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Discussion about “ Q&A: Stamps of Finland ”

  1. Chris wrote:

    Hei Keijo!

    My name is Chris. I am 59, retired, and live in England. I collect only Finnish stamps.

    I am finding your blog an excellent resource. I have also signed up for the newsletter.

    As a relative beginner, I am now considering a UV lamp to assist in the identification of certain Finnish stamps. However, I am confused by the information available on the web. Some say that LONG WAVE UV is required, others say SHORT WAVE UV.

    Can you – as a Finn yourself! – say which advice is correct?

    Best wishes to you, and many thanks for all your efforts.

    Hei hei!


  2. Keijo wrote:

    Hi Chris,

    for Finnish stamps a 366nm (= long wave) black light is recommended.

    As you are starting up with specialization of Finnish stamps, I must warn you that the paper-types of Finnish 1963 definitives have been re-classified very recently. These changes are included with the most recent specialized catalogs, like Norma 2010 which I reviewed in todays post.

    PS. Though long wave UV is less harmful than short-wave, I must stress that never ever look directly into UV light source.

  3. Chris wrote:

    Thanks for the quick reply, Keijo. Very useful for me – just like the rest of your site.

    Kiitos paljon Englannista!


  4. Keijo wrote:

    It was my pleasure. Very likely I will write up something about Finnish definitives this autumn. They are plenty of fun IMHO.

    BTW. That was surprisingly well written finnish sentence from an englishman.

    Kesäisin terveisin (“With summer greetings”),

  5. Chris wrote:

    OK Keijo. I shall look forward to the article on definitives.

    BTW – Those pre-1930 issues – both Russian era and post-1917 (Eliel Saarinen) – are so beautiful. But a nightmare to identify for a beginner like me!!

    As for my Finnish…well, I visit Helsinki often, and I do try hard. I can even understand some of YLE TV-uutiset (I watch every day!). But as for my being able to speak/write the language myself…well, that is another matter! LOL

    Thanks again for your support.


  6. Ronny Wong wrote:

    Dear friend,

    I realized that Finland recently issued stamps on Autumn and Torronsuo National Park. If its not too troublesome, I need your help to send me a cover with Autumn Mallard stamps only. Just want to add to my Finland Bird covers.

    Was there any interesting postmark with regards to Torronsuo National Park? Will be interested in that too.

    Since u collect used stamps, I can send u covers with complete set of recent 2010 stamps? Else please suggest.

    warmest regards,

  7. Keijo wrote:

    Hi Ronny,

    unfortunately I can’t help with acquisition of this (or any other recent) Finnish issue, because the selection of stamps at local (smaller) post offices can be very “varying” even in best cases… As far as FDC’s, special postmarks etc. “philatelic products/services” go, these are available only at selected postal outlets (meaning regional Main Post Offices).

    By far the easiest and most affordable way for anyone to buy a specific Finnish issue is to head to Finnish Post online shop, and buy online. They do accept all major credit cards.

  8. John Clark wrote:

    Dear Keijo,
    I’m currently working my way through some old Finnish covers and have found some where the destination address and postmark end with k.k. Do you know what this means and where can I get more information.

    I appreciated your review of the Norma catalogue.

    Best Wishes

    John Clark

  9. Keijo wrote:

    @John Clark… Of course I know 😆

    The inscription “k.k.” on Finnish postmarks and addresses means “kirkonkylä” (roughly translated “village with a church”). Way back it was used to highlight villages of municipality that had been privileged with having their own church (and priest). For example the village I’m living in is is example of such “k.k” location.

  10. Stefan wrote:


    I need some help identifying some stamps. The value of the stamp is important. And I mean the value ON the stamp.

    This is the first stamp:

    Could anyone provide some information about this stamp?

    I’m looking forward to hear from you all.

    Greetings from Germany,

  11. Keijo wrote:

    @Stefan… As a Finn, I’m well familiar with the stamp. It’s a 1987 stamp to commemorate a century of Finnish news service STT. The stamp was issued October 30th 1987, and has a face value of 2.30 (markka).

  12. Rick Young wrote:

    Hi, Keijo. I just did a search on questions and answers about stamps from Finland, and was amazed how few questions you have about this topic. Now that I have composed myself, let me ask you if you have ever written anything or know of anything online that discusses the Imperial Arms of Russia (original and redrawn). One reason I am asking is I have two 5 P, (I assume both redrawn per the Scott description of how to tell the difference) one with distinctly darker and clearer criss-crossed backgrounds. The main point is I wanted to read more about these issues, so if you have any sources I might refer to that would be great. Thanks!

  13. Keijo wrote:

    @Rick… I guess the number of questions goes hand in hand with the popularity of country/area. Finland is somewhat of a niche country to collect, so there are not that many questions about it (though it’s likely something I know most about).

    Re, the Imperial Arms of Russia design… Take a close look at the diamond background pattern. With lithographic issue (Scott #64-69) each diamond is full of dots. With typo issue (Scott #70-75), each diamond has precisely one dot in center of the diamond. The rest of characteristics (illustrated by Scott and just about every catalog) are there in case the diamond pattern/dots are not well visible. And of course the Finnish specialized catalogs go even deeper in splitting these into finer detail.

    Hope this helps.

  14. ikeyPikey wrote:

    Keijo: Here is a link to a STAMPS Magazine article entitled “Finland’s Postal History” by Carl E Pelander dated 19380903 (03 Sep 1938):

    If that link expires, I’ve saved the PDF.


  15. Keijo wrote:

    @ikeyPikey… I think I’ve seen that entry before (no wonder considering how much time I spent reading stamp related stuff 😆 ) But it makes a nice primer on Finnish postal history.


  16. Mark Dyck wrote:

    Hi Keijo,

    I’m working through some older Finland stamps and have a question about the Russian design types.  Specifically the 10 penni carmine stamps (Facit 51, 57I and 57II)

    There’s a description in the catalogue of the differences but, as is often the case for Facit, the pictures describing the differences are not very clear.   

    Do you have any tricks to telling these stamps apart?  Or, do you know of any online resource for early Finland definitives, similar to the recent Sweden definitives blog? 


  17. Mark Dyck wrote:

    Hi again Keijo!  

    I think I figured it out.  One thing Facit mentions is that the Helsinki plates had ‘indistinct arrowheads’ compared to the Berlin plates.  Now, as I only have one 10 penni stamp I didn’t know if I had ‘distinct’ arrowheads or ‘indistinct’.
    However, I also have a 20 penni stamp that I know is a Berlin plate (based on the ‘XX’.)  My 10 penni arrowheads are, relatively speaking, very indistinct.  

    All this is worthy of at least two pictures.  Here are some links to pics if you want to check them out.

    Both Stamps side by side

    10 penni Red, Helsinki plate 

    20 penni Blue , Berlin Plate

    (sorry I couldn’t get the ‘link’ button to work to put the links in the text!)



  18. Keijo wrote:

    Hi Mark,

    hopefully these images will help you (and anyone else):

    First, the 1901 temporary litho issue. The best characteristic for this is the ‘thinner’ number 1 as well as the general appearance of ornamental lines (their thinner/finer than in letterpress):
    Finland 1901 litho issue

    Then here’s the 1901/1903 First letterpress issue (Berlin plates). For this the id characteristics are sharp arrow points (below imperial crest) and the double-lining of oval around the imperial crest (inner space is narrow, outer is wider):
    1901 Finland Berlin plate letterpress

    And finally here’s the 1908/1909 Second letterpress issue (Helsinki plates). For this the id characteristics are dull arrow points (below imperial crest) and the double-lining of oval around the imperial crest (spacing between inner and outer lines is equal):
    1908 Finland letterpress Helsinki plates

    sorry I couldn’t get the ‘link’ button to work to put the links in the text!

    Thanks for letting me know. Will check on that (just upgraded the CMS-system to latest version yesterday, so it’s possible that somethings gone broken at it)

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