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

Unofficial use of official stamps

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.

Cover bearing a pair of 41-cent official mail stamps
Official Mail Stamps on Cover

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?

Published 2010-12-01


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