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The United States Accomplishments in Space Commemorative Issue of 1967

A stamp album with sleeve
Philately is the study of revenue or postage stamps. This includes the design, production, and uses of stamps after they are issued. A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. Postal history is the study of postal systems of the past. It includes the study of rates charged, routes followed, and special handling of letters.

Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects, such as covers (envelopes, postcards or parcels with stamps affixed). It is one of the world's most popular hobbies, with estimates of the number of collectors ranging up to 20 million in the United States alone.

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Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.

Brown ten centimes version
Epaulettes (French: Épaulettes, Dutch: Epauletten) is the name given by philatelists to the first series of postage stamps issued by Belgium. The stamps, which depicted King Leopold I with prominent epaulettes from which the name derives, became legally usable on 1 July 1849. Two denominations with the same design were issued simultaneously: a brown 10 centimes and a blue 20 centimes. They were produced as the result of a series of national reforms to the postal system in Belgium, based on the success of similar British measures adopted in 1840. The stamps allowed postal costs to be pre-paid by the sender, rather than the receiver, and led to a sharp increase in the volume of mail. Although quickly superseded by new types, Epaulettes proved influential and have since inspired several series of commemorative stamps. (Full article...)

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An 1865 local stamp of the Danube and Black Sea Railway Kustendje Harbour Company Limited
A local post is a mail service that operates only within a limited geographical area, typically a city or a single transportation route. Historically, some local posts have been operated by governments, while others, known as private local posts have been for-profit companies. Today, many stamp collectors operate hobbyists' local posts, issuing their own postal stamps known as "locals" or "cinderellas" for other collectors but rarely carrying any mail. (Full article...)
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Did you know (auto-generated)

  • ... that Argentinian Ricardo D. Eliçabe qualified as a physician, co-founded a petroleum refinery, and wrote about forgeries of Bolivia's first stamps?
  • ... that a new Christmas stamp that debuted in the 350-person town of Bethlehem, Georgia, in 1967 got so much attention that the two-employee post office had to hire forty-three temporary workers?
  • ... that John Barefoot's catalogue of British Commonwealth revenue stamps grew from 142 to more than 500 pages between its first and tenth editions as new stamps were discovered?
  • ... that after the British Army captured New York City in 1776, Samuel Loudon fled to the village of Fishkill, where he founded the state's first post office?
  • ... that in 2007, Arthur Gray's £2 Kangaroo and Map stamp sold for a world record price for a single Australian stamp?
  • ... that after Irish post office clerk Maureen Flavin Sweeney reported worsening weather conditions, Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to postpone D-Day by 24 hours?

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The British Guiana 1c magenta is regarded by many philatelists as the world's most famous rare stamp. It was issued in limited numbers in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1856, and only one specimen is now known to exist. It is the only major postage stamp ever issued in the United Kingdom or British Commonwealth that is not represented in Britain's Royal Philatelic Collection.

It is imperforate, printed in black on magenta paper, and it features a sailing ship along with the colony's Latin motto "Damus Petimus Que Vicissim" (We give and expect in return) in the middle. Four thin lines frame the ship. The stamp's country of issue and value—rendered in small, black uppercase lettering—surround the frame. (Full article...)
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WikiProjects WikiProject Philately organizes the development of articles relating to philately. For those who want to skip ahead to the smaller articles, the WikiProject also maintains a list of articles in need of improvement or that need to be started. There are also many red inked topics that need to be started on the list of philatelic topics page.

Selected works

  • Williams, Louis N., & Williams, Maurice (1990). Fundamentals of Philately {revised ed.). American Philatelic Society. ISBN 0-9335-8013-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Hornung, Otto (1970). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Stamp Collecting. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-01797-4.
  • Stuart Rossiter & John Fowler (1991). World History Stamp Atlas (reprint ed.). pub: Black Cat. ISBN 0-7481-0309-0.


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  1. ^ "Philatelic Collections: General Collections". British Library. 2003-11-30. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-16.

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