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Vintage Stamps and how to find them

May 14, 2009

We (like most of you out there) are absolutely crazy for the graphic loveliness that vintage stamps add to any piece of mail. They just don’t make stamps like they used to, do they?


If you’re thinking of using these beauties for your invites, remember that you’ll need a lot of them to add up to the 59 cents that most wedding invites cost to mail. If you’re using a calligrapher, perhaps consider telling her that you’ll need extra space along the top of your envelope to accommodate a whole row of stamps. And while you’re collecting them, remember to get as many high value stamps as possible. High value as in postage, not collectable-ness. Anything above 15 cents should be treated like gold. Seriously. Most vintage stamps are in the 3 – 8 cent range and if you do the math, you need A LOT of those little ones to add up to the correct postage.

Moving on: Color and layout combos are infinite when you have a big fat stack of stamps in your lap.


So, where do you get them? The $64,000 question, right? Finding them isn’t as hard as it might seem. Here’s our best tip… find a local stamp store (it seems like every major and minor city should have at least one, sometimes it’s a stamp and coin shop), and ask to see face value vintage stamps. There are plenty of stamps that are old and cute, but have no value to collectors. Those are the ones you want. If you can find a good store, your vintage postage will cost exactly the same as regular postage. Unless of course you can’t control yourself and buy 3 times as many stamps as you actually need. Not that such a thing has ever happened to us.

If you can’t find a local shop, there’s always online options like Ebay, Champion Stamp, and as reader Kristy pointed out a few days ago, Kenmore Stamp Co.

Postage never expires, but you need to make sure you’re buying unused/uncanceled US stamps. If you do end up purchasing stamps online make sure you confirm that this is in fact what you’re buying.

Happy hunting!