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.

Free 2016 U.S. Album Pages

Collectors can save and display their collections of 2016 U.S. stamps on attractive, professional album pages, thanks to the American Philatelic Society.

The just-released 24-page album is available for free via the APS website and has a place for every stamp, from the Quilled Paper Heart Love stamp to the 2016 Christmas Nativity stamp.

The pages include a handsome cover featuring the Military Service Crosses stamps and two blank pages at the back for varieties, booklets, souvenir sheets, etc.  In between, there are 10 pages for singles or multiple issues — showing all the stamps in full color — and 10 pages of accompanying text that explain and describe each new issue.

When printing your pages we recommend using a heavier bond, acid-free paper for better preservation purposes.

To find the 2016 album, plus other free U.S. stamp albums, including annuals going back to the 2008 releases and topicals (such as state pages, black heritage, or military history), click visit stamps.org/Free-Album-Pages.

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017! The year 2016 was a very special year for the American Philatelic Society. Two blockbuster events occurred, one expected and one not.

Inverted Jenny, Position 76.
Inverted Jenny, Position 76.

The unexpected was the discovery and successful return in June of an Inverted Jenny airmail stamp (Scott C3a). The stamp, known as Position 76 for its location in an original 1918 sheet of 100, is one of four once owned by Ethel McCoy and stolen in 1955. Though two others had previously been located and another is still missing, it was a pleasure for this stamp to return to the American Philatelic Research Library, which received the rights to the stolen stamps via McCoy’s will.

American Philatelic Research Library.
American Philatelic Research Library.

The expected event was years in the planning and creating. The new 9,000-square-foot American Philatelic Research Library opened at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. A grand opening for the state-of-the-art facility was held in October.

The APS, celebrating its 130th anniversary, again sponsored two major shows and conventions — the AmeriStamp Expo in Atlanta and StampShow in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the APS played a major role and held a prominent presence at World Stamp Show-NY 2016, the international show held in the United States every 10 years.

Continue reading “Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017”

January 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

January 2017 American Philatelist
January 2017 American Philatelist.

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

Alaskan Interrupted Mail by Steven Berlin. Uncommon and rare covers include those delayed by floods, earthquakes, ship mishaps, airplane crashes, and robberies.

Federal Use of Confederate Design Patriotic Covers of Northern Manufacture by James Milgram. A look at covers displaying Confederate designs that were manufactured and used in the North.

Superheores on Stamps by Timothy M. Bergquist. After spending decades on the pulp pages of comic books, popular superheroes have burst onto the stamp scene with a POW! BAM! and SPLASH!

1919 Texas Recruiting Flight by Don Jones. After World War I, the military found itself short of soldiers so it conducted a major recruitment campaign by dangling the new air service as a carrot.

Featured Columns
Stamp Classics by Joseph Iredale. A new column reviews some stamps from the golden era described by many as the first hundred years, 1840 to 1940. This month, a look at Thailand’s first official postage stamps and some provisionals that preceded them.

Collecting Coast to Coast: A Little Something Extra On That Cover by Wayne L. Youngblood. Messages from the Captain of the Watch, the Fiscal Director and others of interest are found in a review of private auxiliary markings that sometimes amuse or confound postal clerks, customers, and collectors.

Worldwide in a Nutshell: Antigua and Barbuda by Bob Lamb. The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda had separate philatelic histories until they were joined together as one country.