cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fiji, old and new stamps

Hello, well I got back from two days in Fiji.. all work and no play although I did make time between meetings to get to the Post Office in Suva and pick up this lovely cover. Hope you like it.

If you like it that much how about a question... and the winner will get the cover.. ok.. so here is another stamp from Fiji.. ( courtesy of Charlie in Florida.. great scan and thanks for the idea) the

question.. what is it about this stamp that causes it to be catalogued as something special ... I am being a bit vague as I dont want to make it too easy...although I think it is easy enough..
I will take the second correct email to if you also include your mailing address.. If I get the responses within 24 hours from now ( it is Tuesday evening here in Sydney) I will post before I fly to LA on Thursday morning..

And while I am now talking USA .. I am looking for recommendations for jazz clubs / music bars in New York.. preferrable downtown Manhatten area.. will be there in two weeks.. same email if you have any thoughts....

I will try to check emails.. but I am not confident I will have time to write over the coming weeks.. so please come back after 20th August .. I am hoping to pick up some new US stamps while there.. maybe a few giveaways for my non US readers

Best wishes and enjoy your stamps.. Michael

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a question of the right descriotion for the stamp

Hello, first a big thanks to those who have completed the survey. If you have not please do so.. scroll down and you will see the survey form.. easy, and I have no idea who is responding so don't think there is any devious tracking here.. there is not.

Back to quality tonight ,, oh .. yes.. first.. Yes I am going to Fiji tomorrow,,, that was the answer to the question the other day.. about the island.. well done to many of you.. and while you may think it sounds like, wow what a place to visit - and I know it is - I will be working.. all the time.. and flying.. so if you can do the talk I have to give I'll send you the material and you can go for me anyway.. back to this quality issue.

I found this on an auction site. it was not identified as a perfin. surprised me.. and I think it is priced ( US $12) as if it were a regular stamp.. that is, not as a perfin. Now I will be the first to say I have never taken much interest in perfins.. so that is why I am writing.. maybe this is worth a few bob.. maybe not.. as a perfin...... but as a regular stamp I don't think it is worth that much and I think that is what it is priced at ... it WOULD be worth a few bob if it were a regular stamp and if the perforation is correctly described.

OK so what are the details I am referring to. Well the stamp is described at Scott 167b.. that is SG 385a. .....which is a 6d Reddish Purple with a perforation of 14.. not the regular perf I might add. The UK dealer I use as my benchmark is selling this stamp as Average Used at £20 and £37.50 for Fine Used. Now that tells you this is a more difficult stamp to get. Right... So we have three questions here.

1) is a perfin of this stamp highly catalogued
2) is this really a perf 14
3) is the quality any good anyway.

I do not know the answer to the first or second questions, and while, if you are a perfin collector maybe you know the answer to question 1, I doubt most people would know, and secondly you only have the word of the seller that this is perf 14.. Would have been nice to use a regular perf ( I forget details and don't have access to catalogue at the moment) against it to see the perf difference. To sum up because I feel I am rambling here..

A perfin is a perfin because of the perforated letters into the stamp.. and if you don't know that please now recognise it.. the holes making letters in the stamps.. and by the way there are so many letters used which mean something.. I wont go into details. This is not a regular stamp.. it was before it was made a perfin OK.

The quality of this stamp is pretty bad, real heavy postmark, - you all know that know from previous articles I have written, and as I say . whether this really is Perf 14 is open to question. Lets assume it is. One final point.. the seller does say one pulled perf.. you can see this in top right hand corner.. but the seller does not say "clipped perfs" which in my view there are along left hand lower side.. have a look.. I think you will agree...

So when you are looking at buying, look carefuly at the stamp for its quality overall, the full and complete and accurate description, and finally, some benchmark pricing to compare with.
As a regular stamp this is overpriced because of quality, as a perfin I have no idea.. but I think the same applies.

Best wishes.. more from Fiji maybe ... Enjoy our stamps... Michael

Thursday, July 26, 2007

why I love stamps.........

how good to get replies to last nights question.. and stamp scans..

It is wonderful to know there are so many knowledgable people out there.. to be honest, I would not have known the answer...had I been given the question.. so for all the rest of us... first, here is a stamp... and then another..

thanks Charlie...

and the answer..

This is seen on the halfpenny stamp of St.Kitts-Nevis that is part of their 1905-18 definitive issue. maybe the 2 penny as well ...... but I have not checked the other values.. bit short for time again....

It is silly because it was at least 100 years before the telescope was discovered. yes the Columbus voyage was about 1492 and the telescope was not invented until 1608.. from memory..

ha ha and here is another..

wonderful stamps eh!!!!

next surprise...

I am flying out of Sydney on Sunday for a meeting in this capital city which is located on the south east coast of the island called Vita Levu .. where am I going.. ?

I get back on Tuesday so don't for a minute think I am having fun. I will try to show some stamps from there on my return.

As usual.. emails to me at and maybe a FDC to the first one or two or three replies.. enjoy your stamps.. and if you have any you think I could write about please send me a scan... best wishes.. Michael

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

clue... a caribbean island

sorry, no time tonight for stamps but I read this in the MX paper on the way home.. so if you live in Sydney you have some chance of getting the answer..

which Caribbean Island issued a stamp showing Christopher Columbus peering over the side of a ship with a telescope.. and why is that pretty silly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go on.. test your general knowledge, even if you cannot identify the island..

answers tomorrow.. all correct answers to both parts will get a free GB FDC email me at with your mailing address...

Best wishes.. who said stamps were boring .. not me.. Michael

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

space on stamps

Hello, well a few people have replied to the survey.. scroll down a few days if you have not, and place your vote.. please .. and general stamp topics seem to be favourite at the moment. Fine by me...

On the way home tonight I was reading about NASA putting rubbish into orbit.. as in waste material in the form of a 630kg refridgerator sized reservoir full of ammonia and a 96kg camera mounting. Awesome stuff... eh!!!.. but what does one do with such things out there in space... I
don't know. Apparently the refridgerator sized
junk will remain in orbit for 300 days before burning up on re-entry to the earths atmosphere.. oh.. and there is a 1 in 50000 chance that what comes through to earth could injure or kill someone.. but then again NASA expects the stuff to land in the ocean.. guess what.. I wont going near water in 300 days time

I found these four stamps.. no idea if a full set but thought well I'll show them and say there is a 1 in a few chances they could be yours... if you can tell me the name of the school teacher who will fly as crew on next months Endeavour flight.? easy surely???

email me at
and please include your mailing address.. Have a great day.. enjoy your stamps... Michael

Monday, July 23, 2007

A 1953 Flight Cover

Hello, well those few of you who have completed the survey form - see a few days ago - have said you wanted general stamp topics. I have no idea what that means LOL but here is a start.

What about this cover.. quite nice but with a small stain on the stamp and what I would call a bit dirty.. that is used fine by some of the auction sellers I see ha ha ha ha

But seriously.. I like this cover - and will be giving this away to the 3rd email to who can say with hand on heart say they have completed the survey and they tell me the year in which the St Edwards Crown was made... and of course send me a mailing address to post the cover to. Oh and on the reverse is clear Singapore 6th June 1953 postmark. It took a bit longer in those days to get from London to Singapore.
Now why the St Edwards crown?. well it is a rather wonderful piece, to say the least, but it is also represented as the watermark on the 2nd issue of the QE II definitives. And... it is the official coronation crown used exclusively at the coronation of a new monarch - Great Britain monarch that is, as far as I know.. for more interesting reading I suggest you have a read of

Hope you enjoyed this. and please complete my survey.. just scroll a few articles.. or even read them ha ha

Anyone know the watermark on the stamp on the cover I am showing????.. another cover as a prize for you if you do... one I will select at random from my GB Covers.. to 9th email.. with mailing address of course

Best wishes... enjoy your stamps... ............. Michael

Friday, July 20, 2007

Royal Mail Stamp Issuing Policy Petition

I saw this and thought it worth repeating here.. Do you think the British Royal Mail is issuing too many stamps? As you know .. I do and have writtebn on this subject on many occassions. Well now there is an opportunity to sign a petition to the Royal Mail on this.

If you agree with me.. and so far 240 others have already signed.... PLEASE sign the online petition as below.... You'll find a link to the petition on the homepage of the Buckingham Covers web site. or can go directly from the link below.

Tony and colleagues are campaigning to stop Royal Mail issuing so many stamps eachyear. Why? You might think that, from a cover producer's point of view, they must love all these extra stamp issues. Doesn't it make more money for them? The answer is "no"!Long term, Tony believes, and I fully agree with him, too many stamps is killing the hobby.

Many cover collectors have given up all together because they just can't afford (or find storage space!) for all the extra covers each year.

Did you realise there were 3 stamp issues in July alone! And once you add Smilers sheets, miniature sheets and prestige booklets into the picture, it really is becoming unsustainable.

Please help us and the rest of the collecting community by signing the petition! Just follow the link from the front page of or copy & paste in your browser this link to go directly to the petition page: They need 1000s of signatures to make this work! So please pass this on to your friends

And by the way.. don't forget to read my previous writings this week and complete my online survey.. Have a great weekend... Michael

Machins... and what a great guy

I wasn't sure what to write about tonight.. I had a few subjects in mind but I was reading Machin Mania, well some one has to eh!!! (I got an email from Roy telling me he is going to be offline for a few months, poor sod is moving to Spain.. finally sick and tired of the rain in UK LOL so I thought I should read his latest blog ... ) and he thinks he can get away from me visiting him I guess.. more fool him...... I'll be there be there before he knows it.. well it is not that far from India is it .. anyway seriously I will miss his Machin updates and insights... lets all hope he gets back online sooner than a few months, … does anyone know how long it takes to connect Broadband in Spain?
So all the best Roy in your new surrounds.. here is something to help you acclimatize enjoy... and as for the rest of us.. here is a lovely "stamp".. and for more you have to have a read Machin Mania then come back and complete my survey.. see below.. Ok
Have a great weekend..

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Something very different.. How about this..

found it amongst some papers tonight.. interesting in that the stamp was placed on left hand side rather than top right which has always been the traditional place for postage stamps.. and that it has such a lovely clear postmarking.... in all likelyhood this is GB SG 267... the stamp was issued in May 1911... and there are a few shades I might add... the same was also issued in 1902 I should add. but the earlier issue was printed by De La Rue while the 1911 issue was printed by Harrison and Sons. There are various other differeneces but lets not get too technical.

The point is to say when you see stamps of this period it is often very difficult to tell which printing you have. Why is this important you may be asking. Well because (while for the 1/2d issue the cat value is pretty similar) , for the higher denominations the cat values can be very diferrent, and not necessarily true that the De La Rue is more pricey than the Harrison. ....Oh all to complicated me thinks. I only mention all this because if you want to start collecting or are collecting these do study the stamps carefully,. especially if you are buying to fill some gaps.

And finally something new.. if I have done it correctly.. a survey.. please take the time to fill it in.. I value your feedback

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter...........

Hello.. if you are in the UK and you have loads of money I guess you bought this set..

... if you are a millionaire and collected stamps.. although that is an that the right word.. you certainly would not have bought all the GB issues of the Harry Potter stamps... would you ... read Ian's site at for details.. cost a fortune to collect even half of what Royal Mail are issuing.. let alone all the postmarks... talk about scary.. even Harry would be frightened... but not the Royal Mail.. I read they had orders for over 300,000 issues from collectors.. not sure of any more details but I think we can assume it was not just a commemorative basic set...... wow what a revenue stream...

anyway,.. since many of you are no doubt waiting for the book.. and I have to be honest here and say I have not read one of them..... I have this gene that prohibits me from following popular culture.. shucks !!! GB commemoartive issues for profit .. ha ha ha ha.... anyway since many of you are no doubt waiting for the book I hope you get a better return from reading it than from buying the stamps ............ did I say stamps.. sorry... I meant childrens stickers....

enjoy your stamps..Michael

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

stamps.. too cold me thinks for stamps

just sharing something not often seen over here...

no stamps tonight but surely this is worth seeing instead..

enjoy... Michael

Monday, July 16, 2007

Thanks for your support..and here some new Australian stamps

Hello, well how good to get emails and people agree with me on the recent topics.. ( mind you, I dont have a problem with anyone disagreeing with me, as long as they can present a sound argument as to why I could be wrong... but ... me wrong..surely not
Anyway..... keep reading as I will be trying to help you and give you some interesting stamps to view and maybe collect.

Tonight I updated my web site - well the home page - I should have been packing stamps that are a few weeks oops overdue but maybe tomorrow . Hey they are free so I am sure you dont mind waiting a while .. please

What about these.. rather nice I think. Better than some of the recent rubbish we have been seeing.. but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Anyway I like them and so you will have to put up with what I show I guess

But would you like a set of these on an envelope to you? Of course you would. Well all you have to do is read the web site and place an order and I will use these on the mailing I send you. Yes even if you are in Australia. I am too generous I hear you say. Offer is valid until the end of the month of July. web site is yeah ok, you knew that I guess.

Time for bed.. gotta go.. enjoy your stamps.. thanks for emails.. keep them coming.. best wishes.. Michael

Sunday, July 15, 2007

what is the correct catalogue description of this stamp..

Hello, I was browsing that auction site I often tell you about and came across this stamp. I am mentioning this tonight because I hope it will help you when you are thinking about buying from auction sites.

Apart from the fact the stamp is a an apology for a copy I guess if you want a space filler then it is ok... However, even as a space filler I would not bid US $11 for it .. as I know I can buy a better copy of SG 238 in Very Fine Used condition from a UK dealer for £6.50 ( that is US $13.22 at todays exchange rate) or I could buy an average used copy from the same dealer for £1.58 ( that is US $3.21). And this copy being auctioned is worse than average used .. trust me...

Ok,so apart from the fact some seller ( and probably not a bona fida dealer I might add but someone who has found a way to make a few bucks selling stamps to the collector who just likes stamp collecting but doesn't really know too much about philately.. and hey that is good, I think people should be able to enjoy a hobby without knowing too much about it,... we all learn as well go along right... ) anyway..some clown out there.. and believe me there are a few on this auction site... is selling this space filler with a starting price of US $11... I am so hoping no one buys it.. I would hate to think of someone getting so ripped of.. but having ranted on about the rip off part lets look at the philatelic part of this stamp.

It is listed as Scott 133..... which is close as you can get I believe to SG 238. I have to give credit to the seller ( they know nothing else so I guess I am being too kind ... in that they are listing this as the cheapest issue of this stamp because in fact there were three issues of this stamp ( and I may be corrected here) as SG lists SG 235, SG 236 and SG 238.

SG 235 is green and grey brown. SG 236 is green and chocolate brown, both of which were issued on what is termed ordinary paper, and then there is the chalk paper variety classified as SG 238. Now that said, these are the basic issues. There are a few more interesting varieties with watermarks inverted and various cracked plates and damage markings. Won't bore you with the details.. but just to say when someone lists a stamp for this period please be careful and check exactly what it is they say they are listing and what is actually listed. Hey you could find someone lists as a basic stamps and in fact it has a flaw ( ie variety) and you could do really well.. As I say, the people listing are in my humble opinion not stamps dealers - full or part time.. but people trying to make a fast buck selling to the masses. Don't be one of the masses.. or at least don't let yourself get ripped of.

and finally.. does this seller know this is a chalk paper issue.. I doubt it.. I suspect it is more likely a SG 235 / 236 issue... and actually catalogued slight higher than the Scott 133 listing.. but having said that I would still not but it from the auction site.. I would buy from a well known dealer.. and at a much cheaper price.

Buyer beware.. but at least do your research and homework before spending your hard earned dollars.

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Friday, July 13, 2007

stamp quality for a change

Hello, I have not written on this subject for a while. I am out of town for the weekend and with some relaxation time I decided to look at an auction site - not eBay - to see what was happening there.

Same old same old as far as Great Britain is concerned... same sellers selling pretty poor quality material described as fine... sad me thinks as there are many hundreds, often thousands of sales to these sellers. Still, buyer beware.

Much of the high priced material is unsold... thankfully it won't be sold as the quality is so bad.. 5% of cat would be ok. by 25% is asking way too much.

I am not going to show an example of that. I have something better.... well in my view.

How about this..

Lovely little piece of rubbish eh!!! being auctioned for 14c US.. Scott cat is, according to the seller, 45c US.. Now why would you buy this. ?? I cannot think of one reason.

It is damaged, many times over, and it has a very heavy postmark Two pretty good reasons not to buy. But a third is the postage it will cost you as well.

So you might as well send your money to me.. I pay your postage and send you lots of these, and others in the same set and other GVI including even high values... see my offers on my website... which I have not updated for ages but the offers are still valid.... ooops I got into plugging my web site and sales.

But seriously.... please, if you need this sort of stamp.. use people like me to help build your collection, or join a GB club and trade with others.. this is the most common material around.. and you should not have to pay money for it.

If you want this set - yes including the one high value - and are prepared to pay my postage costs and a small handling charge I'll even send a set free to the first 2 emails to

Or look at a decent GB stamps website... email me and I'll give you the URL...where you can buy the set for £1 plus postage and I can assure you the stamps wll be in much better condition than this example. Oh and a UK dealer I have no links with at all I might add, other than I have bought from him over the years.

Ok, so the moral of this piece, please don't think you have to buy material like this on auction sites. If you are not sure..write to me.. oh yes, and check if the seller is an IPDA member.. Internet Philatelic Dealers Association..

ok.. enjoy your stamps and have a great weekend.. best wishes.. ...Michael

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Isn't this stunning

Hello, thanks for emails to last nights question / stamps.. yes they are postal stationery cut outs and probably not worth much unless that is what you collect.
The giveaway to them not being traditional stamps is the inclusion of the plate numbers in the design, as was pointed out by a few of you.
Also the huge margins was a giveaway.. still, nice and collectable if that is what you collect.

What about these though... stunning in my view..... enjoy.. gotta go to bed zzzzzzz..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Can you identify these...please

Hello,, yes ... yesterday was the start of the Scopes trial in Tennessee in the US, a watershed in the creation - evolution debate........... but did you know it was the first trial ever to be broadcast live on radio... no one told me that but a packet of stamps goes to.. oops I forget his name... got it.. Gord.. from Scarborough, Canada.. something will be in the mail ...within a few months .. ha ha ..only joking I hope....

I also got an email asking me what these are... can anyone identify them??? look very carefully before you send me an email... :-)

Also, I received some two boxes of stamps for my "Childrens Corner" from a very generous donor.. many thanks... you know who you are if you are reading... and not travelling.. :-)

I mention this becasue if you know children who collect and really need some free stamps please don't hesitate to get them to write to me.. I do only - usually -accept letters and as per my "Children's Corner" rule on my web site ( which also I will update one day soon... :-)

Enjoy your stamps... Best wishes... Michael

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

why this today....

Something for all you history buffs out there..
why am I showing this stamp today..???
something pretty significant happened in the US in 1925.. pretty much given it away but if you don't know you might enjoy finding out.

Have not given any covers or stamps away for a while ( yes I still have stamps and covers to mail to many of you and I will get round to it one day --maybe Christmas :-) .. ha ha.. but will find an assortment to send to 10th person to email me - - what was it that started on this day in 1925 in the US, which was back then of pretty much far reaching consequences in many ways....

Enjoy your stamps.. and everything that goes with them :-) Best wishes...Michael

Monday, July 09, 2007

back to the computer again.. at last...

Hello.. I went to the PO Box today and found this.. very nice.. I am pondering whether to soak and remove the International registered mail sticker.. a nice sheet .. I hope you enjoy seeing it...

Apart from showing this to you because it is from the World Stamp exhibition in St Petersburg - see for details - I thought I would say how wonderful it is to get such a cover from someone who is reading my blog.
So, many many thanks to Alexander and the lovely card you put in the envelope.. and if others of you are interested in used covers.. do have a look at Alexander's blog

Best wishes .......... enjoy your stamps...Michael

PS am seriously hoping to find more time for stamps but work is getting the better of my time at the moment - time for some guest writers to help me ot ... me thinks... Anything published will get a prize .. that is the least I can do.... M

Thursday, July 05, 2007

in the dark

Hello.. I planned to write tonight.. I have been keeping tonight free to write and show some stamps and talk stamps... but... I got home to find no power in the neighbourhood.. awful winds here and some powerlines must be down... again... happened a few weeks ago as well and we were without power for three days... surely a sign to go and live in the city ... I think not..

So how can I be writing.. well I have my office laptop and remote access wireless card... only carried it tonight as I have offsite meetings tomorrow and will need to access my systems.. so instead of showing you some stamps .. just this..and it occurs to me... does anyone know of stamps that depict or relate to a "blackout"...I can think of a few...GB obviously... if you have such stamps please scan and send to me and when my power comes back I will show others....

My candles are burning low seriously... always have them in the house ... ..another idea...... and ignoring Christmas stamps, who has stamps with candles on them... oh how imaginative a use of a situation to think of stamps well in this situation you have to laugh.. or just go to bed early... ok bed early it is... enjoy your stamps............ Michael

Sunday, July 01, 2007

scouts on stamps.. and a big thank you

Hello everyone..... I am back.. got to airport early... so went standby and got an earlier flight home so have time to catch up on some emails and write. ok so I have not replied to you all but at least I have read your emails..

So much to talk about... write about.. I don't kmow where to start.... Good feedback on my GB GV stamps and when I get longer than 20 minutes I will be writing more about those next week.

Also, really big thank you for the hit rate on the blog.. over 18,000 page views this past month.. a record.... maybe you are telling your friends and encouraging them to read.. or are you reading the same article three times a day ha ha ha ha ... my biggest fan, my mother, is not reading it I can assure you.

Ok to stamps. what about this. Well apart from the fact I think the design is once again boring and with no style, intrinsically not a very pretty picture at that, and with a word theme that quite frankly is as irrelevant and hyped us a Madonna record, I guess the subject is ok.. after all I think the Scout movement is one to be applauded and the volunteers doubly applauded for the commitment, hard work and long hours they put in to helping young people.
So well done to them. Boo to Royal Mail for once again coming up with a stamp that is a copy of so many others, and yes along the same design lines as many here in Australia. Sack the blankety blank design people please... surely there must be better design people out there..

Anyway.. another thing I did tonight was read some of my favourites web sites and blogs.. I was going to tell you they are in my list of favourites.. but to be honest some have had no updates / postings for a while. On the one hand I am concerned as to whether the people are ok..on the other disappointed they have not updated their pages...

But, you can always rely on Machin mania, AKPhilately and Norvic.. really always worth a read..and a few others I have to admit. Read Ian's material at Norvics for more on the Scout stamps by the why.. nicely presented I have to say. me first of course

Must to bed... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Nite,... enjoy your stamps... Michael

Click to zoom in on my visitor map!
Click to zoom in on my visitor map!