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Postal Rate Resource

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 748Next Topic  
Valued Member
United States
87 Posts
Posted 04/05/2019   5:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Moschophoros to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I often find myself wondering why stamps come in the denominations they do. Is there a resource that either: 1) Lists the various postal rates (letter, post card, extra ounce, etc.) in a given country at a given time, or that 2) explains the purpose of each denomination in a given set of stamps.

I know sometimes they (like the Prexies) just use all the integers from 1-25 (with the Prexies skipping 23) and then use rounder numbers for the larger denominations, or something similar, while at other times the numbers seem almost random: In the 1980-85 Great Americans set, the denominations start in order, then get odd: why the 17c Rachel Carson or the 37c Robert Millikan? The transportation coils get even weirder with all the non-profit, pre-sorted, bulk rate, etc.

I have the same question for Worldwide stamps. Thanks for any resources I can be directed to.

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1806 Posts
Posted 04/05/2019   5:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postal rates is a VAST field and in my experience the information can be quite challenge to find. Much is written in books rather than freely available on the internet. Much of the information that is available focuses on letter rates so finding information on additional services like registration is even more difficult.

You'll also have the additional challenge of locating information in languages other than English.

By way of an example, here's a site, in French, that has information on the postal rates of France:

http://phil-ouest.com/TarifsPostaux...s=DatesDebut

Hope this helps but if you are looking for specific information please ask and we will see if we can help
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Posted 04/05/2019   7:23 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is a US Postal Rate Tool and information on Stamp Smarter (link to it located at bottom of every page).
http://stampsmarter.com/
Don
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Rest in Peace
United States
4052 Posts
Posted 04/05/2019   7:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
'
My impression is that most of us consider ourselves lucky to have resources that tell us what the rates were at any given time, let alone the reasoning behind every denomination in every series.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 04/05/2019   8:18 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most of the US definitive reasoning are available on Stamp Smarter in Definitive Finder section ('Usage' column) as shown below


http://stampsmarter.com/1847usa/1847Home.html
Don
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Pillar Of The Community
3804 Posts
Posted 04/05/2019   8:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Quite a few of the Prexies do not have distinct rates, but are complex combinations of postage and fees to get solo uses.

With the Great Americans series, the higher denominations tend to be for additional-ounce letters.
When the 1st ounce was 20, the additional ounces were 17, thus the 17 and the 37 denominations.
The 1st ounce rate went to 22 with additional ounces remaining at 17 and then we got the 39.
The 1st ounce rate went to 25 with additional ounces at 20 and we got the 45 and 65, etc.

YES, stamps tend to be issued in denominations which match commonly used rates.

For U.S., I use the Beecher-Wawrukiewicz rate books constantly.
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Valued Member
United States
87 Posts
Posted 04/06/2019   08:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moschophoros to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for pointing out some nice resources. I'm finding answers to some questions, but not all. It would be nice one day to be able to add the purpose of each stamp to my albums.

I was poking around the USPS website and found a page with links to some historical data spreadsheets. Includes rates for everything including bulk mail, non-profit, etc. It's cumbersome and not user friendly, but does exist. I can't post links yet, so here is a pic. The "Domestic Rate History" link seems to be the most comprehensive.






Worldwide is certainly going to be much more of a headache, as most reources will be in the native language. I used to work for the Packard Humanities Institute creating a database of ancient Greek inscriptions on stone. To get the best text/reading for each inscription, we had to read all literature ever written about the stone, which usually meant that the original articles were all in the language of the country of origin for the stone. The joke between my boss and I was: "This stone was discovered in Albania - Guess it's time for us to learn to read Albanian!" So we did. I learned how to read (with very limited and specialized vocabulary) 14 European languages. I got this!

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Australia
1806 Posts
Posted 04/06/2019   5:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For older rates, I can help with British Empire, Denmark, Belgium, France and Japan.

Another great resource is specialised auction catalogues on the postal history of a given country.

Knowing about the colours of certain stamps issued under UPU conventions can also help with equating one currency with another.
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United States
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Posted 04/06/2019   6:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I ran across this website a while back for Great Britain postal Rates.

http://www.gbps.org.uk/information/rates/

Given the source, I would assume they are pretty complete and reliable.

I would like to see anyone who knows of a site with on-line historical postal rates post a link here in this thread.

If we get enough, perhaps Don can create some sort of page on Stamp Smarter to consolidate these in an easy to use manner.
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122 Posts
Posted 04/08/2019   8:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philatomic to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Richard Nazar's Plate Number Coil Catalog includes information about the rates paid by many of the Transportation series coil stamps. The catalog is online here:

http://www.usastamps.com/references...%20Nazar.pdf
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