How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

I’ve reached a point that I need to start protecting all the nice items I’ve bought: stamps and lately…postal cards and postcards. Protecting stamps is easy: stockbooks and albums, but how to protect and store postal cards and postcards?

How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

The most common damage made to postal cards and postcards is creased corners…and believe me it hurts to see a postal card or postcard with creased corners. It has happened to me and I wish it doesn’t happen to anyone.

How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

So, the same question again: How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

Lucky me, a couple months ago I was just looking for philatelic supplies and found these protective sleeves! They have fit all my postal cards and postcards and managing them is still as easy as before!

How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

These protective sleeves give your postcards the protection they deserve! Each rigid-edged protector is crafted of clear, “non-migrating” PVC vinyl that contains no plasticizers. This means they won’t harm your collectibles.

Help your postal cards and postcards retain their value while they’re being How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?displayed or stored. These sleeves will protect them from everyday disasters such as dust and water. As simply as pulling your postal cards or postcards out of their envelopes or paper tubes and sliding them into one of these protective sleeves. No matter how you choose to make use of them, your important items will be safe and sound.

Here are some Specs:

  • Made of clear, high-impact 16 mil PVC vinyl with a 40 mil opening.
  • Overall size: 4″ x 6 1/8″ Inside capacity: 3 3/4″ x 5 7/8″. Open on the long side.
  • Pack of 25 protective sleeves.
  • Reusable.

How To Protect And Store Postal Cards And Postcards?

Make sure to view these amazing full stamp pane protective storage bags.

Also, do you want to protect all the items in your collection? Check the ultimate stamp collecting supplies list. We’re sure you’ll find something useful!

Costa Rica Stamps – Postcard With Mixed Franking From The 1901-1907 Issues

Finding a postcard with mixed franking from the 1901-1907 issues is not that easy.

A common practice for Costa Rica stamps during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s was to demonetize issues as soon as the following was allowed to circulate.

In October 15th, 1907 the 1901 issue was demonetized to give its place to the 1907 issue. Everything seemed normal…until there was a shortage of the  1 céntimo stamp from the 1907 issue. As a temporary solution the government decided to make the 1 céntimo from the 1901 issue valid again.

According to my good friend Alvaro Castro Harrigan: there were two values from the 1901 issue that were valid to circulate along the 1907 issue, the 1 and 5 céntimos. The 5 céntimos was allowed to circulate only during a short time in 1908. Meanwhile, the 1 céntimo was allowed to circulate indefinitely until 1910.

The latest postcard with mixed franking from the 1901-1907 issues that I had seen was from February 1909…until now. I was able to find a beautiful postcard sent from Puntarenas to the United States during January 1910. The postcard has one 1 céntimo from the 1901 issue and two 2 céntimos stamps from the 1907 issue. Before parting to the United States, the postcard went to San Jose as usual.

postcard with mixed franking from the 1901-1907 issues

postcard with mixed franking from the 1901-1907 issues

To keep your stamps and postcards safe from stains and getting damaged we recommend Lighthouse stock books.

For this kind of studies, we recommend the following tools:

Make sure sure to visit the ultimate stamp collecting supplies list.

Costa Rica Stamps: Official Cover Sent To Mauritania In 1919

There are moments in the philatelic life where an amazing and unique item arrives. This happened to me yesterday when i went to the post office to get an envelope containing this awesome official cover sent to Mauritania in 1919.

Yes, an official cover sent to Mauritania in 1919!

sobre oficial enviado a Mauritania
sobre oficial enviado a Mauritania

But, What was the route this cover traveled to get to its destination?

As i mentioned before, this is an official cover. In this case from the Departamento de Paquetes Postales. It departed San Jose in June 9th 1919. Its destination: Kaiffa, located in the South of Mauritania (French civil territory from 1904 to 1920 when it was declared a french colony), located in Northeast part of Africa.

Just to have an idea on how rare this destination is, the latest census performed in Mauritania in 2013, threw that Kaiffa had 45.000 inhabitants. So imagine in 1919 -almost 100 years ago- the number of inhabitants was way smaller.

According to this cover’s cancelations, it was on transit for almost 2 months. This because it departed San Jose on June 9th and there was no other cancels until it arrived to Senegal on August 5th! According to my investigation even after 1904, when France recognized its separation from Senegal, all correspondence sent to Mauritania, had to go through Senegal first.

What caught my attention is that this cover doesn’t have a received cancel at Mauritania. what comes to my mind is that when it arrived to Senegal, the post office workers -that knew- the person this letter was sent to, knew in advance he was no longer in Mauritania and forwarded the cover to his new location. This saved the cover some time. The new destination was Fougerolles, Haute Saone, France. A town located near the birders with Germany and Switzerland.

The cover arrived to Paris on August 21st to finally find its final destination on August 22nd in Fougerolles, after almost two months and a half in transit.

Another interesting thing about this cover is that the overprint on first stamp is thicker than the others. It seems like a hint of a double overprint.

For this kind of Costa Rica stamps’ studies, we recommend the following tools:

The best way to store and handle full stamp panes

If you’re a stamp collector like me, it doesn’t matter if they’re FDCs, single stamps, errors, postal history or postcards, you want them all! But there are some items that are a little harder to manage: full panes -or sheets if you prefer-. And the same question always pops up: What’s the best way to store and handle full stamp panes nowadays?

store and handle full stamp panes

Since there are several shapes of stamps, the full panes vary in size, but fortunately most of them are similar size, so there’s a range to play with. Also depending on the paper, gum and exposure to the elements -even though if we try to avoid it- some full panes are more delicate and fragile than others.

Believe me, I have tried several options and methods store and handle full stamp panes so far, and these clear protective storage bags are the best ones, not only for storage the full panes, but to protect and handle them as well.

store and handle full stamp panes

So, why do I recommend these clear protective storage bags? Easy, let me just explain it:

  • The size is big enough to storage the most common full pane sizes. The size is 24 2/5 inch (61 cm) L x 18 1/2 inch (47 cm) W.
  • They are acid Free & Durable. these are designed for keeping photos, document, paper (stamps) or other important items from dust and moisture for large periods of time.
  • Real crystal clear material. These thin and transparent plastic bags will let you fully appreciate your full panes while protecting them.
  • You can reuse them. These protective bags have a re-sealable and easy to manage adhesive strip on the flap that lets you take out your full stamp panes, put another in and re seal the bag without loosing any adhesive on the back.
  • Easy to clean. If there are marks and or strokes on the outside, just wipe with a tissue or towel to remove them.
  • You won’t believe the price for 25 of these bags!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to store and handle full stamp panes!

Make sure to visit Philasupplies’ ultimate stamp collecting supplies list here.

Costa Rica Stamps – Central America independence issue gorgeous die proof

In 1921, the Costa Rican government decided to Issue a stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of Central America’s independence. This by the decree #13 of March 2nd, 1920 and #26 of September 7th, 1921. This stamp started circulating in September 15th, 1921. G. Prudhomme was hired to design the stamp.

Until now, the only proof known was an imperforated plate proof…until now!

A couple weeks ago, from nowhere, appeared the most gorgeous die proof I have ever seen in the history of Costa Rica stamps. It is sunk in cardboard and printed in black. It’s the die proof for the Central American independence issue. And if this wasn’t enough, the die proof was signed by Prudhomme himself…absolutely AMAZING!

gorgeous die proof

After studying it and examining the issued stamp, I can deduct the die proof is the final one.

gorgeous die proof

The only difference between the die proof and the issued stamp is in the lower left corner. On the die proof, there is a sign, like a J and a P together. On the issued stamp, does not appear.

gorgeous die proof

In December 31st, 1921 the issue was demonetized.

For this kind of studies, we recommend the following tools:

Costa Rica Stamps – Scott 136, surcharged stamps with shifted perforations

In late 1925 there was a shortage of 3 céntimos stamps to comply with the local open letter rate. That’s why in November 24th, 1925 the Costa Rica government emitted the decree #24 in which authorized to surcharge 100,000 5 céntimos stamps from the 1923 definitive issue. Those Costa Rica stamps started being valid in November 28th, 1825. And as you may already know, as in any other old Costa Rican issue…there were errors. This time we’re talking about base stamps with shifted perforations.

The Scott catalog doesn’t mention this error neither on the base stamp (#120) nor the surcharge.

stamps with shifted perforationsstamps with shifted perforations

As you may think, most of these errors were spotted by collectors and kept without being used…almost all of them.

I’ve have been collecting Costa Rica stamps and this issue in particular for over 10 years and there’s only 1 cover reported to have these stamps with shifted perforations. It’s sent from Alajuela to Guatemala in 1926. It departed Alajuela on February 26th. It also has a San Jose tránsito cancel on the same date. Unlike to the usual time of a letter to arrive from a country to another in Central America, this cover lasted almost a month. It arrived on March 5th. It has two cancels: one that reads “RECIBIDA EN GUATEMALA” and the other one that reads “CARTERO 14 GUATEMALA.

stamps with shifted perforations

The most interesting thing about this, is that this error is that the stamps passed the quality control of the American Bank Note Co. and passed the quality control in Costa Rica…if any two times! One for the base stamp and one for the surcharge.

To keep your stamps and covers safe from stains and getting damaged we recommend Lighthouse stock books.

Costa Rica Stamps – Soccer championship ink stain variety

It’s interesting how a somehow clear variety remains hidden for more than 70 years. Believe it or not it’s common in Costa Rica stamps. This time we’re talking about the soccer championship ink stain variety (yes, we named it, we know we’re not that creative when it comes to name varieties) that appears in several values of the 1941 soccer championship stamps. But an ink stain isn’t anything special…isn’t it?

Probably it isn’t anything special, but we love varieties and errors, so here we go!

As we’ve commented before, this issued was printed using two methods: engraving and lithography. How come? The frame was engraved and the flags were lithographed.

In the position number 90 there’s a blue ink stain of considerable size next to the flags at the right side of the stamp.

Soccer championship ink stain variety Soccer championship ink stain variety

Now to make it even more interesting in other panes there were two ink stains: positions 90 with the biggest stain and position 80 with a smaller stain.

Soccer championship ink stain variety Soccer championship ink stain variety Soccer championship ink stain variety

This variety is not constant since there are some values that doesn’t have it. The important thing here is that the Soccer championship ink stain variety can be found in several panes from several values.

For this kind of studies, we recommend the following tools:

The importance of measuring perforations in stamps

It is true that when we all started collecting stamps, perforations were not part of our main concerns. As we evolved as philatelists -and learned more- we realized that perforations do are important. But not only that they are not damaged, but the importance of measuring perforations and understanding the different posible combinations in a stamp.

So, what is the importance of measuring perforations in stamps?

I will respond to that question using 2 different Costa Rica stamps as an example.

the importance of measuring perforations

Let’s use the 1907 issue first. Specifically, the 4 céntimos stamp. The regular issued stamp has 11×14 perforation with a catalog value of $12. This same stamp with 14×14 perforation has a catalog value of $500. Do you get my point?

Another example is Scott 94 with a catalog value of $100 for the regular 11×14 stamp and $300 for the 14×14 one. the impotance of measuring perforations

Since this is a surcharge, errors exist. The 11×14 stamp with the “correos” inverted error has a value of $2.000. The importance of measuring perforations

Guess what? That same error with 14×14 perforation doesn’t even have an estimated price! Only 2 are rumored to exist!!!

You may have a very expensive stamp without knowing it. It is just a matter of understanding the possible perforation variations that your stamps can have and start measuring them.

Do you know the importance of measuring perforations in stamps now?

In order to measure stamps you can use any of the following tools:

Make sure to visit our other posts at

Costa Rica Stamps – Emergency Surcharge Over The 1946 Soccer Issue

Because of the lack of 15 céntimos stamps during the first months of 1947, the government decided to issue an emergency surcharge on 45.000 stamps of each value from the 1946 Central America & the Caribbean Soccer Championship issue.

The surcharge reads “Habilitado para ₡0.15 Decreto No. 16 de 28 de abril de 1947” in 4 lines. It comes in panes of 50.

This beautiful surcharge, despite of being over 70 years old, has not being studied as much as it deserves.

So, trying to honor these Costa Rica stamps, I decided to make a study of this emergency surcharge which I share with you now.

Emergency Surcharge

Pos. Comments
4 ₡ symbol line broken
5 ₡ symbol line broken
6 ₡ symbol line broken. Thin “H”.
7 ₡ symbol line broken
8 ₡ symbol line broken
9 Broken “l” in “abril”
10 ₡ symbol line broken
11 Broken “8” in “28”
13 ₡ both symbol broken
18 ₡ symbol line broken
19 ₡ symbol line broken
22 ₡ symbol line broken
23 ₡ symbol line broken
27 ₡ symbol line broken
28 ₡ symbol line broken
30 ₡ symbol line broken
31 Ink stain diagonal to “1” in “1947”
32 ₡ symbol line broken
33 ₡ both symbol broken
37 ₡ symbol line broken
38 Ink dot under “o” in “Habilitado”
39 ₡ both symbol broken
41 ₡ symbol line broken
42 ink dot inside “6” in “16”
45 Line over “Habilitado”
48 ₡ symbol line broken

For this kind of studies, we recommend the following tools: