Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coming in 2012

I just received my final order of 2011 from the philatelic service. I was surprised to see the inclusion of a sheet with the 2012 stamp program included. I don't recall seeing this in prior years. There are 5 scheduled releases of stamps in 2012:
  1. Pioneering Israeli Women
  2. Technion - Cornerstone Centennial
  3. In Memory - definitive
  4. Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi
  5. Justice in Jerusalem, 1961
  6. High Priest Breastplate
  1. Memorial Day
  2. Joint Issue Israel-China
  3. The Generations Center, the Western Wall, Jerusalem
  4. The Renaissance of Hebrew Seamanship
  5. High Priest Breastplate (2)
  6. Children's Books
  1. Joint Issue Israel-Nepal
  2. Teddy Kollek, Mayor of Jerusalem
  3. Olympic Games, London 2012
  4. High Priest Breastplate (3)
  1. Festivals 2012
  2. International Police Association
  3. Contribution of Veteran Citizens to Israel
  4. 100-Hadassah, THe Women's Zionist Organization in America
  5. High Priest Breastplate Souvenir Sheet
  6. Tourism - Visit Israel 2012
  1. Joint Issue with India
  2. Philately Day
  3. Electric Car in Israel
  4. Saving Wild Animals
  5. Koren Bible Jerusalem - 50 Years
In addition, there will be a thematic series of postage labels (I assume they are talking about SIMA stamps) featuring endangered sea creatures. I assume this will be similar to the issue of birds in 2010 and deer in 2011,w here they will have a different label at each machine, and they will be issued throughout the year.

The High Priest Breastplate stamps are called out as a unique multi-part special issue, issued in 3 parts and culminating with a souvenir sheet.

The memorial stamp will be issued as a "My Own Stamp" sheet. This is what I call generic sheets. The flyer calls it an opportunity to memorialize a photo of a loved one alongside an appropriately themed State of Israel stamp.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New uncut press sheet coming

I have heard from several sources that there will be a new uncut press sheet released this year from the philatelic service. I have had it confirmed from the philatelic service that it will be for the Children's Games mini sheets, and details will be released "very soon". As soon as I hear more, I will let you know. The first sheet sold out quickly, and people were selling pieces of the sheet on E-bay for astronomical prices. I don't think many of these sold, and my offer to trade my full sheet for a set of 7-9 with tabs has had no takers (but, is still open if anyone should want to trade). It will be interesting to see what happens with this sheet.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scott catalog anomolies

In today's Linn's the Scott catalog numbers for some Israel stamps were finally updated. The last time catalog numbers were updated for Israel was in March, so there have been lots of new stamps issued, but the new update only covers stamps issued through February.

The first entry has been given Scott number 1472a. The description is Hakhel Le Yisrael type of 2002 and shows an issue date of 11/21/10. I had no idea what this stamp was referring to. I looked at Scott 1472 to try and figure out what this was referring to. 1472 is pictured here on the left. Was there a reprint in 2010 I missed? Nope. Looking through my FDC's, I found what this entry is referring to. It is from the Jerusalem prestige booklet. There are 11 different stamps in the booklet, and they are now listed in Scott as separate stamps. 4 of them have minor numbers (1472a, 1610a, 1827a, and 1830a) and 7 are given major numbers (1861-7). Why the difference? According to the new issues editor at the Scott catalog, the ones given new major numbers are different in size from the originals, while the ones with minor numbers just have perf differences. In checking the prior prestige booklets, I found this is the only one listed in Scott at all. The reason? Previous booklets sold for more than 50% above face value, while this one carried only a 35% premium, so it merits inclusion. How is it listed in my database? As Prestige Booklet #8.

In another head-scratcher, the animation sheet is listed as 1845, with the individual stamps each getting a letter (a-o), So, you would assume the animation booklet would be treated the same, right? Apparently not. The booklet panes are each given their own number, from 1846-1860. Why? I think the booklet should be counted as a whole, so it is Prestige Booklet #7 for me. Why a prestige booklet and not a normal booklet? It was sold at a premium over face, and while valid for postage, was not really intended to be used.

Monday, October 31, 2011

E-bay success

Well, all of my E-bay lots from last week sold. I was pleasantly surprised. The Mejujaim lots went for a lot more than I had hoped for. As a result of my initial success, I posted another 23 lots. Included in this batch are a bunch of souvenir leafs, as well as a few of the special souvenir sheets Israel has issued in the past few years. I had managed to acquire duplicates of both the Israel 98 imperf sheets (mint and FDC) as well as the Parting of the Red Sea issue form this past year (again, Mint and FDC). Hopefully, my success continues.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What next?

After doing the in-depth series on the generic sheets of Israel, I was wondering what topic would interest people next? I have the material to do in depth studies of the following:
  1. Tete-Beche Stamps
  2. Showcards
  3. Vending stamps
  4. Computer Vended postage

Do any of these interest anyone out there? Are there other topics you would like to see me talk about?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Been a long time

Wow, it has been over 2 months since my last post. In that time, I haven't really done much with my collection. E-bay has been slow, I think I purchased a total of 3 items in the last 2 months, and those were mostly to use the E-bay bucks that I had earned over the summer. I used to track 40-50 items on E-bay, my list is down to 20, with almost all of these being store items rather than auction listings. I did receive my 2010 white ace supplement finally, although I never did get the corrected pages for the 2009 supplement that they promised. I had hoped they would be included in the 2010 supplement, but no such luck. I also listed 8 separate items on E-bay this week for sale. If you are interested, take a look here. So far, 4 of the 8 have bidders.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Definitive Plate blocks needed

It has been 18 months since I blogged about the plate blocks I was missing. Since then, I have had a fair amount of success in filling in my want list. I am down to 84 dates (from 237). Of course, some of the remaining ones are the most expensive of all, but most are reasonably priced in the catalogs, but I have just not been able to find them.

  1. Provisionals-3 needed of 42. I am missing PR16, 24, and 26.
  2. Zodiac - COMPLETE!
  3. Town Emblems - 2 needed of 161. Just missing TE35 and TE125.
  4. Landscapes - 4 needed of 169. Missing LS6, 7, 27, and 113a.
  5. Town Airmails - 4 needed of 22. Unchanged, these don't seem to be listed on E-bay often at all.
  6. Bird Airmails - 5 needed of 18. All 5 from the January, 1967 printings
  7. Shekels - COMPLETE!
  8. Standby (Star of David)- COMPLETE!
  9. Olive branch - 1 needed of 27. Looking for ND21
  10. Herzl - 5 needed of 47
  11. Archaeology - 7 needed of 37
  12. Sunflower - 2 needed of 6
  13. Good Wishes - 19 needed of 41
  14. Architecture - 2 needed of 14
  15. Anemone - 7 needed of 23
  16. Songbirds - 4 needed of 34
  17. Sports - 10 needed of 37
  18. Shrulik - 1 needed of 9
  19. Hyacinth - 1 needed of 11
  20. Historic Buildings - 1 needed of 15
  21. Menorah - 1 needed of 13
  22. Greetings - 4 needed of 10
  23. Gagea Commutate - 1 needed of 9

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another new generic sheet

I have recently seen this on E-bay. This is a July 18th, 2011 printing date of the Happy Holidays stamp. It is being issued for the high holidays. I have not yet seen a day of issue for this.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bulletin 876, where are you?

I just got the most recent shipment in from Israel's Philatelic Service. It includes the June issues. There are 4 sets of stamps, Israeli Achievements (Agriculture), Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Clown Care, and Beaches in Israel. The achievements issue is accompanied by bulletin 873, which meshes nicely with the last bulletin from the April issues (Memorial day issue was bulletin 872). The rabbi is bulletin 874, followed by Clown Care at bulletin 875. Now, one would expect that the Beaches issue would be bulletin 876, but it is number 877 instead. So, what happened to bulletin 876? Was a stamp prepared and not sold? Will it be in the next shipment? Or did it just get skipped?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2 New Generic Sheets

Well, while I was on vacation, apparently the Israel Post was busy adding new generic sheet printing dates.

The first new sheet is apparently for sale from the Philatelic service on the new Winnie the Pooh sheet. This sheet is the same Love stamp that was used on the last few Disney sheets, and this time the sheet has a May 24th, 2011 printing date. If this seller can be trusted, it was first sold on June 19th.

The second new sheet is a new printing of the Flag generic sheet. This has a June 5th, 2011 printing date, and so far I have only seen it on the sheet pictured here. The E-bay seller claims a limited printing of 2500 sheets. It is listed at a rather high $94 right now, and I am hoping that more sheets of this printing date become available at some point.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New offering from the philatelic service

I just received the June bulletin from the Israel Philatelic Service (#50), and there is an interesting new class of item being offered. You can now get a subscription to Public Souvenir Leaves. According to the bulletin, these are leaves issued to honor public events, government ministries, municipalities, organizations, and institutions, as opposed to the national souvenir leaves that are issued for national events, philatelic events, and joint issues. Each public leaf is numbered (minimum quantity is 1000). There is no set number of these issued each year. Hopefully, this spells the end of the huge ripoff that some people try to perpetuate on collectors by selling these public leaves at hugely inflated prices. Now, collectors interested in these can get them at the new issue price (which is 17 to 30 NIS, according to the bulletin). Not that I will subscribe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Want list review

I took some time this week to look over my want list. I have separated it out into five different categories:
1) Main collection items needed
2) Special Cancel items needed
3) Plate blocks needed
4) Shekel specialized plate blocks needed
5) Everything else

Today, I will focus on the main collection items needed. There are 36 items on this list.
1) 7-9 with tabs. I see these for sale from time to time, but they are out of my price range.
2) J1-5 with tabs. Again, they are available, but out of my price range.
3) 10-14 vertical gutters with tabs. Rarely seen, and out of my price range.
Then we move on to Computer Vended Postage:
4) National Science Museum FDC (12/5/96). I managed to find a copy mint, but finding a FDC has proven tough.
5) 11th Philately Day FDC (12/25/97). Again, the FDC has proven elusive.
6) 13th Philately Day FDC (12/7/99). Apparently, there was none for Philately Day 12 in 98 (or if there was, I am not aware of it).
7) 14th Philately Day FDC (12/26/00). Once again, I am lacking a FDC cover.
8) Hebrew Stamp Week Mint (12/90/93). Before there was Philately day, there was Hebrew Stamp week, and while I managed to find a FDC (addressed), I have not been able to find a mint copy.
9-16) The next 8 items are mint versions of the Israel 98 labels. There was a different one for each day, and I am missing the complete set. I do have the set on cover though.

17-20) Remembrance Letters for 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011. I have the complete set through 2006, but U haven't seen the recent ones at all. I am not sure where I found the 2008 one, but I do have it.

21) World Stamp Expo 89 Show card - Mint. I am looking for it without a stamp or cancel. Usually, they are offered as shown here. I know they were sold at the show without the stamps, but most people must have bought a stamp and had it cancelled.

22)Capex 96 show card - Mint. Like the World Stamp expo one from 1989, I am missing the mint version.
23-26) Touring Stamp exhibition covers from the Nahariya (6/4/50), Hadera (11/24/50), Even Yehuda (10/16/51), and Ramatayim (1/1/56). I believe I have the rest of these, but I have only seen them listed in the old Mosden catalog, and I don't believe that was a complete listing.
27-33) The generic sheets that I am missing: Good Luck (7/17/03), Good Luck (10/21/03), Good Luck (12/1/06), Mazel Tov - Wedding (1/12/04), Thank You (1/12/04), Thank You (12/5/06), and Blue and White (5/25/10). I have gone over these in detail in previous postings.
34) B2. 1st Coins, 6x5m, 6x10m, 6x15m, Car advert on back, green covers
The early booklets are hard to find, and a bit pricey when you do find them.
35) B2B. 1st Coins, back cover Giftboxes Oranges advert, both covers white.
36) B3A. 1st Coins, 6x5m, 6x10m, 6x15m, 6x20m, back cover Giftboxes Orange advert, covers orange. I have a copy that the previous owner opened and put on an exhibit page, but I would like an intact copy as well.
If you have any of the above for sale or trade, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doar Ivri Plateblocks

Last week, Tuvalstamps listed 90 Doar Ivri plate blocks for sale on E-bay. These all started at 99 cents, and there were examples of each of the 6 low values included. All 90 lots sold today, for a total realization of $2,218.14 (not including shipping). I am not able to tell how many different bidders or buyers there were, but there were 539 total bids on the 90 lots, averaging out at 6 bids per lot. 7 lots received only 3 bids, while 2 lots received 20. No lots received fewer than 3 or more than 20. 4 of the lots did not have Group numbers readily identifiable from the lot (they were outside of the ranges shown in Bale). The total 2004 Bale catalog value for the remaining 86 lots was $5,408 and these sold for a total of $1,993.66, or an average of 37% of catalog value. 3 lots realized more than there catalog value, a Group 5 block went for $74, or 2.11 times its $35 catalog value, a group 100 block went for $16.50, a 27% premium over the $13 catalog, and a group 94 went for $52 against a $50 catalog price. Just 6 lots went for less than 20% of catalog, with the biggest bargain being a group 66 block going for just $29.88 despite a $250 valuation (12%). The lot that realized the most was a group 139, which went for $265 (38% of its $700 catalog valuation). I didn't verify the dealers group identification, so this may be a factor in some of the realizations. All in all, I am not sure if the dealer should be pleased with his realization of about a third of catalog price. Despite bidding on a handful of lots, I did not win any of them. There were 29 that would have filled gaps in my collection (I have blocks for 75 of the groups). These are not really a big priority for me, so I was only looking for ones I could get cheap, and none of the ones I needed fit into my budget.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One more sheet

As Yossi pointed out, I missed a new generic sheet in my latest update. This one is a new format. It has only 3 stamps and 3 labels. The labels are the old thank you ones. The sheet has a printing date of January 3rd, 2011. It shows a price of 15 NIS for the sheet. I am not sure of the first day of issue, hopefully I will find that out soon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More generic sheets

As Mark Goldsmith pointed out, there are 2 new generic sheets available. On March 15th, a new Happy Holidays sheet was released for Passover. This has a February 20th, 2011 printing date. This is the first reprint of the Happy Holidays generic sheet, and the third consecutive year there has been a special generic sheet issued for Passover.

The second new sheet is for the Nachal army song group. It is a reprint of the flag generic sheet with a printing date of March 22nd. I am not sure when the first day of issue was. I have only seen this offered on E-bay starting last week, so it must be pretty recent.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A new look at souvenir leaves

As I have previously blogged, I am not a big fan of souvenir leaves. They are sold in very limited quantities through private organizations in Israel. Personally, I only collect the ones that are available to collectors through the philatelic service. This weekend, I saw something new. Someone took a relatively common Hanukkah souvenir leaf from 1995, one that was sold through the philatelic service, and added a new stamp and cancellation in 2009. Apparently, the Carmel catalog then added these updated souvenir leaves to its catalog, and they are listed for several hundred dollars. So, to recap, they took a leaf that is available on E-bay for $5 or less, added a stamp and additional cancel, and somehow it is now worth 50X what it was before? It looks like several of these were done with different base souvenir leaves as well as different reasons for adding the additional stamps (I saw a 40th anniversary leaf have a 60th anniversary stamp and cancel added, for example). I don't understand why the Carmel catalog would add these as if they are official leaves. Sure, they are nice, if you like this type of thing, but I don't see any way the valuations are justified. I think all collectors should be cautious, and not just blindly trust any catalog valuation. If a catalog value doesn't make sense to you, it could be because it is not based on sales data, but on what the seller wants to get for them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Has it really been a month?

I guess time flies. I haven't had a single post so far this month. Not much has gone on with my collection, I just haven't had the time to do anything with it. I have seen several more dealers selling cut-outs from the press sheet on E-bay. I have now seen singles and tabs being offered, although I am yet to see a lot sell. I have had one dealer offer me all kinds of varieties:

  1. Full press sheet - $3000

  2. Set of 3 sheets with matching serial numbers - $1000

  3. Set of 3 stamps with tab - $220

  4. Set of 3 stamps without tab - $90

  5. PLBL of 3 stamps and 1 label - $230

  6. PLBL of 4 stamps and 2 labels - $290

  7. Set of 3 sheets FDC - $1100

  8. FDC of 3 tabs - $230

  9. FDC of 3 stamps without tab - $100

  10. Set of 3 FDC combo with normal stamp - $240

Again, a huge premium over the $82 cost of the sheet at the issue price. I have also not had any takers on my offer to swap my press sheet for a set of 7-9 with tabs. I am not holding my breath.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And the game continues

Not to be outdone by the seller offering blocks of 4 from the press sheet, a different seller is offering full sheets (not the whole press sheet, but the panes of 10 stamps). You can see the lot here. The price for the set of 3 sheets is $1499. My offer still stands, I will trade my full uncut press sheet (9 panes) for a set of MNH 7-9 with tabs (with cert). Any takers?

Let the games begin

As I predicted last week, it didn't take long for a seller on E-bay to list a cut up of the uncut press sheet on E-bay. This lot has blocks of 4 (well, 3 stamps and part of the central label) of each of the stamps up for a mere $390. Since the entire press sheet sold for about 20% of that, it leaves a quite healthy profit margin. The seller should be able to make at least 12 of these blocks from the press sheet, unless he adds cross gutter blocks to his inventory as well. I am disappointed that he didn't mention in the listing that these came from an uncut press sheet that was offered to collectors. If he can get his asking price, I would not mind selling my sheet for that price. Anyone want to trade a set of 7-9 with tabs for an uncut press sheet?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stop the presses

Well, at least stop cutting up the press sheets. Israel has joined the US (and maybe others) in offering uncut press sheets to collectors. I received an offer from the philatelic service to purchase an uncut press sheet of the Innovations sheets. The press sheet consists of 3 sheets of each of the 3 innovations sheets that were issued in honor of Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Each sheet is individually signed and numbered by the artist. It was limited to 999 sheets. The offer price was $82. I am not sure if that represents a premium over the price of 3 normal sets of the sheets, but if there is a premium, it appears relatively small. One important difference between the press sheet and the the normal sheets is that the press sheets are completely imperf. So, watch out for imperf stamps and sheets showing up as errors. Anyone that purchased a press sheet can create those easily. According to the announcement about this sheet, they will offer additional press sheets from time to time. They envision this as the first in a new collectors line of prestigious items in Israel. I hope they limit them to once a year at most, since they are not cheap, and I am unsure how to store it, as the format is not convenient to display. Any ideas?


I submitted an article on mejujaim stamps to the SIP journal over 6 months, and hadn't thought much about it since then. Until this week, when I received the latest journal, and saw a request for articles. So I sent the same article in again, and this time I got a response from the editor. Apparently, he thinks the stamps are a gimmick, and not worth a write up in the journal. Really? I guess he is entitled to his opinion, but since his target audience is those of us that collect Israel Philatelic items, I would assume he would want to be as inclusive as possible. His response completely floored me, and removed all my motivation to write further articles for the journal. Are all modern Israel topics gimmicky? This is what I collect. Finding information about modern items is next to impossible. Until now, I thought that was just because there are few collectors, but now I wonder if the editor of the journal actively disparaging the topic has something to due with the lack of information being disseminated? Maybe I am just not used to rejection. I would like to think that I would be more accepting if he said he didn't like my writing, or the focus was too narrow, or something similar, that I would accept that without this frustration, but I guess I will never know. Anyway, for the foreseeable future, I will just share my thoughts here, and keep my gimmicky collecting habits to the readers here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

And another one

A new generic sheet just appeared on E-bay this week. This one is for Family Day (Valentines day?) 2011. It is the first generic sheet I have seen with a 2011 printing date, having been printed on January 3rd. I am not sure when the first day of sale was, but I expect to see first day covers available soon. I have updated the sheet listing, this printing date is GEN14.6, and the specific sheet is SGEN14.G.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yet another new generic sheet

I just received my shipment of new issues from Garel. Included where most of the new issues from the Jerusalem 2010 show, as well as some other items. This generic sheet (GEN17.1 from my earlier list) was among the items included. I was going to return it, as I already have an example of this generic sheet in my collection (although with different pictures). Then I noticed two unique features about this sheet. First, and most obvious is the green marks at the top of the sheet. I am not sure what these are, anyone have any clues? The second feature is with the date and serial number in the lower left corner. In my other example, the date and serial number are printed in 2 separate lines, while this one has them printed on a single line. The FDC I received of this same sheet does not have either of the 2 features seen in the mint copy of the sheet. I have not looked at the sheets on E-bay to see if the single line difference is unusual or not. For those of you that have copies of these sheets, are yours the single line or 2 line versions?