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Pressing the issues.
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
The sheet of stamps you buy at the post office really isn’t a sheet. It’s a PANE, or a
section of the much larger sheet that comes off the printing press. A “press sheet,” as
t’s called, for a commemorative stamp may contain six or eight panes, which are then
cut apart for sale at post offices.
But some collectors wanted entire press sheets, and for the past several years, the
U-S Postal Service has accommodated them.
Then some collectors wanted press sheets without die cuts — that is, the shallow cuts
that separate the stamps but not the backing paper. The Postal Service now sells
But let’s face it… the stamps in those press sheets without die cuts really aren’t
intended for use on the mail. They’re collector items, and so the stamp catalogue
editors wouldn’t list them.
Until now. The 20-16 Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps now includes
these “imperforate” stamps — that is, stamps without perforations or the separating
The Scott catalogues dominate collecting in the U-S, and their readers said they needed
catalogue numbers in order to keep track of their collections. The editors heard them,
thought about it, and said “OK.”
By the way, if you want one of these stamps for your collection, you can buy a press
sheet, cut apart the stamps with scissors and use the dozens of leftovers for postage.
Or just buy one from a friend or a stamp dealer.
I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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