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.

On-line catalogue contains all available JI information

The new web site (this one: https:philarz.com) including the Joint Stamp Issue full catalogue is now in place since half a year, but some collectors are still loocking for information in the previous web site (http://philarz.net/, which is still open, but will be completely shut down by mid of next year). This page is intended to reassure collectors that all the data available in the previous web site can be accessed in these pages. This information is just available in a different place and in a different form. To facilitate your search, here are some hints how to better explore and benefit from this web site and the appended catalogue. In fact, the largest part of the information is now embedded in the on-line catalogue. This page addresses most of the FAQ received over the past months:

Where is the page providing the explanations of the definitions of the different joint issues?

Definition of joint issues are all described on the web page ‘FAQ‘, but in full details directly in Volume 1 of the on-line catalogue, more precisely from pages 11 to 24, which are updated when necessary.  It is recommended to explore also the other pages of this catalogue Volume 1 which over 100 pages gives all introduction information and definitions

Where is the upcoming issues section?

The upcoming issues section does exist, but in a different form. In fact all new information that will in the future be translated in an official joint issue if confirmed, is reported in Volume 15 starting presently at page 1715. The information is minimal but corresponds to what is available. If more information of interest becomes available ahead of release, it will be provided in a news page. This volume 15 is updated on a monthly basis

Where to find the recent issues description area?

The recent issue area is provided at the beginning of Volume 15. It is updated on a monthly basis (whenever possible) and Volume 15 is the fastest growing part of the catalogue and shows all newly approved joint issues.

Has everything been transferred from the old site (philarz.net) to the new one (philarz.com) ?

No, not yet. This is why ‘philarz.net’ will remain open to access for another year. But the missing parts will simply be transferred to an ‘Archive page’ to be created and corresponds mainly to information interesting for historical review. No new information will be added as everything linked to existing joint issues is already in place in the new site. Also it is important to have the old site still open as Google still provides this link in priority due to the high number of older references to this site. This should also be inverted over the next year, with Google serach refering in priority to the new site.

His there a way to make a Search for a country or topic over all web site and on-line catalogue?

There is no general tool allowing to make a search covering both the web site and the on-line catalogue. For the web site the standard “Ctrl+F” function should work. In the catalogues there are two ways to look for any joint issue:

  1. either you know the period of issue, you open one of the 15 catalogue parts and you browse with the Calameo search tool (magnifier symbol on the top right). Don’t hesitate to explore the different tools available in Calameo
  2. or you take a look in the table of content of Volume 1 in which you will find two sections, a) the countries’ index on pages 51 to 71, or b) the topic index, on pages 72 to 93. If you are looking for e.g. all joint issues involving the USA, you will find the answer on page 70. Indeed, there is no automatic link for each individual issue, but this is the best starting point. This list is always up to date regarding the content of other volumes and each modification in the entire catalogue is immediately introduced in this volume 1.

Volumes 1 and 15 are the more often updated catalogue parts and since the inception of this new web site (January 2022), Vol 1 has already been updated four times and Volume 15, eight times. The page of links to sources has been updated more than a dozen times. In this page, unfortunately, over time, links are becoming inactive and the whole list of more than 650 links cannot be checked on a weekly or even monthly basis, but new ones are added regularly.

Is it possible to download or print the catalogue?

No, and this will remain such way. You have to accept that the intellectual property remains with the author. The free access to the cataloge content is a gift to all collectors and the author has no income at all for the work made so far (35+ years of collecting information are available in this catalogue). The 2006 Joint Issue Catalogue (750 pages) was once found as a pdf copy for sale on eBay. A malicious seller had scanned all pages of the printed catalogue and proposed it to eBay buyers without any rights and any contribution left to the author. Several other eBay sellers are doing the same with standard catalogues such as Scott, Michel or Yvert&Tellier in an illegal way. It is as illegal to buy these pdf files, but it is also quite impossible to prevent such thefts. The catalogue printers have so far not succeeded in stoppinf the sale of such illegal pdf files. The reason for proposing the catalogue for free was a kind of answer to avoid such thieves making some profits. In exchange, you have to accept that the catalogue is open only for reading. Access to copies, printing, pdf files will not be possible. This is not making everything impossible as thefts are clever (screen copies remain possible), but at least you know that if one day you are proposed a free pdf copy of the catalogue, this means you are paying for something that is available for free.

I am hoping this helps. We are still looking for suggestions of improvement and always looking for help, in particular if you can bring local information in languages that usually are not retrieved by standard Google functions. Thanks in advance and continue enjoying Joint Stamp Issues collecting.

Mid-year review

The release of joint stamps is still affected by the coronavirus pandemic situation and, additionally, more recently, by the Ukrainian-Russian war. The situation of the specific program involving Russia was already reported here. How about the other joint issues?

The Japan – Mongolia issue, 50 years of diplomatic relations, eventually proved not to be a true joint issue. Mongolia released a souvenir sheet on May 19, 2022. For Japan, the date of issue was shifted from originally February 14, 2022 to June 15, 2022 and a souvenir sheet with 10 stamps in a different design was released (information provided by Robert Schrijvers, Mongolia).

The Bosnia Herzegovina stamps related to Family Remittances was issued as planned on June 16, 2022 with a design identical to stamps produced earlier and in miniature sheets of 10 stamps (printing run 1,000 miniature sheets). This stamp will simply be added to the original series [B20200716] which was already filed as a Borrowed Design [B], so not a true joint issue. 2020 Catalogue section has been updated with this information. There is no indication of the issuance this year by another country of other stamps related to this topic so far.

We are still missing information from Turkmenistan related to the Turkmenistan-India joint issue. The Indian stamps were released on April 2, 2022.

The commemorative Brazilian stamp featuring the 100th anniversary of James Joyce’s work ‘Ulysses’ was issued within the Brazilian ‘Diplomatic Relations Series’ and dedicated to Ireland. The stamp was issued as scheduled on June 16, 2022, but not as a joint issue. There is no counterpart produced by Ireland at the same date and this issue can be removed from the catalogue.

In the same way, the Italian – Mexico issue initially planned for July 23, 2022 to celebrate diplomatic relations between both countries will probably not take place. On June 28, 2022, Mexico issued a stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the building of the Mexican embassy in Italy. There are no counterparts reported in the Italian philatelic program and there is a great doubt that Italy will change its program within the next weeks.

The Ecuador-Mexico joint issue in honor of the heroes of independency Leona Vicario and Manuela Saenz was not issued on June 1, 2022, as scheduled. It seems the issue of these stamps will again be delayed, as the date had already been changed twice this year. Any information is welcome.

The Cyprus-Israel joint issue that was once listed on the Israel program has disappeared from this list. No stamp was issued on the originally scheduled date of June 28, 2022.

On the positive side, names of countries involved in the next Euromed issue are now accumulating. The present list of countries having guaranteed participation to this issue include: Bosnia Herzegovina (November 15) – Croatia (July 11) – France (July 8) – Greece (July 11) – Portugal (July 11) – Slovenia (July 11) – Tunisia (July 11) – Turkey (July 9). More are to come and, compared to last year, we could expect participation from the following countries as well: Albania, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco and Spain. The complete list will be published in Volume 15 of the catalogue, after July 11, 2022, the most common and new reference date for this issue. In the meantime, some pictures of the already disclosed projects.

Finally, take a look at this web link of interest, the site of Mark Joseph Jochim, Philatelic Pursuits, which provides information about the stamp issue programs of all countries. It needs to be updated, but it represents a unique and very interesting starting point.

200 years of Brazil independency

Brazil issued on June 29, 2022 a stamp that ends up a series of six postage stamps, entitled “Brazil, 200 Years of Independence”, produced through a partnership between the Chamber of Deputies and Correios Brasil (Brazilian Post) that began back in 2017. The stamp shows the painting “Sessão do Conselho de Ministros” (Ministry Council Session) by Georgina Moura Andrade de Albuquerque (1885-1962). It depicts also in a medallion the portrait of “Dom Pedro I” (1798-1834) painted by Simplício Rodrigues (1785-1839). Independency was eventually accepted by the King of Portugal, Dom Joao VI (1767-1826), in 1825 through the signature of a first international treaty. Above all, the stamps shows the words ‘Joint issue Brazil Portugal’.

This Brazilian stamp is unexpectedly issued jointly with Portugal. Brazil issued 96,000 stamps in miniature sheets of 12 stamps [4×3]. Portugal will issue its stamp only on September 7, 2022 and there is so far no information available regarding the design.

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.