Don Birschel (USA) confirmed the existence of the Albania – Kosovo joint issue by providing the first picture of the Albania souvenir sheet. Unfortunately, so far no official information is available from the Albanian side. By exploring further, we found out that a cover looking like a first day and dated April 27, 2023 became also available on eBay. The Kosovo stamp was issued in miniature sheets of 4 on February 17, 2023. Even if this cover does not bear the words ‘First Day’, it could at least confirm that this issue must be considered as Concerted and not Twin [C20230217]. Any additional information is welcome.
Jaap Sarelse (The Netherlands) continues to create mixed FDCs and recently he was able to provide a mixed cover from the [C20221207] Georgia – Italy mixed first day cover and the one involving Armenia and Russia corresponding to the issue [T20220830].
We learned also that in 2024, at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the UPU, a joint issue will be produced with an identical design (competition is open) and the date of this issue will probably be centered around October 9, 2024. Knowing the number of member countries of the UPU (192 so far), this could become the largest joint issue ever. Call to participant countries was launched.
Still waiting for news from the India – Vietnam joint issue supposed to be released on April 23, 2023 (local fighting sports. We just had access to the design of the Vietnamese stamps. Any additional information is welcome.
Georgia issued already stamps at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of its diplomatic relationship with different countries, first on December 7, 2022 with Azerbaijan, then on December 20, 2022, with Israel.
More recently, we learned from Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore) and Enzo Cafaro (Italy) that Georgia issued also one stamp identical to the Italy stamp itself issued on December 7, 2022. Date of issue of the Georgian stamp is apparently December 27, 2022, leading to a Concerted issue [C]. The only problem here is that despite the fact that the stamps are identical, Italian Post does not consider this issue as joint (???), at least it was not defined originally by an official decree. Fabio Bonacina (Italy) in Vaccari News, tries to give some explanations (https://www.vaccarinews.it/news/Dentello_pure_da_Tbilisi/33994). It is possible that Georgia produced their stamp on the basis of the Italian model once the Italian stamp was released, but up to the point to officially present pictures of both stamps, in a same room, on December 27, in presence of the Italian ambassador. In our case, it is clear that with such a similar design, the stamps must have been created on the basis of at least a limited initial collaboration between both postal administrations. Therefore, we will report this pair in the catalogue and I am sure, collector will be glad to have a funny story to tell behind these two stamps, despite the non-recognition of the joint character by one part. If we discover in a near future, another example of such (unilateral) twin stamps, we will probably have to create a new sub-type in our classification system.
Another astonishing point relates to the illustration. It represents the construction of the cathedral of Bichvinta, based on a design of Father Cristoforo Castelli (1597-1659). Bichvinta (also called Pitsunda) is located in Abkhazia, a territory that is under Russian control since 2008…
A Joint stamp was issued between Israel and Georgia in honor of 30 years of diplomatic relations on December 20, 2022 (information provided by Varda Lask, Israel, and Don Birschel, USA). The issue of the stamp is described in the Israeli brochure as follows: ” The Umm Leisun inscription appears on an ancient Georgian tombstone made of limestone and is written in Georgian Asomtavruli script. It was discovered in 2002 during the excavation of a Byzantine-period Georgian monastery in the Umm Leisun neighborhood in southern Zur Baher, 4.5 kilometers south of the Old City of Jerusalem. The tombstone was found in an underground crypt beneath a colorful mosaic floor. The crypt contained 24 skeletons, all adult men, as would be expected in a monastery. The most important tomb has an inscription identifying it as that of “Georgian bishop Iohane”, the oldest monk, with the highest status. This inscription is the earliest known example of Georgian script found on any archeological artifact, both in the Holy Land and in Georgia. The inscription is engraved on the tombstone and measures 81 cm X 49 cm. It dates back to the late fifth or first half of the 6th century and is on display in the Knesset Archeological Garden. The full inscription reads: “This is the grave of Iohane, Bishop of Purtavi, a Georgian”.
A series of new information has come to our attention over the recent weeks thanks to Enzo Cafaro (Italy), Don Birschel (USA), Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore), Grzegorz Smialkowski (Poland) and Ali Ahmed Med Achour (Algeria).
The picture of the Argentinian stamps issued jointly with Poland became available. These stamps were issued on November 25, 2022, the same day as the Polish stamps, but it took all this time to get the information. Poland issued stamps in miniature sheets of 4 pairs of se-tenant stamps, while Argentina issued panels of 4 strips of two se-tenant pairs separated by a label showing the logo of the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between both countries.
In a same way, Enzo Cafaro could eventually provide the information about the identical stamp produced by Mexico jointly with the Vatican State. Vatican stamps were released on November 16, 2022 (sheetlets of 10 stamps), but one had to wait until December 12, 2022 to see the Mexican stamp (sheets of 50).
Georgia and Poland have issued joint stamps to honor Georgian Theologian Grigol Peradze (1899-1942) who died in 1942 at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The stamps were released on December 6, 2022, for both countries in miniature sheets of 8 stamps.
Georgia is also involved in a joint issue with Azerbaijan issued on December 7, 2022. This issue is celebrating the 30 years of diplomatic relations between both countries, also in miniature sheets of 8 stamps each.
We found also two new countries to add to the World Postal day series from October 9, 2022, on one side Indonesia (detailed information still missing) and on the other Saudi Arabia which issued 5,000 stamps in miniature sheets of 6. We have now reached 24 participating countries, and the list does not seem complete yet. Presently, it includes: [2022 (October 9)]: Argentina – Belarus – Bosnia Herzegovina – Cambodia – Central African Republic – Colombia () – Croatia – Djibouti – Egypt – Fiji (September 22) – Guinea Bissau – Iraq () – Mexico – Russia (October 7) – Saudi Arabia – Serbia (October 7) – Sierra Leone () – Sri Lanka – Syria – Thailand – Tunisia – Turkey and Venezuela (). Empty brackets need to be filled with the precise dates of issue.
It seems that the Arab Postal Union has agreed to issue a common stamp celebrating the Soccer World Champion Cup in Qatar, based on a Qatari design, but even if this event is reaching its end (December 18, 2022), very little is known about it at this stage. Hopefully moreto say next time.
Among the new series to be released during year 2023 we have to add Cambodia – Korea (South) (February 10), China – Spain (March), India – Korea (South) (July 28), Korea (South) – Switzerland (September 7) and Hungary – Thailand (October 24). Of course, more to come as well.
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