Latest user responses

  • 2014-08-22 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    Thanks. I guess I have all Type II then (I have four of them)!

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  • 2014-08-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Rick... Here's what you should be looking at (this is from type II stamp):

    Germany 1948 Holsten gate stamp stair types


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  • 2014-08-22 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    I am trying to distinguish the two types of Holsten Gate 1M, 2M, 3M and 5M from 1948-51. Scott says to count the number of horizontal lines in the stairs: Type I has 4 lines, Type II has 7 lines. I cannot be sure what they are referring to by "stairs". Would you please straighten me out? Thanks!

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  • 2014-08-20 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @Allan... Thanks. It's good to know that my message about 'quality' is heard :) As long as everybody tries their best, I'm a happy camper.

    Re, family crisis... Thanks.

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  • 2014-08-20 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hi Keijo,

    I thought I had checked the stamps - obviously not - my apologies, it won't happen again! Glad you liked the others though. Many thanks. Hope your family crisis resolves itself happily.

    Allan

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  • 2014-08-20 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange list...

    Received lot #47 from Allan yesterday. Lovely mix of worldwide with several more rarely seen island-stamps (Jersey,Falklands, Bahamas etc) :) On the downside about a quarter of the lot were in 'undesirable' condition (67 mint/unused stamps + 73 with faults of varying degrees; these are now packed in separate glassines). Even still, this was a very good swap and I found plenty of new items to my collection :) Will be placing response on the mail later today.

    Added afterwards... And another update to the list for the day. Two lots, 48A + 48B from Steven K, US for the day. As usual, there were some very nice stamps on th emix. Nice covers too, but sadly they were 'killed' efficiently with spray inkjet slogans (despite the stamps were hand-cancelled). Sigh. But at least USPS managed to cancel them this time (about half of my US mail arrives uncancelled these days).

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  • 2014-08-20 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @ikeyPikey... I really like the way you (and your brother) think :)

    True, giving feedback (especially on the Internet) is always a two-way street, which is part of why I've opened up this 'can of worms' for debate.

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  • 2014-08-20 ikeyPikey wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Keijo, Greetings:I first understood your question to be the feedback you make to folks with whom you have exchanged stamps via this blog. For them, I suggest you take a page from my brother, who said that he thought there should only be three grades in college courses: you did not do the work, you did the work, and you did the work so well that you really ought to take more courses in this subject. For stamp exchanges, it seems to me that "thanks, but that's it" and "thanks, let's do that again" are the two basic choices, and only the "again" might be qualified with "but next time, how about ..."

    The only decent feedback survey I've seen in my many years was the single followup question that followed a recent call to Delta Airlines, to wit: "If you ran a customer service oriented business, would you hire the person you just dealt with? 1/yes, 2/no".

    The whole eBay/online environment is bonkers; first off, everyone needs to remember that, even if they are sitting there, alone, in their underpants, they are really on a stage, and everyone can read & re-read every word they write, forever.

    I am glad to see that you seem to be up & around.

    /s/ ikeyPikey

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  • 2014-08-19 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    *** Important update August 19th 2014 *****

    Due to the recent and unexpected hospitalization of a close family member, I’m putting my stamp exchange on the temporary hold. Please DO NOT mail new exchange lots until otherwise informed..

    I will do my best to handle any exchange lots on their way to me on timely manner, but please be aware that due to situation at hand, there might be some delay.

    I will make an separate announcement when things get back to normal.

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  • 2014-08-19 Keijo wrote on How much is my stamp collection worth – straight talk about real world stamp values and prices
    @Amy...
    If a stamp is seen as being estimated at a large sum of money is it logical to expect to sell at nearly this price?


    As you wrote, it's an estimate... The odds are in your favor, but in reality it can swing either way significantly.

    It's all about supply, demand, condition, general stamp market trends... If you have the 'finest of the finest' type of specimen, then it will very likely sell for the estimate and beyond; but for anything else your guess is about as good as mine.

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  • 2014-08-18 Amy Young wrote on How much is my stamp collection worth – straight talk about real world stamp values and prices
    I have a stamp collection that includes many countries, from the mid-1800's into the 1900's. Many of these are quoted as being among the rarest/most expensive of certain countries, including Romania, Canada and America. If a stamp is seen as being estimated at a large sum of money is it logical to expect to sell at nearly this price?

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  • 2014-08-16 Keijo wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    @Richard... I've been doing the same occasionally when on the road :lol:

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  • 2014-08-16 Richard Boosey wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    Further about the relaxing aspect of soaking stamps. In my prior life, before I retired, my plant operations management job required travel to technical conferences with overnight stays. The hotel cleaning personnel the next morning were probably puzzled by wet bits of envelopes and old newspapers in the trash. I carried a small pan in my suitcase and bought a lot of stamps in kiloware, single country or geographical area, and would put them into soak before going to business dinners and then come back and spread them on newspapers and spread the newspapers around the carpet in the room. My wife sometimes travelled with me and got used to seeing me do that while she sewed in the evening. I carried tongs and glassine envelopes to gather the stamps the following morning. I used the cardboard spacers in the bulk glassine boxes to sandwich the glassine envelopes of stamps and banded them to keep them from being damaged in my suitcase. These days, I still buy kiloware, usually current stamps, in smaller quantities but still soak in the kitchen using a large 16 quart measuring bowl and dry them atop the washing machine.

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  • 2014-08-15 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange lists...Received lot #45 from Jeannette, Netherlands with a lovely mix of stamps from BeNeLux-countries with some UK and worldwide items :)

    Received lot #46 from Norbert, Austria. Not so surprisingly there were plenty of beautiful Austrian stamps that will fill quite a many spaces :)

    Qualitywise both lots were just what I was looking for, so hats off to both Jeannette and Norbert. Responses to both will be placed on mail first thing Monday morning.

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-15 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @Everyone... In about three weeks time I'll be receiving small batch of brand new Tom of Finland stamps, that I plan to use on my outgoing mail in late September.Because of the controversial nature of these stamps, I'll ask those who are about to send me some exchange lots in near future to express IF THEY DON'T WANT to see these stamps used on their mail (simply write a note with the stamps or something similar).



    (I'll use these on first come, first served order. No advance reserverations / requests, please.... If you are desperately dying to have a copy of the entire sheet, I'd advice to order it from Finnish Post website).

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-15 Keijo wrote on Is a complete all-era worldwide stamp collection possible?
    @Valerie... True. On the other hand who knows how long postage stamps are being produced and in what quantities? Personally I don't think postage stamps are going away any time soon (say 10-20 years), but on the other for example the Finnish Post has predicted that by 2020 the volume of traditional letter mail would decrease by half and there would be some radical changes on mail delivery. If that's the global trend, I believe pure economic reasons would start to limit the flow of new issues (and likely services such as P-stamps / print-on-demand would become much more commonplace).

    Re, revenues and other 'unlisted' stuff... I find them very fascinating as well. They provide some of that "to boldly go where no man has gone before"-spirit. And true, there are likely far more of them than anybody can imagine. But I find it simply part of the fun.

    Happy stamping!
    -k-

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  • 2014-08-15 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    @Morris... In response form? It's the yin-yang symbol, that's used in number of places (including the South Korean flag).

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  • 2014-08-15 Morris Virnig wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    The fake stamp I think it looks like A South Korea symbol

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  • 2014-08-14 Valerie Kramer wrote on Is a complete all-era worldwide stamp collection possible?
    A minor correction to your math... Assuming 15,000 new stamps per year, you'd have to add slightly more than 41 stamps per day, every day of the year, just to keep up with new issues! If you only added the 40-65 per day you suggest then at the end of the 40 years, you'd still be 40 years or so of stamps to acquire.

    I think your first comment was the most important. Don't worry about anything but having fun. If you enjoy stamp collecting, you're doing it right.

    Lately my activities have veered into Czechoslovakian revenue stamps. I'm finding them to be a large pool of stamps not listed in the standard catalogs but utterly fascinating. I'm also now bumping into poster stamps and local liberation issues, again, items not listed in normal catalogs. Having dipped my toes in these waters I can safely say your estimate of the total number of stamps is quite low compared to the total if you include all these other varieties that can be collected.

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  • 2014-08-14 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @Andrew... I would have thought the other judging from how some BBC-series characterize British way of living.Well, you live and learn something new every day...

    I so much agree with you on 'feedback forms'. They're a royal pain to fill as either the questions or options are way too often opting out the obvious/ actual issues. But on the other hand, whomever said there are lies, damned lies and statistics, knew it the best ;)

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  • 2014-08-14 Andrew wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    I thought it was just us British who were very loath to complain. We mumble about things but it is only with the advent of "Ambulance Chasing Lawyers" have we really started to complain.On a non stamp topic the main increase in complaining here has been with the privatised companies of the previously nationalised industries. Before this if you complained you got a shrug of the shoulders and a "So what!". I feel sometimes that when you are filling in these "feedback forms" instead of a 1 - 5, perhaps a 1 - 10 would be better. How does one reply to a questionnaire that asks "How do you rate our service." There is never an answer listed of "I got what I expected."

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  • 2014-08-14 Keijo wrote on Lundy Puffin postage stamps
    @Les... If they are used, I'll be happy to give them a loving new home :)

    If they're mint, then I'm sure some other collector will pick them up.

    Either way, if you're interested just type the message and I'll pass the email address to Les. Please DO NOT enter your email (or other contact details) on the message.

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  • 2014-08-14 Les Wollcott wrote on Lundy Puffin postage stamps
    I've had a number of Lundy stamps for sometime, at least 60 years, I don't even know how I got them. They all have the Coronation overprint on them. 2 PUFFIN blue,

    4 Puffin red and 9 Puffin brown. I have 7 x 2s, 12 x 4's and 12 x 9's. I'll be happy to send a set or a single or 2 to whoever would like them.

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  • 2014-08-14 Keijo wrote on SCB Summer Camp: Filling spaces project
    @Everyone... As those following the topic can see, it's now middle of August and it seems all my timelines / expectations with this project blew out the window. Zero updates in nearly 2 months is miserable achievement, but on the other hand I had quite enjoyable summer ;)I guess this just shows the difficulty of making/keeping (public) wantlists when you collect a bit of everything :|Anyways, fear not... I'm not about to abandon this project even though summer is about to end. It will simply became YASPINTF (Yet Another Stamp Project I Need To Finnish), and I'll work with it casually when/if time permits.

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-14 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @David...

    Re, answers to most of your questions can be found on the Slideshare presentation that is located on top of this page. If not visible, you can view it at http://www.slideshare.net/myob77/my-stamp-exchange
    Please, view the presentation (only 15 slides) thoroughly and in case of any loose ends, feel free to shoot me with additional questions.

    When you have the presentation at hand, please remember to click the 'full screen' button at the bottom, to view it on proper size:
    Swap guide

    The presentation also contains the link to download the PDF-file you're requesting.


    @Allan... Thanks for the note. I'll update the listings once it arrives (not sure why, but right now postage seems very slow... A letter from Germany took 2 weeks; a cover from India took 3 weeks etc). So far I'm doing all ok (knocking the wood)...

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  • 2014-08-14 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hello Keijo,

    I just sent a packet of 500 stamps to you. I hope there are many you can use. Tried to keep the quality good as well. Best wishes and I hope your health is OK too,

    Allan

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  • 2014-08-13 David Abbott wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Many thanks - David

    Hello Keijo, I have put together this evening an assortment of Finnish, Bulgarian an Hungarian stamps. Unfortunately I do not have pdf on my computer, could you please send me the pdf file to my email and I can print it from the gamial site, then send you the pdf form and stamps by letter post.

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  • 2014-08-13 David Abbott wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    K - As part of my free/charity/exchange/educational part of my stamp activities, if you like, we can exchange stamps. Do you require just one country, or a mixture, and I think you said only used or CTO? Or have you suspended activity for the moment? It IS possible for me to send commemoratives ON THE POSTAL ENVELOPE but here in Italy it is often difficult to buy postage stamps AT ALL. My local post office at the moment only has 85c (Europe) commemoratives in stock, or 1.50 euro definitive. NOTHING else. Often I have to put stamps from as long ago as 1963 on the envelopes. I have a lot of 2c, 3c and 5c definitive, which are pretty much useless. A pity you don't want definitives. Italy definitives right from the "States" era are fantastic, as are the stamps issued with Kings Vittorio Emanuele II and III, and King Umberto. However, after the King VE III "floreale" series Italian definitive are rather boring (except for the 55c and 85c values). One of my favourite stamps is the floreal 10 lire stamp, especially with perfins. Let me know. Cheers - David

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  • 2014-08-13 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @David...

    I sell stamps on Ebay and I have sent about 800 lots. As far as I know, no envelopes have EVER been opened.


    That's usually for the receiver to know... I receive several specimens each year. Sometimes they're checked by Finnish customs, sometimes by the senders country... Here's one sent from UK. As there's no financial limitations for EU purchases, they were likely looking for forbidden goods:

    Opened by customs


    -k-

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  • 2014-08-13 David Abbott wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hello, my 2 penneth's worth here. I sell stamps on Ebay and I have sent about 800 lots. As far as I know, no envelopes have EVER been opened. I always weigh my envelopes at home, and as long as the weight is not more than 10g more than the maximum for the weight band, I send them paying the lower weight band. That means 2 euros maximum from Europe to N.America. David

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  • 2014-08-12 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @Philip...
    Thankfully most people seem honest, and in the end: buyer beware!


    Hear, hear...

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  • 2014-08-12 Philip Reynolds wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Ebay and other stamp/philately outlets benefit from honest (though polite) criticism. Though perhaps I have been lucky since hardly ever been sent stamps and covers that were not honestly described (eg, with minor faults noted and perhaps photographed). Obviously one might use common sense and not spend a large amount with an on-line dealer one does not know. I also ignore the ''rare'' and ''very old'' and similar subjective descriptions, usually from people in ignorance who do not really know what they are selling rather than being deliberately misleading. Perhaps it helps if, unlike your wonderful collection/s, one specializes? I know that most very early Japanese stamps on ebay are likely to be old forgeries (though one might strike lucky!). I know that, eg, a specific 1940's Japanese stamp is neither ''[rare'' nor ''very old'' and not worth anything like the asking price. But I might be hard pressed, ie, in ignorance, to know that with most other stamps of the world. Thankfully most people seem honest, and in the end: buyer beware!

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  • 2014-08-12 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @Cecil... Thanks.

    P.S. We do not recognize people when they do good often enough.


    So true, so true...

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  • 2014-08-12 Cecil Reams wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    In Minnesota too, and Minnesota nice only go's so far, give constructive criticisms were its due, its better for both parties. And give truthful comments especially when very good or very bad as this benefits others (like the saying goes a word to the wise).

    Well that's my 2 cents, and remember the truth always prevails.

    P.S. We do not recognize people when they do good often enough.

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  • 2014-08-10 Ceri Stafford wrote on Lundy Puffin postage stamps

    Joel D. Pic wrote:
    I have an interest in starting to collect stamps from Lundy. I was told of this site and was told that I could get help with starting from the nice folks on this site. Can anyone direct me to literature, catalogs, list, history, and dare I say dealer (will asking that get me removed?) where I can get my collection started. I appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks for any help that I get from you folks, in advance. Thanks again--Joel



    Hi Joel. I am Postmaster General on Lundy. Feel free to e-mail me on lundypostalservice@lundyisland.co.uk and I can send you some details.

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  • 2014-08-10 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @Jim... Hmm... I say you'd make a damn good Finn, LOL.

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  • 2014-08-10 jim jackson wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Unfortunately, I'm not one to give advice about negative feedback, as I was born and raised in Minnesota with a large Scandinavian community. The land of "Minnesota Nice".Contrary to the East coast, one did not stare directly at a speaker overly long, or stand close, as that was considered "aggressive". If one was having a conversation with an acquaintance, one stood at a 45 degree angle with each other. LOL

    If you are familiar with the radio show "Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor- well, I lived about 50 miles away from "Lake Wobegon".

    What that meant is I had a high threshold before I complained- it had to be egregious.

    With the help of my wonderful spouse- who is much more straightforward, I've changed a bit.

    Praise for the parts that merit praise.

    Constructive criticism when it is due.

    Still the "Minnesota Nice" keeps me from complaining about the lesser stuff- and that is probably a good thing. :-)

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  • 2014-08-09 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange lists

    .................................
    Received lot #43 from Kostas, Greece... Nice cover and found some new stamps from the mix, but there were three issues with this lot.

    Quality...33 damaged stamps + 7 mint items makes about a third of the lot dead weight. I know I'm repeating myself like a broken record, but this is important. Please, work with the quality and weed out damaged items.

    Wishes... Like stated on the exchange rules, please do not make specific wishes of countries, topics etc. to include/exclude... I'm sure many would prefer to have recent (post 2000s) European stamps as you requested, but I don't have the time (or the stock) to start seeking those separately. All the stamps I swap come from couple of big boxes full of worldwide items with no order, and there can be anything between A(den) and Z(ululand) in between that you end up with.

    And last and most importantly: returns from the stamps I sent you before. ... I know English is not your first language, which is why you might try to make short cuts or assumptions on how this swap goes. However, this is not your average stamp exchange and there are several special rules and practices that all participants must abide... There is no special mention about sending me back stamps I sent You, but which You don't need. But... I don't need them either. Like stated on the Slideshare presentation, this exchange goes simply:



    1. You send me some stamps
    2. I pick what I need from those
    3. And I sent you back an equal selection of worldwide stamps



    Nothing more, nothing less... Simply learn to live with the rules of my exchange, please.

    ..................

    Received lot #44 from Bogdan, Romania... Nice mixture of mostly Romanian stamp. Sadly I already most of them... Again, a bit more additional focus on quality, please (there were 10 damaged items).


    ..................

    Responses to both will be sent out first thing on Monday morning.

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  • 2014-08-08 Lee wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Keijo. I'm working through some Central and South American material right now and, good grief, the overprints! My favoriteis a revenue issue withan overprint in blue, a surcharge in red, and a cancellation in black! Putting myScott's to the test...

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  • 2014-08-08 Keijo wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt2: Jose de San Martin
    @Lynne... My pleasure.

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  • 2014-08-08 Keijo wrote on Equatorial Guinea - a country with lost reputation
    @Holger...

    The period 1972-79 (described in the editor’s foreword as “the wild years”) has been expanded from 15 to 26 pages, with mostly one illustration per set. If i’m honest i didn’t really expected more.


    Bummer...

    All in all, this makes a rather innocuous chapter in comparison to the current Stamperija editions, which are well documented in this catalog for Mozambique, Sao Tome etc. The sheer mass of these new releases will ensure that it is virtually impossible even for wwc-optimists to improve their completeness rate, even if you get thousands of new stamps per year :-)


    Agree. Stamperija issues are a real challenge especially as they don't provide CTOs en masse and print runs are very limited. But I'm hoping that as years/decades go by, some of the material will begin surfacing as bulk lots.

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  • 2014-08-08 Lynne wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt2: Jose de San Martin

    Keijo wrote :
    Hello Lynne,


    sadly the photo didn't pull through. Like you guessed, it has to be somewhere online before the system can handle it properly.


    Anyway, I think I know what your stamp is... Is it one of these two?





    The one with period under "c" was released in 1923; the one without dot was issued from 1924/33. And of course these were used for much longer period (up to 1950s I believe).


    -k-



    It's identical to the one on the right, (no dot under"c")! This is wonderfully helpful information to me - I now know that the person who sent this beautiful card could NOT have died prior to 1924 - it's a very important part of our family history for me, and I can't begin to thank you enough! You are absolutely amazing. I think you're going to be hearing from my husband - I told him there are blog comments on here about inheriting a stamp collection, and that's his situation too. Thanks so much!

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  • 2014-08-07 Holger wrote on Equatorial Guinea - a country with lost reputation

    Keijo wrote :
    @everyone... A short update relating to article... I just received Michel catalogue newsletter stating that the new MICHEL-Zentralafrika-Katalog 2014/2015 (ÜK 6/1) will contain illustrated catalog listings for stamps of Equatorial Guinea for the period 1972-1979. Hooray :)

    The new catalog has finally arrived! The period 1972-79 (described in the editor's foreword as "the wild years") has been expanded from 15 to 26 pages, with mostly one illustration per set. If i'm honest i didn't really expected more. The deletions are limited, i keep them in my count anyway. No hints on differences for Block #240, but i think the real photo must be the correct edition.

    All in all, this makes a rather innocuous chapter in comparison to the current Stamperija editions, which are well documented in this catalog for Mozambique, Sao Tome etc.

    The sheer mass of these new releases will ensure that it is virtually impossible even for wwc-optimists to improve their completeness rate, even if you get thousands of new stamps per year :-)

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  • 2014-08-07 Keijo wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    @Lee... Thanks for all the praise. I'm very humbled by it, as I consider myself nothing special. I'm just a regular collector sharing his thoughts...

    Re, forged overprints... Personally I'd say this is one of those things where issue has become greater than it in reality is. True, there's an increased risk of forgeries with overprints, but personally I'd worry the 'regular' (non-overprinted) classics more.

    Likely the split of mint/used forgeries is highly dependent of availability of 'base stamp' - some stamps are simply more common as mint; others used. So it can swing either way depending on the stamp at hand.

    As for how to identify the forged overprints, there are about as many ways as there are stamps.Personally I'll go through the following check-ups:

    1) Does overprint match the catalog description?
    Possibly the most common error forgers make is to make the overprint with false print method (ie. offset instead of recess etc). Or use wrong typeset (meaning letters, spacing etc. look different than the original). Or they use entirely wrong 'base stamp' to make up the forgery. Or... Basically a simple check of basics is enough to weed out a lot of suspicious stuff.

    2) What's on the cancellation?
    Location, date, unusual cancellation style... They all might give clues that something is wrong. The location and date are pretty obvious, but 'cancellation style' is something that one can only learn by seeing lots of copies/specimens to compare (or by reading specific literature/resources).

    3) Is overprint on top of cancellation?
    Sometimes the ink might bleed through, but if the overprint appears on top of cancellation, I'd be very cautious.

    Re quality... There's a pretty good reason why real world prices and catalog values differ so much. Catalog values are always for items in 'better than average' condition, whereas most items sold are of lesses quality. Personally I try to follow the catalog definition of quality material as closely as I can, but I don't loose my nights sleep if a stamp has heavy/smudgy cancellation or poor centering as long as it's a sound/solid specimen otherwise. But I have no doubt that the 'truly high quality' material is extremely rare creature - likely just 1-2% of my collection would grade as such.

    Re my exchange... Don't worry too much, and you'll do just fine.

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-07 Lee wrote on Ask anything about stamps, collecting, life...pt 8
    Hi Keijo,

    I have to say, reading your blog the last few months has truly reinvigorated my interest in collecting, and changed my approach, I think, for the better. I'm casting a much more wary eye on a lot of material and 'raising the bar' on my collection, (I ask myself 'What Would Keijo Do?) even going back through the collection and doing some 'weeding.' I've also become much more interested in quality, postally used material as a means of tracking through more specific history of various countries. A question I have for you is whether, in your opinion, used material (particularly used overprints) is any less likely to be forged? It seems logical that, in most cases, forgers would be looking to create faux 'mint' examples but, obviously, forged cancellations abound as well. I ask because overprints just seem like they would be the most obvious thing in the world to forge and I'm wondering whether a collector can avoid at least some of that by concentrating on (apparently) used overprinted material? And, if not, what key points to look out for with regard to the cancellations themselves being forged?

    On a side note, I've started setting aside some material to have a go at your exchange later this year though, I must say, I'm quite intimidated by your collection and not sure how much new material I might be able to provide such an advanced collection. I'm trying to focus on good postmarks in the hope of at least providing 'upgrade' copies. And being ruthless with regard to damage/spots, etc., of course. It's really quite amazing just how rare QUALITY, used material actually is. Much more so than mint material in a great many cases, despite what catalog pricing might suggest.

    Well, thanks for any advice you may have on avoiding forgeries by focusing on cancelled material, and thanks for breathing some new enthusiasm into this old pastime.

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  • 2014-08-07 Keijo wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    @Fabio... That would be great :) Please check your inbox....

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  • 2014-08-07 Keijo wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt2: Jose de San Martin
    Hello Lynne,

    sadly the photo didn't pull through. Like you guessed, it has to be somewhere online before the system can handle it properly.

    Anyway, I think I know what your stamp is... Is it one of these two?

    General Jose San Martin stamp Argentina

    The one with period under "c" was released in 1923; the one without dot was issued from 1924/33. And of course these were used for much longer period (up to 1950s I believe).

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-06 Fabio Scarela wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    Hello there, Keijo! I am a brazilian collector and have thousands of duplicates of the Vovó stamps. I have been studying them for almost 10 years and I have about 116 different issues. I can supply you some issues that you still don't have, if you want to! Just let me know! For brazilian issues I use the RHM catalogue, but I also have Michel at hand. Regards!

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  • 2014-08-06 Lynne wrote on Argentinian definitive stamp series of 1954/76 pt2: Jose de San Martin
    I know nothing about stamps, I'm sorry if I'm intruding here, which I certainly would not want to do. It's on a postcard which was in my Dad's treasured possessions, it came from Argentina from his brother. If I could find out what dates this stamp was in circulation, it may help me sort out some family history questions to which I'd dearly love the answers. I don't know if the photo will come through ok or not, it's just on my desktop - I have a feeling your instructions might be for ones online. The stamp is 5c, red, in a straight line across the top says Republica Argentina, and underneath beside the 5c is Gral JOSE DE SAN MARTIN. It isn't the same picture as the others on this page, I think it's typographed (from your description). I can't quite make out the postal mark - SO close - it looks like "11 ABR 20 15". Would you have any idea of roughly what years this stamp would've been used? Thank you for reading -

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  • 2014-08-05 Keijo wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    @Nica... All appear minimum catalog value stuff. So no monetary value in there.

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  • 2014-08-05 Nica wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    Dear Keijo,I've inherited this stamp book from one of my uncles.

    http://www.popgrotto.com/Nica/Stamp%20Book/Details



    Do you by any chance know if these stamps are worth something?







    Thank you,

    Nica

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  • 2014-08-05 Cecil Reams wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Received your post today, I think this is the fastest posting yet.

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  • 2014-08-04 Ray Legge wrote on Q&A: stamp catalogs and other publications
    very thorough exposure of the "world of catalogues" ... many thanks from downunder ... Ray Legge Ballina NSW Australia ... generally our libraries provide our cheapest option

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  • 2014-08-03 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    @Andy... The Chinese listings should 'improve' notably when I release the next major update to the My Collection (hopefully later this year).

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  • 2014-08-02 Andy Macdonald wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    @Keijo - Roman Scheibert must take the credit for starting the China Liberated Areas FB page, but it is 'mine' too I guess. I notice that your great attempts to categorise all stamp issuing areas doesn't even touch China Liberated Areas. Only locals I suppose, but we like them. The Chinese communists were always keen to produce stamps and/or money of any area they controlled. During 1937-1945 different areas of China were under control of Nationalists, Communists and Japanese. One thing that isn't so well known is that the Japanese and Communist areas often used Nationalist stamps ...

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  • 2014-08-02 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    @Andy... Thanks :) You've definitely got a nice Facebook group going on there...

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  • 2014-08-02 Keijo wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    @Tri... Based on quick browse, the "album pages" are likely more interesting than the stamps on them :lol: Seriously speaking the only stamp that 'popped up' to my eyes was the Irish dog licence revenue. Personally I'd pay 10-12$ for the entire lot; others might pay more / less. Just my 5 cents worth...

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-02 Keijo wrote on Is a complete all-era worldwide stamp collection possible?
    Hi Davide,

    and thanks for the praise :) It's nice to know that even ASFE (A Stamp From Everywhere) collectors find my humble blog useful.

    I'm well aware of the 'Philea index' and agree it's an interesting resource to follow. The funny thing with all these 'statistics sites' (my collection pages included) that all agree to disagree on specific numbers. But all in all they're all a good indicator about the total number of stamps issued.

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-02 Andy Macdonald wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Good introductory article. Used China stamps are becoming more collected now, especially if they have good postmarks with identifiable town and date.

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  • 2014-08-02 Tri wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    Hi Mr.Keijo... I would like to show you my grandfather collection that I plan to sell it. Would you be kind to help me sort it out? Coz I really dont know how much it cost... Hope there's a special collection and can give us more $$$...

    this is the link :

    http://www.smkcahayasurya.sch.id/stamp/OLD%20STAMPS%20FOR%20SALE.htm

    Thanks a lot

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  • 2014-08-01 davide wrote on Is a complete all-era worldwide stamp collection possible?
    Dear Keijo dear all

    Amazing Post, thank you!

    if you are interested perhaps you can find interesting the following link where a list of the country that issue stamps since 1840 is reported.

    http://www.philea.se/saw/saw-eng.asp

    the total number is indicated as well 785,301 (16th July 2014)


    I'm organizing my own ASFE collection and for sure I will visit your blog often

    ciao

    Davide

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  • 2014-08-01 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange list... Received lot #42 from Kostas, Netherlands. This was mostly a mixture of Netherlands with some Greece. Sadly I had most of the Dutch stamps, and thus the swap ratio remained low. The Greek part of the lot though was far more successful :) I'll be placing the response on the mail on monday morning. Hope you enjoy the new stamps.

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-31 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange list.... Received lot #41 from Alp, US. Another excellent mixture of this and that from the world. My sincerest thanks. Response is already on it's way...

    @Pawel... Happy to hear you liked the mix.

    Re, the French revenue.... If I recall correctly, it's a general purpose French revenue from the mid 19th century.

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  • 2014-07-30 Pawel wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    I would like to confirm receiving your letter. Thank you very much, despite the low exchange ratio, I am tempted to call this the best swap so far!



    I also wanted to ask what exactly the French stamp with the handwritten cancellation is? A revenue issue? And does it actually read "1873"?

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  • 2014-07-30 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Update on the exchange list... Received lot #40 from Sarah, US. A very nice mix of worldwide stuff with nothing major to complain quality wise :) My humblest thanks to Sarah.Sadly none of the stamps on the cover were cancelled (but CN22 was twice). Sigh. But c'et la vie...

    I'll be placing response lot on the mail tomorrow morning.

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-29 Keijo wrote on Review of Stamp Mate 2014
    @tcs261... You should be able to increase the size of text by tweaking the settings of your laptop by going to Control Panel > Display > Make text and other items on screen larger (the default is 100%, but you can opt in for 125% and 150% settings). The downside is that if you do so, then some applications and web pages might look a bit funny as they were designed with 'default settings' in mind.

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-29 tcs261 wrote on Review of Stamp Mate 2014
    I have recently purchased the full version of Stamp Mate and have to say I'm impressed. The auto import of stamp data generally works well for items in my collection (mostly Austria and Germany) which saves a great deal of time and I like the filtering and report features.

    The only thing I would perhaps like to see is the ability to increase text size on menus and stamp information as it appears very small on my laptop screen.

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  • 2014-07-26 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    OK, I'm back from the summer camp, and there were five exchange lots (#35-39) waiting for me. I'll work my way through these during the next couple of days, and will mail the responses to all by Monday (or possibly Tuesday) afternoon. I'll update the list below as I progress:

    #35 from Pawel... Nice mixture as usual. Sadly I already had many of the stamps.

    #36 from Jurgen... Another very nice mixture with stamps from Romania, Hungary, Germany and Austria. I spotted number of nice new items :) Sadly about a quarter of the lot was 'unwanted stuff' (plenty of mint stamps from Romania and Hungary + number of damaged ones from Hungary). But all in all I'm very happy with this exchange :)

    #37 from Franz... Nice mixture with worldwide stuff (that Franz allowed me to pre-pick from scanned photos). About 40 items with random minor faults (mostly minor folds, thins or tears).

    #38 from Franz... Another nice mixture with mostly DDR (postally used and CTO).

    #39 from Cecil... Sadly I had most of the German stamps; thus such a low swap ratio.

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  • 2014-07-26 Keijo wrote on The many faces of stamp collecting
    @Rene... Thanks for sharing the story.

    Re, the 'lost sheet'... That's really curious. If it was not an accident, at least the ill-doer had the courtesy of steaming it off nicely instead of simply pulling/ripping it off (as it usually happens). So there's a silver lining in that gray cloud as well...

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-25 Rene wrote on The many faces of stamp collecting
    Hi there Keijo

    Not sure if this belongs here or not, but recently there have been a some articles about weird things that happen in the post offices with stamps, or souvenir sheets on letters that come through, such as scribbling all over the stamp(s) with a pen to cancel them... (this has happened more than once in Canada recently on some souvenir sheets, disgruntled worker I guess). This next one however is a new on to me. I buy Bulgarian stamps from a dealer in Sofia Bulgaria. I have developed a good relationship with him (chatting, sharing recipes from our respective countries etc) and recently I sent him a letter on which I put a beautiful souvenir sheet of the Centennial of the Empress of Ireland Sinking in the St Lawrence River in Canada. I included in the letter an article describing both the event and the stamp.

    A few weeks later he emailed me to tell me that he received the letter but was wondering if he was missing the point of something. The letter had arrived at his house without a stamp on it, no postmark nothing, just his address and my return address. He did say that the enveloped looked like it had gotten wet but that was all.

    The thought is that someone in the post office in Bulgaria saw the souvenir sheet and liked it so much they steamed it off.

    Go figure. My local post office no longer has any more souvenir sheets of the issue. Rather disappointing, and it also means that if I want to do something like that again I will have to put the sheet in the envelope and then pay for another overseas stamp to mail it.

    Just another little weirdity in the world of philately

    Rene

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  • 2014-07-24 Keijo wrote on Some revenue stamps of Egypt - need ID help
    @Abed... Thanks for the additional information.

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  • 2014-07-24 Abed wrote on Some revenue stamps of Egypt - need ID help
    The stamps that you posted is according to my knowledge is mostly used for revenues on consular purpose affixed in passport pages, specially the last single stamp picture of course used for consular revenue & general revenue purpose, I've got some of those stamps on passport pages refers date of early 1980s.

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  • 2014-07-24 Ian Gibbons wrote on Top 5 free online stamp catalogues reviewed
    Hi Keijo,

    Interesting comments from all. I think all these 'site types' are work in progress, the people who say there is not enough on them are more likely to be the ones not giving their time to the sites in creating data/information on them. Collectors have to realise that there is a world of information out there to hand and sites rely on user input to make them what they are.

    That said, a few recent changes at Stamps of the World (one of your 5 mentioned) needs updating a bit, not the largest of databases yet it is however one of the better and innovative sites for users who want to do just a little bit more than just put up stamp images of sets of stamps and their details. Current projects underway are plotting of Postmarks on google maps and creating informative pages on the towns, a more 'bloggy' style to its input allowing users to add envelopes to images that lead off to articles about the image; also we have opened up the wiki to allow users to display their exhibits.

    Hopefully these user led initiatives will enhance the site going forward and give a sense of enjoyment for users as well as having experienced collectors giving their valuable knowledge in helping others. Plug over, just thought it needed updating a bit.

    Regards
    Ian G

    [Message edited by admin/keijo to add some line breaks as well as make it a bit more 'concise')

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  • 2014-07-23 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hi Ralph,

    and thanks for sharing the good news. Thirty-five days of delivery is real disgrace for postal system, but I'm just happy it finally pulled through. Would give an arm and leg to know what's holding some of the US lots this extend.

    Re, bogus Equatorial Guinea... No need to be sorry. I'm more than happy to add them to my ever-growing collection of worldwide bogus stamps. Who knows, I might use them on a future blog post ;)

    And yes. It's definitely OK to send another batch :)

    All the best,
    -k-

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  • 2014-07-23 Ralph Covino wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014

    Keijo wrote :
    Hi Ralph,


    Yes, as stated on exchange listings it's been sent back to You the very same day (Jun 17th) it arrived. The Finnish Post website says mail from Finland to US takes about 10-15 working days for deliver, so it should have arrived your place. But I'd dare to say that anything within 3-30 days is more realistic depending on how USPS takes cares of it's service.


    If it's not in your place within the next week or so, then it's likely gone missing in the 'black hole'. Sometimes (like in Cecil's case above) these bounce back months and months later with no 'reasonable' explanation, or sometimes they're simply gone.


    But please, do keep me posted on how things proceed.


    -k-



    Hi Keijo,



    I am happy to say that your package of exchanged stamps arrived today safe and sound. It only took 35 days! No wonder the USPS is going out of business! However I am happy they are here. I am sorry for all the "damaged" stamps. I guess you have a much keener eye than I do. I am also sorry for the bogus stamps from Equatorial Guinea. I did not realize that they were considered bogus. I would like to send you another selection for exchange - maybe not as much as before. Is that o.k.?

    Ralph

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  • 2014-07-21 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @Cecil... That is great news :)

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  • 2014-07-21 Keijo wrote on Bogus Sahara OCC RASD souvenir sheets
    @Harold... From the sounds of it, I think I got most of those too.

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  • 2014-07-21 Keijo wrote on UK 1971 strike mail letter from Malawi
    @Ronnie... The ones with a 'moustached skull'? Anything from few quid north should be in the proper ballpark for a simplified mint set, used ones are notably tougher. But like with anything outside the 'mainstream' philately, their value is more about supply and demand (and correct timing/location) than of anything else.

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-21 Keijo wrote on Storage for worldwide stamp collection (pt3) - DIY stamp album pages
    @Steve... Actually the best combo would be "archive grade acid free lignin free buffered paper".

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  • 2014-07-21 Cecil Reams wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    The posting that you resent arrived today :). Sent another batch your way last week. Enjoy

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  • 2014-07-21 Harold D. Smith wrote on Bogus Sahara OCC RASD souvenir sheets
    I too have some of these BOGUS (Cinderella) stamps. A bird set from 1992

    an animal set also from 1992, a flower set also dated 1992. All of the above

    stamps are 10 ptas. I also have a set of portraits dated 1992 & imprinted

    "Exposicion Mundial de Filatelia". The value on these is 10, 15, 40 & 60 ptas.

    Hope this is helpful.

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  • 2014-07-21 Ronnie Ponder wrote on UK 1971 strike mail letter from Malawi
    I have obtained many different kinds of partial pages' as well as full pages of British pirate stamps that came about during the 1971 postal strike. are they worth anything

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  • 2014-07-21 Steve Goodwin wrote on Storage for worldwide stamp collection (pt3) - DIY stamp album pages
    I hope that's acid-free, colour-fast black craft paper there Allan ... ?

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  • 2014-07-20 Keijo wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    @Karen.... Thanks for the praise and questions.

    Re, Hungary and Romania... Yes. All 'Eastern Block' countries produced loads and loads of CTOs from 1950s onwards up to fall of Soviet Union. After that, it's a really mixed bag: for example Romania still produces loads of CTOs, but Hungary doesn't.

    As for should CTOs be included in mixtures that are sold/ traded... That's a real pandoras box. Personally I'd say it should depend on how the lot is described. If the description states 'used' or 'postally used', then I would not include them as many collectors don't consider CTOs as used stamps. But... If you go to stamp shop / dealer, and buy a packet of topical stamps or a 'kids mixture', there's a pretty good change that most, if not all the stamps will be CTOs. So in a way they are 'acceptable standard'.

    -k-

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  • 2014-07-20 Karen Raver wrote on Demystifying CTO (Cancelled To Order) stamps
    Your blog was a real education! There were some countries I never even realized used CTOs! Are Hungary and Romania also countries that used a lot of CTOs? And should CTOs be included in mixtures that are sold or traded? Thanks!



    Karen Raver

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  • 2014-07-19 Keijo wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    @ikeyPikey... Yes. I've seen those earlier. Not cheap, but not too bad/expensive either (assuming you collect those areas).

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  • 2014-07-19 Keijo wrote on Equatorial Guinea - a country with lost reputation
    @Holger... Ouch. I can only imagine the money you've poured into that. It's got to be hugely expensive set (as most volumes retail around 80€ a piece).

    Compared to 1990s editions, some 1978 issues (or so I call recall) were de-listed in the 20-something editions of Michel. Not sure what's in the current/upcoming edition, but I'm sure that it will be an interesting one.

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  • 2014-07-19 ikeyPikey wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    Several ePublications on postal stationary are available from:

    United Postal Stationery Society

    http://www.upss.org/



    Cheers,

    /s/ ikeyPikey

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  • 2014-07-18 Jan wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    Yes, Keijo, you are correct, that's the stuff! And no, don't smoke when using "pharmacist benzine"!

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  • 2014-07-18 Holger wrote on Equatorial Guinea - a country with lost reputation
    I've recently purchased 13 Volumes of Michel-Übersee catalogues (the coloured ones from 2012 onwards), still missing the 6 Volumes which will be released in the second half of 2014 and in 2015. This is a very expensive issue, but my previous ones were from 1995 to 1999 and so a bit dated. I hope the Equatorial-Guinea section will be extended enormously. But i'm a little afraid there will be only one illustration per set, as for most of the sand-dunes. My Eq.-G. collection has been reached a 50 % completion level, as you know there are some strange sets/editions, we all would be thankful for useful illustrations.

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  • 2014-07-18 Keijo wrote on Equatorial Guinea - a country with lost reputation
    @everyone... A short update relating to article... I just received Michel catalogue newsletter stating that the new MICHEL-Zentralafrika-Katalog 2014/2015 (ÜK 6/1) will contain illustrated catalog listings for stamps of Equatorial Guinea for the period 1972-1979. Hooray :)

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  • 2014-07-18 Keijo wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    @Jan.... Thanks for sharing. If I'm not badly mistaken, I believe that 'wazbenzine' is same as pharmacists benzine’ (or ‘Petroleum ether’ in US). It’s the same stuff as most lighter fluids, though purified better (less smelly, and less oily IMHO).... It should be somewhat stamp friendly (as it's been used by philatelists for watermarking checking pretty much from day one), but as it's highly flammable and highly toxic, It should be used with precaution.

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  • 2014-07-17 Jan wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    Hi Keijo,I've been reading your story about soaking stamps and may have a simple solution for soaking the self-adhesive stamps from France, USA, Singapore, etc.

    I have tried various techniques, but the one that I have been using succesfully for the last few years is the following:

    - fill a glass jar with a 1cm layer of "wasbenzine" (I am trying to find the right translation for this Dutch word ...);

    - put a max. of 10 stamps in the jar for a max. period of 30 mins. Close the jar ("wasbenzine" is volatile);

    - after 30 mins. you can peel off the stamps;

    - put the stamps with their backside up (it is still sticky!);

    - the stamps will dry quickly and once they are dry you take an earbud and lightly "rub" some talc powder on the sticky back of the stamp;

    I have done this now for the last few years (with several 100's of these type of stamps) and I have not noticed any negative consequences yet!

    Best regards,

    Jan

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  • 2014-07-15 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @everyone... I've gone to 10 day summer camp with my younger kids, and will be back on Jul 26th. In the meantime misses (and rest of family) will be taking good care of any incoming exchange lots.

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  • 2014-07-13 Keijo wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    @Larry... Thanks for the link. I think I've been there before. It's well worth a visit if you're into Australian stamps.

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  • 2014-07-13 Larry Bailey wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    I was so sick of catalogues that cost more than I was prepared to pay I produced my own for Australia, Australia Post even sponsored it for the first couple of years, currently every stamp most booklets , miniature sheets and sess sheetlets are listed, along with many overprinted stamps, and miniature sheets. The catalogue is free and the plus is if you can't find an Australian stamp in my catalogue, email me and I will advise where you can find it, I know my stamps that well, currently all stamps from 1913 to 2008 are listed, I am currently listing all Territories and 2009 issues. Please have a look and tell me what you think you can see it at: http://australianstrampcatalogue.com ,and yes it's says stRamp it was a typo I went with as it solved a number of domain name problems. The numbering system is my own and is registered along with the website.

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  • 2014-07-13 Keijo wrote on Keeping track of stamp collection
    @Marios... Thanks. This was good presentation and I'm sure it will help a lot people to make up their mind whether or not SRS might work for them.

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  • 2014-07-12 marios wrote on Keeping track of stamp collection
    Hi Keijo,



    I have uploaded a new video on utube which demonstrates the abilities of SRS to identify used stamps without much trouble. I have shown some very heavily cancelled stamps as well as regular cancels and most were found right away. The MOST important thing to SRS is a CLEAN scan with a clean black background. The video is here for your viewing pleasure

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmGtU0C3s08

    If you have any questions, we are always here to help



    sincerely

    Marios Theodossiou (www.ezstamp.com)

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  • 2014-07-12 marios wrote on Keeping track of stamp collection
    Hi Keijo,

    it's very difficult to say with any definitive certainty when the SRS engine will fail to recognize a stamp. My experience has been that if you have more than 50% of a stamp with a HEAVY cancel, it will likely fail. Roller cancels are not a problem nor are date cancels. Big blobs of ink ocer a major portion of the stamp will cause issues. I will post some samples shortly for you to see. I am also working on a DEMO version of SRS for 4 countries so people can see for themselves.

    The SRS algorithms use artificial intelligence & fuzzy logic to make decisions. I will post links to images or maybe a video to show what can fail to be recognized



    regards

    Marios

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  • 2014-07-12 Keijo wrote on Great Britain 1967 3d Christmas stamp colour shift
    @Richard... Thanks for sharing the 'dealer perspective'.

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All original content and images of this blog is under copyright protection; any kind of reproduction of full contents without permission of the owner is hereby denied. All Rights Reserved © Keijo Kortelainen, 2009-2014. All photos of stamps in this blog are enlargements or reductions of original stamps from private collection of author of the blog (unless otherwise stated). The designs of stamps and postmarks are copyright of issuing postal authorities and their designers. The comments / discussion on this blog are copyright of their retrospective authors, and represent the opinion of their authors. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy