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For the last few weeks my primary focus with stamps has been in soaking a batch of Yugoslav stamps and re-organizing my collection of that area. I confess that in the past I haven't given much value the aesthetics of Yugoslavian stamps, mostly because my collection has been very limited. But now I think I'm starting to fall in love with these. One of my absolute favorites is the Tourism (or as Scott calls it City views) series issued from 1971 onwards.
Initially the stamps in the series were printed as engraved, but in later years using offset lithography. Some of the early engraved values were re-printed in litho, so they exist in two types. To add challenge for the stamp collector, there are two different perforations for most litho values. And due to inflation and currency reforms, new values and overprints were issued frequently. So all in all this simple but attractive series provides with 115 items to collect. And I'm not even counting the paper type varieties.
A total of 18 different engraved stamps exists, all with comb perforation of 13¼. These are somewhat easy to identify as the engraving is very strong, and you can feel the printed shapes if you gently sweep the surface of stamp with your fingertip or tweezer (you can also try the foil trick I showed with Greek Hermes and Iris stamps).
Most values are known with with and without fluorescent bars. To make matters even complex, the issues of 1971 can be found up to 3 different paper types (with mix of with/without of fluorescent bars): regular paper, coated paper, and phosphoric paper.
The litho stamps are easy to tell apart from engraved stamps as their surface feels absolutely smooth and flat.
All in all 32 face different stamps were printed using litho. However, most of these exist in two different perforations and total of collectible variations shoots up significantly. Perforation A (13¼) is dominant and all values exist with it; perforation C (13¼:12½) is available 'only' with 25 values.
In total there are 26 face different overprints (with perforation varieties counted the total goes to 40). These were released mostly in the in the mid and late 1980s when Yugoslavian economy suffered from high inflation rates.
Beautiful designs, moderate level of variations, and low catalog values. What else can a worldwide stamp collector ask? Now I just need to find the 50+ items/varieties my collection is still missing As usual, please feel free to drop your opinions, comments and questions below.
You might also be interested of related posts about Stamps and postal history of Yugoslavia and related areas.