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  • 2016-02-11 Keijo wrote on My stamp collection
    @Ignacio...

    Keijo, what will you do when arriving the magical number of 100.000 stamps?,


    Add stamp #100,001. LOL.

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  • 2016-02-11 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Franz... All we can do is notify the catalog editors/publishers on errors / omissions, and then wait and see for the potential outcome.

    -k

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  • 2016-02-11 Keijo wrote on Pakistan 1994 Muhammad Ali Jinnah definitives - unlisted subtype / variant
    @Rick....

    Gee Keijo – no comments yet??


    Having a small subset of readers is the 'downside' of having 'paywalled content'; and covering 'unpopular' topic as Pakistan definitives doubles the effect. But I'll survive - even the 'zero comments' posts, LOL.

    Seems like this set needs LOTs of looking into!


    Agree. Now just need to find some more specimens somewhere, and maybe in year or two I'll be writing a sequel, LOL.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-11 Ignacio wrote on My stamp collection
    Keijo, what will you do when arriving the magical number of 100.000 stamps?, hopefully next june ;)

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  • 2016-02-11 Ignacio wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    Of course I agree with you, numbers of catalogues, identity cards, land registry numbers..... key numbers in general can't be changed.Everybody working with data knows that.No matter how bad was the old system, it has been in use for decades.

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  • 2016-02-11 Keijo wrote on Updating the philatelic theory of relativity
    @Michael... No reason to feel ashamed. This hobby of ours is based almost entirely on personal interests, and if something (be it perfs, watermarks or whatever) doesn't move you, then that's how it goes.

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  • 2016-02-11 Franz Feigl wrote on My Stamp collection
    Hi Keijo

    Thank you for letting me know. Interesting response, though it doesn't really make a lot of sense considering that they got the date right. Whatever the reason might have been back in the 1950s (certainly, the situation in Vietnam likely was rather difficult to assess then and philatelic information, I assume, hard to come by), the question now is: will the editors fix the mistake in the next edition of the catalog now that they are aware that the 1952 postage dues are incorrectly cataloged? Only time will tell, I assume, as the editors apparently did not promise to make the necessary correction.

    And I am sure that there are other errors as well - any one of the major catalogs must contain mistakes, considering the huge amount of data. I find them from time to time in my Scott catalogs too - mostly minor errors like the same description for two stamps in a series, and usually for "exotic" stamps from countries that not too many US collectors seem to care about. It doesn't bother me too much, though I certainly think that any obvious mistake like for the one you pointed out to Michel should be addressed in future editions.

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  • 2016-02-11 Rick Huziak wrote on Pakistan 1994 Muhammad Ali Jinnah definitives - unlisted subtype / variant
    Gee Keijo - no comments yet??

    Okay ... I did dig out what I have of this stamp - 5 copies, and 4 of the 5 are variants.  As you found with florescence, I have one that could described as "high bright" (very bright blue-white), one that is dead dull (dk violet under the light), but with a very small hint of yellow florescence on the perf edges, and two that are medium bright yellow speckled florescent.  My other variant may be a cracked  or damaged plate, with three parallel black lines diagonally crossing his neck.  All are "Type II" chin engraving, but all seem to be "Type I" paper/watermark visibility.  All have the shifted black value.

    Seems like this set needs LOTs of looking into!

     

    Rick

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  • 2016-02-10 Michael Storch wrote on Updating the philatelic theory of relativity
    Although I think that a browser-based perf gauge is a wonderful thing - and I have only high praise for your moving us along - I am ashamed to admit that I am unmoved by the perf counts.

     

    Varieties of printing techniques (in US collecting, rotary vs flat plate), varieties of paper (including watermarks), varieties of color (which get problematic - there's the original ink chemistry & its aging, as well as environmental issues), even varieties of 'packaging' (sheets versus coils versus booklets) ... I can see caring about them all.

     

    But perforation counts leave me cold. I am compelled to care, because others do. Cheers,

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  • 2016-02-09 Keijo wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    @Lene... Happy to hear this entry proved useful :)

    Re, Colnect (and other crowd-sourced catalogs)... I do agree that they are useful to a point. But there's still lots of omissions and mistakes as well.

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  • 2016-02-09 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Franz... And received answer from one of the editors of Michel... Likely the editors of the past had made a decision to include these postage dues along with South Vietnamese issues due to their similar appearance. And no, such decision/practice would not qualify these days.

    Makes me wonder how many other similar 'bad decisions of the past' are lurking inside the catalog pages unnoticed.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-08 Lene Skovby wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    My Michel paper catalogue is from 2009 so I suddenly had differences in the catalogue numbers when adding my collection in Colnect. Colnect is up to date with the new Michel numbers, but I was happy to find this site explaining what had happened. 

    By the way I can recommend Colnects catalogues - many countries are complete - and many with numbers from more than one catalogue.

    It is free to use but costs a bit if you want more advanced options.  

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  • 2016-02-08 Keijo wrote on Updating the philatelic theory of relativity
    @DrewM....

    But I assume this method will require scanning the stamp somehow,


    It's recommended, but not necessary. The only requirement is that you must know the DPI of the image.

    If you don't know the DPI, but know the (precise) dimensions of the stamp, you can somewhat easily 'reverse engineer' (or calculate) the DPI, since DPI equals dots per inch. One dot = one pixel. 300 pixels in 300 dpi: 1 inch etc. I'm sure you can work it out (and there are several online/offline conversion tools just for this purpose if feeling lazy).

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-07 DrewM wrote on Updating the philatelic theory of relativity
    What a great idea! But I assume this method will require scanning the stamp somehow, and that will put off many collectors who don't have access to a scanner, I imagine.  Most will probably still use the smaller hand-held devices to measure perfs, but your new more accurate measurement standards might be useful for more valuable stamps.  This sounds very useful for those stamps.

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  • 2016-02-07 Keijo wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt.4: other designs with double border frames
    @Mike... Yes, at leat the 1, 10, 20c, and 50c stamps come in 'paler' and 'richer' colors (such as rose lilac vs burgundy you noted).

    Michel does note that values of 1c, 10-25c, and 50c are also known on 'yellowish paper with yellowish gum'; not sure if these two things are related (to me the paper looks similar).

    In general color varieties of 'modern stamps' are almost always outside the scope of general catalogs/resources such as Scott, Michel etc. A shame really.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-06 Mike wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt.4: other designs with double border frames
    Thanks Keijo,

    These stamps are proving to be difficult without the proper catalogue. The same series of stamps in the 10c line I have two colors. The mentioned rose lilac and also a darker set (main stamp and servicio official stamp) that appear to be almost a burgundy color.

    No mention is Scott about these. Have you come across these?

    Thanks again.

     

    Mike

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  • 2016-02-06 Keijo wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt.4: other designs with double border frames
    @Mike... Agree with you on the perf. It should be listed as 13-1/2 x 13-1/4. Michel lists these as 13½x13 (so minor error in there too), Yvert states perf 13.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-06 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Franz... The Bao Dai issues in Michel are for regular stamps Vietnam #61-97 ( in addition there are 10 minisheets which I haven't included as their counts are still lacking from every country). But no postage dues, as they are listed under South Vietnam in Michel (despite issued in 1952). Curious (and nice catch), I think I'll ask about this from the editors of Michel.

    PS. And question asked. Now just have to wait for answer (if any).

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  • 2016-02-06 Mike wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt.4: other designs with double border frames
    Keijo,

    Going through some Argentina stamps and looking for some help.

    The Eva Peron stamps of 1952 in my Scott catalogue the perf. listing is 13 for the 1c to 50c.

    I seem to have 13-1/2 x 13-1/4. Wondering if it just a misprint in the Scott or if you have seen this elseware.

    Thanks in advance.

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  • 2016-02-06 Franz Feigl wrote on My Stamp collection
    Keijo

     

    Thank you for the information about the military stamps. All my copies are mint. (Like yourself, I prefer used but will keep mint copies. I am now in the process of separating the mint copies from my used stamps, attaching them to the end of the various country collection. I wish I had done so from the beginning, but back then it made no difference to me).

    A minor point/observation on the topic of Vietnamese listings since I am working with these right now: you identify 37 stamps issued for State of Vietnam (Emperor Bao Dai Govt.). My count based on Scott is 43: 26 regular stamps, 2 semi-postal stamps, 9 airmail stamps and 6 postage due stamps. Is the difference due to the postage due stamps? Michel does list them, or don't they?

     

    Franz

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  • 2016-02-05 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Franz... .

    (makes me wonder what happened to #1),


    As a wild guess it was 'annexed' with #2.



    Am I correct in assuming that these stamps were issued and used by military personnel? Or was there a different purpose?


    I've got a nice pile of these (all CTOs) on my collection as well... Michel classifies these as 'portofreiheitsmarken' (I believe franchise stamp is the proper English term) with a note that until 1958 mail sent by military and people with disabilities (likely war veterans) was fully free. However, in practice this meant that domestic letters were franked with fieldpost postmark (no stamp required) and foreign correspondence had to be affixed with stamps afterwards. These stamps removed both needs.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-04 Franz Feigl wrote on My Stamp collection
    Hi there

    @Mark  ... 

    Mark, your statement is actually not quite accurate as the Scott catalogs do provide the information you asked about. My most recent Scott copy of A-B countries is from 2009 (I have one from 1996 as well, and the information is the same, so I assume that it is consistent for all annual issues). 

     

    Looking at Afghanistan:

    The country listing is preceded with some general geographic and political information, and it states that"Afghanistan changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic in July 1973."

    There is more though. The first issue listed is #2 (Type A2, "Tiger's Head") (makes me wonder what happened to #1), which is preceded by a heading reading "Kingdom of Kabul". #177 (Type A16) is preceded by a heading reading "Kingdom of Afganistan". #883 (Type A313), issued on July 29th 1973, was the first issue of the Republic and is preceded by a heading reading "Republic".

     

    The problem with the headings is the font (both type and size), which is identical to the listings for date issued, perforation etc., and it tends to get buried. Not sure how many times I missed it. But the information usually is there.

     

    @Keijo ...

    I have given myself a nice Christmas gift and purchased a sizable collection of Southeast Asian stamps including Vietnam (mostly the older issues before reunification - nearing completion), and I wonder about the military stamps of which I had none prior to my purchase. Am I correct in assuming that these stamps were issued and used by military personnel? Or was there a different purpose?

     

    Franz 

     

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  • 2016-02-04 Keijo wrote on Black versus white background on stock book pages
    @Pawel.... In general, just about anything printed/produced on white paper is cheaper than similar products done on colored paper. I'd assume the production process (use of pigments etc) is more complex/expensive.

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-04 Pawel wrote on Black versus white background on stock book pages
    Why exactly are white page stockbooks less expensive than the black ones?

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  • 2016-02-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamp software
    @Randy...



    Does anyone know anything about SCDB software (Stamp Collectors Database)?



    On discussions about Keeping track of stamp collection Maurice wrote:

    "I am using (more like, I have) SCDB (Stamp Collectors Database) software. It uses DBASE engine and it very time consuming to use. The biggest problem is the inability to easily write a custom report on what you have or what you don’t have or don’t want. ...I’d rather use Excel.

    Though that is just one opinion it says quite a lot IMHO. Likely more opinions can be found if you start digging various stamp boards / discussion sites.

    Also the homepage of SCDB is worth checking - http://www.stampcollectorsdatabase.com/Program_Details.html

    -k-

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  • 2016-02-02 Randy wrote on Q&A: stamp software
    Does anyone know anything about SCDB software (Stamp Collectors Database)?

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  • 2016-02-02 Keijo wrote on Keeping a worldwide stamp collection in order
    @Ignacio... No worries ;)
    -k-

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  • 2016-02-02 Ignacio wrote on Keeping a worldwide stamp collection in order
    [followup from http://www.stampcollectingblog.com/annotation-techniques-for-stock-books.php, comment #23]
    Sorry Keijo, I´ve seen this question has been already answered on comment 49.I.

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  • 2016-02-02 ignacio wrote on Annotation techniques for stamp stock books
    Hello Keijo, very interesting enter.I wonder what is the best option for duplicated.I keep my collection like you on stockbooks, I try to order the stamps by catalogue number, and I also put a piece of paper with the year.But, I personally put together the stamps and its duplicated, so I can keep a track on the better item.If I have five items from the same stamp, I put the five items together, so I can see how many stamps I have from each. I is useful to control paper varieties, perforations...It is useful as well for swaps, both blind or by wishlist, you can easily know what you can swap.But, of course, you never have a nice ordered collection.What is your opinion? Do you have separate stockbooks for the duplicated?Once you receive a lot, you go one by one to your main album, and then discard the duplicated?Thank you very much for sharing, it is very instructive for us.Regards, Ignacio

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  • 2016-01-31 Keijo wrote on Keeping a worldwide stamp collection in order
    @T Huynh.... Happy to hear you've enjoyed this post :)

    You might want to check some other (more recent) articles in this category for how I've progressed (and polished the system) since writing this article.

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  • 2016-01-31 T Huynh wrote on Keeping a worldwide stamp collection in order
    I've only just started again, from my youth. I found that it helps me relax from my job. So I had a load of stamps from my youth and I moved everything I had into stockbooks, split by country or region (i.e. Germany, Scandanvia, British West Indies, or continents if I as low in those areas like Middle East etc). When sorting a country be it in a big stockbook or an individual stock book. I would space the stamps out leaving areas or rows for future acquirement, using the Stanley Gibbons catalogue as a reference. I have about 20 stock books (some 8, 16, or 24 pages). I also buy collections either from eBay or local classifieds. I love the buzz of obtaining a collection and going through it to see if it completes sets that I have. I've had mixed results with this. I think using this method you start acquiring huge amounts of duplicates. 

    I've found this article amazing and the replies even better that have given me some much thought. So I decided try out this new method for a little while, I bought about 20 4-ring office folder from eBay for peanuts, and I'll start buying Hagner strips for them targeting certain periods, starting with British Colonial Definities trying to obtain MNH ones. The craftsmanship of these stamps are so amazing. 

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  • 2016-01-31 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Mark... Indeed, a lifetime project this is. And a labor of love. And educational/growth process. All in all making up this list (and learning the history/details behind each item) has made me a much better and much more knowledgeable 'world' collector (knowing a lot of small tidbits here and there, but nothing in great detail). But learning never ends, maybe someday in 20-30 years I can say that I honestly understand the 'big picture' well ;)

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-31 Mark Dyck wrote on My Stamp collection
    Thanks Keijo.  Wow, that's a lot of work. A lifetime project, for sure.  Way more than I could do!

    You are a specialist on a grand scale. :) 

    Mark

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  • 2016-01-31 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    Hi Mark,

    it's a combination of both. In many cases Michel does have 'sub-categories' for political changes, but sometimes not. My reason for including political changes is two-fold.

    First, the political changes oftentimes result into a change in issuing policy and 'style' of stamps (different designs, elements, sometimes even different currency etc). Possibly the most blatant example of this is Equatorial Guinea (but Afghanistan does make a pretty good example too).

    Second, it also gives me a better clue on how to go after the missing pieces (ie. French Morocco vs. Spanish Morocco vs Morocco are all listed under 'Morocco', but each can be found through different channels).

    Ps. And yes, I regret not having done the detailed listings for all European countries first place. But they are on my to-do list ;)

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  • 2016-01-30 Mark Dyck wrote on My Stamp collection
    Hi Keijo,

    I notice that you have some really detailed breakdowns of political changes for each country.  For example, the first entry on this page (Afghanistan) has seven rows.  Scott Catalogue just lists "Afghanistan".

    Is this level of detail due to how Michel catalogue organizes things (I know you use Michel) or do you use a different reference? 

    Mark


    PS:  I ask because I just catalogued my 5,000th stamp in my excel template and am taking a look at how I record things.  If I'm going to refine how I list my collection I want to decide before I have 20,000 in the spreadsheet!

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  • 2016-01-30 Keijo wrote on Lucky seven
    @Pawel... Re exchange. Definitely no pressure on my part; just wanted readers of the blog to know about the 'delay'. My first priority is to get the new SCB up and running, and everything else comes only then.

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  • 2016-01-30 Pawel wrote on Lucky seven
    When you think about it, that years from now, this era will become a blank page due to no tangible sources of information about it remaining, that does make sense. Though it could happen only when all such methods of storing information disappear completely. It seems it's still a long way from now. Perhaps until that day a data storage medium which will last for more than a few years and remain in use for a more extended period of time will be adopted.

    Off topic, no need to rush the exchange, especially if you do not feel completely up to sorting the mountain of stamps that will inevitably fall on your desk as a result (I remember reading that someone has prepared 10 lots already)! After all, even if it starts in a week or two, that is - as far as I understand - still early compared to previous years.

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  • 2016-01-30 Keijo wrote on My Stamp collection
    @Mel... See listings United Nations and other international organizations. And yes, that is one of those European listings that I should 'fix'/update.

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  • 2016-01-30 Keijo wrote on Lucky seven
    @Mel... Thanks :)

    Trying to cope with flue/temperature right now, so not a great weekend :(

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  • 2016-01-30 Mel wrote on My Stamp collection
    I can't seem to find the Republic of Kosovo anywhere in your country listings Keijo…

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  • 2016-01-30 Mel wrote on Lucky seven
    Hi Keijo,

    Love the idea of the YouTube channel and have subscripted to it already :)  (Your English was excellent by the way). 

    Looking forward to the exchange season when it starts.

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Cheers,
    Mel

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  • 2016-01-29 C. Frederick wrote on Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 - End of an Era
    Keijo,

     

    All is okay. Thanks for clearing this up. 

          

     

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  • 2016-01-29 Keijo wrote on Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 - End of an Era
    @C. Frederick

    Thanks for the wishes...

    Re premium subscription... Yes, your credentials are still valid, and should be working all ok. I'll email you (so please check your inbox for my message).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-28 C. Frederick wrote on Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 - End of an Era
    Keijo,

    Wishing you the best in this New Year with health, family and the blog.

    I have been a premium member for a couple of years. I have not had any problems in the past and have not used the site for a while. I am now getting back to it. However, I cannot get signed in using my premium user name and password. Is my membership still good? It was in March 2015 that my last membership dues were paid.  

    As always, Thanks for your help.

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  • 2016-01-26 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Russia and areas
    @Pawel.... Likely so. Personally I'd go with the Russian sources on this. Likely these descriptions are about the 'cause' (new technology) & consequence' (different look on stripe).

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  • 2016-01-26 Pawel wrote on Q&A: stamps of Russia and areas
    Reg. the 2008 series differences:
    Stampworld doesn't mention them at all. What a "surprise".
    Colnect does, and notes "Paper: chalky" for the first issue, and "Paper: coated with a partial iridescence stained pearlescent coating" for the second one.

    The difference, according a Russian site which published this information at the time of the 2nd issue's release, was "изменение технологии нанесения иридесцентной краски", which would mean "change in the technology of applying the iridescent paint".

    Then, at a Russian forum I found a post from the transition period which mentions that on some stamps the stripe on the left side is "flat and mirror-like" while previously it was "convex and matt.

    Do these sources refer to the same thing?

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  • 2016-01-26 Keijo wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    @Fred... When it comes to prices, it's all about supply, demand and condition. If it sold for 41$ then it was the going rate on those markets. Personally I consider a bit too high.

    Re, perfs... That's a personal preference IMHO. Way back cleaning perfs (and removing margins etc) was somewhat common practice but these days it's considered 'savage'. All in all we're nothing but short-term guardians for our stamps, so it's better to leave them 'as is' for future collector generations (hoping there will be any).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-26 Fred wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    Thanks Keijo. The souvenir sheet recently sold on ebay for $41 compared with 2008 Scott catalog value of $50 MH or $325 used. 

    So, maybe the market is suggesting it is worth closer to the MH price than the used price? Or, maybe 10-20% of SCV is the going rate for ebay prices?  

    What do you think of the unpunched out perforations? I like neatly punched perforations but there seems to be a preference among most collectors for more intact paper vs. less.

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  • 2016-01-25 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Russia and areas
    @Pawel...

    Re 1998 issues... With second release the vertical lines (in design) contain microprinted text. With first they're just lines with solid fill.

    Re 2008 issues... A vague recollection (so I could be totally wrong/ thinking some other issue)... Something about a small part of design being of slightly different color than in original print.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-25 Keijo wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    @Fred... That's used allright. But definitely a favor cancelled specimen (Facit notes that 27,000 minisheets were sold in advance on London, so possibly this is one of those? Especially the first day postmark makes me suspicious of anything except 'philatelic origins'). From postal perspective the sheet is cancelled, but the stamps are not. So re-use of single stamps would have been possible... The postmark location does not make any sense besides 'making a happy collector'.

    Anyway, absolutely lovely looking piece and would be happy to include it into my collection anyday ;)


    Do you consider first day covers as CTO?


    Depends if is of mass produced or not.. Modern commercial FDC's are IMHO equal to CTOs. They exist just to ca$h collectors.

    On the other hand if a private collector makes his own FDCs (buys the stamps, gets them hand cancelled, and then walks home with the cover), then it's favor cancelled.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-25 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    @Rick... Sadly don't much more than you as Michel does not go 'beyond basics' on these. Likely 'NVPH Speciale Catalogus' would be required. But based on details in Michel (and my personal observations):

    1) yes, you're correct on the perf. Michel also lists this as 13½ x 12¾.
    2) Different papers: haven't put weight on these (yet), so can't say anything specific except that anything's possible.
    3) Re quality of NEDERLAND... Possibly inking / paper related?

    Just some thoughts of exhausted mind (long day at work and flue coming over)

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-25 Pawel wrote on Q&A: stamps of Russia and areas
    I once noticed the Russian 2008 definitive series (the current one that starts with the 0.10 hare and ends with 25 rbl. bear) described as a "first edition" by a Russian seller. Were stamps with this design issued twice? If so, how does one distinguish between them?I've also read a similar statement regarding the 1998 definitives (those denominated in the new roubles). What about those?

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  • 2016-01-25 Fred wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    Hi Keijo,

    Thanks for the helpful background and discussion. I collect only used stamps and wonder what you think of this souvenir sheet?

    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/iQEAAOSwUV9WnAU8/s-l1600.jpg

    I can't decide if this is used or not since the cancellation doesn't touch the stamps. Do you expect it would be valued at a discount to a used souvenir sheet that had the cancellation(s) touching the stamps? It certainly has a nice clear cancellation. 


    Do you consider first day covers as CTO? I like to have stamps cancelled in the time period of issue so first day covers seem ideal, particularly compared with CTOs and stamps used sometimes decades later eg Norway's WWII stamps. 

    I believe the souvenir sheet would be considered used by the post office and this relates to an earlier poster who seemed to suggest re-using an uncancelled used stamp. I heard from an old collector friend, who was a college professor, that this practice is highly illegal, at least in the US, although hard to enforce. 

    Thanks much,

    Fred

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  • 2016-01-24 Richard Huziak wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    Hi Keijo,

    I don't see much yet on your blog about Netherlands stamps.  I'd like to ask a specific and a general question (or a few):

    I'm going through Juliana definitives from 1969 - 1975, Scott #460 - 468A.   This seems to be an interesting series for fairly modern stamps.  Scott perfs these at 13 x 12-1/2, but I measure 13-1/2 x 12-3/4.  But there seems to be much more interesting about this series not mentioned (in Scott).  I was wondering if you could shed some light.  As I'm going through the series, there seem to be a few different papers used.  I am finding ordinary paper, either woven or weak vertical laid, and better-defined horizontal laid.Some values also seem to be printed with worn dies: the "NETHERLAND" at the top often has spurs off of the letters and some of the serifs seems a bit bent.  Add to this series, fluorescent paper, coils and booklets, and there is a lot to go through!

    So, do you have information on this series better specifying these observations, and for the longer term, do you know what the recommended specialized Netherlands catalogue would be?

    Rick

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  • 2016-01-24 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Errol.... Thanks for chiming in :)

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  • 2016-01-23 Errol Osteraa APS#073984 wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    mrprgrmr wrote: I’m trying to put brief historical notes with my stamps. It is really interesting – I always wondered how a guy I know could spend hours on a single stamp. Now I know.

    Anyways, does anyone know why the 1923 “Rhein Ruhr Hilfe” overprint/semi-postal was issued? The stamp is Scott #B5 or Michel 258(?). One location I found suggests it was to support resistance to the French occupation of the area. Another suggests it was relief to flood victims. I’m inclined to believe the latter but I haven’t found anything online describing a flood in 1923, except possibly intentional flooding of cool mines in resistance to the occupation.



    In January 1923, troops from Belgium and France occupied the Ruhr, which was Germany's industrial area, in order to "steal" the vast resources there under the pretense of obtaining reparations it claimed were owed to the by the Versailles Treaty.  As part of the occupation, some 150,000 non-essential Germans were forced to leave their homes and jobs often times leaving the male bread winners behind to work in the industries.  The German government housed and fed these refugees as best as they could but money was already a problem in post-WWI Germany so they tried to raise funds through the Ruhrhilfe which was an organization which collected donations and contributed them to the refugees from the Ruhr.  The surcharge on the stamps was a too little too late effort to raise funds for the refugees.

    More information https://books.google.com/books?id=g0lFBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=ruhrhilfe+1923&source=bl&ots=8aRnVVNrDo&sig=zuXGX81jvmjBQp8Ss9dPjusy3iY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi

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  • 2016-01-22 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2016
    @Corne... They're not done/completed yet, and as such not online (yet) ;)
    Like stated on top of the page 'I hope to relaunch by the end of January 2016 ' (of course depending on what life comes up with)

    Sorry for the delay :oops:

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-22 Corne Botha wrote on Stamp Exchange 2016
    Dear Keijo

    Could you please email me a copy of the rules and the form for 2016?

    I am unable to download or view it from the website, probably a connection or browser issue.

    Kind regards

    Corne

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  • 2016-01-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    @Rick... Excellent (hopefully I'll remember better next time somebody shows me an item as yours).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-22 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    Line 3: first item is likely Swiss revenue or stationary clipping (have some sort of vague recollection of item like this)


    Thanks, KK. Look what I found: http://www.stamps-auction.com/switzerland-1875-postal-stationery-envelope-st-croix-for-sale-16794

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  • 2016-01-19 Keijo wrote on Philatelic Resources
    @Franz...

    wonder sometimes how this happens: are postal administrations copying each others efforts?


    I think it's more about the fact that certain topics (flowers, cute animals etc) are something that consumers/people love and demand, and as such they are repeated time and again.



    Fun aside, stamp catalogs are just too expensive nowadays


    At least the 'big names' are...

    Just was on Karamitsos website and noticed that new Hellas catalog for Greece is out. 1100 pages (in 3 volumes) for 25€/$... Definitely very collector friendly price. If I did not have the 2008 edition, I'd be buying one ;)

    Of course, when collecting the world having a number of single country catalogs vs. general catalogs easily build up as equally expensive options. There are times when I feel I'm putting more money on catalogs/literature than stamps; which makes me think which is the primary object that I'm collecting, LOL.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-19 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    @Paula... Happy to have you around :)

    Re, other collectors of Seychelles... Let's say that I've been collecting stamps for 30 years and never met anyone who specifically collected it (besides some classic issues of early 20th century). I'm not saying collectors as such do not exist, they are just very rare creatures. A lot of worldwide collectors (like yours truly) do have a soft spot for Seychelles stamps simply because they come across so seldom.... But if you've got any questions just ask. And having a proper catalog for these is definitely a good start :)


    -k-

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  • 2016-01-19 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    @Rick...

    Line 1: 1st and 3rd item are Bulgarian revenues (ГЕРБОВА МАРКА = Gerbova Marka = Duty/revenue stamp), 2nd item no clue except definitely not a stamp (no country name in there, reads something about fire safety/ protection)

    Line 2: Bulgarian postage stamp issued sept 18 1974. Michel #2373 / block #54

    Line 3: first item is likely Swiss revenue or stationary clipping (have some sort of vague recollection of item like this), second is possibly a stationary clipping (again, a vague memory of seeing similar item), finally Czech revenue of some sorts

    Line 4: Stationary clipping from Bulgaria (seen a similar item somewhat recently).

    PS – I’ve been trying to log in without any luck. Has my premium membership expired? Thanks.

    Yep.

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  • 2016-01-19 Franz Feigl wrote on Philatelic Resources
    Hi Keijo and Mark

    I very much like Czech stamps, and this is a great site I wasn't familiar with. 

    Have you ever noticed how certain motives seem to be in vogue? Case in point: the current flower definitives of the Czech Republic, the on-going flower definitives of Germany, the recent flower definitives of Canada. I wonder sometimes how this happens: are postal administrations copying each others efforts?

    And talking about Scott: the newer catalogs in full color are a considerable improvement over the older ones which contained often washed-out black and white images. My full set of Scott catalogs dates from 1996 and shows images in b&w only; I have replaced some of them with newer ones but my original 1996 set is so full of notes and annotations that I simply cannot manage to throw them out!
     
    I know how you feel, Mark, because regardless of the method of reproduction, a major drawback of Scott is that only one or two stamps in a set are illustrated, and this more often than not means that finding a particular stamp is close to impossible, especially if the stamp bears no date (or if I can't read the script - Scott's stamp/script identifier in the back of their catalogs helps of course, but only so much. --- Gotta love the Finnish - they never assumed that a young budding stamp collector would know that they call their own country "Suomi", and they were kind enough to add "Finland" to their stamps - one of my first lessons in linguistics!)

    Fun aside, stamp catalogs are just too expensive nowadays and sites like the one for the Czech Republic (and Czechoslovakia) are a God-send. 

    Thanks again.
    Franz

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  • 2016-01-18 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    Here are some BOB items from Eastern Europe that I would love to have you ID for me.

    image

    PS - I've been trying to log in without any luck. Has my premium membership expired? Thanks.

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  • 2016-01-18 Paula wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    So glad to have found your website. This weekend i finally opened the boxes and files of Seychelles stamps & FDCs that were given to me many years ago. Am completely new to stamps so in between some basic sorting of the FDCs into date order, i have been cruising the net trying to gather info on how to progress. I have just ordered the SG Indian Ocean catalogue which will hopefully be helpful in organising the many stamps. Do you by chance know of anyone who has a specific interest in stamps from Seychelles? It would be good to 'chat' to someone else about them.

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  • 2016-01-17 Keijo wrote on Philatelic Resources
    @Mark... It was my pleasure. You've started some good/interesting topics on SOR lately.

    Re CPSLib... I've been there at least few times over the years ;) And yes, it deserves to be highlighted.

    Re, searching by face value, color, format... I agree that it is the 'easiest' way of searching (unless searching by image/photo). And the 'crowd-sourced' catalogs have understood this one as well. It's really a shame that the 'big ones' can not learn or listen to their customers on this one (though Michel is slowly heading into this direction with their 'Premium' catalog search).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-17 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    @Anping...

    As an experiment (if you examples in your collection), would you be able to measure the perfs of any of the wartime printings of the GVI 2c, 4c, 5c, 8c, 10c, 30c and 50c definitives?


    I should have some of these but I'll do something even better.... I'll email you a copy of the utility that I'm using for digital gauging, so you can measure the perfs yourself. Please check your inbox for message titled 'Digital perf gauge (2016-01-17 update)'.

    But please, do share the results as I've got a hunch they will be interesting.


    After bomb damage to the DLR printing works, other printers produced these in September 1945 and perfed them (according to catalogue) at 14½ by 14, as opposed to P14.


    This one had a huge affect on number of other commonwealth stamps too. For example Ceylon definitive stamps of the era also come in number of varying perfs because of this.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-17 Mark Dyck wrote on Philatelic Resources
    HI Keijo,

    First, thanks for the link in your 'resources' section.  I'm now a published philatelist!  :)

    Second, do you know about this site?  http://www.cpslib.org/index.html
    I'm going through some Czech stamps and having a terrible time with my Scott catalogue.  But this site is amazing!  I'm searching pictures by denomination and am identifying a stamp in under a minute!

    This is exactly the type of thing I'd love to see from a catalogue manufacturer, or a group of dedicated collectors, for all countries.  If Scott or Michel did this and put it on an iPad app I'd be a customer for life!

    It's the future of information retrieval for stamps, I bet. 

    Anyway, it's worth a link on your Resources page if it isn't there already.  

    Best wishes, 
    Mark

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  • 2016-01-16 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    On a separate but connected matter, I was going through my new 2015 SG Hong Kong catalogue today and stumbled upon an entry which at first convinced me there was a printing error. The entry in question is SG321cw -  90c Sepia 'inverted watermark'. The price listed is £750.

     

    Checking against the previous catalogue, this is in fact a new entry for the 1975-1982  'coinage' series. It would appear that this a recently found variation and must be very very scarce. One contributing factor to the high price listed, is the late  1981 issue date of this 'tiddler'. The whole  series was replaced in August 1982 by the Hacker design definitives.  So it was only available to the public for 11 months.

     

    So yet another variety to look for amongst this complex range of the 'coinage' design series.   

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  • 2016-01-16 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    These measuring differences are all rather intriguing. As an experiment (if you examples in your collection), would you be able to measure the perfs of any of the wartime printings of the GVI 2c, 4c, 5c, 8c, 10c, 30c and 50c definitives?

    After bomb damage to the DLR printing works, other printers produced these in September 1945 and perfed them (according to catalogue) at 14½ by 14, as opposed to P14.

    I have just measured a few of mine using my 'braille box' and with the exception of one that I sampled, they were as stated. The exception was one which measured 14¾ by 14.
     
    This may highlight a possible inaccuracy in my gizmo. 

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  • 2016-01-16 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    And after bit of digging in my duplicates box, I found a mint (hinged) stamp to compare. And this is where it gets interesting...

    Perfs no longer match

    Not as good a match. One can easily see the perfs not aligning.. This time digital perf. gauge gives 14.81 as horizontal perf, which I'd put as 14 3/4 if using 'Michel accuracy' of quarter units. But in SG rounding terms this should equal as perf. 15.

    So is this paper stretching/shrinkage or something else (perf. machine variation)..? Measuring a piece of stamp with inscription 'Hong Kong' and comparing to another copy should provide equal results if this is something else than paper streching. As I don't know if different values were produced using modified designs, I'm comparing my mint 70c to used 70c (with horiz. perf 14.92). The result?

    Inscription comparison

    Seem identical to me (and I was looking at this on 1200 dpi scan). So it seems that your statement/assumption on the 'variations during the perforation process' is very much possible. Nevertheless, it puts an interesting 'twist' on what should be considered as 'correct perf', and whether or not these variations should be noted, and maybe even listed by/for specialized collectors (general catalogs will likely never notice this, as the editors 'require' preferably a difference of one full unit to add new perf variants to listings).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-16 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    @Anping... All perf gauges, whether digital, plastic or even on paper should be accurate/equal and provide comparable results (that is the philosophy of having a standard). I've checked all my (used) copies on Lighthouse plastic gauge (2 copies) as well as on SG instanta in addition of digital perf gauge. All indicate horizontal perf. 15

    But there's even more 'fireproof' way to point out that the perf is 15... Take a copy of well known perf. 15 stamp, and then compare it side-by-side. If perf tips match precisely, then both stamps are perf. 15. And if not, then perf is something else. And for comparison copy I picked out British 1912 KGV 1d - all catalogs agree this is perf. 15x14. And the result?

    Perf comparison

    Since these stamps are 2cm wide, you should see a difference of ½ perf units when left edges are aligned. As you can see, it's almost a precise match (digital gauge gives out a difference of 0.07 unit between these two stamps, IMHO that explains the 'almost').

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-16 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    So are you relying on your digital perf measurement gizmo? If you are, then discrepancies will surely arise between the catalogue producer's old 'tried and tested' methods and any digital methods available. 

    Perhaps consideration should be given to the possibility of inaccuracies in the production of some manual gauges. If this is does occur , then we will always have find differences, unless we all use the same method of measurement.

     

    There is another slant on this: variations during the perforation process. I have just measured a few more 'large format' definitives of that same series. On some, the 'vertical' or side perforations are 14¼ . So there is already a variation of 0.25, just on the small sample I tried.

     

    Interestingly, those showing 14¼ are from the 1976 'no watermark' issue. Incidentally, all measurements I have done are from unused, full gum examples. So there is no possibility of paper changes due to immersion in water. 

     

        

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  • 2016-01-16 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    @Anping...

    Stanley Gibbons notates perforations in the order; horizontal x vertical,


    That is how it goes globally (or if each side is different, then the order is top-right-bottom-left).


    ...rounding to the nearest half

    I know. Same for Scott as well... Michel goes for the nearest quarter (which is much better).

    But I'm 150% positive (and beyond) that horizontal perf for the small sized stamps is 15 and not 14½. Each time I gauge these, it comes to 14.9-15.1 range. So it's not a rounding error either. And have gauged multiple pieces time and again, so it's not error on my part nor random 'funny piece' (with paper shrinkage etc) either.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-16 Keijo wrote on Welcome to SCB Store
    @Karen... Payment received. I humbly thank for the support.

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  • 2016-01-16 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada
    @Rick...
    Didn’t the image come through?


    Not quite (but I fixed). You referenced the page containing image. Image files usually end to file-extension having ".jpg"

    That is indeed one curious looking item...


    @Dixon... That sounds relatively 'simple', LOL.

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-15 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    I've checked a number of my 1973 'Coinage' issue definitives. The measurements correspond with that of the catalogues:  14½  x 14 for the small definitives and 14 x  14½ for the large ones. 

     

    Stanley Gibbons notates  perforations in the order; horizontal x vertical, rounding to the nearest half. For example and to quote,  a perf reading of just over 12¾ to just under 13¼ would be rounded to 13. 

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  • 2016-01-15 dixon kenner wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada


    "... so the presumption is that maybe a sheet or a few sheets might have been done this way at a local post office, maybe unauthorized by Canada Post at the time. "



    Just a note, from 1867 to 1981 it was the Post Office Department of the Federal Government.  While it was rebranded Canada Post in the 1960's to get away from "Royal Mail Canada" (big push in that era to get away from that kind of think, including getting rid of the RCAF and RCN, now both back with their Royal before the airforce and navy) it did not become a Crown corporation until 1981. (Crown = Government owned, but more arms length than a department.  There are about six levels which an department/agency/corporation can be.  If truly bored, google FAA and Schedule.  Canada Post is a Schedule III organisation)

     

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  • 2016-01-15 Karen wrote on Welcome to SCB Store
    I always look forward to reading your blog and am happy to make this very reasonable contribution.  Good luck and thanks.

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  • 2016-01-15 Rick Huziak wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada
    Hi Keijo,

    I sent the image to Robin Harris and he was baffled, and sent it off to some others he knows - haven't heard from his other sources yet.  Also sent to John Jamieson of the Saskatoon Stamp Centre (http://saskatoonstamp.com/)  SSC specializes in early BNA/Canada - he emailed back while I was typing this message, and he is also baffled.  Hoping the worldly bunch who stalk your blog might have ideas :-) 
    Rick

    Didn't the image come through?
    Canada QV overprint

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  • 2016-01-15 Keijo wrote on Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 - End of an Era
    @Axel.... The very same :)

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  • 2016-01-15 Axel wrote on Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 - End of an Era
    Hello Keijo, best wishes for you and your family, hope to stay in contact this year.

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  • 2016-01-15 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada
    @Rick... And to update the topic, nothing about this creature on my sources. You might try contacting Robin Harris; as the long time editor of Unitrade catalog he likely knows everything there is to know about Canadian stamps (hope you remember to share any response, as I'd definitely like to know what you've landed upon).

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  • 2016-01-15 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2016
    @Corne... No restrictions (except letter thickness) this season :)

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  • 2016-01-15 Corne wrote on Stamp Exchange 2016
    Dear Keijo.

    I hope you will please lift the 1 letter at a time restriction? I'm building up a lot of exchange material and would love to send you a once off lot of about 10 letters. Kind regards Corne 

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  • 2016-01-15 Keijo wrote on New Zealand 1960 flower pictorials - mystery after mystery unravelled
    @Franz... Happy to hear it's working (though I acknowledge when more people start using it bug reports will start to flow, LOL).

    Re, adding 400dp option....
    1. Open the start.htm with Notepad (comes with every version of Windows)
    2. Locate lines which read

    <option value="300">300</option>
    <option value="600">600</option>

    3. Add your desired option:

    <option value="300">300</option>
    <option value="400">400</option>
    <option value="600">600</option>


    4. Save the file (File>Save)
    5. Relaunch the page in your browser and test that everything works.

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  • 2016-01-15 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada
    @Rick... Sounds like a true mystery :) Will check some of my resources in the evening after work.

    PS. For European readers, Scott #77 equals the 1898 2c carmine with portrait of Queen Victoria.

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  • 2016-01-15 Franz Feigl wrote on New Zealand 1960 flower pictorials - mystery after mystery unravelled
    Hello Keijo

    Thanks for the new version of the digital gauge. I downloaded the latest version of Google Chrome, and everything works just fine. One question though: I usually scan my stamps at 400dpi. You state that I can add a 400dpi option to the markup of start.html, but somehow this eludes me and I haven't figured out how to do this. I'll poke around a bit more, maybe the Gods will inspire me ... 

    Thanks for sharing - this is a great tool.

    Franz

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  • 2016-01-14 Rick Huziak wrote on Q&A: stamps of Canada
    Hi Keijo et al.

    I have an ID request.  I have found a new variant for the Canada Queen Vic Scott #77.  This has a 1-cent overprint in blue ink with the regular 2-cent numeric boxes blued-out.  The O/P appears to be done with a rubber stamp, so the presumption is that maybe a sheet or a few sheets might have been done this way at a local post office, maybe unauthorized by Canada Post at the time.  The only thing close that I can find are the Scott #88B & 88C Port Hood bisects, and similar only because they are of the same era and overprinted in blue ink.  Can anyone identify this stamp and provide some documentation for it?  Unfortunately, it was already off paper and has no date cancellation.  The stamp itself is a Die I. 

    rick

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  • 2016-01-14 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    @Anping... Happy to have others check the facts as well. I just scanned one of my stamp and digitally re-measured the gauge. Still giving ~15x14 (Top:14.96/ Right:14.09 / Bottom:15.00 / Left:14.07).

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-14 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    Keijo wrote :@Anping... Thanks. Seems like I hit yet another error in catalog pages. Sigh.

    My area of interest does not involve much perf checking, so I don't own any elaborate gauges, like the SG Instanta. The particular issues you have been talking about, wouldn't have caused me to check anyway, as these are constant. However, the next time I retrieve my Hong Kong QEII album I'll check some perfs with my 'Braille box' (the Phila Combi Box) that I use. This device uses raised pins at quarter perf intervals, into which a stamp's perforations accurately 'dock'. The corresponding value is then indicated.     

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  • 2016-01-14 Keijo wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    @Anping... Thanks. Seems like I hit yet another error in catalog pages. Sigh.

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  • 2016-01-14 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    @Rick... Yes, that will happen with the next update (which will occur in few weeks time). Here's a screenshot what the new login will look alike:
    New login is coming...

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-14 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    @Rick... Actually it's not overprint, but part of the design. This is St George (or as Latvian's call it Svētais Juris) fighting the dragon (the 'black stuff' you considered overprint). The left copy has got a nice shifted print.

    Here's a pic of my specimen:

    Latvia stamp St. George and dragon 1919

    That said, like with most Baltic stamps, very good forgeries of these exist. And at least your left specimen is a forgery (see circled area below, if it looks like letter Y then you've got a fake):
    Forgery has Y-shaped lines

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  • 2016-01-13 Anping wrote on Some useful tidbits about Hong Kong definitive postage stamps
    Your Quote:

    "For some bizarre reason, Scott catalogues contain an errata and falsely claim that the small sized stamps are perforated 14½x14.  I’d very much like to know what Stanley Gibbons mentions as the perforation of these."

     

    SG catalogues list these the same as Scott. The design is referred to as 'Design from coinage'. 

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  • 2016-01-13 Rick Young wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life…pt 9
    Keijo, your home page provides a premium members login link. However, usually I will not click on that right away, until I start looking at an article. Then if I want to read more, I have to look up my username and password, which are not easy to remember, enter it, and then can continue reading. However, in order to do that I have to go back through the links, because once you are looking at an article the links on the right disappear. Have you considered moving "premium members login" to the top level of links, along with "Latest", "Resources", etc. so it is ever-present from every page? Just my two cents. Thanks.

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  • 2016-01-13 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
    The overprint on one of these two stamps from Latvia looks unusual. Notice the "frame" around the left one, which is different from what shows up in the catalog. Any ideas what this is? (Sorry about the poor quality scan.) Thanks!

    image

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  • 2016-01-13 Keijo wrote on My stamp collection
    And another update to My Collection statistics. Listings for Australia and Oceania are now complete.   Next (and final) pitstop will be working my way through Middle-East, and I look forward to complete the job by end of summer 2016. 

    -k-

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  • 2016-01-13 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2016
    @Miquel... Sadly it's not possible with current resources (maybe when I retire in 2060, LOL).

    My primary concern is how much additional time/resources it would hog. If somebody sends in exchange lot of 300 stamps and I take 100 stamps, with the current way of doing things I'm all OK by seeking up 100 new stamps. With your suggested way I'd have to seek up 300 new stamps. That would at least double the time I spent per exchange. And the bigger the lots, the more new stuff I'd have to seek up (the biggest exchange lots I've received have had ~3K stamps)... Now imagine building up all those response lots, several times a week, day after day..Hopefully you understand why I object the change. There is simply not enough hours in anybody's life ;)

    Secondly, the current system pushes everyone to give a bit of thought on what they send. There is a 'carrot' if they do good job, and a 'stick' if not (and please, do note that this works both ways. If I send out good stuff, then people participate time and again. But if I was sending out common bulk, then it would be just one-off exchanges and ultimately not even those)... With your suggested way everybody would get rewarded no matter what they send. I don't think anything as such would work.

    Hopefully my reasoning makes some sense ;)

    -k-

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