Plate block question

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by Circus, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Circus

    Circus Active Member

    I know that when they started to do mutilple color printing the block numbers and number of stamps needed went from 4 stamps and one number to numbers in each color and a strip of 2 stamps the length of the sheet. While transfering the full sheets, half sheets, 2,3,4 strips of stamps to the glassline stock books from assorted enevolpes.
    I'm wondering why he has so many blocks of 4,6,8,10 etc with no numbers.
    The question is did they stop putting numbers on them at som point or was he buying stamps just to have some extra's?
    :rolleyes:
     
  2. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Actually the plate block has been arbitrary. I have some airmail plate blocks that are 12 stamps. The rule of thumb if you have partial sheets or full sheets is to wait for "Scott" to publish what constitutes a "plate block" for a particular issue before breaking it up. Any block of stamps without the selvage, without a plate number or numbers is not a plate block. I'm guessing the reason you ended up with so many blocks of 4, 6, 8. 10 is because of the requirement that a person buy either a half sheet or a full sheet from the post office. A postal clerk is told not to carve out a plate block for every customer that asks for one.
     
  3. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    My understanding of a plate block is that universally the selvedge or margin must be part of the coner block of 4, 6. 8 or 10 so that all detail of a Control number and sometime the sheet number is part identifying the run or that particular print.

    A good example is the 1975 US issue of the Apollo Soyuz plate block of 8 stamps.

    >>A postal clerk is told not to carve out a plate block for every customer that asks for one.
     
  4. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    I buy full sheets then you don't have to worry
     
  5. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Is that not discriminating or just the real world ?

    Philactia, I think it is some postal policy that insures a neat stock book for the postal clerks. It's the same for everyone so it must be real world.
     
  6. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    LOL In order to have the ease for the postal clerk to do his accounting some get their PB, others not when requested - yep - the real world.

    So it teaches us to be good and friendly towards the postal clerk - works for me.
     
  7. desertgem

    desertgem Active Member

    At one time , and I do not know if it is the same, each clerk had to "pay " for the stamps in their stamp drawer like cashiers often do for their "cash" drawer. This reduces the paperwork. Thus clerks were very careful when they issued stamps to customers, and the PO seemed to think it reduced the problem of "extra stamps" to friends. Led to the door checkers of receipts ( such as at costco and other stores). But I haven't talked to a USPS clerk in a long time.
     
  8. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    You may well be right a 100 years ago but lets face it, we are more civilized now and have learned how to cheat better - LOL
     
  9. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    In a recent US stamp offering that commemorates Lydia Mendoza (whoever heard of her?), there are 16 stamps (4x4) in a self-adhesive sheetlet. The postal clerk informed me they have been instructed not to sell anything but the sheet itself - no singles or plate blocks or half sheets - full sheets only.

    Each stamp is 'surrounded' by an internal 'margin'. Best way to picture this is to equate the surface of the sheetlet as akin to a ticktacktoe (3x3) construct, and x's or o's placed within the grid. If you removed each stamp from the sheetlet, you'd end up with a 4x4 grid (printed) still attached to the sheetlet along with the margins. And there's not even a plate number anywhere on the sheetlet! My educated guess is that for collecting and mounting purposes in our albums, we're to use scissors to cut the stamps thru the margins so that there will be little self-adhesive margins around each stamp. At least the USPS printer gave use white lines to follow when we're cutting?!?!?

    I'd make an attachment, but that involves trudging up the stairs (grumble), turning on my other computer and scanning (while determining the resolution [limits the ability to discern the internal margin details] needed to match posting limitations for .gif's or .jpg's for this web site) [more grumbling] the sheetlet, then e-mailing it to myself so it's on the 'dowstairs' computer (even more grumbling); that way, I don't have to log on to this website AGAIN! with my ridiculously long password (grumble grumble) on the upstairs computer. I've got better things to do with my time - like GRUMBLE a lot !!! THIS stamp issue alone has put me into a foul mood - so there!
     
  10. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    I can appreciate your frustration about the peel and stick plate block issue. The peel and stick plethora was the main reason I stopped my U.S. collection at the end of the millenium. What I did up until that point was to buy and keep complete mint sheetlets. I think this is the motive of the USPS, to force collectors to buy more stamps than they want or need. As I mentioned earlier make sure whatever you do to save a "plate block" conforms with what Scott calls a plate block otherwise you making your stamps less valuable. What many people do is use the stamps around the plate block first and then cut the sheetlet. Seems like a practical solution.
     
  11. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    Not the same in GB. The post master does not own anything in the shop. I asked him.
     
  12. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    Self adhesives are not real stamps as far as I am concerned
     
  13. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    The USPS (I think the stamp album people are just going along) is promoting saving blocks of four or strips of 6 or whatever, along with singles of everything. Then they contract with different printers of the same stamp design but use sheetlets and ATM panes and coils, then compound that plethora of issues with six different perf'ing styles and a throw in a couple of microprinting or background color tones to generate 15 or 20 varieties of the same stamp (or set). Grrrr!!!!

    Some of the recent artsy-fartsy issues have stamps offset so there is not block of four or strip of 6 to collect. Ya gotta save the whole sheet, and probably two times over - one for the singles album and one for the plate block album (assuming there is a plate block associated with the printing).
     
    Hochstrasse likes this.
  14. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Larry I agree 100% with your observation. Even though I stopped trying to keep up with the USPS I still occassionally pick up an issue. Probably the only one I will buy this entire year will be the Pan American invert reprints coming out later this year.
     
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