Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award

[Press Release]
Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
National Postal Museum Cites Gross’s Philanthropy and World-Class Stamp Collections in Awarding Nation’s Most Prestigious Philatelic Honor

William H. Gross
William H. Gross.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (Oct. 19, 2016) — The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will award the 2016 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award to Bill Gross and two other recipients on Oct. 22 at a museum-hosted gala event in Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award.

The Smithsonian Award was established in 2002 to honor and celebrate living individuals for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of philately. This achievement may include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately, exceptional service to the philatelic community or sustained promotion of philately to the benefit of current and future collectors. In addition to Mr. Gross, recipients of the 2016 award include Cheryl R. Ganz and Richard F. Winter.

Richard F. Winter
Richard F. Winter.
Cheryl R. Ganz
Cheryl R. Ganz.

The selection of Mr. Gross is as much a reflection of his philanthropic activities on behalf of stamp collecting as it is for his world-class collection.

“There has never been anyone in philately as philanthropic as Bill, and he wanted to create something special, which he has,” said Charles Shreve of Robert A. Siegel International, Mr. Gross’s long-time philatelic advisor and dealer. “Without his gift there would have never been a new Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the finest in the world. Bill has contributed greatly to the general public’s view of collecting in a positive way.”

In addition to donations totaling $10.8 million to build the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery in the National Postal Museum, Mr. Gross and his wife Sue have donated almost $25 million from proceeds of the sales of Mr. Gross’s collection since 2007. Beneficiaries include the PIMCO Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, the Millennium Villages Project, the Hawaii Foodbank, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, and other charities.

“Stamp collecting has always been a means to an end for me,” said Mr. Gross, the portfolio manager responsible for managing Janus Capital Group’s Global Unconstrained Bond strategy. “There is the pleasure of the hobby itself, which has brought countless hours of satisfaction in researching the history behind these miniature works of art. And then there is the knowledge that the returns from my hobby have served a higher purpose in benefiting the less fortunate.”

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Isle of Man Features Work of Famed Illustrator

The Isle of Man Post Office issued a set of six stamps in August featuring the artwork of world-renowned artist, designer, and publisher Roger Dean.

The stamps in six different rates include one, the 45-cent stamp, that is based on a painting, Meeting Place, that is inspired by the island itself. The painting is part of an exhibition that runs through November 19 at Manx Museum in Douglas.

The 77-cent stamp has artwork titled Blind Owl Late Landing, using artwork from the as-yet released album Blind Owl from the rock group Yes. Dean, 72, has created more than 100 pieces of album art. Aside from Yes, clients have included Asia, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Rick Wakeman.

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New Book by APS: Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950

Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950, by Charles Posner.
Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950, by Charles Posner.

The United States stamps of 1950 never looked so fabulous! More than 65 years after they debuted, that year’s commemorative stamps are back in the philatelic spotlight thanks to a new book published by the American Philatelic Society.

Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950, by Charles Posner tells the stories of these 11 stamps from concept to finished product.

The stamps presented are American Bankers Association, Samuel Gompers, National Capitol Sesquicentennial (four stamps), Railroad Engineers of America, Centenary of Kansas City, Boy Scouts of America, Indiana Territory Sesquicentennial, and California Statehood Sesquicentennial.

The 103-page, hardbound book examines in retrospective detail the history of these stamps, from their origins to their designs and printings to the oft-elaborate first-day ceremonies, which sometimes include parades, pageants, and plenty of pomp. You’ll read about the politics, controversies, and tugs-of-war involving concepts, stamp designs, and first-day sites all which finally led to the public’s use of the stamps.

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Festival of Diwali Forever Stamp Event Photos

Photos from the festival of Diwali forever stamp first-day-of-issue ceremony that took place October 5 at the Consulate General of India in New York City.

All of the photos are courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

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Columbus Sighted on Stamps from Near and Far

Today, October 10, is Columbus Day, once regaled as the opening of the Western hemisphere to the Old World and now the focal point among historians to reflect and interpret the archaic practices of territorial expansion of that time. Political and social views notwithstanding, Columbus certainly has a place in the world of stamp collecting.

When the 400th anniversaries of Christopher Columbus’ voyages were observed starting in 1892, there were celebrations noting the Italian-born explorer’s excursions to the Americas. Of particular note was the World’s Columbian Exposition, essentially a world’s fair, in Chicago. That’s when the United States Post Office Department issued its first-ever commemoratives, a handsome engraved set of 16, including several unprecedented high-denomination stamps. The stamps are called “Columbians” among collectors.

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