STEVE LEVINE

Postal Stationery
and Stamps

UX1 Postal Card

Steve Levine
P.O. Box 951
Linden Hill Station

Flushing, NY 11354
Phone: 718-939-5788

 email:steve@stevelevinestamps.com

UNITED STATES
MINT
POSTAL CARDS


      I'm currently transferring my Mint Postal Card listings from this website to my other website, SteveLevineStamps-PLUS.com

RETURN TO HOME PAGE of this Website


     MINT POSTAL CARD INFORMATION:  AT the end of this list is some information about Mint Postal Cards which you'll find useful.  I have a few words to say on the subjects of PAPER COLOR and QUALITY, FLUORESCENT PAPER, SURCHARGES and that most important matter, the overall quality of what I sell.  CLICK HERE

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 COMMEMORATIVE & DEFINITIVE ISSUESxxxxxxxxxx
  AIRMAIL ISSUES
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   PAID REPLY POSTAL CARDSxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
OFFICIAL ISSUESxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     SHOW-LOGO POSTAL CARDSxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
"POSTAL BUDDY" (COMPUTER VENDED) CARDS
       BLANK-FRONT POSTAL BUDDY CARDSxxxxxxx
       U
UX25/S35B PLATE VARIETIESxxxxxxxxxxx


COMMEMORATIVE AND DEFINITIVE ISSUES

Scott UPSS           Description                          Price
  #     #                                                     
        


===============================================================
UX178-97 19c Legends of the West - Picture Cards              
       S191-210 SET of 20 Cards........................   17.50

===============================================================
     In 1994 the USPS began selling sets of Picture Postal Cards in the form of PACKS,     
PERFORATED BOOKLETS, or SHEETS.  These issues were shrink-wrapped, bearing the   
inscription "Package Not Suitable for Philatelic Archiving".  Translation: The wrap will   
eventually twist the cards or mash the corners!  These cards were intended to be          
removed from their packaging & mounted in an album. The "SETS" I sell may...or may    
not...be in their original packaging.                                                                                              
     Cards which were issued in BOOKS of 10 or 20 can survive sitting on a shelf for a      
long time: their thickness protects them from the squeezing effects of the shrink wrap.
Cards which were issued is SHEETS - a practice of the USPS which has been mercifully   
discontinued - are often found with warped corners.                                                                 
     I will always give you the best I can.   I'm a careful buyer and I choose my stock well,
but you should NOT expect perfection in the following issues: #279, 300, 317-36, 357-60,
377-80, 382-5, 386-9 and 401-4.                                                                                                       
===============================================================
UX198  S212   20c America Series - Red Barn, Dull Paper     .40
UX198  S212FM 20c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    2.00
===============================================================
UX199  S211  (20c) U.S.A. - Old Glory..................    2.25
===============================================================
UX200-19 20c Civil War - Picture Cards                        
       S213-232 SET of 20 Cards........................   28.50
===============================================================
     For many of the picture postal card sets, I have individual cards available. If you have a             
damaged card which needs to be replaced, let me know; I might just have it in stock.                       
======
==========================================================
UX219A SA25   50c Soaring Eagle........................    1.00
UX219A SA25FM 50c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    3.00
===============================================================
UX220  S233   20c American Clipper Ships...............     .40
UX220  S233FM 20c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    2.00
===============================================================
UX221-40 20c Comic Strip Classics - Picture Cards             
       S234-53 SET of 20 Cards.........................   40.00
===============================================================
UX241  S254   20c America Series - Winter Scene........     .40
UX241  S254FM 20c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    2.00
===============================================================
UX242-61  20c 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Picture Cards           
       S255-74 SET of 20 Cards.........................   45.00
===============================================================
UX262  S275   20c St. John's College, Annapolis Md.....     .40
===============================================================
UX263  S276   20c Alexander Hall, Princeton University.     .40
UX263  S276F  20c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    2.00
===============================================================
UX264-78 20c Endangered Species - Picture Cards               
       S277-91 SET of 15 Cards.........................   47.50
===============================================================
UX279  S292a-h 20c Love Swans - Complete Set of 8......   32.50
       S292a-d SET of the First 4 Cards Only...........    8.00
===============================================================
UX280  S293   20c City College of New York.............     .45
UX281  S294   20c Bugs Bunny - Picture Card............    1.00
UX282  S295   20c Golden Gate in Daylight..............     .40
===============================================================
UX283  S296   50c Golden Gate at Sunset................    1.00
UX283  S296F  50c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    3.00
===============================================================
UX284  S297   20c Fort McHenry, Baltimore Md...........     .40
===============================================================
UX285-89 20c Movie Monsters - Picture Cards                   
       S298-302 SET of 5 Cards.........................    6.00
===============================================================
UX290  S303   20c The Lyceum, University of Mississippi     .45
UX291  S304   20c Sylvester & Tweety - Picture Card....    1.10
UX292  S305   20c Founder's Hall, Girard College.......     .45
===============================================================
UX293-96 20c Tropical Birds - Picture Cards                   
       S306-09 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX297  S310   20c American Ballet - Picture Card.......    1.00
UX298  S311   20c Kerr Hall, Northeastern University...     .45
UX299  S312   20c Usen Castle, Brandeis University.....     .45
UX300  S313   20c Victorian Love - Picture Card........     .90
UX301  S314   20c Bascom Hill, University of Wisconsin.     .45
UX302  S315   20c Washington and Lee University........     .45
UX303  S316   20c Redwood Library & Atheneum...........     .45
UX304  S317   20c Daffy Duck - Picture card............    1.10
UX305  S318   20c Mount Vernon.........................     .45
UX306  S320   20c Block Island Lighthouse..............     .40
===============================================================
UX307-11 20c All Aboard! Trains - Picture Cards               
       S321-25 SET of 5 Cards..........................    6.00
===============================================================
UX312  S326   20c University of Utah...................     .40
UX313  S327   20c Ryman Auditorium, Nashville TN.......     .40
UX314  S328   20c Road Runner & Coyote - Picture Card..    1.15
UX315  S329   20c Adoption - Picture Card..............    1.15
UX316  S330   20c Old Stone Row, Middlebury College....     .40
===============================================================
UX317-36 20c Stars and Stripes - Picture Cards                
       S331-50 SET of 20 Cards.........................   32.50
===============================================================
UX337-56 20c Legends 0f Baseball - Picture Cards              
       S351-70 SET of 20 Cards.........................   23.50
===============================================================
UX357-60 20c Christmas Reindeer - Picture Cards               
       S371-74 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX361  S375   20c Connecticut Hall, Yale University....     .40
UX362  S376   20c University of South Carolina.........     .40
UX363  S377   20c Northwestern University..............     .40
UX364  S378   20c Waldschmidt Hall, Portland University     .40
===============================================================
UX365-74 21c Legendary Playing Fields - Picture Cards         
       S379-88 SET of 10 Cards.........................   18.50
===============================================================
UX375  S389   21c White Barn...........................     .45
UX376  S390   21c Porky Pig - Picture Card.............    1.20
===============================================================
UX377-80 21c Santas - Picture Cards                           
       S391-94 SET of 4 Cards..........................    5.50
===============================================================
UX381  S395   23c Carlsbad Caverns National Park.......     .45
===============================================================
UX382-85 23c Teddy Bears - Picture Cards                      
       S396-99 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.50
===============================================================
UX386-89 23c Snowmen - Picture Cards                          
       S400-03 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.50
===============================================================
UX390-94 23c Old Glory - Picture Cards                        
       S404-08 SET of 5 Cards..........................    5.00
===============================================================
UX395-99 23c Southeastern Lighthouses - Picture Cards         
       S409-13 SET of 5 Cards..........................    5.00
===============================================================
UX400  S414   23c Ohio University - Cutler Hall........     .45
===============================================================
UX401-04 23c Holiday Music Makers - Picture Cards             
       S415-18 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX405  S419   23c Columbia University..................     .45
UX406  S420   23c Harriton House - Bryn Mawr College...     .45
===============================================================
UX407-10 23c Art of Disney, Friendship -  Picture Cards       
       S421-24 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.75
===============================================================
UX411-20 23c Indian Art - Picture Cards                       
       S425-34 SET of 10 Cards.........................   11.00
===============================================================
UX421-35 35c Cloudscapes - Picture Cards                      
       S435-49 SET of 15 Cards.  Comes in a book of 20        
        with 5 duplicates..............................   26.50
===============================================================
UX436-39 23c Art of Disney, Celebration - Picture Cards       
       S450-53 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX440-44 23c Sporty Cars - Picture Cards                      
       S454-58 SET of 5 Cards..........................    5.00
===============================================================
UX445-48 23c Let's Dance/Bailemos - Picture Cards             
       S459-62 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX449  S463   24c Zebulon Pike Expedition..............     .50
===============================================================
UX450-53 24c Art of Disney, Romance - Picture Cards           
       S464-67 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX454-57 24c Baseball Sluggers - Picture Cards                
       S468-71 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.00
===============================================================
UX458-77 24c DC Comics Superheroes - Picture Cards            
       S472-91 SET of 20 Cards.........................   25.00
===============================================================
UX488  S502   26c Pineapple............................     .55
===============================================================
UX489-503 26c Star Wars - Picture Cards                       
       S503-17 SET of 15 Cards.........................   23.50
===============================================================

UX504-08 26c Pacific Lighthouses - Picture Cards              
       S518-22 SET of 5 Cards..........................    5.25
===============================================================
UX509-28  26c Marvel Superheroes                              
       S523-42 SET of 20 Cards.........................   23.50
===============================================================
UX529-32 26c Art Of Disney, Magic - Picture Cards             
       S543-46 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.25
===============================================================
UX533  S547   27c The Terrace, Mount St. Mary's Univ...     .55
===============================================================
UX534         27c Corinthian Column from Capitol.......     .55
===============================================================
UX535-38 27c Art of Disney, Imagination - Picture Cards       
       S549-52 SET of 4 Cards..........................    4.50
===============================================================
UX549-53 27c 1950s Fins & Chrome - Picture Cards              
       S563-67 SET of 5 Cards..........................    5.75
===============================================================
UX554  S568   27c Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.......     .55
===============================================================
UX555  S569A  28c Koi Fish - White/Gold................    ----
       S569Aa 28c SAME, with "Cradle to Cradle" Logo...     .60
===============================================================
UX556  S570A  28c Koi Fish - Black/Red.................    ----
       S570Aa 28c SAME, with "Cradle to Cradle" Logo...     .60
=============================================================== 
UX557-61 28c The Simpsons - Picture Cards                     
       S571-75 SET of 5 Cards..........................    6.00
===============================================================
UX562-66 28c Gulf Coast Lighthouses - Picture Cards            
       S576-80 SET of 5 Cards..........................    6.00
===============================================================
UX567-86 28c Early T.V. Memories - Picture Cards              
       S581-600 SET of 20 Cards........................    ----
===============================================================
UX587-96 44c Kelp Forest - Picture Cards                      
       S601-10 SET of 10 Cards.........................    ----
===============================================================
UX597-600 28c Cowboys of the Silver Screen - Picture Cards    
               SET of 4 Cards..........................    ----
===============================================================
UX601-10 28c Scenic American Landscapes - Picture Cards       
               SET of 10 Cards.........................    ----
===============================================================
UX611-20 44c Hawaiian Rain Forest - Picture Cards......       
               SET of 10 Cards.........................   18.50
===============================================================
UX621         29c Common Terns.........................    ----
===============================================================
UX622-6  29c Disney-Pixar Characters - Picture Cards...       
               SET of 5 Cards..........................    ----


AIRMAIL ISSUES
Scott  UPSS           Description                         Price
  #      #                                                     
UXC1   SA1    4c Eagle, light orange red on buff.......     .50
UXC2   SA2    5c Eagle without border..................    1.50
===============================================================
UXC3   SA3    5c Eagle, red & blue border..............       
UXC3   SA3-TA Type "A", Top Blue Lozenge at Right is 9mm   6.00
UXC3   SA3-TB Type "B", Bottom Blue Loz, at Right is 9mm   6.00
UXC3   SA3-TC Type "C", All 3 Lozenges at Right are 8 mm   5.00
UXC3   SA3c1  5c Eagle, Thinned (Broken) Line at Top...   25.00
UXC3   SA3c2  5c Eagle, Thinned Line at Bottom.........   45.00
===============================================================
UXC4   SA4a   6c Eagle, Dull Paper.....................     .75
UXC4   SA4bFL 6c Fluorescent, Low-Brite................    5.00
UXC4   SA4bFM 6c Fluorescent, Med-Brite................   13.50
===============================================================
UXC5   SA5a  11c Visit the U.S.A., Dull Paper..........     .50
UXC5   SA5b  11c Fluorescent, Med-Brite................    2.00
===============================================================
UXC11  SA11FM 15c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    3.00
===============================================================
UXC14  SA13bFM 11c Fluorescent, Med-Brite..............    2.50
UXC14  SA13bFH 11c Fluorescent, High-Brite.............    5.00
===============================================================
UXC15  SA14bFM 18c Fluorescent, Med-Brite................  3.50
UXC15  SA14bFH 18c Fluorescent, High-Brite...............  6.00
===============================================================
UXC20  SA19FM 28c Fluorescent, Med-Brite...............    3.00
===============================================================


PAID REPLY
POSTAL CARDS

Scott  UPSS             Description                 Price   Price
  #      #                                         Folded Unfolded
UY1    MR1  1c Grant, With Frame................     ----       
       MR1  S1a Sep. 1a, Printers Rule 11 1/2 on M Side     75.00
=================================================================
UY2    MR3  2c Liberty Head, blue...............    18.50       
       MR3  S1 Sep. 1 Printers Rule 11 1/2 on M Side...     27.50
=================================================================
UY3    MR5  1c Grant, Without Frame.............     ----       
       MR5  S1 Sep. 1, Printers Rule 11 1/2 on M Side..     -----
=================================================================
UY5    MR8  1c Washington, blue, double frame...   165.00       
       MR8  S2 Sep. 2, Roulette 5 3/4 on M Side........    250.00
=================================================================
UY6    MR12 1c Washington, green, double frame..   160.00       
       MR12 S1 Sep. 1, Roulette 6 1/4 on M side........    235.00
=================================================================
UY7    MR14 1c Washington, green, single frame..      .95       
       MR14 S4B Sep. 4, Roulette 6 1/4 M Side, buff....      1.50
       MR14 S4C Sep. 4, Roulette 6 1/4 M Side, canary..      3.00
=================================================================
UY11   MR18 2c Liberty Head, red................     1.75    3.00
=================================================================
UY12   MR19 3c McKinley, Stamp-Like Design......     9.00    ----
            (above is on BUFF card stock)                       
       MR19S1 Sep. 1, Roulette 5 3/4 on M Side.........     12.50
       MR19S5 Sep. 5, Printers Rule 9 1/2 on M Side....     12.00
       MR19S6 Sep. 6, Printers Rule 9 1/2 on R Side....     12.00
=================================================================
UY13   MR22a 2c Washington, Type 1, Electrotype.     ----    ----
            (Mess: 58.5 mm, Reply: 59 mm)                       
UY13   MR22b 2c Washington, Type 2, Steel Plate.     1.00    1.50
            (Mess: 59 mm, Reply: 59.5 mm)                       
=================================================================
UY14   MR23-1 2c on 1c Washington (UY7), green.                 
            Surcharge Vertical Below Stamp......     1.00    1.50
UY14b  MR23-3 2c Surcharge Horizontal at Left...     ----   20.00
=================================================================
UY16   MR26 4c Statue Of Liberty................      .90    ----
       MR26S1 Sep. 1, Roulette 9 1/2 on M Side.........      1.25
       MR26S2 Sep. 2, Roulette 9 1/2 on R Side.........      1.25
=================================================================
UY17   MR27T1 3c Liberty, Tp 1, Elect, 98 mm inscr.  2.75    ----
UY17   MR27T2 3c Liberty, Tp 2, Steel, 100 mm inscr  2.75    4.50
=================================================================
UY18   MR28AT1 4c Lincoln, Tp 1, Elect, 98 mm insc.  3.00    xxxx
UY18   MR28AT2 4c Lincoln, Tp 2, Steel, 99 mm insc.  3.00    ----
UY18a  MR28C  4c Lincoln, "Tagged" (Phosphor) Ink..  5.50    7.50
=================================================================
UY19   MR29   7c Map & U.S.A....................     2.00    2.75
UY20   MR30   8c Map & U.S.A....................     2.00    2.75
UY21   MR31   5c Abraham Lincoln................     1.00    1.50
UY22   MR32   6c Paul Revere....................      .75    1.00
=================================================================
UY23   MR33   6c John Hanson, Smooth Paper......      .75    1.00
UY23   MR33c  6c John Hanson, Coarse Paper......     1.50    2.00
=================================================================
UY24   MR34   8c Adams - Smooth, Dull Paper.....      .75    1.00
UY24a  MR34b  8c Adams - Coarse, Dull Paper.....     1.50    2.50
UY24a  MR34bFH 8c Coarse, Fluorescent, High-Bright   4.00    5.00
=================================================================
UY25   MR35 7c Charles Thomson..................      .75    1.00
=================================================================
UY26   MR36   9c John Witherspoon, Smooth Paper.      .75    1.00
UY26   MR36c  9c John Witherspoon, Coarse Paper.     1.25    1.50
=================================================================
UY27   MR37   9c Rodney - Smooth, Dull paper....      .75    1.00
UY27   MR37c  9c Rodney - Coarse, Dull Paper....     1.50    2.00
UY27   MR37cFM 9c Coarse, Fluorescent, Med-Bright    2.25    3.00
=================================================================
UY28   MR38   9c Nathan Hale....................      .75    1.00
UY29   MR39 (10c) John Hancock..................     7.00    8.50
=================================================================
UY30   MR40  10c John Hancock, Smooth Paper.....      .75    1.00
UY30   MR40c 10c John Hancock, Coarse Paper.....     1.50    2.00
=================================================================
UY31   MR41 (12c) Domestic Rate, Dull Paper.....      .75    1.00
UY31   MR41FM (12c) Fluorescent, Med-Bright.....     2.25    3.00
=================================================================
UY32   MR42a 12c Isaiah Thomas, Large Die.......     3.00    4.00
UY32a  MR42b 12c Isaiah Thomas, Small Die, Smooth    2.50    3.00
UY32a  MR42bc 12c Isaiah Thomas, Small Die, Coarse   4.00    5.00
=================================================================
UY33   MR43 (13c) Robert Morris.................     1.25    1.75
UY34   MR44  13c Robert Morris..................      .85    1.25
UY35   MR45 (14c) Charles Carroll...............     1.75    2.50
UY36   MR46  14c Charles Carroll................      .85    1.25
UY37   MR47  14c George Wythe...................      .85    1.25
UY38   MR48  14c Stars and Stripes..............      .85    1.25
=================================================================
UY39   MR49a 15c Bison - Hi-Brite Fluor. Paper..      .85    1.25
UY39   MR49b 15c Bison - Dull Paper.............     2.00    3.00
=================================================================
UY40   MR50  19c Stars and Stripes..............      .85    1.25
UY41   MR51  20c America Series - Red Barn......      .85    1.25
UY42   MR52  20c Block Island Lighthouse........      .85    1.25
UY43   MR53  21c White Barn.....................      .85    1.25

OFFICIA
L ISSUES
Scott  UPSS           Description                         Price
  #      #                                                     

UZ3    O3F   14c Fluorescent, Med-Brite................    3.00


POSTAL BUDDY CARDS
CVUX1  PB1 15c Eagle...................................    5.00
               SHEET of 4 cards........................   20.00
CVUX2  PB2 19c Eagle...................................    2.50
               SHEET of 4 cards........................   10.00
CVUX3  PB3a1 19c Star & U.S.A..........................    8.00
               SHEET of 4 cards........................    ----
CVUX3a  PB3b1 19c Star & U.S.A. & Postal Buddy Logo....   11.00
               SHEET of 4 cards........................   42.50
POSTAL BUDDY MONEY CARD - Red & Blue plastic "credit card"    
      used for Postal Buddy accounts at PB machines....    5.00


UX25/S35B PLATE VARIETIES

UX25 S35Bd-1  White Spot Over Ribbon, LARGE Clear Spot on     
              Forehead.................................    7.50

UX25 S35Bd-2  White Spot Over Ribbon, SMALL Clear Spot on     
              Forehead.................................    5.00

UX25 S35Bd-2A White Spot Over Ribbon, MEDIUM Clear Spot on    
              Forehead.................................    5.00

UX25 S35Bf  White Spot Over Ribbon, Crack in Grant's          
              Beard....................................    7.50

UX25 S35Bg-1  White Spot Over Ribbon, White Spot Over "T"     
              of GRANT.................................    5.00

UX25 S35Bg-2  White Spot Over Ribbon, White Spot Over "T"     
              of GRANT, Blob of Color in Left Frame....    7.50

UX25 S35Bh-1  W.S.O.R., Nick in Inner Frame Line over "T"     
              of POSTAL, Clear "T" of "CENTS"..........   10.00

UX25 S35Bi    White Spot Over Ribbon, White Blob at Right     
              of "T" of "CENTS"........................    5.00

UX25 S35Bj-1  Nick in Frame under "S" of CENTS, Clear Spot    
              in Moustache Under Nose..................    5.00

UX25 S35Bj-2  Nick in Frame under "S" of CENTS, NO Clear      
              Spot in Moustache Under Nose.............    7.50


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MINT POSTAL CARD INFORMATION


     Collecting U.S. Postal Cards can be done on several levels.  Like Envelopes & Cut Squares, there are Die varieties, Plate varieties, Surcharge varieties, and Paper varieties.  There are also thousands of errors/freaks/oddities which are too minor to be listed in any catalog...as well as hundreds which ARE listed.  A good basic Postal Card collection can contain several hundred varieties, and not set you back the cost of a refrigerator.  An advanced collection can contain several THOUSAND cards, and set you back the cost of a house.  

 

     POSTAL CARD QUALITY: THE BUCK STOPS HERE  You should expect top quality while recognizing that Postal Cards are not "stamps".  Postal Cards are a commercial product, and have only recently been printed with the needs of collectors in mind.  I buy carefully and weed out any obvious problems I see.  My major problem is with shrink-wrapped cards of the past 20 years.  Shrink-wrapping will, in time, warp the cards and mash the corners.  How much time?  I have no answer.  Sometimes the wrapping process itself damages the cards; sometimes the damage takes years of storage.
 

     THAT issue aside, Postal Cards of the past 60 years will look as if they came out of the Post Office yesterday -- clean, fresh, and with sharp strong corners.  Older cards, however, will usually show some signs of age and storage, as well as characteristics of the era in which they were collected.  Old-time collectors saw no harm in writing a few small details, in pencil, on the backs of a card.  The Surcharged Cards of 1920 --  UX32 (on UX29), UX33 (on UX30), and UY9 (on UY8) -- are often found with identification on the back, and that's considered o.k. to most collectors.  (These cards were surcharged in 46 different cities and are listed in the UPSS Postal Card Catalog.)  Many PLATE VARIETIES and DIE VARIETIES may also have light pencil I.D. on the back; this is also considered acceptable.

     POSTAL CARD STOCK - GENERAL  Postal Cards, like Envelopes, were a commercial product, and much variation exists in the color, thickness, and "finish" (surface texture) of older Postal Cards.  This is especially true when a card was in service for several years and was reprinted several times...and more so when different contractors were employed.  Among more recnt cards, the USPS used several suppliers of paper, and their standards of manufacture are not all uniform.

 

     PAPER COLOR  Most Postal Cards were printed on only ONE type of card stock, so identification is no problem.  However, some of the older cards -- especially those, like UX27, which was reprinted many times during its run of 37 years -- were printed on several different shades of card stock.  Some of these colors were difficult enough to identify years ago, when the colors were fresh; now, with aging, some of the shades are almost meaningless.  Perhaps the worst example is on UX27, the shades in question being CREAM and OFF-WHITE.  BUFF, on a card, is different from the BUFF on an envelope.  Card "buff" is a light manila/light brownish shade, and it varies considerably.  Light Buff can overlap a bit into dark cream.  For some early cards, dark buff is a scarce shade.  Age and discoloration, however, can darken a card.  Yes, it's a mess.
 

     THREE cards -- UX21, UX22 and UY5 -- were printed on blue paper.  During my time as a dealer in Postal Stationery (starting in 1981) I've noticed fewer and fewer true "blue" cards.  Many of them have discolored, slightly to greatly, from blue to grayish blue to brownish blue.

 

     PAPER STOCK  Thickness on most cards is uniform, though a few cards which had multiple print runs do show different thicknesses.  One of the best-known is UX22.  Identification is difficult, even with a micrometer; often, the a positive I.D. can only be made by a dealer -- like me -- who happens to have a "pack" in stock.  The difference in thickness is obvious when measuring 25 cards; when measuring only ONE card, the difference is nearly impossible to measure.

 

     PAPER FINISH  The surfaces of cards often show a different "finish".  Most which had limited print runs will show either a rough or a smooth finish.  Some -- like UX23 -- will exist with both.  If you try, for instance, to erase a pencil notation on the back of a rough-surfaced card (like UX1 or UX3), you won't notice the area where you erased.  If you try that on a smooth-surfaced card (like UX23), that erased area will be obvious.  Relative scarcity?  Unknown.

 

     SMOOTH AND COARSE PAPERS  Further variety was added in 1973 with the use of "SMOOTH" and "COARSE" papers.  The terms do NOT refer to the "feel" of the paper, or the roughness of the surface, though there is SOME connection.  (If you put on a blindford and tried to I.D. smooth/coarse cards by their "feel", you'd be wrong more often than right...)  What they refer to is how the cards look when you hold them up in front of a strong lightbulb.  The best way to understand is to select a cheap issue, buy one of each, and hold it to the light.  I can't explain it better....  AND, unfortunately, this smooth/coarse difference is a bit subjective, and varies for each issue.  Not all issues exist both ways, and even the UPSS catalog ignores most of them.  They are not scarce, though there is a slight premium, which is mostly for the extra time I have to put into I.D.'ing them.

 

     FLUORESCENT PAPER  Starting in 1963 with UX48/S66b the USPS began using fluorescent card stock on Postal Cards.  This is a complex area, to say the least.

     FIRST, some cards are made entirely of fluorescent paper; other are made of ordinary paper, but with fluorescent fibers embedded. More fibers, more brightness.  At a distance, it's not obvious; up close, it is.

     SECOND, some cards exist ONLY on fluorescent paper, some exist ONLY on ordinary, "dull" paper, and some exist both ways.  When this happens, the fluorescent is GENERALLY more scarce, but there are exceptions.  UX120 and UY39 are 2 examples where the "dull" paper commands a premium.  Sometimes the premium is modest ($2 compared to 25c on many common issues), sometimes it's large ($13.50 compared to 60c on UXC4).  There's one truly RARE issue, UX65 on dull paper.  I've never owned one in 34 years of dealing in this area!
     THIRD. the degree of fluorescence varies.  Some cards exist across a range of brightness varying from faint to the "hi-brite" reaction.  Some cards exist only one way. 

     It's a bit subjective.  What's "medium" brite for one card may be "lo" brite for another.  What's really needed here is an objective scale.  Unlike paper colors, which are obvious, fluorescence is only observable under a special UV light.  You learn the various degree of fluorescence by accumulating cards and comparing them.
     IN GENERAL, I sell cards in 3 Categories: Dull, Fluorescent Medium Bright, and Fluorescent High-Bright.
     IN ADDITION, "Dull" paper also exists across a range of "dullness"...some being just "flat", some having a somewhat "purplish" look to them.  Some of the cards I sell as Dull are actually VERY low bright fluorescent.

 

     SURCHARGES  There have been 2 major surcharge groups; one was created in 1920 when the USPS actually LOWERED the Postal Card rate from 2c to 1c and the other was crated in 1952 when the USPS raised the rate from 1c to 2c.  Both of these events are of great significance to Postal card collectors.

     Technically, the first group -- which involved Scott #'s UX31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, UY9 and UY10 -- wasn't a surcharge; it was an overprint...or a re-value.  Take your pick...it was a rate decrease, and therefore, not a surcharge. 
     The first (1920) group was done in 46 cities for the UXs, 14 cities for the UYs.  Records were not well kept, and re-valuing dies were often shipped from these major cities to smaller ones.

     Due to this immense variety, it was the style at the time for collectors to record the city on the back of the card, in light pencil.  Sometimes not so light...occasionally not pencil...and once in a while, on the front.  Such markings are normal, should be expected, and do not detract from the value of the card. 

     PROCEDURES were a bit spotty, and many legitimate errors were created, as well as some freaks and oddities which are not listed in the catalogs.  Varieties include:  Doubles, inverts, inverts at the lower left, inverts at the LL plus regular surcharges.  Stranger weeds sprout in the garden: Triples (and more), shifts, twisted surcharges, and various combinations of the aforementioned.  Finally...whatever can appear on the FRONT of a card can also appear on the BACK, if the card is placed in the machine the wrong way.

     Many of these varieties, while considered "favor" items by the Catalog people, are popular with collectors and have grown scarce with time.  They're often more visually striking than the "legitimate" errors.

     The second group -- UX39, 40, 41, 42 UY14 and UY15 -- was done only in a few cities, cutting down on the variety and eliminating the pencil markings...but not the varieties.  Favor items were produced, even more creative than the 1920s.  3-4-5-6 or more surcharges exist on some cards, with a variety of placements, shifts, twists, ghosts, and even albinos!  AS visually striking as the earlier group and more so, also pooh-poohed by the critics, and also much desired by collectors.

 

     IN SUMMATION  Collecting Postal Cards can be easy, or it can be complex and challenging.  If you're one of my regular customers and you have a question, please feel free to e-mail or just pick up the phone & give me a call.                    

 


           Steve Levine                                           Phone:  718-939-5788
                P.O. Box 951                                      e-mail: steve@stevelevinestamps.com
           Linden Hill Station                               
2010 Empire State Philatelics, Inc. 
          Flushing, NY 11354