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Question About These Christmas Stamps

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Pillar Of The Community

United States
577 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   3:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add modernstamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have a bunch of these Peace on Earth 10 cents Self-Adhesive stamps.
I have two questions that I hope someone could answer.

Question #1
What does it mean that they are "Precanceled"?

Question #2
Can these stamps be used as postage?

Any help is really appreciated.
Thanks!


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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2471 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   4:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
the Postal Service declared these as precancelled meaning they would not require cancelling when used (the concept was once they were off the backing they could not be reused).

they are still valid
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
577 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   6:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi chasa,
Thank you for your help.
I even looked some online and I couldn't figure that out.
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Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   7:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dsmith426 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You need to get a permit from usps before you can use them on mail. There is no fee for the permit.

Here are the details on the usps website:

https://pe.usps.com/businessmail101...sApplication
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
577 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   9:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dsmith426,
Thanks for the link and the information.
I'm learning a lot here.
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Pillar Of The Community
674 Posts
Posted 04/06/2018   11:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mdroth to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All US stamps issued since the civil war are still valid for postage. You have to have the right amount of postage, obviously - these are only 10c, so you would need to use a bunch! These were issued in the '70s & the USPS's 1st attempt at self-stick stamps. The 'gum' was notoriously bad, and over time, discolored the stamps. (They're supposed to be white!) Yours actually look really good, compared to most - I would keep it!!
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1624 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   09:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
they're in better shape than mine
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Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   10:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dsmith426 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Special delivery, special handling, postage due and Certified Mail stamps are also not valid for postage per section 1.3 page 860 of the Postal Services Domestic Mail Manual.

Here is section 1.3 in full:

1.3 Postage Stamps Invalid for Use

The following are not valid to pay postage for U.S. domestic or U.S.-originated
international mail:

a. Postage due, special delivery, special handling, and Certified Mail stamps.

b. Stamps of other countries.

c. United Nations stamps, unless on mail deposited at the United Nations, NY.

d. U.S. stamps that are mutilated or defaced; cut from stamped envelopes,
aerogrammes, or stamped cards; covered or coated in such a manner that
canceling or defacing marks cannot be printed onto the stamps; or
overprinted with an unauthorized design, message, or other marking.

e. Nonpostage stamps, such as migratory-bird hunting and conservation
stamps, U.S. saving and thrift stamps.


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Pillar Of The Community
United States
578 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   1:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dsmith426:modernstamps: These specific stamps were an experimental issue & first self-adhesives. They were for regular 1st class postage & did not require a special permit, they were offered to by-pass the cancellation machinery. they had a slit in the center that would tear if removed from the envelope. The adhesive was somewhat harmful to the stamp, as after a short time, (within the year) unused sheets exhibited a staining of the stamp. It was determined that the chemical make-up of the adhesive was bleeding through & the cause and no further self-adhesives were issued for decades. The USPS figured it out & began issuing self-adhesives which for now, do not exhibit the bleeding damage. There were other Christmas issues that were pre-cancelled & I believe they also could be used without a permit as they were used at the full 1st class rate. Most pre-cancels were bulk postage & those did require a permit & special sorting by the user. (Those are clean compared to my block)
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1258 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   1:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
elegies, thanks for clearing up the situation. I was reasonably certain that these could be used for first class postage without a permit but couldn't provide the reasoning to support this.
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Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   3:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dsmith426 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Eligies,

I don't know what the original intent of this specific pre-cancel was, but the rules the post office use now is you need a permit to use on first class mail. You file it with the post office you will be using them on first class mail and when you mail them you get them hand canceled by the clerk (they verify you can use them) and will hand cancel them so another attentive or diligent postal worker or carrier spots the misused of them and marks the mail piece as postage due.

Will a piece of mail with precancel stamps go through the mail undetected is a whole different discussion, but I would hate for someone in the future to google about using pre-cancled stamps for first class postage and find a post that informs them they can use precancels and then runs into a problem like their car insurance expires because their payment was stopped due to insufficient postage on the envelope.

PS: the questions asked were:

Question #1
What does it mean that they are "Precanceled"?

Question #2
Can these stamps be used as postage?



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Edited by dsmith426 - 04/07/2018 3:30 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1258 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   4:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To summarize, these stamps, though they are marked precanceled, could be used for first class postage without a permit when they were initially issued. The question that remains is whether they can still be so used today. While I think the answer should be yes, I admit that I don't know. Add to this the likelihood that postal clerks won't know either. Successful use of these for postage today would likely depend upon who notices them ... maybe they would be accepted and maybe they would not. Note that this is entirely independent of whether usage without a permit is technically legitimate.
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Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   4:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dsmith426 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent Summary!

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Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
Posted 04/07/2018   5:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dsmith426 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just found Plate Number Coil Society has some information (starting in the 1980s) on the permit, collectors use of it, and concludes following the rules doesn't mean it will end smoothly.

Here is the link:

https://pnc3.org/Reference/Precancels.php


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Edited by dsmith426 - 04/07/2018 5:07 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1203 Posts
Posted 04/09/2018   04:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was an interesting exhibit of this issue at WESTPEX several years ago.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
578 Posts
Posted 04/09/2018   09:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
clarification (I think): The subject stamps although pre-cancelled were an experiment for general use 1st class mail, to help expedite mail processing during the busiest mailing periods of the Post Office.. Christmas. The article presented does indicate that there were pre-cancel 1st class issues ( letter & post card rates) that had another requirement, Pre-Sorting. These issues were required to be allowed via permit only (just as bulk rates) to insure that an initial presort was performed to qualify for a discount rate (depending upon depth of initial mailer sort) & were eligible for mail drop off at a specific receiving facility, to be platform sorted to destination transportation (on the platform) by-passing the culling, cancelling, sorting & other sundry handling operations in the processing areas. If you receive insurance bills from a large national company you will notice a presorted, first class indicia at a considerable discount from the 'greeting card' mailer costs. (My car insurance bill was mailed @ a $00.408 rate vice a $00.50). These mailers use large volumes of mail with a deep initial sort (to carrier route ID bar code) to realize such rates. Granted the USPS has provided non-volume mailers (in the Philatelic area) to obtain a permit for limited use. At times I think that the interchange of the terms Pre-Cancel, Pre-sort, bulk rates are somewhat confused in their description & use. There have not been issues of 1st class pre-cancels available to the general public without obtaining a permit for legal use in some time. The subject stamp was issued in 1974. Since these stamps were issued to the general public for non-discounted postage use, I believe they remain available for general postage use, with appropriate make-up postage. I do not believe that there are any restrictions as I have received several mailings from dealers with multiple issues, inclusive of this subject issue.
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