2022 JI collecting year: a review

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.

Catalogue update

A large update of the catalogue took place by end of October 2022, adding more than 10 pages to the Volume 15. The updated version of Catalogue 2022 Vol 15 V3.11 is now on line with new information for issues to be released in November and December 2022, but also a new list for issues expected during the year 2023. Major catalogue information affect the Tiger Forum series and the World Post Day issue with now 21 countries involved. Very recently, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico were added, but this list is still not complete. On page 1720 a non-approved ActNow – Stop the war series is described as well. The first list of countries participating to the common design stamp issue to be released at the occasion of the Arab League Summit is provided on page 1744. The other countries (up to a possible total of 22 countries possible) are expected to release their stamps by November 1-2, 2022.

The country and topic indexes of Volume 1 V3.06 have been updated accordingly.

Catalogue update

The month of September 2022 saw a large number of joint issues appearing and more have to come in the following weeks. At the same time Jaap Sarelse (The Netherlands) was able to provide the material he collected over the year 2021 and the beginning of 2022. In particular, a high number of mixed FDCs could be obtained thanks to him and a lot of them were not described in the catalogue yet.

This led to a larger update of the catalogue in particular covering the years 2020 and 2021 for illustrations, leading to an additional full 4 pages, as well as supplementary material for the past months of 2022. Volume 14 and Volume 15 of the catalogue are now upgraded which information needed also to be distributed in the countries and topic tables of Volume 1. We leave you take a look, and if possible, don’t hesitate to provide the still missing information.

Non-joint Germany Liechtenstein 2009

Don Birschel (USA) submitted an interesting item looking like a se-tenant souvenir sheet containing a pair of stamps from Germany and Liechtenstein. The design of these stamps are similar to stamps issued by Germany and Liechtenstein, respectively on March 12, 2009 and March 2, 2009. Germany issued two additional stamps with similar design on May 7, 2009.

However, this item exists only with oblique bars-canceled denominations. In the margins, there are references to the Federation of German Philatelists (Bund Deutscher Philatelisten e.V.) and it is specified that the illustrations correspond to competition designs (Konkurrenzentwürfe), i.e. not-issued designs to the above mentionned stamps dedicated to the Post of both countries. In fact, each year the Federation of German Philatelists is issuing a facsimile of stamps to be distributed to their members and in 2009, they represented exceptionally stamp designs from two countries. The stamps from this item cannot be used for mail and therefore this souvenir sheet is simply a cinderella, not to be considered as a joint issue. Nevertheless, an interesting item that can be found on the web for about 4 to 5 €uros.

On-line catalogue contains all available JI information

The new web site (this one: https:philarz.com) including the Joint Stamp Issue full catalogue is now in place since half a year, but some collectors are still loocking for information in the previous web site (http://philarz.net/, which is still open, but will be completely shut down by mid of next year). This page is intended to reassure collectors that all the data available in the previous web site can be accessed in these pages. This information is just available in a different place and in a different form. To facilitate your search, here are some hints how to better explore and benefit from this web site and the appended catalogue. In fact, the largest part of the information is now embedded in the on-line catalogue. This page addresses most of the FAQ received over the past months:

Where is the page providing the explanations of the definitions of the different joint issues?

Definition of joint issues are all described on the web page ‘FAQ‘, but in full details directly in Volume 1 of the on-line catalogue, more precisely from pages 11 to 24, which are updated when necessary.  It is recommended to explore also the other pages of this catalogue Volume 1 which over 100 pages gives all introduction information and definitions

Where is the upcoming issues section?

The upcoming issues section does exist, but in a different form. In fact all new information that will in the future be translated in an official joint issue if confirmed, is reported in Volume 15 starting presently at page 1715. The information is minimal but corresponds to what is available. If more information of interest becomes available ahead of release, it will be provided in a news page. This volume 15 is updated on a monthly basis

Where to find the recent issues description area?

The recent issue area is provided at the beginning of Volume 15. It is updated on a monthly basis (whenever possible) and Volume 15 is the fastest growing part of the catalogue and shows all newly approved joint issues.

Has everything been transferred from the old site (philarz.net) to the new one (philarz.com) ?

No, not yet. This is why ‘philarz.net’ will remain open to access for another year. But the missing parts will simply be transferred to an ‘Archive page’ to be created and corresponds mainly to information interesting for historical review. No new information will be added as everything linked to existing joint issues is already in place in the new site. Also it is important to have the old site still open as Google still provides this link in priority due to the high number of older references to this site. This should also be inverted over the next year, with Google serach refering in priority to the new site.

His there a way to make a Search for a country or topic over all web site and on-line catalogue?

There is no general tool allowing to make a search covering both the web site and the on-line catalogue. For the web site the standard “Ctrl+F” function should work. In the catalogues there are two ways to look for any joint issue:

  1. either you know the period of issue, you open one of the 15 catalogue parts and you browse with the Calameo search tool (magnifier symbol on the top right). Don’t hesitate to explore the different tools available in Calameo
  2. or you take a look in the table of content of Volume 1 in which you will find two sections, a) the countries’ index on pages 51 to 71, or b) the topic index, on pages 72 to 93. If you are looking for e.g. all joint issues involving the USA, you will find the answer on page 70. Indeed, there is no automatic link for each individual issue, but this is the best starting point. This list is always up to date regarding the content of other volumes and each modification in the entire catalogue is immediately introduced in this volume 1.

Volumes 1 and 15 are the more often updated catalogue parts and since the inception of this new web site (January 2022), Vol 1 has already been updated four times and Volume 15, eight times. The page of links to sources has been updated more than a dozen times. In this page, unfortunately, over time, links are becoming inactive and the whole list of more than 650 links cannot be checked on a weekly or even monthly basis, but new ones are added regularly.

Is it possible to download or print the catalogue?

No, and this will remain such way. You have to accept that the intellectual property remains with the author. The free access to the cataloge content is a gift to all collectors and the author has no income at all for the work made so far (35+ years of collecting information are available in this catalogue). The 2006 Joint Issue Catalogue (750 pages) was once found as a pdf copy for sale on eBay. A malicious seller had scanned all pages of the printed catalogue and proposed it to eBay buyers without any rights and any contribution left to the author. Several other eBay sellers are doing the same with standard catalogues such as Scott, Michel or Yvert&Tellier in an illegal way. It is as illegal to buy these pdf files, but it is also quite impossible to prevent such thefts. The catalogue printers have so far not succeeded in stoppinf the sale of such illegal pdf files. The reason for proposing the catalogue for free was a kind of answer to avoid such thieves making some profits. In exchange, you have to accept that the catalogue is open only for reading. Access to copies, printing, pdf files will not be possible. This is not making everything impossible as thefts are clever (screen copies remain possible), but at least you know that if one day you are proposed a free pdf copy of the catalogue, this means you are paying for something that is available for free.

I am hoping this helps. We are still looking for suggestions of improvement and always looking for help, in particular if you can bring local information in languages that usually are not retrieved by standard Google functions. Thanks in advance and continue enjoying Joint Stamp Issues collecting.

Do joint coin issues exist ?

This is an unusual question for a philatelist, but almost obvious for a numismatist with an answer that sounds yes. We are stamp collectors, with for most of us limited or even no interest for coins. Therefore, coin collectors will definitely be able to provide a better description of joint coin issues. Over the past 20 years, while looking for joint stamps, it happened that we encountered some surprising joint coin issues. We came to the idea that a page for this type of products should be opened in our catalogue, just to trigger the attention about the similarities with joint stamp issues. A first, absolutely not exhaustive list, with limited description, but including all illustrations, was made available as a new chapter at the end of Vol 1 of the catalogue. If some collectors answer to this mail by providing additional joint coin examples, we may consider extending the section. Actually, so far, less than a dozen of common issues have been found, but the search was not made in an extensive way and most of them were found per pure chance. Also, as it is not our core interest, this chapter may stay at this level for a long period. However, for the purpose of coherence, we already introduced the new category [K] (a letter staying obviously for ‘coins’). If this article triggered your attention, have also fun with this treasure search!

On the basis of this first short list, it became interesting to discover that with coins, we can encounter the same type of sub-categories as with stamps. Twin coins (same design, same date of issue) [TK] do exist, such as in 2005 with Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC) or in 1999 with the Marshall Islands and Zambia (Elephant). As exact issue dates are difficult to find (no first day cancellations 😉 ), Concerted coin issues [CK] have not been identified, but parallel coin issues (same date of issue, actually both countries’ coins sold together in a folder, but different designs) [PK] have been see for example recently (2021), involving Canada and UK. More surprisingly, we could create the sub-group of Unique issue; i.e., a coin used by two different countries with names of both countries on the same coin [UK] such as the Dubai – Qatar currency used between the years 1966 and 1973, while Se-tenant coins (coins split in two halves, each one for one country) [SK], have been seen with Kiribati and Samoa in 1997 or Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

You will find below some examples of joint coins, and we would like to welcome any information from numismatists who could help update our information level.

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!

More about Slania

Wayne Chen (USA) confirmed that black prints from the Denmark, Faroe and Greenland joint souvenir sheets [T20210812] related to Czeslaw Slania became available at respectively 100, 1,800 and 11,000 samples. He could provide pictures of the three items signed by the engraver Martin Mörck. Faroe’s and Greenland’s black prints were distributed to stamp subscribers from both countries while Denmark’s black prints were essentially given to the main participants of the issue, and the rest sold within minutes.


Kenneth Sequeira (Dubai) and Jaap Sarelse (the Netherlands) reported a few cancellations of previously announced joint issue. The Tajikistan philatelic program shows now the Tajikistan – Kyrgyzstan joint issue crossed out. This issue was initially planned for Quarter 4, 2021, but without more precision regarding the date. At the same time the Kyrgyzstan philatelic office informed us that the issue of the Kyrgyzstan stamps from the Croatia – Kyrgyzstan joint issue is postponed (i.e. probably towards early 2022), but not cancelled. Croatia had issued their stamps as planned on September 22, 2021 (topic: woodpeckers) and (identical) designs of the Kyrgyzstan stamps appeared on the Delcampe web site before being retrieved. At the same time, Ukraine announces three joint issues for 2022 with Italy (150th birthday of Solomiya Krushelnytska), Singapore (topic unknown) and the USA (100th anniversary of the first performance of the Ukrainian carol ‘Shchedryk’ in Carnegie Hall, New York), without more precise date, and no confirmation from the partner country.
The TAAF/Portugal joint issue must also be considered as cancelled. Stamps on the expected topic (Portuguese prersence in the Austral seas by Joao da Nova) were issued by Portugal on October 11, 2021, without any reference to a joint character. There is no more information available on this topic from the French side.