A year has been completed again. There is now little chance that a last minute 2022 joint issue is discovered and therefore the chapter 2022 in the catalogue can be closed as well. Information, images, and quotation have been updated for this full year.
Unfortunately, there are still missing information from some countries from which joint partners were expected. The Iran-Kenya stamps showing coffee beans and safran flower stamps and dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Iran-Kenya diplomatic relations remain as a unilateral souvenir sheet issue from Iran on June 24, 2022. No information about Kenyan stamps issued during the year 2022 has been published. The situation is identical for the Iran – Serbia souvenir sheet (85 years of diplomatic relations, September 30, 2022) for which information about the Iranian stamps is missing. These unilateral issues have been removed from the catalogue, but in the case someone finds the missing information, here are the pictures of the issued stamps as a reminder.
The India-Vietnam and India – Thailand joint issues respectively announced by Vietnam and Thailand in their 2022 philatelic programs did not come to a finalized product. These joint issues may be rescheduled in 2023 but had to be removed from the catalogue as well.
Altogether, this allowed a complete update of the catalogue becoming now the 2023 edition V4.0 and all the 15 parts have been modified (mainly shift of pages) with minor improvement in each of the part.
At the same time, this work gave us the opportunity to provide some statistics about the joint issue season 2022. In terms of figures, the year 2022 translates in the following: there are 51 entries reported in the catalogue for the year 2022, but among which only 40 are true joint issues: 1 Se-tenant [S] but no Unique [U], 27 Twin (same design, same date of issue) [T], 7 Concerted (same design, different date of issue) and 5 Parallel [P] (same date of issue, different designs) issues. Additionally, we reported 2 Omnibus series [O], 2 Territorial issues [D] and 1 issue with Borrowed design [B]. For the year 2022, the catalogue provides 225 illustrations, describes 344 items together with 675 quotations.
Another interesting point relates to involved countries. As many as 66 countries participated at least to one true joint issue, but the winner is surprisingly Mexico with 7 participations. Mexico is followed by Russia (5 times, almost exclusively with Asian eastern countries) and by the group Argentina, Egypt, Georgia, Oman and Vatican which were involved 4 times each. This high participation of Oman and Georgia are also quite a surprise. Eventually Armenia, Belarus, Israel, Poland, Tunisia and the UAE were involved 3 times each. There are no new first comer in this 2022 list, but it is interesting to notice the come back of countries such as Cambodia, North Korea or Tanzania. This year also saw the issue of the first joint crypto stamps between Austria and the Netherlands.
The new version of the catalogue in 15 volumes describes over 1,750 pages, 2,150 stamp issues among which more than 1,500 are true joint issues, and provides more than 8,100 illustrations. 32,900+ quotations are linked to more than 14,800 different items.
Note also that from now on, and in order to reduce the amount of intermediate versions in the archive files, only the first edition of each year will be kept accessible. Numbering of intermediate version will continue to be used, but at the beginning of each year the versions with small modifications will be erased. The first version of each year will play the role of reference for earlier catalogue versions. Edition 2023 intiates the publication of V4.0.
To complete this exercice, it becomes also interesting to show the evolution of the production of Joint issues over the past years. On the basis of the catalogue entries, it became possible to create the following graph which shows the number of joint issues released each year since 1960. The blue curve gives the evolution of the number of Twin issues [T], the orange curve the combined Parallel [P] and Concerted [C] issues and the grey curve the total [T]+[P]+[C] including also the rare Unique [U] and Se-tenant [S] issues. Omnibus [O], Territorial [D] and Borrowed design [B] issues are not included in this graph. The peak release was reached in 2019, just before the Corona pandemic, with 53 true joint issues in one year, but the graph shows also an apparent plateau of around 40 issues per year that stays since 2007. Over this 15 years period, the number of products for a single country, and in particular by-products such as souvenir sheets, miniature sheets and even stationery, did continue to increase (not shown on the graph). A peak production of items above 500 was reached during the years 2016 and 2019, while the average figures since 2007 over this period was maintained around 280 (with severe variations during the Covid period, 230 in 2020, 140 in 2019 and back to 340 in 2022).
At this time it is difficult to predict the progression for the next years, but a stabilization around 40-45 issues per year would make sense. Continue enjoying collecting joint issues and have a nice year 2023.