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Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) four pence Chalon forgery

Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) four pence Chalon forgery

One of the most famous classic stamp designs are so called Chalon Head (aka just ‘Chalon’) issued in various British colonies from 1850s to early 1880s. The name of these stamps comes from the use portrait of young Queen Victoria, which is based upon a painting by Alfred Chalon.   I admit that for me the Chalon stamps are largely unknown territory. I discovered my first Chalon Head only after twenty years of collecting, and even today my world collection has no no more more than maybe dozen different items.  So I really don’t have much first hand experience on these stamps.  But even that little bit was enough to alert my senses that the below newcomer from Van Diemens Land (better known as Tasmania) was a guaranteed fake. 

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Have you ever seriously considered selling or pawning your stamp collection?

Have you ever seriously considered selling or pawning your stamp collection?

Sometimes life does not go as planned, and one might end up in situations that require pretty extreme actions in order to survive. A nasty reminder of such event is receipt of somewhat insane legal fee sitting on my desk. Long story short, I got involved in legal dispute (in non-stamp related matter) and I lost; that is pretty bad news in a country where the loosing party is expected to pay all expenses for everyone involved. A longer and hopefully more interesting story to share is that in order to survive those fees on timely manner I had to review and rethink my personal finances in somewhat brutal and serious manner, including also the options of selling or pawning my beloved stamp (and comic book) collections.

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France 2011 Precancel – unlisted variant or forgery

France 2011 Precancel  – unlisted variant or forgery

Here’s a good reminder how easily ultra-modern stamps are overlooked.  According to general stamp catalogues as well as specialized Spink-Maury catalog this 2011 French precancel stamp (or préoblitéré as French would say) should have no major varieties.  However, as the below picture displays, that is not the case.

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Trinidad and Tobago 1960 60c perforation varieties (with a general rant on stamp catalog editorial quality)

Trinidad and Tobago 1960 60c perforation varieties (with a general rant on stamp catalog editorial quality)

If you haven’t already figured out from my 500+ blog entries, one of my pet peeves is when stamp catalogs provide false or missing information.  Such is the case with below Trinidad & Tobago 60c ‘Anthurium lilies’ stamp from the 1960/66 definitive stamp series.  What makes this particular stamp interesting from collector perspective is the fact that it comes with two easily recognizable prints: one common and low value, one (likely) scarce and (supposedly) of notable value.

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PNG Commonwealth Games / ANPEX 1982 perforation variety

PNG Commonwealth Games / ANPEX 1982 perforation variety

Moving forth with this months theme of perforation varieties, below is a pair of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Commonwealth Games/ANPEX 1982 stamps. The leftside stamp has got the usual perforation (14¾), whereas the latter is clearly something more different and complex. The question that interests me is the variety genuine, or is it just a by-result of paper shrinkage/expansion.

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How accurate (or inaccurate) are traditional stamp perforation gauges

How accurate (or inaccurate) are traditional stamp perforation gauges

Lately a discussion at SCF caught my attention. The original poster there had noted that the ruler in his Lighthouse/Leuchtturm stamp perforation gauge was not accurate and was seeking for better alternatives. I have for a long time known that traditional perforation gauges are not tools of extreme accuracy, but I have never read a proper study on the subject. So out of curiosity I decided it was high time to check the precision of my traditional gauges. At first I scanned all my three stamp perforation gauges at 1200dpi using a high end professional scanner, then I used Photoshop’s Measurement Log tool and SCB’s Free Digital Perforation Gauge to obtain accurate measurements from these scanned gauges. Needless to say the results were more than interesting.

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Paraguay 1937 Church of Incarnation airmail with strange perf – genuine or fake

Paraguay 1937 Church of Incarnation airmail with strange perf – genuine or fake

Possibly the hardest part of being a worldwide stamp collector is identifying whether or not something is genuine or not, especially when you have got only one copy of a stamp to study. Such is the case of this Paraguayan airmail stamp that got me scratching my head for a long time.

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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Another year has gone by once again, so it is time to review the past year and write down some plans for year ahead.

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Random notes on Guatemalan stamps

Random notes on Guatemalan stamps

This week I’ve worked my way through a pile of stamps from Central and South American countries, and above all the stamps of Guatemala have once again caught my interest.

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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, 2009-2018 unless otherwise stated. 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