200 years Colombia – Mexico relations

On January 25, 2022, Colombia issued the stamps identical to those released on December 20, 2021 by Mexico to celebrate 200 years of relationship (1821-2021). This joint issue, first reported by Don Birschel (USA), became actually a concerted issue [C] for which not all information is available. Both countries issued a se-tenant pair of symmetrical design stamps showing the figure “200” and a stylized butterfly with the colors of the countries’ flags. While Mexico announced the issue of 50,000 pairs of stamps in panes of 25, the stamps of Colombia apparently produced in panes (size unknown) at 14,000 samples (probably 7,000 pairs), have been seen already in souvenir sheets of [1px2] and [1px3], but also in blocs of [2px2]. The Mexico stamp is self-adhesive. Additional information is needed here, but the catalogue (Volume 14) has already been updated with these first data.

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.

Failed opportunities

The programme of new stamps from Belarus included a potential joint issue with China and another with Vietnam, both expected to be released during the month of January at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relationships. The Belarus stamps were issued respectively on January 12, 2022 and January 24, 2022, but there is absolutely no news from either China PR nor Vietnam for event-associated stamps. There are great chances that these issues will remain unilateral and that the entries will have to be removed from the list described in the catalogue (Vol 15). At least, here are the pictures of the Belarus stamps.

An other opportunity was mentioned by Cesar Ittman (The Netherlands). During the year 2022, France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the death of the famous author Moliere. France issued a first stamp on January 17, 2022, at the same time as Monaco, while Czech Republic issued a stamp on January 20, 2022. There is absolutely no claim from one of these countries for a joint issue. These are just stamps issued at the occasion of an anniversary and it would not be surprising to see much more other stamps released to honor Moliere during this year without any joint character.

The first true joint issue to be released this year is scheduled for February 14, 2022, not earlier. This is quite late compared to previous years.

Don Birschel (USA) explored older issues and asked about the relevance of some 2006 China-Africa Forum stamps as joint. Indeed, some of these stamps show the same design, but this is a logo and none of the countries have claimed a joint issue character. So again, this is an exemple of a non-approved joint issue. Here are the pictures of the stamps from countries that celebrated this event: Algeria (November 6, 2006), China (November 3), Egypt (November 5), Eritrea (November 3) and Ivory Coast (November 28).

Czechia – Slovakia – 150th train anniversary

On March 18, 2022, a joint issue of stamps between Slovakia and the Czech Republic will be released on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway line between the cities of Košice (Slovakia) and Bohumín (Czechia). The document on the construction of the railway was published in 1864 in Vienna (during the Austro-Hungarian Rise). Construction began in 1869 and ended in 1872. Approximately 95% of the line runs through present-day Slovakia and 5% through Czechia.

Milan Csaplar (Slovakia) pointed to the first information published by the Slovakia postal administration which is also one of the rare postal entity providing designs of stamps much ahead of issue date. Slovakia will issue a souvenir sheet with one stamp representing a train and two labels. This souvenir sheet will be available at 50,000 units. There is little information available about the Czech stamps but the joint character is confirmed and it is confirmed that the Czech item will also be a souvenir sheet with one stamp and two labels.

Faroe Island – Greenland 2022

The date of January 14, 2022 corresponds to the 50th anniversary of the death of King Frederick IX of Denmark and at the same time to the date of accession to the Danish throne of Queen Margrethe II. At the occasion of this Golden Jubilee, both Faroe and Greenland issue a souvenir sheet. The Faroe souvenir sheet shows the Queen in national Faroese costume in front of the ruins of Magnus Cathedral, while Greenland issues a souvenir sheet showing the Queen in Greenlandic costume in front of icebergs. Unfortunately none of the postal administrations claim these products being joint. Also, there is no common product available for sale (e.g. mixed FDC or mixed folder). Therefore these souvenir sheets cannot be considered as joint, but simply as a parallel anniversary issue [PA/N]. On top of this, the main country, Denmark, is not issuing stamps at this January 14, 2022 anniversary date and prefers concentrating on different products related to this jubilee released over the year, with the first one which became available already on January 3.

Iran – China 2021

Kazem Alamdari (Iran) was able to provide information about and pictures of the Iranian stamps issued on December 11, 2021 jointly with China PR [T20211211]. The Iranian stamps were issued as se-tenant pairs with a printing run of 60,000 pairs.

This modification led to the change of version of Vol 14 (to V3.02). At the same time Vol 15 was also updated with the description of the first joint issue of the year (China – Macau Tiger year issue).

Saarland missing in the catalogue ?

Why are GermanySaarland joint stamps from the 1957-1959 period not reported in the catalogue while Germany (Berlin) – Germany (West) are ? This is a question reported by Jaap Sarelse (The Netherlands) who noticed, while scrolling through the Vol 2 and Vol 3 Parts of the catalogue, that these issues were listed in the 1996 Catalogue edition, but are missing in the 2022 one. Indeed this is a good question which needs explanations and corrections.

Just after WWII, the Saar region, under French military occupation and administration, spent the following 12 years as a French protectorate. Under this status, which is close to Independence, the Saar was using French Francs and was allowed to issue its own stamps. A plebiscite held on October 23, 1955, to establish an independent Saarland under an agreement signed in October 1954 by both France and Germany, led to the rejection of the proposal by 67.7% of the population. As a consequence, Saarland was allowed to join the Federal Republic of Germany as a new “Land” by January 1, 1957, with a transition period completed on July 7, 1959. At this date, the Deutsche Mark became the official new currency. During this transition period, Saarland continued to issue its own stamps. Those were produced in Berlin, on the basis of other existing German stamps, but still labelled in French Francs.

On this basis, some stamps issued during this period by the almost independent Saarland deserve to appear in the catalogue. The commemorative stamps which have the same design and the same date of issue are indeed Territorial Dependency issues [TD] from main class Territorial stamp issues [D] which will now be reported in the catalogue. These include the following:

  • 1957 (January 2): Integration of Saarland to Germany
  • 1958 (January 9): 50th anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Busch
  • 1958 (March 18): 100th birthday of Rudolf Diesel
  • 1958 (July 21): 150th anniversary of the German gymnastics’ associations
  • 1958 (August 29): 150th birthday of Hermann Schulze Delitzsch
  • 1958 (October 1): Rural economy – Charity stamps – Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
  • 1959 (March 6): 500th anniversary of the birth of Jakob Fugger
  • 1959 (May 6): 100th anniversary of the death of Alexander von Humboldt

The Europa stamps from 1957 and 1958 including Saarland are already reported in the catalogue.

All the above stamps are now reported in the catalogue. The other definitive stamps cannot be considered as joint stamp issues, while the following non-commemorative stamps with the same design have been listed in the catalogue as non-accepted joint stamp issues [N] without full description:

  • 1957 (October 1): Social service – Mining workers
  • 1957 (October 5): International week of letter writing
  • 1958 (March 5): Fight against forest fires
  • 1958 (April 1): Charity stamp for children: Folk songs

As a consequence, this major change in the catalogue, led for the first time to the creation of a new version of Vol 2 which became V3.02 and substitute to V3.01. The former version V3.01 remains available in the Catalogue archives section for comparison purpose. The shift of pages in Vol 2 led also to a shift of pages in Vol 3 which had also to be replaced by V3.02. Of course, all these new information is reported in the different tables of content (country, topics) from Vol 1, which became also V3.02. These changes are reported here as it is the first time this occurs, and to better explain how the update works, but, of course, we will not bother you with such modifications in the future. You just must be sure that the Catalogues accessible on the Catalogue pages contain always the most updated information. In case of doubt, you can always check in the Archive section.

2022 Year of the Tiger

On January 5, 2022, appeared the first joint stamps of the year. As for previous years, China PR issued two stamps at the occasion of the change of Lunar calendar, in 2022 Year of the Tiger, at the same date as Macau, issuing four stamps and one souvenir sheet with a round stamp. A high number of countries are issuing stamps at this occasion, but Macau and China are the only postal administrations which got used to produce a mixed first day cover with the stamps from both countries (not including the souvenir sheet).

Rindert Paalman (the Netherlands) noticed that the issue of 2021 (Year of the Ox) was missing in the catalogue. This will be corrected within the next days and will correspond to an important addition which will affect for the first time the upgrading of one catalogue volume. As Macau and China PR are politically dependent countries, these issues will be filed in the category [D].

By checking for earlier issues reported in the catalogue, it appeared that for the year 2019 (Year of the Pig), the entry was mistakenly filed as [P20190105] which has to be renamed as [D20190105].

A check of Lunar Year stamps issued by China and Macau before 2019, showed that both countries issued stamps usually on January 5 of each year, since at least year 2000, but we have not seen mixed FDCs for such products. So, earlier Lunar Year stamps from these two countries will not be reported in the catalogue, unless someone provides proof of the existence of mixed FDC covers corresponding to these stamps.

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.

Non-accepted logo-based stamps

The logo of the 100th anniversary of the funding of the Chinese Communist Party corresponds also to the design of the identical miniature sheets issued by Centrafrica, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Sao Tome, in which the stamps are the round centers of the zeros in figure “100”. These items are simple commemorative products created centrally (Stamperija), not related to the basic issue [D20210701] and therefore not considered as joint. Information provided by Wayne Chen (USA).

Pakistan -Thailand 2021 last minute

Don Birschel (USA), Kenneth Sequeira (Dubai) and Adam Paish (UK) provided at the same time the latest information of the year 2021 from Pakistan which devoted on December 31, 2021 a stamp related to the 70th anniversary of the relationship with Thailand. Two stamps have been issued in panes of 20 se-tenant pairs and represent Buddha heritage. Actually, these stamps are joint of identical stamps issued by Thailand on November 15, 2021 and that remained unnoticed so far. Thailand issued miniature sheets of five pairs of se-tenant stamps. as such, this joint issue is reported in the catalogue (Vol XIV) as a concerted issue [C20211115].