Monday, September 20, 2010

Fruit booklet varieties

Notice anything different about this booklet? The serial number is not in the normal location. It also appears to be a different font. Other booklets show the serial number in the correct location. According to Bulletin #46 from the Philatelic service, this was an inadvertent error. Both varieties of the third printing are offered for sale at $8.60 directly from the philatelic service. I guess they wanted to avoid speculation. In addition to these varieties of the third printing, it appears a fourth printing is now available.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Before E-bay

I first started using the Internet while I was at RPI in the early 1990's. I had my old 486 computer set up in my dorm room, and there was an ISDN line that I was able to use to connect to the college network. FTP and Telnet were the way to access other computers on the network, and the place to go to find things was Usenet. Usenet is still around (I think it got swallowed up by Google, and is now called google groups), and while looking at the various groups available, I came across rec.collecting.stamps. My Israel collection was still just a basic collection in those days, with lots of gaps in just the basic tabs. One day, i came across a post on the newsgroup advertising a box of Israel items. I remember the post described that it contained a few coin booklets on presentation sheets, and a bunch of other items. I think the asking price was $50. That was a lot of money for this college student, but I e-mailed the person who had posted, and eventually ended up calling him after a brief exchange of e-mails. Long story short, I sent him a check and a huge box arrived at my dorm room a week or so later. The box had a ton of stuff, including 2 of the booklets. The picture here is one of them. The only other items I recall from that collection are a couple of early FDC's with short tabs, including the Camel and the Menorah stamps. But, I still consider the booklets to be among my best finds.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Special cancel...special ink?

I collect both FDC's and special cancels. Most new issues from Israel have a special cancel designed to go with them, and this Simon Wiesenhal sheetlet of 4 was no exception. Do you notice anything different about the cancels? The one in the center of the block is in silver, while the one on the bottom is in black. The special cancels provided from the Israel Post with my standing order were in black only. This is not the first issue I have seen it on (I believe they used the silver ink on the Holocaust remembrance stamp earlier this year, and maybe one or 2 last year as well). It is just interesting to me that they would only provide the black version to there special cancel subscribers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

L'shana Tova

The Israeli post offices have been selling New Years cards for years now. I have never seen them listed in any of the catalogs, and I am pretty sure there was no reason to list them. after all, they are similar to Hallmark greeting cards, and would need to have a stamp added to them in order to be mailed. However, this year it appears things are different. The scan here shows one of the five envelopes included in this years New Years cards being sold at the post office. The imprint at the upper right is the postage. Does this make the envelope postal stationary? The five cards included in the package are all different, but the envelopes are identical. Apparently, they were issued (not sure that is the correct term for these) on July 1st. I was able to pick up a package of 5 from one of the people I buy stamps from in Israel, and he was kind enough to provide me with one of them with a first day cancel as well. As far as I can tell, these aren't listed in the bulletin from Israel post listing new issues (while other postal stationary is). What do you think?