Latest user responses
- 2015-11-24 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Rick... I've seen these a number of times (always mint, so the second one is highly unusual). Check under Georgia Soviet Socialist Republic (during the Russian Civil war).
- 2015-11-24 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? An expert philatelist/friend of mine told me he was having trouble identifying some stamps. Naturally, Keijo, I thought of you! Would you please help with these three? Thanks!
- 2015-11-23 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck? @Randal... LignUp has been discussed previously (see comments #456-460). I still back the opinion that I wrote on comment #460:
'...I think this highlights the Achilles heel of any visual search / identification tool. It can search up similar items based on shape, dimension, colors etc (same way as Google search).... But if there's anything abnormal (such as smudgy cancellation, or pre-cancel, or...), the process will likely fail or produce wrong results....Likely there's some kind of market for this tool (with non-stamp collectors, or those starting up with the hobby)... But for more advanced collector like me, this kind of tools are pretty much a waste of time.'
- 2015-11-22 Randall wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck? Having inherited a large stamp collection and not really know much about searching through the books I wanted an easier solution. I have to say that purchasing the Lignup multicollector pro was a great choice. I have been able to test some of the stamps I have from many countries in the world and the software has been a great help. With the package I purchased I have the Lignup stamp search utility which is a god send and works from the images of the stamps themselves. In my opinion this is a good solution for many users and has been a big time saver.
For users who may have lots of experience in identifying the stamps this may not be needed but for me I have been able to identify and get a catalog number for a stamp in less than a minute and added to my database with an image of my stamp. Within a month I will have paid my investment back ten fold.
Randall Adams (Alberta - Canada)
- 2015-11-22 John Mooney wrote on Germany "BEZAHLT" and why You too should try to become a polyglot Its not just about "international" languages.
Irish stamps have helped keep a language alive.
There are people who have a "brain" for languages and I am one of the people who doesnt. Maybe it is linked to attitude such as an open attitude to travel. I have not really travelled much.
Apart from English and "school level" French, my only other language is Irish.
I think there is a broader point that it is impossible to collect the stamps of (say) France or Spain without having a high regard for the history, culture...and of course language of a country.
It is almost accidental.
- 2015-11-21 Keijo wrote on 1970 Bulgaria 4 Stotinki Boats at Albena - unlisted variety and other tidbits @Eric... That's a good start :)
- 2015-11-21 Eric wrote on 1970 Bulgaria 4 Stotinki Boats at Albena - unlisted variety and other tidbits Just checked my collection. I have 3 copies that match the first 3 varieties that you show. The 2 different blues, and a"fuzzy" printed one. I don't have the blue sky though!
- 2015-11-20 christopher Hughes wrote on Q&A: stamps of France & colonies
Rick Young wrote: Anyone know this one? I am not sure of the country and I am not sure if it is a regular issue:
This stamp is one of several issued from 1920's to 1970's. It is issued by Defence Committee against Tuberculosis which is part of BCG which was founded in 1924 to increase awareness of the disease. The stamps were issued in booklets which included advertising on one side and details of the programme on the other. Of particular interest is the statistics of hospital beds etc comparing pre BCG with the current year.
This stamp dates from 1927. It is not especially rare or valuable (about 40cents on Delcampe) but is an interesting piece of history.
- 2015-11-18 Keijo wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this? @Scofb... Sure. That's this years (2015) 1st class Christmas postage stamp from UK.
- 2015-11-17 Scofb wrote on Q&A: what stamp is this?
- 2015-11-14 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why?
- 2015-11-14 John wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Indeed I am not sure but the latest edition of Michel (2013) does have new information added. A specialist that has contributed to the catalog contacted me and gave me this information.
Apparently when the latest version was being produced he supplied new information to the catalog. Sadly, the new English version was already in production and therefore this information is not found in it. The new information (and this involves all countries) is found only in the German version of the 2013 Gulf States catalog. That one is running at about $100.00 right now. At some point I intend to get it but the finances are low atm (the forgery thing). He wishes to consult with me on the subject of the printers and agents but until I get that version we cannot compare our notes. Should be interesting....
- 2015-11-14 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @John.... Excellent details (and as always, you've got my respect).
I think I've got to try getting in touch with the editors of Michel, and see if they could throw some additional info about the (likely very past) decisions made.
- 2015-11-14 Keijo wrote on My stamp collection @Franz... Of course you didn't offend me. It's just good that readers such as you point out possible mistakes. I wish more folks did the same (as I'm only human, and like most I DO MAKE mistakes). I just went into to details to describe "why" things are the way they are, so that everybody reading these comments understands the challenges and the scale of work that has gone to MyCollection.
PS. Siam fixed now.
- 2015-11-14 Keijo wrote on Welcome to SCB Store @Frank... Thanks for the support. Payment was received on Wednesday morning, and the system has sent you login credentials few minutes later (hopefully they've arrived to your inbox safely; if not found from the inbox, then please check the spam folder).
- 2015-11-14 Franz Feigl wrote on My stamp collection Hi Keijo
I hope I didn't offend by pointing the discrepancy out to you. It was really the Siam that compelled me to email/ask you as I had assumed that the total column was computer calculated, and with the total not matching the detailed listing I thought I'd point this out in case a link had been broken (I somehow managed to mess up a spreadsheet of mine lately, which is giving me grief - trust me, I know all about human error as I make them more often than I like, no matter how hard I try). However, I see that this is not the case.
And I realize that inventories take time - I only ever managed to properly inventory my stamps from Central America, plus a few select countries like Belgium and the Congo.
I'll set aside whatever duplicates I'll end up from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
- 2015-11-14 John wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Hello all and indeed this is a mysterious souvenir sheet. I have the original Minkus Catalog from 1974. It sheds light a little on this mystery for us.
In Minkus it shows that Rosenbaum Brothers were the actual printers of the issue. The original ships issue which is Michel# 562-9 and Blocks 56 and 57 are listed as Minkus# 455-70, 471 and 472. What is missing in Michel is this souvenir sheet! In Minkus it is 473! Noted as 5r Silver. The one imaged is the original souvenir sheet.
It then gets a bit weird. In Minkus the listing for the "PHILATOKYO 71" issue comes right after the regular issue. The PHILATOKYO 71 issue was not made until 1971 yet Minkus lists it this way between the last 1969 issue (ships) and the first 1970 issue which is the UNICEF issue. Weird..... Anyway so there is confusion about the PHILATOKYO issue.
The stamp set (ships) was overprinted in 1971 as Michel# 1100-1115
The souvenir sheets Block 56 and 57 were overprinted with the APOLLO 12 emblem.
The souvenir sheet above with the PHILATOKYO overprint is Block 146!
In Minkus it notes the souvenir sheet with the overprint and I quote "without face value, sales price 5r" and valued it at $7.50 in 1974.
So the questions are:
Why doesn't Michel list the original unoverprinted issue where Minkus does?
Why does Minkus only note it as overprinted (with value) whereas Michel lists it with Block# 146?
Another of the many mysteries from the Trucial States. Now partly solved...hehe.
- 2015-11-13 Frank wrote on Welcome to SCB Store Hello, Have been intending for a long time to support your philatelic endeavors. Looking forward to reading the expanded coverage. I sent in my dues via Paypal a couple of days ago. Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do. Hoping that you and family are well. Many thanks for all that you have done to promote this curious pursuit. Best,Frank
- 2015-11-13 Richard T. Barnes wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? I agree with Keijo that the Michel Block 146 belongs in any listing of the Philatokia 71 overprinted stamp set whether in Minkus or any other catalogue. It surprises me that there are not two souvenir sheets listed for this set. The usual practice was to duplicate in total the original stamp set when doing an overprinted set. During this time period of the Sand Dune stamps' history I have found souvenir sheets not listed in the catalogues. These items I picked up prior to the end of the USSR. The luxury gondola could possibly be such an uncatalogued stamp. Ray in his number 11 reply mentions an ebay lot with an sales price on it and no postal value. I have not found "sales price" on any catalogued Sand Dune stamps. The sales price on the luxury gondola M/S is an anomaly to the historical practice. Because this M/S has no denomination so is not even pretending to be a postal stamp I believe that this is a modern Bogus stamp. Where I am correct in this assumption or not I hope further investigation will provide more definitive information. In reply 13 the geographic region in the UK was Wales not what I wrote Whale.
- 2015-11-13 Keijo wrote on Germany "BEZAHLT" and why You too should try to become a polyglot @Erik... Happy you enjoyed it (and nice to see you visiting SCB more frequently).
- 2015-11-13 Keijo wrote on Japanese 1898 parcel post revenue stamp @Terry... Sadly the image didn't come through (you have to upload the image into some Photosharing website, such as FaceBook, DropBox, OneDrive, Photobucket first, and then link it here).
But... If it's a Japanese revenue like the one discussed, then the real world retail value is more or less what a potential buyer is willing to pay (=usually not much; simply because very few of us non-Japanese collectors have actual knowledge on their rarity or catalog value. In that sense Japan would likely be the best marketplace, as local collectors would likely snipe any rarities with a big smile on their face).
- 2015-11-13 Terrance McCann wrote on Japanese 1898 parcel post revenue stamp
Keijo wrote :@Miguel... Actually I didn't know that (not sure when it was added to archive.org but I could swear it wasn't there few years back). Anyway, thanks for the tip, downloading it as I'm typing :)
PS. And on page 546-547 is answer to Philips question. ½s gray 1s purplebrown 2s yellowgreen 3s lightblue 5s yelloworange 10s purple 50s carmine 100s dark blue 500s light brown 1000s yellow
Keijo: I found the 50s carmine in a collection I bought while cataloging the contents for sale. Any idea of the value?
- 2015-11-13 Erik wrote on Germany "BEZAHLT" and why You too should try to become a polyglot Great little article. Thanks for sharing. Now it's time for me to go figure out some French words. :-)
- 2015-11-13 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @Richard... Thanks for interesting 'background history' lesson.
Now to my speculation about the Sharjah Post Day 1969 – 5 Riyal M/S. After the breakaway of Lithuania from the USSR a printer (name unknown to me), started printing Sharjah and Ajman stamps and probably stamps from other Sand Dune countries. I did not follow up on these truly bogus issues because of the prices they were getting. This M/S I believe is one of these Lithuanian bogus stamps.
You mean this would be a modern 'bogus'??? I doubt it as the paper looks, feels and even smells very 'genuine' 1960/70s paper. And if the only 'proper' reference (see halfway of the article) I found is true, this stamp (or at least the 1971 PhilaTokyo overprint) should be included in 1974 Minkus.
- 2015-11-13 Keijo wrote on My stamp collection @Franz...
Maybe you know this already, but the statistics for a number of countries seem to be wrong (such as Laos, Vietnam (Socialist Republic), Philippines, and others). Not that I want to complain though …
Yes, I know (and hence the page contains a note "Some counts mentioned in below summary are inaccurate as parts of the data are still under progress. Please study the below country specific tables for proper overview.").
All the strange numbers are simply because I chose to mix&matched two different and overlapping systems (old vs new) 'temporarily' few months back. And all those strange numbers are coming from the 'old system'.
For example in the old system Philippines was one row, now it's 5 rows. I could have left the numbers for all rows empty while updating, but since 80+% of my philippines is 'modern' stuff, all stamps are placed under 'republic' till I some day (hopefully within the next 2-4 weeks) manage to do a re-count and update the statistics for Philippines.
As for the Siam... Till the entire continent is properly worked out, I'm forced to do 'manual updates' on counts (due to data integrity scheme of the database). And sometimes I make 'human errors'.
But slowly & surely this is completing up. So far this 'new version' of MyCollection has been under works for 4-5 years. It might sound slow, but during that time I've counted most of my ~100K stamps, gone through about two shelf meters of stamp catalog listings, researched country specific history etc.
- 2015-11-13 Richard T. Barnes wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? From what I gathered and between the lines interpretation Michel's printers and initially Conde were heavily involved with producing the original 1969 to 1972 Sand Dune stamps. The controversy about the Sand Dune stamps as exemplified by the "Black Dot" designation in the USA led to Michel withdrawing from the printing of these stamps. British printers, (in Whales?) took over most of the production of Sand Dune Stamps in 1972. This explains why the later 1972 stamps in particular were not illustrated in the Michel catalogue. The printing of Sand Dune stamps was never exclusively done by Michel's printers. This explains why you must have all three Trucial States catalogues, Michel, Minkus and The Official catalogues to identify 99 % of the Sand Dune stamps. It also would explain the discrepancies in issuing dates and even the occasional differences in what was in the complete set.
Now to my speculation about the Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 Riyal M/S. After the breakaway of Lithuania from the USSR a printer (name unknown to me), started printing Sharjah and Ajman stamps and probably stamps from other Sand Dune countries. I did not follow up on these truly bogus issues because of the prices they were getting. This M/S I believe is one of these Lithuanian bogus stamps.
- 2015-11-13 Franz Feigl wrote on My stamp collection Hi Keijo
I was curious about the state of your of Asian stamps collection, and decided to check which countries you could use most (as I have lately acquired a large collection of Southeast Asian stamps). Maybe you know this already, but the statistics for a number of countries seem to be wrong (such as Laos, Vietnam (Socialist Republic), Philippines, and others). Not that I want to complain though ...
For example, you indicate that you own 454 stamps of the Philippines from 1946 to the present ; however, no figures are listed for a more detailed breakdown by time periods. This of course could just mean that you haven't conducted a count by time period; however, you also indicate that you have no stamps of the Philippines under US Administration (to July 4, 1946). Really? I find that stamps from this period are plentiful around here (if you indeed have none, I can give your collection of Philippine stamps from this period a bit of a kick-start when you open your exchange again).
Or check Siam (1947 - 49) where you seem to have about half of the issues according to one column but none to your summary column at the end.
- 2015-11-13 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamp catalogs and other publications Thank you, Keijo, for your detailed answer.
- 2015-11-13 Keijo wrote on Germany "BEZAHLT" and why You too should try to become a polyglot @Miguel.... LOL. Trust me, it's going to be a slow process, LOL. But one stamp at a time I'll earn...
- 2015-11-13 Miguel wrote on Beautiful La Semeuse (the Sower) There is also a 2003 issue of the Semeuse, for its centenary, engraved by Claude Jumelet
- 2015-11-13 Miguel wrote on Germany "BEZAHLT" and why You too should try to become a polyglot Stamps collecting helps you improving your language skills indeed. But when it comes to Hungarian, then the improvement is much slower, even when compared to Russian. Finnish literates are, I guess, an exception, since it is said that both un-understandable languages (Finnish and Hungarian) have a common origin.
For instance, if you check how is Winter called in Finnish, it is 'talvi', and in Hungarian is 'tel'. Water is 'vesi' and 'viz' respectively.
Other pairs are "fish": kala/hal; "ice": jää/jeg; "honey": mesi/méz, and so on.
So Keijo, we expect you'll speak fluent Hungarian soon.
- 2015-11-12 Keijo wrote on Top 5 free online stamp catalogues reviewed @e.boere.... Thanks for a very 'interesting' message. I've taken the right to moderate your message a bit (by replacing different website names with [REMOVED_SITE_1],[REMOVED_SITE_2] and [REMOVED_SITE_3]), as pointing fingers publicly will not lead to anything else but possible 'legal issues' (cease and desist letters etc) for me. But since your comment covers a very important issue, I do think the core of it deserves public appearance.
All in all I'm hoping this will give readers some food for the thought where and how all the images (and other details) of ALL 'free' catalogs are coming from and how they are obtained. I have no doubts that (at least some off ) the claims would be true (oh, if I could tell all the stories I know/have heard about different free catalogs). As a geek I do know how 'efficient' it is to use bots/scripts to mine data, and how slow it is to built a large datasets even with crowdsourcing.
I also know/realize that there's some kind of 'arms race' between all major free catalogs (since all are after the same audience and ad money). But please, try to keep it 'civilized'. And especially keep SCB out of the 'battlezone', LOL.
Whether or not it's legal or illegal is something for the court to decide. Though stamp images are derivative works and as such difficult to protect, there are other legal arguments (just google for 'CJEU scraping') that can be used to limit the use of bots for datamining.
- 2015-11-12 e.boere wrote on Top 5 free online stamp catalogues reviewed I read a lot about 'stolen pictures 'in this blog. In 2003 we published the DVD-ROM Western Europa in the Netherlands including 70.000 pictures of stamps we scanned ourselves. You can find the same pictures on the AFA Western Europe DVD-ROM that we also produced and on some other titles (FACIT Sweden DVD, Aland Post CD-ROM etc). We gave permission to a Belgium platform that published these pictures (one by one) on the internet.
Soon afterwards all our pictures appeared in the [REMOVED_SITE_1] website. They took them from the internet with a script. Many of the pictures in [REMOVED_SITE_1] of Western European stamps up to 2005 are still OUR pictures* . You can recognize them easy because they have a gray instead of black frame. [REMOVED_SITE_1] could not steal the set pictures, that we made out of the singles. You can find the set pictures on our DVD-ROM and on [REMOVED_SITE_2]. Later on we sold the pictures to [REMOVED_SITE_2].
So the pictures on our CD-ROM, [REMOVED_SITE_1], [REMOVED_SITE_2] and our own website are the same.
We have all original (better quality) BMP's of the scans, so we can prove that they are taken from us without permission.
You can check it when you compare both.
[REMOVED_SITE_3] is accused but I think they have now replaced the scan. The big 'thief' is [REMOVED_SITE_1].
Maybe this will change some people's mind.
*Now of [REMOVED_SITE_2]
- 2015-11-12 Keijo wrote on Beautiful La Semeuse (the Sower)
- 2015-11-12 glista wrote on Beautiful La Semeuse (the Sower) Hi, everybody, I am new on this forum.
For a long time I am fascinated with Sower (Semeuse) issues of French stamps, and finally the time has come for me to do something serious about these stamps. As I am mostly oriented to postal history, I decided to prepare a serious exhibit covering French postal rates with covers on which these stamps were used, mainly covering the time until WWII. But, as not a specialist of French general postal history, I don't have exact postal rates. Can somebody recommend any publication or web page covering French postal rates of XX. century, as the only Sower issue out of XX.th century has s appeared in 2003.
But, as I have an idea to do the same thing with Liberty and Marianne issues, general coverage of French postal rates might help as well.
Any help is appreciated.
- 2015-11-12 Keijo wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings @Dixon....
“impossible stamps” scanned with a standard perf guide next to them is hard to argue. Same with colours and pantone colour chips. Computers take some of the guessing out of it.
Sadly the real world has still a bit of catching up to with that vision (like I wrote before, this is an 'imperfect system').
Philatelic editors are 'gatekeepers' in good and bad, and above all they are prone to human influences. If they for some reason (lack of interest, lack of trust, lack of references, being busy, not having the first cup of coffee in the morning etc) don't want to publicize something then they can (and oftentimes will) kill the news by simply being silent. A lot of collectors don't likely realize how much 'power' editors actually have, and the ways editors are shaping up the landscape of philately. And in a way I function the same way with this blog; If I feel that some reader response/comment does not deserve publishing, then I simply bin it. [And no, I do not believe in conspiracy theories... Sometimes real world is just what it is, but it does not mean one should not dream and maybe even built a better system]
Now, once you solve the colour aspect, your next windmill could be grading and descriptions of the same stamp. 😉
Actually I've 'studied' both topics for good number of years, LOL. IMHO there is (and likely never will be) no solution as good and cheap as we collectors expect. You just can't beat what a properly trained human eye+brain can do.
Anyway, here's something that the mailman dropped me last week (I was one of the 'sidekicks' behind this 150-page title so I got a complimentary copy):
(It's a very good 'analytic approach' primer on topic of quality and grading, and the more collectors read it the better. Sadly it is available in German only)
- 2015-11-12 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamp catalogs and other publications @Franz... That is an excellent question, and fortunately I can assist (as I used to ponder the same question myself way back).
The catalog print runs are based on official postal records which country-specific study groups etc. provide to catalog makers.
How accurately the catalog makers state these tidbits is a totally different thing; for example Facit states the print run of Norwegian (Michel) #96 to be 113 million copies (whereas for the classic issues of Finland they are very precise; for example 697,688 copies for the 5k 'big toothed').
As for the odd numbers, they are indeed counted by hand, and whereas measuring the 'print run' they are more likely to be the number of copies 'sold to public'. In the old times postal workers kept very precise records on what was sold/unsold, and eventually when the remainders were returned (and ultimately destroyed) it created interesting statistics like the one you mentioned.
These days stamps do get out of the cycle the same way, but AFAIK postal institutions do not provide actual statistics on numbers sold/destroyed (a trade secret of kinds).
So the 'print run' should be always considered as a 'relative metric' of a sorts unless more detailed information about what actually happened to stamps is provided.
- 2015-11-12 dixon kenner wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings
Keijo wrote :First, I think most collectors don't simply report their finds ... Secondly, catalog editors keep the bar high ... IMHO the current 'system' is a very imperfect one ... But in the end it's all up to us collectors...As time passes, and more and more high quality images are put online, it will be harder for recording errors made in the past to continue to stand. That, or the plethora of varieties will make those with large holdings of them, less valuable, and where the quantity is great enough, a new mean value will be arrived at for particular stamps. Personally, I thing collector based, authoritative reference sources will begin to slowly supplant the price walled gardens of SG, Scott, Michel, et al, just as Wikipedia has spelt the end of the door to door encyclopaedia salesman. But, a mess? As has been written many times, the truth is a nasty thing. It keeps getting out. "impossible stamps" scanned with a standard perf guide next to them is hard to argue. Same with colours and pantone colour chips. Computers take some of the guessing out of it. Which, may or may not be a good thing. Now, once you solve the colour aspect, your next windmill could be grading and descriptions of the same stamp. ;-)
As for North Korea and impossibilities, they have a lovely fire appliance stamp (Scott 4119) which is a hybrid cross between a Range Rover (an interesting vehicle to be in the Hermit Kingdom in the first place) and some fire fighting equipment from the 1920's or 30's
Regards from Canada,
- 2015-11-12 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamp catalogs and other publications Hi Keijo
I am not sure where on your blog to ask this question (maybe it has already been asked and I simply haven't found it), so feel free to move it as you see fit.
Based on some advise you gave me a few years ago, I purchased a couple of older Michel catalogs (1996/97 - older than I wanted them to be but only a few dollars, so how could I not buy them) to supplement my Scotts. And as you know (better than I do!) comparing the information the two publishers provide is interesting at times, to say the least. Now, one of the things I very much like about Michel is that they have a tendency to provide figures for how many stamps were issued. However, I often wonder were they get their information from.
For example, I have recently added older issues to my Dutch collection, and Michel provides this information for (Michel) #228: "Auflage 1 131 100 Stück". No problem there. But if I move on to #236 and #237, semi-postal issues from December of 1930, Michel states: "Auflagen: Nr. 236 = 1 541 086, Nr. 237 = 1 057 117".
1 057 117? How do they know? And weren't stamps issued in sheets, or rolls? I would have expected at the very minimum an even number, and a nice round one at that, such as 1 057 000 or even 1 057 100? But 1 057 117? And this is not an isolated example. Am I missing something here, or am I completely mistaken about the way stamps were produced then?
(Newer issues are generally much more in line with what I would have expected, such as #1159 from 1980, for which 1 300 000 are listed).
And this is true for many other countries too, such as early Norway: for example, the 1920/29 posthorn set (#96 - 103) lists "nice" figures for 97 to 103 but an odd number for #96: 112 853 161. Was the last one done by hand? I am confused about these very specific listings.
- 2015-11-11 Keijo wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings @Dixon....
Isn’t there an aspect of statistics to this?....Thus, in the most specialised catalogue, any reasonable colour variation should be remarked upon, or exist in literature
In theory the odds should apply. Except that in practice it doesn't seem to be so.... Interpreting color is always a relative metric, so let's take another pet peeve of mine: perforations. It is something that can and is measured accurately. Over the years I've found a good number of previously unlisted perf variants, and even more cases where catalog details are simply wrong/inaccurate. Oftentimes my 'discoveries' have applied to stamps that are very plenty and easily available, and on stamps that are at least 30-50 years old. So the odds are heavily in favor that somebody else would have noted the differences and notified catalog editors well before me. But nothing as such has not happened (likely because the stamps/countries/series I'm interested on are oftentimes 'philatelic pariahs' like North Korea).
And I've got a theory on this...
First, I think most collectors don't simply report their finds (especially when and if the discovery falls outside the specialized collectors interests)... Likely some don't simply care. Others don't know how to report their finds. And the more advanced collectors are likely 'afraid' the mess (negative feedback etc) it will get them involved.
Secondly, catalog editors keep the bar high (and maybe that is for the greater good)... They listen to what study groups, specialized dealers, well-known researchers/specialists etc. say on topics. But if common worldwide collector like me tries to get in touch, the odds are that I'm put in the line for the next 6-12 months or shot down before I can say what I want to say (been in both situations number of times).
IMHO the current 'system' is a very imperfect one. And I really hope that various online resources and catalogs would change the situation. But in the end it's all up to us collectors...
- 2015-11-11 dixon kenner wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings
> Each time any of stamp collectors comes up with a color variation,
Isn't there an aspect of statistics to this? Picking randomly, if someone holds up a variant yellow-brown 1d red (GB, SG18), statistically speaking there must be a sheet of these things, so now we have 240 stamps that would have existed. Knowing that ink is mixed in large quantities, sheets are produced in a continuous fashion, there should he hundreds, if not more, potential sheets of stamps kicking about. Even with the vast majority being thrown out, more than one should exist. Thus, in the most specialised catalogue, any reasonable colour variation should be remarked upon, or exist in literature. If not, then something else has happened, and if it is a pleasing shade of colour, should be added to the collection with a sense of satisfaction. Granted, outside of Machins, Canadian Admirals, and other series of similar stamps, I feel for the 1d reds of Great Britain that both some sort of spectroscope, as well as perfect colour vision, is required for the myriad of possible shades. And, as you observe, how they are stored, exposure to light, the use of fugitive inks/colours, will make for an interesting scientific study for erudite bedtime reading.
None of this though explains a Martian Marconi! Note the red sky! http://tinyurl.com/o8d4sft
- 2015-11-11 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Just a short update where my life/health is heading (and what the future of my exchange looks like)...
I've been out of steroids for a week now, and so far my health/gut seems to be holding up on it's own. Still bit early to say whether or not I'm fully out of this flare (the docs prefer 3 'good months' in row as a permanent metric), but so far everything looks promising.
Another thing that's kept me busy is the health of my father... The good news is that he is now a stroke survivor. But other severe (and ultimately fatal) health issues have showed up, and he's now been signed for a 'trial' in nursing home. All in I've got lots and lots paperwork, legal stuff and practical solutions to take care off as he's no longer going back home.
I'll reassess the situation on the end of this year/early Jan 2016... But if life does not throw any new surprises in the mix, it's very much possible that my exchange would return sometime in mid/late January 2016 (at least I'm hoping so because my stamp desk is overflowing with duplicates, triplicates and god knows what).
- 2015-11-11 John Kuehn wrote on Philatelic tidbits of modern Ecuador stamps Thank you so much for your prompt response.
You have given me a lot to think about.
- 2015-11-10 Keijo wrote on Philatelic tidbits of modern Ecuador stamps Hi John,
How may I obtain all the articles you have written about Ecuadorian stamps?
A full listing can be seen on http://www.stampcollectingblog.com/tag/ecuador-stamps. It's not much (since I'm a worldwide collector), but likely still more than most stamp websites can offer ;)
1. What are good/reliable sources for Ecuadorian stamps?
In addition of eBay and Delcampe I'd keep a close eye on 'international' stamp auctions in your area. And of course there are some auction houses specialized in Latin America stamps only (but IMHO they are pretty pricey)... All in all, Google is your friend is finding proper local alternatives.
2. What are the basic/important books & articles about Ecuadorian stamps?
I'm not specialized enough to say anything about this topic (and the only specialized Ecuadorian collector I knew has been dead for some years). Likely the APS Library workers could assist best.
3. Is there are better album than the one I own?
How do you define 'better'..? If it works for you, then I'd stick with what you've got.
If you want to extend to modern times, then Steiner pages (read my review) would be likely the best choice to move onwards.
Or if you prefer pages with mounts, then Palo Album would likely suite your taste (the pages are based on Steiner pages, but Palo has added illustrations and mounts on the pages, and you don't have to worry about choice of paper etc. since you are buying the whole package).
- 2015-11-10 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @Ray...
Does anyone have Michel covering the area who can check this out? I mean, Michel must be mentioning about the face value if they think it is a postage stamp.
I do (actually two Michel's of different decades, since they have slightly different contents/listings).
But the details Michel provides are very basic/limited. No illustrations and no other details except:
(for regular sheets):
Block 56 mit MiNr 562-565 (100x80mm)
Block 57 mit MiNr 566-569 (100x80mm)
(for Apollo overprints)
Block 144 mit MiNro 1992-1095 (100x80mm)
Block 145 mit MiNro 1096-1099 (100x80mm)
(for PhilaTokyo71 overprint)
Block 146 (100x80mm)
One can of course count that the Blocks 56 and 144 should have postal value of 20Dh (4x5Dh), and Blocks 57 and 145 have face value of 360Dh (4x90Dh). But for the PhilaTokyo71 sheet Michel does not even provide details what stamp/stamps are within it.
Like I wrote, the dunes make an 'exciting' area to study. Even the basic details are very much unexplored territory.
- 2015-11-10 John Kuehn wrote on Philatelic tidbits of modern Ecuador stamps Thank you so much for your response! I am very grateful.
How may I obtain all the articles you have written about Ecuadorian stamps?
Since I wrote to you earlier I have expanded my grandson's collection to several hundred stamps.
These are each kept in Showgard Stamp Mounts in a Minkus Ecuador/Venezuela Album, which only goes up to 1983.
Most of the stamps have been purchased from the APS Sales Division Stamp Circuit for Ecuador which comes to my house about 3 times a year. I have looked at Ebay sales, but they don't look too good and are likely picked over before offered for sale.
I have also borrowed and copied several books & articles about Ecuadorian Stamps from the APS Library.
I have a few questions for you if you would be so kind:
1. What are good/reliable sources for Ecuadorian stamps?
2. What are the basic/important books & articles about Ecuadorian stamps?
3. Is there are better album than the one I own?
I eagerly looking forward to hearing from you (and perhaps establishing an on-going dialogue).
Many, many thanks.
- 2015-11-10 Ray wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Indeed, that is very curious. I don't have any catalog covering the UAE area but I've just looked Ebay and Delcampe listings and saw this sheet of 4 ship stamps, some with and without overprints with Michel numbers. In one of the the overprints, there was a Apollo commemorating overprint which is totally irrelevant to the topic of the stamps. It also had a "sales price" on it but no face value mentioned on the sheet. I'm totally confused... Does anyone have Michel covering the area who can check this out? I mean, Michel must be mentioning about the face value if they think it is a postage stamp.
- 2015-11-09 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan @Franz...
In any case, this is an interesting stamp that comes complete with a historical mystery attached – I love it!
Could not say it better myself :)
- 2015-11-09 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @Ray...
They certainly saw some kind of necessity in issuing this, right?
I hope so, LOL.
And this is where it gets curiouser and curiouser... I Googled for images of the Sharjah 1969 ships series (which this sheet is supposedly part of) to see what the other sheets (listed in Michel) look alike . And guess what. At least the other also state "Sales price". No mention of any kind about postal value.
So likely there is something else involved in here too.
Not sure if this link is of interest...
Actually OhMyGosh is one of the resources I stated on the article as well.... It is/was one of the first 'bibles' for those having interest towards the stamps of Trucial states. These days there are plenty of other resources as well as specialized study groups...
- 2015-11-09 dixon kenner wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Not sure if this link is of interest, but I found it helpful when I was trying to narrow down a particular Sharjar stamp with a Land-Rover (purportedly) on it. (Topically, I collect stamps with Land-Rovers on them, a distraction from the collection of the larger ones outside)
- 2015-11-08 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan Hello Keijo
Thank you for your input. I like Japanese stamps but know almost nothing about them.
I agree with you that the initials CSI should provide a solid clue as to the nature of the stamp, and likely you are correct in assuming that the violet cancellation too provides a substantial clue also (never thought about this, so thank you for this comment). I tried to digitally enhance the postmark but had no luck, and even if I would have had luck, I still wouldn't know what I am looking at as I don't read or speak Japanese.
This is what I "know" so far:
If the stamps of the period are any clue, 14 sen might have been a proper postage rate as many stamps issued at the time were 4 or 10 sen stamps.
Prior to contacting you, I had checked Wikipedia for a brief review of Japanese history especially during and after WWI, and I learned that Japan prospered at the time. Japanese and American forces actually found themselves fighting on the same side (in spite of tensions between the two countries), and even though Japan's military involvement during WWI seems to have been minimal, the country played a more significant role in providing materials for the war effort. As a consequence, Japan evolved economically and actually recorded trade surpluses for the first time in their history following WWI, which of course is exactly the time period of when my mystery item was first issued.
My best guess at the time is that CSI (possibly, the "I" stands for "Industries"?) was a foreign-owned company located in Japan; and the 'overprint' was applied by (Japanese) clerk who wanted to point out the proper postage rate to Macau (misspelling Macau).
In any case, this is an interesting stamp that comes complete with a historical mystery attached - I love it!
- 2015-11-08 Franz Feigl wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Thank you, Keijo, for the scan of the inscription.
It might not be a proper souvenir sheet but I still like it. And talking about how the world is constantly changing around us - I always find it amazing to see the extent of ornamentation in the Baroque. I can't even begin to imagine how different people felt about their world then.
- 2015-11-08 Ray wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Well, but why did they issued such label? that question remains unsolved... They certainly saw some kind of necessity in issuing this, right?
- 2015-11-08 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan @Franz... Interesting item you've got. Definitely not of 'official' origins with that 'overprint'.
Sadly I don't have answers to your questions, but I think the perfin CSI might lead to somewhere. In Japan (as well as many of the other 'developing' countries at the time) it was customary that the international companies operating in there 'secured' some of their stamp inventory with private perfins. So very likely when you identify what company (in UK, Germany, Netherlands etc) used the CSI perfin, you've found partial answer to origins of the stamp (and also why the 'latin/western' writing).
Another thing that catches me is bluish violet color of the cancellation. As you likely know postmarks of Japan are usually black...Not sure if the color is indication of non-postal (revenue?) usage, but bluish/violet or red cancellations are not common (I'd say the ratio is something like 1:100 stamps). So maybe this was used on revenue document of sorts (which might better explain the handwriting and new value).
Lots of speculation / guesswork on my part, but maybe Japanese readers of SCB know more.
PS. I think your DropBox sharing rights are heading to proper direction as I was able to get the file straight away when clicking the email link you sent. But the 'path' you tried to insert here was very different. It should contain something like 'photos-1.dropbox.com'....
- 2015-11-08 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @John... Indeed. Hard rules become very easily obsolete as the world around us changes all the time.
Could you tell me what exactly it shows? (I can’t quite make out the words at the bottom.) T
The design is based on old print (by unidentified author) from Michal Hennin collection. It shows French ambassador M. Amelot entering Venice in 1682 in luxury gondola. Here's a better scan of the inscription:
This sheet lacks one fundamental element of a postage stamp: face value....I would categorize it as an official commemorative label issued from the postal authority of Sharjah.
Sometimes it's hard to see the obvious, and I think your reasoning just nailed the case. So thanks :)
I would imagine that the Arabic inscription does not contain anything about postal value neither (hopefully somebody here can read/translate it).
- 2015-11-08 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan Hi Keijo
I have a stamp I'd like to share with you and your readers. I also have a couple of specific questions. I have to figure out how to insert images, so I again sent you a separate notification from my Dropbox account just in case I failed to set permissions correctly.
This is the 30 Sen denomination of the 1914-25 issue of Japan (Japan Scott 141, issued in 1919). It is one of 18 values, and according to Scott, this particular stamp was first issued in 1919. This particular stamp is a perfin which reads CSI (very legible if viewed from the back).
The interesting thing about this stamp is of course the fact that it has been defaced, and bears a hand-written “overprint” in two lines reading “Macua” and “14 Sen”. In addition, the “14 Sen” is double-underlined. At the time, Macau was of course still a Portuguese colony. Of note too is the fact that Macau, if this is what it should read, is misspelled. Just in case, I checked with an on-line translator, and Macau is still Macau in Portuguese.
I believe that the overprint has been applied over the cancellation, but I am not totally sure. The pen itself did not leave a uniform mark; rather, each character is "outlined", and in my opinion a special pen was used that produces such a mark. I have not tried to erase the overprint, but I am quite certain that it is not a pencil mark but was made with permanent ink.
Most likely somebody just had some fun at my expense, and this “overprint” was applied much later (it came from a box of stamps (all on-paper) that most likely last saw the light of day in the late 1950s or early 1960, based on the stamps it contained. Or is this a “genuine” overprint, applied by a Japanese postal worker with somewhat limited English (hence, the incorrect spelling) to indicate that postage to Macau was only 14 Sen? Whatever the answer to this puzzle might be, it is an interesting item and one that I will keep.
What was the correct postage rate from Japan to Macau at the time?
Any idea what “CSI” stands for?
Regards from a very rainy and miserable Vancouver,
- 2015-11-08 Ray wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? I have never seen this souvenir sheet before but I understand why Michel nor Scott did not list this sheet because I also wouldn't list it if I was an editor of catalog. This sheet lacks one fundamental element of a postage stamp: face value. I see on the bottom left the sales price but it does not tell you how much worth of postal service would be provided.
Here it is a Lithuanian souvenir sheet with a sales price on it: http://prahanoaki.blogspot.com/2014/10/prienai-1994.html
The price is shown on the upper right corner of the sheet (12 Litas, Lithuanian currency at that time) but that's the sales price and not the face value of the stamp itself. The face value is 10 Litas in this case. In some earlier issues, the value is shown in alphabet like A or B so that they don't have to reprint the stamps each time the postal tariff changes. I guess some countries do similar thing by putting "1st class" or other words. In Japan, stationery have the sales price printed on it when it does not have a face value, for example a plain postcard without any value imprinted. What I wanted to point out is that the sales price is not necessary a postal value and in this Sharjah sheet it seems like it is missing. I would categorize it as an official commemorative label issued from the postal authority of Sharjah.
- 2015-11-08 Franz Feigl wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? Hello Keijo
This is an interesting sheet. Could you tell me what exactly it shows? (I can't quite make out the words at the bottom.) The inscription is obviously in French, and I can decipher the part that tells me that the image depicts a gondola of the Republic of Venice in the year of 1682, and something about a king. The king's private gondola?
Wish it would be mine ...
- 2015-11-08 John Mooney wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? True....these stamps are not much different from Pitcairn Islands, Norfolk Island etc....and I have many local stamps which are totally illegal.
There is a snobbishness to 1960s/1970s Philately...eastern bloc countries are now also rehabilitated as collectable.
Maybe the best rule is that "there are no rules"
- 2015-11-07 Keijo wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? @John...
The curiousity for me is their re-appearance.
It's just because the world is not the same it was in the 1970/80s when collectors were somewhat falsely educated these were 'junk/evil incarnated'. Since then a whole lot of water has passed under the bridge, new views and new research have come out and the status of these is slowly but surely changing even with catalogs such as Gibbons and Scott. IMHO these are THE most interesting stuff that modern philately has to offer.
So times they are a changing ;)
- 2015-11-07 John Mooney wrote on Sharjah Post Day 1969 - 5 riyal m/s - unlisted in Michel. Why? My memories go back to the late 1960s.
The object then was to obtain stamps from every country in the world.
The only place to buy stamps as a "junior" was at Woolworths....packets of individual countries or themes. Aimed at juniors the themes were usually Sport and Space.
These...to me...mystery countries ....Ras Al Khaima, Dubai, Umm al Qiwain, Sharjah, Fujeira (I think there are seven in all) appeared and although I bought one or two, the advice from Stamp magazines (and I am recollecting this from about 45 years ago) was to avoid them as they were not "real".
Of course life became much simpler when United Arab Emirates was formed.
I note from Facebook groups etc that there is a kinda rehabilitation of these countries...but I am still wary of the reality.
The over-use of thematics and no or few real stamps of local interest makes me suspicious.
Too much CTO ...and am I right that themes included Winston Churchill and (Christian) religious paintings...both unlikely subject matters if the issues were really controlled by local authorities, rather than agents outside the country.
The curiousity for me is their re-appearance.
Frankly I still think they are "tainted"
- 2015-11-04 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck? @Bill... Please see the yellow 'info box' on the bottom of the article and follow the instructions given.
- 2015-11-03 Bill wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck? Hi Keijo
thank you for writing the blog and the advice.
I have inherited a large collection from my late father and would very much like to catalogue the collection properly. Please may I ask for a copy of your spreadsheet?
- 2015-11-03 Keijo wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? @Erik... Thanks for the comment.
I hope you are feeling better health wise. Its impossible to do anything when your health is in bad shape.
Still 3 more days to go and I'm officially back to being 'officially healthy' (knocking the wood and hoping it remains that way. Usually the days/weeks following are also the hardest, because that's when the body has to make it without support of steroids and other additional meds).
I really hope you do not go to subscription online access to your site....I understand you need to make enough revenue to keep the site going but it really feels like the knowledge that you have to offer (and you have quite a lot to offer) is becoming more and more only for those people who want to pay for it.
And this here is the dilemma: if 70-80% of the users say no to ads (either use software like Ghostery, Adblock etc; or just disregard the ads), then what means are there for the SCB (or any website) to generate the required funds to keep on serving the knowledge and service to those readers who want it?
The money to operate needs to come somewhere, and so far nobody seems to have options besides the 'use ads' or 'charge for content/services'. And the ads route has been shut down by readers, and I'm not interested in turning this into a profession (of becoming a stamp dealer).
There is of course the 3rd option of giving away the 'ownership of SCB' to somebody willing to take care of the servers and costs (I have received two offers on this, but since both of them are by commercial providers, they've got their own agenda to promote)...I do not think it would be for the good of me nor the readers of SCB, not to mention the 'legal mess' it would create (still having shivers on thinking how poorly things went with Virtual Stamp Club).
In the future version of the SCB, there
a) will be no ads (this is what majority of users seem to prefer)
b) will be no analytics / tracking (since there are no ads, analytics has no use either. And again, a majority of users seem to prefer their privacy)
c) will be a free subscription (limited to certain number of articles per month, as well as unlimited access to My exchange + My Collection)
d) will be a paid subscription (unlimited access to everything)
If somebody does not like the quota/usage limits, then they can always pay 12.40€ annual fee and enjoy unlimited access for the next 365 days. In the ends, it's less than what most of use on coffee, chocolate or whatever in a week, and should not be an issue to anyone collecting stamps. And like said before, it hardly covers the costs associated (especially as the ratio between free/paid memberships will likely be something like 20:1 or higher).
And if somebody can't genuinely afford the 12.40€/year, then they simply must learn to live with the fact that they have got a quota on their usage. Likely the quota limits will annoy some people who are used to getting 'all things digital' for free, but it's a balance between consumption/cost that needs to be made.
In a way this model is not different from traditional stamp clubs/societies... They do have membership fees to cover the meeting space rent, electricity, paperwork etc. But random guests are always welcomed to come for a quick visit or take a look of whats it all about. So what's not to like with this plan/offer/scheme?
- 2015-11-03 Erik wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? Hi Keijo,
I really hope you do not go to subscription online access to your site. I've loved it since I found it 5 years ago and eagerly read everything you posted. I would even read the comments sections and the Swaps images to see different material. With that being said since then I have come here substantially less and less over the years and now only visit maybe once every few months.
I do not remember which came first but when I was being forced to disable ad blocker to read certain articles my computer would get bombarded with all kinds of adverts for stuff saying I had viruses and other things. So at that point any article that required that I wouldn't bother trying to read.
Next the "premium members" were the only people able to read certain articles so that again made me visit less and less as material to read became sparse.
I understand you need to make enough revenue to keep the site going but it really feels like the knowledge that you have to offer (and you have quite a lot to offer) is becoming more and more only for those people who want to pay for it.
Stamp collecting is a beautifully complex hobby that requires knowledge in a lot of areas and I would hate to see that knowledge unavailable to everyone. Take Stampboards for instance they have TONS of experts and people willing to share information in lots of different specializations.
I still check your collection stats from time to time to see what you have added recently. I myself and getting ready to add stamp 20k to my collection. (I too am a World wide collector) but outside of that I rarely visit anymore.
I hope you are feeling better health wise. Its impossible to do anything when your health is in bad shape.
- 2015-11-02 Keijo wrote on Why most stamp collecting / inventory software solutions suck? To Bob M. from Dorset... I received your letter (asking for a copy of my Excel template) on today's mail. Thanks for it.
Sadly I can't make out/read the domain part of your email address (and I've been trying a number of options already with poor success) correctly. Would you kindly get in touch by leaving a message here, and I'll email the files to you ASAP.
- 2015-11-02 Keijo wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? @Franz.... Thanks for the kind works. When you write "..and it all comes together for me", you capture the essence of SCB. Everything here is build primarily out of my personal needs and interests, and that's the way SCB will head also in the future. If collectors with similar interests fancy (at least some of) my musings, that's just a bonus.
On the other hand, I suspect that stamp collecting has become a bit more than just a hobby for you and it makes sense to me that you critically review the current format of the blog.
That is one of the downsides of being a 'philatelic RockStar' (a small pun to fellow blogger PunkPhilatelist ;) )
But true. In a sense running a blog/website is like running a small fanzine. Fun, passionate, labor of love etc... Until you hit with growing pains that turn the 'fun' into something 'not-so-fun' work-like thingie. That is when somethings got to change (either it becomes 'real work providing a living', or it goes back to being a 'fun hobby'... and I've made my choice with the latter).
(no offense, but I am here for the content)
No offense taken, as it's the same for me ;)
... as well as your courtesy is what I value about your blog.
Thank You (this means a lot).
The current price is quite fine, but there will of course be a limit – and I suspect that at some time you will have to think about this too.
Not so surprisingly I've given this a lot of thought too, and one of the possible options I considered was increasing the price of Premium Membership (two-to-threefold). But it would not have solved any of the 'real issues'; more likely it would have made everyone (me included) more pissed.
As long as SCB is having some kind of balance on money coming in/out, I'm more than satisfied (and yes, at the current pricing SCB will be making some loss even in the new scheme. But it will be far less than if current situation persists, and a number of things will be greatly enhanced at least from my perspective)... So At least right now I'm not seeing any reasons to change the pricing of Premium membership (and those who feel SCB is worth more can anytime purchase more than one membership and give them as gifts to their friends etc)
- 2015-11-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas @Franz... Sadly a very vague two sentence statement (with a poor quality black/white-photo) is all I've got on 'Zeitungsüberdrucken". No details about why/how they were applied.
You might want to try asking at some Austrian or German stamp forums (such as briefmarken-forum.com or philaforum.com) for further knowledge.
- 2015-11-01 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas Hi Keijo
Agreed, the "Ioni" it's not a cancel, and it seems to have been applied after the stamp was cancelled. I will research the topic of "Zeitungsüberdruck".
Are you saying that it was applied as a means to sort/direct the newspaper, i.e. was the recipient of the paper living on the Ionian Islands? "Ioni" is not German (which I am fluent in), but if it is a partial overprint it could have read "Ioni (sche Inseln), which could have directed the paper towards one of the islands.
- 2015-11-01 Franz Feigl wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? Hi Keijo,
I have been following this discussion with interest. As you know, I collect world-wide (though I am not too interested in most current issues i.e. past 2000, partly because of the sheer bulk of it). I am also a premium member and intent to "move along with you" (though there might be short periods when I let my subscription elapse). You provide a lot of information about all different issues, some personal, some motivational, some technical ... and it all comes together for me. Collecting stamps is a hobby for me, and I will be involved in it when my time allows. On the other hand, I suspect that stamp collecting has become a bit more than just a hobby for you and it makes sense to me that you critically review the current format of the blog.
Personally, I am not overly interested in the technical and financial aspects of how you provide your content (no offense, but I am here for the content). This is your website/blog, and your current membership fee is quite affordable, equal to maybe three cups of fancy coffee at Starbucks or any other high-end coffee shop. The difference is of course that the coffee will be gone within minutes, but the information on your blog will be available to me for as long as I am a member.
I can't imagine the amount of time you must spent in keeping this blog going. You answer every question/comment usually within 24 hours (or so it seems to me), and provide new content on a regular basis. Hence, I consider my subscription fee a "labor contribution fee", and I consider myself privileged to be able to tap into your wealth of philatelic (and historic) knowledge. This as well as your courtesy is what I value about your blog.
Don't ask me though how much I am willing to spent for a subscription fee. The current price is quite fine, but there will of course be a limit - and I suspect that at some time you will have to think about this too.
- 2015-11-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas @Franz... Thanks. Image received and uploaded to your original post.
OK, based on the image I'd say it's not a cancel, but so called 'zeitungsüberdruck'. It's a kind of private precancel/overprint used primarily in French and Austria with newspaper wrappers/stamps.
- 2015-11-01 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas Hi Keijo
Sorry about this. I just shared the file with you, and hopefully you can see the image now. I am still interested in your opinion on it. And thanks for the Wikipedia link you sent.
- 2015-11-01 Keijo wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? @Dixon...
1. If subscribers only, how do you increase the base?
Not really sure if there's true need... All in all this blog of mine has always been more about quality than quantity. If the current 'subscriber base' of 70 premium members moves along with me, then I'm more than happy. If more people follow, then that's great and they will all be welcomed.
There would be still be public outreach in form of Facebook page, and Google+, and Twitter, and... So there's room for growth as well. But it will happen only with terms that are 'favorable' for long term evolution of SCB.
2. How does this differ from the existing model here today?
Right now about 40% of the blog articles and 100% comments/discussion are fully readable for everyone. Visiting the site is all it takes.
When/if I pull the plug, getting access to all of that would require at least some level of participation from the user (ie. registration of some sorts) . And there would be some kind of usage limits (like reading X pages month) with free subscriptions.
3... For years the agitated for a forum... It is time consuming and distracting. There are better uses of time.
Any forum is precisely what its users make out of it... As I'm planning a (premium) subscribers only forum, I do feel / expect that the need for anyone to 'play police' would be very low (but of course I could be all wrong).... The first and biggest obstacle would be to get some level of discussion to begin with. LOL
In a way all this is and will be a jump to 'big unknown' and nobody knows what the output of it all will be. But it will happen under terms that I control and feel comfortable with (unlike the current situation of SCB), so I'm very optimistic.
- 2015-11-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas @Franz...
I provided a link to my Dropbox Account, and hope that this works.
Unfortunately it didn't come through (asked for username + password, so likely it's an permission issue). You might want to check out the DropBox quickguide on topic and try again.
What is unusual is the overprint. “Ioni”
My gut feeling says that it's likely (a part of) some line postmark of Austro-Hungarian empire (if it was of Greek/Ionian origin, then the character set used would likely be Greek instead of Latin characters). Here's a Wikipedia page with some examples.
- 2015-11-01 Keijo wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings @Axel... Not a coincidence ;) At the time of writing I was working with North Korean part of my collection, so it was only a logical choice.
- 2015-10-31 dixon kenner wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? Some observations:
1. If subscribers only, how do you increase the base? How does this really differ from #2, where if you don't have some sort of a public face, subscriptions will slowly decline as the only way to get new will be through word of mouth.
2. How does this differ from the existing model here today?
3. I run the web presence of the local Land-Rover club. For years the agitated for a forum. For year I noted that there is overhead associated with this, most importantly in the form of actual humans to deal with the robots, spammers, and otherwise control over the forum base. Forums can be done many different ways, some free (time associated with implementing the php and mysql code), some purchased.
Despite promises of support, which did materialise for a while, eventually it fell upon me and another to deal with the on-going support of the forums. It is time consuming and distracting. There are better uses of time. If subscription only, this will alleviate some of that burden as an account will be created upon a subscription, but you have aspects of #1 where how do you grow the offering?
Sorry I can't be of much help, but having been down this road in the past on a different hobby, the time investment is something I am very aware of. As for $$$, we live in different circumstances on what is available from a connectivity standpoint.
- 2015-10-31 Franz Feigl wrote on Q&A: stamps of Austria and Austrian areas Hi Keijo
Hope you are well. I'd like to tap into your historic knowledge, and wonder if you can help me with the following stamp. I have no difficulty identifying the stamp, but it is the overprint that baffles me. I provided a link to my Dropbox Account, and hope that this works.
Austria Newspaper Tax Stamp, Scott# PR7; issued on June 1, 1890
What is unusual is the overprint. “Ioni” I think stands for Ionian Islands, which are a group of seven islands located in the Ionian Sea west/south of Greece. The best known of the islands is Corfu. Great Britain acquired the islands in 1815, but returned them in 1864 to Greece on request of its inhabitants. The islands were occupied by Italian forces from 1941 to 1943 (after which the German Wehrmacht continued the occupation).
To the best of my knowledge, the Austrian empire never extended as far south as Greece. Why the overprint? Or is it a partial overprint only? It is also possible (though in my opinion unlikely) that I read the overprint incorrectly (i.e. top to bottom) and that a potentially partial overprint starts with “Inoi”, though I am at a loss as to what the full imprint would read in this case.
- 2015-10-31 Axel wrote on A more scientific view on color variations and changelings Is it coincidence you show as example North Korean stamps? Anyway thanks for the article...
- 2015-10-31 Keijo wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? @everyone following the topic... And the beta for the 'low cost sponsorship' is now over. Sadly only five parties signed up, and that is far from required to get it running (and honestly speaking I was not expecting much more). So I'll be looking/thinking at other alternatives and making some changes within the next few months. Right now the model I've got on my mind is a combination of different options/suggestions:
1) SCB will become for subscribers only.
This is required step. It will enable a move to lower cost environment as well as getting rid of the 3rd party ads.
2) There will be both free + paid subscriptions with different levels of access/services included.
Nothing of current free-for-all information will not be lost, but the hurdle as well as the limits to have access to it will go up (i.e. you have to at least sign up and request for access). Again, this is a required step to control the costs associated. Still have to figure out how to implement this (tech/code) as well what's included with different types of subscriptions (pure maths about costs).
3) Possible introduction of new services / content
Over the years quite a many people have asked for a forum/board for SCB, and I've always said no (because of bandwidth, cost, maintenance etc. related on open-for-all forum). If going to subscription only model, then all the obstacles become much more manageable, so why not to give it at least a try? And why settle for forum only as there's number of other kinds of 'cool' services to try as well... Again, have to do some more thinking about the tech, cost etc. involved.
Again, I'm listening to suggestions / thoughts on this.
- 2015-10-29 Keijo wrote on Collecting stamps of Trucial states (1973-) – United Arab Emirates @Shruthi... Well, most stamps are older than me as well, LOL.
In a way I'm not amazed that you found UAE stamps from Goa, as I've understood that a lot of Indian's have worked at UAE & gulf-area over the years.
- 2015-10-29 Shruthi wrote on Collecting stamps of Trucial states (1973-) – United Arab Emirates Found 10 stamps of the crest definitive era at an antique store in Goa recently and was wondering when it was published. My friend found your article and now we know that it's 1982! Older than us :)
Thank you for the well-informed article!
Shruthi / http://nyambura.co
- 2015-10-28 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamp software @Zoltan... That's odd. I haven't had any issues with Bursting app. Just this morning I 'crunched' two pages of stamps with it. All correctly 'boxed', and output was completed in few seconds.
But like you wrote, how the algo works is all up to what kind of image you feed with it. If the stamps are placed too dense, overlapping, the contrast is weak etc. reason that might make the heuristics difficult, then there will be issues with all software.
- 2015-10-27 Zoltan wrote on Q&A: stamp software Thanks for your comment Keijo. I evaluated that free software and it worked very badly and slowly on my test samples. These image recognition algorithms are all heuristic and all different, therefore yield different results on different inputs. So I decided to release it and let the market judge.
- 2015-10-27 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamp software Hi Zoltan,
and thanks for the comment. You've got an interesting and potentially useful product, BUT (and please do notice I used capitals)... There's already a free and well-working alternative called Stamp Image Bursting application that does provide ALL the bells and whistles required (and even bit more). The only benefit your StampScan has right now is 'ease-of-install' when compared to Stamp Image Bursting app. So I fear there is not going to be much demand for the StampScan unless you can come up with additional (truly heavy-weight) 'killer features' that justify the $40 price tag.
- 2015-10-27 Zoltan wrote on Q&A: stamp software Hello
While I cannot add to the discussion about stamp collection software, I have something else that may prove interesting to this community.A few years ago I developed a photo scanning software that lets you scan several photos at once and them saves them to files. Some people tried to use it for stamp scanning (entire album pages of stamps) but failed. The program wasn't developed with stamps in mind. Now I decided to make a "spinoff" of my photo scanning software and turn it into a stamp scanning software. Apparently there is demand for such thing - before you start to make your catalog, you need to digitize your collection, don't you? The software is really fresh, so I am looking for feedback on the performance. Is it working well or not, what kind of extra features do collectors want to see? As I am not a philatelist myself, I have no idea what extra features you guys might need. This one is intended to complement all the stamp catalogue softwares out there. You scan and crop the stamps with StampScan, then you proceed with your catalogue. See stampscan.com for the download. It's for Windows only.
Have a nice day everyone
- 2015-10-26 Keijo wrote on Welcome to SCB Store @John... Thanks. It's always great to hear readers of the blog enjoy my musings...
Re family/health issues... Let's say that I will not have any issues with 'what to do on my free time' for rest of the year (just take a look of my collection, and how 'miserably' I've managed to add items in recent weeks). I was on a work trip to eastern Finland last week, and at the same visited my father at local ward. When I entered, I had a full A4-sheet of 'things to ask/do', and when I left out I had a totally different set of tasks/questions ahead of me.
- 2015-10-26 Keijo wrote on Stamp dealers, auctioneers, eBay powersellers, stamp clubs, stamp website owners, postal administrations etc - here's your chance! And let's make it a 5... Still (at least) 15 spots to fill (and only few days remaining).
- 2015-10-25 John Zwikstra wrote on Welcome to SCB Store Hi Keijo
Just signed up. I got back into stamps a few years ago and really enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work.Hope the family and/or medical issues are not too serious.John
- 2015-10-24 Keijo wrote on How to check if a stamp is a forgery or genuine, lesson 3 - North Korea 1967 postal forgery @Gerben...
I know pure speculation.
Then there's the question of different print method, different perforation, different paper, different color... Would involve a lot of changes to reproduce officially.
But till more specimens come up, each option is possible.
However….. look at the following: North Korea has issued a stamp of a somewhat similar design in 1968 – the Dredger 2 September. Michel #855 and issued in green. Now Michel notes: ‘apparently exists also in blue rather than green’. Scott actually lists both varieties as Sc#838 and Sc#839. Used the green Sc#838 has a CV of $ .20 while the blue Sc#839 has CV of $ 500 suggesting a limited number became available to the market. Might be the same thing: officially issued in green, erroneously issued also in blue.
And the 'official' DPRK catalog lists both types. Catalog value mint 1.10₩ mint and 0.35₩ used for both. Based on that should not be a great rarity.
It's wonderful when catalogs contradict, LOL
- 2015-10-24 Gerben van Gelder wrote on How to check if a stamp is a forgery or genuine, lesson 3 - North Korea 1967 postal forgery Sound reasoning, but still seems to a certain extent speculative. How about another line of thought as follows: the forgery is a somewhat more crude design. It was rejected, a new design was made and officially issued, published in the North Korea state approved catalog and based on that is listed in the general catalogs. However the said forgery somehow was put on sale too...... an oversight as has happened often in postal history. Denied of course by the official state authorities but still: it exists and has been used postally. I know pure speculation.
However..... look at the following: North Korea has issued a stamp of a somewhat similar design in 1968 - the Dredger 2 September. Michel #855 and issued in green. Now Michel notes: 'apparently exists also in blue rather than green'. Scott actually lists both varieties as Sc#838 and Sc#839. Used the green Sc#838 has a CV of $ .20 while the blue Sc#839 has CV of $ 500 suggesting a limited number became available to the market. Might be the same thing: officially issued in green, erroneously issued also in blue.
Just some musings on a Saturday morning.....
- 2015-10-24 Keijo wrote on How to check if a stamp is a forgery or genuine, lesson 3 - North Korea 1967 postal forgery @Gerben... Actually in addition of worldwide catalogs such as Michel etc, I do have/use North Korean 'state approved' catalog. Nothing about this in there (though there is plenty of small tidbits that is missing from general catalogs).
As for why I think/believe this is a postal forgery.... All in all it boils down to one questions- what else?
The base stamp is truly inexpensive, and somewhat easily found as mint and CTO. So the only financial benefit involved would be to to defraud postal officials.
And the cancellation on forgery is definitely not CTO (but impossible to say it would be genuine neither).
One alternative possibility is that somebody's played with with piece of postal stationary (similar to the Soviet 'forgery' I shared few years back). But again, why so?
- 2015-10-23 Gerben van Gelder wrote on How to check if a stamp is a forgery or genuine, lesson 3 - North Korea 1967 postal forgery Nice analysis of the difference between the two stamps. But why conclude it is a postal forgery? If there is one country in the world where I would think you wouldn't want to take the risk to make postal forgeries it is North Korea. How about the worldwide catalogs just not having all the issues from this this country listed?
- 2015-10-22 Keijo wrote on About USA 60c Rickenbacker stamp The world is your oyster. Seriously.
Do whatever collectors or non-collectors might do with a stamp. Or get creative, funny etc... In the end it's just a piece of paper that somebody used to lick (or if still mint/unused, then worth the 60c face value as postage).
- 2015-10-21 Robert wrote on About USA 60c Rickenbacker stamp I have one of the original stamps what should I do with it
- 2015-10-19 Keijo wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? @John... Thanks for the comment. As always, you provide me with lots to think about.
But the big turning point was realising that people were reading my Blog and that I had a duty (is that too strong a word?) to my readers.
You know, I read pretty much the same thought yesterday by from the keyboard of another blogger (it's a bit cheesy blog, but entertaining and definitely worth a read).
I admit that I've got mixed feelings on this... I underwrite that a good blog is 50% author and 50% readers. It's difficult if people who I've learned to know and appreciate because of their comments choose to leave because of what I do or don't do (which is why I'm listening to voice of readers on this topic)... But I will not drop any tears if the 'anonymous' bunch exits SCB, as I don't feel owing anything to them. So at least for me blogging is more about mutual benefits, not only about giving or taking.
I am still mystified by the lack of organisation of Stamp Collecting blogs and websites online
Actually there is PWMO, but it's website has not been updated in few years. Likely old age is hitting Victor (who owns/maintain the organization).
And APS does host the annual 'APS website awards' program. And I think that FIP does have some kind of 'awards' program as well.
There's also some 'schism' around... For example APS-website will never link to SCB as I'm not a member/affeliate of APS (but I don't have any issues linking to APS or any stamp society/club). And most of the major stamp boards/forums have got at least one or two rules that specify 'places-that-shall-not-be-named-or-linked' without actions (human chemistry is difficult even at best).
And yes, most of us 'stamp people online' seem to start solo, work solo, and eventually exit solo without anybody (except few regulars) noticing anything. Sad, but true.
- 2015-10-19 John Mooney wrote on Is SCB making it or breaking it? Keijo,
You do a remarkable job for the Stamp Collecting community. I am not a premium member and at times I feel like I am a "freeloader". My only two excuses is are that I am retired on a still small fixed income and my collecting interests are not broad enough to fully benefit. For me it is all about Ireland stamps, Ireland postcards, Ireland Coins etc....then lastly, the Rest of the World.
My own Blog is not well supported by readers. While growing, it now averages about 600 views per month. A poor result for the effort I put into it. But an accurate reflection that it is "too Irish" and lacks real interest for the general Stamp Collector, especially as it often covers postcards, coins etc.
You have the great advantage of knowing a lot about computers, design and presentation. My own Blog (Word Press...basic) costs me nothing to run.
A second (politics and history related) Blog (also Word Press basic) has on rare occasions got 20,000 views per month. I found that difficult to deal with....and I am now running at a more manageable average of 7,000 per month.
The one thing that I do have a lot of is....Time. And when the major Blog started taking too much time, I was irritated at my own success. A good Blog is 50% due to the Author and 50% due to the people who "comment".
So I have a dilemna of one (Stamp) Blog that I cant quite get off the ground and another that got off the ground and flew away out of my control. I had to make adjustments but I miss the fact that my Blog is not as influential as it was in 2013. Paradoxically the main Blog suffers because I am putting too much time into the Stamp Blog.
Ironically, I started blogging (after several false starts) in 2011 and was very skeptical about the claims made for Blogging....the "citizen journalists" and empowerment. i prefer to think of myself as an old man with access to a keyboard. But the big turning point was realising that people were reading my Blog and that I had a duty (is that too strong a word?) to my readers. I did not seek "empowerment" and really the sheer numbers of people scared me...and defeated me.
In a different way, I feel that you have the same dilemna....wishing the best Blog possible to your readers while not damaging yourself in terms of Time, Health and Finance.
I failed the Test. I hope you succeed.
On a more general note, I am still mystified by the lack of organisation of Stamp Collecting blogs and websites online. Maybe its me....maybe its Google....but too many seem to be operating under the radar.
There seems scope for greater co-operation in the online Stamp Collecting community.
- 2015-10-19 John Mooney wrote on Musings of a stamp collecting tv-loving history buff i can name all 50 USA States in Alpha Order....there is a formula I use....4xA, 3xC, 1x D and so on....all 32 counties of Ireland (again a formula) and every nation in the United Nations plus the ones that should be) again a formula...28 EU nations, rest of Europe, Oceania, nOrth America, Central, South West Indies ...which will bring you to exactly 100....then 101 Japan...rest of Asia and the Africas starting with the islands and Portuguse, Spanish, German, Belgian colonies ....finishing with British and French....if I forget one it will always be Gabon.
But really this is a party trick which is not impressive in "the real world". Effectively I find I am too old to know stuff like modern music (anything after 1973 is modern). ....and I never learned to swim or drive a car!!!!
- 2015-10-19 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 @Allan... Thanks. Remind me about this in a week or two unless you hear from me before that (feel free to email me anytime).
- 2015-10-19 Keijo wrote on Philatelic vocabulary @dixon...
... the growth in nuance since I was young has been interesting.
Not sure if it's about growth, but the fact that different kinds of information (not to mention actual items) is much more easily available these days.
Now you have Stamperija, IGPC et al, who actually might, or purport to have licensing agreements with certain nations
I think/believe they have got valid paperwork done. If not, the catalogs editors and stamp magazines would have already had major news about it. LOL.
At least every time any SCB reader has written something 'offending' about certain companies, I've been contacted by legal guys with 'cease or desist' messages unless the 'offending' parts are removed. And I do understand, they're just trying to protect their business/reputation.
Granted, Stanley Gibbons seems to be starting to put a number of these issues into the back of the catalogues and not give them formal numbers.
Not sure if you've already stumbled with my 'rant' on the topic of appendix issues ;)
Yet, if they actually got recognition, are those stamps now “real” stamps?
History is being rewritten all the time. Often times from the view of the the 'strongest'... I think the major thing is to have understanding that catalog editors and postal administrations work under different scopes.
If being a 'purist', then the only thing that matters is what UPU/postal administration has stated on the moments the stamps were issued. For example the 'Indonesian Vienna stamps' would likely be axed based on such decision.
But as collectors we usually rely on catalogs instead of UPU/postal administrations, and it does create interesting 'conflicts' between realms. For example Finnish post issued few weeks back 54 different personalized stamps to celebrate the stamp day. Finnish catalogs will include them (but no major numbers); foreign catalogs (such as Facit, Michel, Scott) will likely list just omit them except for having the major frame/design listed; Finnish postal administration considers them all valid 'philatelic products' that can be used to pay postage; and from UPU perspective they're all 'valid' goods. Which way to go if wanting a complete Finnish collection? Indeed, that is an interesting philosophical question.
- 2015-10-19 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2015 Hi Keijo,if you want to, feel free to send me the GB mini-sheets and I'll get them stamped and returned. A little something that perhaps will brighten up a day for you during this bad time. Best wishes,Allan
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