Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

Are the Everglades being philatelically ignored?

I’ve been busy recently listing odds and ends on eBay, plus getting Philosateleian Post’s 10th Anniversary stamp FDCs out the door. (I mailed those on Monday.) I’ve also found a little bit of time to chip away at my landscapes collection, however, and I’m happy to say that all of the sites starting with the letter “E” are now online.

Among the stamps I posted is a United Nations issue picturing the Everglades.

20-cent United Nations postage stamp picturing the Everglades in Florida, USA
Everglades stamp

I had never really thought about it, but I realized that the United States has only issued a single stamp specifically commemorating the Everglades—that way back when Everglades National Park was established in 1947—and while it pictures a bird and an outline of the state of Florida, it doesn’t show the Everglades proper.

Green 3-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing bird and outline of Florida
Everglades National Park stamp

In addition, one of the sheets from the Nature of America series was titled “Southern Florida Wetland,” which although not specified is presumably the Everglades.

Sheet of 10 39-cent U.S. postage stamps picturing plants and animals of Southern Florida wetland
Southern Florida Wetland sheet

Considering some of the other topics the United States has honored on its stamps in recent years, isn’t it about time for an Everglades stamp that actually pictures the Everglades?

Strength in numbers

A “problem” that stamp collectors have been bemoaning for years—if not decades—is the increasing numbers of stamps issued each year by various countries including, I’m sorry to say, the United States. With some individual issues including 10, 20, or even more stamps, and with mail clerks being reluctant to part with anything less than a full sheet or booklet, some collectors have given up on trying to acquire mint copies of all new material.

Not everyone is throwing in the towel, however. Philosateleian Post Horn reader Danny J. recently shared how he and some friends are continuing to add to their collections:

“As you know, sometimes buying stamps can get quite expensive with all the imperforate issues and bulk buying requirements that hurt small collectors. An Internet friend from Kansas has formed a small group to help a few of us continue to add to our collections. Now, thanks to the strength of group buying, we can afford to get every new stamp issue that in the past might have been too expensive to buy as individuals.”

While this may not be a unique idea, it’s certainly a very sensible one: dividing the expense of acquiring sheets of new stamps by the number of people interested in taking part.

I personally buy very little new material unless it fits into my landscapes collection or otherwise particularly appeals to me, but how about you? Have you banded together with other collectors to help lessen the expense of acquiring mint copies of all of your favorite country’s stamps?

ASDA Winter Postage Stamp Show scheduled for February

Among the items that arrived in the mail today was a post card advertising the American Stamp Dealers Association’s Florida Winter Stamp Show, which is being held February 14–16 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

According to the card, collectors can enter the show for free. Special stamps and albums will be available to children who attend with their parents or grandparents, and dealers will be on hand to offer appraisals.

Fort Lauderdale is a good ways south of where I live, and with a budget hit with some car repairs over the past month—nothing of the sort that breaks the bank, but enough that I shouldn’t be embarking on any weekend road trips to South Florida—I don’t anticipate getting to attend. Nevertheless, if you live in the Fort Lauderdale area, or spend your winters there, it may be a good opportunity to pick up some new material for your collection.

Out with the old

I’ve started 2014 with a renewed determination to clear out some of the older material I’ve accumulated over the years—in particular, a bunch of old covers ranging from the 1870s on up through the 1940s. As a lot of collectors do with excess material, I’ve been listing them on eBay. I figure that those that sell, even for the starting bid of around $1, are going on to good homes, whereas the more common material that can’t even be sold for that is ready to be chopped up for the stamps, and the bulk of the covers discarded.

I realize certain purists might object to this course of action, and certainly, I would love to find a home for every single envelope that I don’t need for my collection. In reality, however, the most common stamps on cover have virtually no value to anyone, and it seems best to clear out the “junk.”

How do you approach covers that may be 70 or 80 years old, but have the most common stamps and no markings or other attributes to particularly distinguish them? Do you, like me, chop them up, or does the very idea of doing such a thing make your skin crawl?

Philosateleian Post statistics for 2013

After spotting a blog post early last year about how many letters the author had mailed in 2012, I thought it might be interesting to keep track of how many pieces of mail Philosateleian Post carried in 2013. The results are in!

In 2013, Philosateleian Post transported approximately 243 pieces of mail (not including items I carried, such as get well cards from church that my wife prepared, but that did not bear Philosateleian Post stamps). Of those, 194 were “business” (bill payments, donations, small eBay sales), 26 were personal letters—I’m a bit surprised that total is as high as it is—and the remainder were post cards, packages, and international mail.

It was an interesting exercise to see how many pieces of mail I actually did prepare over the course of a year. Have you ever done the same, or will you in 2014?

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