer and her arm. Once we had got that, it was a case of briefing the architectural photographer to shoot Tower Bridge from the correct angle so they ‘joined.’

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lady Bird Johnson to Get Stamp

Lady Bird Johnson will be recognized by the U.S. Postal Service during the year marking the centennial of her birth with a commemorative Forever Stamp.

According to a press release put out by USPS, "Mrs. Johnson — who was married to the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson — will feature her official White House portrait as well as the artwork of stamps originally issued in the 1960s to encourage planting flowers to beautify America."

The stamps will be issued for sale nationwide this December.

Mrs. Johnson passed away in 2007 at the age of 94.

Shown above, Official White House portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, painted in 1968.

Click here to watch Lady Bird Johnson holding a press conference in1969 to address conservation and highway beautification and announces the release of four nature-themed postage stamps (shown above) that will served as messengers for her cause.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Collecting the 1948 Olympics

The British Postal Museum & Archive website reports that Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games, "an exhibition telling the fascinating story of the past and present of the Olympic Games through the medium of postage stamps and related memorabilia." opened yesterday at the British Library

According to the article, "While no stamps were issued for the 1908 London Olympic Games, the Post Office could hardly refuse to issue stamps in 1948 as the precedent had been established by host nations in previous years. A range of designs were prepared, with four eventually chosen for issue."

Shown here, one of the designs which were submitted with ‘Olympic Games’ in Esperanto.

To learn more and see some other preliminary British Olympic stamp designs, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Flag To Appear on Canadian Stamp

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports, "A photo of thousands of Winnipeggers creating a living Canadian flag has been chosen by Canada Post for a new stamp. More than 3,000 Winnipeggers posed in front of the Manitoba legislature to form the flag on Canada Day earlier this month."

According to the CBC, "The stamp will be part of five permanent domestic rate stamps that draws attention to the common — and uncommon — places the Canadian flag appears. An official launch of the stamp will be planned early next year and the stamps will be available in all post offices across Canada on Jan. 14, 2013."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Next Day Gold Medal Stamps to Honor UK Winners at Olympics

The Postal News Blog reports Royal Mail will produce ‘next day’ stamps for every Team GB (Great Britain) gold medal win during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Gold Medal stamps will be designed, printed and on sale in 24 hours. They will feature, wherever possible, photographs of the Team GB athlete or team in action from their gold medal winning final.

It goes on to say,"Once the dynamic image has been chosen, Royal Mail’s design and production team will send a digital image of the Gold Medal stamp to six of specially designated printing facilities located across the country. These printers have been chosen to ensure speedy distribution of millions of Gold Medal stamps to thousands of staff at more than 500 Post Office branches by lunchtime the day after a gold medal win – on Sundays if necessary."

According to the article, "Each Team GB Gold Medal stamp will be published in a sheet of six First Class stamps. The border of each sheet will feature the name or names of the winning athlete or team, as well as the date of the medal win and the venue of the winning event. The border will also feature the emblem of Team GB and the title ‘London 2012 Olympic Games’.

Shown above, sample of what a Olympic Winner stamp might look like.

To read the entire piece, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 23, 2012

Discovering New Worlds, One Postage Stamp at a Time

Barb Valentin writes on the Chicago Tribune website, "In a world dominated by electronic communications, the only postage stamp likely to cross a child's line of vision these days might be affixed to a birthday card from a relative. And usually, the stamp goes unnoticed. Yet these tiny bits of sticky-backed art are so much more than charming relics of a bygone era."

Janet Houser, program and youth coordinator with the American Philatelic Society is quoted in the article as saying stamps have the potential to teach everything from geography and history to world culture.

Houser points out, ""Imagine a child seeing a stamp with a depiction of the Louisiana Purchase on it, (which) might spark an interest in that event, the era or the countries involved."  That same child, she added, could be inspired to collect stamps of the same issue year, other commemorative stamps or different stamps from each of the countries involved in the transaction."

Also quoted is Jim O'Donnell, museum specialist at the National Postal Museum.

O'Donnell points out, ""Casual collectors might concentrate on acquiring stamps from certain time periods, or focus on particular subject matters such as birds or trains. Serious collectors, or philatelists, study stamps, including history and usage, ink and paper varieties, and printing techniques."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Stamp Space Walk

India's The Hindu reports, "When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, it meant a ‘giant leap for mankind’ and a small sketch on a historic stamp. A pint-sized stamp can tell a story that changed the way we see the universe, while a collection can trace the history of space research, is what the philately exhibition underway in the city proves.The expo is a trove of information for philatelists, astronomers and anyone intrigued by the mysteries of the unknown."

"It may be rocket science, but the collection depicting space shuttles, rockets, launch vehicles, cosmonauts, space walks and space stations decodes the developments, "  writes reporter Olympia Shilpa Gerald.

Gerald goes on to say, "The first exhibit commemorates the landing on the moon on May 21, 1981, followed by Apollo-Soyuz missile. Stamps tell the story of Apollo lift off on July 15,1975, second flight of space shuttle Columbia on November 12, 1981 that returned in two days after 36 orbits and third flight of the shuttle- a special record, being the first lift-off under the shuttle development programme on scheduled time.

"The second collection boasts of space firsts, including the first space walk, satellite (Sputnik), animal (Laika), first man (Yuri Gagarin) and woman (Valentina Tereshkova).  

"A separate section dedicated to India in space has first day covers and stamps portraying father of the nation’s space programme-Vikram Sarabhai, the first Indian satellite ‘Aryabhatta’, and INSAT satellites."

Shown above, students having a look at the space stamp exhibit.

To read the entire article, click here

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sophisticated Postal Service Existed in Ancient Rome

Reporter Joan Brown Wettingfeld writes on New York's Time Ledger website, "The Romans had a postal service in the second century that might be called “letter perfect.”

She points out, "Known for the well-engineered roads that covered the empire, it was an easy task for their horse-drawn mail carts to travel in the second century at least 50 miles a day. Relay teams, which could travel 50 miles a day and beyond, could easily deliver messages of urgency and were able to cover 170 miles a day."

"The emperor Augustus, who reigned from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14," Wettingfield says, "and those who succeeded him built about 47,000 miles of roads as well as many relay stations, each usually having a station master, accountants, grooms and mail carriers."

According to Wettingfield, "Augustus and his successors used the so-called 'cursus publicus' (fast course) mail course, which were reserved for government officials though private letters were usually carried by merchants and/or servants."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 20, 2012

Australian Stamps Set Some "Modest" World Records

"Stamps are often nominated as the most expensive man-made objects on a value to weight ratio. Usually quoted as the world-record holder is a Swedish stamp, the Treskilling Yellow, discovered in an attic in 1886. It sold for $US2.06 million at a 1996 Geneva auction, then again in May 2010 for an allegedly higher, but undisclosed, price. The reason for its extreme value is that it was mistakenly printed in the wrong colour. It's the only example recorded in the world," writes reporter James Cockington on Australia's Sydney Morning Herald website.

He goes on to say, "Nothing quite compares with this on the Australian scene but a few more modest world records were set in the Melbourne suburb of Boronia last month at a Prestige Philately auction."

Among those setting new records - the £6 Victorian stamp duty specimen which is shown above. It sold for $3200 which is roughly the same in U.S. currency. The £8 version sold for $3600. It scored higher because there are only two known in the world according to the article.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Poisoned Postage

William Cochrane reprints an article that appeared in the October 1, 1872 issue of The Stamp Collector’s Magazine (UK) on the Philatelic Database website about poisoned postage stamps.

The story recently appeared in a recent French newspaper according to Cochrane, "...and was doubtless originally translated from some American journal. We translate it back into English, and give it for what it may be worth."

Supposedly a doctor in New Hampshire received a letter from someone he knew. In it were two postage stamps and a  request for a prompt reply to an address in New York.

"The doctor, thinking he had unearthed a client, wrote off instantly the required reply, and stuck on the envelope one of the stamps he had received," ...so the story goes. 

"But no sooner had he pressed his tongue across the gummed back of the stamp than he felt a sudden qualm. He immediately tried his pulse, looked at his tongue in the glass, listened to his own breathing, and set down in writing the following diagnostic: 'Mysterious sensation of lassitude; convulsive beating of the heart; difficulty in breathing; general disturbance of the system.” Having thus 'diagnosticated,' the doctor called for his wife, and said to her, “My dear I have poisoned myself with this postage stamp.”

His wife did not believe him so he told her to lick the other stamp and  "was immediately seized with the same symptoms as those of her husband, but of a much more violent character."

For the rest of the story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

USPS may Replace FEDEX, UPS as Air Carriers

FedEx said on Monday it could be in danger of losing the U.S. Postal Service as its largest customer according to an article that appears on the Knoxville Biz website.

Wayne Risher of the Commercial Appeal pens, "The financially strapped post office has informed FedEx and rival UPS that it will seek competitive proposals for air transportation services that are under contract to FedEx through September 2013."

FedEx said in an annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is quoted as saying, "Accordingly, upon the expiration of the current agreement, the transportation services we provide to the USPS could be transitioned, in whole or in part, to another provider. This would have a negative impact on our asset utilization and profitability."

Risher goes on to report, "FedEx was the Postal Service's top supplier in fiscal 2011, taking in nearly $1.5 billion, while UPS came in 11th at about $102 million, according to an annual report on top Postal Service suppliers by David P. Hendel of the Washington law firm Husch Blackwell."

UPS has provided airlift for some First Class and Priority Mail since 2006

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery Breaks Ground

The Auction Central News website reports, "The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has begun construction of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery. When completed, the gallery will be the world’s premier museum gallery dedicated to philately. Scheduled to open in September 2013, the gallery will enable the museum to reach its full potential by dramatically increasing the collection’s visibility, advancing its educational mission and reinvigorating public interest in philately."

According to the site, "Named after its primary benefactor, the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery will provide an experience available nowhere else and will offer something for everyone, from casual visitors to experienced collectors. As visitors move through six thematic areas, stunning displays and interactive moments will reveal the stories that unfold from the museum’s unparalleled collection. Distributed throughout the thematic areas will be hundreds of pullout frames containing more than 20,000 objects, providing ample opportunities to view noteworthy stamps that have never been on public display."

Groundbreaking ceremony attendees last month included representatives from the Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum's Council of Philatelists, U.S. Postal Service and Clark Construction. 

Attendees included: Front row (left to right): Karen Bertha, Glen Hopkins, Daniel Piazza, Stephen Kearney, Charles Shreve, Donald Sundman, Albert Horvath, Allen Kane, Richard Kurin, Cheryl Ganz, Wade Saadi; Back row (some partial view): Bruce Kendall, Vince King, Gordon Eubanks, Trish Kaufmann, Robert Rose, Roger Brody, Omar Rodriguez, Steven Rod, Janet Klug, David Straight, May Day Taylor, Robert Odenweller, Mary Ann Bowman, Michael Aldrich, Sonny Hagendorf, James Kloetzel, David Herendeen, Liz Hisey, John Hotchner; Back row (partial or hidden view): Ian Gibson-Smith, Tom Lera, Marv Murray

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Story Behind The Stamps - "Innovative Choreographers"

USPS's Beyond the Perf features an article about artist James McMullan who did the artwork for the new "Innovative Choreographers" stamps coming out on July 28.

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps using illustrations by McMullan, widely known for his work for Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. Designed to look like posters advertising a performance, "the stamp art captures the luminosity and mystery of a live dance performance," according to the Beyond the Perf website.

It goes on to say, "The internationally acclaimed artist, widely known for the posters he creates for New York City’s Lincoln Center Theater, is revered by many for his ability to capture expressions and movement."

Kessler is quoted as saying, "“Jim McMullan has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve admired his work for over 30 years. I kept promising myself that one day, when we had the right subject, I would work with him. And this was it.”

In the article, McMullan admits that the idea of his art on stamps had occurred to him before. “The Lincoln Center Theater made stamps out of my posters” — decorative, non-postage stamps — “so I saw that my work could be stamps,” he said.

For more on the story behind the stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Five Golden Rules of Investing in Collectibles

Mike Hall, chief executive of Stanley Gibbons writes on the Proactive Investors website,"Making money in collectibles is as easy as 1,2,3… well, actually, 1,2,3,4,5!"

He goes on to share his five "secrets to making money' from your stamp.coin, art, comic book or any other collection you might have.

#1 - Rarity

Hall recommends, "Only invest in collectibles where there are a small number of surviving examples or in unique pieces.Limited supply is the biggest factor in driving price increases. Simple fact is you only need two people bidding on a unique item at auction for the price to go up!"

#2 - Condition
"Aim to purchase the best quality examples of rare items in existence. At the least, focus on better than average quality examples.From my experience, premium quality examples regularly sell at auction way above estimates, thus increasing your chances of premium returns," Hall suggests.

#3 - Authenticity

"To enhance investment returns," Hall points out, "always seek to buy items with a well-documented history and provenance." In other words, get a certificates of authenticity for valuable items from the Philatelic Foundation.

#4 - Liquidity

According to Hall, "The important thing is to invest in areas where there are a healthy number of potentially interested collectors. This will help ensure you can exit quickly when the time comes to realise your investment returns."

#5 - Price

Buy low, sell sell high.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Neighborhood Mailbox Scam

Residents in west Fort Worth notified the United States Postal Service Thursday of what appeared to be a phishing scam set up at a neighborhood mailbox according to a report by Jason Allen of the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

The scam is an example of a crime that, according to the local postal inspector, has resulted in 30 arrests across the metroplex, since October.

Click on picture above to watch video.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 13, 2012


First day covers will be the center of attention at AMERICOVER, the annual show and convention of the American First Day Cover Society. This year the three-day event is being held in Irvine, California.

A World Series of Philately show with the exhibits being nearly all FDCs. The Grand Award winners are eligible to compete for the WSP Champion of Champion trophy as the best exhibit in U.S. philately.

AMERICOVER also features the most FDC dealers of any show in the world, both in its main bourse and its Night Owl cachetmakers bourse. The latter is by far the biggest and busiest cachetmakers bourse of the year, as FDC producers showcase their latest efforts. There's also often a major auction of first day covers.

The American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) and other philatelic organizations conduct a number of meetings and seminars during AMERICOVER. There's a youth area where children can make their own cachets and learn about stamp collecting.

According to the AMERICOVER webpage on the AFDCS website, "...for many FDC collectors, AMERICOVER is as much a social gathering as anything else, a chance to renew old acquaintances and meet new people. There's a guided tour of the area the day before the show opens, a food and entertainment event the night after it closes, and in between, a hospitality suite or two, a supper buffet, and all sorts of informal get-togethers."

For more information on Americover 2012, click here.  
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 12, 2012

'Honk and Alert' Pilot Program

Justin Willis of Fresno, California's KSEE24 News reports, "It's a little bit like neighborhood watch: an extra set of eyes and ears in case something suspicious is going on in your neighborhood. It's called the Honk and Alert program.  Mail carriers will honk the horn three times, alerting residents they are there. They'll do this every time they park the truck."

Willis goes on to say, "Fresno's postmaster is asking mail customers to keep watch, and report anything suspicious with the mail, the postal truck, or the mail carrier...In turn, mail carriers will also be keeping an eye on the neighborhood."

According to the article, mail thefts are a growing concern in many Fresno neighborhoods, and so is safety.

"Five zip codes in the city limits are currently using the honk and alert program. Fresno's postmaster says there are no plans to extend this throughout the city just yet, but they want to see how this part of the city works with the program for now," writes Willis.

For more on this story and watch a video, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

All-Stars Stamps Eclipse 1 million in Advanced Sales

St. Louis' KSDK.TV reports, "Voting for this year's Major League Baseball All-Star team has closed. But 'votes'-a.k.a. Stamps Batted In (SBI) for the four legends who collectively appeared in nearly 50 All-Star games-have exceeded one million in the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps pre-stamp dedication pennant race."

According to reporter Kevin Held, "Leading by a close margin is Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, hitting 300,385 SBI, followed by New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio at 290,925. There's still time for fans of Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell with 237,785 SBI and Cleveland Indian Larry Doby hitting 232,745 to catch up before the July 21-22 official dedication ceremonies. Fans can still pump up the SBI by visiting www.usps.com/play-ball."

USPA Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney is quoted in the article as saying, "Kearney said that individual player stamp sheets will be sold only in limited quantities beginning July 21 at select Post Offices in Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Cooperstown, NY; New York, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA. To ensure customers obtain all the individual player sheets and related philatelic products, he recommended ordering them between now and Aug. 31"

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jacques Minkus - The Man Who Brought Stamp Collecting to Main St. USA

Stamp Collecting Guide John Finch writes on the About.com website, "Another stamp dealer who jumped into philatelic publishing in the 1930s with both feet was Austrian Jacques Minkus, aka 'the man who brought stamp collecting to Main St. USA.' At its height, the Minkus philatelic empire included albums, a regularly issued stamp journal with no less a contributor than Ayn Rand, catalogs and -- as a "service" to collectors during WWII -- cacheted patriotic envelopes. Not to mention the core of his business: stamp sales from Gimbels Famous Stamp Department."

In a separate article, Finch pens, "Jacques Minkus, while he was a master at trumpeting the wonders of stamps and stamp collecting, was not one to blow his own horn. But he was not afraid to try to make the world a better place through his personal place in the world of philately. His promotion of Luxembourg stamps to raise funds for intellectuals who fled Nazi Germany is known. His production of patriotic envelopes during WWII is a milestone in his philatelic publishing career." 

According to Finch, "Jacques Minkus was a stamp dealer who knew how to promote stamp collecting like no other in his day. But he was not one to blow his own horn. Now, one of his family members blows it for him and reveals a stamp dealer who not only knew his way around a stamp list, but something like Shindler's list as well."

Shown above, Jacques Minkus.

To learn how Minkus saved a family from the Holocaust, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 09, 2012

Ernest Borgnine (1917 -2012) "The Fighting Philatelist"

 The Associated Press reports, "Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in 'Marty' in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95" 

Seen here in a 1978 public service announcement promoting stamp collecting, Borgnine affectionately became known as the "fighting philatelist."

Borgnine was a former member of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC).

For more on the life and career of Ernest Borgnine, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Woman,91, Helps Stamp Out Tuberculosis

Reporter Candace Chase writes on Washington state's Spokane-Review website, "At 91, Polly Nikolaisen has found a way to help stamp out tuberculosis and help disabled children by working with canceled postage stamps while sitting in her easy chair at Buffalo Hill Terrace in Kalispell."

Chase goes on to pen, "Working through the Sons of Norway Fedraheimen Lodge No. 140, Nikolaisen and her friends sort, trim and weigh canceled stamps gathered from local businesses and individuals to send to a Norwegian institution called Tubfrim. The organization sells the stamps to collectors to raise money for tuberculosis research as well as to help disabled children."

According to the article, "Throughout Norway, private citizens along with embassies, consulates and Seamen’s Churches participate in the program. Outside the country, the United States makes the greatest contributions from people such as Nikolaisen participating through the Sons of Norway."

Shown above, Polly Nikolaisen with stamps she's collected.

To read the entire piece, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Living Persons on U.S. Stamps Raises Concerns

"Plans to announce the first living person to be pictured on a U.S. stamp are being delayed because some members of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors have expressed concerns about the idea, Linn's Stamp News reports in its July 16 issue," according to stamp columnist John Weigle of the Ventura County Star.

Weigle goes on to say, "The board of governors expects to discuss the subject at a meeting in August or sooner, Linn's said. Linn's said it isn't clear how many of the board's nine members have questioned the plan, but it had comments from three. James C. Miller III of Virginia, nominated by President Barack Obama for a third term, said at his confirmation hearing that picturing living people on stamps 'would be a very bad idea. ... For every friend you would make, you would make thousands of enemies.'

Thurgood Marshall Jr., the board chairman is quoted as saying he's intrigued by the idea to increase revenue by selling more stamps, but said he's "also of the opinion that the unique honor of being depicted on a U.S. postage stamp should be the result of very careful vetting." He said he'd like to hear more from the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and Postal Service managers.

Shown above, President Obama on a bogus U.S. postage stamp.

Currently, past presidents are only eligible to be on a stamp on their first birthday after their deaths. Under the new policy, presidents could receive a stamp like the one above while they are still alive.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 06, 2012

Dealer/Embezzler Pays His Victims Back With eBay Proceeds

Britain's Norwich Evening News reports, "A former treasurer, who used his position of trust to steal nearly £70,000 from two north Norfolk churches to fund his addiction to stamp collecting, has lived up to the promise he made to the judge to claw back the money."

Derek Klein, 58, who was jailed for 16 months in September 2007, sold his collection of 100,000 first day covers and stamps on eBay to repay his victims.

According to the article, at his trial, "The prosecution had wanted to arrange a bulk sale of the stamps which would have raised an estimated £25,000 but Klein – who, the court heard, was one of the country’s top stamp dealers – had said that he could make four times that amount if he broke up the collection and sold it off on eBay."

Klein’s collection of stamps is believed to have contained tens of thousands of first-day covers, including stamps marking England’s 1966 soccer World Cup win, the Silver Jubilee of George V and the silver wedding of George VI.

Shown above, Derek Klein.

Click here to read the entire article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Congressional Stamp Exhibit

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum (NPM), in conjunction with the American Philatelic Society, the U.S. Postal Service and Stamp Camp USA, will host a special Congressional stamp exhibit for all ages and a collaborative educational program for children July 24 – 26 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

According to a press release sent out by the NPM, "The museum will display philatelic items from the personal collections of U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and U.S. Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX). The exhibit is designed for collectors and non-collectors alike with unique philatelic material that has never before been seen by the public."

It goes on to say,"To introduce this hobby to non-collectors, Stamp Camp USA will host an activity station called 'Stamp Collecting 101.' Activities and items for children will include a scavenger hunt, 'eye-spy' game and a table where children can create their own mini-album page. This collaborative educational program for children ages 8 – 14 teaches stamp-collecting basics, including the proper care of a stamp collection and the use of cool stamp tools."

Admission to the Congressional stamp exhibit and educational program for children is free. Registration for the children’s stamp camp is required.

Click here for more information about the exhibit and registration information for the stamp camp.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth of July Lady Liberty!

Since its dedication in 1886 (October 28, 1886), the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) has been a recognized symbol of America and American ideals throughout the world.

Over 650 stamps have been issued worldwide depicting the Statue of Liberty according to Harry K. Charles, Jr., Ph.D. whose website, Statue of Liberty: Its History, Symbolism, and Stamps gives a history of the statue and the stamps that have pictured it.

According to the site, the first postage stamps in the world depicting the Statue of Liberty were issued by Uruguay in 1919. The stamps marked the end of World War I while first United States postage stamp depicting the Statue of Liberty (shown here) was issued three years later in 1922.

Happy 4th of July!

To learn more about the Statue of Liberty on stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Edith Piaf and Miles Davis Sheet Has QR Code

The Mobile Commerce Press website reports both the new Edith Piaf and Miles Davis stamps have a quick response (QR) code printed on the back the sheet and is the first time USPS has used the new technology on its stamps. 

According to the article, "When smartphones are used to scan the quick response codes, they are redirected to a landing page, which provides the option to listen to Davis’s music, while viewing images of both of the musicians, and gaining access to an interesting timeline of their lives.

"There are several different options on the landing page, which include a 'Buy Now' button that gives the smartphone user the ability to purchase a range of different products, including the QR code stamps of Piaf and Davis in both their French and American versions. There are a number of sharing options available so that those who have scanned the postage can also share it over Facebook, Twitter, or email."

It goes on to say, "This new release also marks the first time since 1989 that France and the U.S. have jointly produced postage. In that year, it had been in honor of the French Revolution’s bicentennial."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 02, 2012

Canada's Peninsula News reports Kevin Kowalyk smiled when he saw Canada Post’s commemorative Rowing Canada stamp at a recent ceremony. 

While he's not on the stamp, he and his team mate Michael Braithwaite be manning the double scull depicted on the stamp during the upcoming London 2012 Olympics.  

Kowalyk is quoted as saying in the article by Travis Paterson, "“That’s totally our boat, so this is pretty cool."

Designed by Kosta Tsetsekas and Mike Savage of Vancouver-based Signals Design, and illustrated by Keith Martin, metallic ink was used to enhance the ripples in the water so it seems to move as light plays across the surface of the stamp according to Canada Post.

Rowing became an Olympic event when Paris hosted the Games in 1900.

Shown above, Kowalyk and Braithwaite with the new stamp.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Ultimate Guide to Stamp Collecting

The StartLocal.com website has published what it's claiming to be "The Ultimate Guide to Stamp Collecting."

Among the topics are....
  • The Humble Beginnings of Stamp Collecting
  • Looking to Start Collecting Stamps? Here's What You Need
  • How do you Actually Collect Stamps?
  • Types of Stamps
  • Stamp Collecting Societies
  • The Most Precious Stamps of the World
  • Well Known Stamp Collectors
  • 21 Great Resources for Stamp Collectors     
Click here to learn more.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM