I've loved postage stamps since I was very young. My mom got me started with a stamp collection when I was five or six and I joined a stamp collecting club around 3rd grade. I loved everything about stamps. I found it fascinating to see what various countries would feature on their stamps. Some countries had a mostly monochromatic collection of their rulers' faces in profile. I didn't like those at all. I was drawn to stamps that were colorful and told a story about what that country valued or revered (besides their ruler). Some of my favorite stamps were from Hungary (Magyar), Grenada, and of course, the United States.
I haven't actively collected stamps since I was in high school, but I still love them. (Remember how excited I was to visit the World's Largest Stamp Ball?) I follow the new releases of US stamps fairly closely, mostly through USA Philatelic.
While technically a catalog, I think of it as a magazine. I absolutely love the articles about how the stamps are designed, or what inspired the artist, or why a particular topic was chosen to commemorate.
The latest issue of Philatelic features the most recent Chinese New Year stamp. This is the Year of the Rat (woo hoo- it's my year!). I was completely fascinated to learn that this is not a digital design, but rather a photograph of a dimensional mask! Amazing!
Here are some of the other new releases:
Someday, I hope to attend the release of a US stamp. I came THIS CLOSE to the chance in January 2018, when the Love Stamp was unveiled during a First-Day-of-Issue ceremony at Creativation.
Unfortunately, I didn't find out about the ceremony until after my flight had been booked and I wasn't able to change it. My plane was nearing Phoenix when the ceremony took place on that Thursday morning. So close. Someday.
I've linked some of the most interesting US stamps below, including the pressure-sensitive Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp, the scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats, Bioluminescent Life, and the first US holographic Space Achievement stamps. And for your further reading pleasure, I highly recommend this fascinating article about the most controversial US stamps in history. Enjoy!