Friday, October 18, 2013

Thoughts of my collection...

I am certain that most collectors will understand....

I ran home today to grab some lunch and decided to sit at my desk... recently i moved a large portion of my collection to the shelf above my seat and to a beautiful bakers rack located to my right. I was just kind of free thinking about nothing in particular when i recalled how each and every album came to me. How each collection started and grew into what it is now and where various important (to me) pieces came from.

Oddly enough I posted a game clue in the same fashion of a game we played on the old board and I started to hunt through some of my Picasa albums.. Sure enough - the beginnings of a lot of things are there.

My album move after deciding to expand and move the US album, the large lot I bought with the binders and dust covers that became home to my Canadian collection.. Pictures of purchases I have shared, stamps in various collections, and even stamps I have swapped away a long time ago..

Funny how some non-collectors think things do not change in this hobby or in one’s own collection and growth...

Ever have a day like this?

Find out what our members have to say HERE

Happy Stamping, 


October 2013

For those who are not members yet, I want to say I am sorry.

Sorry that you are missing Member appreciation month at Stamp Bears!!

After all this time we recently brought back the Member of the Month, a Member of the Month Highlight thread, we are running contests and games all month long AND in general have a great time sharing our collections, ideas, and questions..

In a recent email I was asked why the Blog and other sites slowed down over the last year. Well, I do not have a clear or simple answer to that. One of the reasons is that our member ship has become very active over these last few months and life off line has added various demands on my time.

Not to mention the collection!!

As my collection and I grow and change I share it on Stamp Bears. its hard to share it here since I know many of our readers are members also.. If by chance you are not a member - Please join us, we want to hear form you.

Happy Stamping,


Friday, August 9, 2013

Short update

This is a copy and paste from our new home at

[quote author="@admin" source="/post/919/thread" timestamp="1376004300"]Before the history of our site is lost in the ashes of its previous incarnation i will recap where, how, and why we got started. Please bear with me as I recap our story.

originally i had posted in January 2013 -

[quote]In later 2010 i was at work and more than a little frustrated that my hobby at the time was not "doing it" for me any more. i sat and thought about what i could get into that would not cost a ton and would hit on my personal interests (and not always interrupt the family if i could help it).. so Google being my friend got me searching.

Recalling a stamp that was given to me years ago i thought i would look into stamp collecting. being (at the time) a moderator on a fish keeping site i was comfortable with forums and thought i would look for that type of place to get broken into the hobby. that day i signed up as a member on 2 boards.

one of these boards was nice enough at first but i found that more often than not my questions were met with an attitude that conveyed the overall membership was more interested in investment type collecting (not my thing) or they treated me with thin patience at best. over time (about 2 months) i had more than a few bump ins with the Administration and Moderators and chose to leave since i was feeling that they were generally targeting ANYONE who was not part of the inner click.

The other board lasted all of about 1 week. this fairly large forum treated me VERY poorly and started sending me emails about grammar and these often included direct personal insults. obviously i left them post haste!!! and have never looked back..

oh i was mad as a hatter!! so while venting to the better half one night she said (innocently enough) "So why not start your own forum?"

i sat in total stunned silence... i thought for what seemed like for ever but was all of 40-50 seconds, and replied "Will you help me?"... so the next day on March 12th 2011 Stamp Bears was born under the name "Bears Stamp Family"... over the next year the mods that volunteered to help out, my wife, my brother, and i built this site a change this week a change that week sometimes 4-9 changes at a time.. ironing out the feel and tone of the board.

New moderators have come on board, other have left us, the member ship grows and falls, participation varies, But as we close on our 2 year anniversary we can say that we are still standing, we are still growing, we are still learning, we are still having fun, we are still a hobby site by hobbyists, and we may have plenty more growing pains to come but we are growing!!![/quote]so now i will fast forward to August 2013 -

We have built a force to be reckoned with, 2 1/2 years, 90,000 posts, a great Moderating team, a great Administrative partnership, and members that i would not trade for the world....


some nub sucker attacked our home with some insidious virus. They tried to block even me from our work of joy and passion. Our forum provider could not and would not help us solve the issue and essentially tore me up for asking.

So we chose a new provider.

[s]My[/s] OUR amazing team pulled out all the stops.

[s]My[/s] OUR members threw themselves into the mix and asked "what can I do to help"

We united and built this new chapter from the ground up. when i signed in a little over 24 hours ago there was ONE content area and ONE thread. in less than 24 hours this team has built from the ashes a new Stamp Bears Adventure.

I do not care what site you are from, what site you are on now, WE (STAMP BEARS) have the BEST team and members on the internet.

End of this chapter.

let the adventure continue.


Please note that all previous links will be removed as the former site is no loner available. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Organizing stamps (not over all but the method)

On Stamp Bears we have talked about using boxes, bins, stock pages, stock books, albums, envelopes, and even ziplock bags to organize our collections. 

We have talked about working our way through a pile of mixed stamps and kiloware on more than one occasion. 

but we have never fully explored the order in which we organize our material into our collections. 

please allow me to expand on this thought. 

For example with my US & Canada collections i tend to work through all of the commemorative stamps first. Identifying, looking for variety's and then placing them in my album(s). and then later when time or the need for a challenge arises i will work on definitive issues. 

So i put forth this question to our members 

so how do YOU go through your material? what order is there to your organizing method?

I am eager to see their responses, and yours if you care to come share it with us. To see what our members say read More HERE ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Looking at this hobby with "new" eyes

From time to time Stamp Collecting as a whole gets overwhelming or seems to be "work" in that the collector seems to be loosing stamina to keep going through piles of material and placing them in various albums.  some collectors shut down for a time or switch to another area of their collection and get refocused on the fun part of the hobby again.

Anytime you take a break form one collection and go back to it that collection appears "new" again. This is a wonderful thing and very helpful for people like me and some of my members who have multiple focused collections..

But, every now and again, just to really shake things up - a new collection (or two) gets born! Often its a spontaneous decision with little regard for how it will happen. no real planning at all. These "new" collections often get attention for a short period of time and either fade away or quickly turn to "work" and lose their appeal all together rapidly.

In light of this trend, i have started 2 new collections with much more careful planning. In fact i have not even begun fully to start these collections. I have bought the albums and i am planning out carefully each and every step i take before i do so.

In the past not planning has cost me a lot of time and money that could otherwise been spent on stamps instead of restarting the collection 3 times (my US collection for example). Another big step is getting advice BEFORE even buying the albums!

Our members are great at this and more often than not shed some much needed light on aspects of starting (or re-starting) a collection that perhaps had not been considered before.

These next 2 links are to threads on our forum in relation to starting these new adventures and I hope that you not only enjoy reading them, but that you may stop in and share your experiences or ask questions that may help you get started on a new adventure with Stamp Collecting.

World Wide Album Discussion

When Collecting is New Again

We hope to see you on the boards..

Happy Stamping!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our Story

From time to time you find yourself in a conversation that wanders in many directions and leads to some really interesting ideas and/or memories.

Such a conversation occurred between the Administrating and Moderating team. Because I am an overly curious person at times, I thought it would be fun to share Our stories and see how the conversation turned out.

In order to facilitate this i started off the new topic with Some details such as
In later 2010 i was at work and more than a little frustrated that my hobby at the time was not "doing it" for me any more. i sat and thought about what i could get into that would not cost a ton and would hit on my personal interests (and not always interrupt the family if i could help it).. so Google being my friend got me searching. 

Recalling a stamp that was given to me years ago i thought i would look into stamp collecting. being (at the time) a moderator on a fish keeping site i was comfortable with forums and thought i would look for that type of place to get broken into the hobby. that day i signed up as a member on 2 boards. 

And then really opened up... But why Ruin the whole conversation? As we wait for member replies you can follow along The Story of Stamp Bears and its Members. We hope you may also share your experiences with us and help us in our persistent pursuit of growth and improvement.

Happy Stamping!!!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

US Classic Stamps

Some of our great members have taken the display of their collections to a whole new level!! Sure you can find a lot of posts with just a picture and some discussion around them but these folks have really turned the display into a lesson..

Here is a great example

Kacyds writes -

U.S. #1 – the 1847 5¢ Franklin

First Day of Issue: July 1, 1847
Printed by: Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edison
Quantity issued: 3,600,000 (estimate)
Printing Method: Flat plate in sheets of 200 subjects each
Watermark: None
Perforation: Imperforate
Color: Red brown

The “Father” of the American Postal Service is pictured on the first U.S. postage stamp. Inventor, philosopher, statesman, diplomat, author, and scientist, Benjamin Franklin is credited with organizing America’s postal service in the 1700s. Appointed by the British Crown as a deputy postmaster, he greatly improved service to major cities. In 1775, he was appointed as the first Postmaster General. Under his direction, the new Continental Post Office played an important role in the Revolution.

The 1847 stamp is an engraving which also appeared previously on banknotes.

America’s First Postage Stamps

In the 1840s, United States postal authorities were carefully watching the world’s reaction to Great Britain’s Penny Black, the first adhesive postage stamp. An adhesive stamp was being considered for use in the U.S. When Robert H. Morris, postmaster of New York, proposed issuing a provisional stamp, there were no objections.

Morris assumed the printing cost, and in 1845, the first U.S. postmaster’s provisional was issued. Other postmasters followed suit, providing their own distinct stamps for pre-payment of mail.

Two years later, the U.S. Post Office Department tried its own government-issued stamp. Rates were determined by the weight and distance the letter was being mailed. Letters mailed a distance of 300 miles or less were 5¢ per half ounce, while those mailed over 300 miles were 10¢ per half ounce. Postage could be paid by the sender at the time the letter was mailed, or by the addressee upon receipt.

When postage was paid by the sender, the letter was marked “paid” by pen and ink or hand stamped. If no such cancel was evident, the person receiving the letter paid the postage. Inspections for accuracy and records of postal revenues were virtually impossible. With pre-printed stamps, accurate records could be kept of how many were issued and sold. It wasn’t until 1855 that the use of postage stamps became mandatory.

A contract was awarded to a firm of bank note engravers for the printing of the 5¢ and 10¢ stamps. The stamps were to be available in major post offices on July 1, 1847. Due to delays in production, only one office, New York City, received the stamps on that date. The stamps were produced until 1851.

Reproductions (official imitations) of both stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. (They were invalid for postage.)
Now this is informative! In this style Kacyds continues to display his 19th Century US Classics.. Quite a number of great looking stamps in this thread.. 
Stop by, take a look, if you have a question, or would like to jump in the conversations feel free to register (no fees EVER).

Happy Stamping!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Austria Stamp Day

As usual during an ongoing competition an unusual stamp popped up and sparked a wonderful conversation about is origins and purpose.

The stamp responsible?

This stamp was posted by member Butterflies and the seemingly innocent statement 
I love this Austrian stamp, though I still don't know what is depicted.
In true Stamp Bears fashion member Gordon Lee responded with a great deal of information

Starting May 29, 1991 the first stamp in this drawn out set of Stamp Day stamp displayed the first letters of the words "Briefmark" and "Philatelie," a "B" and a "P." This 7 + 3 schilling stamp (Scott B357) was followed the next five years, during May, by five more Semi-Postal Stamp Day photogravure and engraved stamps -- an "R" and "H", an "I" and "I", an "E" and "L", an "F" and "A", and "M" and "T."
Austria continued this series with standard postage stamps on May 9, 1997 with the "A" and "E" stamp (Scott 1725) and followed the consecutive Mays with Scott 1765, 1791 (our winning stamp), and 1818. 

Now this for a general novice would have been plenty to digest, BUT not for our members.. MORE had to be shared and learned..

And thanks to the diligent work of these two gentlemen we now have a detailed showing and explanation of this wonderful set at  Austria Stamp Day Stamps .

Man I love this hobby.. I mean where else can you learn something new LITERALLY every single day?

Happy Stamping!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A little help TO my friends.

You know in almost every post I try to tell you all about the great things going on at Stamp Bears..

Today, however, I would like to not only thank my great members who post daily on Stamp Bears and help to create a great community, but I also want to mention a few blogs from members..

A wonderful supporter of our site and a great guy in general our member Jubilee writes Global Philately .. This mans adventures are not only amazing to read about but through his unique and constant writing style you can join his adventure as he goes through his collection.

Another contributor is a member called Youpaio and he not only designed and donated our sites anniversary Cinderella last year but he also writes The Phrugal Filatelist . Stop by and learn a few things from this wonderful writer and collector!.

Now if its United States Album pages you want our next member  Philatelius writes a wonderful blog and provides some amazing album pages. Once you visit philosateleiag/ don't forget to sign up for his newsletter!!

Now if you are one who is interested in stamps of Scandinavia then the blog Scandinavian Stamps is certainly for you!! I will not lie here I do not collect these stamps and can get lost for hours reading through these posts!!

While I am certain to have missed a lot of members blogs I just had to share these with you today!

Visit our members pages, stop by Stamp Bears and have a look around.. Above all -

Keep it stampy!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Ever Changing Markets

One would imagine that in this age of lightning fast internet, auction sites popping up all over the place, and social networks getting more and more like minded people together you could find a pretty stable stamp market. Right? Right?

Ummmmm.... NO

In fact we at Stamp Bears (and other places) have noted that the market swings even further than most other markets and for longer periods of time.

In a thread called country price ranges We talk about this very issue. I will admit it is a bit discouraging for a stamper on a budget when the average price of the stamps you are looking for are 3-6 times what they cost just a few months ago!!

I really really would love you have your input on the matter and see what you may suggest.

There are 2 ways you can participate. 1 (also the easiest) is to register with us and join the conversations (its free!!) or 2- (a bit more of a challenge  is post a response here and we can add it to the conversation for members to comment on.. The Main issue with number 2 is that it may take time for me to add your thoughts...

Well off to further explore this issue and hopefully have some stampy fun along the way..

Happy Stamping!!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

1893 Columbian Exposition Issues

Member Bengalpaws Wrote

The Columbian Issue, often simply called the Columbians, is a set of 16 postage stamps issued by the United States to mark the 1893 World Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. The finely-engraved stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by the United States, depicting various events during the career of Christopher Columbus and are today highly prized by collectors.

to start us off on a great adventure exploring this series of stamps.

This thread permited members to explore and converse about many aspects related to this exposition. Krash101 later contributed

I have a "thing" with the Expo related stamps and esoterica. For instance I collect tickets and brochures and of course the stamps. here is some of my material without bombarding you with a million scans...haha..

Columbian issues
The stamps that I have:

the tickets

the set


Other stuff:

Centennial Exposition 1876 ticket (2 front and back), Golden Gate International Exposition ticket to Fine arts Palace and some Pan-Pacific tickets..

See more at

To read more about this, and other stamp collecting related conversations, stop by and have a look at Have something to contribute? Have a question? Register (its free) and join in the conversations!!!

Happy Stamping!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Change is Coming

On thing that our great members comment on regularly is that we are.. well "different" from other boards. Some think this is a bad thing because we are NOT absolute freaks over the catalog value of a stamp (oh my yes i really said it), some think that is a bad thing because we "don't take the hobby seriously" (uhhh doesn't that imply that you are SUCKING THE LIFE out of your hobby?). defines Hobby as

hob·by1 [hob-ee] Show IPA
noun, plural hob·bies.
an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.
a child's hobbyhorse.
Archaic. a small horse.
ride a hobby, to concern oneself excessively with a favorite notion or activity. Also, ride a hobbyhorse.

Please note

an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation

We feel strongly that this adventure should be FUN and as such so should the discussion of this stamp collecting endeavor.

Of course we talk about value at times and of course we want to chase that "golden ticket" but more importantly we want to share this adventure with like minded people.

We want to inspire future generations, we want to hear a story and tell one to others.

Come share that with us.. Stamp Bears is the FORUM of stamp collectors From stamp collectors to stamp collectors.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A new year dawns at Stamp Bears

It has been quite a while my Guests.. Over the last few months we have done a lot with Stamp Bears.

We have broken records, set and accomplished goals, seen our membership grow, and most of all we have shared in this wonderful stamp collecting adventure.

We have altered the look and function of the boards and decided to make a harder push to keep Stamp Bears on the path to greatness. (some members feel we are there!)

Stamp collecting has not only brought us around the globe through our study of the stamps but also in the way we connect with other collectors. One member, Indestrore23, is on a trip around Asia and is sending postcards to members to mark her adventure, a new member,PostmasterGS, from Japan is sharing his incredible wealth of knowledge be sharing his stamp collection of German Stamps , and Waroff49 is teaching us about Malaysia

Stop in and read a bit, if you like what you see register (its free) and join the conversations, we would love to hear form you!!

Keep it stampy,