Even though they are called “stamps,” revenue stamps have nothing to do with the postal service. They were not used for the sending of the mail. Strictly speaking, they are labels that were applied to official documents. True, they sometimes resemble certain postal issues, but they have no postal value whatsoever. They were issued and used by various governmental offices to collect taxes—hence the name “revenue” stamp.
Many people new to stamp collecting might wonder what BOB stamps are. No, they have nothing to do with your Uncle Bob (sorry, bad joke)! The word BOB is simply an acronym for «Back Of Book». «Which book?» you may ask. The back of your stamp catalogue of course! This article will concentrate on the listings found at the back of your Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps. **see note
In its truest sense, a cancellation (also called a cancel, killer or obliteration) is a mark without writing that is applied directly to a stamp to prevent it from being reused—often wavy lines, circles, bars, etc. Some cancels, called “fancy cancels” were designed and hand carved by individual postal employees as a matter of artistic pride. Although now applied by machine, in the late 19th and early 20th century, a cancellation was manually applied by a postal worker using a pen or a handheld stamp. This article will concentrate mainly on the “fancy cancels” of early USA stamps.
One of the questions I am often asked is: What should I get my stamp collector friend/family member as a gift? If you’re not a stamp collector yourself, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of a gift a collector would appreciate. Here are 10 suggestions that are all available in our web store. You’ll find that there is a wide range of pricing options, something to fit every budget….and a few luxury items as well that just might have your stamp collector jumping up and down for joy. Happy shopping!
One of the most interesting parts of stamp collecting is keeping an eye on how much rare stamps are worth throughout the years. Here is a list of the 5 most valuable Canada stamps and what they have recently been sold for at auction. I researched extensively to get the most recent sale prices and as far as I know, all prices are in Canadian dollars.
Stamp paper is obviously the most important part of a stamp—no paper, no stamp!! Also, the paper a stamp is printed on can mean the difference between a rare and valuable stamp, as opposed to one that is worth considerably less. When you start researching stamp paper (as I have recently!), you’ll easily be blown away by the sheer number of varieties that exist (as I was!). This article begins with outlining the first step—How is stamp paper made?
One of the USA’s rarest single stamps is the 1868 1¢ Benjamin Franklin Z-Grill. Printed and grilled in 1868, the Z-Grill design was not used for very long, a couple of weeks at the most. That short production time is what accounts for it being so rare today. As explained in a previous article, a grill was a waffle-like design embossed on a stamp as a security measure to prevent reuse. See article: FAQ-What is a stamp grill?
A series of late 19th century USA stamps are known for having “grills”. What is a stamp grill? Basically, a grill was a security method developed to prevent the fraudulent reuse of postage stamps.
Every time a stamp is used it is cancelled at the post office. A stamp can be cancelled by hand with a pen, or with a specially made canceling device. Unfortunately, many people would attempt (successfully!) to wash the cancellation ink off the stamp and then reuse it instead of buying a new one.
Here is a quick go-to reference article containing answers to the most common stamp questions. For more detailed answers, click on the link provided after each question.
1) What is my stamp(s) worth?
This has got to be the single most asked question in a stamp dealer’s lifetime! Basically, there are three things you can do.