Question: I have a full sheet of a 5-cent U.S. commemoratives honoring the Battle of Gettysburg. The colors are blue and gray, and the design shows two soldiers in combat. What are these stamps worth?--B.W.
Answer: Face value, even though they were issued on July 1, 1963, on the 100th anniversary of that famous battle.
Collectors sometimes wonder how a stamp that is 20 or 30 years old can be worth only face value. Don't all stamps rise in price and aren't they good investments?
The answer is no. For example, your Gettysburg commemoratives had a press run of 79,905,000 copies. Each post office pane (what the average person calls a "sheet") consists of 50 of those stamps. So about 1,600,000 panes like yours were made. That's more than enough to supply every serious collector in the world with one pane, and have a lot left over. Most post-World War II U.S. stamps are not valuable.
Q: I have a postal card first-day cover with a triangular 2-cent stamp inscribed "FIPEX: Fifth International Philatelic Exhibition." It was canceled May 4, 1956, in New York City. Is this of any value?--T.D.