What a great gift idea for any stamp collector!

What a cool gift idea for a stamp collector—finding them a vintage stamp album to accompany their collection.  One album that you can find is titled “The International Postage Stamp Album Junior Edition.”

stamp book (0)

This album is great, it is by the Scott Stamp and Coin Company.  Not only does it have the look of a regular book, it has space dedicated to have stamps from many countries of the world.  Some of the countries that are included are the United States, Austria, Bavaria, Germany, Cuba and even Hungary (there are many other countries that are not listed here).

stamp book (1)

There is a copy of this book in my eBay shop—not only does it have all of its pages, it also has some stamps with it.  There are about 150 stamps in total that are included, and they range in date from 1876 to the 1920’s (two of the stamps from Hungary are OVERPRINTS from 1919).

You can see this book in my eBay shop here.  Head on over and check it out.

Wow, how great is this?  Remember when stamps were 1 cent?

Advertisements

What in the world is an encased postage stamp?

In 1862, the United States was smack dab in the middle of a coin shortage.  It was bad, really bad.  Everything was being horded—even the cent was being stockpiled.

An American entrepreneur and inventor by the name of John Gault created something to help with this—the encased postage stamp.

The encased postage stamp is a stamp that was inserted into a small coin-size case.  This case has a transparent front or back. This type of “coin” was circulated as legal tender during periods when coins were scarce.

John Gault was pretty savvy—he saw two ways to make money off of his creation.   The first way was to sell them to businesses and stores that had a high demand for coins.  He sold his encased stamps at 20% of the face value of the stamp.

The second way that he made money was to sell the blank back of the case of the coin as advertising.  There is a minimum of thirty different companies that took up the advertising on the coins.  All of the different companies lend to find some great and different varieties on this type of coin.

Encased postage stamps circulated for about a year (until about the middle of 1863).  This is when the fractional currency released by United States Government became popular enough to help ease the coin shortage.

There were also some other factors that helped bring encased postage stamps to an end.  One reason was was that the postage stamps that were being used for this started to become unavailable.  Not only that, it cost more to buy the encased postage than what they were actually valued at in the market.

Encased postage stamps are rare today with a small fraction of the 750,000 that were originally sold surviving.

This is just one item people came up with over the years to help with coin shortages over the years.  Do you know of any other ways?

What are some of the terms that you will run across when you start to collect stamps?

Not too long ago, I went to a local auction that had quite a few stamps for sale.  There were some stamp collectors and dealers there talking about “changelings” and even an “album weed”.  It made me think—what are some of the terms that you’ll run across when you collect stamps?

Album weed—this refers to a forged stamp, and it also refers to unusual items that resemble postage stamps but were not intended to pay postage.  This is something like publicity labels and bogus issues.

Album Weeds—this is the title of a reference book series that is on forged stamps.  It was written by R.B. Earee.

Changeling—this is a stamp whose color has been changed (either intentionally or unintentionally) by contact with a chemical.  This can also happen with the exposure to a light.

Encased postage stamp—this is a stamp that was inserted into a small coin-size case.  The case comes with a transparent front or back to see the stamp.  These were circulated as legal coins during periods when coins were scarce in the 1860’s.

Handstamp—this is a cancellation or overprint that was applied by hand to either a cover or to a stamp.

Obliteration—there are two main definitions for this term.  The first is a cancellation that was intended solely to deface a stamp (this is also called a killer).  The second is an overprint intended to deface a portion of the design of a stamp (such as the face of a deposed ruler).

This is just a few of what you’ll hear when talking about stamps.  What terms have you heard?

It’s a WORLD ON WHEELS!

world on wheels

When you start to collect trading cards, there are two main areas that they are divided into.  The first is sports trading cards, and these feature cards from all the different types of sports–hockey, baseball, golf and football are just a few of the sports.

The other main area is what’s called non sports cards.  This area is everything that does not fall into the sports category.  There are sets that consist of birds, movie stars (and even movie themselves), radio stars, and even vehicles.

The non sports card area is where you find this great set called the WORLD ON WHEELS.

The TOPPS card company produced this card set, and the WORLD ON WHEELS set ran from 1953 to 1955.  The set consists of 180 cards, and numbers 1 through 170 can be found with a red back.  Numbers 171 through 180 can be found with both a red back and a blue back.

Interestingly, a set title of just WHEELS was on the packaging, but the name WORLD ON WHEELS has caught on over the years.

This set has a wide variety of vehicles on the cards, and they really are all over the place.  There are cars from the early 1900’s like a Pierce Great Arrow Touring Car from 1905 all the way to the cars from the 1950’s like a Hudson Wasp from 1953.

It’s not just just cars that are featured in the set, there are vehicles like the Diamond T concrete mixer and the Straddle Lumber Truck.

What I like about the set is that when you get done finding all the cards is that you can say that you have assembled a massive 180 car collection!

You can see some of the WORLD ON WHEELS cards in my Etsy shop here.  As a matter of fact, you can see all of the cards in my Etsy shop here.  Have you ever run across anything like this?

The boys of summer…in 1956?

The 1956 TOPPS baseball cards have been a favorite of mine for many years now.  There are quite a few of them in my collection—Jackie Robinson and Al Rosen are just two of them.

1956 topps

When TOPPS came on the sports cards scene in the early 1950’s, they competed with another company named BOWMAN.

When 1956 rolled around, TOPPS bought out BOWMAN.  The wonderful thing that happened for the collectors was that all of the players were featured in just one set.  In the years before 1956, you could only find certain players on BOWMAN cards, while other players were just on TOPPS cards.

Collectors today also look for varieties in the set.  Two of the more famous verities deal the back of the cards with one being called “white back” (this is a white or cream color) and the other is called the “gray back” (this has more of a gray color).

A word of advice though—these cards are a little larger than today’s cards.  Be careful if you want to put these in pages for a three-ring binder (the cards won’t fit).  You may have to buy some pages for these to fit in.

You can also see some of these cards in my Etsy shop here.  Have you ever run into these cards?

Sometimes directions help out with collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in collecting, and this definitely includes collecting paper money from the early 1800’s.  During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money–they would file for a charter with the United States government, and this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.

Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections.  They will look for a certain bank, city, or even state that the money was produced in.

If there was a major metropolitan area like Boston or Philadelphia, the more banks were likely to be there.  The east coast of the United States has quite a few different banks that offered paper money.  This was true going west to just past the Mississippi river.  The farther west you went, the fewer banks you would run into.

The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States mint in San Francisco) that far west.

When you travel up north (in places like North Dakota, Washington State, and even Alaska) they have very few banks at all.  There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) turn up for a few banks in these states, and are highly sought after.

You need to be careful when you are looking for paper money from the early 1800’s to add to your collection—there are quite a few outright counterfeit bills out there.  Not only that, there were also a lot of bills in circulation in the 1800’s that were counterfeit.  One reason was that there were many different designs that were made by the different banks out there making it harder for you to know if it was real or not when the bills were new.

Another reason is because there were a ton of banks that failed for one reason or another in the 1800’s (the money from these banks are also called “broken bank notes”).  There were lists for shut down banks and fake bills that circulated to merchants or vendors, but the lists were often out dated after a while.  It also took a while to get these lists circulated since mail had to go by stage coach, train or horse.

What fun direction can your collection go?