Want to see world class philatelic exhibits and rarities? Meet others who collect what you collect? Be able to browse dozens of dealers’ shops all in one location? Attend a first day ceremony or a live auction? Can we interest you in a seminar or meeting about a specialized topic? At the very least, you’re sure to want to check out some ducks and a pony or two, not to mention cats and penguins.
All of those quests can be fulfilled this month simply by attending the four-day philatelic extravaganza we call the Great American Stamp Show (GASS) in Sacramento, California. The show brings together the annual conventions and meetings of three of the largest philatelic organizations in the United States: the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society.
“The American Philatelic Society is glad to join with the American First Day Cover Society and the American Topical Association to once again present the Great American Stamp Show,” said APS President Robert Zeigler. “There’s something for every collector at the show. Whether it’s the exhibits, seminars, visiting societies or the dealers, our show is the best the hobby has to offer. We welcome you to attend!”
HOSTS: American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society
CO-SPONSOR: United States Postal Service
WHEN: August 25 to 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and August 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Hall C & D of SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, 1400 J Street, Sacramento, CA
CONVENTIONS: Annual conventions of the APS, ATA and AFDCS
ADMISSION: Free (online registration is available for visitors to speed entry to the show floor)
For more information, visit stamps.org/GASS
The show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. August 25-27 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 28.
The show kicks off in a big way at 11 a.m. on opening day as show co-sponsor – the United States Postal Service – officially dedicates five new stamps depicting Pony Cars. The pane of 20 features spectacular artwork showing American-made pony cars from late Sixties era: the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302, the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 GT and the 1969 AMC Javelin SST. Arrive early to get a good seat at the dedication. After the ceremony, dedicating officials will offer autographs in the signing line. There will be first day covers and a special first day of issue cancellation. (Those are the ponies. Now, what about those ducks? Read on.)
Also on Thursday, at 2 p.m., representatives from Boston 2026 World Expo – our country’s next international philatelic exhibition – will unveil the second in a series of limited-edition show promotional labels and the United Nations Postal Administration will hold a pre-launch ceremony for a set of six new stamps. More information about these ceremonies can be found here.
Aside from the APS, ATA and AFDCS booths, which will be located near the show entrance, many specialty societies and organizations will participate, many with a booth, meetings, presentations and/or dinners. The show is a great time to join a new society, sit in on an open meeting, and attend lectures and events by experts. There are events to appeal to collectors at all levels of experience, and with interests ranging the wide world of philately. The event schedule can be found in full on the APS website at stamps.org/GASS. Be sure to check whether an event requires a ticket, and if it is open to members or board members only, or to everyone.
Let’s take you through some more highlights.
Start the Show Right at the APS Booth
APS Executive Director Scott English welcomes you to make the most of the show at the APS Booth.
“Welcome to all our philatelic friends and thank you for joining us for the Great American Stamp Show,” English said. “We hope your visit will add to your collection and your appreciation for the hobby. We’re here to help you make the most of the show, so please stop by the APS Booth and say hello to our great team who’ve worked hard to make this event special for everyone.”
APS staff will be on hand to meet society members and sign up new members. Stop by to say hello, sign the member register and shop. The society will offer best-selling philatelic books and some specialty items. There will also be free copies of recent issues of The American Philatelist that can be shared with a friend or with a non-member who can join at the special show rate. APS staff members and volunteers will be available to answer questions and chat.
If they have not been sold out, members can buy tickets to the Celebration Banquet held on Saturday. Check for ticket availability at the APS booth. The highest awards of the hobby, from all three organizations, will be presented at the dinner.
Five Pony Cars stamps will be dedicated and issued on the first day of the show.
Stop by ATA for a World of Adventures
ATA President Dawn Hamman is looking forward to meeting collectors. “The American Topical Association is delighted to welcome you! Please stop by our booth and explore the fun of topical collecting.”
Come by the ATA Booth to learn about the world of topical and thematic collecting. ATA members should plan to stop by to receive a special memento and get to know the leaders and volunteers of the ATA – and if you aren’t a member, there’s no better time than the present to join one of the fastest growing parts of the hobby.
GASS is host to a myriad of events, talks, and meetings by ATA members and ATA-affiliated study units. The show program will have a special ATA section listing events, such as speakers and meetings. Please visit the ATA’s website, www.americantopical.org, to learn more about their events and keynote speakers.
Fun with American First Day Cover Society
Lloyd de Vries, president of the AFDCS, is pleased to welcome you to the show. “On behalf of the American First Day Cover Society, we can't wait to see you at the Great American Stamp Show. We have meetings, events, presentations and social gatherings scheduled, with something of interest, we think, to all stamp collectors at all levels, and open to everyone.”
The official AFDCS cancellation, available each day.
The American First Day Cover Society booth is a great first stop for members and non-members alike to learn more about collecting, exhibiting, and creating first day covers. Society members at the booth will share all of the many benefits of membership. At the booth, visitors can find first day covers made by AFDCS for recent issues, one for each day of the show.
For more information about the AFDCS, visit www.afdcs.org.
Special Stops On and Off the Show Floor
The heart of the show is the bourse of more than 70 dealers, buying and selling stamps and covers ranging in price from a few cents to hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. A full list of dealers can be found here.
On August 27, a cachetmakers’ bourse will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the show floor. Collectors will be able to purchase cacheted covers sold by the artists themselves. The APS will sponsor Stamps by the Bucket and Covers by the Container, where you can acquire a bucket or container of new material very inexpensively ($5; $1 for youths).
The official show auctioneer is Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. Every day, the auction will be open for interested buyers to view and bid live. Schuyler Rumsey will sell the Peter Iwate Collection of Classic United States; the Alan Parsons Collection of United States Stamps and Covers; and the second portion of the Robert A. Mason World Wide Revenues, specialized Hawaii stamps and postal history, and an array of United States and worldwide stamps and covers. Proceeds from the latter are from the Robert Mason Estate’s generous donation to the APS/APRL, and proceeds will benefit the APRL and its wider missions. Learn more from Schuyler Rumsey’s website, www.rumseyauctions.com.
World-renowned stamp designer and artist Chris Calle has created the official APS GASS cachet for 2022, which will be hand canceled and available for sale at the APS Booth. Martin Miller designed the official show cancellations, one for each day of the show.
Designed by Chris Calle, the official GASS cachet featuring Pony Cars.
The four special show cancellations available only at the Great American Stamp Show. Designed by Martin Miller.
With three World Series of Philately exhibit competitions hosted in one place (APS Stamp Show; ATA National Topical Stamp Show; and Americover, sponsored by AFDCS), the exhibit floor has hours of entertainment and learning to offer. The full listing of exhibits (including literature exhibits) is available on the APS website, stamps.org/GASS. Don’t miss the Court of Honor, which includes three of America’s most noteworthy postal rarities – the 1918 24-cent Inverted Jenny airmail error; the discovery sheet of the 1962 4-cent Dag Hammerskjold yellow invert; and the earliest known U.S. Presidential Free Frank, signed by George Washington.
The oldest known presidential free frank, signed by George Washington.
The 24¢ Inverted Jenny, courtesy of the American Philatelic Research Library, will be on display. The 1962 Dag Hammarskjold invert discovery sheet will also be on display at the show.
The Court of Honor will also feature special exhibits including Gordon Eubanks with his exhibit First Federally Issued Postage Stamps of the United States. The exhibit which won the Champion of Champions in 2012 includes many of the best examples of the first two United States stamps, the 1847 five-cent Benjamin Franklin and 10-cent George Washington. AND, Worldwide Rarities and Uniquities exhibit by APS past president and Luff Award winner John Hotchner. As well as a fun exhibit “Hot Wheels Stamps” by Amos Media editor in chief Jay Bigalke.
Duck Stamps and more
GASS is proud to welcome the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will display the Federal Duck Stamp Art Exhibit, featuring the top pieces from the contest, as well as the first place artwork from each state from the National Junior Duck Stamp Art contest. (See, we said we had ducks!) The artwork for the annual stamp, the proceeds from which go to protect wetlands and other important waterfowl habitats, is chosen through the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. While waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a stamp, stamp collectors, birders, nature photographers and many others buy duck stamps to collect – or just to help fund wildlife habitat protection.
The Federal Duck Stamp Art contest winning design, which will appear at the show in the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s display.
Since we’re back to animals, the Cats on Stamps Study Group, as well as the Penguins on Stamps Study Group are just two of the more than 40 specialized groups and societies that will take part. Others include the American Numismatic Association, American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, China Stamp Society, Ebony Society of Philatelic Events & Reflections, Institute of Analytical Philately, the Military Postal History Society, Sports Philatelists International and the State Revenue Society. For a complete list of participants, click here.
You are invited to bring your children and grandchildren to the Youth Area, hosted by the APS Education Department. Youth (and the young at heart) can learn about stamp collecting, win prizes, design stamps, play games, and pick up items for the stamp collections (for free!).
The convention is following the health and safety guidelines required by the convention center, according to the state of California.
For more information about any aspects of the show, visit www.stamps.org/GASS. The website includes the following: a complete listing of philatelic and literature exhibits; an up-to-date listing of participating show dealers with booth numbers; a full schedule of society meetings, presentations, and other events; and much more. For more information about the ATA, visit www.americantopical.org. For more information about AFDCS, visit www.afdcs.org.
“Thank you to everyone – dealers, members, exhibitors, speakers, donors, staff and volunteers – for making this event possible,” said Executive Director Scott English. “Enjoy the show!”
Bourse Dealers, Societies and Organizations
For the most up-to-date listings and booth numbers, please consult the show program at the show or click here. All participating dealers are members of the APS, ATA and/or AFDCS. An asterisk (*) indicates an APS Dealer Member. A smiley face indicates the dealer caters to beginners. Dealers marked (Dollar) are dollar booths, where the max price for covers is $1 and stamps are max 50¢.
Numerous societies, associations and clubs are scheduled to have booths and/or meetings at GASS. While this list is current as of the publication date, the final list is subject to change. To get the most updated version of the list click here. Please also consult the show program at the show for up-to-date listings. *Those marked with asterisk (*) are hosting a Society booth and may have meetings/activities. Those without are hosting just meetings/activities.
To see an updated floor plan of the show, click here. A printable .pdf file is also available - Click Here