Georgia’s diplomatic relations – 30 years

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…

Latest news – December 2022

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.

Finally, I would like also to mention a new address of a blog I came accross while evaluating the new joint Crypto/NFT stamps, namely Bitter Grounds Magazine, written by Catpaw, which gives news about stamps from the year but also some stamp programs for 2023, and provides a weekly newsletter. An interesting source of information. Congratulations to Catpaw.

Poland Thailand 2022

The 50th anniversary of relationship between Poland and Thailand was celebrated as expected with a joint issue released on November 14, 2022. Both countries produced a similar miniature sheet containing four pairs of identical stamps showing the Palace on the Water in the Royal Łazienki in Warsaw, Poland and the Aisawan Thipphaya-Asana (called the Floating Pavilion) in the Royal Palace complex of Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand. Stamps were printed at respectively 120,000 (Poland) and 250,000 (Thailand) pairs.

Miscellaneous from October 2022

Marci Jarvis (USA) could provide additional information related to the Tiger Forum joint issue from September 5, 2022. Indeed, Laos issued two stamps representing felines (Clouded leopard and Asian golden cat) but no tiger, however with the forum logo. These two stamps became also available in a special souvenir sheet which is illustrated with a tiger and a cub. Stamps in panes and souvenir sheets are available as perforated and imperforated. The date of issue of the Laos stamps is September 1, 2022. In the meantime, we are still missing information from Nepal stamps related to the Tiger forum.

Don Birschel (USA) provided the illustrations of the stamps issued by Cambodia, which, on the contrary to what was reported so far, bear the logo of the forum, in both stamps and souvenir sheet, . These stamps were issued on September 22, 2022.

Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria) reported that the Algeria Post, next to the UPU World Post Day stamp from October 9, 2022 created also a Postage Meter Imprint with the same topic. However, he noticed that the design contains two hashtag addresses that are erroneous. Hashtags are reference words that allow to find all the information that was exchanged using this specific word. However, to be usable, they need to follow precise rules in particular no white space is allowed. In order to separate words, if this is needed, at least a dash or underscore dash has to be used. This rule applies for latin and arabic characters and both hashtags represented in the meter print are wrong and unusable. Corrected hastags are represented here, below the imprint.

Rindert Paalman (The Netherlands) reported the decision taken during the PostEurop General Assembly in Dublin on 5 October 2022. A common design will be used on all 2023 Europa stamps (probably to be released in May 2023) on the theme “PEACE – the highest value of humanity”. 29 entries were submitted for the design competition and 44 postal companies participated in the voting. The winning motif is the one submitted by Luxembourg : “The New Peace Symbol”.

From Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore), a question related to stamps issued by Mongolia on May 19, 2022 and Japan, souvenir sheet with 10 stamps released on June 15, 2022. The topic refers to the 50th anniversary of relationship. As dates of issue are different, design are different and none of the postal administrations are refering to any collaboration in producing these items, we have to consider that these stamps are just celebrating the same event, but these stamps cannot be considered as joint.

From Cesar Ittmann (the Netherlands), reporting about the stamps celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Commission. EAU began its operations on February 2, 2012, but the treaty was signed only on May 29, 2014. The five involved countries participated to this issue with different designs, but four of them were released on the same date of issue: Armenia (August 25, 2022), Belarus (August 26, 2022), Kazakhstan (August 26, 2022), Kyrgyzstan (August 26, 2022) and Russia (July 29, 2022). On this basis, this issue has to be reported as a parallel joint issue [P1] under the entry code [P20220826]. The 5th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty (and not operation initiation) was celebrated by the same five countries on August 9, 2019 with identical stamps showing the flags of the countries . It was described in the catalogue under [T20190809].

Oman Tanzania 2022

On October 9, 2022, Oman Post and Tanzania Posts Corporation launched a Joint Stamp Issue that commemorates the long-standing historical ties between both countries. The stamp illustrates the cultural and architectural contributions of the Sultanate of Oman in the United Republic of Tanzania as it depicts the Zanzibar shoreline with some governmental buildings facing the shore, including the Corniche in Zanzibar and the House of Wonders, the largest and tallest building of Stone Town, which is one of six palaces built in 1883 by Barghash bin Said, the second Sultan of Zanzibar. Both countries issued also a souvenir sheet each. This information was provided by our friend Saravanan from India.

Latest information

Over the past two weeks, we got from different collectors several interesting information that are worth adding in the catalogue.

Saravanan (India) was the first to provide information about the recently issued stamps from Serbia, which are announced to be joint with Iran. Serbia issued a souvenir sheet with two stamps on September 30, 2022. So far, we have not seen any confirmation from Iran, but the Serbian stamps clearly state this relationship..

The announcement by the UPU of the issue of a common stamp at the occasion of the World Post Day on October 9, 2022 (see previous article) triggered also some interest from first countries.

Enzo Cafaro (Italy) was able to provide images from Belarus and Croatia, while StanD brought information out of Thailand. More information is needed but it seems this issue may unexpectedly become quite large.

Don Birschel (USA) discovered that the Laos stamps used at the occasion of the Tiger Forum (joint organized by Russia) on September 5, 2022, actually bear the logo of this Forum, on the contrary to the pictures we have shown so far. As we have not found the first stamps in previous issues, we have to consider that the first pictures without logo were simply early design proposals. Up to now, we got also the information that these both stamps were issued on September 1, 2022. This needs also to be confirmed. Any Laos-located collector to provide more data on this topic ? We are also missing information from Nepal that was supposed to take part to this issue. Any complementary information is welcome.

All the information collected over the past month has now been integrated in Vol 15 of the catalogue. Unfortunately, regarding the stamps that were announced to be released during the month of September 2022, we have no news from the Armenia- Bulgaria issue (probably cancelled), the Singapore – Ukraine issue (also probably cancelled), the Mexico – Vatican issue (initially scheduled September 21, 2022, but no information available) and the China – Japan issue (Japanese stamp issued, probably unilateral).

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.

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.

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.

2022 UAE-India issue delay to be explained

Jaap Sarelse (the Netherlands) just provided a sample of the first day cover of the UAE stamps, dated June 30, 2022. Stamps from this country were supposed to be released at the same date as the Indian counterpart, namely on February 18, 2022. Actually, a long unexplained delay affected the release of this UAE issue. As a consequence, in the catalogue, this joint issue has to be re-attributed the category of Concerted [C] issue and is now filed under [C20220218] instead of [T20220218]. By looking closer it appears that the design of the final UAE product is also slightly different from what was presented in the February 2022 project, in particular regarding the building depicted in the margin of the souvenir sheet. Take a look below on the illustrations to see the differences in lengths and position of texts in the margin (four lines instead of three) but also on building representations and compare them to the issued Indian souvenir sheet. The delay was probably not only due to logistics issues, but also to the agreement needed from India regarding the depicted buildings. In other words, it may be possible that the UAE stamps had to be reprinted due to this design mistake. We do not know if the first design was printed on time and needed to be destroyed. There is a need to dig further and any information is welcome.

UAE FDC cover dated June 30, 2022
Original February 2022 UAE project – not released (wrong building on the bottom right side)
Final design of the UAE souvenir sheet issued on June 30, 2022
Indian souvenir sheet issued on February 18, 2022, for comparison

How about 2022 Russian JIs?

The present Ukrainian-Russian political situation affects also stamp collecting. As we have an obligation of neutrality, we shall not give any comment on this situation. The following is just to provide some information about the stamp programs of both countries. Actually, on the contrary to Ukraine, Russia had planned several joint issues for this year 2022, involving different countries.

On April 7, 2022, Russia participated to the officially yearly Joint issue of the RCC Member Countries, illustrated by parks and gardens. Stamps of Russia showed the N. Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Unfortunately, this has to be considered as a standalone issue, as so far, only Belarus issued another different stamp on April 5, 2022. Also, Armenia plans to issue an RCC stamp with garden during the third Quarter. Only the RCC emblem appears on all stamps. As a consequence, these stamps cannot be considered as joint.

The Belarus – Russia joint issue dedicated to the painter V.K. Byalynitski-Biruli on May 22, 2022 was issued as scheduled (see previous post) and was considered as a true twin issue.

The following issues announced in the Russian philatelic program are more doubtful to be released:

Russia plans to release on August 26, 2022 a joint issue with Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, illustrated with art pieces. No information is available from Azerbaijan.

Three days later, on August 29, 2022, Russia intends to release also stamps with Armenia, also on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, illustrated with the topic Architecture. These stamps are still in the Armenian philatelic program for 2022, but shifted to Quarter 4.

The international forum for the preservation of the tiger, to be issued on September 5, 2022, as a joint stamp series, is still on the agenda. It si quite difficult to tell if this issue will really be a joint issue. several countries have already issued stamps at the occasion of the Chinese year of the Tiger, but this has nothing to do with this international forum.

The celebration of the twin cities of Zagreb and St Petersburg, so, between Russia and Croatia, originally planned to be released on June 23, 2022, has been postponed to November 23, 2022.

Nothing will guarantee these stamps will be released. We will continue to watch carefully the situation and keep you informed.

Djibouti adds to the 2019 Al-Quds series

Jaap Sarelse (The Netherlands) via Benjamin Busch (France) reported new products released on November 1, 2021 by Djibouti and related to the Al-Quds/Jerusalem, Capital of Palestine stamps from 2019. It was obvious that other countries would join at a later stage this twin issue as did last year Libya and Saudi Arabia. This series is described in the catalogue under the entry code T20191009a. Djibouti produced a quite large series of products including two stamps available as perforated and non-perforated and for the smaller denomination produced in a sheet of 20 stamps [4×5]. The higher denomination became available in miniature sheets of 6 stamps [2×3], while a gold souvenir sheet in a folder is also available but produced only at 100 samples each as perforated and non-perforated.

As a reminder, countries having so far participated to this series include the following ones (for details see catalogue Part XIV, year 2019, which has been updated): Algeria (October 9, 2019) – Egypt (October 9, 2019) – Iraq (July 2, 2019) – Jordan (December 24, 2019) – Lebanon (October 9, 2019) – Libya (June 27, 2021) – Morocco (October 9, 2019) – Oman (November 14, 2019) – Palestine (December 6, 2019) – Qatar (November 14, 2019) – Saudi Arabia (June 24, 2021) – Tunisia (November 20, 2019) – United Arab Emirates (November 17, 2019). Here is a selection of images.