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Customers can now use PayPal when purchasing items through the American Philatelic Society website.

PayPal service is available for purchases from StampStore and APS specialty items, including books, souvenirs, and other merchandise.

There are currently more than 300,000 stamps and covers for sale on StampStore. More than 60 books, plus DVDs, neckties, polo shorts, hobby supplies, and event souvenirs are sold through the APS Specialty Shop.

February 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

The February issue of The American Philatelist is now online for APS members to view. Here are some of the highlights:

Silver Fever! by Michael Mahler. A short-lived hunt in Nevada for precious metals — especially silver — helped create some fascinating documents and philatelic gems in the form of revenue stamps.

A Mystery at Geestemünde by Lawrence R. Mead. How did British stamps from an island in the North Sea end up with cancellations applied at a German dock?
AmeriStamp Expo Your guide to this year’s American Philatelic Society’s convention and winter show in Reno, Nevada, where a charitable cause will share the spotlight.

Featured Columns
Collecting Coast to Coast. A Philatelic Fracas by Wayne L. Youngblood. A look back at James C. Jay, a much-maligned character who got into trouble by creating and using his own collectibles.

APRL Notes. How to Build a Masterpiece by Charles J. O’Brien III. The final architect on the new APRL shows how all the pieces came together to create this destination for scholarly research.

Stamp Classics. Belgium’s Second Commemorative Issue by Joseph Iredale. A late 19th-century international exhibition in Brussels prompted some new stamps, which were designed via a public art contest.

Worldwide in a Nutshell. Azerbaijan by Bob Lamb. Azerbaijan, a Turkish-speaking republic in the eastern Caucasus, created its first stamps in the wake of World War I but stopped for several decades.

Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition Friday Through Sunday, February 3–5

The Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition — which brings dealers, world-class exhibits, specialty societies, and philatelic friendship all under one roof — begins its three-day run Friday, February 3, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Florida.

The show, sponsored by the Sarasota Philatelic Club, opens at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday, closing at 5:30 p.m. the first two days and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail. There’s free parking and admission.

The show, featuring 200 frames of exhibits, is part of the American Philatelic Society’s World Series of Philately so winning single- and multi-frame exhibits are eligible for the final World Series competition set for August at StampShow in Richmond, Virginia.

The sold-out bourse will have 40 dealers carrying all collecting specialties. Clubs and societies scheduled to take part are the Auxiliary Markings Club, the Canal Zone Study Group, United States Possessions Society. The United Nations Postal Administration and U.S. Postal Service will be on hand.

Several lectures and meetings are scheduled, including an open forum on exhibiting sponsored by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, “Finland Figure Cancels,” “Exhibiting in Iceland,” and a meeting of women exhibitors. There will be an awards banquet Saturday night.

Novice youth and adult collectors will find special areas just for them. Free appraisals of collections will be available. For more information, visit the club’s website,

How to Prepare for a Visit to a Stamp Show

Assuming you are a collector, review and copy your want list into a simple easy-to-carry and easy-to-read format, and BRING it with you. There’s nothing worse than being at show surrounded by millions of stamps and not knowing what you would like to buy. Be sure to bring any other collecting tools you’ll need, and a couple of pens (they get lost) to scratch off your purchases.

Check to see what exhibits will capture your interest. You might be able to do this ahead of time if exhibit titles and descriptions are available through the show’s website or exhibit committee. Or, check the program as soon as you arrive.

For a very large show, such as StampShow sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, check the official website ahead of time to learn of special events, workshops, or meetings you might be interested in.

If you specialize in specific areas, you might be able to obtain a dealer’s list ahead of time to see if dealers specializing in those areas will be on hand. If that is not possible, ask at the registration desk or speak to the bourse chair, who might be able to guide you.

If you are new to collecting and attending a big show, like an international or national show, take a deep breath and don’t get overwhelmed. There should be a show program. Look it over carefully to match your interests with workshops, exhibits, meetings, dealers, and special events.

For a schedule of stamp shows taking place in your area you can visit the APS’s calendar of events online and search by date or location.

Barn Swallow Envelopes Takes Flight in Reno at AmeriStamp Show

The United States will issue Barn Swallow forever stamped envelopes (single design) March 3 in Reno, Nevada and nationwide. The American Philatelic Society will host a first-day-of-issue ceremony at 11 a.m. at the AmeriStamp Expo show at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia Street.

The envelope will be issued in different sizes.

Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope
Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope

Here are additional details about the envelope from the U.S. Postal Service:

The Postal Service celebrates a favorite backyard bird on this Barn Swallow stamped envelope. It features a large illustration of a barn swallow perching and a smaller illustration above it, showing the bird in flight.

The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) originally nested in caves. As man-made structures began to dot the North American landscape, barn swallows adapted by building their mud nests under the eaves of barns, houses and bridges. Barn swallows are acrobatic flyers, and a single bird can catch and consume thousands of insects in one day.

Art director William J. Gicker designed the stamp with original art by Matthew Frey.