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United States/Covers & Postmarks : USPS selectively demonetizes stamp

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
02 Mar 2013
12:10:27pm
The USPS (at least in Lewiston, ME) appears to be able to demonitize stamps at will. Note the cover below which I received yesterday with "postage due." And they also must utlilize some form of new math, as they disallowed 90¢ and then assessed postage due of $1.91! Oh, well, and so it goes...
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Mar 2013
06:59:48pm
re: USPS selectively demonetizes stamp

well, you're both right: it's a stamp and it's a picture of a stamp.

Philatelists will recognize it as one quarter of a SS issued some time ago commemorating the first bi-colored US stamp. The 25 intervening years between issuance and use probably lead to forgetfulness. And, of course, this stamp saw very little postal use, so carriers who never handled mint stamps are not likely to have encountered it.

Incidentally, you HAD a plain cover with old stamps; you now have a really neat piece of postal history. It had little value before, but much more now.

The PO has not demonetized any general issue stamps since 1861; they have limited the usage of some, notably special delivery stamps, to franking only Express Mail packages, although I suspect that few carriers are familiar with that rule.

Nice cover, Bobby, and thanks for sharing.

David

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
02 Mar 2013
08:05:30pm
re: USPS selectively demonetizes stamp

Yeah, I figured $1.91 was cheap for such a nice cover. But I still cannot figure out how they came up with $1.91 postage due? The total postage was only $1.06 and the sender told me he had his local PO weigh the envelope before he sent it. Is there some kind of penalty associated with the use of "fake" stamps?

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Mar 2013
09:14:59pm
re: USPS selectively demonetizes stamp

Yes, there is a penalty surcharge for using invalid postage. Not sure where the provision is for it in the DMM, though.

I would have argued the facts with the clerk that the stamp was genuine. However, they may be aware of the miniature sheet of stamps issued for Pacific '97, Scott #3139-3140 where there were over-sized images of Scott #1 and #2 printed in the wrong colors on the sheets. The colors were similar to Scott #948a and 948b. The oversized images were not valid for postage, but they sure do look like they are. As a result, many people did cut them out of the sheets to use them for postage. Many got through the mails, but USPS got wise to it and issued a bulletin to the post offices advising them of the invalid stamps.

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