On StampBoard.com, an Australian-based forum where you can find worldwide knowledge and discussions on philately, two events catch attention.
"Binge philatelying" in Adelaide
The passion of StampBoarders for the emergency issue printed by Adelaide Greater Post Office at the beginning of January to face a temporary shortage of 30 cent stamps in the metropolitan area. The post office agents used a reformed machine that print value on demand stamps that they have kept for philatelic events.
While a month of eBay sales concluded a value of one thousands Australian dollar for a nice strip of six different of those stamps, two shocking errors occured this past week in a debate between a stamp dealer and his client on the mentioned forum (pages 11 and 12).
The latter was puzzled by the blank spaces in the "Adelaide 2016" imprint and check them with a UV lamp. He discovered an inverted erroneous white "$1.00"!
Before the UV picture were released on Friday February 12th, the dealer checked his stock and discover some items with an inverted erroneous white "30c" !!
To finish in three days, the current sale of the "$1.00" error is at the moment up to a promise of more than 2'600 australian dollars. Yes: 1'600 euros, 1'300 pounds sterling.
Still not enough?
These two errors that add up to the two stamp types ("1994" near or far the edge) and other variations I didn't really catch, are only parts of this week news on Adelaide emergency party.
A emergency postage on a kiloware little piece of cut envelope postmarked January 6th (almost first day cancel?) reached 2 thousands dollars! Remember to check those kiloware at stamp shows if you know what to look for.
An emergency franked letter cancelled on January 7th by the Torrentsville Plaza post office was exchanged among collector friends for the equivalent of a (large) pack of local beer.
As I don't like to participate in such philatelic fever with my own money, these events and the way the StampBoards participants testifie and write their opinions about it, helps prove the need to develop metaphilately or philosophy of philately.
On the prices reached during eBay auctions, read the debate: eBay skyscraping prices compared to long term relationship with an efficient dealer. On being an informed collector: despite this open membership and even readership forum and the general media printing, writing, shouting about the emergency issue and value, there are still Australian collectors who don't know... until Stanley Gibbons gave a line and quote in its catalogue?
Finally how to valued - monetary and is-it-genuine-ly speaking - cancelled items? First days one before philatelic discovery: for sure (5?-8? January), but after the first philatelists and dealers knew of it (7?8?-19? January)... and the whole community (19 January by a post on StampBoards)... and the whole nation... Can a February 3rd cancelled letter be genuine enough to justify a high level price?
No illustration on my blog in English: English able readers can read the whole event as it's happening on StampBoards.com: register and participate there while I try to evangelise the French on my blog in French.
In Melbourne a pillar of philatelic trade passed away.
Max Stern, important Autralian stamp dealer of Melbourne, died at almost 95, on Thursday February 11th. His shops in the Port Phillip Arcade were a philatelic beacon in the busy center of the Victoria capital. A survivor of the nazi camps, he went to Australia in 1948 and began stamp dealing in 1950, a trade he had moved in the Arcade since the opening in 1961.
Lately he appeared in the press. In September, the personalised stamp issue to honor Raoul Wallenberg he helped create and sold was reminded before Australia Post issued October 2015 its own special stamp along two other honoring Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.
But his final appearance in the press was to sadly comment the planned eviction of the Arcade's shops by 2017, announced late October by Melbourne Metro Rail Project, a new tunnel to connect the central business district.