Nicolaus Copernicus

The Stamp dedicated to Nicolaus Copernicus on January 29, 2023 by Poland has just to be considered as a lure for joint issue collectors ;-). In the meantime several friends from the Netherlands, Poland, UK and Italy provided information about the issue of the true joint issue related to the 550th anniversary of the birth of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik; 1473-1543). Both Poland and the Vatican State will issue on February 27, 2023 a souvenir sheet showing the painting “Conversation with God” (1872) from Jan Matejko (1838-1893) showing the astronomer surrounded by all his tools.

50 Years of Egyptian – Emirati Relations

Two flags, the figure “50” and a logo illustrate the common stamps of the EgyptUnited Arab Emirates issue celebrating the 50 years of bilateral relations between both countries. These twin stamps were released on January 19, 2023 in form of souvenir sheets with a single stamp. We are still missing details such as printing runs and size, but it seems these items are quite large (estimated 100×80 mm for Egypt and about 80×56 mm for UAE) (Information provided by Kenneth Sequeira, Singapore and Don Birschel, USA).

This issue has of course been added in the catalogue Vol 15. Some collectors asked for getting some details about the information updated in each catalogue when replacing a previous edition, as it is not obvious to see in a quick way what really was modified or added. We will try to supply this information whenever relevant at the end of a post like this one to help improving this identification. Here is the first set of information related to the modified content appearing in Vol 15 V4.02:

  • The new Egypt Emirati joint issue described above [T20230119]
  • Confirmation of the existence of mixed FDCs for the 2022 Romania – SMOM issue [N20220916], the mixed crypto stamp FDC from Austria and the Netherlands [T20220922], as well as for the older Colombia – Indonesia issue from 2020 [T20200915] (all mixed items produced and provided by Jaap sarelse – The Netherlands)
  • Introduction of the new Ecuador souvenir sheet in the joint issue [T20220728]
  • Update of the list of new issues to be released during 2023, mainly involving Morocco and Slovakia

Note that the page “Philatelic resources” is constantly updated to maintain the most accurate level (which is not easy, corrections and additions welcome) and changes will not be reported here.

Update: January 2023

Without specific priority, the following descriptions collects information provided by friends since beginning of the year. Many thanks to Enzo Cafaro – Italy, Don Birchel – USA, Wayne Chen – USA, Jaap Sarelse – the Netherlands, Roland Montagne – France, David Dubin – USA, Souvik Ghatak – India, Milan Csaplar – Slovakia and Kenneth Sequeira – Singapore.

In the continuation of the production of Arab countries stamps celebrating the 2022 FIFA soccer worldcup, next to Jordan and Oman (stamps issued on December 18, 2022), we learned that the exact date of issue of the Qatar souvenir sheet was January 17, 2023. Obviously this series is not yet complete.

During the official visit of President of Egypt, Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to India, a joint stamp on the “75th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations” (1948-2023) was released in form of a souvenir sheet which theme is rivers, The Ganges (India) and The Nile (Egypt) are represented on the stamps. Release date was January 25, 2023. However, so far, there are no information from the Egyptian side about a similar product. Actually, Egypt had issued on August 18, 2022 and unilateraly, a stamp celebrating this anniversary. Unfortunately, there are great chances that this Indian souvenir sheet remains unilateral as well and just corresponds to the counterpart of the 2022 Egyptian stamp. Therefore, these two items cannot be considered as joint (yet).

Poland issued on January 29, 2023 a stamp dedicated to the 550th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus. This celebration is still reported in the Vatican philatelic program as joint stamp with Poland, but Vatican State has not released anything so far. So, we need to wait for news from this state before adding this issue in the catalogue. Due to the difference in time for issuing their stamps, this pair can now only become a concerted issue, providing also the design remains the same. If the design is different, then it does not even have a joint character.

Wayne Chen (USA) could announce the publication of his newest article on Crypto stamps, published in Linn’s Stamp News on line on February 4, 2023 (printed form publication date February 20, 2023), which also made the cover story for the monthly version of the magazine. At the end of the article, a list of the stamps mentioned in the article that were issued 2018-2022 is provided for those interested in this new (and expensive) collection. regarding our interests, the mixed cover of the first joint crypto issue (Austria Netherlands [T20220922] is reproduced. It was provided by Jaap Sarelse (the Netherlands).

A new item from Ecuador associated to the 2022 Ecuador Mexico joint issue [T20220728] appeared as well, late after the official issue date. A souvenir sheet, vertical form size 65x185mm, without gum and stamp with same denomination ($0.75), numbered at the bottom, but priced $5.00 was released by Ecuador. Exact printing run is unknown, but it seems that 5,000 stamps and 3,500 souvenir sheets became available. This item has been added in the catalogue. Also, it is told that the first day cancellation of the stamp exists only at 30 samples. Ecuador post offices are still under reorganization.

The designs of the 100th anniversary of custom treaty stamps involving Liechtenstein and Switzerland were released. These stamps will be sold from March 29, 2023 on.

In terms of new issues to be added in the list of stamps expected to be released during the years 2023 and 2024, we can mention the following:

  • During the year 2023, Morocco plans an exceptionnally large number of joint issues with Oman (May), Romania (August), UAE (November), Kazakhstan (December) on top of its participation to the Euromed series (July)
  • The Cyprus Israel joint issue will be released on April 4, 2023 and not in February as earlier mentionned
  • Austria Germany Slovakia : May 24, 2024 – Limes Romanus of the Upper Danube

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.

QEII commemoration

The postal administrations of Ascension Island, the British Antarctic Territory, the Falkland IslandsSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and Tristan Da Cunha have scheduled a joint commemoration of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the form of a set of two stamps in sheet format and one miniature sheet containing the two stamps from each territory. The initial press release indicates a planned release date of February 15, 2023 (information provided by Adam Paish, UK). It is to expect that around the anniversary date of her death, several countries will issue commemorative stamps. It is not unlikely that joint issues or at least common or borrowed design stamps could be created on that occasion and this one is just the first example.

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 ( 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…

Arab League countries latest issues

Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore) was the first to discover and provide all pictures from the most recent GCC Arab countries stamps. Starting on December 12, the six countries Bahrain (), Kuwait (December 21), Oman (December 13), Qatar, Saudi Arabia () and the United Arab Emirates (December 12) issued the same souvenir sheet portraying the 6 Heads of States and a stamp showing the flags and one building from these states. These stamps were issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

In a previous blog, we announced the issue of a common stamp created by the Arab Postal Union on the basis of a Qatar model to celebrate the FIFA Soccer World Championcup organized in Qatar. Only little information came through so far, but Mohamed Essawy (Egypt) and Ali Ahmed Med Achour (Algeria) could provide the first pictures of stamps from Jordan and Oman, apparently issued on December 18, 2022. We have to continue looking for similar stamps issued by other countries belonging to the Arab Postal Union, as this series is definitely not complete.

Georgia – Israel 2022

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”. 

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.

Retorno 50th Anniversary

This issue was anticipated, but it is so difficult nowadays to get information from Argentina Post (their web site is only occasionnaly updated with news while the chapter stamps is on hold since 2017). Any suggestion of good link is welcome.

Anyway, Don Birschel (USA) and Enzo Cafaro (Italy) provided at the same time the confirmation that Argentina had eventually released at the expected date of November 17, 2022 the counterpart of the stamp released by Spain on September 14, 2022. The date of September 17, 2022 corresponds to the 50th anniversary of the return (Retorno) from Spain of Juan Domingo Peron to Argentina, his home country. Both countries have issued a same design stamp (portrait), hence a Concerted issue [C1], in miniature sheets of 16 stamps.

Monthly news (November 2022)

Additional information related to the World Postal Day issue from October 9, 2022, [B20221009]: two new countries have to be added. First Iraq issued a stamp at a date that still needs to be confirmed, but probably also October 9, 2022. The second one, Venezuela, issued a stamp in miniature sheets of 6 (date of issue and high quality picture are missing). There are high chances that the list of presently 22 countries is still not complete. Additional information is welcome.

Note also that the Mexican stamp has been issued in panes of 50 stamps, but the miniature sheet of 6 stamps that was issued in parallel in fact contains 6 different stamps with heading in 6 different languages. The stamp in the middle of the first row (Spanish language) is the one issued in panes. As in items seen so far a printing number is added at the bottom right of each sheet, it seems that less than 1,000 miniature sheets have been printed.

Extension of the Austria Netherland crypto stamp from September 22, 2022. Another pair of joint crypto stamp was issued on November 22, 2022. This is the gold form of the previously issued crypto stamps, provided each with a 1g golden bar embedded in the card. The denomination is “R” for the Netherlands (999 samples), but “500,00” for the Austrian stamp (499 samples) sold at € 500. It is without saying that except if you are a collector of crypto stamps, we absolutely do not recommend to buy this item as part of the joint issues collection. With this low edition number, it is simply a product to fool collectors and the high price must be considered as a high risk investment. However, the product will be described in the catalogue in italic characters without providing a quotation. (as a reminder, the real value of a 1g bar of gold is estimated today at around €54)

There are still a few joint issues to be released before end of the year. We learned (Enzo Cafaro, Italy) that the Mexico counterpart of the Vatican State stamp already released on November 16, 2022 should become available on December 12, 2022. Enzo provided also first information about a Poland – Argentina joint issue released by Poland on Novemeber 25, 2022, for which we are still missing information from the Argentinian part. The Polish se-tenant stamps represent the Rufous hornero (Furnarius rufus), national bird of Argentina and the Crestet tit (Lophophanes cristatus).

The Catalogue Volume XV has been updated accordingly and the information has been dispatched as usually in Volume I.

Argentina – Chile – Mexico

Enzo Cafaro (Italy) provided the images of two stamps issued on October 22, 2022 by Mexico, entitled “Characters of history: Poetry. Portrait of characters or Christian rite”. The first one is dedicated to Gabriel Mistral (1889-1957) and bears the words “Mexico – Chile”. The other one honors Berta Singerman (1907-1998) with the text “Mexico-Argentina”. It took us more than a month before Don Birschel (USA) discovered information about the identical stamps issued by Argentina and Chile. In fact, this is a double joint issue from Mexico in which this country issued two stamps with the same style, in coordination with both other countries, while Argentina and Chile are not linked with each other. Argentina issued one stamp on October 26, 2022 in panes of 16 stamps [4×4]. Chile issued one stamp on October 25, 2022 in panes of 32 stamps [4×8], printed at 50,000 samples. The stamps of Mexico became available in panes of 28 stamps [4×7] and were both printed at 50,000 samples. Surprisingly, the cancellation of the Mexican first day cover bears the month of October 2022, but not the exact day. In the meantime, we have no other choice than to use the date of issue of the partner country. The announcement of the issue by Mexico was made on October 22, 2022.

The illustrations are 1922-1923 dated paintings from the Mexican painter Roberto Montenegro (1887-1968).