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Collect Postal History With United States Postage Stamps

Postage allows people across the country to communicate and share with each other through a first-class letter, large envelope, or parcel through the United States Postal Service. In addition to the functionality of the postage, many people enjoy collecting U.S. stamps both postmarked and new. The first official U.S. stamps were first issued by the federal postmaster in 1847 with standard denominations of 5 cents and 10 cents, and they featured the likenesses of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

How do you use United States postage?

The USPS requires that mail and parcels have paid postage in order to go through the post office and get delivered to your intended recipient. Different classes of letters require different types of stamps. Stamps should be attached to the upper right corner of a first-class mail item, such as a letter. When mailing a parcel through the USPS, it is possible that you will need to attach multiple stamps. The USPS requires that a specific amount of stamp value be applied based on the item's weight and size. To apply the stamp, remove the self-adhesive backing and press it onto the envelope. The postal service has also issued forever stamps for use on first-class mail. The forever stamps always maintain their first-class value. Even if the postal service increases the cost of the stamp, you can still use a forever stamp that you bought before the rate change. Of course, if you are a collector, the stamps can also be kept in a book or box.

What are the features of postage stamps from the USPS?

The images on stamps have included heads of state, nature, vehicles, historical events, and even pop culture whimsy. On eBay, you'll find features from front to back that include:

  • Artwork - Many postage stamps feature artwork or design themes, such as flowers, hobbies, dinosaurs, national parks, portraits, or holidays. Some of these designs are seasonal and released in limited numbers. Forever stamps are traditionally available with an American flag design.
  • Printed denomination - Stamps typically have their value or denomination printed on them on the bottom in a corner.
  • Self-adhesive sheets - Forever stamps are issued in books or sheets of 20 that have a self-adhesive backing. The backing is also perforated so that you can release one of the forever stamps when you need it.
What types of rare stamps are there?
  • Non-perforated - Rare stamps that were issued within the first 10 years of production were not perforated by the printing machinery. They were printed in sheets and had to be cut apart using scissors or a sharpened thin blade.
  • Rare issues - Artists, engravers, and designers have sometimes issued rare stamps in limited editions. They may consist of designs that were put into a steel die and transferred to a printing plate. Lithographs are also uncommon. Commemorative issues for anniversaries and celebrations may also be rarely released in limited numbers or in restricted geographic locations, making them unusual and valuable to collectors.
  • Errors - Once in a while, an error may be made in the production of postage stamps. The rare error might be a mistake in the spelling, value, color, or orientation of the design. In most cases, the rare mistake was corrected, and a new issue was made. Error-laden stamps that were accidentally released can be one of the most valuable items in a collector's book of stamps.
Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by the USPS.
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