Latest user responses

  • 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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  • 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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