200 years of Brazil independency (2)

On June 29, 2022, Brazil issued unexpectedly a stamp at the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the independence of the country and claimed joint character with a to-be-issued Portugal stamp. The design of the Portuguese stamp was missing at the date of the first announcement, but Enzo Cafaro (Italy) was able to provide it, ahead of release on September 7, 2022. This issue is definitely a concerted [C] issue as designs are identical [C20220629].

World Post Day 2022

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) released a proposal to all their members to issue a stamp with common design at the occasion of the next World Post Day on October 9, 2022. The UPU is providing the design based on the theme ‘Post for Planet’ and all information regarding the possible associated products are provided in a full description post (stamp design in the 6 official languages – see below, templates for 6-, 8-, 9-, 10-, 12- and 20- stamps sheets, first day covers, cancellations, phone apps and even T-shirts, …).

More than 200 postal administrations could in theory participate, but with this quite short notice (earliest information is dated June 2, 2022), there are great chances that the number of participants will remain quite limited. In 2020, a similar attempt was made with the “Family Remittance” stamps [B20200716] which resulted in a single independent country participating in 2020 (Bulgaria) and another one in 2022 (Bosnia Herzegovina). A series of stamps were issued later by countries for which the philatelic program is not controled by the administration, but by a professional dealer (Stamperija). If this is again the case, this issue will also be considered as an omnibus non-approved joint issue (borrowed design). Let us wait until October 9, 2022 to see if some countries, and how many, are seriously interested.

International tiger preservation forum (2)

The second international tiger preservation forum took place as scheduled on September 5, 2022 and, also as scheduled, most of the participating countries issued at this occasion a stamp related to this forum illustrated with tigers. A first list had been provided earlier. This is now a complementary information page with new details provided mainly by Enzo Cafaro (Italy).

Eventually, 10 countries are participating to this joint parallel issue [P20220905]. Among the 14 countries where tigers still live in the wild, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam, we already know that Thailand decided not to participate. No information is available from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Indonesia.

Myanmar, Russia and Vietnam have issued their stamps on September 5, 2022. India issued its stamp already on September 1, 2022, while Cambodia will issue it stamps only on September 22, 2022. Exact dates of issue for Laos, Malaysia, and North Korea are still to be confirmed, but seem to be September 5 as well. In parallel, Russia is preparing a mixed folder containing the mint stamps from (almost) all 10 countries.

Indian stamp pays tribute to ‘Collarwali’, a tigress from Pench Tiger reserve, Madhya Pradesh, who gave birth to 29 cubs in her life time, among which 25 survived to adulthood. She passed away in January 2022.

Below, additional pictures of stamps released or to be released by these countries are depicted.

On September 5, 2022, China PR issued a set of stamps entitled Tiger cultural relics. The 6 stamps represent a) the Shang-Fu double-tailed bronze tiger, b) a spring and autumn jade tiger-shaped pendant, c) the Han Baihu ’tiledang’ with tiger (grey pottery), d) the Bronze Tiger Festival object with Cuojin inscription of Han dynasty, e) a white glaze brown flower crouching tiger pillow and f) a puppet flying tiger. There is no hint about a relationship with the tiger preservation forum, but if no other stamp is issued by China PR, we will have to consider that the stamps released at this same date may be part of the joint issue (same date of issue, same topic). However, more information is needed here.

The site from Yonhap News refers also to another souvenir sheet issued by North Korea on September 5, 2022, next to the souvenir sheet with different 4 stamps. Here also, more details are needed.

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.

Arab Postal Union unified issue

Our friend, Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria), provided updated information about the new 2022 Arab Postal Union stamps. APU members have adopted the design proposed by Algeria for a unified issue. All countries have been given the freedom to issue their own stamp between August 3, 2022, corresponding to the annual Arab Post day and November 2, 2022, date of the closing of the Arab League Summit. We know that next to Egypt, stamp already issued on August 3, 2022, and Algeria, stamp issued on August 20, 2022, National Day of Moudjahid, Palestine and Tunisia have confirmed their participation. It is highly probable that most of the participating countries will issue their stamp during the Arab League Summit, scheduled November 1 and 2, 2022. At this stage, we need to wait probably until November before we can define the exact entry name in the catalogue of this issue. Any additional information from other Arab postal administrations is welcome.

Armenia Russia Churches

Armenia and Russia celebrated on August 30, 2022 both the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual assistance. This is a parallel issue scheduled from long date and dedicated to architecture, focusing on churches from both countries.

Stamps are different and represent for Armenia, the Church of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Saint Michael the Archangel’s Church in Gyumri, Armenia. Russia issued stamps representing the Holy Cross Church in Samara, Russia and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vanadzor, Armenia. Both countries have issued their stamps in miniature sheets of 4 pairs of stamps [2px2] in chess board order.

Surprise from Ecuador

A joint Ecuadorian – Mexican joint issue was initially scheduled for March 23, 2022. In the meantime, the stamp release was delayed two times and still not issued by end of June 2022. Recent information referred to the bankruptcy of the Ecuadorian Post which has not issued stamps for more than two years. As a consequence, we considered this issue as cancelled.

All of a sudden, we learned from Stan80djk that both stamps were officially released on July 28, 2022. Stamps are identical and honor two heroines of independency, Leona Vicario (1789-1842) and Manuela Saenz (1797-1856). Ecuador issued only 2,000 units, while Mexico released 100,000 stamps.

International tiger preservation forum

The second International Forum for the Preservation of the Tiger Population is supposed to take place in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 5, 2022. About one year ago, JSC Marka, the Russian postal administration initiated the creation of a joint issue related to this event with all participating countries. Officially, it is announced that 10 countries will participate to this joint issue that is supposed to be released on September 5, 2022, and a few of them have already shown the designs of their stamps.

Taking in account the present international situation, it is time to make some review of the different announcements, but also to use this opportunity to ask the local collectors to provide as much as possible reliable information on top of what is described below. None of the stamp designs seen so far are identical. Most of the information described here has been provided by Enzo Cafaro (Italy).

The forum runs a web site and has a dedicated logo. Decision to held this second international meeting in Vladivostok was taken on September 3, 2019. The 1st International Tiger Forum took place in St. Petersburg on 21–24 November 2010. The Forum web page explains that today, there are only 14 countries where tigers still live in the wild: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

So first let us start with the countries that have already announced their participation and provided the design of their stamp. Russia is of course the first with a single stamp issued in miniature sheets of 8 stamps and bearing the logo. Vietnam will issue two different stamps, North Korea a souvenir sheet containing a block of 4 different stamps and Malaysia a souvenir sheet with one stamp. All of them will bear the logo but the exact date of issue of September 5, 2022 is only confirmed for Russia, even if JSC Marka claims all participants will release the stamp the same day.

Some other countries have provided the design, but the stamps are missing the logo. We should not forget that the year 2022 is the Chinese Lunar year of the Tiger and dozen of countries have issued stamps depicting tigers, without any link to this forum. So, most of the tiger stamps issued in 2022 are not part of this joint issue. In the following cases, Cambodia (one stamp and one souvenir sheet, available perforated or not, but only one to be confirmed for release on September 5) and Laos (2 stamps) show either within the stamp or within the margins of the miniature or souvenir sheets a text referring to the preservation of the species.

Lastly, there are a few other countries that have been announced by Russia (JSC Marka) as being participant to the joint issue, but have not released information themselve, nor confirmed participation on their side. These countries include China PR, India, Myanmar and Nepal. On top of these ten countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia and Thailand could also participate. Information from these additional countries are also missing.

Roughly, we have now one full month to confirm if this joint issue will really exist and which country will participate. With the information we have collected so far it should become a Parallel [P] issue. Any additional detail is of interest. Thanks in advance.

Centenary of Mexican Embassy in Rome

On June 27, 2022, Mexico issued a stamp celebrating the centenary of the building of the Mexican embassy in Rome, Italy. Such a stamp was not in the program of the Italian philatelic program, but shortly after the release of the Mexican stamp we learned (Source: Fabio Bonacina and Enzo Cafaro, Italy) that the Italian postal administration intended to produce also a stamp related to this topic by end of July 2022. We had to wait very closely to the release of the Italian stamp to discover its design which eventually appeared to be the same. Italy issued its stamp on July 28, 2022.

None of the postal administrations claim a joint character to these stamps. It looks that the Italian administration had to react quickly after they learned about the issuance of the Mexican stamp, probably only during the spring of 2022. Nevertheless, it became obvious that we had to consider this issue as joint for several reasons:

  • The building and the topic are unique to Mexico in Italy
  • The Mexican ambassador participated to this issue confirmed by a text written by him in the presentation package of the Italian stamp. Indirectly, Mexico was involved in the Italian stamp creation discussion
  • The fact that there was an agreement on the image is also a confirmation of the collaboration. The situation would have been more questionable if the designs were different or if one stamp would only give a simple text
  • Slight differences such as appearance of Mexican flag in the Italian stamp are minor modifications that can be considered as the degree of freedom left to the two designers, but both had to work on the same basic picture
  • However,there was a kind of hiccup in the decision to collaborate and absence of agreement on date of issue. The official anniversary is July 2, 2022, so none of the two first day dates (June 27 and July 28). This could be the consequence of last minute decision to collaborate

In summary: this issue will be considered as joint, with the sub type concerted [C20220627] (same design but different dates of issue) and the lack of communication about the joint character is mainly due to the short time left to the two postal administrations to define a common date. Apparently, the Italian postal administration considers a true joint issue only if both stamps are released on the same day and if mixed joint FDCs can be created on this day. These mixed documents will probably exist in the near future, but of private origin.

First joint crypto stamp announced

Cesar Ittmann (The Netherlands), provided the following information: “The new collection: PostNL to launch the first Dutch crypto stamp”. PostNL (The Netherlands) will issue the very first Dutch crypto stamp this autumn. The launch comes from a collaboration with Austrian Post, which is simultaneously releasing a crypto stamp.

But first what is a crypto stamp? The ‘crypto stamp’ is a physical postage stamp that has a ‘digital twin’ in the blockchain. This digital version becomes visible by scanning the QR code on the physical stamp. You can then activate, collect, exchange and trade it via blockchain. Its digital twin is a so-called non-fungible token (NFT).

Quite complicated to understand for non-initiated, isn’t it? So let us find more information: PostNL has joined forces with Austrian Post, which developed the first crypto stamp in 2019. Austrian Post has over three years of experience in issuing crypto stamps (10 stamps issued so far). The design of this jointly issued crypto stamp has a unique symbol. Designs for those earlier editions included, for example, the symbols of a unicorn, a whale and a panda and are available in different colors. A Delcampe search of the word “crypto stamp” led already to more than 300 occurences. Actually crypto stamps have been issued by several countries including Croatia, Switzerland, UNO New York, UAE, Liechtenstein or Gibraltar, next to Austria. The first observation is that all these stamps are very expensive (10 to 150€ each) and it seems that one pays for more than the simple postal fee, i.e. this seems to be the price for the combination between a stamp and an artwor.? Here some examples of already issued crypto stamps:

PostNL and Austrian Post are not yet revealing the design that will adorn this crypto stamp. This will be done gradually in the coming period via the website Dutch web site NLcryptostamp.nl, or the Austrian site under https://crypto.post.at/ These sites are claiming this will be the future of stamp collecting. Take a look at these web sites if you want to know more.

The NL crypto stamp will be made available in a limited edition for €9,05, the price of a stamp for registered mail. Stamp folder and FDC will be available. PostNL will later be announcing when presales start, the number of crypto stamps available, and where the crypto stamp will be for sale. We just need to wait, but in the meantime, the Dutch post has issued an annoucement conventional stamp.

Euromed stamps 2022 now available

Don Birschel (USA) collected all information relative to the Euromed 2022 stamps, topic submarine archeology, which started to appear at different countries’ post offices since July 8, 2022. The collection is not complete yet, but he was able to provide most of the illustrations of the following countries:

Croatia (July 11 – 1 stamp, issued 30,000; ancient city of Pula-Pola, amphitheater) – Cyprus (July 11 – 1 stamp) – France (July 8 – 1 stamp, [5×3], 495,000; West Giraglia 2, submarine excavations, Cap Corse) – Greece (July 11 – 2 se-tenant stamps and souvenir sheet with 2 pairs of stamps, as well as a booklet with two pairs; [2px4], [1px2] and [2px1]) – Malta (July 11 – 2 stamps, 100,000 and 30,000; Citadella Victoria, Gozo and Phoenician shipwreck site, Xiendi Bay, Gozo) – Montenegro (July 12 – 1 stamp printed 40,000, in miniature sheet of 8 stamps [3×3] with central label; coin of King Ballaios (2nd century BC) – Morocco (July 11 – 1 stamp; view of Titwan) – Portugal (July 11 – 2 stamps; 2x[5×4], 2×75,000) – Slovenia (July 11 – 1 stamp, ancient city of Ajdovscina; [5×5]) – Spain (July 11 – 1 stamp; [4×4]; 134,000) – Tunisia (July 11 – 2 stamps; [5×4] and [4×5]; child paintings of Tastur and Takruma) – Turkey (July 9).

Although normally issued at time of printing this page, we are still missing detailed information from Cyprus , Morocco, Spain and Turkey. We know that Bosnia Herzegovina will issue its stamp only on November 15, 2022. Eventually, compared to previous years, we could also expect participation from the following countries: Albania, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine.

On top of this, the Albania Euromed 2021 stamps were issued on May 11, 2022. (block of four, issued 4,000, [b4x2]). Albania Euromed 2022 may become available only in 2023.

Armenia – Egypt missed JI?

Both Don Birschel (USA) and Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore) provided the same information about a potential joint issue that was released a couple of months ago by Armenia and Egypt, but two weeks apart. Stamps are celebrating the 30th anniversary of relationship. Armenia issued its stamp on April 12, 2022 while Egypt released its stamp on March 22, 2022.

The design is different but features the same items: pyramids, Cheops sphinx and the statue “Mother of Armenia”. They also bear almost the same text relative to the anniversary of relationship establishment. For these reasons, we can deduce that both postal administrations communicated to create this pair of stamps. Even if the dates of issue eventually differed slightly and the design is not quite the same, we have to consider these stamps as joint, more precisely as Concerted [C] with the sub-type C3 (see Catalogue Vol 1 page 14 for detailed explanations). Catalogue Volume 15 will be updated accordingly with a new entry numbered [C20220322]. Thanks Don and Kenneth for this discovery.