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Does anyone collect stamps anymore (or what any aspiring philatelic blogger/writer should know about human search behaviour)

Does anyone collect stamps anymore (or what any aspiring philatelic blogger/writer should know about human search behaviour)

First, a warning: This article is not your average stamp/philatelic story. I still recommend you read it because it will (hopefully) teach you a thing or two not on just how to write about stamps but also about us stamp collectors and human behavior. Ever heard of Google Search Console? It is an utility that Google provides for website owners like me. One of the many nice features it provides are various statistics on what kind of (website related) information people search from the Internet, and how (in which words) they search for it. The title of this post, “does anyone collect stamps anymore” is a direct quote that (at least) nineteen people have typed last month to Google’s search box according to Google Search console. Most website owners guard this data as their precious (because it is worth gold in marketing sense), but since traffic from Google has very little meaning/importance to SCB these days, I’ll share what the average philatelic information seeker on Google (from perspective of SCB) is alike, and how anyone aspiring on becoming a philatelic blogger/writer (or even maintaining a society website) can take advantage of this information.

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Marginal notes about stamps of Germany

Marginal notes about stamps of Germany

Welcome to read the third part of the ‘marginal notes’ series. This time we’re heading into the German ‘autobahn’ of stamps. The topics of this article include bits of DDR (n)OSTalgia, DGzRS ‘quittungsmarken’, a mysterious perfin ,and bizarre postmarks (and even more bizarre cancellation practices) on German stamps. As always hope you enjoy the show.

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Marginal notes about stamps of Italy

Marginal notes about stamps of Italy

Time for the second part of my ‘marginal notes’ , and this time we’re heading into Italy. The topics of this article include stamps of Polish Resettlement Corps in Italy, CLN /Partisan stamps of Upper Varese, and a double print/KISS flaw on CEPT-stamp. As always, hope you enjoy the stamp extravaganza ahead.

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Marginal notes about stamps of Spain

Marginal notes about stamps of Spain

For the month of May (and first week of June) the articles on SCB will be be a bit different from the usual overviews and analytical studies. The space will be filled by a series of posts titled Marginal notes about stamps of [countryName]. Longtime readers might remember that the original tagline of SCB was ‘diary of an ordinarie collector of stamps‘; well these ‘marginal notes’ are kind of a spinoff production of the blog. I’ve had these items marked separately on my albums for possible display, but since these are mostly short and random tidbits, I would/could not write a full-featured (500-1500 word) article on these. Thus I’m now releasing some of these notes as country specific ‘collections’. Hope you enjoy the stamp extravaganza ahead!

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Artifacts of war

Artifacts of war

I love when stamp production and historical events bind together, because it usually provides interesting stories for us later generations to research and study. Such is the case with three stamps below: Ukranian UPP overprints of 1920s, the Spanish 1936 Granada issue, and imperforate Dutch Queen Wilhelmina stamps of 1940s (aka. type Konijnenburg). What’s common for all these items is that they are artifacts of war-time conditions, and they all have fallen from philatelic grace because general stamp catalogs provide very little if any recognition to them. Yet, all these items have got interesting historical stories to unveil.

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Dutch Armenwet stamps

Dutch Armenwet stamps

I displayed the below Dutch Armenwet stamps first time almost six years back. Back then I didn’t know whether or not the stamps I had were forgeries, though I suspected so. Well, now I have some facts to share. On my recent work trip I came across with a library copy of the “De vervalsingen van Nederland en OG” (roughly translates as ‘Forgeries of Dutch stamps’) by P.F.A. van de Loo, 1979), and I took some some photos of it with my phone so that I could study and compare them back home.

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Some South Vietnam varieties that major western stamp catalogs omit (and a small give-away)

Some South Vietnam varieties that major western stamp catalogs omit (and a small give-away)

I don’t usually put much focus on mint stamps, but some time ago I was pre-sorting my way through a batch of Vietnamese stamps, and noted two MNH specimens of 1971 South Vietnamese rice harvester stamp with a difference. The first stamp was on somewhat translucent paper with shiny gum, the other stamp was on notably thicker paper without gum. Once I placed the stamps under UV-light, the specimen on translucent paper light up as bright bluish-white glow whereas the other copy remained dull yellowish (likely the yellow emitting from the design/ink). Since none of the general catalogs say nothing about the variety I headed on hunt for more information just for the fun of knowledge.

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French Marianne by Decaris – types I and II

French Marianne by Decaris – types I and II

Today’s post is about one of the chameleons of stamp world, namely the French Marianne de Decaris (aka. Marianne by Decaris) issued in 1960. It is one of those stamps that most worldwide stamp collectors have seen in large quantities over the years,  and very likely most own a copy or more. Yet, not so long ago I was browsing Delcampe, and came upon a (auction) listing of this stamp with types I and II on sale. To me they both seemed somewhat identical, and since I didn’t recall any variants of the stamp to exist I headed out to my catalogs to see what the difference was all about.  To my amazement there was nothing; even my Yvert France (very ancient edition, but still useful specialized resource) provided me with no details.  So I started digging information from various online resources and learned not just some useful tidbits but also that stamp collecting/philately unanswered questions sometimes for a reason.

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Three practical tips every stamp collector can use to supercharge the way they collect

Three practical tips every stamp collector can use to supercharge the way they collect

It seems my last week’s post hit a nerve of some sorts as it generated far more responses than usual. I think the post also pointed out one of the reason why blogs and online communities have become somewhat popular among collectors: they are not just ‘dry’ technical knowledge but also bring up real world problems, solutions and best practices that others can possibly learn, adopt and adapt for their collections. Below I’ll share three practical and low-cost stamp tips every collector can (and IMHO should) use to supercharge the way they collect.

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All original content and images of this blog is under copyright protection; any kind of reproduction of full contents without permission of the owner is hereby denied. All Rights Reserved © Keijo Kortelainen, 2009-2016. All photos of stamps in this blog are enlargements or reductions of original stamps from private collection of author of the blog (unless otherwise stated). The designs of stamps and postmarks are copyright of issuing postal authorities and their designers. The comments / discussion on this blog are copyright of their retrospective authors, and represent the opinion of their authors. When submitting content of any type to this Website, you agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to host, store, publish, reproduce, publicly display or otherwise use any content and materials of any type provided or contributed by You. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy