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Rating Commercial Usage Of 65 Cent Hap Arnold Stamp

 
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Posted 12/06/2022   08:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I need some help, or guidance, in rating commercial usage of the 65 cent Hap Arnold stamp. I have five six peices dating from 1991 through 2018, the first involving domestic usage, and the others involving international usage. I have the B&W volume for domestic US rates through 1993, but am having difficulty determing the rate class, e.g., what tables in the 1872-1993 B&W cover this piece (illustrated below). I do not have B&W for international US rates. In checking various booksellers, I don't see anything later than the edition covering 1872 to 1996. Is that the latest? Where would one go for discerning rates for, say 2015 or 2018 (the dates for two of the peices)?

Here is the first peice (I'll follow up with the other five in separate replies to this thread after this one), postmarked APR 25, 1991:

Basil
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Edited by blcjr - 12/06/2022 09:24 am

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Posted 12/06/2022   10:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cover 1:
1.00 certified fee
0.29 first ounce postage
0.23 second ounce postage
1.52 total

The Hap Arnold stamp was issued Nov 5, 1988 during the period of April 3, 1988 to February 2, 1991, when the rate was 25 cents for the first ounce and 20 for additional ounces.Thus it paid for a 3 ounce letter. Similarly, the 75 cent Wendell Willkie stamp pays 29+23+23, then the 78 cent Alice Paul stamp pays 32+23+23. Oddly a total rate going down for heavier letters, the 77 cent Mary Breckinridge then paid 33+22+22 as the additional ounces got cheaper. Finding solo uses of these 3-ounce rate stamps on modest-sized covers is a worthy challenge.
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Edited by John Becker - 12/06/2022 10:19 am
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Posted 12/06/2022   10:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Basil:

We have posted some updates to the Beecher & Wawrukiewicz books on Stamp Smarter at this link.

https://stampsmarter.org/learning/Home_TonyW.html

Scroll down past the initial group of his Linn's columns to view (and download if you would like.

The only edition of the International Rates is the one you cite. When your budget permits, you should add it to your library. I believe it can be purchased through the APS/APRL or it does show up on eBay occasionally.

The full text of most of the USPS Rate Notices (Publication 123) for the past 20 years can also be found on Stamp Smarter here. They include both domestic and international rates.

https://stampsmarter.org/learning/PostalRates.html

Mike

Edited for spelling.


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Edited by mml1942 - 12/06/2022 10:51 am
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Posted 12/06/2022   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Second cover. Dating it is a challenge, but the year is clear enough: 1995. On the back is what appears to be a transit stamp for Jamaca, NY, dated MAY (or MAR?) 4, 1995. Also on the back is an Istanbul stamp dated 8-3-??, and a receipt stamp on the front dated 9-3-95.

I know it would make more sense if the Istanbul backstamp was 9-3, but this looks to me like 8-3:

Are the ink pen markings (123 and 360) from a postal clerk? Any idea what they might mean? The cover I post in the next reply is similar, with even more ink pen markings.

Basil

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Posted 12/06/2022   12:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cover 2:
4.85 registration fee
1.10 receipt requested
0.50 airmail postage
6.45 total
(Fully from the 1872-1996 B&W international rate book.)

From Mike's post above, you have the tools available to figure out your covers. Give it a try and share your results/conclusions with a cover!
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Edited by John Becker - 12/06/2022 12:15 pm
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Posted 12/06/2022   12:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dating this one is more certain, though there are no Turkish date stamps:

What do the ink pen markings mean?
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Posted 12/06/2022   12:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The writing under the stamps includes a date 2.6.97, in the European format for 2 June 1997, thus it was added at the receiving end and is not related to the original rating calculations. The 266 appears to be in the same ink.

What is your analysis of the rating?
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Posted 12/06/2022   12:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll give the third cover a shot on my own. I think now that the ink pen notations give me a clue. I'll see what I can figure out from the links Mike posted. I'm up for the learning challenge!

I think the final three are simple international letters at a time the international letter rate was $1.15:

I think the year on the third is 2019, and .65+.25+.15=1.15. Are the first two overpaid?
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Posted 12/06/2022   1:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cover #3:

4.85 registration fee (w/o insurance)
1.50 return receipt requested
.60 airmail
-----
6.95

Stamps 2+2+2+.65+.30 = 6.95

So why the $4.80/$1.50 marking?
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Posted 12/06/2022   2:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Perhaps it was the senders original estimate for the postage, but done incorrectly, with the correct amount calculated by the clerk when presented for mailing.
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Posted 12/06/2022   2:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 480 / 150 mark go with the date in the third line and my proposed explanation given previously.

You'll need to check the "Notice 123" charts on the stampsmarter site for the appropriate date ranges for each cover. But yes, "convenience overpayment" for multiple ounces and on international mail is fairly common, especially by eBay sellers using discount postage.

As to whether the last two (the ones from Asset Auctions and Apopka) are "commercial" ... Some will say "yes" as they are mailed to conduct the commerce of the sender, while some may say "no" since the business is philatelic in nature. They also use stamps out-of-period, which is a non-commercial feature in the view of some collectors. They are in a gray area and you will get divergent opinions.

The Arnold stamp was withdrawn from sale at the philatelic fulfillment center at the end of 2000 with existing supplies remaining available at regular retail windows until exhausted (Postal Bulletin 22036, dated November 2, 2000). They were fully pulled from all retail units March 31, 2005 (Postal Bulletin 22149 dated March 3, 2005.) This would support a position that uses after early 2000 are increasingly philatelic, and those after 2005 almost certainly so, rather than true "commericial" uses. My vote is for philatelic.
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Edited by John Becker - 12/06/2022 2:18 pm
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Posted 12/06/2022   3:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John,

Your comments and knowlege are much appreciated. I was aware that the last two could be considered philatelic, though I was not aware of the details about when the stamp was no longer available from the USPS. That is important knowledge for my purposes. I have an FDC exhibit of the 65c stamp, and the best I've gotten out of the judges is a Vermiel level award. And the main reason is the lack of examples of commercial usage. If I ever exhibit it again, I need to have at least some examples of commercial usage. The first three seem good candidates, and if I can give a persuasive answer in the exhibit synopsis as to why commercial usage is scarce, I think that might sway them to consider quality, rather than quanity, of anything I exhibit. So the more I know about the "back end" of this stamp's story, the better I can do at explaining that. I've got a good grasp of the front end, and some quality material regarding cachet development (from the designer), production details, etc. My theory about the scarcity of commercial usage is that most of was likely used on parcels, which are less likely to be preserved for postal history.

Did I get the rating right on the third cover with respect to the registration rate? I don't see $4.80 in the Notice 123s. From October 1995 to January 1999 the registration rate was $4.85 w/o insurance, and $4.95 with insurance (declared values above $100 would be higher than these starting rates). It went to $6.00 in January 1999.

Trying to nail down the "airmail" rate was interesting. I was looking through the airmail listings in a Scott specialized, and there was no 60 cent "airmail" stamp. I am sure you are aware that the last US stamp with "US airmail" imprinted was the 50 cent pre-columbian. (Well, not exactly, the 40c William Piper issue with his hair touching the stamp border was actually (re)issued after the 50 cent pre-columbian). This was about the time the USPS began to transition to the scenic american landscape series for the final series of airmail stamps (Scott C133-C150). The Eddie Rickenbacker 60 cent stamp was issued to meet the 60 cent airmail rate, but because it was not officially designated an airmail stamp Scott gave it #2998. Like I said, I am sure you know all of this. I already knew it as well because I collect the Eddie Rickenbacker stamp, its variants, and FDCs. This just explains why I didn't immediately see a 60 cent "airmail" stamp when I looked at the airmail listings in a Scott specialized.

Mike's work with the material uploaded to Stampsmarter is fantastic.

Basil
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Posted 12/06/2022   4:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You are going in the right direction on the rate evaluations. I don't have time at the moment to double-check your cover 3 analysis as to exactly when international rate/fee changes occurred, but might it be
4.85 registered fee
1.10 return receipt fee, and
1.00 for letter between a half and a full ounce
6.95 total

Yes, the judges will be looking for in-period commercial uses. And you will want to locate a solo 3-ounce cover since that was the intended purpose of the stamp. It would be a glaring omission not to have one..

Also, I don't have the reference in front of me, but there was a good article in the "Philatelic Exhibitor" about 15-20 years ago about the weighing the quality of various uses. Specifically it discussed two general rules of thumb the author used to evaluate covers for purchase and exhibiting:
1. The percent of the subject-stamps on the cover.
2. The percent of the postage/fees paid by the subject-stamp.
In other words, better covers would have the subject-stamp be a high percent of the total number of stamps and the total value.
As examples:
Cover 1: 2/4=50% of the stamps. 130/152=85% of the franking.
Cover 2: 1/3=33% of the stamps. 65/645=10% of the franking.
Cover 3: 1/5=20% of the stamps. 65/695=9% of the franking.
Cover 4: 1/2=50% of the stamps. 65/140=46% of the franking.
Cover 5: 2/2=100% of the stamps. 130/130=100% of the franking.
Cover 6: 1/3=33% of the stamps. 65/115=56% of the franking.
And naturally, a solo use would score 100% and 100%.
You can set your own acceptability threshold (or not). Clearly, some of these covers show the use of the subject-stamp better than others. And there are other factors to consider of course.

Add: 2 images digitally cropped from 9x12 flats, domestic rates, both paid exactly with a minimum number of current definitives. Philatelic? Both are addressed to stamp collectors.
February 28, 1990. 4 ounce flat during the 25 cent rate period (25+20+20+20=85)


March 6, 1991. 7 ounce flat during the 29 cent rate period (29+six 23's=1.67)


And add 3 solo uses:
4-bar handstamp with the bar portion held onto the base with a rubber band creating a vertical line across the bars.


Parcel post roller cancel from a sectional center facility.


Flats machine cancel:
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Edited by John Becker - 12/06/2022 11:56 pm
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Posted 12/07/2022   03:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
How did you acquire those solo uses?
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Posted 12/07/2022   10:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect flats. I wrote a 40-page "An Introduction to Flats Cancels" in 1996 for the Machine Cancel Society. Dozens of my collector friends were dumping them on me. Some of them have incredible solo and multi-ounce frankings which will be highly sought after in due time. Yes, they are nearly impossible to find at shows or online due to their size. They don't ship easily. Many get reduced in size or soaked. Fortunately, with the increased use of 11x17 exhibit pages, these larger envelopes can be shown fairly conveniently now.
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