A magnifying glass is a
convex lens which is used to produce a
image of an object. The
lens is usually mounted in a frame with a handle though other designs are produced. A magnifying glass works by creating a magnified
virtual image of an object behind the lens.
Stamp collectors frequently use magnifying glasses to inspect their
stamps. This photograph shows the magnified image of the
Deutsche Post 1
Reichsmark stamp issued on May 12 1946.
Things you can do
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WikiProject Philately organizes the development of articles relating to philately.
The collaboration focuses on one article at a time until they can proudly put that article up as a
featured article candidate. This will last until they have run through a pool of "featurable" articles, then they will use a time-based system.
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For those who want to skip ahead to the smaller articles, the WikiProject also maintains a
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Did you know...
... that the first
Penny Post was established in
London in 1680 by
William Dockwra nearly 200 years before the better known
Uniform Penny Post that was part of the postal reforms of 1839 and 1840 in
Czesław Słania (1921-2005) is the most prolific
engraver, with more than 1,000 post stamps for 28 postal administrations?
... that a
forerunner is a
postage stamp used during the time period before a region or territory issues stamps of its own?
... that the
Royal Philatelic Society is the oldest philatelic society in the world, founded in
London in 1869?
Marcophily is the specialised study and collection of
postal markings applied by hand or machine on
... that throughout U.S. history, different types of
mail bags have been called
mochila saddle mailbag, and
portmanteau depending on form, function, place and time?
Non-denominated postage are postage stamps that do not show a monetary value on the face?
... that the
Daguin machine was a
cancelling machine first used in
post offices in
Paris in 1884?
... that the first
airmail of the United States was a personal letter from
George Washington carried on an
aerial balloon flight from
Jean Pierre Blanchard?
Stamp of the month
Hawaiian Missionaries are the first
postage stamps of the
Kingdom of Hawaii, issued in 1851. They came to be known as the "Missionaries" because they were primarily found on the correspondence of
missionaries working in the islands. An astonishing lore surrounds this stamp: in 1892, one of its earlier owners, Gaston Leroux, was murdered for it by an envious fellow philatelist, Hector Giroux.
Only a handful of these stamps have survived. The stamps went on sale October 1, 1851, in three denominations: 2-cent, 5-cent and 13-cent values. A 6-cent appeared later. The design was very simple, consisting only of a central numeral of the denomination framed by standard
printer's ornaments, with the denomination repeated in words at the bottom.
Although the stamps were in regular use until as late as 1856, of the four values issued only about 200 have survived, of which 28 are unused, and 32 are on
cover. The 2-cent is the rarest of the Hawaiian Missionaries, with 15 copies recorded. When
Maurice Burrus sold his 2-cent stamp in 1921 the price was US$15,000;
Alfred Caspary sold the same stamp in 1963 for $41,000, the highest price ever paid for a stamp at the time. The current estimated value of a mint copy is GB £450,000.