Thursday, January 31, 2013

USPS Offers Special Valentine's Day postmarks

ABC TV's New York affiliate is reporting can get your cards postmarked from towns like Beauty, Kentucky; Bliss, New York; Hartsville, Tennessee; Loveland, Colorado; Paradise, Pennsylvania; Lovely, Kentucky; or Valentine, Nebraska.

It goes on to say, "For those of you who have the opposite message to send, you can have the cards postmarked from places like Sour Lake, Texas; Embarrass, Minnesota; Independence, California; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Diablo, California; or even Coward, South Carolina."

According to the report, "If you want to add any of these extra sentiments to their greeting cards, you can simply address the card to that special person, affix a First-Class Mail postage stamp and put it into a larger envelope, also with postage, address it to "Valentine's Day Postmark, Postmaster," and then add any of the locations listed above to get that town's postmark."

In order to make sure the greeting cards receive the special postmark and are delivered in time for Valentine's Day, requests should be sent to the cities above by Feb. 5.

To get the appropriate ZIP codes, click here

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posted by Don Schilling at 11:32 AM

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Postage Rates Go Up and Parcel Post Gets a Name Change

Starting today, the U.S. Postal Service® will implement a postage rate increase for all mail classes including First Class Mail®, Priority Mail and Express Mail along with many special services.

First Class Letters (1 oz.) will increase by one cent to $0.46 from $0.45. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.20 (no change).

Postcard rates will increase by one cent to $0.33 from $0.32

Parcel Post is being renamed Standard Post and will only be available for purchase at the Post Office.

A round "Global Forever Stamp" (shown above) is also being introduced to send a one ounce letter or postcard to any country in the world for $1.10.

For more information, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:36 AM

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?

Reporter Jesse Lichtenstein writes in February's Esquire magazine. "The postal service is not a federal agency. It does not cost taxpayers a dollar. It loses money only because Congress mandates that it do so. What it is is a miracle of high technology and human touch. It's what binds us together as a country."

In the article "Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?," Lichtenstein points out, "Today the postal service has a network that stretches across America: 461 distribution centers, 32,000 post offices, and 213,000 vehicles, the largest civilian fleet in the world. Trucks carrying mail log 1.2 billion miles a year. The postal service handles almost half of the entire planet's mail. It can physically connect any American to any other American in 3.7 million square miles of territory in a few days, often overnight: a vast lattice of veins and arteries and capillaries designed to circulate the American lifeblood of commerce and information and human contact."

"On October 1, the postal service defaulted on its second $5.5 billion health-care payment for the year. Around the same time, it reached its federal debt limit, meaning it can no longer borrow any money" Lichtenstein says.

He quotes USPS CFO Joseph Corbett as saying, "...if Congress does nothing, the best-case scenario is that the postal service has enough money to last until October 2013. After that, it will be unable to pay employees or purchase gas or keep the lights on in its sorting facilities. It will be no more."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 3:59 PM

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Day

Let's make everyday a day of service to honor his memory.

To find out how, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 9:13 AM

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New York Apple on New 33c Stamp

Produce News reports, "The office staff of the New York Apple Association in Fishers, NY, was bubbling with excitement on Jan. 17 when the U.S. Postal Service notified them that the Northern Spy apple, an older but beloved cooking apple, was chosen as one of four U.S. apples to represent a new postcard [rate] stamp collection."

Molly Golden, director of marketing for the NYAA, is quoted in the piece as saying, " "We were notified that this classic New York apple would be among the four postcard stamps that form the collection. More than 100 apple varieties are produced for commercial sale in the United States, so this is quite an honor. To celebrate, we suggest consumers, 'bake a pie with Spies,' and any other great New York apple variety."

Other apple varieties that complete the set are the Golden Delicious, the Baldwin and the Granny Smith.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:17 AM

Friday, January 18, 2013

Inverted Jenny Flies Again

Director of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Allen Kane and USPS Director of Stamp Services and Corporate Licensing Susan McGowan unveiled the preliminary design for an Inverted Jenny stamp at the American Philatelic 'AmeriStamp Expo' stamp being held in Louisville, Kentucky according to an announcement by the Smithsonian.

The announcement goes on to say, "The preliminary design includes replicas of America's most famous stamp and one of the world's most famous errors. The margins of the stamp sheet feature images related to the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny stamp and the 1918 inaugural airmail service, including pilot Major Reuben Fleet of the Army Air Corps and the Washington DC - Philadelphia - New York airmail flight route. In the upper left corner is the main post office in Washington, DC, at the time, which would process airmail and currently houses the National Postal Museum."

The new stamp sheet will be issued on Sept. 22, opening day of the National Postal Museum's William H. Gross Stamp Gallery. The Gross Stamp Gallery will be the world's largest stamp gallery. A block of four of the original 1918 Inverted Jenny will be on permanent display in the Gallery.

For more on the story behind the Inverted Jenny error, click here
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posted by Don Schilling at 2:51 PM

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Inauguration Day Cover

The U.S. Postal Service is offering an official commemorative souvenir cover marking the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The Inauguration Day Official Commemorative Souvenir Cover is available for $9.95 and can be ordered at or by dialing 800-STAMP-24 and referencing item #788721.

The collectible envelope includes:

•Color portraits of President Obama and Vice President Biden.
•A White House illustration and typography printed in gold.
•A randomly-selected, affixed Four Flags Forever stamp.
•The official Inauguration Day color postmark incorporating the presidential seal.
•A clear protective sleeve for keepsake preservation.

The souvenir cover will also be available at select Post Offices beginning January 21, 2013.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:06 PM

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All Volunteer Post Office

"Whether it's the package that has to arrive at its destination on time or the letter that needs the proper label, one California post office is sure to deliver, even if they don't get paid," says NBC4 Los Angeles.

Reporters Kathy Vara and Julie Brayton the post office is "the only one of its kind in the nation" and is staffed entirely by members of the Assistance League of San Pedro.

According to the article, "No one who works there has been paid for their work in 30 years. Instead, money from the U.S. Post Office that would have gone to the employees goes to fund charities in San Pedro. Their work connects people through the mail, but it also connects them to those in their own community." 

Charities include Operation School Bell, which provides school clothes, shoes and supplies to thousands of low income children as well as low-cost dental care for needy children.

To learn more and to watch a video, click here
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posted by Don Schilling at 9:24 PM

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stamps - A Top Investment

The website reports, "Few hobbies are persued as universally as stamp collection. Year after year, millions around the world build, become bored with, and bequeath small fortunes in stamps before moving on to other pursuits. But while dabblers come and go, only seasoned stamp collectors—philatelists, if you prefer the technical term—know their passion is among the top four investments of the 20th century, producing double-digit returns annually."

Reporter Vikram Barhat pens, "Few alternative asset classes can match the portability and profitability of postage stamps. Nor has the long-term performance of any other class of collectibles been so closely monitored and painstakingly documented."

Barhat points out, "A 2009 study by two finance professors, Elroy Dimson at London Business School and Christophe Spaenjers at HEC Paris, tracked the investment performance of British collectible postage stamps between 1900 and 2008. Their study, Ex Post: The Investment Performance of Collectible Stamps, pegs annualized return on stamps at 7% in nominal terms, or 2.9% in real terms."

Shown above, a good philatelic investment - letter that was postmarked on the Titanic before it sank.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, January 14, 2013

British Teenager Loves her Grand Dad and Stamps

Reporter Ben James writes on the Plymouth, England's Herald website," If you asked an average teenage girl what their hobby is you may not expect them to say stamp collecting.But then Charlotte Smith is not an average teenager."

"Some would wonder how a girl of only 15 finds her way into the world of philately in the first place, but Charlotte's reason lies close to her heart," pens James.

According to the article Charlotte, who is still too young to be a full member of the Plymouth Philately Society, accompanies her 78-year-old grandad John once a month.

"She is the youngest member with some others being more than 60 years her senior. But she says the age difference doesn't bother her Charlotte added: "It's not a problem at all. I get on with everyone really well, because they're all quite like my grandad; they're his friends,"  writes James in the piece.

"It's like one big family, really. It's a really good club and I'd recommend it to anybody, of any age."

Shown above, Charlotte Smith.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:36 AM

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Learn About Stamps

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

January Issue of The American Philatelist

The January 2013 issue of The American Philatelist features "United States Mail to France in World War II, Part I" by Lawrence Sherman. The first part of a comprehensive study of the fate of mail communications between the United States and France during World War II and focuses on the early years of the war.

Also included in this issue are:

Have Fun Selling Your Stamps! by William Weismann. Discover the fun of selling stamps the way you acquired them, one at a time!

Welcome to AmeriStamp Expo 2013 A visitor’s guide to the shows — Schedule of Events, Dealers, and Exhibitors.

The Post Office in Bryn Mawr, California by Ralph C. Cline. A look at one of the many small town post offices being closed around the country.

A Chance Meeting with Old Friends by Sidney Fingerhood. Revisiting your collection can lead to rediscovering covers of particular interest.

The Wizard of Oz, a Modern American Fairy Tale by Clete Delvaux. The creator of the beloved children’s classic and his fellow story tellers are remembered in stamps.

Worldwide in a Nutshell by Bob Lamb Tuvalu — Tuvalu, or the Ellice Islands, in the South Pacific was placed in the British sphere of influence in 1886, finally becoming an independent country in 1975.

The American Philatelist, the monthly magazine published by the American Philatelic Society, showcases and celebrates the stamp hobby on behalf of 33,000+ members in 110 countries.  

Click here to visit the American Philatelist on-line.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

The Stamp Collecting Roundup wishes everyone a very healthy, peaceful, happy and prosperous 2013 !
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM