Tuesday, 22 May 2018

1225. 🇬🇮 Gibraltar's New Cryptocurrency Gimmick Stamp.

  🇬🇮  Gibraltar Stamps' latest philatelic gimmick has put me completely me out of my depth. It is a sheetlet of 4 identical stamps issued on 15 May 2018 which commemorates Gibraltar's interests in 'Crypto currency' and it being "at the forefront of this promissing (sic) digital financial engineering" according to the Gibraltar Stamps website. The website goes on to say that Gibraltar has been receiving high acclaim within global distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency circles"
  "On the 1st January 2018 Gibraltar became one of the first jurisdictions in the world to regulate businesses and individuals who are using distributed ledger technologies to hold or transfer for others".
  "Gibraltar wishes to commemorate this innovative technology by issuing a persoanlised (sic) stamp sheet featuring the Rock of Gibraltarissued stamp to highlight and demonstrate this new technology".
  But that's not all - if only it were that simple.
  The stamp design features 4 identical QR codes which can be scanned by a smartphone or tablet and offers the first time owners of the blocks of 4 to collect free cryptocoins which will be freely trading.
 In order to make this "QR code and unique concept a reality a website has been created which links when scanning the bcanning (sic) the QR code to permit first owners of these limited-edition blocks to redeem 200 QRG Cryptocurrency tokens/coins for each block of these stamps, one time only per unique per unique serial number printed on the actual shhet (sic)".
  "There are only 50000 blocks of four 50p being printed and only 50 QRG crypto coins per stamp will ever be minted. These 200 Tokens/Coins can be claimed in increments of 200 QRGs per block by following very simple steps on the QR website accessed after scanning the sheet with your smartphone. a very limited number of this sheet is available so please email to consult availability".
  I'm sorry to say that I don't really understand very much of the foregoing. But for those who do I'm sure that the issue is irrestible.

  The stamp was designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed Lowe Martin. Rating:- 0.

  Then on 18 May 2018 Gibraltar Stamps issued a set of 6 stamps (including £2 and £3 values, total face value £7.36p) and a £5.14p miniature sheet which includes another £3 stamp to commemorate the Centenary of the Royal Air Force, which seems like a relevant enough theme for the territory.
  The issue was designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed by BPost Security Printers. Rating:- ** (though it might be higher if the face value were more modest and Gibraltar Stamps had a more conservative new issue programme).

Monday, 21 May 2018

1224. 🇬🇮🇯🇪🇳🇿🇳🇺🇹🇰 The Royal Wedding Which Keeps On Giving.

  🇬🇮🇯🇪🇳🇿🇳🇺🇹🇰 With the combined pomp and modern informality of the wedding of The Duke and Duchess Of Sussex now behind us there are still the stamp issues to come to terms with.

  New Zealand Post will issue a sheetlet containing 6 different stamps on 21 May 2018. This attractive item which includes images from the wedding is sold for NZ$19.90c and was designed by David Burke and lithographed by Collectables and Solutions Centre Whanganui and is perforated 14.5. Rating:- *****.

  The Niue postal service will issue 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 21 May 2018 to commemorate the wedding on 21 May 2018 the issue was designed by Saint Andrew Matautia and lithographed by Collectables and Solutions Centre Whanganui and is perforated 16. Rating:- *****.

  The Tokelau postal service will similarly issue 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the wedding on 21 May 2018 which were designed by Saint Andrew Matautia and lithographed by Collectables and Solutions Centre Whanganui and are perforated 16. Rating:- ****.

  The previously mentioned Post and Go stamps from Jersey Post (see Blog 1213) which were dispensed from kiosk JE02 from 19 May 2018 are depicted below:-

  Gibraltar Stamps issued what is basically a sheet of 20 Greetings stamps with attached labels depicting scenes from the wedding on 19 May 2018 which it titled the 'Royal Wedding limited edition sheet'. The edition is indeed limited to 5000 and costs the immodest amount of £17.50p. Rating:- 0.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

1223. 🇯🇪 Jersey Post £17 Commemorative Sheet For Wedding Of Duke And Duchess Of Sussex.

  🇯🇪 To add to the growing list of products on sale to commemorate the wedding of the newly named Duke and Duchess Of Sussex, Jersey Post has issued one its enormously expensive 'Commemorative sheets' (price £17) containing 20 x UK letter ratestamps with attached illustrated labels. The date of issue was 19 May 2018, the date of the wedding. Rating:- 0.

  🇨🇦 Canada Post issued a single self-adhesive stamp sold in booklets of 10 on 18 May 2018 to commemorate the Centenary of the first awarding of the Memorial Cup (ice hockey). The issue was designed by Paprika and lithographed by Lowe Martin. Rating:- ***.
  There is also a $53 Prestige booklet containing 3 panes.

  🇰🇳 IGPC will release a miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps on 30 May 2018 with the name of Nevis printed on the stamps. The issue commemorates the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's 'Comeback Special', an event of clealy immense significance in the history of Nevis. The issue was designed by what IGPC calls its 'internationally acclaimed' IGPC Art Department and printed in lithography. Rating:- 0.

  🇭🇰 Hong Kong Post issued 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 8 May 2018 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department. This excellent issue was designed by Sunny Yuen Kan-shing and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 14 x 14.5 with the miniature sheet being perforated 13.5. Rating:- ****.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

1222. 🇲🇹 Malta Commemorates Valletta As European City Of Culture.

  🇲🇹 MaltaPost will issue a set of 3 stamps on 22 May 2018 to commemorate the taking on of the role of European City of Culture by the Maltese capital city, Valletta. This interesting set was designed by Joseph Pulo and lithographed by Printex. Rating:- ****.

  🇦🇬🇬🇲 The New York- and Beijing-based philatelic agency, IGPC, continues to do its best to cash in on the British royal engagement and royal wedding in which Prince Henry Of Wales, known popularly as 'Harry' and Meghan Markel (known by the Press rather overfamiliarly as 'Meghan'), will tie the knot. I have already featured a number of products put out by this company in the name of a number of its client postal administrations and now 2 more have appeared.
  Firstly, there are 2 miniature sheets with the name of Antigua And Barbuda printed on them - one contains 3 stamps and the other a single stamp. It is worth repeating that the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue editor has recently reported that no commemorative stamps are sold at post offices in Antigua And Barbuda and one must therefore question whether any such items, despite their theoretical validity for postage, are actually true postage stamps and deserve a place in a collection of postage stamps. Personally I think not. 
  As regards the design, the Union Jack is very prominent on the stamps and I question why, given that Prince Henry is the grandson of The Queen of Antigua And Barbuda, the flag of that Caribbean country is not incorporated in the design. Rating:- 0.

  If Elizabeth II is the Head of State of Antigua And Barbuda she most assuredly is not Queen of The Gambia which long ago opted to become a republic and ditch the British royal family and have a Gambian as its Head of State. There therefore seems little reason for that country to commemorate philatelically the present royal engagement and wedding apart from any cash which may flow from sales of such items into IGPC's coffers. Nevertheless IGPC has released 2 miniature sheets in the name of The Gambia on the subject of the royal wedding - one containing 3 stamps and the other 2 stamps. Rating:- 0.

  As all of the items released by IGPC so far have referred to the royal engagement rather than the royal wedding I presume there are yet more to come which will feature scenes from the wedding itself. Ho hum.

  🇳🇿 New Zealand Post will update its 10 Personalised stamps to take account of new postal rates and issue them in sheetlets of 10 with attached labels on 6 June 2018. I don't find these peronalisable stamps to be all that interesting though I do see the point of them. The issue was designed by New Zealand Post and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and perforated 13. Rating:- *.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

1221. 🇮🇲 Isle Of Man Attempts To Cash In On Science Fiction Craze.

  🇮🇲 The desperate scramble by postal services and philatelic agencies to come up with subjects which they can feature on their products and which they believe will have a special appeal to a wider audience than their faithful stamp collector customers seems to have taken a number of them down the route of science fiction and fantasy films and television programmes. Royal Mail was clever enough to bag the big prize of featuring Star Wars on not just one but 2 issues and prior to that it had prepared the ground with earlier issues featuring The Hobbit and Dr Who. New Zealand Post made the most of the Tolkien Hobbit books films having been made in the country by a New Zealand director and released scores of philatelic items featuring the countless Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies and then followed up by featuring the CS Lewis Narnia films with, I suspect, less success. Oh and ofcourse we haven't been spared the appearance of Harry Potter on various stamps and Jersey Post even thought it was a good idea to release a set of Superman movie stamps because the actor who plays the role was born on the island. Then, within in weeks of issuing its second Star Wars set, Royal Mail inflicted a large issue on the subject of Game Of Thrones on an unsuspecting philatelic world. Later this year Royal Mail has an unidentified new issue to be released in October, just 3 or 4 weeks before the 55th anniversary of Dr Who and its reappearance on television with the first ever female actor playing the title role - too tempting a money making opportunity to be missed?
  So how can a little philatelic entity cash in on this tide of science fiction/fantasy stamps without bankrupting itself by the amount of money it spends on acquiring the rights to feature such subjects? The Isle Of Man Post Office thinks it has an answer - feature a vintage film where the cost of the rights are probably considerably less. And the chosen subject - the 50th anniversary of the release of the famous 2001 A Space Odyssey which was directed by the revered if controversial Stanley Kubrick. The products for this issue are almost as numerous as those which accompanied the Royal Mail Star Wars issues but principally there are 8 basic stamps (total cost £7.99p) accompanied by 8
'Pictorial sheets' produced in limited editions of 3000 each and each containing 6 stamps and costing £47.94p for the set as well as an accompanying 'Commemorative sheet' which contains 8 different stamps and costs £7.99p.
  The designs, by Glazier Design, lack the visual appeal of Royal Mail's Star Wars stamps and I fear that this issue is not going to do as much for Isle Of Man Post Office's profits as it might hope. The issue was lithographed by Cartor, is perforated 13 and will be issued on 14 June 2018. I predict that this issue will not be popular with collectors. Rating:- 0.

  🇬🇧 Royal Mail issued a second counter booklet containing 6 self-adhesive stamps in connection with its issue which commemorated the Centenary of the Royal Air Force on 11 May 2018. The booklet contains 4 x 1st Class Machin Head definitives and 2 stamps from the miniature sheet depicting the RAF display team, the Red Arrows, Rating:- ***.

  A further counter booklet will then be issued on 26 June 2018 in connection with the Dad's Army issue. Again the booklet contains the 2 1st Class stamps from the set and 4 1st Class Machin Head definitives and is self-adhesive. Rating:- ***. In addition there will also be a 'Generic sheet', sold at the premium price of £7.50p, containing 10 1st Class stamps (5,of each of the 2 designs) with attached labels. The stamps in the sheet are self-adhesive. Rating:- *.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp on 15 May 2018 to commemorate the late MV Arunachalam (1929-1996), a leading Indian businessman, Rating:- *.

  🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia will issue a set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 17 May 2018 as the fourth part of its ongoing Medicinal plants series. This is an attractive issue. Rating:- ***.

  Pos Malaysia also issued 2 Personalised stamp sheets on 15 May 2018 to commemorate Mothers' Day and Teachers' Day. Both sheets contain 8 stamps (2 x 4 different stamps) with appropriate attached labels).