cddstamps on stamps

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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

I really should have been doing other things today but I had a large envelope of Machins that have been wanting to be sorted :-) I won’t bore you with them all, although I thought this might amuse someone, if not more than one of my readers. We often complain about pen cancels. Well, from a mix of about 400 stamps I found just these 13. Not really that many. But just looking at the 1st Vermillion issue, Date Code 16 Source Code B (not sorted by the vermillion and darker vermillion shades yet, that is my next project.,……. one day) I found 104 copies with cancels and 36 copies with no cancels. That is 25.7% not cancelled. I know you cannot reuse because they are Security Machins, and it is illegal anyway, and I live in the Philippines of course :-) but it shows from a completely random sample what sort of missed cancellation rate the Royal Mail can achieve. And these were all from letter mail, not parcels I might add.. Enjoy your stamps Michael

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hello, I opened up a web site today and saw one of these stamps on the home page. I was a bit surprised because I would expect to only see nicer quality images on a home page.

Now I know many people have different views about stamp quality but given the encouraging number of new collectors I see, I think talking about and helping collectors to learn about stamp quality is an important topic.

Yes I support collecting whatever pleases you and yes we all have the need for spacefillers from time to time. I have many myself. But let’s look at these 4 and perhaps learn a little about stamp quality especially when considering what the seller is describing the quality as and what the quality is compared to standards documented by professionals like Stanley Gibbons and Scott to name just two for example.

Hopefully the image says it all. Click to enlarge if not that clear.

Two points to note, first, if you are thinking of buying a stamp or stamps please try to understand the quality as seen, and not necessarily as stated, if it even is stated, by the seller.

Second find time to read the Condition Guide sections in your catalogues like SG or Scott, or find a copy to read if you do not have your own catalogue, or try this link or this is quite straightforward or this which has a very nice summary at the start of the text

And please remember, just because someone is selling stamps doesn't mean they know anything about philately, as is blatantly obvious when you look at some of the stamps some sellers are offering on various auction sites and philatelic portals. :-)

Enjoy your stamps …….. Michael

Friday, April 13, 2018

For all collectors, and especially Machin collectors, this is something I hope you enjoy seeing. Many Machins are hard to find, especially some of the side band and phosphor band varieties because they were only issued in Stamp Booklets

This se-tenant pane came from the 1990 Lindon Life Book and it has a Tower Hill London Cancel. It has an interesting mix of Machins, with regular Machins, the double heads which were issued for the 150th Anniversary of the Penny Black, and it has two NVI stamps.

It has the following • 2nd class SG 1446 phosphor band at right, • 1st class SG 1448 with 2 phosphor bands; • SG Double Heads 15p SG 1468Ea with phosphor band at right, the 20p SG 1470 with 2 phosphor bands and the 29p SG 1472 also with 2 phosphor bands, • 15p X906Ea with phosphor band and at right, • 20p SG X916 with 2 phosphor bands • 50p X922 with 2 phosphor bands.

A nice selection, perhaps you will agree, of a few of the more difficult Machins with a combined SG 2017 cat for these stamps of £36.50. When browsing at Stamp Fairs or Bourses I suggest keepi8ng an eye out for First Day Covers with se-tenant panes on them. Often the covers are damaged in some small way even though the stamps are still very clean> You might be surprised at what Machins you can sometime pick up very cheaply.

Enjoy your stamps.. Michael

Saturday, April 07, 2018



I have written before about the importance of having a catalogue and while some are of the view a collector does not necessarily need a catalogue I believe it can make collecting more enjoyable.

These stamps are some you might easily find in a general mix or old time collection. You might want to know that there are in fact three perforation varieties for this value. Perf 12½ issued in 1938, Perf 13 x 13½ issued in 1939 and Perf 12½ x 13 issued in 1951. This George VI issue from 1938 with various perforation differences through to 1952 makes an interesting set to collect I think. But you cannot fully do it without a catalogue.

Also, if you do come across lots of Jamaica in some kiloware or swaps, wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly what stamps you have? For this issue and many others from the British Commonwealth there are frequently more than one perforation issue for the same value, and often the catalogue value for one is many times more than the other. Just a few thoughts.

Enjoy your collecting however you do it.


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Hello, something different today. A rather nice commemorative cover. A friend visited the Antarctic recently and found this one. I hope you enjoy seeing it. There is even a web site to mark this Centenary at if you would like to read more. Although Sir Ernest Shackleton's mission to the Antarctic was ultimately a failure the incredible story of how Shackleton led the crew and their survival in the most inhospitable place on Earth makes interesting reading For over 300 days the crew were adrift in the Antarctic, living on ice floes, uninhabited islands. Shackleton led the most incredible rescue mission that ensured every single one of the 28 crew survived. Incredible boat journeys in hurricane winds and monstrous waves, a trek across uncharted mountain ranges and a crew that survived are all part of the greatest story of survival and leadership the world has known. Enjoy your stamps and the history and events they often commemorate. Michael

Monday, April 02, 2018

Hello, I am back from my latest UK trip and thought I would share with you just one image tonight of some stamps I mailed to myself, to get some nice cancels. You will notice the green label I created and used. Maybe it helped, I cannot know for sure if it did. But worth the effort I think. My thanks to Ian Billings from Norvic Philatelics for the idea. Something others can try?, to perhaps avoid getting pen cancels? Just a thought. Anyway I hope you like seeing the stamps. Best wishes Michael

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