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Friday, June 26, 2009

Bob Hope Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Wednesday…

Bob Hope is also known for his support of the United Service Organizations (USO). Hope’s USO support spanned 50 years and 60 tours! He first began performing for the troops in 1941 at March Field, in California. He continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. Hope always performed for the troops wearing Army fatigues as a show of support for our great service men and women.

Bob Hope lived an amazing life and received many awards and honors to his credit. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kennedy Center and The Freedom Award by Nancy Reagan. Hope was also appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Bob Hope celebrated his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003. To mark the event, 35 states declared the date “Bob Hope Day” and the famous intersection of Los Angeles’ Hollywood and Vine was named “Bob Hope Square”. Bob Hope died at home on July 27, 2003.

According to his official website “Bob Hope became the most recognized profile and talent in the world. And, in the entire history of show business, no individual traveled so far -- so often -- to entertain so many.”

Stop by Stamp Center to see the many different Bob Hope postage stamps available from around the globe.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bob Hope Postage Stamps Part I Of II


One of America’s most revered funny men will forever be remembered as the United States Postal Service released the Bob Hope postage stamp on May 29, 2009. The picture of Mr. Hope that is used on the commemorative stamp was taken on the flight deck of the USS Midway where Hope had entertained countless servicemen and women.

Leslie Townes Hope…otherwise known as Bob Hope, was one of five sons. He was born in London, England on May 29, 1903. His family imigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908. Bob Hope was an entertainer from the young age of 12 when he began his career dancing and performing comedy on a local boardwalk. He eventually joined Hurley’s Jolly Follies in 1925 and played third billing to Siamese twins and trained seals.

Bob Hope appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. Hope celebrated 60 years working for NBC in 1996. He is famous for his Christmas specials where he usually performed a duet of “Silver Bells” for the audience. In the 1950’s Bob Hope was asked to appear on one of the most popular shows of the time…“I Love Lucy”. Without hesitation he accepted, but asked to do the show without a script. Showing his true comedic talent, Mr. Hope ad-libbed the entire episode, much to the delight of the viewers.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Having More Fun With Postage Stamp Errors






Last week I had so much fun finding postage stamps from around the world that had errors on them. I thought I would share a couple more with you. Leave a comment if you have a good one that you would like showcased and I will do my best to post information about it.

The top postage stamp will likely be more tricky to figure out the problem. It was issued by Saudi Arabia in 1949 and was never corrected. This plane looks correct…or does it? Can you figure out the problem? The picture appears to be one of a commercial aircraft. The first “jet” aircraft was developed in Germany in 1931. It was not until 1943 that the first jet fighter aircraft went into service. It was not until the early 1950’s that commercial jet airplanes began production. Perhaps Saudi Arabia had a vision into the future with this commercial jet postage
stamp. Technically, this airplane should have had propellers and not jet engines.

I laughed when I saw the lower postage stamp above. It was issued by Monaco and features America’s beloved President Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who was an avid postage stamp collector, appears to be admiring his postage stamp collection in this picture. Can you spot the trouble? Look closely at Roosevelt’s left hand. He is sporting one too many fingers. I count five fingers and one thumb. Oops! The stamp was issued in 1947. It was never corrected or reissued by Monaco.

Don’t forget to check out the many fun postage stamps that are available at Stamp Center today!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Having Fun With Postage Stamp Errors














Throughout the history of postage stamp releases there have certainly been some printing errors. Some are glaring and spotted by the public immediately. Some have been more subtle and far more difficult to find. One of America’s most famous postage stamp errors that most everyone knows about is the Inverted Jenny. In that stamp, during the printing process the airplane was printed flying upside down. If you are lucky enough to own the Inverted Jenny, it certainly is a great find. In today’s stamp printing, it is far more difficult for a stamp to pass through the process without an error being caught. If you find a stamp with an error, hang on to it as it will likely we worth more than your average stamp.

The brown postage stamp above was issued by Guadeloupe. At first glance, you might not see the mistakes from the artist. This stamp was printed in 1946 and was never corrected or reissued. Can you figure out what the problem is? If you look closely, the camels in the front of the design are missing an important feature…a couple of legs!

The red colored postage stamp above looks pretty simple and serene. It was originally issued by Fiji in 1938 and then reissued with the corrected version in 1940. Can you see the problem? The original stamp features an outrigger canoe that is under full sail. Experienced sailors will attest that a boat cannot be in full sail without a crew! In the second version of the stamp, one crewmember was added to the picture.

Stamp Center has postage stamps available from all around the world. You are sure to find something special to add to your collection.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Postage Stamps – The Choices Are Endless Part II Of II

Continuing from Monday…

Unless you are an experienced collector, you should not buy postage stamps as an investment. Buy stamps that call your name and put a smile on your face. When deciding on what type of postage stamp you want to add to your collection; it is wise to do some research to see how much the stamp is worth before you buy it. There are many books you can read to help you learn more about postage stamp values. You can also contact a reputable Stamp Dealer to help you find what you are looking for. Always remember, a collection is what you want it to be and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You should still buy a postage stamp that is in the best condition that you can afford just in case you want to sell or trade it at a later date.

Be sure to find out how to properly care for your stamp collection. There are many stamp collecting products available to help with storage and treatment of the stamps. One thing that many stamp collectors don’t think about is buying insurance for their stamp collection. Many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover stamp collections, so it is a good idea to find out what coverage, if any, you have for your collection. If you don’t have coverage, it is easy to obtain, and usually not very expensive. Don’t forget to keep a detailed inventory list of what stamps you have in your collection and how much they cost. This is important for insurance claims and selling or trading your stamps.

Stamp Center has postage stamps (new and older) available from all over the world. No matter what your preference is, you are sure to find a wonderful postage stamp to add to your collection when you visit Stamp Center.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Postage Stamps – The Choices Are Endless Part I Of II

People have been collecting things most likely since the beginning of time. A quick internet search and you will find that what some people view as strange to collect; others are passionate about their favorite items. As diverse as people are, so are their collections. You can find people who collect mugs, buttons, cookie jars, toys, traffic signs, air sick bags, candy wrappers, and of course postage stamps, to name a few. Postage stamps are by far the most collected item around the world. They can show a bit of history and often times tell a story of their origin.
They are fun, easy to obtain, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on this hobby.

Unlike some collectibles, there are many choices available when it comes to stamp collecting. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be wondering where to begin your collection. Should you pick stamps with flowers, presidents, animals, foreign releases, domestic releases, or would you like to dabble in a little bit of everything? Should I only buy cancelled stamps or would un-cancelled stamps be a better value? One of the greatest things about collecting postage stamps is that the possibilities are endless. You can buy stamps from Stamp Dealers, online, from postal authorities, or from other collectors.

Stamp collectors love to show their wonderful stamp finds. There are many stamp collectors clubs that get together to share information, buy or trade stamps, and see what other great finds their fellow collectors have found.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Redwood Forest Priority Mail Postage Stamp


John Muir, who is one of America’s most famous conservationists, spent his life dedicated to saving the California Redwoods. He would be so proud to see that the United States Postal Service has paid tribute to the beautiful California Redwood Forests. The Priority Mail postage stamp was released in January of 2009. It is digitally made with a stamp value of $4.95. The stamp ceremony took place at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park among the
Redwood trees.

The California Redwoods, in my opinion, are the most beautiful forests in the world. Giant Sequoias, Coastal Redwoods and Douglas Firs are all part of these amazing forests. In America’s not so distant past, the forests were cut down with little thought about the damage that was being caused to the land and the species that inhabited it. Through John Muir’s efforts, logging was stopped and these trees were saved.

Many of the California Redwoods are over 300 years old and are some of the oldest trees in the world. They are named for the color of their bark and heartwood. They are the tallest living trees in the world. The trunks alone are so large that when a cavity is formed, a car can drive through them.

Today the Redwoods are protected and are a treasured part of the western landscape. Thousands of visitors enjoy their majestic quality each year. Redwood National Park, Yosemite, and John Muir Woods are a few of the most favored destinations in California.

Stamp Center has this beautiful Redwood Forest Priority Mail postage stamp ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whistler’s Mother Postage Stamp


James Abbot McNeill Whistler was an American-born British based artist. Originally his painting, which was made into a postage stamp, was titled “Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother”, but was later shortened to “Whistler’s Mother”. The Whistler’s Mother postage stamp was released in 1934, three decades after the artist’s death. The stamp stands as a tribute to not only the famous American painter’s mother, but to all mother’s in America. This three cent postage stamp reads “US Postage-In memory and in honor of the mothers of America.”

The lady sitting sideways as the model (a traditional pose of the time period) is Anna McNeill Whistler. When the painting was first exhibited, it was not much admired by the public. As Whistler’s reputation grew, so did the admiration of this painting, as well as his other works of art.

The painting was purchased for the Luxembourg Museum in Paris by the French government for the less than $1000, when Whistler came upon hard times. This was much less than a private collector would have paid. As with all of Whistler’s paintings, it had to be restored because poor materials were used. It is currently on display in a Musée d’Orsay Gallery not far from famous Van Gogh and Renoir masterpieces.

As with many stamps that are produced, there is often someone who takes issue with the final product. Art critics denounce the fact that the US Postal Service cropped the picture so that the subjects face appears much closer than in the original painting. The stamp designer also decided to add a bouquet of flowers to the scene, in the far left corner of the stamp. The changes depicted on the stamp brought many protests from art experts.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Steve Irwin Postage Stamps


All of the Crocodile Hunter fans in America and around the world will be glad to know that Australia issued a commemorative postage stamp to honor Steve Irwin.

Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert and conservationist who received worldwide fame from his television show “The Crocodile Hunter”. His vibrant personality lit up the television screen and you simply could not help be drawn into the world of wildlife as seen through the eyes of Steve Irwin. Irwin and his wife co-owned and operated the Australia Zoo which has welcomed people from around the world.

Steve Irwin died on September 4, 2006 when his chest was pierced by a stingray spine while he was snorkeling and filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef. The horrible accident and subsequent death sent shockwaves around the world.

The postage stamp was issued just before Australia’s inaugural “Steve Irwin Day” which takes place on November 15th. Along with the stamp came a New Idea magazine commemorative cover of Irwin, his 2 children and a large snake. Proceeds from the stamps went to “Wildlife Warriors”, which is Irwin’s conservation charity.

The Steve Irwin postage stamp is one of many types of memorials honoring Irwin. There is a nature park, roadways, and a national park to name a few. Steve Irwin’s legacy continues to live on through his wife and 2 children who concentrate their time on protecting wildlife and conservation too.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Hospice Care Postage Stamp


The Hospice Care postage stamp was one of the many social awareness stamps there have been issued by the United States Postal Service. Originally slated for a November 1998 release date, it was delayed until February 1999 so that the stamp could have a longer shelf life due to the then postage stamp price increase. The special stamp ceremony was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the national first-day-of-issue ceremony took place in Largo, Florida on February 9, 1999.

Hospice is a team oriented care program that affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice doctors and nurses treat and comfort terminally ill patients by providing personalized services so that patients and families can be supported during their time of need. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death; but provides skilled services to patients who have decided to spend their last months at home or away from a hospital setting. Hospice care dates back to ancient times, but the first service in the United States dates back to 1974. Since its inception, each year more people are choosing to utilize hospice services.

The Hospice Care postage stamp is beautiful and serene. The stamp features a little white house with a colorful butterfly hovering over head. According to the stamp’s designer, Mr. Phil Jordan, “The art symbolizes life's journey to its final stage, the part where hospice lends its vision. The butterfly is a symbol of spiritual release -- a positive metaphor for the last transition of life."
If you are looking to add the Hospice Care postage stamp or any of the other social awareness postage stamps to your collection, contact Stamp Center today.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CD ROM Postage Stamp - Bhutan


Bhutan is a small nation that is sandwiched between India and China. It has only been producing postage stamps since 1962 when it released its first international postage stamp. With many interesting postage stamps under their belt, they are known for their colorful, creative and collectible stamps around the world.

In 2008, Bhutan once again released a postage stamp like no other. The first ever CD ROM postage stamp was created to show the world what Bhutan has accomplished during the past 100 years. The stamp set commemorates some of Bhutan’s most historic events on postage stamps as well as on video. The 100th anniversary of the monarchy, the coronation of the 5th King of Bhutan, the evolution of Bhutan’s democracy and the eventual signing of a new constitution, are all showcased for the world to see on the stamps and the video set. These postage stamps are mini-CDs that fit into a self adhesive envelope. When affixed to a larger envelope, the CD stamp can be used as postage. Definitely worth collecting!
Postage stamps remain the primary source of revenue for Bhutan. The revenues generated have helped build the nations infrastructure.

If you would like to add this very interesting CD ROM postage stamp or other stamps from Bhutan, contact Stamp Center today.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Roller Coaster Postage Stamp


Today I thought it would be fun to run several internet searches on various obscure objects to see if a postage stamp had ever been issued depicting such object. One of the searches that I completed was “roller coaster postage stamp”.

After an extensive search, I only found one postage stamp, issued by a country that showcases a roller coaster. They can be found at “make your own stamps” website. Oddly enough, the stamp I found is a new stamp issued from Sweden on May 14, 2009.

The stamp features the Balder roller coaster which is located at the Liseberg amusement park. This wooden roller coaster opened in 2003 and has been voted “Best Wooden Tracked Roller Coaster” in the world two times since its opening. The stamp set includes 4 stamps that feature architectural wonders in Sweden. Along with the roller coaster stamps there is the Turning Torso (a twisted building in Sweden), the Kaknäs Tower in Stockholm, and the Lugnet ski jump which is 52 meters high.

Loving roller coasters like I do, I am feeling a bit slighted that there are no other roller coaster postage stamps. Do any of our readers know if any other roller coaster has ever been depicted on a postage stamp? Feel free to leave a comment if you know of any.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Part II Of I


In continuation from Wednesday…

In 1835, at 27 years old, Poe married his 13 year old first cousin, Virginia Clemm. She contracted Tuberculosis in 1842 and succumbed to the disease in 1847 at the age of 24. Virginia’s struggle with the illness and subsequent death are believed to have impacted Poe’s poetry and prose, where dying young women appears frequently.

In his short 40 years of life, Poe became famous for his writings and poetry. He is best known for his poems, and mystery and macabre style of writings. Poe died on October 7, 1849. To this day, Poe’s death remains a mystery, but it is speculated as various reasons like rabies, heart disease, suicide, alcohol, drugs or Tuberculosis.

Despite the fact that Poe lived a life of loneliness and for the most part poverty, Poe is referred to as the “America’s Shakespeare”. He is revered for his short stories, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and horror stories. There have been many of Poe’s former homes that have been deemed landmarks to honor this great American writer. The Poe Museum is located in Richmond, Virginia and has a year long celebration to honor Poe planned for 2009.

On January 6, 2009, the United States Postal Service issued stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. According to the USPS “One of Poe’s best-loved poems “The Raven,” was first published in 1845. In this special commemorative booklet edition, French artist Emmanuel Polanco graphically interprets “The Raven” in six original illustrations. The booklet also includes commentary by stamp artist Michael J. Deas and a block of four Edgar Allan Poe stamps with mount.”

Stamp Center has Edgar Allan Poe postage stamps that are issued from Monaco and the United States ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Part I Of II


Edgar Poe was born on January 18, 1809. His parents died when he was very young and he was taken in by the soon-to-be wealthy Allan family. The Allan’s did not adopt Poe, but they did give him the name of “Edgar Allan Poe.” As a child, he traveled with the Allan’s and attended school in England and Scotland before returning to their home in Richmond, Virginia in 1820.

After completing schooling in Virginia, Poe tried his hand at college life and attended the University of Virginia to study languages for one year. In 1827 Poe took a job as a newspaper writer and clerk, but had a difficult time supporting himself. He soon entered the United States Army and served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor. To his delight, his military career was short, thanks in part to the efforts of Mr. Allan. After his discharge from the Army, Poe received an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point. In 1831, through his purposeful bad actions, an unhappy Poe allowed himself to be discharged from West Point.

Poe’s first published literary work was a 40 page collection of his poetry called Tamerlane and Other Poems. It was met with no fan-fare and only 50 copies were printed. The book is so rare that a single copy today sells for over $200,000. He went on to write 2 other volumes of his poems. Poe began writing sensational tales and writing reviews which made him widely known as an American author. He continued to churn out literary works, some published, some not. By all accounts, Poe’s poem “The Raven” is what put him on top as an American writer.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Prostate Cancer Awareness Postage Stamp Part II Of II


In continuation from Friday…

The Prostate Cancer Awareness stamp says “Annual Checkups and Tests”. The wording on the stamp has resulted in the American Cancer Society (ACS) taking the stance of not endorsing the postage stamps. The American Cancer Society wanted the wording to be changed because they thought it would make American’s believe that ALL men must have annual prostate screenings. Because the ACS does not call for “mass screening” of every man, and because the United States
Postal Services would not change or remove the wording, no endorsement was given to the stamps. The ACS does support screening for all men who are over 50 years old. As a result of the lack of endorsement, the stamps were slow to sell throughout the United States. Another point of contention was that these stamps were not semi-postal stamps so no extra funds were raised towards helping combat the disease.

Prostate Cancer advocates would like to see a new stamp made called the Prostate Cancer Research Stamp. The Research Stamp would target the fact nearly 200,000 men will be newly diagnosed with Prostate Cancer each year. Unlike the Awareness Stamp, the Research Stamp would be designed as semi-postal to help fund research efforts with the goal of eliminating Prostate Cancer. The major initiatives of making the stamps includes “fostering research
focused on the understanding of prostate cancer: its causes, preventative measures against it, and effective diagnosis and treatment procedures.” So far, the stamp has been rejected.

If you are looking for the Prostate Awareness stamp to add to your collection, Stamp Center has it in stock and ready to ship to you.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Prostate Cancer Awareness Postage Stamp Part I Of II


Did you know that there are only two animal species that are known to develop cancerous tumors of the prostate gland? Dogs and humans are the unlucky two. Prostate Cancer is the second most common type of Cancer in men. It is estimated that in 2009 that there will be almost 200,000 new cases of Prostate Cancer diagnosis’s in the United States alone. Statistically, 1 in every 6 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. Because of current medical treatments, only 1 in 35 will die as a result of the Cancer.

In May of 1999 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp to bring awareness to the public about Prostate Cancer. The stamp is being compared to the Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp, but the messages behind the stamps were vastly different. As a result, the Prostate Cancer Awareness stamp drew quite a bit of controversy that still remains today.

The problem with the postage stamp stems from the wording on the stamp. The Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp says “Fund The Fight Find A Cure.” The semi-postal stamps went on sale in mid-1998 and rose over $54 million for research. Along with the stamp came a massive campaign at post offices around the United States to educate the public about Breast Cancer. There were posters in lobbies, distribution of free breast cancer brochures, radio and television public service announcements, as well as other community outreach activities. By all accounts the campaign was a huge success.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Adoption Awareness Postage Stamp


The first social awareness postage stamps appeared in the 1950’s. Since then, there have been many stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. The stamps serve to raise awareness of issues that face American’s and other people around the world. There have been postage stamps issued to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease, Breast Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amber Alert, Jury Duty, and even Organ and Tissue Donation. I am so glad to see that the United States Postal Service also issued a stamp for Adoption Awareness.

The Adoption Awareness postage stamp pays tribute to all of the children, birth parents and families that have been blessed by the gift of adoption. In 2001, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was honored by the United States Postal Service when they received the 2001 Social Awareness Award at the National Postal Forum. The award was given to the Foundation and its founder, Dave Thomas, who is also the founder of Wendy’s. It is the primary goal of The
Foundation to help every child in the public child welfare system; that is available for adoption, to find a permanent and loving family through adoption. They were recognized for “being instrumental in the use of the Adoption Awareness postage stamp as a vehicle for highlighting this important cause.”

The 2000 Adoption Awareness postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service will be a wonderful addition to any collection and they are available at Stamp Center today!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part II Of II


In continuation from Friday…

The Concorde…It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty which combined the production skills of the British Aircraft Corporation and Aérospatiale. The first flight was in 1969, but it did not enter service until 1976. The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airline that amazed the world. It flew for 27 years before retiring in 2003.

K2 Telephone Kiosk …Truly a symbol of England, these classic bright red telephone boxes stood out on street corners throughout the United Kingdom from their inception in 1926. Despite their current reduction in numbers, you can still find them on current and ex-British Colonies around the world.

Polypropylene Chair…These chairs are resistant to fatigue and can be found it public buildings around the world. Robin Day was the inventor of these chairs. It is estimated that most everyone in the world has sat on one of these creations at some point in their life.

Penguin Books…Penguin books is a British publisher that was founded in 1935. This stamp featured Edward Young’s book jacket design which was instantly recognizable by the trademark orange and black penguin emblem.

London Underground Map…The London Underground postage stamp features Harry Beck’s easy to understand design which was originally based on an electrical wiring diagram.

The Routemaster Bus…The Routemaster Bus is a double-decker bus that was built in England in 1954. The Routemaster can still be found touring the streets of London. The buses are currently out of production, but there are approximately 1000 still in existence.

Stamp Center has these fantastic British Design Classics postage stamps and Prestige Booklets in stock for you.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part I Of II


In January of 2009, Great Britain issued a set of 10 postage stamps that depict “Design Classics” that represent Great Britain. In researching these postage stamps I found that the people of England either love them or hate them. Some say that these stamps are simple and don’t really represent designs that should be considered “classic” in Great Britain. Others seem to love the simplicity of these 1st class stamps and recognize them as iconic figures of the not so distant past and present. Personally, I like them!

The set includes the following postage stamps…

The Supermarine Spitfire…This British single seat fighter aircraft was used by the Royal Air Force during World War II and throughout the 1950’s. The classic elliptical wing design allowed the plane to fly at higher speeds and was a favorite among pilots at the time.

The Mini Skirt…The mini skirt was a defining fashion symbol in the 1960’s. Considered daring at the time, the mini skirt transformed the typical conservative women’s fashion into a spicy international fashion trend. The mini skirt continues to be a popular fashion choice today among females around the world.

The Mini – The original “Mini” is considered an icon of the 1960’s. The car allowed for 80% of the cars spacious floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage. This is a stark difference to the Mini that is currently being produced. Current owners would not likely want to change the upgrades to their Mini as it is considered much safer and offers great human comforts. In 1999, the Mini was voted as the second most influential car of the 20th Century…behind the Ford Model T. Besides, they are really fun to drive!

Anglepoise Lamp…Who has not owned one of these lamps in their lifetime? Despite what was originally thought about this lamp, it was not designed to resemble a human arm. The original patent for the lamp was granted in 1932 for British car designer George Carwardine. You can easily find these lamps in stores around the world; which earned it a spot as a top British accomplishment.

Please come back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

James Dean Postage Stamps – Legends Of Hollywood Part II Of II


In continuation from Monday…

James Dean died an untimely death on a California Roadway on September 30, 1955 at the young age of 24. His short Hollywood career and early death transformed Dean into a cult type figure with timeless fascination by people from around the world. Dean is remembered by his home town of Fairmount, Indiana each year with a fantastic four day festival. Cholame, California has a concrete and steel memorial sculpture in front of the post office which is near the location where James Dean died. In September of 2005, the California Highway Department named a Junction in Cholame after James Dean to commemorate the anniversary of his death.
James Dean is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmont, Indiana. In a strange twist, over the years Dean’s gravestone has been stolen, in its entirety, several times. It has been found and returned to the grave site after each theft. Many fans have traveled to see the headstone and some have actually chipped away at the gravestone and kept a portion of it as a souvenir. His worldwide popularity and following may never be dimmed.

The Legends of Hollywood postage stamps were a spectacular collection of many amazing stars. The James Dean postage stamps were quick to sell out and are hard to find on the market today. The great news is that Stamp Center has the James Dean Legends of Hollywood postage stamps in stock and ready to ship out. Stop on by and see what fantastic stamps are available for your collection.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

James Dean Postage Stamps – Legends Of Hollywood Part I Of II


Many stamp collectors will agree that the Legends of Hollywood series that was issued by the United States Postal Service was one of the best series of all times. The stamps depicted fantastic Hollywood icons of years past that have put their lasting mark on the television and film industry.

James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. He spent his early childhood in Fairmont, Indiana and then Santa Monica, California. After his Mother’s death from Cancer when Dean was just 9 years old, he was sent back to Indiana to live on a farm with his fathers relatives. It was in Indiana that he completed his schooling and was bitten by the acting bug. Dean eventually moved back to California and tried his hand at acting. Getting nowhere, he moved to New York City and became a stage performer. It was not long before Hollywood came calling and his fate as a legend was sealed.

Handsome and talented, James Dean is one of the faces that you will see in the Legends of Hollywood series. He made three films in his very short Hollywood career. “East of Eden”, “Rebel Without a Cause”, and “Giant”, are to his credit. East of Eden was the only film that was released while James Dean was alive. He received a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his efforts in the film. His other two films were released after his death and he also received posthumous nominations.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Paying for a stamp can be tricky endeavor when you are new to collecting. It is wise to check out the “Scott Catalogue” for the most up to date information about postage stamps and their values. The books are issued each year and depict interesting and valuable information about what each stamp is worth. In 2008, there were six large volumes of the book. You can also find it available in DVD and printable CD formats.

Old postage stamps can be found via internet websites, stamp shows, auction sites, other collectors and Stamp Dealers. When buying from someone you do not know, always remember to get information in writing as to what you are purchasing. Reputable Stamp Dealers are a great source to buy stamps from. They not only have a good supply of stamps to choose from, but they have a wealth of knowledge to share with you.

New postage stamps that originate in the United States can be found at USPS.com. If a stamp is in high demand, you usually can find them available at a Stamp Dealer.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited a stamp collection from a relative, it would be a good idea to find out how much the collection is worth before you decide what you are going to do with it. An experienced Stamp Dealer will be able to accurately appraise the collection. Depending on what is in the collection, a Stamp Dealer may even want to purchase the collection themselves. Knowledge is power so you definitely want to know what you are dealing with before you decide to keep or sell the collection.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part I Of II

The art of stamp collecting has been around basically since postage stamps were created. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be asking yourself some of these questions…

"Which stamps should I collect?”

“How much should I pay for a stamp?”

“Where do I find old postage stamps?”

“Where can I buy new postage stamps?

“What do I do with Grandpa’s stamp collection now that he is gone?

Stamp collecting has evolved since the Great Britain released its first adhesive postage stamp in 1840. There are literally thousands of different stamps to choose from that are issued from almost every nation in the world. The good news is that most stamps are very reasonably priced for collectors. New stamp collectors can decide to keep their collecting focus on a particular type of stamp or a stamp that comes from a specific country or region. Perhaps you like stamps with the faces of world leaders or you prefer ones with pretty flowers instead. Maybe you want to focus your stamp collection on cartoons or stamps from specific regions of the world. The choices are endless and deciding what you want for your collection is such great fun! Beginners could decide to buy stamps in bulk to see what types of stamps they are actually interested in before they pick a specific type.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Weird and Wonderful Stamp Stuff: Things You Never Knew Existed

In every hobby there are people who go to the extremes or do strange things with it that you never could have imagined. Below area a few weird and wonderful things that have been created by stamp enthusiasts.

The World’s Largest Ball of Stamps: This can be found in Omaha, Nebraska of all places at Boy’s Town, the place featured in that famous 1938 Spencer Tracy movie about a home for troubled boys, in the Leon Myers Stamp Center. This HUGE ball of stamps was made in the early 1050’s by boys in the Boy’s Town Stamp club. It is 32 inches in diameter, is made of about 4.6 million stamps, and weighs about 600 pounds. You can see a great picture of it by clicking on this link: http://www.worldslargestthings.com/nebraska/ballofstamps.htm.

The World’s Largest Postage Stamp: Created just recently in the Netherlands, this bonafied postage stamp, printed by Koninklijke Johan Enschede, checks in at 60 by 49.3 centimeters which is about 2 feet by 19 inches. The stamp was posted on a huge postcard measuring 1.5 by 3 meters (or about 9 by 4.5 feet). School children in Het Kofschip, a school in a small town near Amsterdam will sent the card to a local bakery that helped prepare free meals for Dutch schoolkids furing their National School Breakfast week.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part II Of II


In continuation from Monday…

Interestingly enough, while researching different Bee Gees postage stamps available from around the world, I found information that there are “illegal postage stamp issues” in circulation for the Bee Gees as well as other celebrities, political figures, paintings, vehicles, etc. The following is information provided by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE (REP.) “Thirteen miniature sheets in the same format each containing four postage stamps each featuring a different picture of the celebrities in question, either alone or with other people. The
name of each celebrity or group is inscribed at the top of each sheet, namely AC/DC, The Backstreet Boys, The Bee Gees, The Beatles, The Doors, Freddie Mercury, KISS, Madonna, Metallica, Queen and the Rolling Stones. Each postage stamp on each miniature sheet is inscribed with a value of 100 F, the year 2002 or 2003 and the logo of the Rotary
organization. There are various depictions of the celebrities or groups in the margins of each miniature sheet.” Apparently these postage stamps are not valid and were not issued by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE so buyer beware!
The Bee Gees record sales are estimated to be well over $200 million dollars which makes them one of the best selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Stamp Center has cool Bee Gees postage stamps in stock from the Ivory Coast and Benin. Stop by soon and see what stamps we have for you.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part I Of II


The Bee Gees were born on the Isle of Man to English parents. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb spent 40 years recording their three part tight musical harmony and are known throughout the world for their musical endeavors. They are best known for their performances of soft rock music during the 1960’s and 1970’s and were huge stars of the Disco era in the 1970’s.

The Isle of Man issued souvenir sheets to commemorate the musical efforts of the Bee Gees in 1999. These interesting stamps featured a circular stamp within a circular sheet which looked just like a compact disk does. The stamp sheets feature several pictures of the Bee Gees from 1978 on one sheet and from 1998 on the other depicting great moments in their career. The stamps were first launched in London and then in New York City. These New York stamp release ceremony can be found on YouTube. It was filmed in New York City because the Bee Gees were not able to travel to the Isle of Man due to concert obligations. There are eight stamps issued in the set, each one themed around a specific Bee Gee song.

Proceeds from the sales of the stamps were given to the McMillian Cancer Support which is a charity in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. McMillian’s primary objective is to reach and improve the lives of everyone who is living with Cancer. The group provides information, support centers, mobile centers and is greatly regarded in the United Kingdom.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Heroes of 2001 Postage Stamp


On March 11, 2002, the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp that honor the men and women who gave their all in the rescue efforts on September 11, 2001. These “semi-postal” stamps were sold for 45 cents each; which was 11 cents higher than regular postage stamps were selling for at the time.

Semi-postal stamps are stamps that are sold at a higher rate so that money can be raised to support a specific charity or cause. The additional money collected from the sales of these stamps provided assistance to the families of the emergency relief personnel who were killed or permanently disabled in connection with the horrible terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

It should be noted that issuing semi-postal stamps is not commonplace in the United States. These stamps were only the second semi-postal postage stamps ever issued in United States history. The first ever semi-postal stamps were issued for Breast Cancer Awareness. There were 205 million Heroes of 2001 postage stamps issued.
The stamp release ceremony was held at the White House with then President Bush, Postmaster General John Potter, and many firefighters and rescue personnel who helped in the rescue efforts.

Check out Stamp Center for a wide selection of semi-postals from around the world.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lincoln Brings In Millions

Last Friday a fantastic postage stamp collection went up for auction in New York City. By far, it is touted as one of the most amazing collections of President Lincoln stamps ever to be created. In total, the collection has more than 10,000 stamps depicting President Lincoln.

Originally inherited from his father, the stamp collection began to grow in 1977 when William J. Ainsworth’s interest in philately was sparked once again. Over the next 32 years he worked to create the most definitive collection of Lincoln’s image on United States postage stamps.

The collection was broken into more than 600 lots at the auction. One of the interesting favorites was the mint 90 cent vertical block of six Lincoln stamps that were issued in 1869. The stamps feature Lincoln’s portrait in black with a red background. They are considered rare because they have never been broken apart. There was also a proof of a block of eight mint condition 90 cent stamps of Lincoln with his image accidentally printed upside down.
This proof is one of only two proofs known to be in existence. There were many other Lincoln items available at the auction. Lincoln tax stamps, private issues, test printings, etc. There was even a die impression in red sealing wax of a test design with Lincoln’s profile. It was originally purchased at a flea market for 50 cents and included as one of the rare auction items.

This amazing collection sold at auction for almost $2,000,000.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Barack Obama Stamps Have International Appeal


Stamp collectors may find these stamps interesting, no matter which side of the political spectrum you align yourself with.

Although you must wait a while for the United States postage stamps to be issued, we can usually count on the international community to supply certain stamps that would create great interest, to be released at a much faster rate. Stamp Center has several postage stamps available that honor President Barack Obama. These beautiful stamps have been issued by the following Nation’s:

Tanzania
Sierra Leone
St. Vincent/Canouan
St. Vincent/Union
St. Vincent/Bequia
St. Vincent – a couple of different ones to choose from
Palau
Liberia
Grenada
Grenada Grenadines
Gambia
Nevis
Some of the stamps issued include the White House or the Capitol as a backdrop and others feature the Presidential seal as a backdrop. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin. The United States is represented well on many of these stamps as they showcase “Old Glory” waving in the background. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin.

The stamps issued from Tanzania have one in the set that includes Michelle Obama, the Presidents wife. The stamp issued from St. Vincent/Union features a background of people holding signs from either the inauguration or perhaps an Obama rally. I wonder if those people even know that they are issued on an official postage stamp. Unless they are collectors and have looked, it is doubtful!

Please stop by Stamp Center and check out all of the Barack Obama postage stamps that are currently available.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Paul McCartney Happy Memories Postage Stamps


In July of 2002, the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish Sea, released a delightful set of postage stamps designed by musician, Sir Paul McCartney. McCartney was approached to design the limited edition postage stamps once the stamp bureau found out that he had made visits with his family to the island when he was a child.

The resulting postage stamps feature simple floral designs that are similar to ones that are used in McCartney’s favorite charity…Adopt A Minefield. The charity was founded in Great Britain in 1990 and has raised over $17 million to clear landmines in 126 villages in the war torn countries of Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique and Vietnam. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the stamps went to support the charity.

There were six stamps in the series and only 170,000 stamps issued. The stamp sets also feature six black and white photographs of Paul McCartney with his signature at the bottom of each photo.

If you are interested in purchasing the Paul McCartney Happy Memories postage stamps, visit Stamp Center today.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 World Stamp Exhibition

First the actual Olympics and now the “Olympics of stamp collecting” is gracing the land of China. Beginning on April 10th and running through April 16, 2009, the 2009 World Stamp Exhibition is the place to be to see top philatelic issues from around the globe.

Over 110 countries and regions have brought together more than 3,200 valuable framed stamp collections to be viewed by the public. The entries will also be appraised by world class leaders of philately. More than sixty international stamp experts will review the entries and eight medals will be awarded before the end of the Exhibition. An unprecedented amount of attendees will have their chance on the bidding of rare stamps at the auction as well.

Of the 3,200 framed entries, 80 frames of world renowned stamps are on display. The British royal family has even sent their prized Penny Black which was issued in 1840. It was the first adhesive postage stamp to ever be issued in the world. Also on public display for the first time are stamps collected by the China National Post and Postage Stamp Museum.

There are 24 special Peony stamps issued from various nations to commemorate the Luoyang Peony Festival. China has released 60 commemorative envelopes especially designed for the Exhibition.

The World Stamp Exhibition travels to a new location each year. Expect to see the 2010 World Stamp Exhibition in South Africa.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Simpson’s On Postage Stamps


Kids (both young and old) are going to love this news! Hold back the State stamps and send in the Simpson’s! The United States Postal Service announced that they will be issuing postage stamps for the always dysfunctional animated Simpson family.

The stamps will be issued to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the television show which airs on the FOX network as well as around the world. To date, the Simpson’s is the longest running comedy in the United States. An interesting twist on these stamps is that they will be the first stamps ever issued to a current ongoing prime time show. The fact that it’s an animated show just makes it more fun.

This new set of stamps will feature each of the Simpson family members. There is Marge, the forever forgiving Mom; Homer, the dim-witted Dad; Bart, the wise cracking trouble maker; Lisa, the Saxophone playing smarty pants; and Maggie, the pacifier sucking baby. The stamps will appropriately be designed by the producer and creator of the show, Matt Groening.

The United States Postal service is asking for votes to determine who the public’s favorite Simpson’s character is. To cast your vote for favorite character, visit here. As of today, “Bart” is winning in the votes, but only by a smidge. Look for these fantastic postage stamps to become available to the public on May 7, 2009.

Be sure to visit Stamp Center for all your stamp collecting needs.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Cary Grant Postage Stamp Part II Of II


In continuation to Wednesday’s post…

Becoming a United States citizen and officially changing his name in 1942, Cary Grant is best known for his starring roles in romantic comedies. His many acting successes include “An Affair to Remember”, “Topper”, “Bringing Up Baby”, “The Philadelphia Story”, “Monkey Business”, “Charade”, “North by Northwest”, and “To Catch a Thief.” He was joined on film with several amazing actresses such as Grace Kelly, May West, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn,
Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. During his vast career, Grant completed over seventy films and was one of Hollywood’s top box office attractions for several years.

Cary Grant received two Academy Award nominations for his efforts in “Penny Serenade” and “None But the Lonely Heart”, but no Oscar was ever awarded. It is widely believed that Grant, who was one of the first actors to ever break away from a studio and work as an independent actor; was denied the Oscar throughout his active career because of his independence. In 1970, Grant did go on to receive a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Cary Grant died in Davenport, Iowa, on Nov. 29, 1986, at the age of 82, while on a speaking tour.
Come visit Stamp Center for the wonderful Cary Grant postage stamps and the Cary Grant Press Sheet issued by the United States Postal Service in 2002.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cary Grant Postage Stamp Part I Of II


Long before Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio or other modern day movie heartthrobs surfaced; there was one celebrity in particular that stood out in a crowd. Cary Grant, otherwise known as Archibald Alec Leach, dazzled fans with his dashing good looks and debonair personality.

On October 15, 2002, the United States Postal Service honored Cary Grant with a commemorative postage stamp. The stamp was revealed in the most appropriate place, Hollywood, California. The Cary Grant 37 cent postage stamp was issued as part of the “Legends of Hollywood” series.

Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England on January 18, 1904. It is reported that he lived a somewhat sad childhood. In 1918, Grant was expelled from the grammar school that he attended. In 1920 he began his many years of stage performances by working as a stilt walker. After his stage troupe toured the United States; Grant decided to not join his fellow performers on their return trip to England. Remaining in America, Cary became a Hollywood Legend
by performing in many well known romantic comedies and thrillers.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Yellow Submarine Postage Stamp


The United States Postal Service released the adorable Yellow Submarine postage stamp as part of the Celebrate the Century commemorative stamp program in 1999. This 33 cent postage stamp sits aside other stamps that represent the 1960’s.

The Celebrate the Century stamp program honored some of the most significant people, places, trends and events from each decade spanning over a 100 year time period. The USPS, along with the United States Department of Education, developed a special curriculum to teach over 300,000 classrooms across the US about these postage stamps and what they represent in the past 100 years of American history.

The Yellow Submarine postage stamp was produced to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the release of animated film, The Yellow Submarine. The movie was based on the music of The Beatles. The Beatles were not eligible to appear on the postage stamp because the United States has a rule that a person must be dead for at least 10 years in order to have their face on a postage stamp. All Presidents are exempt from this rule. Since the Beatles could not appear personally, the whimsical Yellow Submarine was chosen to represent them instead.

The stamps were released jointly in Denver and in Liverpool, England with a special celebration. Despite not hailing from America, the Beatles influenced music, fashion, entertainment and pop culture. To this day, the Beatles still continue to influence a new generation of music lovers.
Be sure to check out Stamp Center for great Beatles postage stamps.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part II Of II


In continuation from the post on Wednesday…

The YMCA was formed in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1851. The YMCA has an interesting connection to early postage stamp history. During the United States Civil War, many soldiers did not have stamps to use on their mail that they were sending home. When the Post Office received these letters, they were sent to the “Dead Letter Office” because most of the letters did not have a return address on the envelope.

When the YMCA found out that many letters were not being delivered home, they decided to help out the soldiers. The YMCA left unused postage stamps at various Post Offices with instructions for postal clerks to use the stamps on any soldier’s mail that arrived without a stamp or was short the amount of postage that was required to mail the envelope to its intended destination. When a stamp was used on the envelope, a special label was applied to the front of the letter so that the recipient knew that the YMCA had supplied the stamp. This label also let people know of the YMCA’s need for monetary donations to carry on its charitable work around the United States.

YMCA fans will be glad to know that Stamp Center has several YMCA postage stamps issued from Malta, Peru, Aruba, New Zealand and Canada available to add to their stamp collection.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part I Of II


The Young Men’s Christian Association; otherwise know as the “YMCA” or the “Y” for short; was founded in London, England on June 6, 1844. Originally the group was formed in response to the unhealthy social conditions arising at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The YMCA helped men put Christian principles into practice during their daily lives. In the mid 1800’s, many men arrived in London to find work. Upon their arrival, many workers found the living and working conditions unsafe. The YMCA was formed to give these men a choice between life on the streets and a life of prayer and Bible study. The thing that made the YMCA stand out in the 1800’s (and continues today) is that it did not matter what religion or social class you originated from. All men were treated equal in the eyes of the YMCA. Eventually, the same premise spread to include women and children of all races, religions and nationalities.

Over the years, many countries have issued commemorative postage stamps to honor the YMCA. India issued a stamp to celebrate the 350+ YMCA’s sites that are spread out over most of the major cities, towns and villages around the country. Peru issued a stamp to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the YMCA. Aruba issued a commemorative stamp that features roller skating and basketball for their YMCA 50th Anniversary. New Zealand issued their YMCA
commemorative postage stamp along side of the Lion’s International and Rotary Club stamps. Canada issued their four million commemorative stamps in 2001 to celebrate the YMCA’s 150th Anniversary.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Nemo Postage Stamps


Stamp collecting is such a great hobby. I love when stamps are created to spark interest in children so that they too will fall in love with philately.

On April 3, 2008, the Taiwan Post released postage stamps depicting characters from the wildly popular Disney children’s movie “Finding Nemo.” These stamps are adorable and I am sure that many adults have scrambled to obtain them along with the kiddies. The United States Postal Service has done a fantastic job of showcasing Disney stamps over the years. It’s only a matter of time before we will see these adorable characters affixed to American envelopes as well.

The animated movie “Finding Nemo” was made in 2003 in a joint effort by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. The wildly successful film received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and sales of the film have grossed over $864 million worldwide. Finding Nemo remains as the best selling DVD of all time with over 40 million copies sold. To further honor the film, the American Film Institute named Finding Nemo the 10th greatest American
Animated film ever made.

These Taiwan postage stamps feature Nemo, the young clownfish which is the star of the movie; Dory, the nutty blue tang; Bubbles, the yellow tang; Tad, a long nosed butterfly fish; Squirt, a green sea turtle; Sheldon, a sea horse; Peach, the starfish; Pearl, a flapjack octopus; and a school of sea turtles.

There are two souvenir sheets in the set, both with wonderful animated underwater details depicted. These stamps are interesting because there are both circular and rectangular shapes in the souvenir set.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part II Of II


Continuing from the post on Wednesday…

John Denver used his music celebrity to draw focus on issues that were near and dear to his heart. His philanthropic involvements included serving as a member of the Presidential Commission on World Domestic Hunger. He was one of the five founders of The Hunger Project which is an organization that is committed to end chronic hunger in the world. He was awarded the Presidential “World Without Hunger Award” for his efforts. Denver also provided support to other organizations like The National Wildlife Federation, The Cousteau Society, Save the Children, and Friends of the Earth and the Human/Dolphin Foundation.

In the United States, there is a group that is requesting that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee consider issuing a commemorative postage stamp honoring John Denver. If you are interested in supporting this effort, send your request to:

USPS Stamp Development
Attn: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
1735 N Lynn St. Ste 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

John Denver died tragically on October 12, 1997 when the aircraft that he was piloting crashed off of the California coast. It would be nice to see the United States issue a stamp for this amazing singer that was loved the world over.

John Denver fans will be happy to know that Stamp Center has some very nice John Denver souvenir postage stamps that were issued by Nevis and Tanzania available and ready to ship.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part I Of II


John Denver, otherwise known as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., was born on December 31, 1943. Born in Roswell, New Mexico, he spent the majority of his childhood bouncing from state to state due to his father’s military assignments. Moving constantly did not suit Denver’s introverted personality well and he eventually discovered that he could make friends by singing and playing the guitar. At the age of 20, John headed to California to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician.

John soon adopted the surname “Denver” because he loved Colorado and “Deutschendorf” did not fit on any marquee well. After his arrival to California in 1964, he joined the Mitchell Trio which was a folk group that performed in clubs around Los Angeles.

In 1969 Denver began his solo career and cut his first album called “Rhymes and Reasons.” The album featured Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” which was later recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary with great fanfare. RCA, Denver’s recording company, did not promote his album with a tour, but Denver decided to take his show on the road himself and performed his music in as many cities as he could throughout the Midwest. Selling his albums along the way convinced RCA that he did indeed have fans who were interested in hearing more of his music. Denver went on to author and sing many musical hits such as “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Sunshine on My Shoulders”, “Rocky Mountain High” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”, all of which awarded him great accolades in the music world.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Ireland’s First Braille Postage Stamp


On July 7, 2006, Ireland issued their first Braille postage stamp. The 48 cent stamp marked the 30th anniversary of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The stamp features a guide dog silhouette design with the denomination of the stamp in Braille. This multicolor postage stamp was wildly popular upon its release in Ireland.

The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is the only supplier of guide dogs for vision impaired and the blind in Ireland. They also provide assistance dogs to children with Autism. These amazing dogs allow all recipients the opportunity to function fully and independently in society, thereby creating a better quality of life.

It takes approximately eight months to fully train a dog to be service provider. The most commonly used dog breeds are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador cross Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, German Shepherd cross Golden Retriever, Labra-doodle (Labrador cross Standard Poodle), and the Golden-doodle (Golden Retriever cross Standard Poodle).

All guide dogs are provided free of charge at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a result, fundraising is a crucial element to their success. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind collects used postage stamps and sells them to stamp collecting companies who in turn pays for the stamps by the pound. If you have used postage stamps that you do not need, you can send them to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Headquarters & Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork or contact the American branch of the IGDB at 212 534 8867 for more information.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Stamps Worth Millions Taken Away

Jim Ford, a stamp collector from Scotland, is mourning the loss of his precious stamp collection. The collection was originally started by his grandfather when he was a boy. The first stamps obtained were from letters from family members and friends who were scattered around the world. After his grandfather’s death, his uncle inherited the extensive stamp collection. Being confined to a wheelchair because of Multiple Sclerosis afforded him quite a bit of time to add to the already large collection of stamps from around the globe.

Ford, who collected stamps as a child, eventually inherited the collection. After an accident in 2001 left him disabled, he put his focus on expanding his collection. The collection feathered many valuable postage stamps. According to Mr. Ford, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC wanted to display the 36 “Washington Pinks” that were in his collection because they covered the Civil War years. The stamps were on correspondence between a soldier in battle and his fiancée. The Smithsonian had tentatively valued these particular stamps at around £18 million.

After a gas leak at Ford's home, the collection was packed up and put outside on the porch for a few hours during the cleanup. Council workers were arranged to pick up the old damaged furniture from the back of the home, but took the postage stamps instead. The stamps are now lost forever, despite his calls to have his collection returned.

Included in the mistaken stamp pickup were 840 Penny Blacks which are estimated to be valued between £1900 and £5000 each, the 36 Washington Pinks and dozens of Penny Blues. According to Ford, there was also a strip of three very rare stamps which were valued at £155,000. The good news is that he still has 11,000 stamps left in his collection, but none as valuable as the ones that were taken that terrible day.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Silver Dart Takes Flight


February 23, 1909 was a spectacular day in Canadian aviation history. It was on this frosty day that The Silver Dart first took flight about thirty feet above the Canadian ice covered basin. This historical experiment marked the first controlled powered flight in Canada and the British Empire. On February 23, 2009, Canada celebrated this amazing accomplishment by issuing a postage stamp honoring The Silver Dart.

The Silver Dart, otherwise known as Aerodrome #4 was the brain child of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and his team at the Aerial Experiment Association. The Association team consisted of members from both the United States and Canada who were dedicated to developing aircraft. The Silver Dart was originally designed and built in New York. After successfully taking flight several times in New York, it was dismantled and shipped to Nova Scotia to mark the first
Canadian flight.

Despite it’s flying successes in the US and Canada, the Canadian Army was not impressed by the idea of aircraft being used in warfare. At the time, they thought that aircraft would never be a useful tool in combat. Eventually the Association was allowed onto a military base to showcase The Silver Dart. Unfortunately, the tiny two inch wheels on the aircraft performed very poorly on the sandy runway. Sadly, on only its fifth flight, The Silver Dart crashed on landing when one wheel struck a berm on the ground. This was the last flight ever for The Silver Dart.

Be sure to check out Stamp Center for great Canadian stamps.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting A Piece Of The Rock


In America, when I think of “Gibraltar”, I remember the Prudential Insurance Company’s advertising theme slogan that was sung “Get a piece of the rock!” In 2002, the country Gibraltar offered just that, a piece of the actual rock. These unusual postage stamps join the growing list as one of the most interesting postage stamps of all time.

These stamps allowed you to own a piece of this amazing natural landmark by purchasing postage stamps. There were four stamps in the set. Each postage stamp is embellished with finely pulverized pieces of limestone rock dust that was bored out of the center of the Rock of Gibraltar. They were the first postage stamps ever to be produced with actual rock.

Gibraltar is rich in history dating from 711 A.D. There are traces of cave occupation which date back 40,000 years. Gibraltar is a self governing British colony that is only 2 ¼ square miles. It sits on the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates the Atlantic from the Mediterranean, and Europe from Africa. It has its own currency, radio station, newspaper, television station, naval and military troops, airport, and postage stamps.

Gibraltar is well known for their beautiful stamp sets. If you are interested in fantastic stamps issued from Gibraltar, come see what Stamp Center has to offer.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part II Of II


Continuing from Friday…

There are a couple of interesting things you should know about this stamp set. There were two stamps issued to celebrate the Entente Cordiale. Both France and England released the exact same stamps simultaneously. The stamps feature designs that are abstract paintings by one French artist (Sonia Delaunay 1855-1979) and one British artist (Sir Terry Frost 1915-2003). In small print in the upper left corner is the caption “Entente Cordiale 1904-2004.”

Apparently when the Royal Mail unveiled the stamps at the press briefing, the people in attendance were not pleased with these stamps. In the May issue of “Scott Stamp Monthly”, James Mackay described how the press release was going smoothly and then “all Hell broke loose.”

The renowned British philatelic journalist, Otto Hornung, denounced them as “meaningless and caption-less travesties.” Another journalist on the scene, Peter Jennings” denounced the stamps by calling them “crap”. The journalists thought that other art pieces would be more appropriate and more recognizable for the citizens of both countries.

I find it interesting that President Sarkozy holds these stamps in such high regard. I guess if the Queen of England gave some stamps to me, I would feel the same way though!

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Friday, March 06, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part I Of II


On Wednesday I wrote about how President Sarkozy of France has taken up the hobby of stamp collecting. As previously reported, one of his prize possessions is the Entente Cordiale postage stamps given to him by Queen Elizabeth last year. The stamps were originally issued by Great Britain in April of 2004.

The Entente Cordial postage stamps were issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an agreement between France and Britain that settled the colonial disputes between them. This agreement eventually led to an alliance between the two nations.
Britain and France share a rich history of war and peace. It was not until 1898 that the two powerful countries, who continued to seek expansion, ended up in the same location. The French wanted to increase their influence in Sudan as part of their expansion from West Africa. The British were expanding their territory from Egypt to the south. Both countries had troops arrive at Marchand, Fashoda, and Kitchener at the same time. It was decided that rather than fight for territory, British, Egyptian and French flags would all be flown together from the fort. This unprecedented agreement ended the colonial rivalry, and was officially signed on April 8, 1904.

Please check back Monday for the conclusion to the story.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When Philately And A Presidency Collide


When do stamp collecting and politics appear in the same newspaper article? When the President of France decides to take up this fantastic hobby!

President Sarkozy, who has been known to be unpredictable and have a hot temper in the past, is enjoying his new found love…stamp collecting. This wife, Carla Bruni reports that she is glad that he has taken up such a calming activity as well.

His new passion is even being fueled by the upper echelon of political society. At a visit to Windsor Castle last year, Queen Elizabeth gave President Sarkozy a set issued by the Royal Mail in 2004. These stamps were issued to celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale (Sarkozy’s now prize possessions) and many new stamp releases from Great Britain were supplied personally by the Queen. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, gave him a leather album filled with postage stamps as well. Other heads of state are jumping on the band wagon and sharing their stamps too. His collection to date is already quite extensive. I guess this is just another bonus given to a seated President. I wonder what Barack Obama will have in store for Sarkozy in the future.

President Sarkozy is now sponsoring a newly formed stamp club called the Elysee Philatelist Club, which is named after his official residence.

Other famed heads of state stamp collectors include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, King George V, Prince Albert, and Tzar Nicholas III of Russia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco and King Carol II of Romania II, to name a few.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UEFA Europass 2008 Postage Stamp


Football is one of the most popular sports in many countries around the world. We American’s refer to it as soccer though.

In 2008, the Austrian Post Office issued an amazing stamp to promote the UEFA EURO 2008 soccer tournament. UEFA EURO 2008 was held in June of 2008 and was the largest sporting event ever held in Austria. There was quite a bit of hype about this particular stamp as it was seemingly a one-of-a-kind concept.

At the time, experts in the philatelic world considered the stamp to be a fantastic creation. The stamp featured the normally 69 cm ball shrunk down to a mere 36 mm. The amazing thing about the stamp was that it was created by using the original material as the UEFA European Championship soccer ball. The synthetic mix with polyurethane was interesting to say the least. The stamp promoted Adidas as well.

Collectors and previous non-collectors clamored to pick up one of the 490,000 stamps that were released. At the time, the head of philately at the Austrian Post Office said “Altogether, the Europass stamp is our most sophisticated stamp in terms of typography and fabric.”
There were many attempts to perfect the stamp prior to releasing it to the public. The stamps had to endure special printing methods because it was made of plastic and not paper. The stamp production cost almost 20 times the price of normal postage stamps.

Sadly, there was one major problem that arose with these postage stamps…they would not stick to envelopes! As a result, large numbers of the stamps had to be withdrawn and replaced.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

1893 Columbian Exposition Commemorative Postage Stamps Part II Of II


In continuation to the post on Friday…

Sixteen different pictures of Christopher Columbus were represented on these postage stamps. Each stamp had the dates 1492 and 1893 printed in the top corners. Critics did not like the variations in Columbus’s appearance on the various postage stamps and often pointed out the discrepancies. The denominations of the stamps were also a point of contention. At the time, First Class Postage was only two cents per ounce and you were only allowed to mail up to four pounds. So basically, the $2, $3, $4 and $5 stamps were completely useless. This made collectors even more frustrated because they were not able to find any of the higher denominations that had ever been cancelled, forcing them to buy them new for full value.

The complaints did not bother then Postmaster Wanamaker who encouraged customers to buy regular postage stamps instead. Despite complaints, they were very popular and collectors still bought the new type of stamps. At the end of the day, there were 2 billion Columbian Exposition stamps sold and over $40,000,000 made on these interesting stamps.

In today’s market, a used set would run you over $2,000 and a mint unused set would run you over $8,000. The United States Postal Service reproduced the set in 1992, in conjunction with the World's Columbian Stamp Expo '92 in Chicago. These were issued one year shy of Columbus’s 500th anniversary of his first American voyage.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

1893 Columbian Exposition Commemorative Postage Stamps Part I Of II


I cannot imagine a world without commemorative postage stamps. I love the variety, colors, shapes, types, people, smells, characters and sizes. In my humble opinion, I think collecting commemorative stamps is the best part of stamp collecting. I shutter to think of a world without them. Thank goodness I don’t need to!

The first ever commemorative postage stamp was issued in 1893 to commemorate the Columbian Exposition, which was held in Chicago, Illinois. These controversial stamps also marked the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the new world. These stamps were quite controversial for their time. John Wanamaker, the Postmaster General at the time, thought that commemorative postage stamps would become huge money makers. Congress on the other hand was not thrilled with the idea and issued a joint resolution that protested the “unnecessary” stamps.

History soon proved Wanamaker right as these postage stamps were a huge hit. Years ago, stamp collectors often tried to collect any postage stamp that was printed. They were upset at the high cost of the stamps though. The prices of the stamps ranged from 1 cent to $5. It was difficult to afford the entire set, which cost $16.34. The average weekly wage of that time period was about the same cost during 1893, so it was a financial strain for most collectors.

Please come back on Monday for more interesting information on this first ever commemorative United States postage stamp.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Favorite Children’s Books On Postage Stamps

There is no doubt that reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn in school. I was recently asked by a teacher to come and read a story to the class on “Read Across America” day at the end of February. I began to think about what book I would read and found a fantastic one that I remembered from my own childhood. As my thoughts usually do, I began to wonder what postage stamps have been issued commemorating beloved books for children. What a fun search.

I was happy to see that the book I had chosen to read to the classroom has also been made into a commemorative postage stamp. In 2006, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp pane called “Favorite Children’s Book Animals.”

Eight cherished animal characters from fantastic children’s literature took center stage in the series. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, (1969 and 1987) and “Maisy's ABC" by Lucy Cousins, (1994 in the United Kingdom and 1995 in the United States) were jointly issued with the United Kingdom's Royal Mail in January of 2006.

Other stamps in the series include: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (1963); “Curious George Flies A Kite" by Margret and H.A. Rey (1958); “Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White (1952); “Frederick" by Leo Lionni (1967); "Olivia" by Ian Falconer ( 2000); and "Fox in Socks" by Dr. Seuss (1965).

Each of these children’s books soared to great popularity and continually remain as a favorite choice for parents and children alike. These books certainly deserved to be depicted on these 39 cent postage stamps.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Jacqueline Cochran, American Aviator Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Friday…

Cochran began racing aircrafts in 1934 and soon set a new woman’s national speed record. By 1938, she was considered the best female pilot in the United States. She continued to set many flying records, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, was the first woman to fly a jet across the ocean, and was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic. She was known as the “Speed Queen” throughout her flying years. At the time of her death in 1980, she held the more aviation records for altitude, speed and distance than any of her contemporaries, both male and female.

Jacqueline Cochran is considered to be one of the most gifted racing pilots of her time. Cochran organized the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD), which trained women pilots on how to handle basic military flight support. She is also known for her contributions in the formation of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). The WASPs proved to be invaluable during the war effort. Under Cochran’s leadership, they transported planes overseas, tested military aircraft, and taught navigation to military men. Cochran was the first civilian woman ever to receive the US Distinguished Service Medal for her WASP work.

The Jacqueline Cochran postage stamps were issued in 1996. It is reported that at least one stamp collector in North Carolina purchased a block of 10 - 50 cent stamps in June of 1996. After arriving home, he realized that his stamps were missing one of the two black inks used during the printing process. His were missing the inscription at the lower left that says “Jacqueline Cochran Pioneer Pilot.” Has anyone else found any misprints on their stamps?

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Jacqueline Cochran, American Aviator Part I Of II


One of our readers recently requested that we showcase postage stamps that depict women pilots. I hope you enjoy reading about Jacqueline Cochran, who was a female pioneer American aviator.

Jacqueline Cochran, (a.k.a. Bessie Lee Pittman) was born on May 11, 1906 near Mobile, Alabama. Her family moved from town to town while her father set up and reworked existing saw mills. By the age of 14, Jacqueline married Robert Cochran who was a naval aircraft mechanic in Pensacola, Florida. After a few short years of marriage, Jacqueline filed for divorce and moved back to northwest Florida to be closer to her parents.

It was not long afterwards that Cochran became a hairdresser and eventually ended up moving to New York City. She worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and developed her own line of cosmetics.
In the 1930’s a friend offered her a ride on an airplane. Cochran fell in love with flying and soon began taking flying lessons. She learned to fly within an astounding three weeks time. She obtained her commercial pilots license within two years and began flying her own airplane around the United States promoting her cosmetic line called “Wings.” Cochran married Floyd Bostwick Odlum who was one of the ten richest men in the world at that time.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion to this story.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Stamps For Prince William’s 21st Birthday


Great Britain’s Royal Family is no stranger to having postage stamps issued in their honor. In fact, there have been stamps issued for family members since the beginning of their postage history. You can find various stamps with their image issued from many countries around the globe.

In 2003, Great Britain announced that they would issue a special commemorative stamp for Prince William’s 21st birthday. There were four stamps in the series with varying values. They were the first ever to be released in celebration of a Royal birthday. The Royal Mail printed 20 million of these princely postage stamps, which were quickly a best seller.

Critics have wondered if issuing these commemorative stamps were really a noteworthy event or if the Royal Mail was using Prince William as a way to make money from collectors and fans. Regardless of their motives, these stamps soared in popularity, not only in Great Britain, but around the world. The public could not get enough of these little images of the very popular Prince. Japan, Germany and the United States in particular, all clamored to get their hands on these stamps as well.

Prince William is the son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. He is next in line to the throne after his father. Check out the many Prince William postage stamps from around the world available at Stamp Center.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Canadian Recording Artists Postage Stamp


Stamp collecting traditionalists may cringe at the fact that Canada has now joined the small amount of nations that depict living people on postage stamps. I must say though, that I love these stamps! The stamps feature Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Anka and Joni Mitchell. These living Canadian musical icons still perform around the world today.

The stamp design was inspired by L.P. covers of each artist. Each stamp is actually square and features a photo of the artist at the height of their popularity. Additionally, each stamp features distinctive font types that depict the era.

The printing process was complex on these stamps. There is under-printing in metallic silver ink and then over-printing of the remaining colors. According to the Canada Post, the end result is a “lustrous sheen to the artists’ portraits, and lends a ‘platinum album’ feel to the shiny, disc-shaped stamp booklets and souvenir sheet.” The end result is a cool set that looks like a shiny compact disk.

I think these stamps are great! What a wonderful tribute to these talented performers. Stamp Center has these stamps in stock listed in their “Best Sellers of 2008” category. If you are looking for a wonderful addition to your collection, pick up the Canadian Recording Artists Postage Stamps today!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Muir Postage Stamps Part II Of II


In continuation to the post on Monday...
John Muir was born in Scotland in 1838. He moved to Wisconsin with his family in 1849 and experienced a very difficult childhood. When he was 22 years old he entered the University of Wisconsin. After four years there he began his travels, usually on foot, around the United States. Later in his life, he traveled to Alaska and discovered the Alaskan Glacier which was later named after him. He also led scientific expeditions to Asia and the Artic.

John Muir spent his lifetime educating others on how to conserve and enjoy the environment via his travels, writings and drawings.
In 1892, John Muir formed the Sierra Club. He served as the President until his death in 1914. The Sierra Club is instrumental in conservation efforts still today. They are dedicated to teaching others how to reduce our carbon footprint and live a “green” lifestyle. They also focus their efforts on finding ways for America to reduce our dependency on foreign oil while still protecting our beautiful land.

Because of John Muir’s efforts to save the coastal redwoods, California named one beautiful forest “Muir Woods”. Muir Woods is one of California’s prime landmarks and has been visited by millions of people from around the world.

John Muir certainly deserves to be memorialized by having two postage stamps issued in his honor.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

John Muir Postage Stamps Part I Of II


You must be a very important person to not only have one postage stamp, but two postage stamps issued in your honor. John Muir is just the person who deserves that homage. He was featured on a 5 cent postage stamp in 1964 and in 1998 he was featured as part of the Celebrate the Century series for the 1900’s. He is also featured on the back of the highly collectible California State Quarter.

John Muir was a famous conservationist who lived most of his life enjoying the wonders of beautiful Northern California. Through his travels, he was one of the first Americans to realize that our nation’s forests should be protected by the United States government. It was largely through John Muir's influence that Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park were established in California. He was an instrumental force in having the government form National Parks throughout the United States and is often referred to as “The Father of our National Parks.” His love for the environment can be found in his many writings and drawings.
Through his conservation efforts, he was able to end the over-logging that was occurring in Yosemite, California and thus helped save the remaining 300+ year old Giant Sequoias. Sadly, by the time that officials would listen to John Muir, over half of the beautiful trees were cut down and used for grape stakes and roofing shingles.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

New Zealand’s Hokitika Wildfoods Festival Stamp Set


There is an interesting event on the south side of New Zealand each year called the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. This yearly festival has been running for the past 20 years and draws crowds of 15,000+ people who want to experience eating strange food that cannot be found in the local grocery store.

The festival has become a premier event in Westland, New Zealand. Each year new wild foods are introduced. One of the weirdest was the wasp larvae ice cream. Like any good festival, local entertainment abounds, ranging from bands and solo singers to mimes and dancers. The festival has been awarded the “Most Unique Event in New Zealand” and the winner of the “New Zealand Tourism Award.” The untamed wilderness of Westland boasts glaciers, national parks,
lakes, rivers, wildlife and a rainforest.

To honor this crazy festival in 2005, New Zealand issued Europa stamps that could make your stomach churn. This special stamp booklet features West Coast Possum Pate, sheep’s testicles (that are an apparent delicacy), and worms. The stamp booklet also features actual award winning recipes so you can make your own strange food concoctions at home. The strange stamp set also features pictures of the festival participants having a blast and animal stickers.
If you are looking to add these strange Hokitika Wildfood stamps to your collection, Stamp Center has them in stock for you in their new “Strange and Unusual” category section.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps Part II Of II


Continuing from the post on Monday…

Like many other remote islands, one of the main sources of revenue is the sale of postage stamps, which are produced by the United Kingdom. There are a few sets of postage stamps issued from the island each year. The whale stamps have proven to be wildly popular over the years. The other sources of revenue for the islands come from fishing licenses, coin sales, harbor fees and an ever growing amount of tourism.

The islands are mountainous and ice and snow covered. The only land mammals that will be seen there are reindeer, which were introduced early in the 20th Century, and mice and rats. King Penguins and other penguin species call the island home. Whales and seals are also frequent visitors to the area.

Stamp Center has a new stamp category that they would like to share with everyone. This new “Strange and Unusual” category features many interesting stamps from around the world. For a limited time only, Stamp Center is offering an additional discount to customers who purchase these stamps. If you are interested in these super cute penguin postage stamps or other unusual stamps, pop over and take a look to see what is in stock.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps


I love when I find interested information that I can share with readers. These penguin stamps were issued from South Georgia which is an island that is located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This set of penguin stamps is sure to delight collectors everywhere.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory. These islands were previously governed as part of the Falkland Islands. Despite being a British territory, Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1938 and maintained a naval station there. Argentina’s claim to the islands contributed to the Falklands War in 1982, when Argentina briefly occupied the Island. To this day, the dispute over
these islands remains between Argentina and Great Britain.

South Georgia is the largest island in the group of islands. The only people to inhabit the islands are A British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists and support staff. If you are looking for a sunny destination, these are not the islands for you. The climate on the island and the surrounding water remains very cold year round so it is not very hospitable to humans.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Presidential Libraries


August 4, 2005 was a special day in American postal history. It was on this day that the United States postal service released a commemorative postage stamp to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955.

Some people may think that the Presidential Libraries are our wonderful tax dollars at work, but that would not be completely correct. According to The National Archives, the Presidential Libraries Act “provides for the transfer of Presidential papers and artifacts to the Federal Government. The law also provides for the construction of "presidential libraries" at no expense to the Government and for the transfer of these facilities to the Government along with the President's personal property.” Basically the libraries are privately built and federally maintained. Former Presidents are not required to supply their papers to the libraries, but it is strongly encouraged so that they will forever be preserved.

The issuance of this postage stamp was celebrated around the nation. Dedication ceremonies were held simultaneously at the Hoover, Truman, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton libraries as well as the Ford Museum.

Presidential libraries are important because they help Americans have an understanding of time specific history and our countries leaders at that time. They hold historical documents that showcase our country’s amazing heritage for generations to draw upon many years from now.
Stamp Center has this Presidential Libraries postage stamp, and other fine stamps, available every day.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Cabbage Patch Kids Stamp


Here’s a riddle for you all….What does the Space Shuttle, postage stamps, Olympic mascots, and videos all have in common? They all have experienced the phenomenon that is called the Cabbage Patch Kids! In 1983 they were all the rage. People fought over them in stores. Kids cried when they weren’t under the Christmas trees. They went on a mission in outer space. They became mascots for our United States Olympic teams and even traveled with the athletes
dressed in full Olympic attire. These yarn haired dolls even ended up in McDonald’s Happy Meals. They were the toy that was most in demand among kids and adults.

In 2000 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp commemorating the chubby faced baby. It was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century campaign representing the 1980’s.

The Cabbage Patch Kids postage stamp was part of a set with 15 stamps on the sheet. The American public voted on the stamps that would highlight the significant events that made the 1980’s special. Other stamps in the series included the Space Shuttle Program, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Video Games, Hip Hop Culture, Compact Discs, Cable TV, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Personal Computers, Musical Smash (Cats, the Musical),
Figure Skating, Hostages Come Home, San Francisco 49er’s, and The Cosby Show. Memories! Weren’t the 80’s fun?

It should be noted that the Space Shuttle Program received the most votes in this stamp series.
To purchase Celebrate the Century postage stamps, check out the fantastic stamps we have in stock for you.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Year 2000 Postage Stamp


It hardly seems possible that only nine short years ago it was the New Millennium. Predictions were that computers would stop working, water would stop running, ATM’s would crash so cash had to be kept on hand, and we would all have to resort to using candles because surely electricity services would be interrupted. Isn’t it great that none of those things actually happened in the United States?

One nice thing that did happen was the issuance of the Year 2000 postage stamp by the United States Postal Service. This chubby little naked baby postage stamp is one that would be a fantastic addition to any collection. Baby New Year sports a lovely black chapeau, is ringing in the New Year with a cow bell, and is blowing a horn with all his might.
The interesting thing about this particular stamp is that this Baby New Year first appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1937, almost forty years prior. The gold circle that appears behind the baby is a design element of the original magazine cover. The “2000” and the solid bar framing the image are unique to the stamp.

Please stop by Stamp Center and check out our many New Year postage stamps.

A special Happy New Year to all of my fellow stamp collectors!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things To Look Forward To In 2009

Well folks, it’s official. The United States Postal Service has released their list of commemorative stamps that will be available to patrons in 2009. The list includes a wide array of choices to be had next year. All of the stamps will be released at the 42 cent rate until the expected increase in stamp costs this coming May.

Here are the stamps (in no particular order) that I have found.

The Alaska Statehood

Lunar New Year – Year of the Ox

Oregon Statehood

Edgar Allan Poe

Abraham Lincoln – Rail Splitter, Lawyer, Politician and President

Miami University Stamped Card

Civil Rights Pioneers – Mary Church Terrell, Mary White Ovington, J.R. Clifford, Joel Elias Spingarn, Oswald Garrison Villard, Daisy Gatson Bates, Charles Hamilton Houson, Walter White, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and Ruby Hurley.

Love: King and Queen of Hearts

Wedding Cake

Wedding Rings

Bob Hope

Anna Julia Cooper

Flags of Our Nation (Set 3 of 6) – Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and the Stars and Stripes.

Flags of Our Nation (Set 4 of 6) – Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota and the Stars and Stripes.

Hawaii Statehood

Gulf Coast Lighthouses

American Treasures: Edward Hopper

Early TV Memories: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dinah Shore Show; Dragnet; Ed Sullivan Show; George Burns & Gracie Allen Show; Hopalong Cassidy; The Honeymooners; Howdy Doody; I Love Lucy; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Lassie; The Lone Ranger; Perry Mason; Phil Silvers Show; Red Skelton; Texaco Star Theater; Tonight Show; Twilight Zone; and You Bet Your Life.

Richard Wright

Thanksgiving Day Parade – Four stamps in the series.

Legends of Hollywood - Gary Cooper

United States Supreme Court Justices - Joseph Story, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and William J. Brennan, Jr.

Nature of America – Kelp Forest

Christmas – Madonna and Sleeping Child

Winter Holidays - Reindeer, Snowman, Gingerbread Man and Toy Soldier.

Angel with Lute

Hanukkah – Menorah

Kwanzaa – Family

Happy collecting everyone!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Crossword Puzzle Postage Stamp


The United States Postal Service issued the first ever commemorative postage stamp celebrating crossword puzzles. This adorable stamp was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century – 1910’s series on January 3, 1998. The Celebrate the Century series was the largest commemorative series ever issued by the USPS.

Crossword puzzles are wildly popular throughout the United States. They are the most popular word puzzle in the world. About 50 million people work crossword puzzles each day around the world. All newspapers in the country feature crossword puzzles in some section of the paper. These black and white grids can stump even the smartest of humans. Crossword puzzles are so popular, that they even have a day celebrating their existence…April 18th.

The first crossword puzzle was comprised by journalist Arthur Wynne. His first puzzle ran in the New York World on December 13, 1913. There are many types of puzzle to enjoy. The “Cryptic” crossword puzzles feature clues that are puzzles themselves. It’s no wonder that they can leave you scratching your head. The “Straight” or “Quick” puzzles have clues that are usually simple definitions for the answers. There are “Quiz” crosswords where the clues are in the form of questions. Some puzzles feature indirect clues where clues are taken metaphorically instead of literally. Originally, crossword puzzles were created by hand, but most today are created with the help of computer programs.

Regardless of your preference in puzzles, crossword puzzles will keep your brain sharp as a tack or cause you to pull your hair out in frustration!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

These Christmas Stamps Will Make Your Hungry



Nothing beats decorated homemade cookies around the holidays. In 2005, the United States Postal Service brought baking fun to your Christmas envelopes. These deliciously looking cookies will make you smile and remember the fun that baking brings, especially during the holiday season.

The Holiday Cookies commemorative stamp featured four 37 cent stamps. These festively decorated stamps have a Santa Clause, two snowmen, an angel and two cute elves made from gingerbread and sugar cookie dough. Did you know that long before glass ornaments, people decorated their Christmas trees with real cookies? Gingerbread was the most used cookie dough of the time as it held up longest.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy was on hand for the dedication ceremony which was held in Minneapolis at the General Mills Headquarters. There was an additional unveiling at the Postage Stamp Mega Event in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

These adorable stamps are made from photographs of actual cookies. Cookie creators made 1000 cookies just to find the perfect six for the making of these stamps. Sally Anderson-Bruce was the famed photographer of the cookies. She also served as the photographer of this year’s Nutcracker postage stamps.

If you are interested in purchasing these Holiday Cookie stamps or other Christmas themed stamps, stop by and check out our many selections.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Every Stamp Collectors Dream

Who among you in the stamp collecting world does not dream of a once (or maybe twice) in a lifetime find? One that is so spectacular that it leaves you dancing and screaming from one end of your home to another. You are going to love this story. Maybe, just maybe, one day the same will happen to you!

Denny Moreau has been a stamp collector for 35 years and belongs to the American Philatelic Society. Mr. Moreau is a recently retired Las Vegas Casino worker. An average Joe; living a nice life in Las Vegas. With time on his hands, he decided to get back to work on his passion….stamp collecting. He happens upon a previously ignored box of stamps that he purchased from a friend 20 years earlier for $7.50.

This little box held many stamps that he believed did not hold any value. Upon further examination, he discovers what he believes to be one of the rarest stamps in history; a beautiful George Washington 2 cent red stamp with a completely intact perforation that is known as a Schermack. It should be noted that if he was correct, he would be in possession of 1 of the 40 rare George Washington stamps believed to be in existence.

He soon sent his stamp off to be authenticated, but was notified that it was not the stamp he was so excited about owning. Believing that he was correct, he decided to make an appeal on the opinion. A year after he had made his initial discovery, he received another registered letter stating that the stamp was in fact genuine. This was certainly the outcome that Moreau was hoping for.

Let the celebrating begin. It is not often that rare stamps are found. The stamp was sent to auction and fetched a whopping $109,250 (including the buyer’s commission).

Stamp collecting is great fun in its own right, but even grander when you find an unbelievable treasure!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Pay More For A Stamp Than You Should?


So why would anyone pay more for a postage stamp than they should. This entry is not about being ripped off by some unscrupulous stamp seller. It is however, about semi postal stamps.

A semi postal stamp is a stamp that is issued to raise money for some sort of charitable cause. The cost of the stamp is inflated above the cost of the normal postage stamp. Sometimes these types of stamp show the normal postage rate, but consumers pay a higher rate to help support the cause. Other times, a stamp will show two denominations that are joined with a plus sign. Purchasing these types of stamps is completely voluntary.

The first occurrence of a semi postal stamp was issued to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in Victoria and New South Wales. These 1897 stamps were sold for 12 times the face value of the actual postage.

In Switzerland and Belgium, stamp collectors prefer collecting semi postal stamps over regular postage stamps. Most of the time, these type of stamps out-sell regular stamps with the public as well.

The first semi-postal stamp was issued in the United States in 1998. This stamp helped support and bring awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp


On March 2, 2004 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as “Dr. Seuss”. The stamp was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize winning author’s birth. The stamp was released during the “Seussentennial: A Century of Imagination” year long celebration that occurred in schools, libraries and book stores around the United States. The 37 cent postage stamp features a picture of Dr. Seuss as well as six of his favorite characters from his books.

Dr. Seuss books have thrilled young children for years. The whimsical stories, many with words that make no sense at all, make children laugh out loud. There are 44 different children’s books to his credit. All have the lovable characters and silly rhyming words.

His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, was initially rejected by 27 publishers before it was finally printed to a population who loved his new type of writing style. Interestingly enough, Dr. Seuss’ publisher had read a report on how most school children had trouble reading because they thought their books were boring. So he challenged Dr. Seuss to create a fantastic children’s book that would be exciting and fun for the kids to read. The end result of that challenge was the finished copy of “The Cat in the Hat”; which is one of the most read children’s books of all time.

You can find Dr. Seuss and other fine postage stamps at Stamp Center!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Valley Of The Yosemite Postage Stamp



The beautiful Yosemite Valley was chosen by the United States Postal Service to be featured on a postage stamp this year. The stamp depicts a copy of the 1864 oil painting of the “Valley of the Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt. This stamp is the 8th issuance in the American Treasures series. The American Treasures series showcases beautiful works of American fine arts and crafts.

Albert Bierstadt was a renowned artist of his time. He is best known for his large landscape paintings of the American West. This is not the only postage stamp that showcases a Bierstadt painting. In 1998, as part of the United States Postal Service’s Four Centuries of American Art series, commemorative stamps were issued for his “The Last of the Buffalo” painting as well.

Yosemite is located in the central Sierra Nevada in California. This National Historic Park boasts over 3.5 million visitors each year. Although Yosemite is 1189 square miles (about the size of Rhode Island), most visitors spend the majority of their visit in Yosemite Valley which is about 7 square miles. Yosemite is home to many species of plants and animals that can only be found at Yosemite. Its granite cliffs, waterfalls, Giant Sequoia’s, streams and wildlife continue to thrive and draw visitors from around the world each day.

Check out our website for more information on this beautiful stamp.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday…

Lake Mead is the reservoir that is created behind the Dam. There are 8 to 10 million visitors who enjoy the lake and its surroundings each year. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the fifth busiest National Park in the United States.

Hoover Dam was named after Herbert Hoover, who was one of the key people who made sure that the dam was completed. Hoover began his quest prior to becoming president, but worked diligently on the project once he was in office. In 1932, Hoover lost his bid for re-election to Roosevelt. Much to many people’s dismay, Roosevelt’s new Secretary of
the Interior, Harold Ickes, decided to change the name of the dam to Boulder Dam. In 1945, Roosevelt died and Ickes retired. In 1947, California Congressman Jack Anderson introduced a bill that would change the name back to “Hoover Dam”. With almost unanimous support in the House and Senate, the original name was restored.

Here are some interesting facts about the Dam.

The concrete is still cooling some 73 years later. Hoover Dam became a National Historic Landmark in 1985. It was completed more 2 years ahead of schedule. There is enough concrete in the Dam to pave a two lane highway from New York to San Francisco. There are two lanes of traffic across the top of the Dam. Because of September 11th, a new bypass is being built to divert traffic away from the top of the Dam. It is expected to be completed in 2010. Currently about 13,000 to 16,000 people travel across the Dam each day. The bottom of the Dam has 660 feet of concrete.

Stamp Center has the Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp available to purchase.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp Part I Of II


The Hoover Dam is a fantastic National Historic Landmark. It is great to see that it has joined the ranks of other such landmarks that have been honored with a postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.

The Hoover Dam is located on the border of Arizona and Nevada on the Colorado River. It is an amazing structure that was completed in 1935. At the time, it was the largest dam ever built. As of today, it is the second largest. This structure provides electricity to surrounding states as well as California.

Boulder City, which was located in Nevada, was constructed as a city to house all of the workers who would spend years making the dam into reality. Once built, it was illegal to drink alcohol, gamble or engage in prostitution during the period of construction. It was not until 1969 that alcohol was sold in Boulder City. To this day, it is the only location in Nevada that does not allow any gambling.

The making of the Dam was crucial to families as the Great Depression was beginning and many people were out of work. At the time, there was no structure that had ever been constructed like the Hoover Dam. Engineers had their work cut out for them. It was estimated that the concrete would take 125 years to cure if left to its own devices. Special cooling coils were installed throughout the entire Dam to speed up the curing process.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Looney Tunes Postage Stamps


Some stamp collectors collect historical stamps, and some collect stamps from specific countries, while others choose to collect the more fun loving type of stamps. The great thing about stamp collecting is that there are so many different varieties of stamps available to choose from. That is why stamp collecting is enjoyed by so many people, from so many walks of life.

This Looney Tunes stamp set was issued in 1998 by the United States Postal Service. It features the always fun loving and definitely silly characters, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. This sheet of 10 self adhesive stamps was the second set in the series issued to commemorate Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters. The set was issued in two formats. There was a perforated and an imperforated type to choose from. With both formats, there is die-cutting between the nine stamps on the left hand side of the pane.

Other stamps in the series include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, and the Porky Pig stamp sets. Fitting enough, the Porky Pig was the last set issued and had printed on the pane “That’s All Folks!”
Stamp Center has adorable Looney Tune stamps available, below book cost, to add to your collection.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

13 Mile Woods Definitive Stamp


In May of 2008, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp that is part of the Scenic American Landscapes series. This 72 cent definitive stamp showcases the 13 Mile Woods which is located at the New Hampshire – Maine border. The 13 Mile Woods includes 9 miles of waterfront on the gorgeous Androscoggin River.

The Town of Errol, where the 13 Mile Woods is located, worked to acquire the land from the US Forest Service in order to conserve this beautiful forest. The area is filled with haunting beauty and features wildlife such as the red tailed hawks and white tailed deer. The land also features a rare forest flood plain, trout streams, and mature hardwood and softwood forests.

Many politicians in Washington hopped on board to help save this beautiful area from development as well. Besides conserving this lush land, the new Community Forest will offer the town of Errol, which has struggled financially in the past, with a recreational area for hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and snowmobiling. New Hampshire is considered to be one of the best vacation destinations for families. The purchase of the 13 Mile Woods is sure to provide an economic boost to the area for years to come.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Stamps...Or Not


Class movie monsters are about as American as apple pie. Did you know that there have never been any postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service to celebrate Halloween? You would think that with stamps issued for seemingly everything else, that there would be a Halloween issue as well, but sadly there is not. You can however purchase cute Halloween stamps from several of the online photo printing sites that the Postal Service has approved. There are even stamps with “dark”, gothic themes available for purchase on some of the sites.

On September 30, 1997, the USPS did issue stamps called the Universal Monsters. They were appropriately released at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. These spooky stamps were certainly fun stamps to collect. The stamps featured several of the movie classic monsters made popular in years long past. There was The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, and The Wolf Man in the set. These stamps are watercolor paintings that show
amazing skin coloring. The USPS even released t-shirts (among other collectible items) depicting the individual stamps on them. They came in a collectible box and were a huge hit to fans.

To purchase these cool, non-Halloween, but spooky none-the-less, stamps, visit this website. These stamps are hard to find and a great addition to any collection.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Choose A Midwife Postage Stamp


National Midwifery Week was celebrated by the American College of Nurse-Midwives this past week with an issuance of a postage stamp that was authorized by the United States Postal Service. This personalized stamp was produced through the online stamp producer, photostamps.com.

The “Choose a Midwife” postage stamp features the logo of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, a stamp with a newborn infant, a baby holding it’s mothers finger and a beautiful picture of a very pregnant female midsection.

Certified Midwives have been dedicated to the health and well being of women and their families in the United States since the early 1920’s, however; women have been attending births in America since the first colonists arrived in North America. The practice of midwifery was established because of the high rate of maternal and infant mortality. Prior to the 1920’s, for every 1000 births, 124 infants passed away. Would-be mothers also experienced similar
statistics.

Mary Breckinridge was a pioneer who established guidelines for nurse-midwifery in the United States. Her work helped many families in isolated areas receive heath services. It was not uncommon for nurses to visit their patients via horseback. Her devotion to keeping women and babies safe can still be felt today amount nurse-midwives and midwives.

Currently there are over 7,000 certified nurse midwives who practice in every State. These dedicated providers deliver 8 percent of the babies born in the US. Nurse midwives have helped tremendously in the reduction of mortality rates and provide well established medical care for people who do not want to experience the traditional ways of pregnancy and child birth.

These lovely stamps can be viewed by clicking here.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Jim Henson And The Muppets Stamps


Jim Henson and his merry band of friends were featured in 1995 with a series of postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. I must say that the stamps in this series are one of the sweetest sets ever produced.

The stamps celebrated the 50th anniversary of the television series that showcased Kermit the Frog, who is considered to be the alter ego of Jim Henson. Jim Henson, who was world-renowned for being a director, producer, writer and puppeteer, is also commemorated in the series. The stamps showcase some of the most popular characters of The Muppet Show. There is Kermit the Frog, Sam the Eagle, Statler and Waldorf, Animal, Rowlf the Dog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker, and The Great Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken.

Besides having incredible digitally enhanced photographs of all of the characters, there is one surprise for would be collectors of these stamps. On the back of each stamp sheet there are humorous autographed notes from each of the Muppet characters.

Jim Henson died at the very young age of 54. Even today he is considered to be a creative visionary and entertainer who made a difference in the world.

These stamps are sure to be a great addition to any collection. If you are interested in purchasing this adorable stamp series, click here.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Take A Great Big Whiff


The great thing about stamp collecting is that you can collect whatever sparks your interest. Scratch and sniff stamps are some of the stamps that I find the most fun and interesting to collect.

The first scented stamp was released by Bhutan in 1973. It featured six stamps in the series, all with a beautiful rose scent. During the production of the stamps, each stamp was perfumed to smell like a rose by soaking in rose essence. Each stamp smelled like the rose that was depicted on the individual stamp.

The scratch and sniff technology has been around for quite some time (since the 1940’s). You might be wondering how scents are captured onto the actual stamps. The process is called Micro-encapsulation. Tiny particles (essence) are surrounded by a microscopic coating. When the surface is scratched on a stamp, only a few scented particles are released at a time. The scent will last easily for 5 years if not longer depending on the amount of scratching done
to the stamp.

Since the successful launch of the scented stamp in Bhutan, many other countries have released their own scented stamps. Flowers are by far the most popular scented stamp produced.
Keep a watch out for more scented stamp news that will be coming soon. Click here to view an amazing array of stamps and stamp collecting products.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ball Game Stamp


“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowds, buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…..” This song is probably one of the most recognized songs in American history. It is traditionally sung at baseball games throughout the country during the 7th inning stretch.
It seems only fitting that the United States Postal Service has issued a postage stamp commemorating the song as well as the tradition of American baseball.

On July 26, 2008, a Digital Color Postmark Keepsake stamp, as well as a full pane of 20 stamps was released. The stamp celebrates the 100 year anniversary of this fantastic song.
Take Me Out To The Ball Game was composed by Jack Norworth in 1908. It was written on a piece of scrap paper while he rode the subway in New York City. Norworth was a successful vaudeville entertainer and songwriter who is famous for writing and performing “Shine On Harvest Moon”.

He wrote Take Me Out To The Ballgame in a mere 15 minutes. He quickly joined with Albert Von Tilzer who then wrote the music to the words of the song. The funny thing is that neither man had ever even attended a baseball game prior to writing the song.

An interesting fact about the song is that the part that we all sing at baseball games is only the chorus. There are also 2 verses (and two versions) that are not known and never sung at ball games. Another fun fact about the song is that if a baseball game reaches the 14th inning stretch, the song is sung again. It was even sung in the spring of 2008 at the 21st inning stretch at the Rockies vs. Padres game!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Bette Davis Stamp Coming This Friday Part I Of II


Get ready fans, the Bette Davis postage stamp is almost here. This coming Thursday, September 18th the new Bette Davis commemorative stamp will be released. The stamp marks the 100th anniversary year of Bette Davis’ birth.

The film diva is the 14th inductee into the wildly popular, Legends of Hollywood series; that has been released by the United States Postal Service. Bette Davis’ marvelous career spanned 60 years of performances. She won two Academy Awards and was the first female to receive ten Academy Award nominations for best actress.

There are several commemorative items available from the USPS. There is the First Day Cover Commemorative Stamp, Ceremony Program, Digital Color Postmark, Full Pane First Day Cover, and Cancellation Keepsake Digital Color Postmark available for collectors. First Day of Sale Postmarks will be available for 90 days at the Cape Coral and Ft. Myers posts offices in Florida.
First-day postmark requests should be mailed with a self-addressed stamped envelope to Customer Relations, 79 Mid Cape Terrace Suite 8, Cape Coral, FL 33991. A postmark for Cape Coral or Fort Myers should be specified.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Britain's Air Display Stamps Part I Of II


These new stamps are super cool! They were released in England on July 17, 2008. The six stamps featured in the series are sure to delight flight enthusiasts and stamp collectors from around the world.

The Red Arrows from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is honored on two of the stamps in the series. One stamp shows the airplanes using their trademark red and blue vapors painting the sky and the other shows a young boy watching as seven planes fly in formation overhead. The Red Arrows were formed in 1964 when the Royal Air Force combined all of their aerobatic teams into one single unit. They perform their amazing synchronized feats around
the world.

Another stamp honors the Royal Air Force Falcons which is the famous parachute team from the RAF. Each branch of the service has their own parachute regiment in England. The Falcons are famous for performing their freefalling and canopy maneuvers at speeds of up to 180 mph.

Cold War airplanes, The Avro Vulcan Protype and Avro 707’s, are also included in this stamp issue. These Royal Air Force V shaped bombers served as a nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The planes have been out of service since 1984.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Prince Caspian Stamps

New stamps out of New Zealand are sure to delight the Chronicles of Narnia fans. New Zealand is celebrating it’s place as an amazing filmmaking location for both Chronicle movies to date; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The next movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is set to be filmed in Mexico.
In these stamps, there is a set of four Prince Caspian stamps and covers that depict Peter, Susan, Caspian and Pevensies on the beach.

Those purchasing the Prince Caspian stamp issue will enjoy five first day covers. One cover features the four stamps in the set and the others feature miniature sets that depict Prince Caspian, Queen Susan, High King Peter and the four Pevensie children. Each main character is shown in various Prince Caspian locations that are simply stunning.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels that were written for children. The books were written from 1949 to 1954 by C.S. Lewis. They have been translated into 41 languages and over 100 million copies have been sold worldwide. Narnia is a place where animals talk, good battles evil and magic is commonplace.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Duck Stamp


Well this stamp is not a stamp that was issued by the United States Postal Service, but it is a stamp. I thought that perhaps someone might be interested in this stamp if you like waterfowl or like conservation efforts.

Today is the First Day Sale of the Federal Duck Stamp. The unveiling of this stamp was held today in Hanover, Maryland by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with Bass Pro Shops which have 44 retail stores nationwide.Federal Duck Stamps continue to be sold annually. Sales of these stamps have been a vital part of wetland habitat for many years. Every US state has at least on National Wildlife Refuge that has benefited from the sales of these duck stamps.
The US Fish and Wildlife Services produce the Federal Duck Stamp. All hunters over the age of 16 are required to buy these stamps each year in order to hunt any type of waterfowl species. Duck stamp sales raise more than $25 million for conservation efforts. So far, more than $700 million have been collected since the beginning of this program. Purchasing this stamp will also give you unlimited entrance to any National Wildlife Refuges that charge admission fees.

For additional information on the Federal and Junior Duck Stamp program, or information on how duck stamp funds have benefited a refuge or schools in your state, visit the duck stamp home page at: http://duckstamps.fws.gov/.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

747 Jumbo Jet Stamp


The Boeing 747 was honored with a United States postage stamp in 1999 as one of the most significant technological advances of the 20th Century. The stamp was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century series. The public was asked to cast ballots over a two year period. Millions of votes later and the 747 Jumbo Jet stamp was born. The Wright Brother’s first flight in 1903 and Charles Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic in 1927 were also honored
with a stamp in the same series.

The 747's enormous size, along with its signature fuselage hump, has made it the most recognized commercial jet airliner in the world. Boeing has built 15 different 747 models over the years, and has delivered more than 1,200 in all -- clearly demonstrating the airplane's versatility, popularity, longevity and value. Oddly enough, the 747 almost never came to be. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson almost put the kibosh on the 747 designs. He was eventually convinced that the development of the 747 was in the nation’s best interest because it would allow more people to fly for less money.

In Everett, Washington where the 747 was born, there is a giant 70 foot square image of the postage stamp painted on the hangar doors. It’s the world’s largest stamp, on the world’s largest building, where the world’s largest commercial airplane is built. You can also visit the original 747 at Boeing Field.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Purple Heart Definitive Stamp

The Purple Heart Stamp is a unique stamp that depicts a military medal that is bestowed upon some of America’s finest men and women. It was first issued on May 20, 2003. The stamp features the medal's image - a profile of George Washington on a purple background within a heart-shaped medallion.

In 1782, General George Washington began issuing the “Badge of Military Merit” to only the lower ranking soldiers. It consisted of a heart that was made of purple cloth. After the Revolutionary War, the award was discontinued. In 1932, on Washington’s 100th birthday, the award was redesigned and put back into military service, where it remains today.

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded in combat or to the next of kin of those who are killed in action. Over 1.5 million United States Veterans have received this medal.

The second issuance was released on May 27, 2006 at the 75th Anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The third issuance was released on August of 2007. Stamps have now been issued in 37cent, 39 cent, 41 and now 42 cent values.

In May of 2008, seven US Senators wrote a letter to the Postmaster General asking that the USPS make the Purple Heart Stamp a “forever stamp”, thereby paying continued respect to our service members by making the stamp a constant reminder of their sacrifices to our country. If you support this idea, contact your Senator and ask that he/she support the Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act that is currently in the US Senate.

Visit www.stampcenter.com to purchase these stamps with the 37 cent valuation.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Harry Potter Stamps


There is no doubt that JK Rowling’s creation of the Harry Potter books has changed the reading habits of both the young and old worldwide. On July 17, 2007, Great Britain released a series of stamps that showed recognition to the author and fans alike.

The stamps of the bespectacled hero, Harry Potter were a huge hit even before hitting the post office shelves. It is estimated that about 340,000 people pre-ordered the stamps. This sets a new record that beats out the 300,000 pre-orders set of Beatles stamps that were previously released by the Royal Mail.The stamps were on sale for one month in Britain and available online for one year. The last day to buy these stamps online is July 17, 2008.

There are seven First Class stamps in the series. Each stamp features the sleeve artwork from the Bloomsbury editions of each of the seven Harry Potter books. The titles are: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and, of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

There are also five stamps that feature the crests of the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and its houses that were released (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin). Fans who order online can personalize the stamps by placing their picture alongside the crest of their favorite house.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh That Sweet Chocolate Smell

Certainly one of the sweetest smelling stamps of all time came from Switzerland. The stamps were produced to mark the 100 year anniversary of Chocosuisse, which is the association of chocolate makers and importers.

These special chocolate scented commemorative stamps were released in May of 2001 and enjoyed wide popularity by the buying public and collectors alike. The stamps were sold in blocks of four or fifteen with paper that was designed to look like the foil wrapping on a candy bar. A light rub of a finger activates the special coating that in turn
will release the sweet aroma.

Initially the idea was to have the stamps not only smelling like chocolate, but also tasting like chocolate. Since extensive licking could destroy the stamp, and quite frankly, is not very hygienic, the tasting portion of the stamp idea was thrown out. People were left with just the sweet smells of chocolate that were sure to leave you wanting more. The scent was purely artificial and stored in millions of minute pellets that were held on by a slim layer of
varnish. (Now that does not sound very tasty at all!)

I am an avid chocolate fan. I would love to own some of these special stamps!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Silly Stamp Information

I am very fond of postage stamps that are made in different shapes. Designs can be found in heart, triangle, rhombus, octagon and circle stamps. Tonga even had banana shaped stamps from 1969 to 1985. Sometimes, postal administrators have tried experimenting with different types of shapes, but such changes did not go over very well with the public. In the 1970’s, in an effort to save money, the United States Postal Service released a stamp that was very tiny. The public hated it and the idea has not been repeated since.

When a stamp is successful, there is little notice from the public, but stamp collectors are giddy with excitement. When a stamp is unsuccessful, there can be an ugly uproar from both the Philatelic societies as well as the public. One notable mistake that the USPS produced came in the 1970’s. They released a stamp for anti-alcoholism that seemed like a good idea in the design process. But, when it came time to sell the stamps, the public was not interested. Imagine receiving a letter with the words “Alcoholism: You Can Beat It!” on the envelope. People
wondered if the sender was giving them a subtle nudge toward attending AA meetings. Chalk that one up to “not a good idea”. That one did not sell.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Stamp Auction

Do you have an extra million dollars lying around? If so, there is an auction coming up in New York City that you might be interested in. The entire collection is estimated to be worth $5 million!

The Islander Collection auction will feature a historic collection of early South American postage stamps from the 1800’s. There are more than 300 rare stamps in the collection. Most stamps are from the 1840’s and 1850’s. The stamps originate in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. The stamps have been displayed at international exhibitions for decades. This is the first time that the collection has been gathered together in its entirety.

Brazilian stamps that are nicknamed the “Bull’s Eyes” will be sold as well as the most famous and valuable item in Brazilian philately, which is called the “Pack Strip”. The strip has two 30-reis and one 60-reis stamps joined together. They are estimated to sell for $1 million plus for just these stamps. A stamp from Argentina, that is the only surviving one-peso head to foot pair of stamps, which are printed upside down to each other, will also be for sale. There are many more treasures to be had in this auction.

The auction will be held on June 5 and 6th. Visit www.SiegelAuctions.com for more information. Bids will be taken both online and in person. The owner of the collection is a retired professor of economics. He lives outside of the United States and as of now, wants to remain anonymous. It will be fun to see how much the stamps actually go for. That’s a lot of dough!

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Potential Childhood Cancer Stamp...Help Needed Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Wednesday.

Childhood cancer continues to be the number one disease that children will die from in the United States. More children will die from Cancer than AIDS, Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis and Diabetes combined. Currently about 80 percent of children survive Cancer in comparison to the 10 percent of children who survived in 1950. Many breakthroughs in childhood Cancer have helped with the survivability of adults. Often times drugs tested on children will in fact benefit adults instead. Only 4 percent of the money donated to the American Cancer Society goes to the funding of
pediatric Cancer.

The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation is looking for help from the public. They want to have a stamp issued to bring attention to the issues of childhood Cancer that are facing many American families.

They are asking that letters be submitted to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee so that they will consider distributing a stamp. They have a letter template made for anyone who would like to submit a request to have a stamp made honoring these children who are fighting for their lives daily. The template is not required to be used. Feel free to write your own letter if you so choose.

Letters of support can be submitted to:

Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 5670
Washington, D.C. 20260-2437

Please consider helping this great cause and help bring awareness of childhood Cancer to the forefront. For more information or to obtain the sample letter template, to visit the Candlelighters website at www.candlelighters.org .

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Potential Childhood Cancer Stamp...Help Needed Part I Of II

Each year the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee reviews stamp subjects that are submitted by the public at large. Through their approval process, they only consider stamps that are “events and themes of widespread national appeal
and significance.”

There are currently stamps released for diabetes, organ donation, hospice, breast and prostate cancer, but none for pediatric or childhood Cancer. There are thousands of requests submitted each year for consideration. It is quite
possible that they do not know the widespread national significance of childhood cancer. Now is the time to let them know that Cancer can affect any of the children in our great country and those affected should be recognized. All we are asked to do is write a simple letter to help make this stamp a reality.

Here are a few interesting facts about pediatric Cancer…

Childhood Cancer strikes approximately 12,500 children each year. That is the equivalent to two average size classrooms diagnosed each day in the United States. Just like adults, Cancer can strike at any time. With children, there are not usually contributing factors…example: smoking. Children typically get different types of Cancer than adults do. There are over 40,000 children that are currently receiving treatment in the United States.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion of this post.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol Stamps

Good news for fans of the extremely popular television show, American Idol. The producers of the show have teamed up with stamps.com to distribute stamps depicting the past winners of the show. All proceeds of the stamps will go to the Idol Gives Back Foundation that was established with wide success last year. The charity’s focus is on helping six different charities: the Children's Defense Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More, Save The Children, U.S. Programs and the Children's Health Fund.

The first stamp to be released was of Kelly Clarkson, who was the winner of the first season. Stamps for Rubin Studdard and Fantasia Barrino are also currently available. The next stamps to be released are for Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and whoever will be the winner of the show this season.

There will only be 2000 sheets available per Idol winner, per state. Each sheet has 20 stamps. Each sheet will cost $19.99. The shipping is free. One hundred percent of all of the proceeds will go directly to the Idol Gives Back Foundation.

There are some big corporate sponsors with this charity. Ford, Exxon, AT&T, Allstate, Coca-Cola, I Tunes, News Corporation and Aid Fund are all huge supporters.

If you are interested in purchasing these fun stamps, visit www.stamps.com or americanidol.com for more information. My guess is that with the popularity of the show, these stamps will not last long and maybe will spark interest in

new stamp collectors worldwide.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Mars Pathfinder Stamp


On December 10, 1997, the United States Postal Service paid tribute to NASA’s Mars Pathfinder mission. The stamp is a $3 Priority Mail stamp which features a panoramic view of the Martian landscape with the rover still stowed on a petal of the Pathfinder lander.

The image on the stamp was one of the first images that were transmitted after the Pathfinder landed on Mars on July 4, 1997. The Sojourner had exited the Pathfinders ramp within 24 hours of arriving on Mars, providing more images of the amazing landscape on Mars.

With sales expected to soar worldwide, there were 15 million stamp sheets printed for the first day issuance. The stamp sheet features information about the mission and about the image taken on the reverse side.

The Mars Pathfinder stamp was only the third stamp in US history to incorporate invisible images to prevent counterfeiting. There is hidden text that reads “Mars Pathfinder, July 4, 1997” embedded on each stamp. These letters/numbers are not visible by the naked eye. You will need a decoder lens in order to be able to see them.

The arrival of the Pathfinder on Mars was one of the most significant achievements in American space history. This stamp is certainly a great collectible item to have in your collection.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

U. S. Disney Magic – Sheet of 20

The third largest entertainment and media company in the world is The Walt Disney Company. It was founded in October 1923 by brothers Roy and Walt Disney. The company first began as a small animation studio. As of today, the empire now owns 11theme parks, several television networks and has one of the biggest Hollywood studios. They are headquartered in Burbank, California and enjoy astounding revenues.

Disneyland opened, after one year of construction, on July 17, 1955 to mixed reviews. On opening day, water fountains did not work, the park ran out of food, there was a gas leak that closed down much of the park, and the women’s high heels sank in the newly poured cement when they walked. Even today, Disney employees wear blank ribbons on July 17th, in remembrance of the failures of that day. By the second day of opening, the magic that was Walt Disney’s dream had come true. The press fully supported Disney and the visitors came by the thousands. To date, there have been over 515 million guests visiting Disneyland alone.

Some of your favorite characters have come together in an adorable display of United States Disney stamps. Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, Dumbo and Aladin can be found all together on one stamp sheet. Each sheet has 20 stamps on it. If you are interested in purchasing these, or other Disney stamps, visit www.stampcenter.com .

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

United Nations 1988 Save The Forests - Complete Set - Part II of II


In continuation from Monday’s post on global warming.

Growing a garden can help the environment as well. It will help with soil erosion and also reduce some types of air pollution. People should reduce their daily driving whenever possible. Bike riding or walking is not only great exercise, but it will help reduce the carbon dioxide in the environment. Plant a tree. The world’s forests are being depleted at an alarming rate. We all need the trees precious oxygen to survive. Water conservation is essential. Be sure to watch for leaks around your home. Make sure that your toilet is the 1.6 gallon flush toilet. Consider changing your washing machine to an “Energy Star” appliance. Not only will you use less water, you will use less electricity, thereby costing you less money in the long run.

It is believed that even if the current greenhouse gases are stabilized, the world will continue to see the effects of warmer temperatures and higher sea levels for another millennium. The damage is already done, but it is important for everyone to contribute to the preservation, restoration and improvement of our natural environment.

The United Nations is depicting the environmental issue – Save the Forests in beautiful stamps. The in-demand stamps represent Vienna, Geneva and New York. The beautiful forest greenery and fall foliage is shown on these stamps. Visit www.stampcenter.com if you would like to purchase this complete sheet of stamps.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

United Nations 1988 Save The Forests - Complete Sheets - Part I of II


Global warming is the increase of the average temperature of the ocean and Earth’s near surface air and its projected continuation. It is a topic well discussed in the news today. Scientists in major industrialized countries believe that global warming is due to the continuous release of greenhouse gases into the environment.
There is ongoing political and public debate on what changes need to happen to reduce the problems for our environment.

Going Green is not only a concept, but something that we must all do in order to preserve our plant for future generations. One way that you can help is to cut down on the use of energy. Every time you use your appliances, lights, heating systems or take a ride in the car, you are using vital energy sources. By reducing your consumption, power companies will be able to reduce their carbon dioxide output that is contributing to the greenhouse gas problem.

There are some simple things that you can do within your own household that will help the environment. By changing a standard light bulb with a compact florescent one, you will get more light for less money and thereby save energy. Recycling cans, plastic and paper is a great way of helping the environment. Keeping these useful items out of the landfills is essential in reducing methane gases.

Please check back on Wednesday for Part II of II.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Add a Blaze to Your Stamp Collection

It must take a lot to strap on all that gear, jump onto the speeding truck that could lead to your potential death, and then charge into a roaring fire, with only hope to will yourself to search for those lost, frightened souls. This is the daily job of the firefighters of the world, who are, quite possibly, the bravest people on Earth. To take on that kind of self sacrifice is, at once, the most noble, and the most dangerous thing anyone could do. While the average Joe sits at his kitchen table in the morning, grunting over a cold cup of coffee and marveling at a glance at an article in the paper about seven people saved from a house fire, these men and women live these stories and live them proudly, without any hesitation. With the dangers and threats that come with society in our day and age, there could not be enough of these courageous individuals.

Despite the great works these brave people do to serve our communities, unfortunately, their faces often fade away with the smoke. Take the initiative to give some more-than-earned recognition to the heroes of society, to the supermen and wonder women of our time. Let them shine on your letters, and let them not be forgotten. Purchase your set of firefighting saviors, today.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Forever Comes at a Cost

If you've been to the post office recently, you probably noticed that the officials of the U.S. Postal Service have issued a new kind of stamp. Not only is this possibly the most practical, beneficial, and investible stamp for snail-mailers; it is also causing the sale of postal stamps to skyrocket.

Year after year, countless numbers of people moan and groan because the postal stamps have increased in price by yet another three cents. In a matter of only thirty-two years, the price of stamps has been increased thirteen times. In the eye of the consumer, this is getting a little ridiculous. Mail is expensive enough, as it is. Why should we have to pile on spontaneous extra financial inconveniences? With the forever stamp, this is no longer an issue. The stamp, which can currently be purchased for forty-one cents, will continue to increase in price, over time; however, if one purchases the stamps when they are at the lower price, no matter when the stamps are used or what the current price of stamps is, first class mail can be sent using the forever stamp. So, in principle, the price of stamps could be raised to fifty cents, eighty cents, or even five dollars, and those with the forever stamps could still be sending their mail with the forty-one-cent stamp!

Naturally, people are catching on to this unbelievable deal and are stocking up! This is greatly increasing the profits in the stamp industry. However, one must take into consideration the possible aftermath of the forever stamps, in reference to the sellers. With the great rush to get a hold of these stamps, if everyone has a thick stack of forever stamps (which is likely, as the forever stamp costs the same amount as a regular first-class stamp that will eventually lost its value) and the purchase of updated stamps is no longer needed, logically, the postal service will fall into a spiraling decline.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Fantasy Impromptu of Stamps

You are sitting in your library on a rainy day, your company consisting of a dusty, old radio and a hot cup of jasmine tea. You turn the dial to your favorite classical music station. As you close your eyes and take in the magic which begins to embrace your very existence in that room, your ears are captivated and consumed by a whirlwind of notes and rhythms and harmonies and dissonances. That which hypnotizes you in all of its wonder and genius is none other than Frédéric Chopin’s breathtaking Nocturne Opus 72 no.1, and you instantly become whisked away to a romantic ballroom where the prodigy, himself, is caressing and pounding out each and every measure, with the precision of a savant, as your soul waltzes to the dark and intricate melody. Each note is significant to the whole, with every crescendo and decrescendo sending chills up your spine; you truly appreciate the great murder that is modern music. Such an experience is fairly typical for the average sophisticate with a refined taste in music. This feeling of complete and total enthrallment is most likely the reason why Chopin is considered to be one of the most talented and innovative musical geniuses in the vast history of piano.

Frédéric Chopin was born in the village of Zelazowa Wola, in Warsaw, Poland, on March 1, 1810, to a French father and a Polish mother. During the duration of his musical life, after he was recognized as a child prodigy at the age of eight, he grew in popularity as a master Polish composer of piano music during the Romantic period (1820 – 1869) and is still considered to be one of the greatest piano composers of all time. He proved to be quite the innovator, in many respects, including the invention of the ballade music form for piano and the innovation of structures, such as the nocturne, the sonata, the waltz, the impromptu, the etude, and the prelude. It was an unfortunate day when the keys of the grand piano grew silent, on October 17, 1849. Chopin died in Paris, of what some claim to have been a broken heart, resulting from an affair he’d had with the French novelist, Madame Dudevant, more commonly known as "George Sand." One must take into consideration, though, that the life of such a passionate being rarely ends in anything other than heartache and tragedy. The era of a great musical master had come to the end of its chapter, but the spirit of his passion, lived out through each note, was left to haunt the ears and souls of generations to come.

Commemorate one of the greatest musical prodigies of the nineteenth century with the 25th Piano Contest Musical Score stamp, featuring none other than Frédéric Chopin. It is certain to stand out in the harmony of your stamp collection.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Catch a Falling Star and Put It in Your Stamp Book


Next weekend it may look like the stars are falling when the Perseids put on their dazzling annual light display. My family was fortunate enough to catch the show one summer while on a camping trip to the Adirondacks. For hours we watched as one shooting star after another streaked across the sky. It was an amazing sight.

The Perseids meteor showers, so named because they appear to originate from the constellation Perseus, occur every year at this time. They become visible when Earth passes through the debris cloud of the Swift-Tuttle comet.

It only looks like the meteors are falling from the sky. Actually, Earth is plowing through the cloud of dust and rock, gravity pulling particles into our atmosphere. As they strike the atmosphere at speeds of more than 130,000 mph, the bits of rock burn up, leaving the spectacular trails we call shooting stars. Take a drive out into the country next weekend. The best viewing time will be between midnight August 12 and dawn August 13.

This amazing stamp from Australia makes it possible to capture a bit of falling star. A special 2006 issue, Australia's Mail from a Different World circle stamp features actual meteorite particles in its design. Examined by the prestigious Vienna Natural History Museum, the meteorite used is a 19 kg stone meteorite composed of the mineral olivine and identified as a H-chondrite meteorite.

The meteorite is believed to have originated in the Asteroid Belt that orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter. The portion of the meteorite not used in the production of the stamp series is on display at the museum. For more detailed information and to order, click the post title.

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