‘Collect Modern Stamps The Hard Way’: Punk’s APS Stamp Chat

This post was originally written ahead of Punk’s Stamp Chat. It has been updated to reflect the fact that the chat has been and gone. But you can watch it below!

As mentioned in my previous post, during the global coronavirus lockdown, the American Philatelic Society has instituted a series of regular ‘Stamp Chats’ in which philatelists from all over the world hold forth on a topic dear to their hearts. It’s a live video chat, so you can join in, ask questions, and contribute.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that the good folk at the APS were scraping the bottom of the barrel, but they even asked if I’d like to make a presentation! So I did. The topic of my talk was ‘Collect Modern Stamps the Hard Way.’ Spoiler: the easy way is buying stamps from the post office. The Hard Way is collecting them on commercially-used covers.

Commercial covers, of course, are a concept that applies to any era of stamps, but I like to throw a bone to my fellow modern collectors. We do get sneered at a lot by the Classical types.

Most of my examples featured 70s and 80s issues from Australia, from my own collection. They’re colourful, fun, and as stamps, you can’t give them away. But on commercial cover? That’s a different story.

Collectors from around the world tuned in. My talk goes for about 40 minutes, after which there was a congenial chat among those present, with a few questions asked and advice given. You can watch the whole thing here! You’ll be watching a slideshow, with my sexy voice as narrator. Enjoy the first thirty seconds as I try to work out if people can see my screen.

The APS website has the details of all the Stamp Chats, past and forthcoming, plus the details of how to join in. You’ll need the GoToMeeting software. There’s a link at that APS page. I had no trouble downloading it.

Every Stamp Chat is recorded and published on the APS YouTube channel, so if commercial covers (or my sense of humor) aren’t your thing, you might enjoy talks on topics including forgeries, first issues of the world, stamp art, beer revenues, postal history from all corners of the globe, and many more. I recommend an all-day marathon bingeing the back-catalogue.

Thanks to all those who joined in, and I hope to see you again when I tune in myself to watch others!

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