Bangladesh – Singapore birds

The Oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) and the Zebra dove (Geopelia striata).have been chosen to illustrate the golden jubilee (50 years) of relationship between Bangladesh and Singapore issued on November 15, 2022. Bangladesh issued se-tenant pairs of stamps in panes of [2px13] with a printing run of 100,000 pairs. Singapore has issued isolated stamps in two miniature sheets of 10 stamps (2x[2×5]) and a souvenir sheet with both stamps (printing run unknown).

Algiers Summit 2022 (2)

The 2022 Arab Postal Union Algiers Summit took place on November 1 and 2, 2022 as announced. A stamp with a common design was supposed to be released by most of the participating members. Unfortunately, the information remains difficult to obtain. Most of the below was obtained from our friend Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria), but the list still seems uncomplete.

So far, we had already reported about the following countries which had issued a stamp each: Egypt (August 3, 2022), Algeria (August 20, 2022), Oman (October, 2022), Djibouti (October 9, 2022) and Tunisia (October 25, 2022).

To this previous list, we can now add Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, all of them having issued stamps on November 1, 2022.

These stamps represent 10 countries out of the 22 member states of the Arab League. So, another 12 potential participants could still participate or even may already have issued stamps. These include: Bahrain, Comoros, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Story to be followed …

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.

Algiers Summit 2022

Our friend Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria), continues providing information about the new 2022 Arab Postal Union stamps and the Algiers Summit that is supposed to take place on November 1 and 2, 2022. A stamp with a common design is to be released by most of the participating members.

Egypt, and Algeria have already issued their stamps, respectively on August 3, 2022 and August 20, 2022. Now we can report about the release of Oman‘s stamp (October, 2022), and the Republic of Djibouti. Unfortunately, this later is not following production rules that would fit with collectors’ wishes and the country is strictly limiting the number of items at the same time providing several subtypes of non-useful material. Djibouti produced 400 (!!) numbered souvenir sheets with 1 stamp and 400 other souvenir sheets with 4 different stamps among which one common stamp, but also the same in non-perforated (50 units). 20 perforated and 5 non-perforated units (souvenir sheets) have been produced as official FDCs dated October 9, 2022. A postal stationery has also been released. With that small printing run, it is clear that these products have been made to be sold at very high prices only to collectors and should not have the status of collectibles.

In the mean time, the Tunisia stamp was released on October 25, 2022. Most of the other countries are expected to release their stamps on November 1, 2022. The Arab League consists of 22 member states.

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].

World Post Day 2022 (2)

October 9, 2022, day at which the UPU organized a common issue at the occasion of the World Post Day, was a Sunday. This is not the best day for launching a stamp and we preferred waiting a few days to collect a maximum of information around this issue in order to include also stamps that were released after this official date. We were not disappointed and we received a lot of additional information from our friends Kenneth Sequeira (Dubai), Ali Ahmed Med Achour (Algeria), Don Birschel (USA), Enzo Cafaro (Italy), Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore) and others. Thanks to all of them.

So far (the list is probably not complete), the countries having issued stamps with the UPU design include the followings: Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Egypt, Fiji (September 22, release date, but official FDC dated October 9), Russia (October 7), Serbia (October 7), Sri Lanka, , Syria (1 stamp, 1 souvenir sheet), Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey. All these countries have issued one single stamp at the date of October 9, 2022, except otherwise stated.

Algeria (October 9, 2022) participated as well but adapted the design.

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).

Tiger Forum 2022 (complement)

So far suspected as doubtful, the participation of Malaysia to the Tiger Forum joint issue from September 5, 2022 is now confirmed. So far, Malaysia was represented by a souvenir sheet already issued on March 17, 2022. We just discovered, with the help of the Malaysian blogger ‘MyFDC’, that on that same day of September 5, 2022, Malaysia Pos released this same souvenir sheet overprinted with the logo of the Tiger Forum. In other terms, only the souvenir sheet with the overprint released on September 5, 2022 will be considered as part of the joint issue.

On the other hand, we are still looking for information from Nepal and its real participation to this issue.

Monacophil 2022

The philatelic exhibition Monacophil had to be postponed during the pandemic period but, eventually, will take place from November 23 to November 26, 2022 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Dominique Josse (France) informed us that during this event, Monaco and the TAAF (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises, i.e., French Southern and Antarctic Lands) will issue a joint souvenir sheet with probably first day of issue on Friday November 24, 2022. Dominique was even able to provide the designs of these new joint issues. The issue is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the death of Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922) and the Polar expedition of Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1867-1936) with the ship “Pourquoi pas”.

National Parks Azerbaijan Russia

Discovered by Jaap Sarelse (the Netherlands), a joint issue released on September 16, 2022, between Azerbaijan and Russia we had not seen so far. At the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, souvenir sheets illustrating the Shirvan National Park (Azerbaijan) and the Samara Luka National Park (Russia) have been issued. The Russian souvenir sheet belongs to the “Natural Heritage of Russia” series. The Azerbaijan souvenir sheet features the goitered gazelle and a bee-eater. The Russian souvenir sheet, with a non rectangular frame,, shows lake and mountains with fox and black-tailed eagle.

Austria – Netherlands crypto stamp

On September 22, 2022, Austria and the Netherlands are issuing the first joint crypto stamps with digital twin in the blockchain as a twin issue [T1]. The stamp sheet is the size of a bank card and is made of extra strong reinforced paper. The physical stamp has been affixed to the front of the stamp sheet, in the center. The stamp can be detached along the perforated edges. The background of both the sheet and the stamp features the stripes of the Austrian or Dutch flag with an added crystal structure. Designs of stamps are similar, showing a head of a bull with small modification in the background. A pattern of edelweiss (Austria) or tulips (Netherlands) runs across the flag of each country and a ‘secret word list’ (QR code) for viewing, storing and selling the digital twin of the crypto stamp in the blockchain. The upper right-hand corner of the reverse features the unicorn logo, which has been used as a symbol for crypto stamps since the very first issue by Austria in 2019.

Now, it becomes a little more complicated when there is a need to describe the differences between the true physical stamp and stamp sheet compared to the virtual material.

Each physical postage stamp has a digital twin in the blockchain. Blockchain is a computer technology that uses distributed databases to secure the ownership of crypto money and other digital assets such as crypto art and crypto stamps. These digital items are also known as NFTs, non-fungible tokens. The digital twins can be viewed on a computer or smartphone at any time. It is also possible to store it in a digital collection or sell it using a digital wallet.

The digital twins are stored in the blockchain in five different colors. The likelihood of getting a particular color depends on the randomly generated color. For Austrian stamps, there are 1,000 red, 6,667 yellow, 13,333 blue, 26667 green and 52,333 black virtual stamps associated to the 100,000 printed physical stamps. For Dutch stamps, there are 1,400 red, 9,334 yellow, 18,666 blue, 37,334 green and 73,266 black virtual stamps for a total of 140,000 physical stamps. By scanning the QR code on the stamp with a smartphone, one will find out which color is linked to the crypto stamp.

In other words, and if we have understood the principle of this new collection, only one physical stamp per country became available, but each is linked to 5 possible different virtual stamps per country. As a consequence, the value of a physical stamp will differ depending upon the associated color of the virtual stamp. In theory, in your stamp binder, one physical stamp should be sufficient, but if you want to own the complete collection, you need to acquire the 5 color variations from each country. With a denomination above € 9.00 per stamp (more precisely € 9.90 for Austria and €9.05 for the Netherlands), this represents a minimum investment close to € 100, in the case you are very lucky. Of course, as you do not know what color you buy, the best way is to acquire the stamps from sellers who already know the associated color, but which have already adapted the sales price to the rarity. Older Austrian crypto stamps are commonly sold above € 200, and it should not be different with these stamps. In this case, a maximum of only 1,000 full combinations of 10 stamps will be possible, and said differently, it will almost be impossible, or very expensive, to reach the target of bringing together a full hand. It looks like a combination between philately and a lottery, and a new way to abuse collectors. Indeed, we cannot recommend trying to create the full combination, but up to you if you want to try. However, this pair of stamps, independently of the associated colors, will definitely be considered as a twin issue, in the form of a two physical stamp sheets.

The Dutch crypto stamp is the first crypto stamp to be issued by PostNL. This new Austrian crypto stamp is identified under the name ‘Crypto stamp 4.0’.