Saturday, March 31, 2012

Does anyone still collect blocks?




In the post-World War II era, mint blocks of three-cent commemoratives were widely collected in the United States. And even kids in my Minnesota village could afford to buy blocks of all the new issues given the government’s restrained issuance policy. In my birth year, for example, the United States issued only seven commemoratives--all in three-cent denominations. At the post office window, the total cost for the seven blocks was only 84 cents ($8.11 in today’s money, after you adjust for inflation).

Back then, we were impressed by a local banker who could afford to collect full sheets of these commemoratives. His investment was considerably greater than ours ($10.50, or $101.37 in today’s money).  But with the glut of new issues that the USPS churns out these days, that banker today would be collecting singles!

As an investment, these blocks of commemoratives paid no dividends, but at the end of the year I had a nice showing to display of what the government had released over the past 12 months.  Admittedly, I used them long ago for postage. But remembering the pleasure of collecting blocks back in the 1950s, I’ve started a collection of Luxembourg covers franked with blocks.

Here are a few recent and not so recent additions:

75c (+20c) 1927 Caritas
Princess Elisabeth


Junglinster, 20 Feb 1928, transit Luxembourg-Ville [b/s],
to Zürich, Switzerland [b/s], 21 Feb 1928

UPU 20g letter rate = 1.50 F
UPU registry fee = 1.50 F



60c (+10c)  1929 Caritas
Princess Marie-Adélaïde



Luxembourg-Ville, 9 Jan 1929, Brussels, Belgium, 9 Jan 1929,
London registry [b/s] & London Dulwich [b/s], 11 Jan 1929

UPU 20g letter rate = 1.50 F
UPU registry fee = 1.50 F
Belgian airmail charge = 75c


10c + (5c) 1930 Caritas
Prince Charles


Remich, 9 Jan 1931, to Breedene s/Mer, Belgium,
75c 20g concession letter rate to Belgium

10c (+ 5c) 1932 Caritas
Countess Ermesinde


Luxembourg-Ville, 2 Jan 1933, to Versailles, France,

1.25F 20g concession letter rate

10c (+ 5c) & 35c (+ 10c) 1934 Caritas
John the Blind



Registered 20g UPU letter to Austria posted 19 Dec 1934
from Luxembourg-Ville (overfranked 5c)

12½c G.D. Adolphe


23g letter, Luxembourg-Ville, 2 Feb 1904, to Trier, Germany [b/s]

20g-250g letter rate = 25c

Registry fee to Germany = 25c


3 Rpf. Hindenberg
(WWII Occupation)


Lintgen, 25 Oct 1940, to Lorentzweiler, 12 Rpf. letter rate

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