Category Archives: Stamp News

The APS Show at Reno

The APS AmeriStamp Expo was held in Reno March 3-5 at the Atlantis Hotel. AmeriStamp Expo is a special APS exhibition showcasing One-Frame exhibits. In addition to a general competition, the show features a Champion of Champions (CofC) class that pits all of the OFE Grand Award winners from each of the national-level shows.

Another special event at the show is a Team Competition among teams of five formed by exhibitors. The teams score points for medal level achieved, new exhibits/exhibitors and special awards. The team with the best total score wins. It is a friendly, but very serious, competition!

The Collectors Club of San Francisco fielded three teams of exhibitors, and all three teams did exceptionally well.

The show had 210 Frames:

  • 29 Multi-frame Exhibits in 113 Frames
  • 71 One-frame Exhibits in the Open competition
  • 21 One-frame “Champions” in the CofC competition
  • 5 One-frame Youth Exhibits Plus a number of non-competitive exhibits.

Council Members who exhibited at the APS Show bringing home LOOT:

Multi-frame Competition
Terri Edwards, Best Postcard Exhibit, and GOLD
Richard Dreiling, Multi-frame LARGE VERMEIL

One-Frame Competition
Paul Allen, LARGE GOLD (2 exhibits)
Akthem Al-Manaseer, LARGE GOLD
Norris R. Dyer, LARGE GOLD
Vesma Grinfelds, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Clyde Homen, LARGE GOLD
Sandeep Jaiswal, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Didier LeGall, LARGE GOLD
David McNamee, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Behruz Nassre-Esfahani, LARGE GOLD
Edward Cahoon, GOLD
Sandeep Jaiswal, GOLD
Edward Laveroni, GOLD
Stephen Schumann, GOLD
James Busse, LARGE VERMEIL+ Special Prize
Gordon Eubanks, LARGE VERMEIL

Blue team:

  • Richard B. Rose, The Hejaz Railway Stamps, 1904-1925, Large Vermeil
  • Richard B. Rose, The Hejaz Railway Stamps, 1904-1925, Large Vermeil
  • Akthem Al-Manaseer, The First Issue of Transjordan, Large Gold
  • James Busse, Bosnia-Herzegovina Tobacco Tax Paid Revenues, Large Vermeil + Special Prize
  • Clyde Homen, The British Concession at Chinde, Large Gold
  • Paul Allen, Victorian Indian Mai to West Indian Ocean Destinations, Large Gold

Red team:

David McNamee, Conquest of the Zulu Kingdom 1876-1897, Large Gold + Special Prize

Matthew Kewriga, Danish West Indies Mail to Denmark 1842-1877, Large Gold Gordon Eubanks, Uses of the “Humble” ½ Cent Benjamin Franklin Stamp of 1938, Large Vermeil

Sandeep Jaiswal, The First Issue of Dungarpur, Gold + Special Prize

Behruz Nassre-Esfahani, Persia:  The First Portrait Issue of Nasser-eddin

Shah Qajar, Large Gold

White team:  Team Winners!!

  • Vesma Grinfelds, Latvia:  The First Banknote Issue and Its Overprints, Large Gold + Special Prize
  • Ed Laveroni, San Francisco to Mt. Tamalpais & “The Crookedest Railroad in the World,” Gold
  • Stephen Schumann, New Zealand Prison of War Air Letter Cards, Gold
  • Paul Allen, Victorian Indian Mail to the “Far East,” Large Gold
  • Didier LeGall, The First 5/- Stamp of Great Britain:  Stamp, Postal History and Use abroad,  Large Gold

White Team won in a three-way tiebreaker in a field of six teams.

Southern Oregon Philatelic Society and SOPEX

SOPEX 2016, the Southern Oregon Philatelic Society’s 54th annual show & bourse is over! The participation of our members again was great -at least thirty members plus four non-member wives helped set-up/tear down, exhibited, chaired a committee, provided security, worked with youth, made coffee, helped a dealer and/or was hospitable. That’s what makes a show – members cooperating and enjoying each other! We also signed up some new members.

There were Federation member exhibits from 5 clubs: Anchorage to Medford as well as several clubs from the Council. The Northwest Federation Thunderbird Medal was awarded to the gold ribbon exhibit of Nick Follansbee “India Refugee Relief, 1971-1973, the press overprinted stamps.” Nick also won the Carley Cup for best foreign exhibit by a club member.

Some highlights of SOPEX 2016 were: 52 frames of exhibits and Evelyn Bryan’s 52nd year preparing and selling our cachet covers; the kids from St. Mary’s High helping set tables and chairs and carrying dealer boxes then manning the Youth Table (and eating lots of donuts & pizza); the excitement of the Chamber of Commerce Pear Blossom Committee over Len Lukens’ Jackson county postal history entry; Rich Moyer, David Brumbach and Shane Loveland staying overnight to guard the show; judges Tim Bartshe and Tony Wawrukiewicz assessing exhibits way past their lunch time; the Memorial exhibit honoring Barbara Herbert; and the Popular Choice Pear Trophy won by Candace Weissinger’s “How did early Americans Spell Relief – the Outhouse!”

Disappointments: no youth exhibits and surprisingly no topical/thematic or display exhibits. [Reported by Nancy Swan]

Council Courier 2016 Issue 3_img_77
Evelyn Bryan extraordinary SOPEX Cachet Artist

Sequoia Stamp Club

Stamp Chatter for July-August carries a wide range of excellent features and information. Editor Jim Giacomazzi should take a bow!

Among the excellent features is the announcement (with pictures) of the Sequoia Stamp Club honoring two important workers with plaques celebrating their election to Life Membership. I cannot do better than what appeared in Stamp Chatter:

“After recommendation by the Governing Board, the Sequoia Stamp Club unanimously approved both Miriam Thurston and Ed Bierman as Life Members.

Miriam joined the club in 1997 and currently is serving as Sunshine chairperson, keeping the club informed regarding health issues of members and sending cards on behalf of the club when appropriate. Miriam also provides the Phil A. Tellick cartoon which appears every issue on the last page of our Chatter newsletter. As the club’s resident artist, each year at PENPEX Miriam designs the show cachet and collaborates with the local Post Office for a special show cancel. Every year in November, Miriam arranges a display at the Redwood City Library to promote stamp collecting and the Sequoia Stamp Club. Miriam’s collecting interest is Worldwide topicals, especially religion on stamps, and U.S. Miriam is a regular exhibitor at PENPEX, and recently won an award for her exhibit on Abraham Lincoln.

Ed Bierman joined the Sequoia Stamp Club in 2000. Ed is an avid underwater scuba diver and photographer, so it is natural for him to collect Marshall Islands and Fish topicals. He also collects private mailing cards and postcards, especially items of local interest. He recently won Grand Award at the COALPEX Show for his exhibit on San Francisco’s Cliff House. He is also a regular contributor of articles to the Chatter and gave a very interesting presentation at a recent Sequoia Club meeting on Redwood City postcards.

Ed’s contribution each year to PENPEX is to put together an excellent 16 page program listing all the events and details of the show. Ed is the current Webmaster for the Sequoia Club, PENPEX, and the Council of No. California Philatelic Societies. Congratulations to both Miriam and Ed for their lifetime membership awards.”

The photos are Sequoia President Craig Butterworth congratulating Miriam and Ed. Thanks again to Jim Giacomazzi for a fine newsletter.

Sequoia meets the Second and Fourth Tuesdays at 7:05 PM in the Redwood City Community Activities Building (where PENPEX is held). Visitors are welcome and there are refreshments served!

Council Courier 2016 Issue 3_img_81

San Jose Stamp Club is hosting a Meet & Greet with Scott English

The San Jose Stamp Club is hosting a Meet & Greet with Scott English, the Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society.

Sunday, September 18, 2016
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Where: Hampton Inn and Suites
55 Old Tully Road
San Jose, CA 95111
Map Link

1:30 – 2:00 pm
Informal Meet & Greet time with Scott. Preview auction items.

2:00 – 3:00 pm
Panel discussion on “Collecting in the 21st Century”.

3:00 – 3:30 pm
Social Time with drinks & snacks, compliments of Sequoia Stamp Club. Close silent auction.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet the APS Executive Director and voice your feelings about the future of the hobby.


Bid on the silent auction of stamps and covers.

For a list of auction items, see the website:

Western Philatelic Library Auction — Saturday July 30, 2016 — 1:00 PM

Not an item in the auction, just for illustrative purposesThe Western Philatelic Library will be holding an auction on July 30th to raise money for the group.   CNCPS supports the library, and its mission is to enhance the preservation and dissemination of philatelic knowledge by acquiring, organizing, interpreting and distributing information resources in a globally networked community.  There are over 150 items in the auction – you can download the list as a PDF file: 2016 Summer Auction List.

Auction will be held at the

Western Philatelic Library
3004 Spring Street
Redwood City, CA

** Mail Bids should be sent to
P.O. Pos 2219
Sunnyvale, CA 94087-2219.

Send mail bids in early!
Auction will start promptly at 1PM, July 30th

Woo-hoo! Big Big Gala Gala at the Library

“I takes a village . . .” (you’ve heard that one before). Well it takes a community to support a library, and the philatelic community in the Greater Bay Area came through with an outpouring of generosity and support for the Western Philatelic Library.

The WESTPEX Board took a lead role by underwriting the recent open house celebration and fund raiser held at the Library 6 February. Over 200 people took advantage of the “halfprice sale” on surplus donated stamps and duplicate books. A steady stream was flowing in and out for the 6 hours the party lasted.

library2Ed and Judy Jarvis marshaled an additional 20 volunteers to spiff up the Library, organize the food and beverages, make the sales, and help happy collectors to their cars with their bargains. WESTPEX, Inc. paid for the refreshments (they were great, Judy!) and provided a “match” for every dollar received in sales — items were half the price, and at the end of the day, the Library took in more than $3200, matched by WESTPEX for a total of more than $6400. Stuart Leven and David McNamee chipped in to provide professional signage for the building, raising the event’s total to more than $10,000.

The roster of people who gave their time to make this event a success:

  • John Cross: set up and take down
  • Bill Dwyer: publicity postcard design & mail
  • Bob Gordon: sales
  • Clyde Homen: sales
  • Ed Jarvis: Manager and Asst. Broom Pusher
  • Judy Jarvis: refreshments
  • Marci Jarvis: sales check out desk
  • Bob Jarvis: security
  • Wally Joliff: assembling & pricing collections
  • Ed Laveroni: sales
  • Stuart Leven: donations processing; signs
  • Ken Lewetzow: assembling & pricing collections
  • David McNamee: publicity; signs
  • Jerry Mix: sales
  • Kristen Patterson: set up and take down; book sales
  • Russ Samuels: sales
  • Kathy Samuels: Official Photographer
  • Roger Skinner: Answer Man (“do you have a book on . . .”)
  • Jo Skinner: Chief Accountant; sales check out desk
  • Roy Teixeira: Chief Broom Pusher, Painter, Interior Decorator, . . .and on and onSigrid Teixeira: coffee and tea WESTPEX Board: Provided funds for advertising, refreshments and matching funds for the sales of surplus collections and books. The Bay Area Stamp Community: supporters! A BIG THANK YOU, EVERYONE.
  • Sigrid Teixeira: coffee and tea WESTPEX Board: Provided funds for advertising, refreshments and matching funds for the sales of surplus collections and books.
  • The Bay Area Stamp Community: supporters! A BIG THANK YOU, EVERYONE.


Stamp Collecting Is Fun

By Larry Crain

As I travel to Northern California stamp shows (including Reno and Southern Oregon), dealers ask what I collect or what I’m looking for. They never ask why. Well, the answer is obvious: I collect because it is fun. Now there are other reasons too, but let me concentrate on the fun.

If we started as kids, everything was fun, but even among the fun stamps we collected there were favorites — maybe the multi-colored animals of the Mozambique Company or the big, different shapes of Tanna Tuva or a special stamp or set given to us by the person who got us started.

As kids and adults, we found special countries or topics that we gathered especially. Maybe we decided to exhibit, and if so, these special interests led to exhibiting, or maybe we decided to exhibit first and then looked at our collection to see what we had to exhibit. In either case these early countries or topics became often our “serious” collecting interests.

But . . . we still collected for fun. We buy stamps or covers because they appear to us intriguing. They come probably from some other aspect of our lives. We collect where we live or where we have lived. We may collect our job or a job that was considered earlier in our lives but never happened. We collect what we do outside of work and philately; maybe these are collections related to sports, tv, movies, vacations, etc. We sometimes buy items only because they are neat, unusual or pretty. We all have a gallimaufry of philatelic items (gallimaufry – a collection of things, a word I learned from a stamp exhibit in Eureka.)

As I have gained friends from the philatelic area of the Nor Cal Council (Fresno to Medford, San Rafael to Reno), I try to ask what else people collect. And I hear great stories of their fun collections, what they also have passion for but don’t usually get a chance to share with others.

Stamp collecting is FUN! and it is fun to share it with others.

Missing: Your Club’s Information – President’s Message

Question: What is the most important thing to do to attract new membership and increase member participation in club activities?

Answer: Publicity — showing members involved in club activities.

When we started the Council Courier’s new look two years ago, most clubs were eager to share what their members were doing and honors won. Newsletter editors passed along copies by email or snail mail, exhibition chairs passed along pictures and awards lists, and everyone benefitted by all of the positive publicity.

So. . . This is your newsletter. Let’s get back on track. We can only print what you share.

We need to replenish the Club brochures and fliers that we put out at club shows. These help recruit new members and advertise club activities.

2016 CNCPS LeadersFellow Collectors:
I would like to thank those in the Council who showed confidence in me by electing me President for the next two years. The Council has been well-run and successful in the ten years since my club joined. There are many to thank for this and I want to note a few:

Akthem Al-Manaseer of the San Jose club who preceded me as President

David McNamee of the East Bay club who was President before Akthem. has been Judges Coordinator, newsletter editor and a favorite when he has come to be a judge at our show SOPEX in April

Vesma Grinfelds of the San Francisco club who has been a go-to for Council information, has filled many roles including President of the Council and still fills many jobs for the Council and for her clubs

Kristin Patterson of the Sequoia club who is Speakers Coordinator for the Council and who saw a need for a map to show where the Council’s members clubs are. It was first shown at PENPEX in Redwood City in December and will next be at NOVAPEX in Redding in March

Barbara Herbert of the East Bay club who accepted the nomination to be Vice-president for the next two years. I also know she was on the floor at three different Council shows in 2015 doing tasks that needed to be done and that needed volunteers to do them

Nigel Moriarty of the East Bay club who is Treasurer, who exhibits and judges and whom I first met when he led a tour of the exhibits at WESTPEX

Robert Pope of the Sacramento club who has stepped in as Secretary and who exhibits and who was exhibit chair for SACAPEX

Ed Bierman of the Sequoia club who is Webmaster and who probably knows everything there is to know about the Cliff House. He presented an excellent analysis of the use of the website at the December meeting. Check out, if you haven’t yet, the new web site at http://

Tim Burgess of the San Francisco club who has been Judges Coordinator and Webmaster in the past. The Council is always seeking ways to promote our member clubs, but there is something that you need to do to support your club. We need a half-page information sheet with current information [meeting place, day and time for each club, show or bourse sponsorship, officers and contact person and a promotional blub about the club].

These half-sheets will be at the Council table at WESTPEX and then carried to each show in the Council. Email a master to David McNamee, who will reproduce the fliers, or if you have pre-printed fancy fliers, you need to send or bring a quantity to WESTPEX.

Send these to me (PO Box 4395, Medford, OR 97501) or bring them to WESTPEX (please email me at to let me know to expect them at the show). In addition, we need volunteers to be at the WESTPEX table (at the top of the escalator) during the show. To fill all two-hour time slots, about three volunteers per club are needed. Finally, I want to invite you to attend the next Council meeting, which is at WESTPEX, Sunday May 1 at 12:00.

I will see you there!

Larry Crain

The New Western Philatelic Library

Grand Open House
February 6, 2016
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Western Philatelic Library will be moving to a new address:
3004 Spring Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

The FWPL volunteers are pulling together to prepare for the Open House February 6, sponsored by WESTPEX. Having a philatelic library in the region is recognized by the WESTPEX Board as a special resource that supports the hobby throughout the Council area. The library serves as a repository for knowledge that spans the far reaches of our hobby over more than 150 years in numerous languages.  Your hosts for the Open House are Ed and Judy Jarvis. Roy Teixeira and Roger Skinner will be on hand to help find the answer to  your philatelic questions.

The Western Philatelic Library has employed an intern in Library Science, and the intern has made many improvements to make using the library easier for everyone. Rows are labeled and neatly organized with enough space for expansion. There is no more overcrowding! The  walls have been tastefully decorated with philatelic-related art, and the two bathrooms sparkle, thanks to Ed and Judy Jarvis.

Attractive building signage will greet visitors looking for the library, thanks to donations by Stuart Leven, David McNamee and Roger Skinner.  In short, it looks like a place we can all be proud of. In addition to a tour of the new library and lots of great finger food, there will be sales of donated stamp collections and surplus duplicate books. WESTPEX has agreed to match the sales revenue dollar for dollar to raise funds.

Tips on Mailing – Using Older Postage Stamps

Collection of old US stampsReprinted from the Post Boy
November 2015
Volume 48, Issue 11
Newsletter of the Nevada Stamp Study Society

Stamp Collectors know about having a lot of stamps taking up space in boxes, drawers and on stock pages.

These are the extra ones you had to buy from the Post Office to get the ones you wanted. They are the duplicates that you got when you forgot your list of what you needed for your collection. They are the really great deal you got at an auction or at a garage sale. They also take up room…

The best use for this excess inventory is to sell them at a really high price. But since there are already loads of these stamps in everybody else’s collection and Stamp Dealers will only give you 40 -50% of face, the next best use is as postage.

Using stamps to mail letters and boxes has been a long standing tradition, but now “forever” stamps and meter strips are being pushed as the “best” and “easiest” way to get your mail sent via USPS. True it is easier, but using your excess US postage stamps means that you are actually monetizing unproductive assets. It is also a great way to bring smiles to the faces of the mail handlers as well as the eventual recipients. The USPS is not as pleased because the really old stamps don’t have the tagging that more recent stamps do so there is more handling required, but hey, you paid for the service, it is time to USE THEM! Also, saving those old stamps is COSTING you money, because as stamp prices continue to rise, it takes MORE of the vintage stamps to get the value that a forever stamp keeps pace with.

christmasstampSo how can you use your stamps most effectively?

Postal regulations stipulate that all US postage stamps are valid for postage except for certain issues created around the time of the Civil War. This means that you can use any denomination of stamp to mail a letter or a package, including using 49 1¢ stamps for 1 ounce of USPS service.

Again, according to postal regulations, all stamps must be placed on the FACE of any letter, the face being judged to be the side where the name & address of the recipient is located. This information is supposed to be located in the lower right hand quadrant of the letter, with the return address above & to the left. Typically, the return address is located in the upper left hand quadrant of the letter, but that is NOT mandated by the regulations, and that give you more room to be creative!

Regulations permit the use of multiple stamps on mail as long as they are US postage, have not been used before, and the denomination of the stamp is showing. This allows the use of LAYERING stamps on top of each other to reach the postage due. I just used 31 3¢ “Win the War” stamps on a letter that weighed 1.4 ounces and had a rigid object inside. The postage needed was 93¢ and I used a legal sized envelope with stamps layered like lizard scales along the top and left side. I can also use 2 6¢ plate blocks and add a 1¢ stamp to remit a payment to a billing department. (6 x 4 = 24¢ x 2 = 48¢ +1¢ = 49¢) Just make sure that the denomination of all stamps used is visible to anybody checking. Also, you should NOT cheat by turning the .01 stamps upside down and pretend they are 10¢ stamps.

Using postage on Priority Flat Rate boxes is similar. But here, postal regulations are not as clear. The nature of these boxes is that they will weigh OVER 13 oz. and must therefore be accepted by a window clerk.

Some window clerks allow the use of stamps anywhere on the package…others follow the regulations that apply to letters…stamps must be on the FRONT (address side). I have been trying to pin down this requirement, but have still not gotten a response from the USPS. That is why I (personally) place all info and ALL stamps on only the ONE side. As before, the Name and Address go into a space in the lower right hand quadrant, but ADDITIONALLY, I have to leave a space above for a “zero meter strip” to go as well as additional space for insurance/tracking labels. I therefore confine my artistic inclinations of decorating with postage to the right two-thirds of the box. Remember, if it fits, it ships…

The above also applies to using your own packaging, but here preparation is the key, because you have to figure out weight and postage before you get to the Post Office otherwise you will be standing off to the side, licking stamps, and thinking that it would be a lot faster to just meter it.

Editor Comment: Nadiah is a Director in the NSSS and the current Programs Chair. She owns Classic Nevada stamp store on Second Ave. in Reno. She exhibits regularly at the Greater Reno Stamp & Cover Show and collects Nevada stamps and ephemera, and topical roses.