One of my favorite DIY projects for the wedding so far has been arranging the vintage stamps for the outside of the Save the Dates and the invitations.
I thought I would share a few pointers about using vintage stamps for wedding stationary.
- Stamps maintain their face value forever. Regardless of when a stamp was issued, it will retain it’s face value. In order to use vintage stamps, they just need to be combined achieve the current postage. Make sure you leave enough space on the envelope!
- Face value = postal value. It doesn’t matter what you paid for a stamp, as far as the post office is concerned, the value of the stamp is the face value. This is important because many of the LOVE stamps and other gorgeous stamps are now selling for well over their face value and getting your hands on them can drastically increase your postage costs.
- You need mint condition stamps. It might seem obvious, but you need to find stamps that have never been used (aka cancelled) before. If the stamps are in sheets or plate blocks (the collector’s term for four stamps together), you’ll know they are un-used, but if they are singletons it can be harder to tell. We found a few singles that appeared mint at first, but then upon closer inspection, we noticed they had the slightest cancellation marks. Lacking gum is a red flag that the stamp may not be mint.
- Look for face value stamps you like IN PERSON. The vintage stamp market is one of those where shopping online is not an advantage. Going to a stamp shop (if you can find one) or a stamp show and asking to see the face value stamps is your best bet.
- Choosing stamps that might not be obvious for a wedding is to your advantage. I found a couple full sheets of fantastic suffragette stamps at face value. Love me some Lucretia Mott.
Image credit: Greenwich History Scott Number 959