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A more detailed look into anatomy of color shifts on modern postage stamps

A more detailed look into anatomy of color shifts on modern postage stamps

Possibly one of the most difficult questions general collectors must face are color shifts, aka. color misregistration errors, and the question when they are something worth keeping. In my humble opinion there are no strict guidelines here – just personal opinions influenced by level of knowledge and interests. Deeply specialized collectors with exhibition collections are very likely to have highest criteria of all. They have seen lots of specific type of material and have interest mostly with items that  are somewhat unique showstoppers. On the other side of the pool are general collectors like yours truly who collect just about everything as long as it looks even slightly different.

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The dreaded dash as catalog value

The dreaded dash as catalog value

I’m sure most of you know the feeling of discovering a variety that is valued with a dash only. A big happy smile trying to come up, maybe attached with some disbelief forcing you to recheck that what you got is real. But above all there’s the desire to know why catalog editors have failed to provide any measurable valuation, and what the dash equals in real world. In a way it doesn’t make sense at all since most of us collectors are never going to sell our precious. I guess it falls down to owning a prized possession. The bigger the catalog value, the better the catch. And if there are no metrics, then there’s really nothing to brag about it.

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Agency stamps – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Agency stamps – the good, the bad, and the ugly

In my opinion one of the greatest wrongs in stamp world is to say stamps of specific country are junk. A more true version would be to say that stamps of specific agency are “junk”. And this is basically the topic of this post. Giving you an overview of the various stamp agencies out there, their histories and impact from collector point of view. The good and bad, who did what, where and when. This is by no means a precise history lesson, but more of a collection of tidbits, observations and opinions that thirty years of active stamp collecting have taught me.

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You can now listen SCB

You can now listen SCB

Just a quick heads up that I’ve rolled out another update for the blog. Those browsers that support speech synthesis  (meaning pretty much all devices and browsers released within the past two years) can now listen for the blog entries.  The buttons to engage ‘speech synthesis mode’ can be found at top of each article as illustrated in below picture:  

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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 1,30€ + surcharge of 28,70€ 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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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