Failed opportunities

The programme of new stamps from Belarus included a potential joint issue with China and another with Vietnam, both expected to be released during the month of January at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relationships. The Belarus stamps were issued respectively on January 12, 2022 and January 24, 2022, but there is absolutely no news from either China PR nor Vietnam for event-associated stamps. There are great chances that these issues will remain unilateral and that the entries will have to be removed from the list described in the catalogue (Vol 15). At least, here are the pictures of the Belarus stamps.

An other opportunity was mentioned by Cesar Ittman (The Netherlands). During the year 2022, France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the death of the famous author Moliere. France issued a first stamp on January 17, 2022, at the same time as Monaco, while Czech Republic issued a stamp on January 20, 2022. There is absolutely no claim from one of these countries for a joint issue. These are just stamps issued at the occasion of an anniversary and it would not be surprising to see much more other stamps released to honor Moliere during this year without any joint character.

The first true joint issue to be released this year is scheduled for February 14, 2022, not earlier. This is quite late compared to previous years.

Don Birschel (USA) explored older issues and asked about the relevance of some 2006 China-Africa Forum stamps as joint. Indeed, some of these stamps show the same design, but this is a logo and none of the countries have claimed a joint issue character. So again, this is an exemple of a non-approved joint issue. Here are the pictures of the stamps from countries that celebrated this event: Algeria (November 6, 2006), China (November 3), Egypt (November 5), Eritrea (November 3) and Ivory Coast (November 28).

France-Japan 2021 mixed FDC

Dominique Josse (France) succeeded in something that was considered as quite impossible: creating a mixed first day cover with the stamps from both France and Japan issued on October 8, 2021 (week of letter writing, mail boxes [T20211008]). In France, access to first day cancellations remains possible about 8 weeks following the official first day date, but Japan does not allow production of items with dates different than the one of the day on which it is cancelled. In other words, Japan first day covers could be obtained only on October 8, 2021, while French cancellations from October 8, 2021 remained possible until around December 8, 2021. Additionally, in this specific case, and in contrary to usual joint issue first days, there was no common joint issue ceremony, no exchange of post staff for this day and therefore no creation of official common joint first day covers. So, Dominique, managed to have access to a few Japanese official first day covers, without cachet, and, when received in France, added the French stamps before asking to the French post to cancel these stamps. Here is the result, magnificent item and quite rare. No idea if other collectors have tried as well and succeeded. To our knowledge, and so far, the number of existing samples must remain below 10. Congratulations Dominique!