Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Stamp Collectors Do It With Hinges and Mounts

The New York Times reports that a block of four rare U.S. airmail error stamps worth nearly $3 million will be traded today for a stamp that is "equally rare and far more obscure." Charles Shreve, the stamp dealer and auctioneer who arranged the swap, called the exchange "the most exciting thing to happen in the hobby in over a decade." Which is saying something, since the last ten years have been some of the hobby's most dynamic, from the heated Great Watermark debate of 1996 to the campaign by philatelists in 1999 to eradicate unjustified discrimination against Victorian wing margin stamps to last year's controversial effort to replace the term "philatelist" with something that sounds a little less sexually deviant.

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