Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 45

From time to time someone asks me what I think of new or recent issues of United States stamps. It amazes them to hear that I don’t know anything about or perhaps haven’t seen the particular stamps in question.

This isn’t because I lack curiosity about our latest issues. It isn’t because I downgrade America’s stamps or because I depreciate the philatelic value of studying current issues. It’s simply that the philatelic world is so vast and the 250,000 or so past issues so numerous, that I seldom find time to watch the philatelic present.

The United States stamps issues after the Flag series of 1943 are more or less a blur to me. Perhaps it is because they lack scheme. They are mostly a mass of individual stamps, generally tied to a purpose or event that doesn’t stand out in our history. We need sets of stamps distinctive in appearance and issued for important reasons.

Our earlier issues demonstrate what I mean. The Columbians, Pan Americans, Panama Pacifics and others of that time are not all lookalikes. The range of their denomination makes for varying degrees of scarcity. They didn’t make every day a “new issue day” and dull the excitement of such events. They distinctively impressed themselves on stamp collectors.

I’m for a return to those stamp issuing principles.