Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Database dilemma

I was trying to get a list of the plate blocks I needed out of my database yesterday, and was surprisingly frustrated at how hard it was. The problem is that there are a lot of stamps that don't have plate blocks, and there was no easy way for me to tell which entries should have a plate block, but don't, and which just don't come in a plate block variety. For example, Scott #16 is the Tabul mini-sheet. There is no plate block possible for this issue. This called for me to add some new code to my program, and create a new table, the list of stamps without plate blocks. I now have the database check this list when it creates my plate block want list, and if the stamp is on the exclusion list, it does not get added to the want list. I then had to manually go through all the items on my want list and decide if they belonged on the exclusion list or not. At the end of the day, my exclusion list is just over 100 entries (mostly souvenir sheets, although there were some regular stamps that just didn't have plate blocks). My want list is now at roughly 150 plate blocks, mostly from 1996-2004. This does not include the specialized definitive plate block want list that is handled separately. I had to handle those a totally different way, but that has been done for a while now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cover buy of the month

I recently bought this cover on E-bay. It was a pricey cover, but I think I ended up getting quite a bargain. This is a cover with the front cover and all 3 panes from booklet #5. It is not a FDC, but is dated 7/13/50 (first day according to Bale was 6/1/50). The seller listed both a B4 and a B5 cover, but I only managed to win the B5. I noticed that a nearly identical cover appears as lot 339 in the House of Zion net price sale that is going on now. The cover in Ed's sale is a B4, and he is asking $950 for it. While I paid a lot for my cover, it was still only about 10% of that price. He did offer to buy my cover at a nice profit, but I am going to hang on to it for my collection. I just wish I had bid higher on that B4 cover! I recall seeing these offered in an auction a few years ago (Cherrystone, I think), and they did realize over $500 each. I just wish my stamp budget would keep up with my ability to find bargains on E-bay.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to Mejujaim

I was able to buy a few more unopened packages of the Mejujaim stamps from a contact in Israel. They are no longer sold in post offices over in Israel, as the contest is over, but my contact was able to find a few leftovers. I found a few new sheets, including the ninth different Blue and White sheet and my first with the Good Luck stamp. I also found a few new interesting tidbits. Apparently, there are 2 different backing papers for the sheets. The second paper has much darker printing, with a few extra elements included, such as some diagonal lines. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the scans to come out. I also found one package that contained 4 stickers, but no stamp. The stickers are not on a single sheet, but rather 4 separate small sheets. The stickers also have an Israel Post logo on the back with some text. The text talks about this being the only official collection, watch out for fakes. I am not sure how common these stickers are, but without the stamp, they are not as interesting to me. I now have 70 of the 100 stickers (if I include the labels attached to the stamps, I add 5 more). I am also up to 24 different sheets. I do have a few duplicates to trade if anyone is interested.