Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

United States Thank You stamps are sharp, classy

When I went to the post office to mail a package yesterday, I asked the clerk who assisted me if he had any of the new United States Thank You stamps in stock. He did, so I purchased a couple of panes. It doesn’t necessarily show up all that well in scans, but the design on each of these four stamps is a shiny gold, and they look sharp!

Block of four United States Forever “Thank You“ stamps
United States Thank You stamps

“Thank you” is a phrase that seems to have all but disappeared in some places, so to see it on a stamp makes me smile a little bit. And think of how perfect these things will be for use on thank you notes! I’ve been underwhelmed by a lot of new United States stamp issues this year, but these are big winners as far as I’m concerned.

My only complaint about these stamps is that on both panes that I purchased, what look like cracks are visible to the naked eye near the bottom edge of many of the stamps, as illustrated here. This is most apparent on the stamps with the darker backgrounds.

Apparent crack near bottom edge of design of United States Thank You stamp
Apparent crack

I can’t help wondering if this visual effect has something to do with whatever process was used to apply the gold designs, but maybe I just got a couple of panes from a batch that wasn’t quite perfect. Have you seen any of the new Thank You stamps? I’d be interested in knowing if yours have these same apparent cracks, or if they are flawless.

NLEOMF uses cinderella label on business reply envelope

A friend and correspondent of mine, Mary S., recently sent a business reply envelope that she received from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to me. On the envelope, next to a label that bears three identical stamp-sized pieces of artwork, she wrote, “Are these real stamps?”

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund business reply envelope bearing label with blue jay and flower cinderella label
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund business reply envelope
Label bearing three copies of design picturing blue jay, dragonfly, butterfly, and flowers
Label picturing blue jay, dragonfly, butterfly, and flowers

The design on the label pictures a blue jay, a dragonfly, a butterfly, and a variety of flowers.

The answer to Mary’s question, of course, is no, these are not real stamps, but it’s easy to see how a non-collector could end up wondering about that. Like the Boys Town BREs that I’ve previously illustrated here, the designs on the label on this envelope are virtually the same size as the designs of actual United States postage stamps. Interestingly enough, this particular label even has simulated printed die cuts around each design, but once again, all three images are printed on a single label.

As I mentioned in my February 2019 post about a Boys Town BRE with similar labels, non-profits have found not only that applying actual postage stamps to their reply envelopes boosts response rates, but that applying labels or stickers apparently accomplishes the same thing. Regardless of their reasoning, it has provided me with some nice curios for my collection.

Bat’s Private Post issues Lebanon semipostal

The latest new release from Beverly Hills-based Bat’s Private Post is something fairly unusual for a local post: a semipostal stamp. The design picturing the flag of Lebanon was issued in imperforate sheets of six on August 31, 2020.

Bat’s Private Post Lebanese Flag semipostal local post stamp on first day cover
Bat’s Private Post Lebanese Flag semipostal FDC

A press release included with the first day cover pictured here states that the stamp pays Bat’s Private Post’s standard 60¢ postage fee, while the additional $1 generated by the sale of each stamp will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross.

A massive explosion at the port in the Lebanese capital of Beirut in early August killed nearly 200 people and injured thousands of others, and reportedly left up to 300,000 people homeless.

Fall 2020 update for The Philosateleian

Life is still as full as ever, but I managed to find time to put together the Fall 2020 Supplement (2.87 MB, 1 file, 8 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album. This update, which includes spaces for all United States postage stamps issued since the beginning of June, is now available for you to download and print.

The update file size is a bit larger than normal, but that’s because I included the pages for Volume RI, which was released last month. If you’ve already downloaded those pages, or if you don’t need pages for revenue stamps, you can ignore that batch and just print the updated pages for 2020.

As always, I welcome your feedback and support. Happy collecting!

Bat’s Private Post issues Rudolph Valentino local post stamps

Bat’s Private Post, a modern local post operating in Beverly Hills, California, late last month commemorated this year’s 125th anniversary of the birth of Rudolph Valentino (1895–1926) with a set of six different stamps picturing the late actor. The stamps were issued on August 22.

Six 5¢, 60¢, $1.25, and $5 Bat’s Private Post stamps picturing Rudolph Valentino
Bat’s Private Post Rudolph Valentino stamp

Valentino, who is regarded as an early Hollywood sex symbol, made credited appearances in no fewer than 30 silent films beginning in 1917, but several of those are now considered to be lost films, productions of which no extant copies are known.

The 5¢ and 60¢ denominations exist with two different designs for each value, and are intended for use on domestic letters. According to a press release from Bat’s Private Post, the $1.25 and $5 stamps feature stills from The Young Rajah, a mostly lost film originally released in 1922; the $1.25 stamp is intended for international letters, while the $5 stamp covers postage for local delivery to destinations near those normally served by the operation.

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