cddstamps on stamps

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello, I have been thinking what to write about for a few days now. I thought about perforations, about printing techniques, stamps designers and about grading stamps.
I have long been a sometimes (ok, most times) critical voice about the quality of stamps being sold at auction by the non collector and amateur (yes very amateur) sellers.
I found this web site. I thought I would share it with you as it really does explain everything so very well.
grading and condition

As for quality. I found this listed on an auction site. Described as VFU.

Now read the link above and tell me if this is VFU. Oh! and tell me, should the seller be told he / she is misrepresenting the quality / grade of the stamp.

Interesting thought :-)

As far as I am concerned I will always look carefully at the item being sold and make my own judgment, I will not rely on the sellers description. And, I will often write and ask for a larger scan and a scan of the reverse of the stamp.

Of course, I also look to see if the seller is a member of an accredited organization / association, like for example the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association IPDA. It is a small Association with members across the UK, Canada, the US, Europe and here in Australia. It’s members largely run their businesses selling on the internet and are committed to selling accurately described stamps on the Internet.

As you know from reading my previous postings, anybody can list a stamp on an online auction and anybody can bid. Whether the person listing knows what they are doing – maybe inadvertently listing a stamp as something better than it is, or deliberately listing a stamp as something it is not, is one thing, but if the buyer does not have the knowledge to understand what he or she is buying then buyers will be taken advantage of. And from what I see there are many sellers on the internet only to pleased to take advantage of you.

A genuine seller will not want that to happen. A member of the IPDA will not want that to happen. Oh, and don’t for a minute think that just because someone says they have been a member of some countries philatelic organization for 35 years it makes them a good seller. Maybe they were a collector and now have decided to offload their stamps one at a time or whatever the case. Controversial? sure I am. I want you to start thinking and sharing this advice with your friends for your own advantage.

Recognise a dealer seller rather than a “oh I think I will sell my old man’s stamps on eBay” seller. Anyway. I hope you find the link above useful. Comments? :-) Best wishes. Enjoy your stamps. ....MIchael

Friday, February 26, 2010

finally got round to writing

Hello, sorry been away all week.. nothing new to write about to be honest but I have put a really good special on my website cddstamps

go on, treat yourself.. take advantage of me :-) actually to be totally honest my credit card bill just came through!!!

will be back to stamps tomorrow ... have a great weekend .. Michael

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello, I have been browsing the internet stamp blog sites these past few days. Am I bored or what! Seems so little of interest yet so many stamp blogs out there. I remember when I first stated blogging there were literally no stamp blogs. Now there are hundreds yet so few that challenge me to read them. And do they all get 1 or 2 or no readers?? I often wonder. Your thoughts. What do you read, apart from me of course :-) Norvic, one of the best in my view, Machin Mania another interesting and informative site, Adrians site at AKPhilately for pure quality writing and stamp design and issues from the past.

What is it that we want? I am asking myself this as it seems impossible to get a large readership. New issues? Competitions? Philatelic study and resources or just educational facts? How do we get stamp collectors to read any of those? Especially those who are buying overpriced rubbish on some auction sites........ Are we all time constrained? Do we just read the trash newspaper headlines about celebrities, sport and the weather? All of which is fabricated nonsense to get people to read it anyway :-) Or what.

Write to me I would really like to hear your views. and if you have ideas about how to promote this wonderful hobby I would really like to hear from you

Enjoy your stamps .. Michael

Saturday, February 20, 2010

something new....

Hello, sorry if I revert to an aviation theme this once.. I have to tell you or how else will you know :-) I have been writing a new website.flyingcovers Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks Charlie for those comments.. I could write a book in rely as I am sure you could, but yes I agree.. that is the way it could well go for philately unless we change something to encourage young people to start collecting and they cannot do it by enjoying and having fun soaking stamps can they now!! and getting them to collect pretty stickers is not the answer in my view.. I honestly believe that is a Postal Administration con to get money from children and adults. Children who do collect will soon forget or realise they are just pretty stickers and a fad they went through... children are smart.. never underestimate them is my thinking. Sooner or later they will see it for what it is.. marketing to raise revenue... PS nothing wrong in that of course in the scheme of things I guess in a free world, but we are talking philately and childrens encouragement to participate and enjoy stamp collecting here.

Enough of my ramblings.. how about this stunning cover..

I met the guy who produced this and flew on the inaugural - great guy - covers available for sale on my new web site flyingcovers and monies go to the Australian Airmail Society.

Have a great weekend, .. Michael

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

another impulse buy

Hello, I was in the CBD today and had time to visit my favourite stamp shop. Picked up a few Australia Airmail and aviation related stamps and this. I just couldn't resist.

My view is this is a very good format with well presented detail. I have noted from a very quick read through that more recent GB have increased in value - as I predicted would happen since so few are (correct me if I am wrong) used on mail.

Time will tell I guess. But a useful catalogue to have in my view

Enjoy your stamps.. Michael

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ireland stamps.....

you know there are some stamp issuing authorities that you would never think of as ones that would fall to the depths of issuing pretty stickers.. sadly another has fallen in my mind... These from Ireland. And I had always liked their stamps.. maybe I missed others they issued in this vein...... says a lot about where the stamp issuing policy of countries is at when you see these. .... Doesn't it?

enjoy your stamps... well try to :-) ........... Michael

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Olympic Winter Games

Hello, yesterday I showed a Canadian stamp and hey I got a nice comment from no less than the Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post. Well I had already thought of continuing my Canadian theme before that so please don't think I am being nice to Canada Post just because they wrote to me. I am Canadian after all and still feel some sentiment to that wonderful country. Especially Vancouver. If you have never been there you have something to look forward to one day. Anyway less of my rambling. Today, (12th February) is the opening day of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada and with that in mind I thought I'd show this lovely MS from Canada Post, and as I say, I planned this, honestly I did, before the Director wrote to me.
Anyway, enjoy the MS.

Enjoy your stamps.. Best wishes .. Michael

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I am so bored........

:-) hello.. did that opening gain your attention.. I really am so bored you know. Looking at stamps and new issues and wondering what is going on in the minds of the Postal Authority administrations around the world.. all these new issues and who is collecting them and how can they possible be increasing interest in this wonderful hobby. Know what?? I think it is increasing interest in older issues.. I hope so. Stamps you can soak and enjoy soaking, stamps with design you can marvel at the artwork and creativity.

I am reading stampboards where people are talking about soaking stamps with insoluble gums. There is only one answer.. do not soak.. just cut on piece with the franking as intact as you can. I have been doing this for a few years now and have a much more interesting collection. Yes takes up more room in a stock album but is enjoyable to look through. And anyway you won't find many commemoratives used these days :-) As someone said.. who is using them.

But one nice stamp, and I have not written on the Year of the Tiger, seems too common a theme rrrrrggggghgg :-) this (above) from Canada Post, quite acceptable don't you think?.. I see Canada Post issuing lots of stamps these days but not as many as some countries

Enjoy your stamps.. best wishes .......... Michael

cost of new issues

Hello, thought I would see what peoples view were. I just read a piece on Linn's Stamp News.....maybe you saw it as well.. quote.. 'as of Feb 3rd the Postal Service ( US that is) has released eight new issues" .. to buy the stamps minimum amount to get one of each stamp, the minimum cost is US $85.38 ........... now that is rather a few bob!!! I think you will agree.

Let's look at Royal Mail..anyone know how much you would have to spend to collect new issues, Commemorative including Prestige Books and MS, no definitives were issued in those two months as I recall... to early February..??? Guess :-) anyone know what the cost of just the May 2010 Festival of Stamps issues will be??? Guess..

So, who is buying all these new issues? and Why ... and who is using them on letters... well lets face it they are generally not used anymore are they.. so why so many new issues... would it be more cost effective for the Postal Authorities to cut back on new issues and get a larger buyer demand from those they do issue.. I studied economics years ago and I think the law of diminishing returns now applies to these people that keep issuing stamps. Oh yes.. and elasticity of supply and demand....

as the Linn's writer says.. I will still collect stamps and remain active in the hobby, but I am no longer buying all US new issues. That was my view on GB quite some years back.


Looking forward to hearing from you.. :-)


Sunday, February 07, 2010

updated the website

Hello, rainy day here in Sydney - we needed it I might add - so spent some time updating the website.. nothing too major.. but then again if you don't read it every now and again you won't know what you are missing :-)

enjoy your stamps.. Michael

Saturday, February 06, 2010

London 2010 Festival of Stamps

Hello, Not sure how to start tonights piece. I think I write some interesting material but I read Ian Billings blog (Norvic Philatelics) and feel I could do better :-)

I mentioned his blog last night and now again tonight because he has an excellent piece on the stamp issues from Royal Mail for the 2010 Festival of Stamps in his latest posting. I have every intention of attending and every intention of collecting the stamps being issued as I like what I see from Royal Mail.... yes, for a change :-)

here is a scan of the MS.. copyright etc and with all credits to Royal Mail etc

Lovely I think you will agree. For more see Ian's blog at Norphil.Blogspot but hey, do keep coming back here occasionally :-)

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Postal frankings... a comparison

Hello, thought you might like to see these two scans.. I picked up some mail yesterday.. one from Adelaide in South Australia, the other from the US. Interesting. I realise the SA stamps were on a large envelope but 5 franks would have covered the stamps.. not 16. Someone very enthusiastic with the chop!

Also, Thanks to Ian Billings for some further information and clarification on the GB Christmas variety I have been writing about. See his comments in the previous post. Ian is a recognised luminary in the GB world as far as I am concerned and you can read his excellent writings at Norphil Blogspot

Enjoy your stamps ............ Michael

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

back again...........

Hello, how time flies.. seem to have lost a week somewhere.. but am back :-) some days / weeks ago I showed you a GB 1966 Christmas stamp with error – missing T… well one of my readers has written giving me some information about this and I thought I would share it with you.

This variety used to be listed in the SG Elizabethan Catalogue along with many other varieties. Sadly this catalogue is no longer available, but my reader friend has the 1977 edition and the missing 'T' is listed as variety number V82. Catalogue value then was £1.50 whereas the ordinary stamp was 8p - I wonder what it is worth today ? a lot I hope……… :-)

There used to be a good trade in this sort of error or variety, in fact the old Elizabethan Catalogue lists 372 varieties up to 1977. It's a pity SG don't seem to list this sort of thing nowadays.

Anyone have a copy of this catalogue? Please email me at

Now to some current stamps.

I received a letter from a wonderful friend in the UK who saves stamps for me from the office and from home mail. Lots of the security issues now starting to come through. This grouping I particularly like. Nice to see a Post Office using stamps rather than those stupid printed labels :-)

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

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