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From crown jewel to pariah: a postage stamp filled history lesson from Aden to Yemen

From crown jewel to pariah: a postage stamp filled history lesson from Aden to Yemen

If you have been following the changes in My Collection, you might have recently noted how I simplified the historical roadmap from Aden to Yemen. The reason is not so much that I would have changed anything with the way I physically store stamps, I’ve just been reading and thinking more about the history of this area, and I feel the current (more simplified) structure works best for this highly complex area.

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To hell with catalog values

To hell with catalog values

I know many collectors turn to stamp catalogs to figure out what stamps are worth, but I have more or less given up looking at catalog values in recent years. It has not been an instant change, but more of a gradual progress. My reasoning for this has been very simple: the further I have endeavored with my collection and collectors life, the less meaningful I find the catalog values to be in real life.  And yes, I know my opinion does not weight much as vast majority of dealers and collectors will consider catalog values ‘holier than holy’ despite of my naysaying.

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Finland 2002 1€ Lion definitive stamp – original vs. reprint

Finland 2002 1€ Lion definitive stamp – original vs. reprint

Reprints are the salt of the earth for many stamp collectors, and below pair of modern Finnish Lion definitive stamps introduces a recent variety that is somewhat easily available.  The original 1€ stamp was released in 2002 as the common workhorse of Finnish postal system, and a reprint came out in January 2013 (and is becoming more and more common as old stocks have been finally consumed).  According to official statement of Finnish Post the reprint should be identical, only the die-cut of the sheet has been improved. But like so many times there’s more to the story.

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Beautiful Stamps of the World – August 2017 edition

Beautiful Stamps of the World – August 2017 edition

Time for the (likely) last round of beautiful stamps of the world for this summer. The mailman delivered me yesterday a half kilo box of ‘exotic kiloware’ (all on paper), and I’ll be kicking of this months stamp-extragavanza with some more or less unusual pieces from it. Very likely it will take a month or two before I’ve soaked it all, and even more till I have managed to sort and mount all the stamps.

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Forgery of 1944 Barcelona postal tax stamp (Ayuntamiento de Barcelona)

Forgery of 1944 Barcelona postal tax stamp (Ayuntamiento de Barcelona)

One of the interesting differences between various worldwide stamp catalogs is how differently they classify and list obligatory postal tax stamps. For example Michel and Yvert assign major numbers to all Barcelona City Council (Ayuntamiento de Barcelona) postal tax stamps, whereas Scott and Stanley Gibbons bypass them with a note ‘used on correspondence purely for the purpose of raising local revenue and therefore listing is omitted’.

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Stamp Smarter: Buying stamps online internationally

Stamp Smarter: Buying stamps online internationally

I still remember how nervous I was when I signed up with eBay in the early 2000s. Despite I had been buying (and selling) actively at domestic stamp auctions for about a decade, doing things globally was like any first time. I was largely going with the flow and following my instincts. Needless to say a lot of trial and error has occurred in these 15 years, but I could not imagine a world otherwise , and these days about 75% of my stamp budget goes to various online dealers and auction houses around the globe. I think many worldwide stamp collectors have experienced a somewhat similar globalization of sources in recent decades, but I also know that some are still ‘stuck’ with the old way of buying locally only. Hopefully this post will provide some food for the thought as well as encouragement to step outside the local pool of suppliers. And if nothing more, this will hopefully provide non-European collectors a different kind of perspective what the life of collector is alike inside EU.

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Beautiful Stamps of the World – July 2017 edition

Beautiful Stamps of the World – July 2017 edition

Howdy ho all ye stamp lovers. It is time for another month of beautiful stamps around the world. With great interest I am looking forward whether or not my collection reaches the landmark of 110,000 stamps this month. Though I am only 136 stamps away from reaching this milestone, July has been traditionally a somewhat slow stamping month for me. It is summer and holidays, and life has got plenty of other stuff besides stamps (oh the blasphemy of it).

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Crash Boom Bang! (Or how stamp collecting has moved to 21st century digital world)

Crash Boom Bang! (Or how stamp collecting has moved to 21st century digital world)

As I was about to start typing this week’s blog post, I heard Crash Boom Bang (or more precisely it was a series of sounds that reminded of R2-D2 bleeping in distress) from my computer. My trusted workhorse of 7 years, a custom built Dell Latitude E6510 laptop, had just experienced a heat stroke due to which all the eight cores of it were forced to emergency shutdown. As I counted the minutes for the machine to cool down a bit before an attempt to reboot, a cold sweat poured all over my front head. Replacing the main system is every geeks worst nightmare. Though I do have multiple backups of my precious data and a number of systems that I can use for random online access and light work, there is only one system that has got ALL the pieces in place. It could take several weeks for a proper replacement machine to arrive, and even more time tinkering and tweaking the system to my liking. So I felt very worried.

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What keeps you motivated with stamps and collecting?

What keeps you motivated with stamps and collecting?

Hot showers are legendary for producing some of the best thinking in the world, and few times I have found myself pondering what keeps me motivated with stamps and collecting. In the end spending a lion’s share of ones life in collecting bits of paper that somebody used to lick does not sound as the smartest thing to do. Henry David Thoreau once wrote ‘Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after’. This holds true for stamps as well.

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Sincerely yours

Sincerely yours

Few nights back my missus and I went to nearest big city for some shopping. It was about one hour drive and while at it we listened to some talk radio. At first I didn’t put much weight to contents of the radio show, but when I found out it was all about letter writing in the early 19th century I started listening more carefully to story being told.

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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, 2009-2017. 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. When submitting content of any type to this Website, you agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to host, store, publish, reproduce, publicly display or otherwise use any content and materials of any type provided or contributed by You. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy