The best time to visit US for sightseeing would be May through September. The most-visited cities are New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Manhattan, Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oahu and Orlando. The National Parks of Grand Canyon, Niagara, Yosemite, Everglades, Yellowstone, Smoky Mountains, Utah, Hawaii, and the Applachian are awe-inspiring and fulfilling. Almost all activities one can dream of are possible in the US. All cuisines in the world are represented in the major metros of US. Apple Pie, chocolate chip cookies, beef barbecue, and crab cakes are typical American dishes. Italian and Mexican are the most popular cuisines.
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|Lonely Planet USA Country Guide||978-1741792355||$20||The most complete and accurate book covering the whole of the USA. Heavy at 1176 pages. For trips within the USA, there are a number of regional books that may be more suitable.|
|National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States||978-1426203930||$18||Best Guide to the National Parks, proclaimed America’s Best Idea by PBS. Short Introduction followed by region-wise coverage on The East, The Southwest, The Colorado Plateau, The Pacific Southwest, The Rocky Mountains, The Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. 480 pages, 375 color photos, and 80 full-color detailed maps.|
|Streetwise Manhattan Map||978-1886705975||$7||Laminated. Main Manhattan Map at 1:27,000 Scale and Manhattan Bus Map.|
|All-in-One Travel Power Plug Adapter||B000YN01X4||$4|
The first stamps of United States of America (USA) were a set of two stamps released on July 1, 1847 showing portraits of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The Franklin issue (Scott #1) is valued at around $6.5K mint and around $575 used and the Washington issue (Scott #2) is even more rare and valuable cataloging for around $32K mint and around $1300 used. Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson portraits formed the issues of United States during the period till 1861. They are all valued well into the hundreds with some valued well into the thousands. USA released a set of five stamps showing Presidents between 1861 and 1866. The set (Scott #73 to #78) catalogs for around $13K mint and around $1200 used. Several error varieties exist and those are individually valued well into the thousands. The designs show Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. Philately is very well-developed in the USA and there are a large number of serious collectors specifically interested in collecting varieties of the early issues of USA. The net effect is that the early issues of USA are very highly valued due to normal supply and demand. Starting in 1867, USA issued a number of stamps embossed with grills of various sizes and types. Many of these issues are highly collectible and very rare and form some of the most expensive stamps ever issued. Chief among them are the Ben Franklin Z. Grill, the Abe Lincoln Z. Grill, and the George Washington Z. Grill cataloging for $3 Million, $500K, and $125K respectively. Only two copies of the first two and six copies of the last are documented. USA released a set of eleven stamps in 1869 with the G. Grill. Each stamp in that set (Scott #112 to #122) catalogs over $300 with the high values cataloging well into the $10K range. The designs show Benjamin Franklin, post horse and rider, locomotive, Washington, shield and eagle, S.S. Adriatic, Landing of Columbus, Declaration of Independence, shield, eagle, and flags, and Abraham Lincoln. Several error varieties are known to exist. Chief among them are the center inverted variety of the Declaration of Independence Issue (Scott #120b) and the inverted flags variety of the shield, eagle, and flags issue (Scott #121b) that catalogs for around $285K and $275K respectively for mint.
USA released a long set of sixteen stamps in 1893 to mark World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago held from May 1 to October 30 of 1893. The set (Scott #230 to #245) catalogs for around $35K MNH and around $5.5K for used. The designs show Columbus in sight of Land, landing of Columbus, Flagship of Columbus, Fleet of Columbus, Columbus soliciting aid from Isabella, Columbus welcomed at Barcelona, Columbus restored to favor, Columbus presenting natives, Columbus announcing his discovery, Columbus at La Rabida, Recall of Columbus, Isabella pledging her Jewels, Columbus in chains, Columbus describing his third voyage, Isabella and Columbus, and Columbus head portrait. Exposition issues were popular stamp themes during the period and all of the sets are highly valued. USA released a set of three stamps in 1907 to mark the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia between April 26 and December 1 of that year. The set (Scott #328 to #330) catalogs for around $465 MNH and around $40 used. USA released a couple of sets between 1913 and 1915 with the same designs but different perforations and watermarks to mark the Panama-Pacific Exposition. The sets (Scott #397 to #400A and #401 to #404) catalog for around $1000 and $2500 respectively for MNH and around $55 and $100 respectively for used. The most well-known error variety from the period is the Curtis Jenny Invert (Inverted Jenny), the first US air-post stamp (Scott #C1) issued in 1918 which is valued individually at over $360K MNH.
Other issues of USA enjoying good philatelic interest include:
- A long set of thirty two stamps released between 1938 and 1954 forming the Presidential series. The set (Scott #803 to #834) catalogs for around $140 MNH and around $14 used. The designs show Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Martha Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, White House, James Monroe, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William H. Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge.
- A long set of twenty four stamps issues between 1954 and 1968 forming the Liberty series. The set (Scott #1030 to #1053) catalogs for around $75 MNH and around $12 used. The designs show Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Palace of the Governors at Santa Fe, Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson, Bunker Hill Monument and Massachusetts Flag, Statue of Liberty, Abraham Lincoln, The Hermitage, James Monroe, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John Pershing, The Alamo, Independence Hall, Benjamin Harrison, John Jay, Monticello, Paul Revere, Robert Lee, John Marshall, Susan Anthony, Patrick Henry, and Alexander Hamilton.
- A stamp released on November 3, 1969 depicting a Winter Sunday in Norway, Maine. The stamp (Scott #1384) is inexpensive and catalogs for around 20c. Imperforate pairs exist and those catalog for around $900. Imperforate pair error varieties exist in a number of issues from this period onwards and all of them fetch a similarly sizable premium.
- A set of four stamps released on June 6, 1977 showing Butterflies. The set (Scott #1712 to #1715) is inexpensive and catalogs for around a dollar MNH or used. The designs show swallowtail, checkerspot, dogface, and orange tip butterflies. Imperforate horizontal blocks of the set exist and they catalog as high as $15K.
- A stamp released on February 23, 1990 to mark the Wyoming State Centenary. The stamp (Scott #2444) catalogs for around 50c MNH and around 20c used. The design shows High Mountain Meadows by Conrad Schwiering. Black omitted varieties of the stamp exist and those catalog for around $1500. Color Omission errors exist in a number of issues from the 60s onwards and those in general catalog for a very high premium.
- Five souvenir sheets issued in 2000 in the Space theme. The set (Scott #3409 to #3413) catalogs for around $110 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show probing the vastness of space (Hubble Telescope, radio interferometer in New Mexico, telescopes in Keck Observatory in Hawaii, optical telescopes at Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile, optical telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California, and radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico), exploring the solar system (sun and corona, cross-section of sun, sun and earth, sun and solar flare, and sun and clouds), escaping the gravity of earth (space shuttle and space station and astronauts working in space), space achievement and exploration, and landing on the moon.
The first coin of United States was a half cent copper coin released in 1793 with a mintage of 35,334. The coins are very rare as many were melted due to bullion value exceeding nominal value. The first coin in any condition fetch upwards of $1K. The coin was part of the first series which also included the gold standard eagle ($10), half eagle ($5), quarter eagle ($2.5), silver dollar, half dollar, quarter dollar, dime, half dime, one cent, and the half cent. The first gold coin was a quarter eagle issued in 1796 with a mintage of 963 pieces. The issue is extremely rare and fetches well over a million dollars in mint condition. Mintage figures of gold coins of the first years are very low and so are very rare. USA started issuing gold bullion coins in 1986 that contained one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce of gold. USA is the best developed numismatic market in the world and as such all issues have been studied deeply by numismatists.
Numismatic items of United States include:
|Coins||$1 and up||UNC State Quarters, Lincoln Cents in BU, etc start around $1. Early 20th century wheat pennies, Kennedy Half Dollar Proofs, Lincoln Memorial Cent Proofs, etc start around $3. Recent Proof Year Sets start around $30. Mint Silver Proof Sets from the 1990s and 2000s, Proof Sets from the 1950s and prior dates, etc start around $50. 19th century silver half dollars in high grades, Morgan Dollar Key Dates, Gold Coins, etc go well into the 100s and 1000s.|
|Bullion||$5 and up||Silver Commemorative Bullion Coins starts around $5. Silver Bullion and Gold Plated Bullion commemorative war issues starts around $10. Indian Buffalo one ounce silver bullion, Korean War Memorial Silver Proofs, etc start around $50. Gold Buffalo Eagles and other Gold Bullion Issues go well into the 100s.|
|Paper Money||$1 and up||Defence Novelty Bills and other copies of military payment certificates and such start around $1. Common UNC Banknotes start around $2. Two Dollar UNC Banknotes from the 1950s and 1960s, Early 20th century silver certifictates with COA, etc start around $30. UNC Two Dollar Banknotes from the 1920s, Large Woodchopper currency from the 1900s, etc start around $50. Bundles, Large Buffalo Banknotes from the turn of the century, and other rare notes go well into the 100s and 1000s.|
Wooden carvings, Christmas ornaments, art, and snow globes are some of the typical keepsakes from USA.
|Craft||$1 and up||Stickers, Embroidery patches etc start around $1. Silk Handmade Flowers, Cross Stitch Kits etc start around $10. Griffon Shears, Curve Rulers etc start around $20. Vintage Craftman Wood Lathe Turning Tool Sets, Bulk Sew on Rhinestones, etc start around $40. Floor Marble Medallion Tile Mosaics, Heavy Duty Rex, Singer, and Smartek machines, etc start around $100.|
|Art||$5 and up||19th century local scenes, political figures, and fauna photos and prints start around $5. Obama and other presidential posters, and WW Vintage Ally Posters start around $15. Canvas Landscape prints start around $25. Original works by Pen King, Frances Logan, Ivan Lathrop, Jane Wooster Scott, Hilton Leech, Patricia Windrow, etc along with American Indian Folk Art Wood Carving go well into the 100s. Original works by Frieda Logan, Thomas Arvid, Josephine Barker, Miguel Padura, Robert Philipp, Emilio Falero, Daniel Stanis etc go well into the 1000s.|
|Antiques||$10 and up||19th century maps start around $10. Antique Southern State Maps with Stereotypical Racial Figures start around $25. Vintage Wall Clocks, Banjos, Marigold USA Art Glass Artwork Figurines, etc start around $100. 18th century and older state maps, Vintage Hamilton Marine Chronometers, etc go into the 1000s.|
|Miscellaneous Collectibles||$2 and up||Postcards, Key Chains, etc start around $2. Vintage Gas Pump Lighted Globes, WW Fighting Knifes, Stanley Wood Work Planes, Cross Townsend 10K Gold Pencils, etc start around $100. Vintage Disney Curios, Hamilton Marine Chronometers etc go well into the 100s.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.