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The insanity of collecting for completion

The insanity of collecting for completion

I don’t usually write about upcoming new issues, but this caught my radar and ‘touched’ something.   In few days time Finnish Post will be releasing something even more controversial than Tom of Finland stamps. In commemoration of the upcoming FINLANDIA2017 stamp exhibition 6,000 unsold specimens from the 1988 exhibition stamps have been overprinted with new ‘forever domestic’ face value. So that the life of common collector would not get too easy in trying to chase a copy from their mail, the stamps will be sold at price of 30€ each (postal value 1.20€ + surcharge of 28.80€ to aid the exhibition). And to make copies even more difficult to find, only 2,000 stamps will be offered to public through website sales only, the rest will be sold at the exhibition area only. I wish I could now say ‘april fools’, but sadly the dark side of the force (or lets be honest, greed) seems to have taken over common sense here in Finland.

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Poll: How big is your stamp collection, and what is your cut-off date?

Few days back Robert, a fellow world wide collector emailed me to acknowledge he had reached the milestone of 50,000 stamps. One talk led to another, and soon the question of how many collectors are in the range (and whether or not they have cut-off dates) popped up. For what I know and have talked with people (both in and outside SCBs circles) there are at least:

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Czechoslovakia EXPO58 commemorative: perforation variety or something else?

Czechoslovakia EXPO58 commemorative: perforation variety or something else?

Here’s yet another interesting pair of stamp. This commemorative was released on 15th July 1958 for Czechoslovakian week at the Brussels World Exhibition. Print run of the stamp was 2,125,000 copies. Michel and Pofis (a Czechoslovakian specialized catalog) state perforation of 11.25 x 11.75, Scott goes with perf. 11.50. No varieties should exist.

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Down the rabbit hole no more. Or how I learned about some highly illogical twists in the way I collect.

Down the rabbit hole no more. Or how I learned about some highly illogical twists in the way I collect.

About seven years back I pondered how deep to go when building a stamp collection. Lot of stamps and varieties have passed my desk ever since and I have enjoyed every bit of it, but to my dismay I can also report that for the first time ever I feel I have reached some kind of limits with my semi-specialized approach of collecting the world.

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How common are forgeries of classic stamps? And why are they so plenty? 

How common are forgeries of classic stamps? And why are they so plenty? 

Carl Sagan, famous astronomer once said ‘You have to know the past to understand the present’. These words hold very true for philatelic fakes, forgeries, facsimiles, reprints and the whole shady she-bang territory that comes along of collecting classic postage stamps. In order to understand the size and complexity of the problem, one has to understand the backgrounds that made stamp forgeries possible and common in the first place.

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Some observations on Saudi Arabian 1949 airmail stamps

Some observations on Saudi Arabian 1949 airmail stamps

One of the most frustrating moments in general collectors life is when general catalogs tip there is more with some stamp, but then full disclosure is not provided. Such is the case with 1949 Saudi-Arabian airmail stamps. Michel has got a footnote saying ‘all values have sometimes significant color and format differences’ whereas Scott notes ‘The 1st printings are on grayish paper and sell for more.’ These notes clearly give a vague suggestion there are multiple printings on these stamps and they can be separated, but for reason or another the editors have decided not to provide any further guidance. Fortunately all it takes is few duplicates and some patience to get started with hunting for the differences without catalog assistance.

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Is collecting a complete worldwide stamp collection possible? Take III – the final word – money and catalog values

Is collecting a complete worldwide stamp collection possible? Take III – the final word –  money and catalog values

Out there are surprisingly many brave souls who like me like to chase the impossible, and dream of completing a worldwide stamp collection some day. When I started to get semi-serious with my goal, there was very little (if any) true information about the true requirements and boundaries of collecting the world. Everybody said it cannot be done as it would require purchase of millions of stamps, putting tons of money in storage, and cost of acquiring all those stamps would be astronomical. In short, it would be task bigger than life. Since those days I’ve been somewhat systematically unravelling the true challenges, true limits and true costs of completing the world, and the image that I have learned is very different.

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Stamp collecting / philately is..?

Stamp collecting / philately is..?

Stamp collecting / philately is…What? Inspiring? Recreational? Educational? Relaxing? Entertaining? All those fancy attributes are often times used to describe and promote this hobby of ours. And all stand very true IMHO. But if thinking the public face of the hobby – magazines, websites, shows – very little if any of these admirable features are displayed in action. All there is bunch of (more or less golden) guys and gals selling stamps, buying stamps, swapping some stamps, talking about their own specialty or some variety, or complaining how things used to be so much better before. To non-collectors (and often times even for us collecting) it easily seems boring and maybe even as a ‘serious business’. So where’s all the true action that this hobby of ours should be all about?

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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