If you read the Philosateleian Post Horn, you found out earlier this month that my wife Sarah and I made a trip out to California in September. One of the places we visited during our time there was Yosemite National Park. It fulfilled a long-held dream for me, and given the chance, I would go back again in a heartbeat. I’m not even sure how to put into words the beauty of that area as a whole, and Yosemite Valley in particular.
We spent most of our time staring at the incredible scenery, but being a stamp collector, I also had to seek out the Yosemite Village post office. I had this postal card postmarked there.
As you can see, this is the 28¢ Yosemite National Park postal card from the first Scenic American Landscapes postal card booklet. To make up the additional postage required, I used the 5¢ John Muir stamp issued in 1964.
There are two markings in green on the left side of the postal card. The first is a dated stamp that reads “Yosemite National Park/Yosemite Valley.” Both this marking and the one below it—a round image depicting Half Dome and reading “Yosemite National Park”—were available at the visitor center in Yosemite Village. They’re intended for use primarily by visitors who can purchase a little book to get stamped at each of the nation’s national parks, but they also provided a nice cachet for my card.
I’ll post more about the philatelic highlights of our trip to Yosemite later.
There’s no question the United States Postal Service, like the country as a whole, is dealing with some serious money problems. But did we really have to stoop to this?
You’re no doubt aware of the reissue of the famous Inverted Jenny stamps last month, and you probably know that unlike the originals, which had a face value of 24 cents, the new stamps have a face value of $2. The official USPS line is that this is “to make them easily distinguishable from the 24-cent originals” (source).
I know, I can’t write that without laughing a little bit myself. If the self-adhesive format in which the reprints were issued didn’t clue someone in on their status, surely the “2013” date to the left of the design would. The only reason to issue the stamp with a $2 face value (instead of the original value or even as a “Forever” stamp) is to separate us collectors from our cash. I can accept that. I’ve ordered a single sheet myself, though I intend to keep no more than one stamp for my collection, and will use the others for postage.
What really takes the cake, though, is that 100 sheets of the Inverted Jenny reissue were printed with the airplane right side up. What do you call a stamp originally issued inverted when it is intentionally issued normally? An inverted invert? Or is it just normal, even though it’s much scarcer than the inverted variety? (Is your head hurting yet?)
The “normal” stamps are available for sale, but you can’t order them. You see, the special sheets have been placed into the stocks of regular inverts (if that makes sense), which means there’s a chance you’ll end up with one when you purchase what you think is a sheet of inverts. Not much of a chance, but a chance.
It will be interesting to see if the editors of the Scott catalogues assign the special “normal” stamps a catalogue number, or if they’re only mentioned in a footnote. While they don’t appear to be an additional attempt to grab money (unlike the press sheets of many issues being sold without die-cuts), I am myself rather unimpressed with the idea. Only 600 of these stamps exist—an intentionally created rarity arguably designed to spur sales of the stamps (with the aforementioned face value of $2 a stamp, or $12 a sheet). That, to my mind, smacks of the shenanigans of a producer of so-called wallpaper.
What do you think of the “normal” Inverted Jenny? Would you pay potentially far more than face value to a dealer in order to add one to your own collection?
“Real life” has been keeping me pretty busy recently, but here’s what’s new with Philosateleia:
All sites beginning with the letter “D” that are represented in my landscape stamps collection are now online. There’s still a long way to go, but I feel like I’m at least make a little bit of progress.
The September issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn is ready to go. If you’re signed up, you’ll receive it in your inbox next Sunday.
The fall supplement for The Philosateleian is also ready to go. If everything goes according to schedule, you’ll be able to download the new album pages over Labor Day weekend.