In over 15 years of collecting stamps, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of official mail stamps I’ve seen used on commercial mail. This example was delivered to my place of employment earlier this week.
The USPS sells official mail stamps directly to collectors, so they’re easy to come by in mint condition. On cover, however, they are far from common. I doubt most that are used ever reach the philatelic market.
As shown in the scan, this pair of stamps was canceled with a marker instead of a postmark, which would have made the piece far more desirable. Nevertheless, I strongly suspect this would qualify as an improper use of official mail stamps, as one would be hard pressed to argue the contents of the envelope involved government business.
Do you collect official mail stamps? If so, how do you acquire them?
Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and soon those of us here in the U.S. will be enjoying turkey and all the fixin’s—and, of course, giving thanks to God for the wonderful blessings He provides us.
Thanks to the support and encouragement of my loving wife, I’ve been able to make quite a bit of headway on the 14 Cents: the American Indian Stamp exhibit. I have two more covers to share with you from that collection.
Second is a cover flown on the Hindenburg in 1936, less than a year before the Hindenburg’s spectacular destruction in a fire in New Jersey. It was mailed from Virginia to Sweden in 1936.
One interesting thing is that each of these covers bear two American Indian stamps. The FAM 9 cover has a vertical pair, while the Hindenburg cover has two singles. In my experience, finding multiples of the 14¢ on cover is not common.
I still have to write up one more example of the flat plate printed American Indian stamp, and then I’ll be moving on to the rotary press printing. Any suggestions on how I can make the exhibit better? Leave me a note.
If you collect modern local post stamps—or if you’re just looking for something a little outside the mainstream—you might find it worthwhile to visit the Paulovia Philatelic Bureau. Paulovia is a so-called micronation, and its philatelic bureau sells “stamps” its creator has prepared.
Paulovia’s first stamp was apparently issued in 2006, and if the bureau’s website is complete, the entity appears to have a reasonably conservative stamp issuing policy at least to this point.
It’s always fun for me to see what other local posters have done. Don’t forget that Philosateleian Post recently announced its 2011 stamp program; you can add those new issues to your own collection.