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Sometimes old stamp catalogs are better than new ones (and vice versa)

Sometimes old stamp catalogs are better than new ones (and vice versa)

Progress is a double-edged sword. Look no further than any stamp catalog at your bookshelf . Though a lot of things (like paper quality) have improved in stamp catalogs over the years, I am confident that you (like me) also miss a lot of things that publishers have wiped out in name of progress. As an example here I’ve chosen Algerian 1966/71 Emir Abdelkader stamps and two editions of Michel catalogs with 17 years in between.

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Twice the fun with two-part stamps, or why half the stamp is sometimes better than none

Twice the fun with two-part stamps, or why half the stamp is sometimes better than none

The world of modern postage stamps is filled with all sorts of wacky stuff such as transparent stamps, stamps with cookie odor (sadly no taste included), or stamps printed on bizarre materials. But one of the most versatile and longest running oddball practices has been creation and usage of two-part stamps.

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Algerian Setif,Guelma,Kherrata stamps of 1975

Algerian Setif,Guelma,Kherrata stamps of 1975

In 1975 Algeria issued seven stamps in commemoration of the the 30th anniversary of uprising against the French colons (settlers) in provinces of of Setif, Guelma and Kherrata. In addition, a surcharged version of one of the values was released in 1978. Though general catalogs don’t tell much on these stamps, there’s once again much more than meets the eye.

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Every stamp tells a story or more

Every stamp tells a story or more

They say, somewhat correctly, that every stamp tells a story or more. As such it is pretty amazing that many stamp bloggers (yours truly included) experience writers block from time to time. I think Stephen King, godfather of modern horror literature, nailed the cause perfectly when he once said “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work”. As a blogger and stamp collector I admit that it is hard, maybe impossible to make any progress unless I feel inspired by the topic. If there is something I’ve learned over the years, it is that looking at alternative angles can make a world of difference in how fun (or unfun) something feels like.

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Thank goodness, they’re all Cancelled-To-Order

Thank goodness, they’re all Cancelled-To-Order

Like most of the traditionally trained stamp collectors I was taught to frown upon CTO (cancelled-to-order) stamps. As such even today I still prefer a postally used copy over CTO whenever possible. So when I started learning about the history of League of Nations (SdN; Société des Nations) stamps I recently got, I was surprised to find out that for them CTO is the ‘norm’ whereas anything else frowned upon.

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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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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