Friday, February 17, 2023

Slovenia: Michel catalog # 2-5

 'Coat of Arms" 1991 year

Issued on Dec. 20, 1991, and valued in "new" currency named TOLAR (probably they want to be little bit as american Dollar), this set was just under mark as "standard" design.

Nothing specific or "special" in design, mountain Triglav as symbol of "new" (un)independent country, that never exist before.

I have it in stock from regular subscription directly from Post of Slovenia, but...

After short period, it was discovered that they have in two types, according Michel catalog it is numbered with number 2-5 Type I and Type II.

Difference is in "line" over letter PTT from down left corner, where Type I have it drawing from left to right down line and Type II have it from down to up two lines. 

Problem is that it is NOT second print or plate reconstruction in first print, it is just in design from same plate but another plate position.

This issue, avoided me for more than 30 years! Can You imagine it?!

I have direct connection to Post of Slovenia, and many collectors in Slovenia simply never have it in collection and unable to deliver me even one sample of full set!

Last time, before 15 years, I decided to buy one lot of 500 used Slovenia stamps, and there I discovered just one sample of #2, so it was big disappointment for me in finding it.

In the end, I give up - till last months when I made contact with person that have one set spare for selling, and not in "perfect" combination, this person too have it problem with used set, as just three stamps are alone and one stamp come on cover.


So I go for it, and checking on Michel catalog price was affordable 12.00 euro full catalog price I come as acceptable, than I check on local catalog SLOVENKA, and booooooom!

Local catalog value it at 80.00 euro (2016 year edition), and seller ask stable 80.00 euro + postage for used condition (shown), and full 100.00 euro for mint, nh condition!

Good price for this kind of material? and why so big disparity between two catalog?

No one know why Michel value material so low even if they have information, that Type II is in very low quantity printed, but they have it as is.

Conclusion is that, if You have a lot of used material from Slovenia, first check for this Type II option and second, keep in mind, that complete collection without this option worth much less than "normal" collection.

That is why I call it STAMP MUST HAVE!


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Russia - 2018 & 2020 issue - booklet format:

Marx, Engels and Lenin issue:

In 2018, Russia made one issue for
"The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Karl Marx, (1818-1883)"
with one interesting design, little bit, I can call it "robust", but still
very attractive. Bust of politicians Karl Marx. 
This issue "hit" catalog in very low catalog value of 0.55 US$ per single stamp (Michel catalog number 2556, Stampworld 2587), and on eBay, price are little bit more of near 2.00 US$.

As usually, it is made in sheet of 12, which reach catalog Michel value to 40.00 euro per one, but on same eBay You can find it for around 11.00 US$ postage not included.
FDC is another story, for this issue, and nice design of cover come to very affordable catalog Michel price of 6.00 euro, more affordable of 3.00-4.00 US$ on eBay, but postage cost will "kill the price"!

Than, come 2020 year, with additional issue to this one, as to complete all three politicians that made history and changed our life: 

The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Friedrich Engels, 1820–1895
The 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924

This two issues come in same design as first, and printed quantity are around 150 000 samples, not big quantity for size of Russia and collectors around globe.

So, as market go active and request for this issue was really good, Russia Post made another item to put all three issue together, and that was, what I call to this post:
"Stamp Must Have"
it come with one booklet format with all three issue in imperforated option inside!!!!

Booklet format:

All three issues in one well made booklet, pages in English and Russian language explaining about each person life. 
Great item, that I can call "education for our future generation", that I will keep hidden deep in my album!



and Lenin

As I mentioned, it is made in imperforated sheet format, medium size for booklet, full in this red color of revolution!

Quantity are very low, but face price on from Russian Post go for around 11.00 US$, Michel catalog update are high, more or around 50.00 euro per one, and as it is printed in just 3800 booklets, probability that too many collectors will be left without one are big.
eBay offering still have it affordable, from 26.00-36.00 US$ per one (postage not included), so now is time to react!


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Philately as investment - Yugoslavia:

Actually, here is not talk about specific items from Yugoslavia area, it is more about one 

(I think wrong), meaning or "way" of collectors and Philatelist worldwide think about Philately.

All or almost all of Philatelist will say that they collect stamps for pure JOY!

No one think about Philately as investment, just few will trade material, and most of Philatelist actually have material "from here - to there", mixed quality, topical, not full set.

They really collect just to have postage stamps in albums, and as they believe that no profit is possible from this hobby, they keep it that way.

A lot of relaxing time spend with postage stamp, it is fact, a lot of money spend, space, handling.... all is fine till time come to think about selling collection or giving it to the next generation.

Than,  disappointment come!

No one of next generation interested in continuing,  no one of children/grand children wish to keep collection, no one have patience and mean of preserving this "pile" of albums in some secure place. So, the inheritors will just go to first stamp shop, offer it for sale, and go home very disappointed.

Many will just throw this "life work" somewhere in basement, and forget about, naturally, all will go to be damaged after few years, and in the end, material will finish in garbage bin.

Sad as can be!

So, what is problem? No, no problem at all with me, it is "the way world is made" and I accept it in this way.

But, let see some nice example, that made me really surprised!

It is not this "magenta" which was sold recently for few million of US$, or Penny Black, or inverted airplane, or other more "famous" items sold by big auction companies.

We can give a lot of examples, where one stamp is purchased by face value, and within time, this stamp reach some very high returns when sold on internet or public auction, we can mention few stamps that are deposited in banks as "cover" for taken credit or as investment.

Fine to talk, but to give some REAL happening where You can actually prove that Philately/stamp can made a good profit, are very slim. 

Over this 35 years that I deal, trade, collect stamps, I saw few people that purchased plot of land, even apartment from selling collection of stamps. All of this stories are just under "believe or not" title.

Except one!

...that I recently read, and I read it not as connected to Philately, but as one of interview with one great person, published in "The New York Times International Edition", Friday, August 14, 2020, under title "Corner Office", by David Gelles, and interview was with Michael Dell, head of Dell Technologies!

You can ask, what connection at all! High tech, IT, but not Philately, isn't?

So, if You read it, and come to the part when author ask Mr Dell about "How did You become interested in technology?", so, in his answer, Mr Dell say, between all, also: "...I had saved up some money from early entrepreneurial things - trading baseball cards and STAMPS...."!

So, that it is - Philately as "seed", as IGNITION for one investment, yes - INVESTMENT that give starting point for big business!

Good point, why - WHY to collect and be active in stamp trading and building one collection that have value, and probably, will bring to the next generation some kind of "starting push" in other investment, or just as one kind of educational tool for our future generation (education is worth a lot, isn't?).

As I receive last edition of  renowned Michel catalog for Yugoslavia and all related territory, reading and examining last change in prices, comparing it with prices from 2015 year edition, I come across one "classic" item, that have evaded me for many-many years! Even today, after 35+ years in collecting, I have chance to see this item, probably three or four time. Last one sample, that I wanted to obtain, was from person that ask very-very high price for it.

Put aside, that this period of Yugoslavia, most of material are expensive, and almost all will need certificate from known examiner (which, in this modern time are rare), still, asking price, compared with 2015 edition of Michel was - HIGH!

Than come new edition of catalog, to my desk, and when I read, that same stamp are now very-very expensive, I just say - PHILATELY is INVESTMENT now!

This is items that made me think to talk about PHILATELY as investment:

Michel catalog number: 62:

 Yugoslavia, 1918 year, overprint "SHS"


Not so, because in 2015 catalog edition, it was valued at 2000.00 euro, mint, nh condition even higher, certificate must, and exam mark on back on stamp preferable.

Keep an eye on this country and period, it is very hard to complete but very worth to have!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Romania 2020 issue:

Pheasants of Romania:

Here we go with recent issue from Romania. 
Date of issue: May 22, 2020
Set of four values.

Why I think, that this issue can fit to the title of "Stamp Must Have"?
There are nothing special in topic, birds, pheasants.

Even market value for this set is relatively low.
Set of 4, can be obtained for 7-8.00 US$, little bit more if You buy from internet seller, as eBay or other platform. But, hardly someone will sell it under 7.00 US$ per set, even if You find direct seller.

My attention come to design, made really great way, I can say, unique way to show us beauty of this protected bird! On FDC You can see that well! 
O.K. - we have a lot of pheasant issues made by many countries around, isn't? Yeah, but not in this way and this quality of print!
It is just perfect, it is not Photoshop, it is not photo, and it is not some kind of artist expression.
This is just perfectly made by artist, who invest lot of work and love in this design!

So, why to have it, under "must" have?
Because it is in low quantity printed, just around 52000 stamps printed, and in sheet of 5 stamps + label, it is just near 16000 pcs made. 
Than, if You have ability to buy also FDC, that will be great, because just 225 FDC was made.

Here You can see beauty of FDC:

See this Golden Pheasant on the left side of cover. Something beautiful! 
I remember, as young boy, going with hunters to the field, hunting for this birds. So, when they shot any, I was saddened well.
After that, I just enjoy this birds, alive in nature, they have nice "call" in the evening!

Here is this set of four:

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant – Chrysolophus amherstiae
Reeves’s Pheasant – Syrmaticus reeversii 
Green Pheasant, or Japanese Pheasant – Phasianus versicolor Vieillot
Golden Pheasant, or “Chinese Pheasant" – Chrysolophus pictus

Here You can see it in sheet of 5 and label:

Now, what is a chance to have it in really postal used condition?
Chance is minimal, and probably, if You have it in used condition, that will be CTO only.
Imagine, that someone will send mail, with this stamps on it!

So, go after this issue, it is worth to invest now some 70.00-80.00 US$ per all option, keep it for generation to come, they will have nice issue in collection that is worth money invested!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Bosnia - Republika Srpska EUROPA 2019

Bosnia - Republika Srpska:

EUROPA 2019 issue, which is (as I think), one of the best, if not, only best issue, with GREAT design, where artist just made it perfect.

Birds, local birds better say, in FULL LIFE, from close range head.

One nice experiment with printing sheet composition

...and in booklet format...

In principle, I rarely praise new issues, but this time it "catch" my eye.
I saw few issues on EUROPA 2019 from many countries, and it is all in some kind of artist drawings, expression, and imagination.
But, Republika Srpska decided to go for "close range" head shown of this majestic birds!
Correct decision, and it will have good impact on demand for this issue.
As we know, Republika Srpska have one very conservative issuing policy, and quantity printed are very low, with range of 15 000 to 20 000 of each issue.
In booklet format, we have just 10 000 printed.
EUROPA issue, as usually come with this 20 000 sets printed, and just 500 FDC out from printing.
If we calculate little bit, 20 000 sets printed, that will give us just 2500 sheets of 8+labels on market!
Price, which, little bit high, but to be fair, this issue deserve it!
Set alone have an face value of 2.61 US$, if You can buy directly from Srpska Posta, but You will need to add money transfer cost, shipping and handling cost, than the final price can go very high. 
Sheet of 8+label, probably will reach very-very high with price, as Michel catalog value it high, and at present, I don't see it offered on eBay.
My information from Sarajevo, say, that even if You pay 40.00 US$ per sheet of 8+1, no one will offer it for sale, so...

So, keep an eye on this Republika Srpska issues, as this country have very conservative issuing policy, small quantity with popular topics!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

WWII - Montenegro, German Occupation:

Montenegro, WWII Occupation period:

One great set overprinted, and very-very high value in catalog.

It is year 1943, overprinted in black "Nationaler Verwaltungsausschuss - 10. XI. 1943", full set in 10 values, and printed just in 1000 sets.

Naturally, for this period, and low quantity printed, exist lot of fake/forged overprint, as effort to make it available on market and yes, to make some money in wrong way!

It is very suggested, if You decide to complete this WWII period, to have this set properly examined and certified, just to avoid to pay high, for something that is not "as need to be"!

If You don't have any possibility to have this set certified, it will be very preferable, to have it at least, examined by someone who specialized in this field.

So, I mention that it is high catalog value, because Michel catalog, that have it under number 10/19, in mint, nh condition
valued at 7800.00 euro.

Enjoy Christmas gift, and take it to someone who "Know What Philately Is"!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Yugoslavia (classic period)


...not just classic, but specialized classic material, which is very hard to find on open market. Than come next one point, it is in mint, never hinged condition, that is valued in catalog almost twice the catalog price.

Here are Michel numbers, which, if You will check in Your collection, is probably missing:
A 19/20 I, 30/32, 139/44, 164 A+B, 320 C, 348/49 F, 348 E, 356 B, 430 A, 439/40 A and great 439 I (with engraver "S" mark).

Go after it, as catalog prices are constantly going up for this kind of material, and scarcity on open market are very visible, even on eBay You will not find it!