Photos and News from APS StampShow 2017

The unveiling of the U.S. Protect Pollinators stamps on Thursday, August 3rd. American Philatelic Society chief operating officer Ken Martin taking a photo of the Pollinators ceremony. That’s Barb Boal, former editor of the American Philatelist and now a volunteer for the American Stamp Dealers Association, in the white jacket standing in the neighboring National Stamp Dealers Association booth. Got all those affiliations straight? There will be a quiz later. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee members before the Pollinators ceremony. Two views of the standing-room-only crowd at the Protect Pollinators ceremony. Below, APS president Mick Zais is speaking. There were intentionally not enough chairs at this ceremony for the anticipated crowd, to make it look well-attended — which it was.

AFDCS Shows Its Independence For Americover 2017

The American First Day Cover Society brings Americover 2017, its annual show and convention, to the Hall of Fame Corridor this year — Interstate 77, which runs from Cleveland (Rock ‘n Roll) to Canton, Ohio (Pro Football)

The show is being held August 11-13, 2017, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland-Rockside, 5800 Rockside Woods Boulevard, Independence, Ohio 44131. Admission and parking are free. The bourse hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is a cachetmakers bourse Saturday evening from 4:30 to 8 p.m., followed by a special Cachetmakers Moonlight Meal, open to cachetmakers, collectors and friends. Among the highlights during the show are the first-day ceremony for the Azulillo stamped card (postcard); the largest collection at any one venue all year of first day cover dealers; stamp dealers; the largest cachetmakers (new issue FDC producers) bourse of the year; a World Series of Philately national-level exhibition of rare and unusual first day covers; and the announcement of the winners of the annual AFDCS Cachet Contest, complete with visual displays.

The annual meetings of the AFDCS, the American Ceremony Program Society, Cachet Makers Association (Chapter #65), the 7-1-71 Affair (Chapter #50), ATA Halloween Study Unit, and the Art Cover Exchange (Chapter #79) will be held during Americover 2017. Also meeting at the show are the. The American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors is also holding an open forum. In addition to its meetings, the ACPS will hold an auction of ceremony programs.

The first-day ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the hotel’s atrium. Many of the dealers will be selling FDCs for the new stamped card, among other recent issues.

The seminars include Chris Lazaroff on attending first-day ceremonies in all 50 states; Charles O’Brien on First Day Cover Terminology; and Phil Kumler presents a new approach to helping kids collect FDCs.

There are also two fund-raising auctions, which will include bulk lots and unique items produced especially for the AFDCS. There are hospitality suites each evening

There is a special cachet for Americover 2017, and a different pictorial postmark for each day of the show.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2017 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at StampShow 2017. The jury is chaired by Ken Nilsestuen and includes Mark Banchik, Chris Dahle, Tony Dewey, and Tom Fortunato.

The day before the show, many of those attending Americover 2017 will spend travel down Ohio’s “Hall of Fame Corridor,” Interstate 77, to the First Ladies National Historic Site, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Harry London’s Chocolate Factory. (The latter isn’t a hall of fame, but perhaps should be.) On Sunday evening, quite a few show participants will dine at Melt Bar & Grilled, famous for its grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beers. These two events are open to the public. There is a fee involved, however.

More information on Americover 2017 is available on the AFDCS Web site,, by e-mail from or by regular mail from the AFDCS, PO Box 16277
Tucson, AZ 85732.

Collectors Club Exhibits at COMPEX 2017

[press release]

This year at COMPEX, we are once again privileged to announce that the esteemed Collectors Club of Chicago has been invited to present over 140 frames of exhibits by its members in a special section of the show. Many of these members have received high awards nationally and internationally. This is the second year that the Collectors Club of Chicago will be participating in COMPEX, and we are delighted that our visitors will have the opportunity to view these wonderful exhibits. Please be sure to stop by to see them.

COMPEX 2017 will be held on the weekend of May 19, 20 and 21, at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, IL. Please note that this is the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.

Hours of the show are: Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free!!!

COMPEX 2017 (Combined Philatelic Exhibition of Chicagoland) is comprised of 9 Chicago area clubs holding their individual exhibits under the same roof at the same time. Member clubs of COMPEX will present a wide variety of exhibits for the viewing pleasure of all in attendance.

This special exhibit by the Collectors Club of Chicago is in addition to the regular exhibits by the members of the COMPEX clubs.

Once again, COMPEX will have its traditional Youth/Beginners Booth with free stamps and activities for new collectors of all ages, whether they are new to the hobby or just started on their collections. Information about collecting is also available for those wanting to get started in the hobby, regardless of age.

A bourse of approximately 40 dealers, including a few postcard dealers, will be participating to fill the needs of all levels of collecting interests. The United States Postal Service and the United National Postal Administration will participate with their respective postal products available for purchase. We will also welcome post card and coin dealers. Contact Charles Berg for details (see below for contact information).

In addition to exhibits and dealers, several local area clubs will be holding their society meetings during COMPEX, including the Chicago Philatelic Society with a program by Tom Horn. Tom is in charge of Special Projects at the American Philatelic Society, and the Chicagoland Chapter No. 5, Germany Philatelic Society will also present a program still in the planning stage. Other societies have not finalized their plans as yet and details will be announced at a later date. Please be sure to check the show program and this website for details.

Make your plans now to attend COMPEX 2017 on the weekend of May 19, 20 and 21. There will be something of interest for all attendees!!

For further information regarding COMPEX 2017, please contact Show President Charles Berg, email, Phone 773-775-2100 or Stamp King Facebook. The COMPEX website is here.

An Open Letter to the Philatelic Community

June 23, 2016

by Wade Saadi
President, World Stamp Show-NY 2016

wsslogoWell, the big show is over and many of us who have been planning this extravaganza for more than decade are finally catching our breath. It gives us all a chance to reflect on what we planned and how it all turned out, with the goal of sharing that knowledge and experience with the Boston 2026 team preparing America’s next international philatelic exhibition.

We know you have some immediate questions of us, so allow me to let you know what’s what.

Did the show make money? The simple answer at this time is that it looks like we will make a modest surplus when all is said and done. Just how much is yet to be determined, as we still await invoices from the Javits Center, Freeman our decorators, and several other major suppliers. Really! Final bills can take several months to receive and confirm, or dispute their charges, as our colleagues running Washington 2006 well know. Nothing different here. But initial estimates definitely have us in the black.

How many people came to the show? While thousands of people took advantage of online pre-registration through our web site (thank you!), many thousands more were walk-ins. That wasn’t unexpected. Their hand-written registration slips are being processed now and being added to the attendance database, which will be cleansed of duplication and reported on when ready. Keying these additional registrations into the database on people’s arrival would have caused much longer lines and required additional manpower and equipment that would have been cost prohibitive. So doing this afterwards made sense, and kept thousands more dollars to our bottom line. Hiring help or lining up volunteers to get a “click count” of people going onto the show floor would not have given us accurate numbers. How many times do you think people went in and out over their visit to get food or see the Jenny on display in the lobby, go downstairs to attend first day ceremonies or meetings or auctions, visit the NYC sites and then returning? You get the idea. Waiting for a true count will be worth the delay in getting these legitimate numbers out in just a few more weeks.

What are attendees saying? You can probably imagine the hundreds of emails I have been receiving from visitors around the world congratulating the show committee on putting on a spectacular show. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many and truly appreciated by everyone. Several show-goers passed along suggestions for improvements that we are reviewing and will get these to the Boston team. All feedback continues to be much appreciated.

Were dealers pleased? In the song “Home on the Range” there’s a line that goes, “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word.” That pretty well sums it up. Several dealers reported recouping their booth and show costs after the first two days of the show. I saw patrons three-deep at one dealer’s booth continually that first weekend. That wasn’t every dealer’s experience, but those I’ve reached out to or contacted me were extremely happy with the turnout and the results. The same can be said for the many postal administrations manning booths.

Our Committee is in the process of preparing an official report that will be presented to the APS Board in August at Stampshow in Portland. I will be giving attendees to Saturday’s APS membership meeting a brief review of the show, answering some of the remaining questions above.

The biggest challenge awaits us: How do we capitalize on this great event for the good of philately’s future? Every one of us should be working on that now. Can we find an easy way to inform casual collectors of upcoming shows in their area on a regular basis to help bolster attendance? How about inviting them to attend a local stamp club meeting to foster their budding philatelic passion, or join the APS or a specialty society? Can we help them start a new stamp collecting club?

I can’t end this message without giving a heart-felt thanks to everyone who assisted making World Stamp Show-NY 2016 such a success. Hundreds of collectors (and some of their family members!) came forth before, during and after the show offering their time and talents in a variety of roles for a few hours or days on end. And remember—everyone was a volunteer! That fact was even more impressive to the professionals at the Javits Center, Freeman Decorating and others who put on shows like this all the time and get paid for doing the many tasks our volunteers took upon their yoke, albeit a happy burden.

Isn’t that our ultimate legacy? The people we meet along the way who become our friends and share our philatelic passion eventually eclipse the very pieces of paper we so eagerly seek.

See you in Portland,

Wade Saadi

The Next U.S. International Show

boston2026Even though the dust hasn’t settled yet on the 2016 U.S. international stamp show, work is under way on the next one, Boston 2026.

Actually, some of the planning began in 2007, a year after the previous “international,” Washington 2006.

Each country is allowed by the International Federation of Philately, to host one “international” a decade. For the U.S., these are held in years ending in 6, except for years that end in 47 and 97 — because the U.S. issued its first stamps in 1847. Thus, the U.S. show in the 1990s was Pacific 97.

One of the first steps is to get the approval of the national stamp collecting federation, which in the U.S. is the American Philatelic Society.

“We were ‘anointed’ last year,” Boston 2026 president Nancy Clark tells The Virtual Stamp Club.

“It’s going to be a fabulous gathering in Beantown,” Clark added. ”There are always invited special rarities that are superb and that you don’t see any other time.”

But it won’t just be world-class exhibits.

“You’re going to have post offices from around the world, you’re going to have dealers from around the world,” she said in the VSC interview.

Clark and others are also looking forward to seeing old friends from other countries.

“As my daughter likes to say, ‘You’re going to a reunion.’

Will there be anything at the show for more casual collectors or even the general public?

“Absolutely, Lloyd, you know my reputation is built on some substance,” Clark replied. “There will be meat and potatoes philately going on in an area that is for beginners.”

According to Yamil H. Kouri, Jr., a member of the Boston 2026 committee, noted that Boston is the fifth largest metro area in the United States. About 22 percent of the U.S. population and 52 percent of Canada’s live within a one-day drive of Boston.

The theme of the show will be the 250th anniversary of the United States.

The show will be held at the Boston Convention Center in the Seaport district.

boston2026logo“We’re going to be taking up the entire convention center,” Clark told The VSC. “It’s downtown, it’s right next to the main post office area where they do all the sorting and stuff, straight on the Silver Line [of the rail transit system] right out of the airport, it’s very easy to get to, and you’re within walking distance of anything downtown.”

The Boston 2026 committee is strongly allied with the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum in Weston, MA, and the Northeast Federation of Stamp Clubs, which puts on Philatelic Show each year in Boxboro, MA. The latter has already paid the $10,000 down payment to reserve the convention center.

The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel is attached to the convention center, but in 2019, a second attached hotel should be completed and open. The Committee also promises two nearby moderately-priced hotels.

Asked at an open meeting during World Stamp Show-New York 2016 about the Boston show’s logo (shown above), publicity chair Tom Fortunato — who handled the same job for Washington 2006 and WSS-NY16 — replied that logos for “internationals” often change during the long gestation period. Boston 2026 executive director Mark Butterline pointed out that there is no standout icon for Boston, unlike New York’s Statue of Liberty or Washington’s Capitol dome.

Asked at the meeting about Boston 2026’s “vision,” Kouri replied, “different than the New York Show.”

World Stamp Show-New York 2016 Opens

The featured speakers at the opening ceremony both knew about stamps from personal experience: U.S. Navy Admiral (ret.) Thomas B. Fargo collects them – “Collecting has been an immensely satisfying part of my life.” – and U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing & Sales Officer James Cochrane has been selling them for his entire career, starting at New Jersey post offices where he began his career. wss_ribbonFrom left to right, Master of Ceremonies Jamie Gough, “Alexander Hamilton,” Adm. Fargo, WSS-NY president Wade Saadi, Vice Admiral Joseph P. Mulloy, and Cochrane, cut the ribbon to start the snow.

wss_mulloyThe two Naval officers were a nod to New York City’s “Fleet Week,” an annual event where many U.S. Navy ships dock in the city and the streets are filled with sailors and Marines on shore leave.

In introducing Fargo, a former three-star admiral, Mulloy (left) mentioned that both men were submariners, and that Fargo had visited the North Pole in 1993 but “he did not make any covers.”

Fargo said he had, although only to send letters to wss_fargomembers of his family. He also admitted that he was more of a “shoebox collector.” His holdings include “my prized mint plate block collection.” When he asked an expert about what to do with that collection, he related wryly, the response was “Have you ever thought of using it for postage?”

Fargo ended his speech by noting that the last day of the show, June 4th, is the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, a turning point for World War II in the Pacific Ocean, and next December 7th will be the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Read more on Fargo and his distinguished career here.)

Gough, the MC, praised the USPS for delivering quickly almost everywhere in the USA “for 49 cents” [oops] and suggested that if those attending the show are worried about the government reading their e-mails, “send a letter.”

wss_cochraneCochrane mentioned that the USPS employs more than 113,000 veterans. He then announced several new digital products from the USPS: An e-book version of The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps, USPS Stamp App, and some digital features to the World Stamp Show Folio that was issued Saturday at WSS-NY. He predicted that it is a matter of time before U.S. stamps themselves have electronic features, such as video and audio!

[We will have more on the app and e-book soon. Meanwhile, check out the press release from the USPS.]]

He noted that the Classics Forever stamps coming out next week at WSS has water-soluble adhesive: “You asked for it and we heard you.”

Cochrane also said the USPS has brought in more collectors by expanding topical offerings. He wrapped up by saying he would be the dedicating official at the Assateague Island National Seashore on the first day of the National Park Service Centennial stamps, while Postmaster General Megan Brennan will handle the main first day ceremony at the show.

wss_hamiltonThen there was a surprise speaker: Alexander Hamilton. The humorous speech was mostly about his life and times, and how even he can’t get tickets to the smash hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” There wasn’t much philatelic content in his talk until at the end he mentioned the 1957 $5 stamp with his portrait on it.

The “recreator” was later on the so how floor.

[BTW, he referred to himself as “a bastard and his orphan.” I read the 2005 Ron Chernow book, considered the definitive biography of Hamilton and on which wss_weizmanthe musical is based, and Hamilton never considered himself a bastard. -LdeV]

Just before the ribbon cutting, “Magenta” owner and shoe designer Stuart Weizman (left) gave a short welcome via video from Spain; he said he would be attending the show later in its run.

WSS-NY16 Exhibits Listing Now Available

April 10, 2016

For Immediate Release

Exhibits Listing Now Available

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 is pleased to announce that the listings of competitive philatelic and literature exhibits are now posted on its web site at

Available in two versions, sorted by frame number and also by exhibitor last name, the details will be useful for those planning a visit to the exhibition, as well as collectors interested in seeing the depth and breadth of subjects on display and in print. These will be updated whenever possible, as minor changes are expected.

The Exhibits Selection Committee received applications for many more frames than were initially available. In fact, the initial allocation of 3,800 competitive frames was increased to meet some of the demand.

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 Commissioner General Stephen D. Schumann and Judges & Judging Chairman Stephen Reinhard commented, “These are the finest selections of competitive exhibits to be shown at a World Philatelic Exhibition in many years. The selection process was very difficult, considering we had over 6,500 frames applied for and we could only accommodate 4,125.”

A complete breakdown of frames among the 700 different exhibits is on the web site. Summarizing those results, Postal History leads the way with 204 exhibits, followed by Traditional with 159, Single Frame with 82, Thematic with 61, Youth with 52, and the remaining classes making up the difference.

Also online is the list of 175 literature entries. Like their stamp counterparts, application requests far exceeded initial estimates. These entries are in one of three classes: A: Philatelic books and research papers; B. Philatelic magazines and periodicals; and C. Catalogs. Accepted entries in each class were 103, 38, and 34 respectively.

The medal design for the exhibition was recently released. A very limited quantity of WSS-NY 2016 medals are being custom die struck in antique bronze, measuring 2” x 3” inches and weighing almost eight ounces.

Designed by Niko Courtelis, it features the show logo on the obverse within a raised stamp border, while the back features a stylized magnifying glass that creates an area for medal recipients’ names to be custom engraved.

The medals are being minted by the Northwest Territorial Mint/Medallic Art Company using 900 tons of pressure at a production facilities in Northern Nevada. Medallic Art Company ( was founded in 1903 and is American owned and operated.

The last of the exhibit frames are on the way from the Texas manufacturing facility to the New Jersey warehouse to join the rest that have already arrived. All will be set up by Javits Center staff and ready for loading by Wednesday, May 25. The frames are available for sale at the conclusion of the show. Anyone interested in purchasing them should email as soon as possible for details.

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 takes place May 28-June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City. All 8 days will be filled with meetings and seminars, 200 dealers and postal administrations to browse through, first day ceremonies, and much, much more. Check out more information on the show home page at and as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Thomas M. Fortunato
Rochester, NY
Chairman, Marketing and Public Relations
World Stamp Show- NY 2016
Join us May 28-June 4, 2016
Javits Center, New York City

Americover 2016 Tour: Post & Postal

[The AFDCS got an “offer too good to refuse” for special programs at the National Postal Museum, and has revised its pre-Americover Tour. This is the revised press release]

Group Will Attend Special Sundman Lecture On Parks

NPM-exterior2The American First Day Cover Society’s pre-Americover tour will include special presentations at the National Postal Museum.

Americover 2016 will be held in Falls Church, Va., August 19-21, just outside Washington, D.C. On the way to the museum, the bus will drop participants off at the National Mall for several hours to see whichever monuments and museums they choose.

NPM-interior2At the NPM, former National Park Service interpretive planner Paul Lee will present a special Sundman lecture, “Parks, Postmarks, and Postmasters: Post Offices Within The National Park System.” The program combines real-life drama and human interest.This year is the centennial of the National Park Service.

The Maynard Sundman lecture series at the Museum features talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting. Lee has worked at parks in the U.S., American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.

npm_piazzaAfter lunch, NPM Chief Curator Daniel Piazza (left) will give a guided tour of “Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks,” followed by a tour of the rest of the facility. Members of the group will have a chance to see their own cachets in the Owney the Postal Dog FDC exhibit.

“This tour gives our members and guests both a chance to explore some of Washington’s most famous sites and to attend a private tour and lecture at the National Postal Museum,” said Chris Lazaroff, chair of Americover 2016.

Membership is not required to take the tour.

The price, which covers bus transportation and a box lunch provided by Donald Sundman of Mystic Stamp Company, is $50 per person if purchased before July 1st, and $55 after that date. Tickets may be purchased online at or by mail, using the insert in the March-April issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS. Non-members are welcome on the tour and can request a copy of the Americover 2016 event order form by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the AFDCS, PO Box 44, Annapolis Jct., MD 20701-npmgross11cap0044..

Each year, a group from Americover tours local sites the day before the show opens. There is also a Sunday evening event involving dinner; this year, it will be at P.J. Skidoos, a local restaurant favorite.

There is a special Americover room rate of $99 at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park Hotel, which includes Wednesday and Sunday nights. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers) at the show, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a dedication ceremony on Sunday for the Soda Fountain Favorites stamps, and a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers.

For more information on Americover 2016 and the AFDCS, contact the AFDCS at P.O. Box 16277, Tucson, Ariz. 85732-6277, email or visit

Gems Abound in WSS-NY 2016

March 24, 2016
For Immediate Release

Gems Abound in WSS-NY 2016

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 is pleased to announce that it has finalized arrangements to display an unprecedented array of priceless philatelic material in the exhibition’s Court of Honor and Invited Exhibits. Many can be viewed online here:

British_Guiana_13The world’s most valuable stamp will be there, the unique British Guiana one cent magenta, which was sold at auction June 17, 2014 for $9.48 million dollars to fashion shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. Its celebrated story of being found in 1873 by a 12 year old schoolboy is legendary. The stamp is on a three-year loan to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and will be in a special display case at their booth through Friday of the show.

The world’s first two postage stamps will be represented by truly remarkable items courtesy of The Postal Museum of Great Britain and their National Archives. Two specially designed frames will feature two sheets: the very first printed registration sheet of the Penny Black, plate 1 before hardening, dated April 15, 1840; and the earliest known example of the two penny blue, a sheet from plate 3 from January 1841. Both sheets, nyprovisionalsoriginally of 240 examples, are nearly intact with just a couple dozen of each removed. The 1d sheet has never been shown outside of the United Kingdom, while the 2d sheet has never been on public display anywhere. A presentation about them, “Postal Reform & the Penny Black,” will be given at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, May 31 by Douglas N. Muir, Senior Curator, Philately, The Postal Museum.

The earliest known example of the Penny Black postage stamp from the collection of Alan Holyoake will also be on display. It was recently discovered in the personal archive of Robert Wallace, the leading postal reformer of the time, who created an archive of items panaminvertdealing with Great Britain’s penny postage program of 1840. The stamp, lettered A I, comes from the first row of the sheet printed from the first printing plate 1a completed on April 8, 1840. The stamp is attached on a sheet of stout paper together with a proof of a Mulready, as presented by Rowland Hill to the Council of Academicians on April 10 for approval of the proposed design, which was enthusiastically given. At the top of this sheet Wallace inscribed in his own hand, “1st Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover, presented to Mr. Wallace by the Right Honable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring, April 10th, 1840.” and endorsed beneath the stamp, “Universal Penny Postage Fly or Loose Stamp, presented to me Mr Wallace as above” and noted “ These come into public use on the 6th of May 1840”.

mauritiusballenvelopeThe postal history of the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is forever entwined with the story behind its first issue of 1847. Lady Gomm, wife of the governor, was planning a lavish ball and decorated the invitation envelopes with new-fangled postage stamps hastily produced by a local watch maker. Each was to have been inscribed “Post Paid,” but shortly after being released were found to bear “Post Office” instead. It is believed fourteen 1d orange red and twelve 2d deep blue stamps have survived, along with only three Ball covers. The only such cover in public hands will be on display, from the collection of Vikramm Chand.

All of these rarities and many more await visitors to World Stamp Show-NY 2016. The 8 day exhibition takes place May 28 through June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City. Discover more online at Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites.