Friday, July 17, 2009

Captain Bartlett Honored with Canada Post Postage Stamp

OTTAWA – Captain Robert “Bob” Bartlett gained fame by accompanying fellow explorer Robert Peary on his 1909 expedition to the North Pole during which he reached farhter north than anyone had gone before. Canada Post issued a stamp today to mark the centennial of this historic trip and to pay tribute to Bartlett, a great Canadian hero.

“Bartlett traveled farther north than any . . .

Full story at: Canada Post

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Canada Post Roadside Attractions Postage Stamps Released

Ottawa – Today, Canada Post is taking Canadians on a cross-country journey celebrating four great Canadian Roadside Attractions along the way. The first of the three-year series begins in Northern and Western Canada with the Watson Lake Signpost Forest in Yukon; the Inukshuk in Hay River, Northwest Territories; British Columbia’s Mr. PG in Prince George; and the “Pysanka”, massive Easter egg in Vegreville, Alberta. Next year’s stamps will celebrate central Canada while the 2011 series will focus on . . .

Full story at: Canada Post

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Postally Used Works of Art

(Collectors Weekly: American Collector Archive) This article describes the famous artwork used for stamp designs, such as paintings and sculptures, noting which pieces of art were effective as stamps and which were not. It originally appeared in the July 1943 issue of American Collector magazine, a publication which ran from 1933-1948 and served antique collectors and dealers.

Paintings and sculpture galore have been reproduced on postage stamps, sort of an Everyman’s art gallery. But this, of course, does not mean that . . .

Full story at: Collectors Weekly


Stamp Collecting a Red Flag to IRS Auditors

IRS Seeking To Tax Your Hobby

Manual tells agents how to spot improper pastime deductions.

( a time when the federal government is desperate for revenue, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a new manual to help its agents ferret out taxpayers improperly writing off the costs of hobbies.

The latest "audit technique guide" covers the application of what is known informally as the "hobby-loss rule." This is the Internal Revenue Code provision--Section 183--that prohibits taxpayers from reducing their taxable income through losses generated from . . .

Full story at:


Interview With U.S. Stamp Collector Bob Allen

(Maribeth Keane: Collector's Weekly) Bob Allen talks about U.S. stamp collecting, providing information on topics such as the history of United States stamps, their design and production processes, regular issues and commemoratives, and special features such as perforations, watermarks and secret marks. Based in Hawaii, he can be contacted via his website,, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

Like many collectors . . .

Full story at: Collectors Weekly


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Postage Stamps for Bryan Adams and Stompin' Tom Connors

New Canada Post stamps featuring Bryan Adams and Stompin' Tom Connors are music to the ears of a Winnipeg design company.

Circle Design International designed the stamps released this week, which also feature French-Canadian rock pioneer Robert Charlebois and Acadian singer Edith Butler.

The stamps follow the company's success in designing the first musical icon stamps two years ago, which featured . . .

Full story at: Link

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Official Blackbook Price Guide to United States Postage Stamps

(Note: This review refers to the 2010 edition)

Should you buy the guide?

Yes. The Official Blackbook Price Guide to United States Postage Stamps is a valuable addition to any stamp collector’s library, especially that of a beginner or intermediate collector. This paperback is a fast and convenient portable reference that you can always keep handy. It also makes a great gift for the stamp collector in your family.

What I Liked

  • Prices – Like most price guides, this guide has prices for used, unused, plateblock and coil strips. It also includes prices for other more specialized areas such as Federal Duck stamps, First Day Covers, and mint sheets. Keep in mind that the prices in the guide are retail and represent what you would pay a dealer for the stamp, and not what a dealer would pay you.
  • Complete Listing by Scott # – The guide has a listing for every stamp issued along with photos to help you with quick identification of your stamp. It also makes a great check-list to keep track of your collection.
  • Beginner Articles – The guide is full of excellent “how-to” articles on grading, buying and selling stamps, and equipment to help you view and keep your stamps safe. There are two articles with tips on helping a beginner learn where to acquire stamps at a low cost and what to do with them once you have them.
  • Color Photos for 2008 Issues - Although most of the photos are black and white, there is a color photo section for the most recent complete year of 2008. It is a great way to quickly see what’s new since the previous year.
  • Glossary – There are actually two glossaries in this guide, one for First Day Cover collectors and one for stamp collectors in general. Both glossaries had terms that I didn’t know after many years of collecting.
  • Cost – At under $10, this is one of the best aspects of the guide and a good reason to buy the guide each year.
What I Didn’t Like

  • Black and white photos – These photos are helpful for quick identification, but lack the necessary detail for comparing minute differences. Fixing this problem would probably add greatly to the cost of the guide. In that case, I would prefer to keep the cost lower instead of having more detailed photos.
  • Linn’s Look at the New Stamp Issues – This is the first chapter in the guide and the chapter most likely to make a first impression on the reader. Therefore, I was disappointed that the new issues being discussed in this chapter were for stamps issued in 2007 with comparisons to stamps issued in 2006. For a 2010 guide released during June 2009, I would expect this chapter to discuss new issues from the latest complete year, 2008. After all, the guide’s listings, the color photo section, and the stamp on the cover of the book all include 2008 issues.
  • Date Errors – Being a collector that likes to browse stamp listings for specific years, I was surprised to find errors with the year displayed in the headings. The most obvious errors were the stamps issued in 2008 being listed under 2009 (pg 477), 2007 stamps listed under 2008 (pg 461), and 2006 stamps listed under 2007 (pgs 449, 450, 453). Other errors include the years 2003 (pg 423), 2004 (pg 431), and 2005 (pg 441) being completely missing from the headings. Finally the headings for 2001 and 2002 start one or two pages too late. 2001 should start on page 397, and 2002 should start on page 411.
Bottom Line

I am always surprised when errors make it to publication. However, the errors I found in this guide were minor and easily fixed with a pencil as I did in my copy of the guide. They do not detract from the overall value of this guide. All the things I like about this guide heavily outweigh the things I disliked. Personally, I plan to keep my copy close at hand to use as a quick reference when I need it.

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