Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Beginnings

My love for collecting stamps started when I first saw my dad's stamp album. It began with collecting stamps from envelopes sent for greeting cards during Christmas and Chinese New Year. But the love faded in later years. 

Next tryst came when I started a subscription  for cancelled first day covers (FDC) with the Mumbai G.P.O (previously known as Bombay General Post Office). That also lasted for 3 years as was getting fed up with the number of issues on Indian personalities (mostly dead political ones). Last saw that the FDC's were in a yellowing state and the plastics I saved it in had an oily feel to it. Recently had the plastics replaced. (Update - Sold my 3 years collection of Indian First Day covers through a Philatelist friend - though did not get much value to me and hope it brings joy to the person who will acquire it. Reason - could not carry it me before moving to Canada).

I started my collection of Miniature sheets (MS) from India when I realized that the number of issue was small (it was less than 100 i.e. the 50's in 2007) in number. Hence easier to start again on a smaller list. Along the way India Post had released the Jasmine scented miniature sheet in 2008 which was unique though later got the Sandalwood scented MS (2006 issue) and Rose scented MS (2007 issue). (My collection for Indian Miniature Sheet on hold - as need to get back to India to update my subscription to an International account with the Mumbai G.P.O).

Then the internet revolution took place in India and my interest for unique stamps took off. I had decided to stick to Miniature sheets only and keep off only odd shaped ones. I also decided to keep off the Bhutan issued ones as the 3D ones were in plenty and came back to Bhutan issued stamps only because of the CD issues. Also avoided the triangle, round, oval shaped temptations though could not resist the heart shaped and polygonal ones. (Update - could not resist picking up the round ones and odd shaped ones on the way)

My start up started with exhibitions held occasionally in Mumbai but really took off when Ebay.in started in India. Google also happened to be a source of vast information of unique philately stamps and miniature sheets being issued world wide. (Update -Now my source has changed to Ebay.ca / Ebay.com along with Delcampe.net. Still looking out for a decent local canadian stamp exhibition to visit as currently busy fulfilling worldly family duties of weekend grocery shopping and visiting relatives.)

Along the way my knowledge were further enhanced on the internet and helped me to continuously update myself on various classifications based on the number of issues in various categories. (I have kept it simple to 4 senses but then the vision blurs when there are multiple senses involved in an issue - even though Sight is the primary sense you could feel other senses becoming more prominent). 

Update - Have become aware of various classifications of Joint Issues, various types of printing methods and how some limited editions stamps are too expensive to acquire and some expensive silver/gold stamps are not for use as postage stamps and last but not to be forgotten my lesson on Souvenir Ceramic stamps. Bought some unique Ceramic stamps which were issued during World stamp Exhibition in Thailand and found out that they were just refrigerator magnets. The replica of old stamps were of very good quality..only if they were of the postage kind..I would have been over thrilled..but it sits in my collection as the souvenir kind. 

Next lesson learnt - in my collection of Stamps with wood chips for 2005 Bicentenary of Battle of Trafalgar, came across a stamp  issued by British Virgin Islands which was similar in design except it did not have the wood chips from the HMS Victory wood. Disappointment turned  to Joy when I realized it to be unique also - Only stamp issued without wood chip in the same joint issues. This realization of looking unique stamps in another way came when the US Post re-issued the Miniature sheet on the Inverted Jenny - with the biplane right side up (rumor has it that only 100 sheets were printed).

Will probably start blabbering about my collection soon...

Links used

WNS Stamps - http://www.wnsstamps.post/en

Austria - https://onlineshop.post.at/onlineshop/

Belgium - https://eshop.bpost.be/nl/philately/postzegels?page=1

Guernsey - https://www.guernseystamps.com/

Finland Posti - https://verkkokauppa.posti.fi/PublishedService?theme=9&frontpage=true

Hongkong

https://www.hongkongpoststamps.hk/eng/stamps/latest_stamp_issues/index.htm

Japan - http://yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/

Jersey - https://www.jerseystamps.com/

Mongolia - https://mongolstamps.com/

Netherland - https://collectclub.postnl.nl/postzegels/postzegeluitgiften.html

New Caledonia - https://caledoscope.opt.nc/en

Phillipines - https://www.phlpost.gov.ph/stamp-releases.php

*Portugal - http://www.ctt.pt/femce/category.jspx?shopCode=LOJV&categoryCode=3002&showAll=1

South Korea - http://www.koreastamp.go.kr/

Singapore Post - https://shop.singpost.com/

Russia - http://www.rusmarka.ru/en/catalog/marka.aspx

USA - https://store.usps.com/store

Glossary of Stamps terms

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