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Member postings for SA

Here is a list of all the postings SA has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: 2015: Magna Carta Stamps
23/12/2014 17:34:30

The official Faroe Islands Post Office (Posta) Bulletin (November 2014, No 22) which I received today includes news of one stamp (24 DKK) that will celebrate 800 years of the Magna Carta.

Posta will be issuing this stamp on 23 February 2015.

According to the Bulletin, the foreground of the stamp will include "...the best known passage from the original Magna Carta letter" :

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so,except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land."

The Bulletin states that the Faroese connection with Magna Carta is that: ....."The way in which our own Constitution divides the authority into the legislative, judicial and executive branches can be partly traced to the hastily formulated document signed and sealed in an insignificant English meadow in 1215 AD...."

It will be fascinating to see how many other countries also decide to issue stamps to commemorate the Magna Carta. Royal Mail plans to issue one set in June 2015; and no doubt some of the Commonwealth countries may also follow suit. More interesting to see will be how many less obvious countries - like to Faroe Islands - will also mark this constitutional milestone.

All quotes above are courtesy of the Faroe Islands Bulletin (November 2014 No 22). The relevant website for anyone interested is:

Thread: Kuwait Philatelic Bureau?
26/11/2014 18:35:24


The only other thought I have is that you could contact the UPU (via the UPU website, to establish whether they have a contact at the Kuwaiti Philatelic Bureau. I've looked at the UPU list of Member Authorities, but in Kuwait it is the Ministry of Communications that is listed as the official representative, rather than the post office. Nonetheless, UPU may have a contact address.

I've also looked on the UPU website for the regional body (APPU) and whilst there is a contact address for the regional secretariat (in Egypt) there is no email address for you to get in touch with.

Finally, I've also looked at the WNS website (linked to UPU) which provides an authoritative list of official stamp issues by country, but Kuwait appear not to participate in this UPU initiative; and so there is no link to their philatelic bureau, as there is with other states that are listed.

Sorry I can't be of more assistance.

24/11/2014 20:37:37

Dear Alan,

I don't know whether you are aware that if you order stamps direct from a philatelic bureau outside of the EU, you are liable to pay VAT at 20 per cent on the cost (including postage and shipping costs); and any applicable customs duties. It may be that some of your stamps are held by the Border Force, or Post Office, awaiting inspection or invoicing!

My apologies if you have already thought about this. You are also liable for VAT and applicable customs duties even if the package is not intercepted by the Post Office!

Again, sorry if you have already factored this into your considerations.

Thread: Old Stamp Sets - 1992 to 2000
24/11/2014 20:31:42

Dear Ash,

I wonder whether you are referring to Presentation Packs, which Royal Mail issued with each new set of special stamps. These are usually quite interesting, as each pack contains helpful background information about the theme of the special issue, as well as information on design and printing of the stamps.

I'd be surprised if there are many people that collect modern Queen Elizabeth II issues as an investment. Generally, modern stamps issued by Royal Mail, either on their own or collectively, will rarely become so valuable that you can retire on the proceeds.

I suspect that most people collect modern QEII stamps because they like the subject a particular issue (birds, trains, history, royalty etc); they like the artwork, they collect a stamp designer or artist, or they collect a specific type of stamp (self-adhesive, machine label, triangular, lenticular etc).

It may be that the Presentation Packs don't accrue much additional value beyond the original sales price. But I think that they are probably worth more and are more sought after than the standard First Day Covers issued by the Royal Mail Philatelic Bureau. Some Packs may be scarcer than others; and maybe you have some of these.

As to your collection, it would be sad, I think, for you to use these stamps that were bought for you by your Nan as current postage. If you are able to do so, keep them and maybe in a few years time you might be more interested in what they have to offer as a collectible; or as a potential hobby.

They are also an enduring reminder of your Nan: many of us had older relatives who helped us start out on the road to collecting!

I hope that this helps.

Thread: Postal History from the Waste Basket
04/10/2014 23:57:40


I'd keep that TNT envelope! You might find that its value is enhanced henceforth, as I understand - from numerous bill posters on the Underground - that TNT is no more; and no goes by the name "whistl": quite why the missing "e" I know not, but I suppose the marketing has achieved its purpose because I'm now talking about it!

[I'm not quite sure when the launch date was for whistl, but you could look out for some first day of issue covers!]

Thread: Buying new issues etc online direct from national post offices
26/09/2014 00:25:15

I wondered whether anyone else had tried to buy philatelic items from national - generally European - post office web sites?

The privatisation of postal administrations might, you could think, have led to an improvement in the quality and availability of "web shops". I have found that post offices across the continent offer a shopping experience that varies considerably. Even if you want to buy stamps for postal use rather than philatelic purposes, it is not necessarily an easy task.

What a fool, you might think, buying current stamp issues. Well, my interest is in international reply coupons (including modern ones), not stamps. I had hoped to be able to buy these through post office web sites. However, not many of the on-line shops list IRCs amongst their web-based offerings. Result: I haven't been able to expand my collection as much as I had hoped through this route.

I suppose I might take some comfort from the fact that the majority of the European post offices that I have researched and which have web shops, don't classify IRCs as philatelic items: in one sense that may be good, as could means that they are perceived as having a real if modest postal purpose, perhaps? More likely that the web shop administrators don't think that they will sell many!

I don't think that Stamp Magazine has ever looked at this subject as a whole - how national post offices use the Internet to sell their philatelic products and how good they are at it - but for what it is worth, I have listed below the post offices which I think do have easy to use and wider ranging "web shops":

Austria, Denmark, Iceland; Faroe Islands; Norway, Finland, Sweden; France; Switzerland; Germany (if you happen to live there, not good if you don't); The Netherlands and Slovakia.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list: and I have excluded Royal Mail, simply to avoid any bias!

I have come across some post offices which don't have any on-line shopping facility; however, some of these will respond to email requests and provide help outside of the web site.

I wondered whether anyone else had thoughts on this subject or experiences to share?

Thread: Best Europa stamp of 2013
23/08/2014 12:13:51

According to the website, voting for the Best Europa stamp ends on 31 August 2014!

22/08/2014 21:55:14

Best Europa Stamp 2014

Voting is open for the best Europa stamp of 2014, on the theme of national musical instruments. You can vote at the following website, until 31 August at least:

Great Britain is not represented in this competition this year(why not?), though there are stamps from the Isle of Man and Jersey, as well as Guernsey.

I have voted for Iceland, though the instrument shown here - the stone harp - is a recent creation (2001) and perhaps stretches the notion of "national musical instrument", which (for me at least) immediately evoked the idea of something old or historical. I like the idea of a recent musical invention being included as a national musical instrument. At least it shows a degree of imagination in what might otherwise could be a rather dull theme.

What do others think?

Thread: 2013 issues
22/08/2014 12:56:53

Sorry, I can't give you the answer to this question, but the principal source that I suggest that you might try is:

this is the website sponsored by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP). It logs (and uniquely numbers) the officially recognised stamp issues of the UPU Member States and countries that participate in the WADP initiative. You'll probably have to go through the site (country by country) to count the number of individual stamps issued. But at least you will have the official issues.

Also, as other commentators have indicated and discussed on various other forum threads, you may have to decide whether to count stamp labels (ATMs) that are available from machines in post offices.

Thread: International Reply Coupons: New Design
16/08/2014 23:18:11


Many thanks for obtaining this information. Now we know that two countries will be issuing this commemorative IRC: Iceland and Haiti; and the effective date.

The last time that we had a commemorative issue (2007, celebrating 100 years of the IRC) not all UPU Member States that issued the Coupons decided to join in the celebrations.

I guess that we may have that pattern repeated this time around, though sadly, seven years on, there are now many fewer postal authorities that still issue IRCs.

13/08/2014 20:49:13

I've received today from Iceland Post their latest journal on new stamp issues for the period August to November 2014.

Inside the front cover is an article on a new commemorative International Reply Coupon (IRC), that will be available from 9 October 2014 (Price: 305 ISK) that celebrates the 140 years of the Universal Postal Union. The new IRC will include on it the special UPU "140 years (of innovation)" logo.

I wondered whether anyone out there had any news of other countries/postal authorities that may be looking to issue similar commemorative IRCs this year.

I think that the October issue date may be meant to coincide with the date of the UPU's "Strategy Conference", to prepare for the 2016 Congress.

Thread: Are you intending to buy any Royal Mail shares?
14/07/2013 21:03:14

I'd buy the shares if the stamp tax still involved a formal fiscal stamp - it would add to my collection of philatelic oddities!

Thread: Andy Murray stamp?
14/07/2013 20:58:17

Another alternative that Royal Mail might go for is the commemorative sheet, with images of Andy Murray on the one side; and the Scottish Definitives on the other.

The downside is that these "official" sheets are usually quite expensive.

Thread: Kate & William's Baby
13/05/2013 22:01:15

Maybe the Overseas Territories or possibly the Crown Dependencies (IoM, Guernesey, Jersey) are more likely to commemorative this event.

Have you spoken also to the Crown Agents, Pobjoy or other representatives?

Thread: Best Europa stamp of 2013
13/05/2013 21:52:34

I voted for Cyprus, with Belarus my second choice.

The theme is supposed to be the "postal van", so on those grounds alone I excluded those postal administrations that offered other types of transportation: bicycles (Greece, Slovenia), motor scooters (Croatia and Bosnia), lorries (Ukraine) sleds (Russia, Greeland), horse and cart (Estonia, Moldova) and the most absurd - an early 20th century bi-plane (Romania).

It may well be that some or even many countries don't use or haven't used "vans" in their postal services; and that the nearest equivalent is an alternative vehicle. If that is or was the case, then presumably these authorities had the opportunity to veto or amend the PostEurop 2013 Europa theme when the Member Administration met in congress: that would perhaps have been the time to indicate that this"van" theme was too limiting or narrow.

I don't particularly think that "postal vans" is a very imaginative subject.

The most interesting and perhaps the most amusing design is the one for Kazakhstan: a boy on a camel. Evocative of the Sudan defintivie issues. Perhaps it is intended as a pastiche: if so, it does succeed, given that (to state the obvious) Sudan isn't in Europe.

Thread: Football Heroes stamps
08/05/2013 18:56:44

I have just received Royal Mail's "Collections: Spring 2013" catalogue, in which the new Football Stamps feature.

I am somewhat intrigued if not bemused by the Prestige Booklet (price £11.11), which is "encased in a souvenir foil wrapper evoking the football stickers of childhood....".

Now I accept that I have not had the opportunity to inspect physically this Prestige Book. All that I have to go on is the image in the Collections Spring Catalogue, but I am wondering how you can open the foil to view the Stamp Book without damaging irrevocably the outer wrapper itself.

Of course, you could decide just not to open the foil packaging, but then how would you know whether the Stamp Book does actually contain what it is supposed to; and (like the original collectors' cards) whether there is something special or additional inside?

Thread: Sport
22/04/2013 20:12:00

I was reading in the Royal Mail Philatelic Bulletin about the Football Heroes stamps that are due to be issued on 9 May 2013. Looking at the images - in particular the inclusion of Dave Mackay - caused me to wonder what Brian Clough might have made of these eleven stamps. I can't help but think that he would probably have asked (with a smile) why he wasn't included as a player.

What I did wonder was why Royal Mail did not include a Manager in the "team" picture, which appears incomplete without the coaching staff. I recognise that the list of possible candidates for the Manager spot is almost endless, but perhaps Brian Clough might have been a colourful if not controversial addition.

Still, Royal Mail would doubtless argue that we already have a manager represented this year as Bill Shankley was justifiably included in the Great Britons issue (16 April 2013).

There is, of course, always the possibility of adding other football characters to the Great Britons series in future years.

Thread: Post and Go/Faststamps
21/04/2013 18:19:33

I believe that the Post and Go Label is dated for use on the day that you buy it for two reasons:

  • because you have selected the "Post a Letter" option rather than "Buy Stamps" ; and, as a consequence
  • you then have to place the envelope on the scale before the Label is printed; i.e. you are buying postage for a specific item (without necessarily knowing the weight in advance and the applicable postal rate).

Thus even for an envelope which is within the basic weight limit for inland postage, you get a Label that can only be used on the day of purchase: in this instance, 50 pence. I suppose that this is logical, if you opt for "Post a Letter", then it is unlikely that you are going to want to send it in two weeks' time.

On the other hand, the consequences of selecting option one rather than option two only become evident with practice!

Thread: Science - Life, the Universe and Everything
18/04/2013 21:14:05


Back in February 2011, Julia posted a link to the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) site where you can see many of the special stamps issued in 2011.

Just enter "Chemistry" in the search for box above [keyword] and you will find the original post.

Not all postal authorities used the IYC logo and some also combined the IYC 2011 with a Marie Curie Commemorative Issue (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1911?).

17/04/2013 20:09:05


Are you not two years too late for collecting chemistry stamps: wasn't 2011 the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry (IYC)?

I recall that quite a few countries did issue commemorative stamps for this annual event, featuring the special IYC logo. I even had a few of these myself!

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