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Issue #5
February 1, 2015
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This is a free informative biweekly newsletter published by the staff at airmailpostage.com for anyone anywhere who has interest in using conventional letter mail.
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Important Updates
USPS Update:
Rumors of possible postal rate changes for 2015 are starting to surface.  The USPS hints that they probably will not raise the current letter mail rate from $0.49 but say they may adjust the rate for the second ounce of letter mail.  Also, there may be an adjustment in the international letter mail rate from the present rate of $1.15 per ounce worldwide.  This might lead to the issuance of a new global forever stamp.  Other considerations may involve adjustments in the priority mail pricing.


Stocks Update:

Stocks in current international forever rate stamps are dwindling, meaning when they raise the international rate, they will at the same time have to issue a new stamp to cover the cost of mailing overseas letter mail 20g.  Timing has not been released.

The stocks of the Earth and Water Forevers are almost gone.  Initial printing of this issue was 30 million stamps.  the USPS does not intend to repeat another printing of that issue, which sold out in six months!  The implication here is that the issue is becoming a modern rarity.  Linn's Stamp News, in a recent notation in their tips for collectors, suggested serious collectors purchase these stamps.  Similar comparisons can be made to the other airmail stamps that have been issued over the past few years.  Choosing a favorite from these issues might lead one to the silver bells issue, issued in late fall 2014.


 
A Few Extras We Are Throwing In...
During the past few weeks I have been using the new issue commemorative "the battle of New Orleans" to pay the rate (be it a qsl or a batch of stamps).  I have also been sticking a five cent stamp (amateur radio), scott catalog number 1260, on the envelopes simply because I found them in a drawer here and wanted to use them up.

Well I've put in an order for more of these stamps and will continue on.  "Why does he do it?" they ask?  "Why doesn't he just lower his prices?"

I'll let you give me the answer.  Put it down on paper and send it to me at 

JAMES E. MACKEY
P.O.BOX 270569
WEST HARTFORD,CT 06127-0569
USA

The best answers will receive a free pane of USA forever stamps, any issue.  Going back to the first adhesive issue many years ago.  It's your choice.
USPS Special Usage Stamps
Before beginning the discussion of this topic, I want to make a disclosure.  The following descriptions and pictures are strictly for the education of both you and me.  The United States Postal System states clearly that such a usage is clearly permissable.  I feel discussions like this are beneficial to us as amateurs using the stamps and to anyone having interest in stamps in general, be it in the workplace, home, or in the classroom.  We hope to continue with these stories in all upcoming issues of our newsletter. 

INTERNATIONAL RATE STAMPS(GLOBAL FOREVER STAMPS)

In the following discussion, I am going to describe a few details.  The global forever stamps were introduced in January 2013 to satisfy the demand at that time for stamps which pay the postage on domestic mailings to anywhere in the world (one ounce).  At the same time they continued the practice of issuing non-denominated stamps similar to the issuance of forever stamps which cover the first ounce of domestic mailings.  As in the case of domestic mail, the new global forevers would cover the cost of international mailing forever, which implies that they will always have the same value as the current rate indicates.  Please Refer to figure 1 below.  

These are pictures of the four global forevers that have been issued to date (the first is on the far left of the picture).  The dates on which each stamp was issued is located directly below the picture of each stamp.  That follows a little story and history of each issue pictured.

 
ISSUE 1-
Designation: "GLOBAL FOREVER"
Date of Issue: JANUARY 28,2013
Rate at that time: $1.10
Format: Self-adhesive stamp issued in sheets of 20 stamps
Quantity Printed:
Current Availability: Not available from the USPS (Philatelic Center), available from stamp dealers (Ebay, etc.).  Current pricing: $1.99 per stamp.

ISSUE 2
Designation: Global Forever: Evergreen Wreath
Date of Issue: October 24, 2013
Rate at that time: $1.10
Format: Self-adhesive stamp issued in panes of 10 stamps
Quantity Printed: 50 million stamps
Availability.......Currently available from the Philatelic Center in panes of 10 stamps.   USPS order designator available by referring to the latest issue of the "USA Philatelic Catalog"


ISSUE 3
Designation: Sea Surface Temperature Global Forever
Date of Issue: June 5,2014
Format: Self-adhesive stamp issued in sheets of 10 stamps
Quantity Printed: 30 million stamps
Availability: Not available from the USPS Philatelic Store and probably not offered at any local post office.  Current Ebay price is $1.99 per stamp.

ISSUE 4
Designation: "Silver Bells" global forever
Issue Date: October 23,2014
Rate at that time: $1.15
Format: Self-adhesive stamp issued in sheets of 10 stamps
Quantity Printed: 30 million stamps
Availability: Currently available from the Philatelic store in sheets of 10.  USPS order number listed with the description of estamp in the late issue of the "USA Philatelic Catalog"

All issues of stamps currently being sold by the USPS can be found in the "USA Philatelic Catalog."  These catalogs are available free of charge from the USPS for the asking.  Call 1-800-782-6724 to subscribe to this catalog.  All stamps currently available for sale are listed and can be purchased online or over the phone.  

After the USPS discontinues a certain issue, purchase is only possible through functions such as Ebay, Amazon, or a whole host of stamp dealers who set their selling price usually higher than face value.

 
Table 1: All Activity from 2 January 2015 to 17 January 2015
Database
Download a PDF for Database Instructions
For computers running Excel 2011 and above
For computers running Excel 2010 and below
Link for Excel Document Viewer (if you do not have Excel)
Informative Covers
Cover 1 represents the usage of a current Japanese aerogram.  These are available in Japan and offer a reduced mailing rate for cards, etc. up to 25 grams mailed from Japan.  This particular cover is of the size of our currently available Euro return envelopes.  Although you cannot detect it from the copy, the image of the 90 Yen stamp is printed on the return.  The current letter rate from Japan to the USA is 110 Yen.  This envelope was mailed on 12 January 2015 and was received 17 January 2015 here in West Hartford, CT 06127.

Cover 2- A cover received here on 17 January 2015 using the French Postal System as a carrier.  The cover was mailed on 18 December 2014.  The postage affixed to the cover was sufficient to mail a 20 gram letter to the states.  At that time the French Postal Office increased their rate to 1.20 Euro in January 2015.  Also affected was the principality of Manaco and France itself.  Both Monaco and France offer international rate stamps which are printed such that they can be used independently of rate increases.




Cover 3- This cover represents a mailing made in Crimea, formerly a city in the Ukraine.  This bears the Russian postage of 30 P or 30 Roubles.  It signifies that Crimea may indeed be controlled by Russia.   The return address indicates that Crimea is a Russian Territory and is referred to as the Republic of Crimea.  The postage used on the return is 30 Roubles, the new rate as of a few weeks ago.The old rate was 26 Roubles.



Cover 4- A return from last year's ZS8C dxpeditions mailed after the recent prolonged mail strike in the Republic of South Africa.  The stamp was taken from a souvenir sheet printed usage on small letters mailed via airmail to foreign destinations.  Carson's McAffee, the operator at Marion Island, is currently enrolled in college studying electrical engineering.  His mother, Bev, handled Carson's cards and did a great job .  Carson hopes to get back out on the trail.




Cover 5- This one reinforces the statements made recently by Tim Beaumont regarding direct cards mailed for qsl returns.  The meter marking shows that Tim has a special permit to mail printed material from the United Kingdom.  It is less than the current 10 gram and 20 gram to points in the USA.  Please contact him for his current return postage needs.  This cover was mailed in the UK on 11 December 2014 and was logged in here on 16 January 2015.  It carried a ZM90DX card.




Cover 6- This one was mailed from jamaica on 12 September 2014 and came in on 13 January 2015.  The routing used was direct via the qrz address of 6Y5WJ.



Cover 7- A return from IS0BSR.  Received on 10 January 2015.  Mailed from Italy with a total of 2.30 Euro worth of stamps.  2.30 Euro is the new 20 gram rate for airmail letters headed for the states.




Cover 8- Faroe Islands uses their Danish Krone as currency.




Cover 9- Germany has a new rate of 0.80 Euro as compared to the old rate of 0.75 Euro per 20 gram letter usage.  5PVW via DJ8VW.  Turn around time was three weeks.




Cover 10- Bahrain.  Rate 600 Fils.  Usage- A92GE, direct.




Cover 11-  China.  Note the turn around time, direct 23 October 2013.  Sent 2 January 2015.  Please be patient when qsling to China.


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