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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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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, 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:

Sierra Leone
St. Vincent/Canouan
St. Vincent/Union
St. Vincent/Bequia
St. Vincent – a couple of different ones to choose from
Grenada Grenadines
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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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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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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Friday, March 13, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Prince Rainier III is quoted as saying that stamps are “The best ambassador of a country.” Prince Rainier continued to add stamps and covers to the Royal collection throughout his years of reign. Each stamp in the collection is in chronological order and specifically classified. There are three main time periods that Prince Rainier’s collection maintains.
Les Precurseurs, otherwise known as the “Forerunners”, contains stamps that date back to 1641. This section also contains French and Sardinian postmarks used in Monaco and Menton. Those postmarks were issued prior to 1885 when Monaco began issuing their own postage stamps.

“Les Modernes”, otherwise known as the “Modern” section, dates back to 1921 and up through current day issues. Prince Rainier III and Prince Louis II postage stamps are stored in this set as well as many other commemorative stamps.

“Les Classiques”, otherwise known as the “Classics” feature issues issues of Monegasque stamps from 1885 to 1921 covering the reigns of Charles III and Albert I.

Many of the postage stamps that are in Prince Rainier’s collection can also be found at The Museum of Coins and Stamps in Monaco. The Prince founded the museum to allow the public to become more acquainted with philately. According to the Monaco’s official website, “The Rare Stamp Room is the high point of the Museum where priceless items are on display, including a « strip of 5 Charles III 5 franc stamps » and an envelope sent from Menton on 12th April 1851 with one of the first issues of the Sardinian stamp that was then used in the Principality.

Prince Rainier died on April 6, 2005. Stamp Center has the Prince Rainier III souvenir sheet as well as other beautiful postage stamps issued from Monaco in stock and ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part I Of II

Prince Rainier, who served as the longest reigning Monarch, is touted as having one of the finest stamp collections of all time.

In 1917, Prince Albert I of Monaco bought a collection from the late Reverent G.G. Barber, who was an English Pastor who took up residence in Monaco. In this collection there were many philatelic rarities which included stamps cancelled from 1851 to 1885. It also included the first Monaco stamps that were issued with the head of Prince Charles III in 1885.

The collection expanded when Prince Louis II bought a set of mint first issues of the reign of Charles III and of Albert I from renowned collector, Albin Harnish. In 1937, Prince Louis II created the Monaco Philatelic Bureau and Post Office, which supplied and housed all of the Monaco philatelic issues.

Inheriting the stamp collection upon his accession to the throne in 1949, H.S.H. the Prince Rainier III kept the tradition of collecting stamps for the Royal Family a top priority. He searched and then added various vintage stamps that had been previously missing. He took an active role choosing the subjects, colors, sizes and formats of all stamps that were to be issued from Monaco. In fact, a Monegasque stamp could not be issued until it was officially approved by the Prince himself.

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

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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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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 11, 2009

Honest Abe On Sale Now

The new set of Abraham Lincoln postage stamps were released by the United States Postal Service on Monday. The release ceremony was held in Springfield, Illinois at the Old State Capitol building where Lincoln spent many days as a lawmaker. These postage stamps commemorate the 200th birthday of this amazing past President. In keeping with his continued connection with Abraham Lincoln, President Barack Obama and other invited guests attended a banquet in Springfield on Monday to help kick off the release. Another special ceremony was also held at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island in front of hundreds of students and dignitaries.

The first day sales of these new postage stamps have drawn huge crowds already. It was reported that within a short time, the line to receive a free limited edition “first day of issue” envelope stretched around the Old State Capital. The free envelope contained all four first class stamps that were officially cancelled with a special Lincoln stamp, by the USPS. These 42-cent stamps show Lincoln as a rail splitter, a lawyer, a politician and a president.

Abraham Lincoln is one of America’s most treasured presidents. He is a hero and he serves as an example to all of the greatness that is the United States.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Could There Really Be Another One In Existence? Part II Of II

Continuing on from the post on Friday…

Cong fought in many battles in Laos and Cambodia and served in the military until 1973. During his battles, Cong was comforted by the stamps he was collecting from the battle field. He carried his collection in a nylon bag in his pocket. He was known for picking up stray envelopes from fallen soldiers who were both friend and foe. His commanders even gave him permission to take stamps from the enemy’s documents.

After Cong returned home in 1975, he was saddened to find that his remaining family members had lost his original stamp collection which had contained stamps from 147 countries. Being an avid collector, he began his collection again from the stamps he had collected in battle.

Cong currently has thousands of stamps in his collection. Most are Vietnamese stamps and many were issued during the war. In Cong’s current collection there is one orange stamp with an image of Queen Victoria and a price of 1 penny. Along the side it says “Post Office” and along the other it says “Mauritius”. Cong says that he was given the stamp in 1951 or 1952 while on business in Cambodia. He believes that this stamp is another very rare example of one of the first postage stamps ever produced. Experts have yet to confirm or deny his claim, but if it is the stamp he claims, it surely is the find of a lifetime.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Could There Really Be Another One In Existence? Part I Of II

Any serious stamp collector dreams of the day when they find a stamp that is so rare that people will beg to just be in the same room that it is in. Sometimes these treasures become family heirlooms and other times you will find them on the auction circuit bringing in a great deal of money.

One such collector in Vietnam may be the second proud owner of the Queen Victoria Orange that was published in Mauritius in 1847. Until today, it was believed that there was only one stamp of its kind in the entire world. That particular stamp was last sold at auction in 1993 for an amazing $1,072,260.

The collector, Le Phi Cong began collecting stamps with his school chums when he was in third grade. He is now 82 years old. Cong was a dedicated soldier until he returned home in 1945 after Vietnam fell to the French. In 1946, Cong soon found himself joining the resistance war and headed back into battle. Participating in war, did not squash his desire to continue to collect postage stamps.

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

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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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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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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Fast Ocean Navigation Postage Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday…

These stamps were by far the most artistic stamps ever produced by the United States Postal Service at that time. Because they had two colors, they required 2 trips through the printing press.

Several of the stamps featured the word “Fast” on them in the title. “Fast” signified how increased delivery speed of goods would help drive the slow economy. The stamps were available for sale for the duration of the World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York. The Exposition ran from May 1st through October 31, 1901. The Pan American Exposition showcased technical achievements and how that technology would benefit others living in the 20th century.

Interestingly, in December of 1899, there was wide speculation that the Pan American Exposition postage stamps would not come to fruition. The public and the philatelic communities were against having these stamps made. The main complaint was that the stamps would take up to much room on an envelope just as the Trans Mississippi Exposition and the Columbian Exposition stamps did before them. Both of these series were widely rejected because there were smaller stamps available to purchase at the same time.

Here’s one more bit of history for you. President McKinley was a huge supporter of the Pan American Exposition. While waiting in the receiving line at the exposition, he was shot 2 times by an assassin. He died 8 days later.

If you would like to purchase this amazing historical stamp or other great stamps for your collection, check out this site.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

The Fast Ocean Navigation Postage Stamp Part I Of II

The Fast Ocean Navigation stamp was issued by the United States Postal Service on May 1, 1901. This 10 cent stamp featured the American Liner steamship called the St. Paul. The St. Paul was famous for being the first commercial ship to be commissioned as a warship during the Spanish-American War.

This stamp was part of the Pan American Exposition (World’s Fair) stamp series. They were the first United States postage stamps of the 20th Century to be issued. The stamps were listed as commemorative, but they were in fact a means of promoting the World’s Fair.
The series depicted 6 different stamps, which were all the modern forms of transportation at that time. There was the Steamship, The City of Alpena. The stamp was called the “Fast Lake Navigation” and had a denomination of 1 cent. The “Fast Express” portrayed the Empire State Express which was the railroads out of New York Central and Hudson River Railroads. It was issued with a 2 cent denomination. The 4 cent stamp features an electric automobile. It is called the “The Automobile”. The 5 cent stamp features the bridge at Niagara Falls. It was the
largest single span steel bridge at that time. It is called “The Bridge at Niagara Falls”. The “Canal Locks at Sault de Ste. Marie” stamp has an 8 cent denomination. This stamp illustrates the spirit of international co-operation.
Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

William Tecumseh Sherman Postage Stamp

William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio on February 8, 1820. He grew up living with family friends and began his military career at the age of 16 years old. He was a graduate of the military academy at West Point. He is one of the 30 graduates and 2 distinguished attendees of West Point to ever appear on a postage stamp.

To this day, he is a despised legend in the South. His commitment to “total war” earned him the reputation of a fierce officer and commander. His strategy was always to economically cripple and psychologically intimidate his opponents. He did not hesitate to burn and destroy anything in his fighting path. Even civilians were subjected to his wrath and often met with an untimely demise.

Many historians regard him as a hero of the Civil War. He led the most famous march of 60,000 men from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864. This march soon brought the war to a conclusion.

Historians believe that had Sherman ran for President, he would have been elected. Sherman, however, never had any desire to serve in politics. After he left the military, he was unsuccessful in his career choices of becoming a banker and a lawyer.

Sherman has appeared on seven postage stamps of the United States, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. These four 8 cent stamps are lilac in color and were issued on March 21, 1893.
To see these and other neat historical stamps, click here.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Blue Mauritius On Display

Stamp collectors from around the world experienced a special treat at the WIPA Vienna International Postage Stamp Exhibition 2008 that was held in Austria last week. The legendary Blue Mauritius was on display for the world to see.

It arrived in grand style at the Schwechat Airport with security agents surrounding it. It is one of the most valuable and rarest postage stamps in existence today.
The Blue Mauritius was printed in 1847 and has a face value of two pennies. It was printed on the British Colony of Mauritius, which is an island that is located in the Indian Ocean. The Blue Mauritius is so valuable because it was one of the first stamps authorized by any British colonial government. Initially the stamp had the words “Post Office” printed on the edge of the stamp. Later versions of the stamp had the word “Post Paid” printed on the edge of the stamp.

The stamp has proven to increase in value as the years have gone by. There were initially 500 stamps printed, but there are only a couple known to currently be in existence. The last time this stamp was at auction, it sold for $3,829,500. It remains as the most expensive single Philatelic item that has ever been sold.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Japanese Peace Bell Stamp

The Japanese Peace Bell was created 1952. The bell was created as a way to remind people around the world of the pure value of worldwide peace. In 1954, it was given as a gift to the United Nations, from the Japanese people.

Interestingly enough, the bell was cast from coins that were donated by the delegates of 60 nations who participated in the Thirteenth General Conference of the United Nation Associations that was held in Paris, France in 1951, as well as coins and metals donated from individuals. This truly is a symbol of peace from many lands.

The Japanese Peace Bell of the United Nations is located in New York City at the UN Headquarters. It is housed in a Japanese cypress wooden structure. The base stone of the structure was donated by Israel as a symbol of their commitment to world peace. In inscription on the bell says “Long Live Absolute World Peace”. The bell is traditionally run only two times per year. It will toll on the first day of Spring and on every opening day of the United Nations General Assembly’s yearly session, which is in September.

A stamp series was issued in 1970 to commemorate the Japanese Peace Bell. Click here to purchase sets of 3 or 6, or the Souvenir Card of the Japanese Peace Bell stamp that was issued by the United Nations.

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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, February 15, 2008

Recalled Legends Of The West Series

The most infamous stamp error in United States history was unveiled in December 1993. The Legends of the West stamps was sure to be an extremely popular issuance, but nobody expected them to be as popular as they became.

One of the stamps in the series honored a celebrated African-American cowboy, Bill Pickett. He was credited with the invention of steer wrestling which is otherwise known as bulldogging.

Stamp artist Mark Hess designed the stamp using a famous photograph that had been published in several magazines. The problem was that the picture was not actually of Bill Pickett, but was instead of his brother Ben Pickett. The Pickett family informed the USPS that they had made a serious error in January 1994, after the stamps were released.

The stunned USPS announced a recall and destruction of all of the stamps. The second problem that arose was that five million stamps had already been shipped out to hundreds of post offices around the United States.

Once the error had become national news, the USPS discovered that there were 183 panes of the incorrect stamps that had already been sold to the public. In an attempt to off-set the price of reprinting the series, the USPS decided to sell, by lottery, 150,000 of the faulty panes.

If you are interested in buying this very collectible recalled sheet of 20 set, visit http://www.stampcenter.com/ for more information. They are even offering, for a limited time, a $25 discount on any of their US Classic stamps.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Juliette Low Stamp Part I of II

The founder of Girl Scouts of America is Juliette Gordon Low. She was born on October 31, 1860 in Savannah, Georgia. Nicknamed “Daisy”, by her loving family and friends, the sensitive and talented youngster did not know what great things lay ahead for her in her lifetime. A witty girl, she was well known for her love of animals and of many different types of art.

Following her school years, Juliette traveled throughout Europe and the United States. She married a wealthy Englishman named William Mackay Low on December 21, 1886. On her wedding day, a grain of rice; that was thrown by well wishers, lodged in her ear causing a puncture to her eardrum. She lost her hearing completely in that ear. This situation was even more unfortunate because since childhood, she was almost totally deaf in her other ear.

She continued to travel between the British Isles and America after she was married. During the Spanish-American war, Juliette returned to the US to help organize a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. After the war, she returned to her husband in England only to find that their marriage was disintegrating. Juliette Low was legally separated from her husband when he died in 1905.

Check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Jury Duty Social Awareness Stamp

The United States Postal Service released the Jury Duty Social Awareness Stamp on September 12, 2007. The stamp was made to call attention to the importance of jury duty service, which is the cornerstone of our democracy in the United States. The stamp features twelve diverse jurors in silhouette. The first day issuance ceremony highlighted Juror Appreciation Day, which salutes New York jurors annually.

Serving on a jury is a shared responsibility by all eligible citizens. Service should not be taken lightly. Under the US Constitution, the American jury system guarantees its citizens the right to a jury trial by their peers, if they so choose. Becoming a member of a jury is not always easy. There are questions that are asked to potential jurors from both the prosecution and defense. It is the goal of both sides to determine who is best to sit in judgment of their case.

In criminal cases, 12 jurors stand between the accused and the power of the government. The government must convince the jury of the accused person’s guilt, “beyond a reasonable doubt”. In civil cases, it is often easier to obtain a guilty ruling because jurors can make their decision based on a less stringent requirement of a “preponderance of the evidence”.

The United States Postal Service produced 40 million 41-cent Jury Duty Social Awareness stamps in a pane of 20. They may be purchased at http://shop.usps.com/.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Stamp

This Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stamp was issued in 1999. The stamp depicts Dr. King at the civil rights march in Washington, DC, where Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream.” speech to many onlookers.

Rumors have circulated around the internet that the stamp, and the series that it was issued in, is due to be discontinued and the remaining stock destroyed. The claim was that the United States Postal Service would do this because of lack of interest and lack of purchases by the general public. This rumor is completely false and nothing but an urban legend.

The series in question is one part of the “Celebrate the Century” series issued by the USPS. This series commemorates notable American people, places and events in the 20th Century. It is one of 15 souvenir sheet stamps notating special events in the 1960’s. The stamps featured in the series are: Barbie Doll, The Beatles, Ford Mustang, Green Bay Packers, “I Have A Dream”, The Integrated Circuit, Lasers, Man Walks on the Moon, The Peace Corps, Peace Symbol, Roger Maris, Star Trek, Super Bowl I, The Vietnam War and Woodstock.

Individual stamps are not available for purchase from the USPS, nor are the stamp sheets for this series because they are out of circulation. There is no threat of destruction. If you like the designs of this series and want to purchase them, some are still available from stamp collectors and vendors alike. The USPS produced wonderful stamps, separated by the decades, representing the entire 20th Century.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The World's First Postage Stamp On Display

Click into the Tehran Times by clicking our blog post title to see an image of the world's first adhesive post stamp that has just been put on display in Tehran.

This important stamp belongs to the personal collection of Mehran Eshraqi and was purchased at an auction about ten years ago.

The Penny Black, the world’s first official adhesive postage stamp, was issued by the United Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1, 1840. It features a picture of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).

Other items on display are: the first Iranian postage stamp which was issued during the reign of Nasser ad-Din Shah (1831-1896) and stamps depicting the Jangal (Forest) Movement, a movement founded by Mirza Kuchak Khan, an early twentieth century revolutionary.

Mr. Eshraqi has said that he is getting ready to put many of his stamps in his personal collection on sale and the proceeds will be used to benefit orphan children in Rasht.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Heroic Sacrifices Remembered in D-Day Stamps

On June 6, 1944, allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to turn the tide of World War II. "We weren't prepared for the chaos and all the disasters," said Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers at a memorial service held this week at the cliff side cemetery above the now calm beaches where the bloody assault took place 63 years ago.

Looking out over row after endless row of prim white crosses, Ehlers, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, French defense minister Herve Morin, veterans and survivors solemnly remembered the 9,387 war dead who lost their lives in the amphibious assault and subsequent operations. The invasion force battled entrenched German gun emplacements "so that this nation, this continent and this world could one day know the tidings of peace," Gates said. "For the French, it was the beginning of the advance of freedom," Morin said.

Sierra Leone is one of many countries that issued commemorative stamps to mark the 60th anniversary of World War II's most famous battle. The D-Day souvenir sheetlet of 8 shown above was issued in 2005 and is one of a series issued by Sierra Leone. Click the link to order. You'll find this and dozens of other D-Day and World War II commemorative stamps at County Stamp Center. Just click the post title to view our complete selection. Visit our website for all your philatelic needs.