What's in a Postmark?

I know there are a lot of "things" that help to increase the value of a stamp.

What about the Postmark? Can you add value for a killer, circle or bullet, SON, wavy lines, hand stamp, machine stamp and I imagine many more beyond my knowledge?

I'd like to hear from all you experts on this, please and thank you.


  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I'm not an expert by any means, Luree, and have never collected postal history or cancels. It is a very broad subject.

    My interest and education began 20 years ago when I inherited Dad's mostly disorganized hoard of US material. In order to begin to understand what I had, I joined the Indiana Postal History Society and began getting to know the members. I joined the US Cancellation Club and began receiving their very nice "Cancellation Club News." I bought a couple of books devoted to US fancy cancels and downloaded other material that was available at no cost online. Since I'm also a history buff, this was all very interesting to me. A great learning experience.

    Others will surely provide links to online reference materials and opinions. In the meantime, you might check out these links at Don's "Stamp Smarter" site. http://www.stampsmarter.com/features/Links_Home.html. There may be some good information there or at least some good leads to that sort of information elsewhere.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the value of a stamp's cancel can be negated by the removal of the stamp from the cover on which it was used. Often, a large part of a cancel isn't even on the stamp.

    I never really thought about it this way before, but my inheritance of Dad's US postal history and fancy cancels accumulations was one of the factors that led to my loss of interest in collecting stamps. I was (and still am) working to sell Dad's stamps and postal history, but have done a deep dive into learning about the items in the process. It has been a very enlightening experience.

  • Hi Tom,
    Thanks. The blocks I'm work with have been soaked off the FDC's. But there was one block that has 4 or 5 circles on each stamp. I do understand that would be a killer cancel as it has blocked out one of the guys on the stamp, but not the whole stamp. And when I am working with a whole envelope I look at the whole cancel as some were very interesting.

    I just didn't know if they also brought another nickel to the value of the stamp.

    I'll be checking out Don's site, thanks for the link.
  • RPO cancels (Railway Post Office) can add to the value for those who collect such cancels.
  • Thanks Michael, I forgot about them. Yes I do have a few and knew about them.

    Any more thoughts?
  • Dates of historical importance.
  • Luree - if you'll forgive the self-promotion, below you'll find a link to the Empire State Postal History Society's link to my exhibit on the marcophily of Hudson, New York. It takes you from the EKU stampless (1793) to 1919 and the progression of the various markings used which to some extent mimic those of many US PO's. If you have any questions after (if) you look, I'd be glad to address them.

  • [quote] I'd be glad to address them.[/quote]

    I see what you did, there. :smiley:
  • George, that's a very impressive presentation of the Hudson, NY postal history. Nice work!
  • edited May 12 0 LikesVote Down
    There are many many different types of cancels to collect. I like the number ones (most European countries used), box rollers, registry, Belgian Railway, and of course precancels. Check out http://www.precancels.com for more info on those.

  • Thank you Thomas...it took years to put together.

    Ted.... I wish I could say that was intentional LOL
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