The Problem with Coils

United States coils have always presented a problem to stamp collectors. The first problem was whether they should be collected at all, at least as major numbers with spaces in all the stamp albums. US coils were the first worldwide coils to be issued and were done so at the behest of large businesses that did a great deal of mailing. In the days before postage meters, it was much easier to get a coil roll and place the stamps on envelopes without having to tear them into strips or singles first. Within a few years, large machines were affixing coils for mailing houses, and the Postal Service was issuing coils in rolls of up to 5,000 for their machines. The real issue for stamp catologers at the time was how to list coils. They are stamps of a different format but not of a different design from the regular issues that they came from. Precedence should have dictated that the stamps not receive a separate catalog listing, at least not as major numbers. The issue had come up before with booklet stamps. Earlier US booklets originally had had single stamps from the booklet listed as collectible varieties, but they were excluded after a short period of time. Then for several years, specialists collected

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