A History of Great Britain in 36 Postage Stamps

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Now you can watch as the author of “A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps” explores his country’s history through its most fascinating, beautiful, and eccentric postage stamps.  From Queen Victoria’s Penny Black to the struggles of post-World War II reconstruction, West shows that stamps mirror the events, attitudes, and styles of their time.

West delivered his presentation at the 2013 Maynard Sundman lecture at the National Postal Museum.  To watch the video, click here.

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U.S. Stamp Collecting Starter Kit

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Get everything you need to start collecting in one easy step.  It’s convenient and affordable – for just $14.95 you’ll receive our exclusive album plus 100 free stamps, hinges and a guide to stamp collecting.   You save $22 off our regular price, making this a terrific value.

This is also a neat way to introduce stamp collecting to your friends and family – makes a great gift!

Here’s Don discussing our exclusive Historic Postage Stamps of the United States album.

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Our Premium Hingeless American Heirloom Album

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Finally – a hingeless stamp album that’s beautifully designed and affordable!  The experts at Mystic spent years developing the Hingeless American Heirloom.  It has all the great features that made our traditional American Heirloom a best-seller, plus the convenience of pre-affixed stamp mounts.  Learn more in this video starring Mystic President Don Sundman.

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The Z Grill – U.S. #85A

The 1868 1¢ Z Grill

Did you know the 1868 1¢ Z Grill (Scott 85A) is America’s rarest stamp?  One of the legends of philately, this Z Grill was purchased by Mystic in October 1998 for $935,000 – setting a record price for a U.S. stamp.

Currently valued at $3 million, the stamp is the finest One-Cent Z Grill known and the only one available to collectors.  (Only one other exists and it’s permanently locked into the New York Public Library’s Miller Collection.)

The Z grill is one of several embossed grill patterns used to break the fibers of certain early U.S. stamps.  Ink was absorbed into the grill when the stamp was cancelled, making removal of the cancel and reuse of the stamp impossible.

The Z grill pattern is approximately 11 millimeters by 14 millimeters (13 to 14 x 18 grill points.)  This pattern is unique due to the horizontal orientation of the tiny grid projections.

Charles F. Steele introduced the practice of grilling stamps, which was used for only a few years during the late 1860s. The classification system for grills was developed in the early 1900s by William L. Stevenson and is still in use today.

For several years, Mystic featured the Z Grill in our advertising and as a sort of ambassador at stamp shows, displaying it for the benefit of collectors.  In 2005, Mystic traded its Z Grill for the unique 1918 Jenny Invert Plate-Number Block, which is America’s Greatest Stamp Rarity.  The one-for-one trade of two legendary U.S. stamp treasures with a combined value of $6 million generated international headlines and interest in our hobby.

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Let Mystic Help Your Collection Grow

Did you know Mystic offers a wide range of services that makes it fun and easy to enjoy your hobby time, whether you’re a new collector or a seasoned pro?  It’s true!  Just look at a few of the ways we can help you

• FREE Mystic U.S. Stamp Catalog… a complete, fact-filled guide to help you make the most of your collection.  Printed in color to show off our beautiful U.S. stamps, it contains prices, fun and interesting facts about different stamps, and a list of all the latest equipment and supplies you need.  Request your free catalog when placing an order, with your approval selection, or contact our Customer Service Department.

• FREE At-Home Examination Service… Mystic offers a “see-before-you-buy” service for collectors who wish to receive stamps “on approval.”  Selections are mailed to your door; you may purchase all, part, or none of the selection, returning the items not purchased.  And you have up to 21 days after receipt of the stamps to make your decision!

• Fast, Convenient Service… by using Mystic’s convenient shop-by-mail service, you get fast, personal service right to your mailbox – without the hassles of driving, parking, or lack of time.  You always make up your own mind, and shop the hours YOU choose!

• Guaranteed Satisfaction… all purchases from Mystic are backed by a money-back guarantee of satisfaction.  If you aren’t completely satisfied with any stamp or collecting supply ordered from Mystic, simply return it to us within 90 days.  We will gladly issue you a credit voucher or refund your money, whichever you prefer.

• Customer Service… if you ever have a question, problem, or need, you can write, call, FAX , or e-mail Mystic’s Customer Service Department at:

Mystic Stamp Company
9700 Mill Street
Camden, NY 13316
1 (315) 245-2690
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Eastern Time Monday-Friday
Toll-free Order Phone 1 (866) 660-7147
Toll-free FAX (anytime) 1 (800) 385-4919
E-Mail: info@mysticstamp

Mystic’s team of 150 stamp professionals are eager to provide you with prompt, friendly service.  So if there’s anything we can do to help you, please let us know.  Thank you for choosing Mystic to help your hobby grow!

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Different Kinds of First Day Covers

Browse an issue of Mystic’s Stamp Showcase or MysticStamp.com and you may notice offers for First Day Covers described as made by Fleetwood, Mystic, “Silk” or “Common.”  Those terms all refer to the cachet maker that produced the cover. Here’s the differences:

Fleetwood began producing First Day Covers in 1941 with the Vermont Statehood issue.  Mystic acquired Fleetwood in 2007 and is proud to continue its tradition of excellence today.  Many Fleetwood cachets (designs) are full-color works of original art.  Most Fleetwood First Day Covers feature interesting information about the stamp subject.  Fleetwood First Day Covers are produced for both commemorative and regular issue U.S. stamps of all denominations.  Fleetwood covers may be addressed or unaddressed.

Mystic began producing First Day Covers in 1992 with the Pledge of Allegiance issue and ended in 2007 with the Henry W. Longfellow issue.  With few exceptions, Mystic First Day Covers have full-color cachets, neat information about the stamp subject, and feature commemorative U.S. stamp issues at the first class rate.

“Silk” First Day Covers produced by Colorano were introduced in 1971 with the America’s Wool issue  and finished in 2016 with the Snowflakes issue after Mystic purchased Colorano’s stock in February 2016.  Each color illustration is printed on  satin-finish fabric, fastened to the cover and surrounded by a luxurious gold embossed border.  “Silk” First Day Covers feature regular issue and commemorative stamps.  They have no additional information about the stamp subject.

Mystic and Silk First Day Covers are unaddressed.

Classic First Day Covers are from various sources and can date from the 1920s to the present. Classic covers are interesting because of the diversity of their cachets.  Classic First Day Covers  may be addressed or unaddressed, illustrated or unillustrated with printed or rubber design in one or more than one color.  They may feature regular issue or commemorative stamps. (Important note – because of their nature, Classic cover cachets will likely vary from those pictured.)

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