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?