cddstamps on stamps

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

Monday, December 30, 2019

Hello 2020...........

2020 and the colour of the year is classic blue. well close enough to the colour of one of my favorite stamps and please, ...........don't forget where to shop for your stamps in 2020... yes cddstamps and in the cddstamps online store ... to brag just a little bit the end of 2019 we have 15,599 positive feedbacks ..... perhaps that gives you some confidence about us in addition to the fact we are a member of the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association (IPDA) and abide by their Code of Ethics.

Join many many many other collectors who are repeat customers and fill those gaps in your collection. We look forward to welcoming you to cddstamps in 2020.

Happy New Year Michael

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Why you should be buying from an IPDA dealer

Time and time again I see this, mostly I see it immediately, when I see Great Britain stamps as I know them better than other world countries

What is this ? Listed for sale as Scott 173, (that is SG 399) a Great Britain Seahorse issue from 1913 Nice catalogue value for very fine of course with a Scott 2020 catalogue listing of $160 or, if you look at the SG catalogue you will find it at £200 for the Deep Sepia Brown and £150 for the Sepia Brown.

So what is it really? Yep, you guessed it, given the very obvious crossed hatched lines. It is not the 1913 issue with the horizontal portrait lines, it is really Scott 222 and SG 450, the 1934 printing. Yet the seller, obviously ignorant or just downright deceptive lists it at Scott 173 (no mention of the SG catalogue I might add) and at a discount to the $190 USD listing – that is the 2018 catalogue value I might add - not the latest Scott valuation. Well why would you quote the current catalogue price when that is $30 lower than the 2018 listing. And look carefully, it is a heavier parcel cancel with a pretty dirty disposition. And one final point. There was no scan of the reverse of the stamp so you had to guess what condition that was in!

So we have a seller offering for sale a stamp they either do not know how to correctly identify at a price based on an old catalogue or a seller trying to con the cash out a buyer who they hope also knows less than an experienced buyer. Yes, a buyer who believes the sellers description well why wouldn't you believe the sellers description!

And that ladies and gentlemen is why you as collectors need to buy from an IPDA dealer (Internet Philatelic Dealers Association member) or at least a dealer who is a member of some recognized philatelic organization where they agree to abide some code of ethics. These amateurs selling on the internet, if I am being kind, these charlatans if I am being more realistic are taking over the stamp selling business in my view. If this isn’t proof – and believe me I can quote 100 more examples without any trouble what so ever- I cannot think of what other proof I can offer you.

Yes there are some brilliant dealers / stamp sellers who are not members of the IPDA but they are no doubt members of other excellent philatelic organisations and you should look out for and trust them when buying. But, in this internet day and age there are far more sellers who are not in some way shape or form accredited, shall we say, and who are vying to sell you stamps that do not have the quality description correctly stated, stamps that are not correctly catalogued, and stamps that are very certainly wrongly priced.

Caveat emptor, buyer beware, many would say. I say that is a feeble excuse because as collectors we cannot all know everything, and we should be able to trust our dealers. You can trust an Internet Philatelic Dealers Association (IPDA) member.

Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy and a great philatelic 2020 to everyone

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Hello, here is a stamp that I found interesting. When you see a stamp what do you see? I see history and hopefully interesting history. Certainly not always just value for being an old stamp. This was issued in 1956, nearly 64 years ago yet it still has a catalogue value of just 10 pence (GBP) Anyway, that be as it may. The history is more interesting It shows the Havelock asbestos mine in Swaziland. The following from a 2015 article in Mining Weekly. All acknowledgement to them for the text. I hope you enjoy reading this and when you next see a stamp you think about what it is representing.

Putting the controversy of living in the shadow of asbestos mine dumps aside, the Havelock mine has quite an interesting history that dates back to the heady gold rush days of the 1880s.

The legendary gold discoveries of 1884, which resulted in the opening of the famous Sheba mine and the establishment of Barberton, ignited an intense wave of prospecting fever that compelled hundreds of fortune seekers to scour the mountains and valleys for miles around for a lucky strike. Owing to the mineral-rich nature of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, gold was discovered in many locations along the extent of the mountain range. One place, in particular, where gold was discovered was a concession of land known as the Havelock concession, in the north-eastern boundary of the newly declared independent State of Swaziland.

While the auriferous reefs did not prove payable in the end and the mining venture proved futile, it was while erecting the processing plant for the Nottingham Peak mine, in 1897, that long mineral fibres, which were identified as chrysotile or white asbestos, were first discovered. However, as there was only a small market for asbestos worldwide at the time and the deposit was in a very remote location, the discovery was largely ignored.

While the deposit was ‘rediscovered’ and marketed by two colonial settlers just before the First World War, the timing was still not right, especially as the industrial use of asbestos had not quite taken off yet. It would only be during the war and, more specifically, the industrial and consumer boom of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, that demand for asbestos would rise exponentially. It was during this period that asbestos began to be used in a wide array of applications – from motor vehicle brake pads to roofing insulation and prefabricated building panels.

In the midst of this asbestos boom, British company Turner & Newall investigated and realised the exceptional richness of the Havelock deposit and began buying out the various claims and concessions. Founded in 1871, Turner & Newall was, for more than a century, the world’s largest asbestos mining company and was, for a time, listed on the London Financial Times FT 30 stock exchange index.

By 1929, the entire area had been bought for £125 000 and the task of serious prospecting got under way. However, just as exploration began, Wall Street crashed – on October 29 – plunging the world economy into the depths of depression. It took years for the asbestos market to recover. It was only in 1937 that mining the Havelock deposit could start in earnest. But such was the rich and extensive nature of the deposit that the mine soon became one of the five largest asbestos mines in the world, producing an average of 30 000 t/y of chrysotile between 1939 and 1998.

Given the remote and mountainous region in which the deposit was situated, logistics proved the single biggest challenge to overcome. This was solved by the construction of a 20.36-km-long cocopan-fitted aerial cableway, which carried asbestos to the Barberton railway station and returned with coal to feed the mine’s power station. With loads of up to 200 kg for each cocopan and moving at a speed of 11 km/h, the cableway had a capacity of 13.5 t/h and was an impressive feat of engineering for its day.

While, by the 1980s, the Havelock mine was still a leading producer, Turner & Newall began to face massive compensation claims as the effects of asbestos exposure became more apparent. Such was the deluge of lawsuits that the company began to fold in the early 1990s. In the midst of this, the company began to sell off its operations and in 1991 local firm HVL Asbestos Swaziland bought the mine. However, such was the drastic decline in the asbestos market that, after only ten years in operation, the company became insolvent and the mine was forced to close

Enjoy your stamps. Michael

Monday, December 16, 2019

This booklet as you can see is from Jersey. It was issued in 1982 telling the story of Martell Cognac. Sadly the front and the reverse covers have very light toning spots, not that bad really but the page edges do also have a couple of very light tone shades. The booklet contains 6 stamp sheetlets, SG 293b, 295b and 297b, 2 copies of each. There were 54,654 copies issued according to my SG catalogue. Not likely to get anything for it but might list it and cover postage and packing costs. Anyone any thoughts? of if a readerwants it and is prepared to pay postage just email me at

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Hello, I am so sorry, it has been 6 weeks since I wrote. Somehow that time just slipped past a trip to UK for a family funeral didn't help I might add. But I am back. Hope this interests you. Have you ever wondered how some stamps appear on your desk or in a pile of papers on your desk? I have been sorting papers, that is an understatement……. actually if the papers were put on top of each other there would be about 2 feet deep of papers, no exaggeration, honest. Yes about time I got organised. And that excludes stamp magazines which are in another pile. There is a reason for this madness, the tidying up that is….. not my awful management of correspondence, papers I print, bills and receipts, old airline and hotel bookings, travel itineraries. So much paperwork. We are having some remodeling done to the study. Yes! to allow me to accumulate even more junk. Wait! my stamps are not junk. And so I get back to the question, have you ever wondered how some stamps just appear. I have been pleasantly surprised with some of the finds I made. Wow did I buy that? seems I must have. By the time I finished sorting all the papers I had a large shoe box full of stamps in envelopes, covers, unopened envelopes, stock sheets and more stock sheets and odd album pages obviously from broken down auction lots I purchased back when. Yes honest, I am sort of embarrassed to even admit it. But I did enjoy the treasure hunt. This is just one “where did I ever get this from”. It is one of the three from the 1948 set and as anyone who know me knows, I only deal in, and occasionally collect, GB and British Commonwealth. This one and its partners will forever remain a mystery. Enjoy your philately …… Michael

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