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What do you do with hundreds of duplicates of uncommon stamps?

What do you do with hundreds of duplicates of uncommon stamps?

If you’ve been following SCB’s Facebook page, then you may know that for the past few weeks I’ve been working my way through 1+kg lot of worldwide ATM stamps. This was part of specialized small-time dealer estate I acquired, and as such came with very heavy duplication on some parts. Though I am somewhat accustomed to re-distributing 10-50 copies of the same stamp to other worldwide collectors through my stamp exchanges, what to do when you’ve got 100-800 copies (and possibly even more) of the same stamp? I am quite sure this is one of those situations that most stamp collectors will have to deal on some point.

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Small mystery from Umm-al-Quwain

Small mystery from Umm-al-Quwain

I know Sand Dunes, especially the 1970s stamps,  are not everyone’s cup of tea. But please bear with me as I find items such as these Umm-al-Quwain stamps great edutaiment when it comes to many faces of modern errors, freaks and oddities.

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Introduction to Belgian Precancels

Introduction to Belgian Precancels

One of the unsung heroes of stamp collecting are Belgian precancels or ‘preos’ as called locally. Just like precancelled stamps of any country, these are common low face value definitive stamps which were pre-cancelled for bulk mail usage. The minimum quantity which had to be bought from the Post Office was 1000 copies. Due to nature of  precancelled stamps, these are often times easily found and relatively cheap (though there are exceptions). The Belgian precancels are traditionally split to two types: locals and general issues.

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Non-governmental stamps – whats your take with them? And where to draw a line what is a postage stamp and what is not?

Non-governmental stamps – whats your take with them? And where to draw a line what is a postage stamp and what is not?

Universal Mail. DX Mail. MorgenPost. Fastway Post. DCS. Pete’s Post Ltd. TNT International Mail. Easy Post International… If you have not been living under the cave for the past two decades, then you have likely found, seen or at least heard on some of the non-governmental stamp issuers above. I find it interesting how little factual information on these alternative postal service operators and their labels and stamps is out there. With all the postal services deregulation worldwide, it is not as if the number and variety of these alternative postal operators would go down, but maybe some day in the future there will really be a situation where some countries will no longer have their own postal service, but instead fully rely on third party run ‘hired gun’ to take care of national and international mail collecting.

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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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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