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The thrill of the hunt.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

In October, the U-S Postal Service reprinted its popular Purple Heart stamp. Most people,
including most stamp collectors, wonít notice any difference.

The design is the same as the version issued last year, but this time, the printer changed
and so did the production method. The new stamps also have micro-printing on them ó very
hard to see with the naked eye.

In the recent past, a new printing might have warranted an announcement from the Postal
Service, as well as special cancellations to mark the date the new version went on sale.
Not this time: No cancellations and no announcement. All we know about the release date
is ďsometime in October.Ē

Now itís up to stamp collectors to find envelopes with the stamp postmarked on the earliest
date the stamp was used on the mail.

Until about a hundred years ago, thatís the way it was with ALL U-S stamps: They just
appeared at post offices, and collectors and cataloguers had to figure out when the
stamps went on sale.

The Postal Service says this is a new policy ó no announcements for reprints. Some
collectors will be disappointed, but others will enjoy chasing down these envelopes
documenting the Earliest Known Use.

Iím Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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