Sunday, December 11, 2005


Say "ATM" and most people think of automated teller machine. However, to lots of collectors "ATM" means "Automatenmarken" or stamp from an automatic machine.

Philatelic ATMs started in 1969 in France. Since 1984, they have been fully recognized as valid stamps by the Universal Postal Uniopn (U.P.U.) Approximately 600 ATMs (also known as 'variable value stamps') have been or are currently being used by at least 62 postal administrations.

ATMs differ from the mechanical franking (meter labels) because they don't have a date printed on them. They can be used anytime, unlike meter labels which must be used immediately.

Josep Jove and Daniel Sanz have an interesting Web site that has some great examples from around the world and tells you everything you'd ever want to know about this branch of the hobby.

To visit their site, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM