Latest user responses

  • 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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  • 2014-09-16 Luis E. Laprovitera wrote on Montenegro 1896 Cetanje monestry forgery by Fournier
    Beautiful report, will go and check mine, I think have some, and, yes, I have been in a meeting last week and talked about Fournier and that he never went to prison. Keep going. My best regards Luis

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  • 2014-09-16 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Spain & Spanish colonies
    @Jim... Michel and Edifil state that the first printing (of 1901) is without prefix letter, and later printings (from 1903 onwards) are with prefix letters. So I would guess it's just part of running number (though I could be wrong too)... Hopefully some Spanish readers / collectors will educate us.

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  • 2014-09-15 Jim Hall wrote on Q&A: stamps of Spain & Spanish colonies
    Stamps from Spain during the 1910-20 time frame had back stamped a set of numbers and on letter in blue, red, or black to help getting copied or re-produced. My only question does the letter before the numbers mean anything, like area post office, county, or area they came from? I have over 20 such back stamped stamps from Spain, and a curious mind wants to know.

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  • 2014-09-14 Keijo wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    @Joanne... Nice to meet! I've been checking ISWSC website (and FB-page) every now and then for news and other tidbits. Alyn seems to have done a number of small, but important changes as your new webmaster. I just wish you could bring up a backlog of The Circuit freely available to everyone interested of worldwide stamp collecting (I've been fortunate to have received random copies of it / interesting articles from my friends).

    Re, the online stamp trading sites... I agree that they're a 'gray area' even at best, and collectors should beware when doing any business with them.... I was discussing this topic, and available alternatives recently with another collector, and he brought a discern that there are really very few viable alternatives to (new) collectors seeking out exchange channels. The first thing most land are exchange sites similar to StampTraders. Then they found out about the various stamp forums (a bit better choice, but they've got some bad apples too), but many get stuck because of requirements to make 50 'quality' posts or similar. And eventually they'll learn about those few advanced collectors (like me) doing public exchanges. The good news is that it more and more of stamp exchanges (and exchangers) seem to be moving to Facebook and other social media sites (where 'spoofing' your true identity is even more difficult), so that's one additional channel there... But that's pretty much it unless you're a member of stamp society / organization. Considering that stamp collecting is still one of the worlds most popular hobbies, one would expect a whole lot more.

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  • 2014-09-14 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    @Valerie... I think I've been on Czechout webpage sometime before...Anyway, a great resource. Thanks for sharing :)

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  • 2014-09-14 Keijo wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    @Valerie...

    It seems like the more I look at these stamps, the more questions I have and the more questions I answer, the more new ones arise


    That's pretty accurately the same I described in my latest post. The fun of stamp collecting (or philately) is not just about accumulating & identifying stamps, it's also a learning process.

    I’m now working on writing my own book about some of these things. It sounds like a ton of work and it is but I’ve never enjoyed stamp collecting more!

    I know... In a way I'm going through a similar process with this blog of mine.

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  • 2014-09-14 Joanne Berkowitz wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    I am the current director of the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors. We have been around over 30 years, and you can check our website for more about us (www.iswsc.org). Our club was established because WW collectors were often treated as second class citizens and it was hard for WW collectors to connect with others. We have had a number of members who have had the same problem with the stamptraders website. And we get all sorts of email requests for trades and the like on our website that is dodgy at best. It is just a hazard of the electronic age. I'd suggest establishing a true contact with another trader before sending anything. A postcard could be sent or a brief letter.

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  • 2014-09-14 Valerie wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    Another resource for those interested in Czechoslovakian philately is the Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain, http://www.cpsgb.org.uk/. Their are nearly 40 years of their journal, Czechout,available for free in PDF version online and with a great online index to boot.

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  • 2014-09-14 Valerie wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    I started out as a collector. My main interest was "Cats on Stamps" but I also collected US and WW stamps up to about 1970 (the stamps I remembered as a kid)as well. I'd acquire stamps, identify them, and stick them in an album or arrange them on stock sheets or glassine envelopes. I enjoyed looking at the images and hunting for more that would fill the empty spaces. Life was good.

    Then I was introduced to Czechoslovakian Revenue Stamps. The 1919 issue I was first shown had a lion on it. I needed one for my cat stamp collection. I learned there was more than one value so I got more. I wanted to know how many there were but they aren't listed in Scott. I found there was a Barefoot catalog and got a copy. There were lots of revenue stamps with cats on them! I got more stamps. I started to have some questions. Why did some stamps say "Kolek" and some "Kolok"? Why were different values that otherwise seemed the same labeled "Koruna", "Koruny" or "Korun"? It was even worse with the haleru values with six different spellings! It seems like the more I look at these stamps, the more questions I have and the more questions I answer, the more new ones arise! To get some of the answers I've had to translate one book chapter from German and a catalog from Czech (which I'd never studied). In the process I've learned an amazing amount about Czech history and had to un-learn a lot of things I thought I knew that were wrong. (For example, if you wanted to go from Prague to Vienna, which direction would you travel? I've always visualized Vienna as northwest from Prague. Turns out it is slightly east of south.) I've discovered issues put out by the Czech National League before Czechoslovokia became a country, Scout stamps, Czech Legion stamps, and a variety of Poster Stamps. I've learned about Sokols and slets.I'm now working on writing my own book about some of these things. It sounds like a ton of work and it is but I've never enjoyed stamp collecting more! I guess I've accidentally become a philatelist and life is great!

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  • 2014-09-12 Sue Hardy wrote on Q&A: stamps of Sweden
    Fascinating stuff about the Swedish stamps--thank you.

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  • 2014-09-12 Keijo wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    @Andrew...

    ...little bit of the perforation removed, almost as if a “tooth” of the perf. had been torn. This I have been told, but never verified, is to try and stop forgeries defrauding the postal authorities.

    It should be true. I recall reading an interview of 'security printers' where they introduced some of their 'gimmicks' used on stamps and currency, and this was listed among others. A number of countries (Sweden, Finland, China) have implemented this one way or another.


    It was surprising how much we did detect, but I have no idea what percentage this represented.

    I'm by no means surprised. If even some collectors 'recycle' their uncancelled stamps, then why not regular people.

    Would some one really forge that for the stamp trade? If it is a “genuine forgery” it is probably worth more than the real thing.

    That's the world of stamps ;)

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  • 2014-09-12 Andrew wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    Keijo,Here in the U.K. our first and second class stamps have a little bit of the perforation removed, almost as if a "tooth" of the perf. had been torn. This I have been told, but never verified, is to try and stop forgeries defrauding the postal authorities. Also, there is a section of the stamp treated such that on removal after first use, this still sticks to the envelope. The idea is to try and stop a stamp being reused. Again, defrauding the postal authorities.

    As you say, they pass more easily when in the middle of bulk mail. Admittedly not a usual event, but one night about 80 of us put into boxes, 1.75 million items (million is right) to be sent to the machines to be sorted. It was our job to not only sort into first, second, large and over large, and face them the correct way round for machine reading of the address, but to check for the correct amount of postage applied. It was surprising how much we did detect, but I have no idea what percentage this represented.

    As for trying to defraud collectors, I always thought this was done with high catalogue value items, regardless of face value. Things like forged overprints, rare or unusual cancels.

    Having said that, the only forgery I think I know about, (could be lots I don't know about in my collection) is a one cent Nova Scotia worth a couple of Canadian dollars, at most. Would some one really forge that for the stamp trade? If it is a "genuine forgery" it is probably worth more than the real thing.

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  • 2014-09-12 Keijo wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    @Steve... Using hands with stamps can contribute to issue, as dirty fingers do transmit moisture, fat and other organic traces that will provide a feast for fungi/bacteria to grow. But hands alone are not the cause; it's a combination of proper conditions (temperature, moisture, nourishment)

    Even when using tweezers, I do recommend washing hands (with soap) before starting a stamping session. Or if wanting to be extra careful, then a pair of cotton gloves would be even better. It's not just about stamps, but also what will transmit to album / stock book pages over all those years.

    -k-

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  • 2014-09-12 Steve wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    Hi guys,

    Nothing said here about always using stamp tweezers........

    I thought foxing was a result of the stamp being handled by bare hands - Worse if the hands in question are a bit damp..

    Cheers

    Steve.

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  • 2014-09-11 keijo wrote on Misc updates, notices etc.
    @Everyone... I apologize the slow performance (especially when writing new comments) that SCB has been suffering in past few weeks. I've done some maintenance with the system and hope it will remedy the situation at least temporarily.

    But... I fear this is the beginning of an end for the current system (which has very faithfully served SCB for past six years). If so, then SCB needs to find a new home. I've known this day would come sooner or later, but I've always hoped the latter. Sigh... Got to do some major thinking about the future of SCB... Another sigh.. :|


    -k-

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  • 2014-09-10 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @David...


    Hello, Can I send you the stamps now anyway? I know you said that for September you are suspending the stamp exchange, but I am in no hurry.



    Everything necessary is said in "I’ll be keeping the exchange closed for entire September, maybe even further depending on what’s ahead. My apologies for all who looked forward to exchange season, but life happens sometimes."

    The last time I checked my calendar, we're still living early September :lol: So even on the most positive scenario, the exchange will be down for the next twenty-days.I n worst scenario we're talking several months (this is public healthcare we're talking about,so ANYTHING is possible as things move real s-l-o-w-l-y).

    It's nice that some of You are putting stamps aside for future exchanges, but I'd advice not to. Right now family matters come prior to this exchange in my life, and I really don't know when I'll be able to resume my exchanges. It might be few weeks, but it might be several months as well.

    (Oh, and the PDF-file you asked... It's down too... I simply don't want people to send any swaps right now. Should be pretty simple and easy to understand... If any such mail would arrive, please be aware that I will treat them as any piece of unwanted mail with no returns :evil: )

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  • 2014-09-10 Keijo wrote on US First Man on the Moon stamp
    @Aaron... The signatures don't add any philatelic value; more the opposite. In philatelic sense,the sheet is ruined by those autographs. Fortunately, the sheet itself is/was pretty much 'zero-value' item to start with, and without a doubt the signatures add value to it. It's a somewhat unique curiosity piece, and as such it will appear to some topical collectors. But any value you have in there is for those autographs alone, not for the stamps. So I'm pretty bad person to say anything specific for the value, as autographs are not my thing. So I'll say whatever somebody's willing to pay...

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  • 2014-09-10 David Abbott wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hello, Can I send you the stamps now anyway? I know you said that for September you are suspending the stamp exchange, but I am in no hurry. I tried to download the pdf file but couldn't, maybe you stopped the downloading of the file during this "down" period? In any case just your address would be enough. What do you advise me to do? David

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  • 2014-09-09 Aaron wrote on US First Man on the Moon stamp
    I'm curious as to an approximate value of the full sheet I have of these stamps which has the signatures of astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins in the mostly blank column to the left side of the sheet. I inherited this, along with a similarly fully-autographed full sheet of Apollo 15 stamps, from my stepdadfor whom the crews personally auographed the stamp sheets. He was a photojournalist that covered NASA activities in Houston from the 60's through the mid-80's whenever there was a space shot.

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  • 2014-09-09 Keijo wrote on Australian Fine Art stamp series high values - color variation and specimen overprint
    @Sue.... Thanks :)

    Re, the 'lower' value specimen stamps... I believe they were issued entirely to milk more money from collectors. There's a very specific collectibles market (with limited number of collectors) for specimen copies. Once the markets were full of specific ($2 and $5) designs, Australian Post started doing 'sequels' starring lower $1/$1.20 values.

    Here's a handy listing of Australian Specimen stamps http://australianstrampcatalogue.com/Specimen-Overprints.php.

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  • 2014-09-09 Sue Hardy wrote on Australian Fine Art stamp series high values - color variation and specimen overprint
    I have 8 copies of the $5 McMahon's Point (Scott #577) with the red SPECIMEN overprint that I soaked off a package from Status International (Sydney, Australia). They were all cancelled which doesn't appear to be uncommon. However, I also have a pair of the 1991 Water Birds $1 (Scott #1206) overprinted SPECIMEN postally used and the $1.20 World War II Ships (Scott #1318) overprinted SPECIMEN postally used. If SPECIMEN overprints are so collectors can get expensive stamps cheaper, why overprint such low values?

    Does anyone have any further information about Australian SPECIMEN overprints?

    Keijo, I really enjoy your comments about other aspects of stamp collecting, too. Thank you.

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  • 2014-09-05 Keijo wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    @Fred... Very nice stamps; shame about the bit ratty condition.... I fear those stains are there to stay; they've clearly 'eaten' their way through the fibers on some parts.... I'd just leave this as entire, as there's clearly more value as postal history/cover item than as single 'damaged blocks'.

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  • 2014-09-05 Fred Meyer wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    Great discussion, thanks.I wonder what people think about these stamps. I think the envelope is a loss but would like to soak off the stamps if I could remove the browning.

    Thanks for any advice.

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  • 2014-09-04 Keijo wrote on Premium membership information
    @Lee... I humbly thank You for the support.

    Every buck helps in keeping the knowledge freely accessible for everyone interested (which is a really BIG crowd compared to supporters... Last month the blog had over 16,000 unique readers from 152 countries/4300 cities around the globe... Talk about truly worldwide bunch enjoying everything that the blog provides ;)

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  • 2014-09-04 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    @Lee... Happy to be share what I've learned :)

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  • 2014-09-04 Lee wrote on Premium membership information
    Hi Keijo - Just signed up, as I can't in good conscience continue to 'mine' your amazing blog for information (information that, frankly, is transforming my entire approach to the hobby) without giving back. I know you refer to yourself as 'just a humble collector' but, really, you're providing great value, from an amazing storehouse of knowledge, from which the entire hobby can benefit. Thanks!

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  • 2014-09-04 Lee wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    Wow, thanks Keijo, these are great links! Reading through some of the info on various engravers, I can start to see how they knew each other, worked together, and were taught by those before them. A real 'school' of Czech postal design to be explored there! Reading back through your post on sorting the Masaryk series (diagonal lines, thick lines, long mustaches, short mustaches!) I'm amazed by your depth of knowledge but, at least with Czech and Slovak postage, I find myself wanting to know more, just to continue the exploration of that unique, and beautiful,design aesthetic. Much appreciate the information!

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  • 2014-09-04 Keijo wrote on Japanese hometown (Furusato / prefecture) stamps
    @Graham... Thanks for the additional information.

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  • 2014-09-04 Graham Leonard wrote on Japanese hometown (Furusato / prefecture) stamps
    Although these were in theory only available in the region featured on them and in Tokyo, in practice they could be bought at the central post office in any large city. Japan Post abandoned this policy in late 2007, however, and every furusato stamp issued from 2008 on has been available at all post offices in the country. This change coincided with the end of the distinctive furusato inscription.

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  • 2014-09-03 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    @Lee... Happy to hear you've found the 'joy of Czechoslovakia'. It's also one of my favorite countries to play with :)

    Here's few of resources that should get you happily started:

    http://www.csphilately.net/publications/publications-for-free/

    http://www.phstamps.com/

    http://www.knihtisk.org/

    Very likely you'll spend at least rest of the year reading these. There's tons of information on these three sites.... Additionally, Adrians Stamp Engravers blog has plenty of good information about various engravers.

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  • 2014-09-03 Lee wrote on Q&A: stamps of Czech, Slovakia & Czechoslovakia
    Hi Keijo,

    Working through a sampling of Czech material right now and, with your blog in mind, I thought to ask whether you or any of the various posters here might have some idea where online to find more info regarding the history of Czech stamp design? Other than the fact that Alphonse Mucha designed the original Hradcany Castle series, I haven't really been able to come up with much. Czech stamps, (perhapsit goes without saying) have such a distinctive, and beautiful, design aesthetic, andwere so consistentlywell done(IMHO) throughout the history of Czechoslovakia and on in to the stamps of both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, that I have to think thereis some specific reason for that. The consistency of design over the 20th century, the lack of 'over-the-top' mid-century designsso common in Eastern Europe,(especially the lack of 'jam jar labels'!) is remarkable, particularly for a Soviet-bloc country. What's the story with Czechoslovakia and its successor states? Was there some brilliant Czech stamp designer (other than Mucha) whose basic approach has simply been carried forward until this very day?It's nearly enough to make me a Czech specialist....



    Thanks,

    Lee

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  • 2014-09-03 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Sweden
    Hi Duncan,

    Here's the Michel-roadmap for these stamps:

    A = coil stamp (top/bottom imperf)
    B = sheet stamp (all sides perforated)

    W = unwatermarked
    X = watermark with lines only
    Y = watermark with lines and portions of letters
    Z = watermark with letters only

    So 129BW would be unwatermarked sheet stamp....

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  • 2014-09-03 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of France & colonies
    @Malcolm... The risks exist in every way. Even specialized societies can have their 'bad apples' that twist the truth to their liking....

    All I'm saying that the process should be made much more 'open' and transparent. Catalog publishers could easily set up so called OTRS/issue tracking-systems on their websites, and allow us common collectors to contribute our knowledge & observations. Of course the moderation would generate some extra labor, costs etc.. But the difference would be an even more outstanding catalog.

    But maybe we'll see systems like above evolve when the last of print catalogs are done, and it's all digital eBooks & databases. My bet is on year 2025; only time will tell how accurate I was...

    -k-

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  • 2014-09-03 Duncan Teague wrote on Q&A: stamps of Sweden
    Dear Keijo,Can you help me with a question regarding a Michel Catalog number? I am trying to parse a Michel Catalog number and reconcile it with the catalogs I use: Scott and Facit. The stamp in question is a Sweden blue 20 øre definitive with perfs on all four sides. The Michel Catalog number is 129BW.Does the "B" in Michel refer to the fact that the stamp is perforated on all four sides? Does the "W" refer to the fact that the stamp has a wavy line watermark?

    Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

    Best regards,

    Duncan

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  • 2014-09-03 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of France & colonies
    Yes Keijo- but how easy would it be for some unscrupulous person to feed false information? A single e-mail out of the blue unsupported by any other evidence lacks credibility which is why I suggested that blogs and specialist web sites are the way to go. I do know that SG have contacts with specialist societies who feed them with information, and no doubt so do the other major catalogues. The problem is that more information is forthcoming on valuable/scarce stamps than on common stamps.Specialist collectors seem not to want to study common stamps ( with the exception of known "interesting" sets like Machins), and it is often general collectors who stumble upon varieties - and we also suffer from a credibility problem - with specialists let alone catalogue editors ! Gibbons Stamp Monthly used to have a feature on new discoveries - and anything with only a single known copy was treated with suspicion ( and quite right too ).

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of France & colonies
    @malcolm...

    When you think of the thousands of stamps and varieties thereof, you cannot expect all the catalogues to be right all of the time.


    True.... But that's what we collectors want. And as paying customers, that's our right ;)

    OK. In real world we collectors can always suggests amendments to catalog editor, but based on those few times I've done it, it's somewhat one way street. Once you've filed a report of new find (by letter or email), often times you don't hear anything in weeks, months, maybe never. Not really encouraging.... How much different the system could be if we collectors could upload our finds directly into a database where other collectors and publisher staff review the information, and push it onward at the publisher system when finished. It's not rocket science, just basic entry-level information management that every publishing house should be able to do.

    Instead of silly marketing phrases such as '60,000 value changes'; we could have something meaningful such as '60,000 new varieties added' :lol:

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  • 2014-09-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of India and Indian states
    @Malcolm... Excellent :) I had not even thought of making a Google search on post office name. "Parappara Branch Office (Delivery) Trivandrum District, Kerala State."

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  • 2014-09-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Spain & Spanish colonies
    @Malcom... As far as I know, SelloLand closed down earlier this year. I recall reading they had money issues (as does this blog, and just about every stamp related website providing 'free' information & services. These days the online advertising doesn't sadly cover the running costs unless you're insanely popular; which most stamp websites obviously are not).

    That said, there's another excellent Spanish forum around at http://agoradefilatelia.org/.

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  • 2014-09-02 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of Spain & Spanish colonies
    Jaime especially ( but all)

    There is an excellent Spanish website called Selloland, with what appears to be interesting forums - unfortunately I don't read Spanish - although I have in the past asked a couple of basic questions in English and got a reply in English. However I am loath to ask questions in English on a foreign language website - it smacks a bit of bad manners.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of India and Indian states
    Definitive answer -

    Parappara BO postal code 695551 !

    Who's a clever boy then !?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of India and Indian states
    Keijo

    The stamp is SG1275( SG British Commonwealth{ 1992 edition}) issued 21 Nov 1987. I am not an Indian specialised but B O might indicate a post office with savings bank facilities or even a post office located within the head office of a large bank? - or it might just mean Branch Office rather than a main post office? My gut feeling is that it a counter stamp rather than a normal cancellation.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of Hungary
    I think that one of the considerations is that different countries' ideas of "security printing" differ. The more technical-minded countries take security printing further than the classical meaning of forgery-proof or control of supply and storage, and include quality control of shades papers etc ( which does have secondary forgery-proofing, but is more about recognition as the genuine article). Security printing also includes pre-printed tickets,receipts, invoices, and other financial instruments as well as the printing of stamps and banknotes, and there is some cross-fertilisation of ideas and methods. Also different countries are at different stages of technical ability at different times. In the early days countries with less technical infrastructure bought stamps from "better" countries, or perhaps the paper, or perhaps the ink, or the plates for engraved stamps even when they printed their own. You also need to realise that until fairly recently countries were only concerned with security matters to prevent the use of forged stamps- as most stamps were sold for postage, or with tight control of access, storage and supply - now with the huge sales of mint stamps they need to consider the protection of philatelic sales as well -which mean that the control of shades and papers are given somewhat more attention in the past.

    In a previous period of my life I was office manager for the sales office of a bus company. We sold preprinted season tickets and discount all-day tickets. You wouldn't believe the security issues for both the printers who produced the tickets, and the storage, issue and audit at company level - and yes we used proper "security printers".

    Perhaps with some countries the actual technical pecification for the stamps was a bit lax, because potential forgers did not have the ability or equipment to make sophisticated forgeries. Note we are not talking about fogeries made on an individual basis for the defrauding of collectors, which in effect is of no concern to postal authorities.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 malcolm hirst wrote on Q&A: stamps of France & colonies
    I think some of the criticisms of catalogues are just a tad unfair. When you think of the thousands of stamps and varieties thereof, you cannot expect all the catalogues to be right all of the time. Looking at all the blogs, forums and discussion boards, together with specialised societies all over the world producing new and updated information it is not really surprising. There are only a finite number of staff with a finite amount of time to keep up with the flow of new information( as well as keeping track of new issues), and a finite amount of time and money for new typesetting. Just be grateful for the information that the catalogues provide and use these as a starting point for your own research. There is an enormous amount of information out there on the net - all you have to do is learn how to access it ( easier said than done I know ). My approach is to write down all the freely available information and then use google to get more information on every aspect of that issue seperately - and be prepared to use links to go from site to site until you have milked the subject dry - but do make a note of all the sites you visit with a shorthand of what other interesting information might be there to save time in the future. This is also a good way of eliminating the anomalies between catalogues.The problem is you can spend so much time doing this that you don't have time to work on your stamps.

    Just my two pence worth !

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-09-02 Keijo wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    @Jim...

    I am wondering why someone would bother to counterfeit low value stamps? (I say this yet years ago when I had my paper route and collected the weekly fee by going door-to-door, some one gave me an aluminum dime! Sounded odd in my pocket.).....I’d be interested in knowing the why if you have the time or interest.


    It's the same old reason as ever: greed of man.

    If this is a postal forgery (which I believe), then it was made entirely to defraud the postal system. Back in 1980s three rubles was quite a lot of money, about the equivalent of 4-6US$. So in a way forging these stamps, was the same as printing illegit money; except maybe safer. That said, the practice is nothing new nor out of fashion in stamp world. Even in recent years, for example the British Royal Mail, Dutch Post, German Post (and number of others) have reported of cases were the police/officials have raided millions of worth of forged stamps sold to unaware public.

    On the other if this was made to defraud collectors... It would be a lot harder to justify, but considering that a majority of stamp forgeries of the past are of common & low value stamps, then why not. There's always some profit to be made, and as cheap stamps are not usually inspected as closely as valuable items, then they will likely pass far more easier (especially if buried inside bulk of real stamps)...

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  • 2014-09-02 Jim McQuillen wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    Keijo,

    Just finished reading a bunch of your comments on "I inherited this... ." which I did years ago and added some to it. I am in the process of ID'ing, via a Scott 2009 catalog disk I stumbled on to on ebay a while ago, the several 1000's of stamps I now own. (I'm up to South Africa and can see the end of the tunnel, so to speak.) Who knows what I will end up with as far as the value.

    My question has little to do with the value but I am wondering why someone would bother to counterfeit low value stamps? (I say this yet years ago when I had my paper route and collected the weekly fee by going door-to-door, some one gave me an aluminum dime! Sounded odd in my pocket.)

    In trying to ID some of these stamps I have, counterfeit is the only thing I can figure out.

    I'd be interested in knowing the why if you have the time or interest.

    Thanks,

    Jim (Tracy, CA, USA)

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  • 2014-09-01 Keijo wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    @Pawel... As far as I know it's not dangerous.

    The 'foxing rust' is caused by fungi or similar organic matter, and it will spread and grow if nourished by conditions.

    The 'iron rust' on the other hand is nothing more but oxidized iron; an inorganic chemical compound. Very likely it has some ill side-effects to paper/pulp, but as it doesn't spread/spawn by itself, I would not considered it dangerous.

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  • 2014-09-01 Pawel wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    What about actual rust?



    Sometimes stamps are found on covers or documents that were stapled together or were held together by paperclips, which do rust. Rust marks may be found on stamps if the metal was nearby the stamp. Without a doubt, such stamps are not the most appealing, but what I'd like to ask is whether this kind of rust is also dangerous?

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  • 2014-09-01 Keijo wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    @John... Talk about though luck . I've had some bad swap experiences over the years, but loosing all lots sent out... ouch :|

    My approach to 'fixing' the issue is/was starting stamp exchange of my own where I control things and am thus able to minimize the risks. It's not a perfect system, but a working one. And if something blows up, there's only one person to blame - me :lol:

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  • 2014-09-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    @Jaery... Sorry for your loss.

    Re, the stamps... All I can give is the same advice as most. Put in on eBay with lots of good quality (clear) pictures + modest starting price / reserve (say $0.99). That way the markets will decide what is a fair price. If there's anything of interest, it will go up. And if not, well, then you know it wasn't worth much. Before you do that, surf around eBay stamps section for hour or two, and look around for stuff that's similar to yours. Take notes on what's selling and what's not; and at what price.

    All in all you might be looking for some hard time if trying to come up with the money you've once paid for them. The price levels of 1990s (and before) are thing of the past for many stamps (whereas some areas, such as PR China have gone up considerably)...

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  • 2014-09-01 John wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    Hi,I tried different traders sites, amoung them, Stamptraderlist.org, years ago. What a rip-off. I sent 50 packets of 100 different each, to 50 different people and got nothing in return. No returns of my stamps. No traders sending their packets to me..........Nothing. I collect worldwide, and am looking for space fillers. I would have been happy with anything in return. Since then, I have never traded any more stamps. I buy lots on Ebay, sort through them, take out the ones I need. Toss the rest into a huge box. Would love to be able to trade some of these that I don't need for some that I do need. What to do? Huh?

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  • 2014-09-01 Jaery wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    Hi, Keijo, I started to collect stamps since I was very young (around 1990). I collected a lot of pretty looking stamps from worldwide, most of them are used...(Because new ones were too expensive to buy)....I was going to give the collection to my child, but he died years ago, and I lost the ability to get pregnant again....Now those stamps collection became meaningless to me, so I want to sell them...Because I never collected any stamps by their date or value, I assume 90% of my stamps worth little to nothing. But I do want to spend time to sell them for a good price, at least not lower than what I paid for them. Any suggestion How I can do that??

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  • 2014-08-31 Ralph Phillips wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    Maybe one of the reasons for this forgery and also the other lower values of this and other series was the fact that they were "needed" for all the overprints of the various cities, republics, oblastsetc,upon the break up of the USSR in 1991.Millions of stamps were overprinted, and they had to come from somewhere.

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  • 2014-08-30 Noel Davenhill wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    I occasionally come across a mint stamp which is completely free from rust or foxing, except for one or two perforations where it has taken hold. My method is to very gently scrape the spot with a single edged razor blade that can still be readily purchased in packs of three for about $2.00. If this is undertaken with very light strokes the rust can be scraped, or virtually brushed off with absolutely nodamage to the stamp. This also works for the odd very pale foxing spot on the gum,with care it is impossible to detect even the slightest gum disturbance.

    Noel

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    @Ramon...

    Stamp collecting and philately are precisely as expensive as we make them to be. Money can make some things (such as access to catalogs / information) easier, but in the end it's not a necessity in order to collect stamps.

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  • 2014-08-30 Ramon Perez-Gatell wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    Seems I started as a philatelist, learning and enjoying the hobby in my teens. Then became a collector, but the magnitude of the fortune needed to keep up with filling the spaces has made me rethink the whole idea of it, which is what gives me the most pleasure. I may be unpacking my loupe, going back in time, and enjoying it all over again.

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    @David... Thanks :)

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  • 2014-08-30 David Williams wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    What a great way to look at stamps and your collection. I really like the variety of information and observations on stamps and the hobby. I have passed on details of the blog to other members of my stamp clubs who I am sure will enjoy them.

    thank you

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on Spring at last - Finnish spring flowers on postage stamps
    @malcolm...

    sorry you have put me in gardening mode with this blog.


    No apologies needed. Gardening is lots of fun...

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    @Ian... email on it's way.

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  • 2014-08-30 Philip Reynolds wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Shipping costs should be shipping costs - ie, cost of postage & packing materials; possibly rounded up to the nearest dollar, euro or pound sterling. The price of dealing, ie, writing descriptions, etc, should be factored in to the starting price of the actual stamps/covers for sale. If I see what seems a reasonably priced cover or card (that requires no insurance) but with a postage cost equivalent to, eg, $15.00 from, eg, USA to UK - when I have received plenty of similar sized/weighted items at $1 or $2 postage - then I don't bother to bid for that item. Best wishes, Philip

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  • 2014-08-30 malcolm hirst wrote on Austrian emperor Franz Joseph stamps
    Brian

    I wish you luck in the search for postmarks. Note that these stamps were used throughout the Austro-Hungarian empire, which included the whole of or part of Poland,Hungary,Czech Republic,Italy,the countries formerly Yugoslavia,and Rumania among others.Many of these have now languages other than German, and most of the towns have changed their name -some of them more than once, as the political map of central Europe has changed over the last century.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Spring at last - Finnish spring flowers on postage stamps
    Garden pansy is normally identified as Viola x Wittrockiana. Different cultivars offer all- year round flowering ( but probably not in Finland !!) and is easy to grow from seed, but as a hybrid does not breed true from home-collected seed. Second generation plants usually have smaller flowers,as successive home-collected seed sown generations tend to revert.Best to buy nursery reared and collected seed. Officially perennial but quite short-lived- deteriorates quite quickly - although taking cuttings can prolong good appearance, and cuttings strike easily - sorry you have put me in gardening mode with this blog.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Stranger on a strange land
    To add to my previous post there were almost certainly other stamps on the original letter - 5 centimes seems far too cheap for international mail -even in 1961.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Stranger on a strange land
    Interestingly the form of the Buxton postmark appears to be the date slug portion of a slogan/wavy line machine cancellation. I am not sure how common the practice of putting redirected mail through the mechanised mail stream was - I have not seen enough redirected mail to know - but I have not seen it personally before. As you say it is a pity it is not on cover or at least on piece. The stamp would normally be cancelled by the slogan or wavy line(although the cancels are sometimes reversed) so there could have been other stamps on the original envelope right of the one shown. One reason for not soaking everything, Keijo lol ( or at least until you have had a good look ).

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Bogus stamps: Isö, Sweden
    FRED MUGURUZA wrote :
    what about stamps from Nene railways, aaah?



    The Nene Valley Railway stamps purport to be local carriage labels and are the descendants of "genuine" railway stamps. Up to the 1920s, and in some cases later, most railway companies in Great Britain ( and some Bus companies) issued stamps, mainly for the carriage of parcels and newspapers( the post office only having a monopoly for letters),but also in conjunction with Post Office stamps in certain circumstances for letters. The laws governing the use of these stamps for letters still exist. The Nene Valley Railway is one of many railways operated ( to highly professional standards ) by enthusiasts in order to preserve the steam locomotive. In order to help raise funds they issue covers containing these railway stamps to sell in their shops at stations. To be clear they do not provide a commercial postal service, but within the terms of the laws governing the uses of such stamps they are genuine. They are not listed in catalogues, as they do not meet the criteria for such listing ( as in fact the original "genuine" stamps do not). Nevertheless they are widely collected by railway stamp collectors, and without doubt are issued in a good cause.To anyone coming to the UK a visit to one or more of these railways is highly recommended - and failing that visiting a selection of their websites is a good second choice. It is to be emphasized that these people are not just "playing trains" as the railways and their staff have to meet exacting safety standards in respect of signalling and the condition of the rolling stock etc, and run to proper published timetables. As well as the trains most of these railways have restored stations,signal boxes and associated furniture (signage, luggage trolleys etc), and have ancillary museums containg a large number of railway items.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 Ian Smith wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    A very helpful article I would very much like to have your spreadsheet and place holders also the watermark sheet. thanks Ian

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    @malcolm...

    Cut the stamps and surrounding postcard in the same way as you would an envelope – then put your thumb between between the glossy surface and the paper base of the postcard. Peel off the glossy photo bit and you will be left with similar paper to an envelope. Then soak in the normal way. Works 99% of the time.


    I do this too...

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    Keijo

    One thing about peeling stamps from paper. It is much safer to peel the paper off the stamp.if you bend a wet stamp you are quite likely to tear it- whereas it doesn't matter if you tear the backing paper. In this case you need to return the remains to the water and try again. You must be even more careful the second time as the stamp is by then very fragile.Someone also asked about removing stamps from postcards.This is easy.Cut the stamps and surrounding postcard in the same way as you would an envelope - then put your thumb between between the glossy surface and the paper base of the postcard. Peel off the glossy photo bit and you will be left with similar paper to an envelope. Then soak in the normal way. Works 99% of the time.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on Rural postmarks on Cyprus stamps
    @malcolm...

    Also some specialist dealers also host ( or sometimes write ) articles on the specialities they sell,or even write blogs ( norphil fo one).Now I am sure that they make sales therefrom, but I suspect the additional sales they make do not pay for the time spent.


    Never ever under estimate the of publicity / PR.... It's totally uncanny where small things such as blog entries lead to. I'm still banging my head on the table for missing an interview (only because I don't check my Facebook messages more than once or twice a week) with NY Times about year backwards.

    But true, making money from sharing one's philatelic knowledge is hard. Look no further than this blog. 120,000 unique visitors a year, 6,000+ subscribers for newsletter, but only a handful of people find the blog and it's content worth a voluntary supporters fee. Likely for the same reason there are so few philatelic authors and books published. There's no financial sense in it.

    On the other hand, what I've gained from doing these write-ups... It's priceless. And I'd think that most folks doing and sharing articles and research feel the same.

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    @malcolm...

    So don’t sell yourself short young man – you are a philatelist just not a super-specialist. Does that make you feel better?


    As uncanny as it may be, I still prefer to be considered as 'stamp collector'. Or maybe there's need for something new such as stamplover (this one is actually used quite a lot on social media such as Twitter) :lol:

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on A story of a dinosaur stamp
    @Malcolm

    Note that the postmark is a Klussendorf ( is that spelt correctly ?)...

    Actually it should be with umlauts on top of u; meaning Klüssendorf. But that's pretty hard to type with non-German keyboard.

    Hence you don’t only have the Germanic name, but a Germanic postmark !

    Live & learn...

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... )
    A GB stamp magazine article recently recommended "white spirit" on the latest "slit" Machins. White spirit is a proprietory paint thinners/brush restorer - but not turpentine or turps substitute. I am not aware of its chemical composition. The other one I have heard is diluted sugar soap( a wallpaper stripper/paint-degreaser). They both seem a bit harsh to me - but I might try them on a couple of "junk" stamps to see what happens.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Rural postmarks on Cyprus stamps
    Ref. The above post

    We often underestimate the information available for free on dealers sites, even e-bay. Most of the specialised dealers are in fact enthusiasts about the subject they deal in, and hence source material helpful to other enthusiasts ( after all selling to those same enthusiasts is their bread and butter).We can all look at that information.Also some specialist dealers also host ( or sometimes write ) articles on the specialities they sell,or even write blogs ( norphil fo one).Now I am sure that they make sales therefrom, but I suspect the additional sales they make do not pay for the time spent.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Giro Nacional cancels on Spanish stamps
    Quite often post office staff reach for the nearest handstamp when they come across an uncancelled stamp( especially if they can't find a ball pen!)

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on How to get youth and young adults into stamp collecting
    I do not visit a stamp club at the moment I was once a regular visitor to a local club where I was then living. At the time I was in my early thirties and still dabbling ( 30+years ago ). Even then the club was full of "wrinklies" (like I am now).However I can say that without exception they were welcoming,helpful,supportive and unpatronizing - even the most super-specialist among them. None of them had forgotten what it was like to be a general collector -and was keen to encourage collecting at any level. I say to my generation to encourage the younger collector just be nice to them and show an interest in what THEY collect, and gently but not dogmatically steer them in the right direction re. condition etc.,protect them from being ripped off andf you are half way there.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Besides stamps what other hobbies do you have?
    Gardening - and some basic botany and plant propagation. I have always had a garden,but my gardening was always hit and miss - and at the time I was a either a long distance coach driver or a transport manager both of which meant long unsocial hours. Eventually I went into boring warehouse work which meant much fewer and more regular hours. This allowed me the time to get more into gardening (and stamps) and now I am retired ( and don't know how I found time to go to work).

    Most of my stamp time is in winter or after dark. Spring(particularly) and summer are spent in the garden(weather permitting). I propagate from seed (most collected from my own plants), cuttings of several kinds, and by clump division. I have a small greenhouse, a garden frame and 2 heated propagators for indoors. During spring I have plants growing on almost every flat surface in the house! I should point out that I only grow ornamentals- my wife deals with the veg. Since I have got into propagating I am getting quite into Botany, and plant genetics - and more scientific methods of trying to raise plants succesfully, and also growing pants which help biodiversity -wildlife in the garden! I used to be scared stiff of all this - but I have found it quite easy - and I have discovered there is no such thing as green fingers - anyone can do it. The methodology is quite similar to stamp-collecting. You have to be organised, methodical and capable of having several different processes on the go at the same time - and many of processes have similar results for example,weeding and dead-heading ( which most gardeners hate) and soaking stamps off paper ( which I guess a lot of collectors hate) I find are similarly restful and de-stressing -most therapeutic).However the big difference is that in gardening there is always a deadline. Plants will insist on doing their thing when they want to not you, whereas with stamps you can always wait until next month!

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    I think that there are very few collectors and very few philatelists. Most people are a mixture of the two on a sliding scale with the people who classify themselves as collectors near one end and the people who call themselves philatelist near the other, but most people are somewhere between with a bias toward one end or the other.

    Keijo you cannot call yourself "only" a collector. Almost every entry you write about individual stamps or sets has a content which marks you out as a philatelist ( or at least an aspiring one).Every time you differentiate a shade or a perforation you are tending toward philately.

    So don't sell yourself short young man - you are a philatelist just not a super-specialist. Does that make you feel better?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on A story of a dinosaur stamp
    Note that the postmark is a Klussendorf ( is that spelt correctly ?) which is/was the standard German cancellation machine. Hence you don't only have the Germanic name, but a Germanic postmark ! AB -for Alberta is the clue. There is an article on Canadian Klussendorf cancellations on postalhistorycorner.blogspot.com

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on eBay gets official patents approval for online auctions
    Fred

    If they get away with this there will be NO freedom to choose! Where will that put your not caring! Nothing personal Fred but you have to look beyond sweeping generalisations, and oversimplistic arguments - and the worst just might survive at the expense of the best - and that does no one any good - except the worst !

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    @Malcolm...

    I have so many unprocessed and unmounted stamps...

    Don't most stamp collectors? :lol:

    ... but I think at some stage it got taken over


    Isn't that the fate of just about everything? A collector wiser than me once said 'we're just guardians of earthly possessions'. Same truth applies to websites.



    PS. Thanks for enspiriting my lunch break ;)

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Building Knowledge Through Experience
    Talking about covers -bog standard single rate domestic mail covers are not really worth saving unless for first day of a new rate. However an interesting postmark can be saved "on piece". Cut out a square or rectangle around the stamp and complete postmark. I do this all the time but I must stress that this is additional to the copy of the stamp in my collection.Any cover showing a number of different postal markings should be kept "as is".Even if like Keijo you don't collect postal history you should be able to exchange each one for a number of stamps. Most serious postal history collectors would be quite keen. If you think about the number of postmarks, covers containing any o0bne individual stamp is going to be considerably fewer than the same stamp off paper.

    An example. I have a common 1950s Canadian stamp on piece postmarked "Little Long Rapids Ontario". Internet research (looking for the modern postal code which is how I organise postmarks) elicited the information that the place was a construction camp for a fully-automated hydro-electric power station now called simply "Little Long". The town of course no longer exists and there is no postal code. Now I guess at the time, for a few years,there was a high volume of mail, but how many postmarks have survived? The postmark is without doubt much scarcer than the stamp, and is a little bit of interesting postal history,even if it has not a great monetary value. Should I ever aquire another one I will definitely circulate its details on the net and it is sure to find a good home - and it was an interesting geographically educational journey as well.If I had just soaked off the stamp all that would have been lost. I shudder to think what else I have destroyed ( before I knew better!)

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    In the days of my early days of returning to collecting ( which coincided with the start of my interest in all-world collecting ) I used these lists extensively - and with a few spectacular exceptions I did very well indeed - overall it was a positive experience -but this is 8 or 9 years ago. I don't do it now for several reasons -

    1. I have so many unprocessed and unmounted stamps that I really cannot afford to get any more for the time being.

    2. Directly connected to the above I have too few exchange ready stamps available.



    3. I am not too happy (re. your post) at bandying details about on the internet. Call me paranoid if you like. I am quite happy with my details being passed on a one-to-one basis with a blog like you or a trustworthy forum like stampboards - but putting too much detail in the public domain is not my bag. It is bad enough having people physhing for details without making it easy.Many of the more trustworthy sites only allow correspondence via the site,and don't publish your e-mail address direct - so if you must exchange this way , those are the sites to use.

    I think it is fair to say that in the early days Stamp Trader List was very respectable as it was operated by one trader-collector, but I think at some stage it got taken over

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on Fairy tales for stamp collectors
    @Malcolm...

    I watch the excellent BBC TV programme “Antiques Roadshow”. The experts there are always banging on about buying what you like- not because you think you will make money at it.Unless you are a complete oddball what you like most other people will like too, so unless what you buy is an out -and-out fake you are likely to make a little bit of money when you sell. I think that the same applies to stamps too- if on a lower level.


    Haven't really thought of that in wider scale, but I think you might be on to something. After all, pricing is all about supply & demand. And demand comes from what people want/like... With stamps, the major question (at least from my view) is how much of that demand is 'catalog oriented' (because the catalog says the stamp is valuable), and how much is genuine collector interest (anyone fancy classic Mongolia regardless of their catalog values? I do...)

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    @Malcolm...

    For anyone who collects the Machin stamps of Great Britain there is a free on-line catalogue (minus the introductory notes which I think are only available by subscription)called the Connoisseur ( listing mint stamps only ).


    Thanks for the tip. I think I've seen the site before, but it seems they've added a whole lot of new downloads since my last visit :)


    The way the catalogue is laid out you need to be able to turn the pages back and forward to access the information in the way you want to use it for id purposes – and the on-line version is slow and clumsy.


    The original touch interface (printed book) is very hard to beat in usability.

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Fairy tales for stamp collectors
    A bit off-topic but very relevant I think. I watch the excellent BBC TV programme "Antiques Roadshow". The experts there are always banging on about buying what you like- not because you think you will make money at it.Unless you are a complete oddball what you like most other people will like too, so unless what you buy is an out -and-out fake you are likely to make a little bit of money when you sell. I think that the same applies to stamps too- if on a lower level. Looking on e-bay too as a generalisation ( and don't we just love that ) If you were to buy a number of all-world lots and relocate the stamps into one country lots then resell them you would actually increase the overall per stamp price. I know that for internet exchanges you get better material in return if you limit the range of content of your advert.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on British Wilding stamps with Christmas Island BFPO postmark
    I think the item could be philatelic. 1s 9d was in the fact the airmail rate to Australia et al(civilian). However as has been stated serving forces personnel ( and I assume without evidence attached civilian workers) were entitled to mail at GB domestic rates. The clue might lay in the postmark.A normal postmark would be BFPO (British Forces Post Office) of FPO (Field Post Office) and a number - BFPO Christmas Island is a bit of an anachronism.If there was no civilian post office then BFPO would be the only postal service available. Also the placing of the stamps and the postmarking are a bit too neat to be spontaneous,but then I am known to cynical. A collectors stamped self- addressed envelope perhaps?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Of common good and volunteer work
    It is the same with the pressure put on people to donate to charity. I have my own "pet" charities I support with cash regularly ( specifically the RNLI volunteer sea rescue service) and others which I support when an event or the mood takes me. However I do support charity shops and church tea rooms etc when I am out and about - my reasoning being that if I can enjoy a coffee and add to the coffers of a charity I'm getting twice the satisfaction.I'm also not against collecting tins at the checkout in shops to collect your small change.However I resent door to door collections,unsolicited items through my letter box for payment,and being approached in the street in an attempt to make me feel guilty. Worst of all are the TV adverts which not only ask for your money,but tell you how much is acceptable.

    Voluntary work and voluntary giving are exactly that- voluntary. Between the ages of 18 and 40 odd I donated countless hours as a voluntary leader in the scout movement. I say that not to gather praise but as a fact - and I must admit that the enjoyment I got far outweighed the time ( and not inconsiderable amounts of money) that it cost - but I reckon I've done my bit.

    Malcolm

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