Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps


Now in an easy-to-use, oversize format, The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps is just the delivery you've been waiting for!

The only fully illustrated, four-color guide to U.S. stamps, this official publication provides the most comprehensive information available about the U.S. stamp program and its vivid history. Beginning with the first stamps issued in 1847, The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps covers more than 4,000 stamps issued up ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $59.55   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Sending request ...


Now in an easy-to-use, oversize format, The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps is just the delivery you've been waiting for!

The only fully illustrated, four-color guide to U.S. stamps, this official publication provides the most comprehensive information available about the U.S. stamp program and its vivid history. Beginning with the first stamps issued in 1847, The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps covers more than 4,000 stamps issued up to the present, as well as:

  • An updated Stamp Series section that lists stamps categorized by their respective series, such as Legends of Hollywood, Black Heritage, and Nature of America
  • Every category of U.S. stamp—definitive, commemorative, airmail, duck stamps, stamped envelopes, and more—all organized into easy-to-use, color-coded sections for quick access
  • Detailed listings for each stamp, with color illustrations, Scott catalog numbers, dates of issue, used and unused prices, quantities issued (when known), and separate listings for design variations
  • A complete guide to the new 2006 commemorative stamp program
  • Advice on how to start your own stamp collection
  • A resource section, a glossary of important terms, and much more!
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061145513
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Series: Postal Service Guide to U. S. Stamps Series
  • Edition number: 33
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John E. Potter is the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service.

James L. Bruns is Director of the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution, located in Washington, DC.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Coast-to-Coast Collecting

Seeing the Country Through Stamps

This year, the Greetings From America stamp pane shows just how fascinating stamp collecting can be. Did you know that it's the first pane of 50 stamps in 10 years? Or that the designs evoke retro "large-letter" postcards used to advertise cities, states, and tourist attractions? Stampcollectors know -- because they keep an eye out not only for distinctive stamps but also for the diverse American landmarks that appear on them. Issuances such as Greetings From America suggest the richness of the American scene, with its many extraordinary icons, monuments, and natural wonders. You never know what will turn up on a stamp, and that's all part of the fun.

Stamp collecting can be a lifelong hobby. It's fun andeducational for all ages, and it's easy to start without a big investment. Read on to find out how to start or build your very own collection.

What is philately?
The word philately (fi-latt'-eh-lee) means the study of stamps and other postal materials. Stamp collectors are sometimes called philatelists.

How do I start collecting stamps?
It's easy. You can start by simply saving stamps from letters, packages, and postcards. Ask your friends and family to save stamps from their mail.

Neighborhood businesses that get a lot of mail -- banks, stores, travel agencies, and others -- might save their envelopes for you, too.

Or, start your collection by choosing one or two favorite subjects. Then, collect stamps that fit your theme -- art history, sports, transportation, science, animals, and others -- whatever you choose! Thisis called topical or thematic stamp collecting. See the stamps pictured in these featured articles for ideas to get you started on a space theme!

Will it cost me a lot to start a collection?
No! Start with used stamps and a few inexpensive accessories (such as a small album and a package of stamp hinges), and you can have a great time on a limited budget. Remember to put stamps, albums, and hinges on your birthday and holiday wish lists, too!

What kinds of stamps are there?
There are a number of different types of stamps. Their purposes can be described as commemorative, definitive, or special; their formats can be in sheets, booklets, or coils. And all of these now exist with conventional adhesive (the "lock-and-stick" gum) or self-adhesive (the "no-lick, peel-and-stick" type).

Definitive stamps (also called "regular issues") are the most common type of postage stamp. They feature everything from statesmen to animals and from the American flag to historic vehicles. They tend to be fairly small (generally less than an inch square), with denominations (the face value printed on the stamp) from one cent to many dollars. They are printed in large quantities, often more than once, and tend to be available for several years.

Commemorative stamps are usually larger and more colorful than definitives. They are printed in smaller quantities and typically are printed only once. They remain on sale for a limited period of time, generally about a year; many post offices carry them for only a few months. They are issued for specific rates, most often the prime letter rate. They honor, or commemorate, important people, events, or subjects, all of which reflect some aspect of American culture.

Special stamps supplement the regular issues and tend to be more commemorative in appearance (larger and more colorful), while meeting specific needs. They may be reprinted, but tend to remain on sale for only the life of the specific rate for which they are issued. These include Christmas and Love stamps, Holiday Celebration stamps, international rate stamps (previously known as airmail stamps), Priority Mail, and Express Mail stamps.

Sheet stamps are printed as large press sheets, then trimmed into smaller units called panes, most of which measure less than eight by ten inches. Panes generally contain twenty stamps, but may contain up to a hundred or as few as one stamp; smaller commemorative panes, with fewer than ten stamps, are often called souvenir sheets, depending on their purpose. Individual stamps tend to have perfs (perforations) or die-cut edges (generally with a wavy pattern) on all sides.

Booklet stamps are designed to be folded into a convenient unit. Booklets generally contain twenty stamps and may contain separate panes of stamps in a small folder or may be issued in a flat unit designed to be folded into a booklet by the customer. Most individual booklet stamps have at least one straight edge (no perfs or die-cuts) andsometimes two adjacent straight edges.

Coil stamps are issued in rolls. Customers often buy them in rolls of a hundred stamps; business mailers can buy them in rolls of up to ten thousand stamps. Individual coil stamps usually have two straight edges on opposite sides.

How do I remove stamps from envelopes?
If you wish, you can save whole envelopes with stamps on them and store them anywhere -- from shoe boxes to special albums. These are called "covers." Collecting entire envelopes reflects a specialty called "Postal history." It's a good idea to save the whole envelope if there's something special about the address or return address (famous places or people for example), or the postmark (a date or location of some historic significance). See also the information below on collectible "first day covers" later in this article. If you want to remove stamps from envelopes, it pays to be careful. The best way to remove stamps from envelopes is to soak them. Here's how:

  1. Tear or cut off the upper right-hand corner of the envelope leaving enough margin around the stamps to ensure they aren't damaged.
  2. Place it, stamp side down, in a small pan of warm (not hot) water. If the stamp is affixed to a piece of colored envelope, use colder water; it may take longer, but any dyes from the paper are less likely to run and discolor the stamp. After a few minutes, the stamp should sink to the bottom. Remove the envelope piece from the water as soon as the stamp is off.
  3. Wait a few more minutes for any remaining gum to dislodge from the stamp. The newer self-adhesive gums tend to take a bit longer.
  4. Lift the stamp out. If you use your fingers, be sure your hands are clean, since oil from your skin can hasten discoloration of the stamps over time. Tongs -- a good stamp-collecting tool like tweezers -- can be used to minimize contact. Wet stamps are delicate and should be handled carefully.
  5. Place the stamp between two paper towels and put a heavy object, such as a book, on top. This will keep the stamp from curling as it dries. Leave the stamp there overnight.
  6. If the stamp shows signs of remaining adhesive, even after lengthy soaking, dry it face down on a single paper towel with nothing touching the back. If necessary, it can be flattened after it's dried; otherwise, it may stick to surfaces when drying.
The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps 2002. Copyright © by Ivan Maisel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Arts in Stamps 4
New 2004 Issues 8
Explanation of Catalog Prices 16
19th Century Stamps 18
Turn of the Century through World War II Stamps 42
Post World War II through Bicentennial Stamps 96
Bicentennial through Recent Stamps 182
Airmail Stamps 464
Official and Penalty Mail Stamps 478
Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps 482
Stamped Envelopes 486
Airmail Envelopes and Aerogrammes 498
Postal Cards and Stamped Cards 504
American Commemorative Cancellations (Souvenir Pages) 514
American Commemorative Panels 525
Glossary 530
Organizations, Publications and Resources 532
Philatelic Centers 537
Index 538
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)