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MY FIRST STAMP FRIEND

     Like all of us, someone introduced me to the wonderful world of stamp collecting. In my case, like many others, my first connection with stamps was because of my dad. He had a small collection and wanted to pass it on to me and so he introduced stamp collecting to me. Although he no longer collected, he never failed to think of me at the post office for new stamps or special first day covers. The very first collection that I bought from another collector, my dad loaned me the money.

ARE YOU ON THE LEFT OR RIGHT - THE CENTERING DEBATE

    Much has been written about in the past couple of years that has concentrated a lot of the value of a stamp based upon its' centering. There has even begun a percentage standard of grading the centering of stamps and exhorbitant multiples of value have been placed on stamps with precise centering. Some increase, in my mind, is warranted with a stamp that sits on the paper well centered and shows well, and then there are some stamps whose value gets over-inflated due to precise centering.

Here We Go Again !!!

Well, it has been a few weeks and I have been dealing with some health issues, and I still had to talk my wife into typing this for me, but I thought it was high time that we got back together again.

Today I would like to spend some time with some terminology that very often gets used in stamp collecting, but sometimes we don't really understand the meaning. This will by no means be comprehensive and actually, I will add to it as new terms come to mind or are suggested.

Societies, Associations & Clubs

     So if there are thousands of stamp collectors, and people have varying stamp collections, where are all these people and all these organizations they have formed?

ALBUMS & TWEEZERS & MAGNIFIERS - OH NO!

     Welcome back to Everything Stamps and our weekly timeout for stamp collectors and talking about stamp collections. Today I want to talk about 4 elementary items that you will need to get your stamp collection jump started. Certainly there are more and sometimes even these four items can become anything but elementary - BUT let's start here.

DEAD OR OVERRUN COUNTRIES

     Welcome back to everything stamps and please let send out a special thank you to those of you who are suggesting ideas for future blog topics. Today I want to talk about two fairly simple terms that can bring you hours and hours of enjoyment.

FIRST DAY COVERS

     Welcome back to EVERYTHING STAMPS and today I want to spend a minute talking about First Day Covers. These are stamps that are post marked on the first day that the stamp is available. The oldest stamps did not have a first day issue and so we categorize them by their EARLIEST KNOWN USE "eku" for short. Sometimes stamps leak out of the post offices before the actual first day they are supposed to be available. Again those are categorized by EARLIEST KNOWN USE.

Your Stamps' Colors - Bright, Beautiful and Confusing.

     Welcome back to EVERYTHING STAMPS. This week we are going to tackle a very troublesome subject - COLOR. Hoping that you are not colorblind you will find an amazing array of colors for your stamps, and sometimes color can mean the difference between a common stamp and a rare and valuable specimen. There are many charts out there that portray colors and palettes of colors, but you will soon find that stamp colors tend to be unique unto themselves. You will be hard pressed to find anything but a stamp that is colored "pigeon blood pink".

PLATE NUMBERS

     Welcome back to EVERYTHING STAMPS. Last week we discussed Coil and Booklet stamps. This week we will discuss what a plate number is, its' importance in printing and its' importance in stamp collecting. Simply put a plate number is a serial number placed on the physical plate used to produce stamps. Plates would wear out so another plate with the next serial number would be used.

COIL and BOOKLET STAMPS

     Welcome back to EVERYTHING STAMPS. Last week we discussed perforated and non perforated stamps. This week we will look into a variety of stamps called COIL stamps and BOOKLET stamps. COIL stamps are stamps that are perforated on opposite sides and imperforate on the other two opposite side. Stamps that are perforated on the top and bottom but not left and right are called PERFORATED HORIZONTALLY,

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