Latest user responses

  • 2014-10-25 Keijo wrote on Premium membership information
    @Laura... Thanks for getting in touch.

    The payment is all OK and it's been handled successfully on 19th October. But when digging in further I noted that the system had not managed to sent you neither of the automated confirmation messages (including your login credentials and a receipt of your purchase) due to an networking error. I assume it did not show you any error messages during sign up?

    Anyway, I've now manually re-sent you the confirmation message and the receipt, so please check your inbox. The subscription starts from this day, so there is no loss for you.

    My sincerest apologies for this. If you've got anything else on your mind, please do leave a message and I'll get in touch with you.

    -keijo-

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  • 2014-10-25 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @James... Anything's possible. I really haven't thought that far into the future ...

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  • 2014-10-25 Laura Pendell wrote on Premium membership information
    Dear Keijo,

    I joined your blog community about a week ago using PayPal. To date I have not received any acknowledgment of my membership or login information. Please let me know what's going on. Thanks!

    Laura

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  • 2014-10-25 James Castrataro wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Perhaps, after a time, you could leave the post, but replace the name of the auction house with the words (name deleted). That way you can warn the stamp community of a potential threat (and perhaps other auction houses thinking of following suit) without black balling the perpetrator forever. The EU now, at least, now recognizes a right to be forgotten.

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  • 2014-10-24 Keijo wrote on Mounting stamp collections digitally
    @Mark... Nice to see you around :) I agree with you that big scans are pretty hard to beat; especially as they bring up design details that would have gone unnoticed otherwise.

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-24 Mark Dyck wrote on Mounting stamp collections digitally
    I just reread this article Keijo. Great refresher, especially when paired with your 'stockbook annotation' article!One possible advantage of the digital collection is that you can make the stamps bigger on the virtual collection page.

    I'm finding that with all the time I spend looking at other people's stamps on message boards, with their big, clear scans, my physical stamps look rather drab and wimpy.

    Why, even the stamps on your 'robot / spam comment filter' are bigger on my screen than the stamps in my collection!





    Best wishes,





    Mark

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  • 2014-10-23 Keijo wrote on Stamps of Azerbaijan
    @Rick... This time your guess is good as mine, as Michel doesn't even list the 200,000R on 1R stamp ;) That said, Michel does have a warning that both postal and non-postal forgeries are plenty with ALL Azerbaijan overprints. So it's very likely a forgery of some sorts to start with... All in all the listings between Scott and Michel have got some great differences for all the overprinted issues.

    My advice would be to take a quick visit on Trevor Patemans blog and see if you can find anything useful in there.

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-23 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @Tony....

    Can we ask that you please remove the blog...


    This is one of the most 'dangerous' requests a business can do after receiving a 'negative review' in social media, and I was kind of hoping you would have not fallen for it (this is one of those many reasons why you need some professional help to explain what to do / not to do in digital world).

    I've given this good thought, and I've made a decision to keep the entry online despite it's controversial nature.

    Those who read the entry, will learn that you've made a 'bad decision', but you've also responded to the issue and have plans to evolve even further. Making mistakes and learning from them only proves your human beings...

    The main reason I'm letting this entry to remain online is the fact that there are still lots of blogs/bloggers who are unaware of the existence of these spammy links. Just last night I was reading The Apfelbaum Blog about early Romanian issues and the only comment in that specific entry was what appears to be 'Lester spam'. And similar 'nonsense' comments can be found on StampRaiders blog, and OddBall stamps blog, and... Search engine marketing is not a one way street. Those who link to 'spammers' (either knowingly or unaware) may get hurt in the process as well... You can consider this entry as 'educational entry' for all bloggers within the stamp / collecting industry. It shows that not all comments are what they seem; and why it pays not to publish every comment.

    And finally, I don't think a topic as this should be hush-hush because you're established/reputable business... Companies such as J.C.Penneys, BMW, BBC, InterFlora & Washington Post have all been 'exposed' on 'bad SEO' in major news. So you're in good company ;)

    Life goes on.

    -keijo-

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  • 2014-10-23 Rick Young wrote on Stamps of Azerbaijan
    I ran across some overprinted Azerbaijan issues. The one overprint I have is of a different type than is indicated in Scott's. I am not sure if I have an odd item or Scott's is just not detailed enough. Can you tell me to which issue the 200.000 overprint item belongs?

    http://fisher.osu.edu/~young.53/Azerbaijan_bogus.jpg

    Oh, also, can you tell me WHY the bogus issues of 1923 were printed? Thanks!

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  • 2014-10-23 Tony Lester wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Hello Keijo


    Thank you for your words of advice. We have been trying to find the time to increase the content on our website and interact directly with the community online, we are working towards this as we know we have a lot of great advice and knowledge to share.


    We appreciate you bringing this to our attention and accepting our apology. Can we ask that you please remove the blog whilst we focus on our positive online efforts.


    In 30 years we have received no negative feedback on the services we provide and would like it to remain this way moving forward.


    In anticipation of your response.


    Kind Regards


    Tony Lester

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  • 2014-10-23 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @Tony Lester... Thanks for getting in touch.

    I do very well understand the challenges you are speaking. If it's of any comfort, every website (whether private or business) faces them. Sadly there is no quick and easy and cheap solution, but it takes 'blood, sweat & tears" (time, knowledge and devotion) to build online success. There are no magical silver bullets despite the claims you might have read or heard...As a professional advice, I strongly recommend you to have a really serious talk with your digital marketing agency (or if you don't have one, then I'd recommend getting some real professional help instead of Indian SEOs) about how to build online success as well as how to proceed from here (because though I'll accept your apology, search engines like Google might punish you from your bad actions till eternity. This Wikipedia article is a good primer on what I'm talking about).

    Finally, I'm rejoiced by your decision to stop spamming my blog as well rest of the blogosphere and look forward to seeing Tony Lester Auctions being truly committed to providing valuable comments/content that will benefit stamp collectors.

    -keijo-

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  • 2014-10-22 Tony Lester wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Firstly, can I apologise for any upset that this has obviously caused you. We are honest, professional and genuinely trying to promote our services in the right way.

    As a traditional business we are new to the world of technology and this is the reason for our delayed response.

    We update our blog on our website regularly to share knowledge but will admit that time does hold us back from interacting on other forums ourselves, as we move more towards the internet this is something we hope to do.

    We have been trying to increase out website visibility however we are unlike the other thousands that you mentioned as we feel we do have something valuable to offer the stamp community with our services. This said we totally understand your feelings, this element of our website promotion has now been stopped and we hope to engage directly with your blog in the future.

    Please understand our efforts are only to attract the interest of people as passionate about stamps as we are.

    We would ask that you please judge us for what we are specialists in, which is Stamps, as we have never intentionally looked to create bad vibes in the philatelic community and have a very good reputation in the trade with over 30 years of honest dealing and good practice.

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  • 2014-10-21 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @Peter...

    I have to say I’m very surprised that a long established firm such as Tony Lester would resort to this.


    It's a tough world with lot of competition out there (but it's not a valid excuse to spam other people's websites)...

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  • 2014-10-21 Rainy Day Stamps wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Thanks for the warning about this one Keijo.

    I have to say I'm very surprised that a long established firm such as Tony Lester would resort to this. I haven't seen anything come through from him yet on my site but will keep an eye out and let you know if it does.

    Peter

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  • 2014-10-21 Rainy Day Stamps wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    Hi Keijo.

    Thanks for this post. I'm with you all the way on this one. Changing catalogue numbers is never a good thing, event for a small number of stamps, let alone an entire country!

    Apart from the confusion it can cause it can also cause a lot of rework for people who painstakingly write up their collections.

    Happy collecting!

    Peter

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  • 2014-10-19 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @Ian... I thought you might had received some too ;)

    I definitely agree it's a real person typing these spammy comments. Such a shame he (or she) doesn't have anything 'genuinely' interesting to share. I'd figure that most (retired) stamp collectors would love to have a job where they'd get paid from reading and commenting philatelic news and resources.

    BTW. Ian, Your blog is a prime example how stamp dealers can honestly 'earn' link love simply by sharing their knowledge and passion to collectors. Though I haven't yet signed up for The Norvic Checklist of Machin Security Definitive Stamps, I can already 'sniff' it's going to be awesome. So hats off to You ;)

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-19 Ian Billings wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    I had one from TL on my latest blog posting (about our new free catalogue) - it must have been typed by an individual rather than a bot, I think, because it referred (sarcastically I thought) to the blog content. I didn't flag it as spam, but just deleted it. I'll watch out for more - thanks for the alert!

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  • 2014-10-19 Keijo wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    @Audrius...What a 'lovely' idea, LOL.

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  • 2014-10-19 Audrius wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Also add his email to Stop Forum Spam and other spam databases

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  • 2014-10-19 coolteddy wrote on Beware of Tony Lester Auctions
    Fully agree. I usually only look at the main content and not the comments. Some comments such as spam comments or offensive comments really does spoils the entire enjoyment of reading a blog.

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  • 2014-10-18 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?
    @Gerben...

    It appeared to me that collectors have to make a fundamental decision before they start using one or the other of the many options:


    So true.. Sadly many collectors don't put a lot of thought into this, and get easily disappointed when they realize that the product they were reviewing didn't match their 'dreams'.

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  • 2014-10-18 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?
    Hi Keijo

    I just went through your article on inventory programs and the comments on the article. It appeared to me that collectors have to make a fundamental decision before they start using one or the other of the many options: do you want your inventory to be just a reference tool allowing you to keep track what stamps are in you collection, or do you want to be able to more extensively document your collection?

    When you opt for a reference tool you may want to keep i as simple as possible. Why bother about images when you already have the real thing in your albums? Why bother about detailed information when you already have it in your catalogues? When you opt for more elaborate documentation all this may become relevant. Opting for a reference tool will lead to basic Excel or DB solutions such as your Excel sheet, which is much like the Excel sheet I use. They allow for minimum input and yet a great flexibility in reports. Opting for more elaborate documentation of your collection may bring more complex tools into play such as inventory programs.

    Apart from considerations such as user friendliness, I guess a key criteria for your choice is the size of your collection. For a large worldwide collection with tens of thousands of stamps you may want to opt for a reference tool as you want to spend time on your stamps rather than on the administration of them. If you have a smaller, more specialized collection you may find the larger amount of time spent on documenting the collection with an inventory program to be worthwhile.

    Different strokes for different folks.......

    Regards

    Gerben

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  • 2014-10-17 Keijo wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    @Gerben...

    Thanks a lot. Do you also have the new numbers for the Dienstmarken?


    I was supposed to write "Officials (Dienstmarken) in the first place (see corrected info above). Sorry, my mistake :oops: So the new numbers for Officials (Dienstmarken) are in earlier/above reply. The new numbers for postage dues (Portomarken) are Mi#1-18 -> Mi #48-65

    @Graham...


    If they were going to do this, they could have adopted a middle ground that would have been easier for collectors. Just skipping 529 to 1000 and making all the “new” numbers just the old numbers + 1000.


    Or add some sort of an prefix to old Egypt numbers and keep the majority "as is".

    How very strange that they split Egypt using 1958 in the first place, though.


    I guess it was something that the editors back then saw best. A new country was born, and likely they believed it would exist/replace Egypt and Syria permanently.... Now the restless soul within me started to think if Michel will be re-cataloging Syria too. Sigh.

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  • 2014-10-17 Douglas Hadley wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    Jim and Keijo,

    Thanks for the additional information and pictures on this Belgium definitive series. I'll have a fun evening separating out these various varieties.

    Doug

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  • 2014-10-16 Graham Leonard wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    If they were going to do this, they could have adopted a middle ground that would have been easier for collectors. Just skipping 529 to 1000 and making all the "new" numbers just the old numbers + 1000.How very strange that they split Egypt using 1958 in the first place, though. Or perhaps I should say, how strange that they didn't resume the original Egyptian numbering after Syria regained independence in 1961.

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  • 2014-10-16 Gerben van Gelder wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    Hi Keijo

    Thanks a lot. Do you also have the new numbers for the Dienstmarken?

    Regards

    Gerben

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  • 2014-10-16 Keijo wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    @Gerben...
    Have they also changed the numbering for official stamps, postage due and the occupation of Palestine?


    Everything.

    The new postage due official (dienstmarke) numbers (for Egypt/UAR) issues are:
    1-29 -> 69-97
    A29 -> 98
    30-61 -> 99-130


    For Occupation of Palestine, the post 1958 issues #1-79 are now #94-172.

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  • 2014-10-16 Cătălin Cofaru wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    It's sad, because in this way a philatelist is unable to catalog his stamps for a long period. I think there may be a good idea to use in parallel a second stamp catalog. For example, in the case of Egypt, Scott or Stanley Gibbons. Best regards! Cătălin

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  • 2014-10-16 Gerben van Gelder wrote on If you are a stamp catalog publisher, the most stupid thing you can do is...
    Hi Keijo
    Thanks for your rant. I quite agree numbering should not be changed as it causes a lot of work for collectors. Anyway, thanks for posting the table with the changes. Have they also changed the numbering for official stamps, postage due and the occupation of Palestine? And if so: have they published similar tables with the changes. And if so: can you post those too?

    Regards

    Gerben van Gelder

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  • 2014-10-16 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    @Jim... Yep. Illustrations make life a lot easier (can't really understand why Amos/Scott doesn't do them).

    Re, type 1A... This is also known as type V. Besides COB I haven't seen it listed anywhere else, so I left it out of the picture first place. But here's the illustration for it as well:

    Belgium King Albert I stamp type V / IA

    Based on catalog value it's should be pretty scarce (especially mint) compared to other types.

    Another thing I didn't mention first place is that there should be minor shade differences between some values/types (for example 5c type IA/V should be emerald blue green; and types II and III also have subtypes also in other than the usual green shade). But as colors can change over time/conditions, I wouldn't rely too much on that to identify different printings.

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-15 jim jackson wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    Keijo - thanks much for the illustration of the King Albert I varieties- I had a written description available to be, but it was confusing, and a picture is indeed worth a thousand words!

    Doug- Although Scott lists how many types for each denomination are found, Scott does not tell you the specific types found for each denomination.My Steiner album parses it to:

    Type 1 (London 1915): 1c,2c,5c,10c,15c,20c,

    Type 1A (London 1918)- "5" closer to border, "c" with small vertical ending: 5c

    Type 2 (London 1919): 1c,2c,5c,15c,

    Type 3 (London 1920): 2c,5c,10c,15c,

    Type 4 (Mechelen 1922): 5c,20c,

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  • 2014-10-15 Doug Hadley wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    Keijo,

    Thanks. The illustration is exactly what I needed. An evening with the magnifying glass should enable me to separate these stamps into their respective Types.

    Doug

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  • 2014-10-15 Keijo wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    @Steve... True, Japanese 80Y stamps can cause 'catalog frustration' (and no, sadly there's no year them in any format most of the times). Personally I've found out that looking at the year in the cancellation (if available) is the best indicator of when the stamp was possibly issued.

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  • 2014-10-15 Steve wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    I would love good stamp recognition software. Sometimes it gets so frustrating finding the stamps in the catalog that I just give up. For example, I collect about 30 or so countries, including Japan. I like Japanese Stamps a lot. They are generally beautifully done and I like the culture and nature scenes they are so fond of. But finding any given 80Y stamp in the Scott Catalog can take a very long time since I don't read Japanese and most stamps don't have years on them, at least not in Arabic numerals. The earlier issues are a little easier to find, but can still be frustrating. If I could take a picture on my phone and have it instantly identified, I'd probably pursue Japanese stamps somewhat more. Now I almost dread Japanese stamps showing up because I know it'll take me forever to find the right place to put them on my Steiner-page album.

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  • 2014-10-14 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    @Doug... Fortunately both Michel and COB (Belgium special catalog) illustrate the differences in somewhat good detail. Here's how COB identifies these subtypes:

    Belgium 1915-1920 King Albert stamp types

    Hope this helps.

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-14 Doug Hadley wrote on Q&A: stamps of Belgium
    Keijo,

    I thoroughly enjoy your articles on the varieties of definitive stamps throughout the world. I have learned a lot from your various blogs on the subject, and it now makes me look much more carefully at my duplicates for definitives worldwide.

    I have run up with a problem in cataloging a large lot of Belgium classic stamps. I would appreciate if you or one of the blog readers could help me with this issue.

    In looking at the Belgium issue from 1915-1920, the stamps with King Albert I listed asSC #108-115, the Scott Catalog has the following note "Two types each of the 1c, 10c and 20c; three types of the 2c and 15c; four of the 5c, differing in the top left corner." I have several examples of each of these stamps, but have been unable to see any differences in the top left corner. Perhaps I have the same variety of each, but I suspect that I just am not clear at what exactly I should belooking for on these stamps to separate them into these varieties.

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to separate this series into these varieties? Perhaps you or someone with a specialized catalog could help me a bit with the Belgium series from 1915-20, involving King Albert I.

    Thank you.

    Doug

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  • 2014-10-14 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Graham... There's a silver lining in every dark cloud. The number of stamps with catalog value of >100$ has gone down to 27 ;) So though more expensive in catalog value, it might be easier to accomplish.

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  • 2014-10-14 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?
    Hello Robert,

    please see the yellow box on the half way of this page (bottom of article, before comments) about how to obtain a copy.

    -keijo-

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  • 2014-10-14 Keijo wrote on Q&A: US stamps
    @Lori... Hard to say... As it's not a stamp / revenue but a 'tag', there are no catalog prices for this kind of stuff, but more what the potential buyers (if you find any) will pay.

    I do notice that on eBay same seller has sold similar item three times over the past year, and is now selling a fourth. Always $50.... Personally I would not pay nowhere that much; maybe $5-10 max; but on the other hand I don't know much about the topic. I simply assume that cotton bale tags must be somewhat common / low in demand.

    What's a bit more worrying is that the seller is using same image time and again. And if it's the same item, I would not describe it as 'excellent unused condition.' There's very clear toning/blemish on couple of spots, and potential mold on bottom corners.

    Just my 5 cents worth... Hopefully khj or RevenueCollector will chime in and share their knowledge, as US items such as these are way more in their ballpark.
    -k-

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  • 2014-10-14 Graham Leonard wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    I'm afraid that the news isn't quite as good for used.

    Scott has $42,620 for a complete used collection, or $12,355 if you don't include the 27 stamps worth more than $100.

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  • 2014-10-13 Robert Johnson wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?
    Hello Keijo,

    Can you please send me the template and instructions. I ama collector of U.S. and Canadian Stamps. Been working on the collection since 1938 (am now 84 years old - middle age creeping up on me) Some of my 5 generations are showing some interest and I would like to be able to leave them a logical inventory of what I am leaving behind.

    Robert Johnson

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  • 2014-10-13 Lori Griner wrote on Q&A: US stamps
    Hi,

    I have a really cool revenue (described on eBay) "UNUSED 1863 UNITED STATES INTERNAL REVENUE COTTON BALE TAGS. In original as found condition, 5" x 2 1/4", each with 9" wire and bale barb, front reading UNITED STATES INTERNAL REVENUE, and in small print at the bottom: Entered according to Act of Congress, In the year 1863 by Porter Fitch, in the Clerk's office of the Dist. Court, for the South, Dist., N. Y. On the back DUTY PAID., with spaces for day of, 186-, Signed, COLLECTOR, District of, WEIGHT, LBS, No., and Marks. In what appears to be heavy stiff paper, no tears, in excellent unused condition."

    Is it worth the $50.00 I paid?

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  • 2014-10-13 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    Hi Cathy,

    Does anyone have any suggestions on storage options for larger stamp sheets? I use the lighthouse stock sheets to put into 3 ring binders, but have some souvenir sheets that will not fit into the 1S pocket.


    Lighthouse produces so called “sheet stock books” called BOGA 4. Well equipped stamp dealers should be able to provide these (some may have older BOGA 3, which is even larger). Each book holds 24 sheets up to 34 x 37cm.

    If you prefer loose-leaf option (or have something even bigger), then your best bet would be art accessories such as presentation portfolios or display book pockets. These are usually made of archival quality acid free polypropylene or PVC (ALWAYS opt for polypropylene), and sizes range from the usual A4 up to A1 (855mm x 620mm). All in all they are pretty similar to Vario-pages and other stock pages.

    Hope this helps.
    -k-

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  • 2014-10-13 Cathy wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    Does anyone have any suggestions on storage options for larger stamp sheets? I use the lighthouse stock sheets to put into 3 ring binders, but have some souvenir sheets that will not fit into the 1S pocket.

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  • 2014-10-13 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Graham... That is fabulous piece of information. I suppose you don't keep record for used specimen values as well? But based on those figures, a MH Reich collection without the 'truly expensive stamps' could be had for $500-1000 (or lower if buying bulk/collections to start with) I'd say. Not bad for a project of a lifetime.

    I also find Michel prices to fanciful even compared to other catalogues

    Isn't it always the same with all 'homecountry' catalogs?

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  • 2014-10-13 Graham Leonard wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    I went ahead and added values from the 2007/2008 Michel Deutschland to my spreadsheet: 33,420 Euros for total MH.

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  • 2014-10-13 Graham Leonard wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    Interesting question and one I was able to use the spreadsheet I made for my collection to answer. These values are from 2008 Scott. Michel might be better for completeness sake, though at this level Scott is only missing a handful of sets such as the Danzig and Bavaria overprints (I also find Michel prices to fanciful even compared to other catalogues).Anyway, Scott gives a total value of $26,185 for the 1,026 Deutsche Reich stamps it gives separate numbers to (MH). That drops to $6000 if you ignore individual stamps with a value of over $100 (of which there are only 37).

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  • 2014-10-11 Keijo wrote on Greek tragedy in perf thirteen and one quarter
    On StampBoards AllansWood had a nicea idea that the difference might be because of paper shrinkage/extension when wet during soaking/drying. If so, then the stamp / design dimensions would be different.

    Sadly this doesn't explain these differences, as the design sizes for all stamps are more or less identical:

    Excel with dimensions

    Even on worst scenario, the difference of (less than) one tenth of a millimeter is way too small to explain the difference. If the difference was about 0.8-1mm, then this would have been a totally different story.

    So these are still an unexplained mystery....

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-10 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about SCB newsletter
    @Everyone... Stamp Collecting Blog bulletin #18/2014 has now been mailed to (6,500+) subscribers. Please check your inbox if you are a subscriber.

    What makes this edition of newsletter a bit more special (and worthy of this separate note) is the fact that I'm 'pruning' (removing inactive and non-engaged subscribers from) the recipients list.

    The bulletin editorial contains simple instructions that EACH subscriber MUST follow IF they want to continue receiving the email bulletin also in the future.

    I acknowledge that not everyone reads the newsletter the same day, or the next one (or maybe not even every edition), which is why I'm keeping the option to reconfirm opt-in subscription available for the next 3 to 4 weeks (at least till end of October 2014). So there is no rush to make a decision one way or another.

    I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
    -k-

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  • 2014-10-09 Andrew wrote on eBay gets official patents approval for online auctions
    Fortunately, sometimes the European courts can look at things a a bit differently from the American ones. When MacDonald's, the burger people, tried to stop a local person from using their own name of MacDonald in Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland, the court told them to go away. In Fort William, the name MacDonald listed in the phone book come to more than 1 percent of the population, and on the Island of Skye, in one town it come to 2 percent of the entire island population. Hopefully if it came to it, the same judge would tell e-bay to get lost.

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  • 2014-10-09 Keijo wrote on Greek tragedy in perf thirteen and one quarter
    @Ryan.... Thanks for the info.

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  • 2014-10-09 Ryan wrote on Greek tragedy in perf thirteen and one quarter
    No mention of these perforation varieties in either my 2009 SG Balkans or in my 2010 Vlastos ...

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  • 2014-10-09 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    @Allan... That's a wise decision (IMHO) :)
    PS. I recall that SG Stamps of The World does not list the differences, but they should be listed in SG Pt. 17 / China catalogue

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  • 2014-10-08 Allan Ward wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Hi Keijo,

    many thanks for your reply - I understand a bit more now! I think I'll regard the reprints as cto's and carry on collecting them - I'm not going down that dark alley/arguement of 'When is a stamp a real stamp'!! I'll have a look through my Stanley Gibbons catalogues, but I don't remember seeing any references to reprints last time I looked - I'll look harder this time. Many thanks again, and good wishes to you and your family in this difficult time for you.

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  • 2014-10-08 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @James... It really depends on the condition of the stamps, but even on best/worst scenario (depending on how you look at it) A LOT.

    If you weed out the most expensive issues (some classic issues, Zeppelins, Polarfahrt, Wellfare-issues, IPOSTA) and focus on building a 'simplifed' collection (just face different items; no watermark, perforation etc. differences), then a 98% completion should be possible for somewhat moderate cost.

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  • 2014-10-08 James Lyons wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    How much would a complete set of Deutsche Reich stamps cost?

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  • 2014-10-07 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    @Mathew... It really depends what you're after. Mint or used? Old vs. recent issues? All of Europe, or just specific countries?

    But all in all it's not much different from collecting US stamps.

    If you're after recent mint stamps (from past five years or so), then your best bet is to head to websites of various postal administrations, and buy the new issues straight from 'new issue/philatelic sales' services. That way you can buy them at face value delivered straight to your mailbox (for small delivery fee).

    But for anything else I would simply head to local stamp dealer(s) and ask for either a) stamp packets of that specific country or area, or b) large collections or accumulations of a specific country.

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  • 2014-10-06 Matthew A. Flynn wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    How do you suggest getting started collecting European stamps if you are an American? Will European postal services send you stamps overseas if you so inquire? What would you suggest as a cost effective method of starting a collection of this sort?

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  • 2014-10-06 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @Everyone... A update on the topic... I've made the decision to keep the exchange closed for the rest of year. My apologies to all who looked forward to another busy exchange season but this is simply one of those occasions where life simply happens.

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  • 2014-10-04 Keijo wrote on Feedback for the blog
    @Elaine... Thanks :)

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  • 2014-10-04 Elaine Griffin wrote on Feedback for the blog
    Easy site to get to, I like that. Love old stamps

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  • 2014-10-03 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Hi Allan,

    In short, Chinese (PRC) government made official reprints of most stamps released in 1949/52. These were done to satisfy collector demand (as well as to provide western currency)... The reprints have got very minor differences (some call them hidden marks/characteristics) that identify them from the genuine/original prints - for example additional line in the design; or an extra button/star somewhere. These are well documented in all (at least on most) stamp catalogues; for example Michel provides visual guides for most of the reprints.

    The reprints are fully collectible, but the difference in catalog value between the first/original print vs second/reprint is usually quite staggering.

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  • 2014-10-03 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?
    Hi Mukesh,

    please see the yellow box on bottom of the article for instructions on how to obtain your copy of the template.

    -k-

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  • 2014-10-03 Allan Ward wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Hi Keijo,

    just read your blog on Chinese stamps and it was very interesting. You mention 'reprints'. Can you explain further what these are, and how do you recognise them? i fear that a lot of Chinese stamps in collectors' hands (and mine), are these 'reprints'.

    Many thanks,

    Allan

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  • 2014-10-02 Mukesh wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck?

    Keijo wrote :

    Hi Bob,


    I just sent you email with template and instructions. Hope you find it useful.



    Hello Keijo, Can you please send me the template and instructions. I have been collecting Indias Stamps and want to catalogue.

    Thanks,

    Mukesh

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  • 2014-10-01 Keijo wrote on Good buy vs. bad buy
    @Seth...
    What do you think about the merits on vs. off-paper bulk as I have set out, does that chime with any of your experience?


    I'd say It can swing either way depending on the lot at hand.

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  • 2014-10-01 seth wrote on Good buy vs. bad buy
    What do you think about the merits on vs. off-paper bulk as I have set out, does that chime with any of your experience?

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  • 2014-10-01 Keijo wrote on Good buy vs. bad buy
    @Seth...

    The perfect buy might be a box of 19th/early 20th century kiloware, but where would one find that at the right price?!


    A lot of patience and a bit of good luck, and then maybe... All I know is that You usually bump in to good buys when least expecting, LOL.

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  • 2014-10-01 seth wrote on Good buy vs. bad buy
    As an archaeologist by profession, we often try to understand artefact assemblages in terms of 'site formation processes'. I think there are certain parallels with stamp accumulations and as I build up more experience of buying material, it is something I find I am putting my mind to increasingly. Malcolm's advice of varying the source certainly makes a lot of sense.There are a couple of (probably fairly obvious) things that have occurred to me recently. I was wondering at one point why there are so many multi-era, off paper, often previously mounted, worldwide accumulations available and why they so rarely produce anything of any significant quality. I guess the answer is that a lot of these have been formed when 20th century collections in stock books and albums were broken up with anything 'high quality' being creamed off for individual sale.

    Over the past years it is these large off-paper accumulations I have been mostly buying, generally by the kilo. They have served me well up to now and allowed me to rapidly grow my worldwide collection with new additions generally costing around £0.01 to £0.02 per piece. The biggest drawbacks that I am finding is that the damage rate tends to be high, they often contain a lot of CTO material (which I retain but don't particularly enjoy), there is an unceasing amount of repetition as my collection grows, and as stated above, the incidence of real gems is low.

    The question then, as posed by Keijo, is how to better focus ones buying. I feel like I am starting to do this by acquiring more single country lots. Another obvious thing that only just occurred to me is that there are certain significant advantaged to on-paper kiloware. I just bought 4KG worth for a reasonable price and I can see already I am going to get a lot of milage from this material. The advantages are: they are postally used; there is a higher incidence of joining blocks, items with interesting selvedge panels, airmail labels, charity stamps, etc; I am in control of the soaking a removal process and therefore to some extent the quality; and there are plenty or recent items that are less well represented in my collection. The biggest drawbacks include: the added time required for processing; the frustration of modern self-adhesives; and the fact that chances of coming across older material seem much diminished. I guess in the end there is a certain amount of swings and roundabouts to all this. The perfect buy might be a box of 19th/early 20th century kiloware, but where would one find that at the right price?!

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  • 2014-09-30 Keijo wrote on My stamp collection
    @Via.... Well, thank You :)

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  • 2014-09-29 Via wrote on My stamp collection
    Wow, your collection is really impressive! :0

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  • 2014-09-27 Keijo wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... )
    @Seth... Unfortunately I don't have a magic trick here. I do mostly educated guesswork combined to knowledge gained through trial & error , and hope that I'm lucky.

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  • 2014-09-27 seth wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... )
    Lots of discussion here on various chemical options. I think the initial point you make about being suspicious of these is the most persuasive. I have another question though: at the moment I am finding it difficult to come up with any systematic way too determine whether a stamp is unsoakable. From my experience there are lots of different degrees of unsoakability! A lot of self adhesive stamps do actually come away from their backing if one soaks them in very hot water for quite a long time. The results though are variable. Some peal away nicely, some come away with some of the glue adhering (and this needs to be carefully pealed away), some can be detached but minus their backing layer, so they end up thin and effectively damaged and some are completely resistant. When looking at a pile of stamps it often seems difficult to predict how they might behave until one has a go, but this means the loss of some items along the way.

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  • 2014-09-24 Keijo wrote on Annotation techniques for stamp stock books
    @Gerben... Apologize not for your lengthy comment. It was a fascinating read, and I'm sure it will inspire others to try out some new tricks ;)

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  • 2014-09-24 Keijo wrote on History and culture of Central American nations on stamps pt 3 – Panama and Canal Zone
    @ikeyPikey... But they look very much alike, LOL.

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  • 2014-09-24 Keijo wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    @ikeyPikey...


    Keijo: for a blogger, you have deeply disturbing, counter-revolutionary analog tendencies.


    LOL.... Trust me, I'm not alone. Quite many 'aging tech evangelists' (like yours truly) have the same 'disorder'. With age comes wisdom, I hope...

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  • 2014-09-24 Keijo wrote on Denmark perfins
    Thanks Jan. Based on quick browse that looks amazing resource.

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  • 2014-09-24 Gerben van Gelder wrote on Annotation techniques for stamp stock books
    Hi Keijo

    Great to come across a site where stampcollecting is dealt with in such a practical, down to earth way.

    I thougt I'd share some of my practices in keeping a worldwide stamp collection in order with you and your readers. Like you I have a worldwide collection. Only my goal is to have ''a number'' of stamps from every stamp issuing entity rather than to collect as many stamps as possible. Anyway this has resulted in a collection of some 25.000 stamps in some 50 albums.

    I mark the albums on the spine using dry rub lettering like Letraset, identifying albums by continent and country or range of countries. I abbreviate the names using only the first three lettres which is generally enough to know what is in an album. Changing the lettering is easy: rub off most of it with your fingernail, then remove the last bit with sticker remover, which is available in drugstores.

    In the albums I have three kind of labels. I use black albums - yes I have experienced the glue of the rows dissolving, but they make the stamps stand out just so nice. Because I use black albums I make black labels with white lettering. I do this in Powerpoint. Takes some ink of course, but looks smart.

    The first type of label is to identify the stamp issuing entity. I use a list that I guess is similar to the list you have set up distinguishing between Bulgaria as a principality, a kingdom, a peoples republic, etc. The text on these labels will typically look like ''Albania, Kingdom 1928-1939'' or ''Germany, Occupied territories WWII, Kurland, 1945''.

    The second type of label is to identify the currency used (or currencies used) in a country. Not relevant for everybody, but relevant for me. This label will typically look like ''Euro, Eurocent, 2001-present''.

    The third type of label identifies single stamps or sets of stamps. Some would use catalogue numbers, I prefer the year or periode of issue. Complete sets of stamps I identify with brackets: ''{}''. On these labels I also indicate varieties where applicable, using the Michel annotation for varieties. And finally on these labels I have an identification of the value of a stamp or set of stamps.

    To indicate the value of stamps I do not use the catalogue value. This will change over time and anyway the value will depend on the quality of the stamp, the way you buy/sell it, etc. I use four buckets to indicate the relative value: stamps under €10, stamps between €10 and €50, between €50 and €100 and stamps over €100. On the labels I indicate the value as follows: no indication for stamps under €10; for the other three value buckets I use one, two or three euro signs respectively. So a stamp of over €100 will be identified as ''€€€''. The same goes for the value of complete sets. (If I have part of a set and in that part are stamps in several value buckets I add the relevant numbers behind the euro signs, for example: ''€2, €€1'' will mean ''two stamps between €10 and €50 and one stamp between €50 and €100''.)In my experience the higher values thus stand out perfectly in the albums.

    So labels identifying stamps may look like: ''1899-1907, €2, €€1, A''. Or: ''1967, {}€''. You may think these labels become rather large but they are quite small, about 0,5 by 2 centimeters.

    Like you I have an inventory in Excel. From this inventory I have made a summary per country, per album, per continent and for the entire collection. In the colums of this summary are the total number of stamps, the total catalogue value, the number of stamps per value bucket and the number of complete sets. This summary in print is about 10 pages long, giving a good insight in where the value in the collection is. And of course the valuable stamps in the inventory can be found easily in the albums thanks to the labels with value indication.

    Sorry this has become a somewhat long response. I hope you or someone else may find it useful, like I have found several of the posts in your blog useful and inspiring.

    Regards

    Gerben

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  • 2014-09-24 Graham Leonard wrote on Japan - Animal, plant and national treasure definitive series
    Yep. Interestingly it brings up the question - how did the postal authorities see the series (because in the end that is the most 'correct' way to classify them, no matter what the publishers say)?

    Indeed. The issue there is that often the postal authorities care less about these kinds of things than we collectors do. Imagine how many bored philatelists there would be if the post offices actually documented everything they did :)

    In a strange coincidence, I was going through a shoe box crammed full of Japanese FDC's that I had been given this afternoon when I discovered that it included FDC'S for all the definitives issued between 1956 and 1969. There were official FDC's issued by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and each included a card inside with information about the stamp. None of those make any reference to any series or even comments when the word "Nippon" begins appearing on them. It's always just "this is the new definitive stamp...". Interestingly, a private FDC for the 1966 90 yen stamp refers to it as being part of the "romaji series", so I guess that's the division private collectors were making at the time.

    Things don't change much. If you go Japan Post's website you can see a list of all the current Japanese definitives at http://www.post.japanpost.jp/kitte_hagaki/stamp/standard/. Catalogues would probably divide those up into three series or more, but to the post office they're all just definitives.

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  • 2014-09-24 Michael Storch wrote on eBay gets official patents approval for online auctions
    Keijo, Greetings:You write: 'I can’t even understand how something as “common as this” can even be granted a patent.'



    The relevant tests, under US law, are that an invention must show 'inventive step' and be 'non-obvious'. Clearly, eBay passes the'inventive step' test; but,'non-obvious'?

    I do *not* know how the courts apply the'non-obvious' test. My guess is that it should be'non-obvious at the moment of invention'. Today, as we have come to expect *every* human activity to end-up on the internet, it is hard to capture the moment at which any of the things that ended-up on the internet were 'non-obvious'.

    My first thought, when reading about software patents, is that the 'inventive step' was always inevitable; if so, how can it also be 'non-obvious'? Slippery stuff.

    Cheers,

    /s/ ikeyPikey

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  • 2014-09-24 Michael Storch wrote on History and culture of Central American nations on stamps pt 3 – Panama and Canal Zone
  • 2014-09-24 Michael Storch wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    Keijo: for a blogger, you have deeply disturbing, counter-revolutionary analog tendencies.I don't like the rising tide, either, my friend, but the two of us are getting wet.

    The nicest thing about *any* of the collectibles is that they are tangible; in fact, some day, they will be *called* tangibles, because that will be the most important thing about them.



    On a first date, while beaming each others' digital profiles into each others' digital devices, one of the socially-acceptable opening questions will be: "So, what are your tangibles?"

    Everything about stamp collecting that can go digital will probably go digital, including the wills that leave our tangibles to people who could not care less ;)

    Cheers,

    /s/ ikeyPikey

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  • 2014-09-23 Jan Krolak wrote on Denmark perfins
    Hej Keijo,Nyt opslagsværk om perfins "Danske perfiner" For den seriøse samler" på min hjemmeside www.perfiner.dk.

    De bedste hilsner

    JanKrolak

    [Translated by K:


    Hi Keijo, New Encyclopedia of perfins "Danish perfiner" For the serious collector "on my website www.perfiner.dk.

    All the best!

    JanKrolak

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  • 2014-09-23 Keijo wrote on Japan - Animal, plant and national treasure definitive series
    @Graham...

    I think that this lack of uniformity is shown by the fact that the two major Japanese catalog publishers handle these definitives in very different ways.


    Yep. Interestingly it brings up the question - how did the postal authorities see the series (because in the end that is the most 'correct' way to classify them, no matter what the publishers say)?


    Oh, and as for differentiating between 250 and 260 LPI versions, the JSCA explains that you should take a 10x magnifying glass and count the number of lines in 1 mm. If it’s 250 LPI there will be 7 lines and if it’s 260 LPI, there’ll be 7.3 lines. See? Easy


    LOL. :lol:

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  • 2014-09-23 Graham Leonard wrote on Japan - Animal, plant and national treasure definitive series
    I'm not a big fan of this series. Some of the stamps look nice as individuals, but I kind of like definitives series to have a clear, consistent aesthetic, and this one is all over the place. I cringed when they recently reintroduced them because they had finally had a unified series with the Heisei stamps.

    I think that this lack of uniformity is shown by the fact that the two major Japanese catalog publishers handle these definitives in very different ways. Both divide pre and post 1966 stamps into different series, but that's where the similiarities end. Sakura/JSCA call them the "Animal, Plant, and National Treasure" and "New Animal, Plant, and National Treasure" series, while JSDA divides the post-1966 stamps into the "Nippon" series (1967-1976) and Flora & Art (1980-1989) series. Both are subdivided into a number of groups, of course.

    At the moment my Japanese stamps are in Scott order which spreads these stamps all over the place and I haven't decided quite how to handle them, other than adopting the Japanese catalogs' practice of separating definitive and commemorative stamps.

    Oh, and as for differentiating between 250 and 260 LPI versions, the JSCA explains that you should take a 10x magnifying glass and count the number of lines in 1 mm. If it's 250 LPI there will be 7 lines and if it's 260 LPI, there'll be 7.3 lines. See? Easy! ;)

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  • 2014-09-22 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Hi Jill,

    and thanks for sharing some memories.

    They’re all in Taiwanese stamp collecting albumns and have survied many moves in very good shape.


    Lucky you. Many of the (early) Taiwanese / Chinese stamp albums are notorious for *killing* stamps over the years / decades (as the pages were heavily acid). That said, I still do have very fond memories of my first stamp album (which was 'el cheapo' Chinesese Flying Eagle stock book).

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  • 2014-09-22 J. Willett wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Hi,
    I collected stamps from 1959 to 1961 when my family lived in Taipei Taiwan. Some are used & many were my choices. Sometimes, I'd buy a mix of stamps. They're all in Taiwanese stamp collecting albumns and have survied many moves in very good shape. I could recognize some of the images you showed. Some of my collection are Chinese; a few of Russian subways and few from a variety of countries. I've not looked at them for a while, but they are a treasure.I remember stamps commemorating Eisenhower's visit toTaipei.If you are interested in what I have, be in touch.

    Note; in Taipei, Mandarin and Cantonese were spoken and assume written, too.

    Thank you, Jill Willett

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  • 2014-09-21 Keijo wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    @Philip... Yep. It's a double-edged sword. You get some, you lose some. In theory everything (even the most SciFi-like features) is possible to implement, but...

    ... cheap .... inexpensive...


    These two make it a lot less attractive for developers :lol:

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  • 2014-09-21 Philip Reynolds wrote on Automated stamp recognition
    To make everything automated with no 'need' to research and discover about the design, postal history use, etc, and so forth and so on, about stamps would make our hobby rather sterile.But, on the other hand, though I only basically collect one nation (Japan and Japan in China) and thus should have a good working knowledge of a limited area (unlike world-wide collectors), I would value a cheap machine that could sort out, eg, some of the different issues of the pre-war 20th C definitives. I like to be accurate about whether a stamp is, eg, from the first, second or third issue, with slight differences - and an aid to sorting perforations, colour shades, watermarks, etc, all in one go, would be helpful, best wishes, Philip



    And if someone has an inexpensive but sophisticated machine that could read and translate Japanese postmarks (and also 19th C & 20th C Japanese handwriting) into English then that would also go down very well !

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  • 2014-09-21 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamp albums, stock books and other storage methods
    @Graham... They're all in the same stock book, as I can't see any extra benefit from using separate stock pages. I know some worry about them falling over, but that's not an issue if any care is put into how books are filled and handled.

    Stamp stockbook page with m/s

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  • 2014-09-21 Graham Leonard wrote on Q&A: stamp albums, stock books and other storage methods
    I've read your blog posts about how you arrange your collection, but I was curious about what you do with your large items (blocks of stamps, souvenir sheets, etc.). Do you put them in stock sheets or do you put them in the same stockbooks as the rest of your stamps?

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  • 2014-09-20 Mohammed Rasheed.M.V. wrote on Interview with Rainbow Stamp Club's Jeevan Jyoti
    Sir

    Rainbow stamp news is more helpful for all philatelist not only in India but also entire world.

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  • 2014-09-19 Keijo wrote on Montenegro 1896 Cetanje monestry forgery by Fournier
    @Doug... My pleasure. I just wish more (and more) collectors would share their knowledge & finds....
    -keijo-

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  • 2014-09-19 Doug wrote on Montenegro 1896 Cetanje monestry forgery by Fournier
    The ability to spot and share them is particularly useful and of great benefit to the philatelic community.
    Thanks for posting!
    -Doug

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  • 2014-09-18 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    @Teri... Could you please upload a photo/image of the stamp somewhere on the web (for example Photobucket or Flickr both allow free image uploads)? It would help a lot....

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  • 2014-09-18 teri macy wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    I have been looking for the value of the MINT stamp, 50 Centavos, Canal Zone, Colombia, overprinted Panama (reading up and reading down),2 Cts. I see many with 8 Cts overprint.

    Can anyone help?

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  • 2014-09-17 Keijo wrote on Premium membership information
    @Philip... Thanks for the support :)

    ... but am not sure if this has been credited to my ORIGINAL account for the blog, but maybe that doe not matter?


    The system automatically creates you another (new) account for the new period.

    But by now you should have already received the new login credentials to your email (if not, then just drop me a message, and I'll forward you a copy).

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  • 2014-09-17 Philip Reynolds wrote on Premium membership information
    Hi Keijo,
    I have just paid for a further years subscription(due today 17/09/2014), but am not sure if this has been credited to my ORIGINAL account for the blog, but maybe that doe not matter?
    best wishes, thank you, Philip

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  • 2014-09-17 Keijo wrote on Montenegro 1896 Cetanje monestry forgery by Fournier
    @Luis... Thanks :)

    @Jim...
    You are “luckier” than me, as I seem to have no forgeries in my collection.


    Not sure if everyone would consider forgeries 'desirable', but for me they add a bit of spice in the mix.

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  • 2014-09-17 jim jackson wrote on Montenegro 1896 Cetanje monestry forgery by Fournier
    Keijo- Nice demonstration and exposition of the Forgery vs the Genuine for the 1896 Cetinje Monastery issue.You are "luckier" than me, as I seem to have no forgeries in my collection. ;-)

    I agree the "1896" sign is particularly easy to spot.

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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, 2009-2014. 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. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy