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David At Rhodes College 
Acceptance Letter  1991

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Thank You Rhodes College For My Good Health

How's this for 68 ?


Mnay thanks to all of my beloved friends, honorable faculty, staff & students at Rhodes College & the magnificent Bryan Campus Life Center for restoring my health. From 204 pounds to a wonderful 168 ! When this tragic national health crisis finally ends I pray that with God's help we will all be together once again. Much love for you, always.


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Monday, August 10, 2020

The Place Where You Are Treated Best & Grumble Most

The Leather Postcard of 1907

Here's rare leather postcard from my collection with a commemorative stamp honoring the Jamestown Exposition, Scott Catalog #328.


The stamp was issued in Hampton Roads, Virginia on April 26, 1907 and removed from sale on December 1, 1907.


The leather postcard, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was sent to Mrs. R. H. Mitchell of Lewisburg, Louisiana on June 6th 1907.


The card was made by S.N. & Compnay Printers in 1906.


The "Home Sweet Home" message on the back of the leather card is signed by or to "Maxie" with an etched impression from a sharp instrument

"The place where you are treated best and grumble most. Home Sweet Home"


Signed or meant for "Maxie".


Unknown impression from the right vertical section of the leather on the reverse.

Reversed inverted spectrographic imaging was used to reveal some of the details of this very scarce and unusual piece of postal history.

Today this rare leather card is worth the same thing as a used, drive-able, early 2000-something Chrysler.

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Rhonda Saks (August 6th 1949 - December 24th 1986)

Remembering my wife.




I will always love her.

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Friday, June 5, 2020

One of the Best Nights of My Life !

Werner made feel like I was member of his family.


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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Stamp Catalog

Many countries have their own "national catalogs", typically put out by a leading publisher or dealer in that country. Postal administrations may themselves put out catalogs, although they tend to be aimed at less-experienced collectors, and rarely provide fully detailed stamp data. Some notable country catalogs include:

    ABDA (Philippines)
    Aerophil (Switzerland)
    AFA (Denmark)
    AFINSA (Portugal)
    Brusden-White (Australia)
    Edifil catalogs (Spain and its former colonies)
    Facit (all countries of Scandinavia)
    Fischer (Poland)
    Hellas (Greece)
    Hibernian Catalogue and Handbook (Ireland)
    JB Catalogue of Malta Stamps and Postal History (Malta)
    Lamy (Peru)
    Ma catalog (China)
    Chan catalog (China)
    Yang catalog (China, published in Hong Kong)
    Phila India - Manik (India)[5]
    RHM (Brazil)
    Sassone (Italy)
    Sakura catalog (Japan)
    Zumstein (Switzerland)

The stamp catalog is your guide to the world.

Importantly, it will assist you in determining a monetary value for your collection.


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Monday, June 1, 2020

The Gold Plated 100 Dollar Bill

Isn't this a beauty ?


Click the money to find out why you shouldn't try to spend it !


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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I Haven't Changed Much (not)

Me in the 1980's.  I still have that blue shirt.


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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lick Up The Pieces !

Thanks to Peyton Davis for the great picture of me licking my plate at Lafayette's, and thanks Peyton, and eveyone who made my 67th birthday a special night.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Happy 180th Birthday "Penny Black" ! - The First Postage Stamp

On this day 180 years ago, the government of Great Britain used a postage stamp for the very first time. The use of a stamp was the proposal of an English teacher, Sir Rowland Hill. The first stamp issued was the "one penny" also known as the Penny Black. The letter below is one of the very few known in existence to have travelled on May 6th 1840. It is shown below with the "PD/May6/40" handstamp on the reverse. The historical value of this letter is undeniable. It is extremely rare.
The portrait of Victoria was engraved by Charles Heath and his son Frederick, based on a sketch provided by Henry Corbould. Corbould's sketch was in turn based on the 1834 cameo-like head by William Wyon, which was used on a medal to commemorate the Queen's visit to the City of London in 1837. This portrait of Victoria remained on British stamps until her death in 1901, although by then she was 81 years old. All British stamps still bear a portrait or silhouette of the monarch somewhere on the design.


Happy Birthday, Penny !


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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Mud Slingers Inc.

Got a little muddy with my pals yesterday.


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Monday, March 30, 2020

True Love
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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Would You Live Here ?
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Friday, February 7, 2020

The Wojakowski Covers - Chicago to Berlin - June 16, 1939

The U.S. Regular Issues of 1922–31 were a series of 27 U.S. postage stamps issued for general everyday use by the U.S. Post office. Unlike the definitives previously in use, which presented only the Washington or Franklin images, each of these definitive stamps illustrated a different president or other subject relevant to the nation. Washington and Franklin were confined to a single denomination.

The Presidential Issue, nicknamed the "Prexies" by collectors, was the series of 32 definitive postage stamps issued in the United States in 1938 that featured all 29 U.S. presidents who were in office between 1789 and 1928, from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge.

These two historical covers, mailed by stamp collector Olga Parreiter of Chicago, include examples from both the United States Regular Issues and the Presidential Issues, the Prexies.

The first cover has 15 examples of the stamps. The second, 12 including the dollar denominations. The total cost of the first was On dollar and one half cent. The cost of the second, 10 dollars and ten cents. The paid special delivery fee on the second cover, 20 cents. The total, 11 dollars, thirty and one half cent.

The covers, mailed from Chicago, Illinois to Berlin, Germany on June 16th, 1939, were sent to Leo Wojakowski two and one half months before Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the date of the beginning of the Second World War.

It is believed that the airmail cover contained funds for Mr.Wojakowski to provide for his escape from Germany.

The consensus among mid-south philatelists is that Leo Wojakowski, most likely of Polish descent, escaped the tyranny of Nazi Germany thanks to these two remarkable covers. As they were discoverd in the United States, I believe that he made safe passage to our shores, thank God.





I own them.

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Friday, December 27, 2019

New Year Resolution

 No Drama ....Time to enjoy life .....


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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas 1909





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Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Marshall Trophy

Thank you, Memphis Stamp Collectors Society, for honoring me with the Marshall Trophy.



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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

University of Memphis Questions & Answers With David Saks

A Q&A with David Saks

For Release: March 6, 2019 Originally posted at the University of Memphis
For more information, visit: David Saks's Profile

David SaksWhat years did you attend the U of M?
I began as a volunteer at The University of Memphis' (former known as Memphis State University) campus radio station, WTGR (TGR for Tiger Radio) in 1969 just prior to the beginning of my senior year in high school.

My first classes at Memphis State University were in the summer of 1970. I was a music major.

My elected minor was psychology and I worked as an assistant in the psychology labs along with Dr. Middleton, Lupfer, Kenny, and others. I've had the privilege to do some research with Dr. Joseph Krisak. I was enrolled from 1970 until I left for the Middle East in 1974 to serve in Israel with students from throughout the world.

I lived in the Middle East in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Jordanian / Israeli border as an American volunteer in 1974. I spent a couple of months in Scotland and England.

How did you get your start in radio?
Radio and the associative technological aspect of it has always fascinated me.

I began as a shortwave listener at the age of six and had one of the first callsigns for my hobby radio station issued by Popular Electronics to their readers in the early 1960's. WPE4IVK (the "PE" in the prefix stood for Popular Electronics).

I started experimenting as a seven year old child by placing two tube receivers together, given to me by my great grandmother, and I listened for heterodynes, a method of combining a radio frequency wave with a locally generated wave of a different frequency to produce a new frequency equal to the sum or the difference between the two from spurious local emissions generated by each receiver. After combining radio frequency waves with locally generated waves of a different frequency produced by the faint emissions of the adjacent receiver, I could produce new frequencies equal to the sum or difference between the combined frequencies. The adjacent differing tuning capacitors and the emissions from them served as a window to an emission form known as single side band with the harmonics generated from the chassis of each receiver. When I discovered heterodyning from the local oscillations of the two receivers it opened the world of Morse code and amateur radio to me. I had created what would be known as a crude beat frequency oscillator with the two receivers.

I was an Explorer Scout with emphasis on amateur radio as a young teenager. I began receiving Morse code training from the Navy at the age of thirteen in a special class for Scouts in 1965 located at the Naval Reserve Facility on Avery Road in Memphis. I was awarded a merit badge by the Chickasaw Council of The Boy Scouts of America for being the fastest code receiver in my class. They clocked me at over thirty words a minute before my fourteenth birthday. It helped being a musician because timing is everything with Morse code. My amateur radio license, WK2B, is still active and I'm licensed as "Extra Class" with the Federal Communications Commission,

I've had the privilege and honor of serving as a civilian trustee for the Millington Naval Air Stations' Amateur Radio Station, W4ODR, and flown with general aviation pilots from the Naval Air Station flight club.

I've completed three years of ROTC and served as a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. I attended their Leadership Training Academy in the late 1970's.

Can you talk a little about the early days of WUMR/WTGR and how different things are now?
SaksWTGR was the beginning of college radio for me.

We were a ten watt radio station when I arrived in 1969 to work with Richard Hiller, our engineer, faculty members Dr. David Yellin, Dr. Marvin Bensman, and others long before Dr. Richard Ranta arrived to supervise what would become a jazz station. I was still a senior in high school when I arrived.

You had to park your car under the window of the radio station to hear the show back then. If you lived on the campus, then we used a transmission principle known as "carrier current," a method of low power AM radio transmission that uses AC electrical wiring to propagate an AM signal to a small area such as a college dormitory. You could plug your table top radio into any wall receptacle on the campus and hear the station clearly.

It all changed when our station license was approved by the Federal Communications Commission which included an effective radiating power increase.

We were an all-album station in 1969 which meant that you could play an album in its entirety rather than just a selected cut here and there from the vinyl.

The broadcast equipment was quite primitive by today's standards and consisted of early analog equipment, circuits and devices having an output proportional to its input as opposed to the digital technology we have today which, simply put, is a circuit or device representing magnitudes in digits. The fundamental difference between the analog and today's digital signal is that an analog signal is represented by sine waves, a wave whose waveform resembles a sine curve, or the ratio of the opposite side to the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle, whereas, the digital signal is represented by a square wave which we all know to be a plane rectangle with four equal sides and four right angles. In digital technology, the analog wave is sampled at some interval, and then turned into numbers that are stored in the digital device. On a CD, the sampling rate is 44,000 samples per second. On a CD, there are 44,000 numbers stored per second of music. This is what we hear today, and even better than ever.

Students received academic credit for participating. Not so today. I hope that will change for our scholars.

What type of jazz do you play on your WUMR show? Whats your favorite music genre?
I play music from the period between bebop and the 1960s' and focus on music that blends jazz elements with other musical styles, such as funk, soul, electronic dance music, and free improvisation. Bebop is a favorite with it's fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity, improvisation and interesting harmonic structure that focuses on the melody.

Jazz fusion is popular and combines elements of jazz and rock with it's electronic instruments and long, creative solos. Latin jazz is always in the mix and draws heavily on salsa and merengue influences with its heavy use of percussion, congas, timbales, bongos, and more. The big bands of the 40's and swing are a hit.

There's so much in the jazz spectrum that I love, but when it comes to my favorite musical style its stride piano.

Stride is nearly a lost art form and very difficult to master. The greatest of the stride pianists played in a wide range of highly rhythmic tempos with great emphasis on improvisation. Stride is fantastic!

What other stations have you worked at?
I assisted with the construction of WLYX, Southwestern at Memphis, now Rhodes College, in 1971 along with station manager George McClintock and Mrs. Betty Ruffin from CBC. WLYX was destroyed by a construction accident in 1991. I was the last person on the air the day it occurred. An earth mover plowing the field near the transmitter shack ran over the transmission line and destroyed the transmitter.

CBC and WREC radio, 600AM, donated much of the equipment to Southwestern. As Christian Brothers is focused on engineering, there were plenty of enthusiastic electrical engineering students and amateur radio operators ready to lend a hand and equipment.

Christian Brothers College, now Christian Brothers University, operated WCBC at that time on the AM bands. I filled in during the weekends in addition to my other air shift responsibilities. WCBC's antenna was a satellite tower for the Military Affiliate Radio Station known as MARS, passing "good and welfare" traffic to combat soldiers in Viet Nam and elsewhere. I had my amateur radio license at that time, as I still do, and I'm licensed to pass traffic with MARS.

I was employed by WKNO-FM from January 1972 until January 1974 at which time I volunteered to work in Israel and the middle east for a year with other students. WKNO's now retired chief engineer, Pat Lane, is one of my oldest pals.

I assisted with the construction of WEVL with engineers Jim Maxwell and Doug Hirsch in 1976, its first year of operation. WEVL was located in an old house on Court Avenue at the time. WEVL's present location is in an old building in the 500 block of South Main Street that once belonged to my relatives.

I served Rock 103 from 2002 until 2004. I was part of the Wake Up Crew with Tim Spencer, Bev Hart and the late, great John "Bad Dog" McCormack. I had been a frequent guest on their program for several years prior to being invited to become a regular part of the show. In addition to the great fun of working there, we had a serious mission. The Wake Up Crew raised millions of dollars for local charities. The most important aspect of radio is its power to do that which is good for our city, our neighbors and the well-being of all. That was our mission.

What musical instrument do you play?
I'm a pianist.

As musician and composer, two of my songs, "In Memphis" and "One Last Bridge", were adopted by the Memphis City Council as "Official Songs of Memphis" in 1990 and 1991.

My music manuscripts and works for piano "Impressions of Memphis" are in the Library of Congress.

Are you still working in real estate and addressing fair housing and predatory lending?
I retired my broker's license in 2015.

I served the Fair Housing Committee for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

I dedicated two decades of my life to researching real estate fraud, predatory lending and fair housing.

I researched and reported on real estate fraud for several years for the real estate community.

Discuss a little about your stamp collecting and how you came to be honored with the first officially cancelled Elvis Presley first-day cover.
I began collecting stamps when I was five years old. My grandfather had lived in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa. When he arrived in Memphis, in the very early twentieth century, he still had relatives in South Africa that corresponded with him. I was fascinated by the flora and fauna, the ships and landscape on the stamps on the envelopes. He removed the stamps from the envelopes and gave them to me to study. It was a way for me to learn about the world as a child.

I'm chapter ambassador to the American Philatelic Society for the Memphis Stamp Collectors Society. I've been a member of the American Philatelic Society for three decades. I'm the philatelic crossword puzzle author for Linn's Stamp Weekly magazine and create the philatelic-themed crosswords monthly.

As for the Elvis Presley first day of issue cover, I was the first in line to have my envelope cancelled by Graceland. It was a magical evening and the greatest event in the history of stamp collecting!

I have two letters from Graceland recognizing the January 8, 1993 Elvis Presley stamp-adorned envelope as the "First to be cancelled by Graceland."

The envelope is signed by dignitaries who attended the event including Priscilla Presley.

The temperature on Graceland Plaza was around 30 to 35 degrees with light drizzle from sundown on that day. No one cared about the bad weather. Something seemed to say that Memphis was awaiting a grand arrival. Elvis couldn't have gotten a finer reception from his hometown. While the bands were playing and the dignitaries were making their speeches and presentations, the crowds grew. Nobody appeared to be impatient. This was a real family show that special evening and the cast of characters was one of which everyone in attendance could have been proud of.

At every corner of Graceland Plaza, cables twisted and turned, microwave dishes towered over the heads of the crowds, and nervous production crews checked their lists to make sure that everything had consistency and coherence with clockwork precision. This would be the grandest event of the year for Memphis and the grandest event for stamp collecting ever seen. To say that something like the Elvis stamp event will never occur in my lifetime again would be safe.

Memphis is my home and native soil. The music is the language of many in my Tennessee town. The river flows through this town like a stream of notes from a guitar on Beale Street. Two bridges span the muddy water like strings across the bridge of a piano. That's my Memphis. And on that day, January 7, 1993, it was as though we were all waiting for Elvis to come home. The rich, the poor, black and white, men, women and children, young and old alike, all came to Memphis that day for Elvis.

Through the many busy hours we prepared for this homecoming not fully realizing the impact it would have on the rest of the world, but at the same curiously wondering if we would ever do this again.

The countdown to the release of the stamp began on June 4, 1992 with the unveiling of the Elvis stamp design chosen by his fans. The choice for the illustration had been made under the leadership of United States Postmaster General Anthony Frank, who also signed the cover. Postmaster General Frank's tireless efforts to honor Elvis should never be forgotten as Memphis remains grateful to him.

Plans were also being made for Elvis' fifty eighth birthday celebration to coincide with the release of the stamp. A gigantic cake with 58 candles on it had been created. A cake big enough to feed hundreds of fans and stamp collectors! In the Graceland party room on the south side of the plaza local bakeries were delivering truckloads of beautifully decorated birthday cakes with confection designs of the Elvis stamp ready to be perforated by the chefs with their bakers' knives.

Balloons were everywhere with streamers and other colorful decorations adorning the ceilings and walls. The months of preparation and the hundreds of media hours were about to pay off in a big way.

In the tent across the street from Graceland Mansion national media representatives from every corner of North America readied the moment to pay homage to the King of Rock and Roll.

In addition to our local friends, the English, the Irish, Scottish, the Germans, Austrians, Norwegians, Russians, Australians, Canadians, Mexicans, Japanese, Israelis, Finns and South Africans made the pilgrimage to Memphis with their stamp collectors to honor the greatest rock and roller in history.

There was certainly enough cake to go around and even some peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Elvis' favorite snack.

The celebration went on well through the night and into the wee hours of January 8, 1993 even after all the dignitaries had spoken and all the cake had been eaten.

The lines around the postal station had grown very long, winding around Graceland Plaza all night. Faithful Elvis fans patiently waited for their stamps which went on sale at exactly 12:15 A.M. on the early morning of January 8, 1993 at the command of Graceland's executives.

I stood first in line and watched my first day cover fly through the cancellation machine on command, when Governor Ned McWherter finished his address, making my Elvis stamp the very first one to be canceled by the Graceland contract postal station. One Elvis stamp had been removed from a full sheet of forty stamps about five minutes prior to midnight. I was dazzled by the surrounding excitement and I recall the postal clerk asking me if I was going to pay her. I fidgeted nervously for the twenty-nine-cent cost of the stamp and pulled a quarter and a nickel out of my pocket and handed the change to the clerk. The clerk took a penny from her cash drawer and gave it to me.

Adrenaline was flowing while we waited for the order from Graceland executives Laura Ferguson and Shelly Evans standing next to the cancellation machine. I handed Laura my envelope with stamp on it. She placed it on the machine's tray and at that moment I realized my stamp would be the first one to be postmarked by Graceland. The fireworks display stopped, and Shelly gave the order for Laura to postmark my stamp.

Graceland honored me with two letters attesting the authenticity of the stamp.

On August 12, 2015, I obtained the first Elvis Forever stamp at Graceland, as well.

Stamp collecting is the greatest hobby in the world.

10:34 pm cdt          Comments

Rhodes In The Fall


 Rhodes College inspires me every waking moment of my life.

Rhodes is a vital component in my dreams, my existence and a reason for being.

Rhodes is where my heart is.

Rhodes In The Fall
David Saks
August 16, 1991


Find understanding,
Open your eyes.
You'll see the truth
Beneath God's blue skies.

And together we'll find love,
And learn as we grow.
When the seasons change
That's when you'll know,

My friend, till I see you again
Within these hallowed halls,
My heart will be in Memphis
At Rhodes in the fall.

The past is behind us,
Listen to the future call.
We'll be together in Memphis
At Rhodes in the fall.

If one wish can come true,
If your dreams are mine,
My science, my ethics,
Your music, your rhyme,

The trees on North Parkway
Stand tall as we adjourn.
This promise I'll keep you,
While I wait for your return.

My friend, till I see you again,
Within these hallowed halls,
My heart will be in Memphis
At Rhodes in the fall.

The past is behind us,
Listen to the future call,
We'll be together in Memphis
At Rhodes in the fall.

10:10 pm cdt          Comments

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sunshine & Shadow

The year was 1907.

The M.T.Sheahan postcard company was located in Boston, Massachusettes.

"Sheahan's Good Mottos make the world brighter", as it says on the card.


I believe that Miss Nora Thomas had a brighter day because of the 1906 picture of "Sunshine and Shadow" on the other side of the postcard.


This beautiful card was sent from Sheman, Texas to Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Jamestown Exposition commemorative stamp honoring Captain John Smith, Scott Catalog #328, was issued the same year on April 26th. It is perforated 12 with the 191 watermark. The duplex circular date stamp, postmarked July 3 3:30 PM, and 1907 shoeprint cancel, cancels the stamp.


Unbelievably, the card arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana at 6:30 AM the next day on the Fourth of July, 1907.


I wish that I could have been there to see Nora smile..

I know that she had a beautiful, bright day because of Sunshine and Shadow.

Somehow, I can see and feel her smile when I hold the card in my hands

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Friday, February 15, 2019

What Is Your Favorite Stamp, David ?


Any questions ?

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Link to web log's RSS file


For the next few weeks I'll be talking about the first day covers of ArtCraft along with everything else.

ArtCraft closed it's doors recently after 76 years of making philatelic history.

I'm predicting a sudden, salubrious escalation in the value of the ArtCraft cachet, all ArtCraft first day covers and ArtCraft portrait cards.
Including those connected to the Postal Commemorative Society

Their departure signals the end of an extraordinarily crucial, very important, highly significant and exceedingly meaningful period in philately

A mournful signal which will be heard around the world and lamented throughout the multitude of collectors

Leo and Sam August treasured their associations with the world's greatest philatelists

Leo's contributions to our hobby were significant enough to earn the coveted Luft Award and a place in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

ArtCraft has well-earned it's place in the great chronological record in the history of philately.

Their raised ink, line-engraved intaglio printed cachets rank among the most aesthetic in the world.

ArtCraft cachets are not just beautiful.

They are works of art that showcase the wonders of the world and illuminate the powers of human creativity and ingenuity.

The Coober Pedy Cover
One of the World's Great Philatelic Rarities

Coober Pedy

Could this become la pièce de résistance de toute la modern Australian philatélie ?

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia. The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences,called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole".

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy - no village, no buildings, no roads, just desert, mountains dotted with boulders. A bizarre lunar landscape, but for opal seekers is the most exciting place on earth, where again every day is the true challenge, happiness and luck just a shovel width apart and where life is defined by two words: winners and losers. Coober Pedy, grab your hat, throw it into the air and where it lands start digging !


Coober Pedy

 Linn's Stamp News

“The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott
Publishing Co. The marks Scott and Scott’s are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be
made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted
publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos
Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.”


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David Saks

Winner of the Coveted Memphex 2019 Marshall Trophy for "Best of Show"
Philatelic Exhibit "The Famous American Stamp Series of 1940"