Summer in stamps anything but quiet

Summer is gone and we are returning back to stamp collecting.
BNAPEX, covered in this issue, sort of marks the transition from summer back to the cooler weather and shorter days. Many collectors, I suspect, have barely opened their albums over the past months, with the possible exceptions of attending the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada or American Philatelic Society conventions.

However this summer has been quite eventful. For starters, the huge excitement of the discovery of a third two-cent Large Queen green on laid paper gave the summer quite a boost. While it is true that very few of us will own a stamp this rare, or even get a chance to look at one, the story proves that great discoveries are out there to be made if you have a keen eye and the right knowledge. For me it was a great personal story, because I get the bragging rights for being the guy who broke the story. Journalistic detective stories are quite rare, and believe me, they are even rarer in the stratified world of stamp collecting.

This is a story that started as a bit of rumour going around that “something” was out there, which I first picked up on at the RPSC convention in Winnipeg. Armed with that rumour, I spent hours talking to people and sifting through possibilities. There were a few false reports along the way, but finally I got the thing figured out. However, it was still totally unconfirmed. It took a few more days back at the office and bit more sleuthing before I had enough to actually feel confident running a story. Even so, I was a bit nervous until a few days after that issue of Canadian Stamp News hit the street and the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Foundation came out with an official report.

For me, it was a high point of the summer. From a philatelic standpoint, there were others. The decay of traditional mail services continues to fascinate me. I feel as if I am an eyewitness to events that future postal historians will discuss. Finally, the summer ended with two massive stamp series focused on NHL hockey teams and Superman. The day of complex commemorative stamp programs is here. Stamp issues of the future, it seems, will commonly involve half a dozen or more stamps. Some of these issues are really attractive and interesting, but I’m still not sure if it is just too much of a good thing. Only time will tell.

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