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Scandinavian Philatelic E-News:  2008 April 1

If you missed the big 27 March 2008 E-News, click here.


CONTENTS:

1.  Surprise New Swedish "Error" Stamp Unknown to Most Collectors

2.  Special Offers: Collections & Albums -- Great Buys

3.  Used and One-of-a-kind Philatelic Literature
 
1.  Surprise New Swedish "Error" Stamp Unknown to Most Collectors: Ladybug or Nyckelpigor VERTICAL Coil Stamp Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
[Click on images to see large version in new window; the new window may be under the current window (and the current window you are reading may then be hidden under the new window that opens).]

(No, this is NOT an April Fool's prank!)

Prices and ordering available halfway down, here.


The vertical coil "error" stamp with horizontal perforations at top and bottom.

   
The horizontal coil set with vertical perforations
and the souvenir sheet containing perforated-4-side stamps.


[Note: Subscribers (for Sweden) to my Scandinavian New Issue Service will automatically receive this stamp at the new issue price when they receive their next sending. If your new issue supplier did not and will not supply this stamp (as of 3/31/08 I am not aware of any that have), perhaps you should consider joining my Scandinavian New Issue Service.]


On 24 January 2008, Sweden Post supposedly issued THREE coil stamps and a souvenir sheet relating to Insects (Ants, Bumble Bee, and Ladybug). But wait, there are really FOUR coil stamps. The fourth stamp was not -- and will not be -- offered by the post office to collectors!

As with anything involving a government department (even if privatized), the events, the facts, and the proffered explanations may defy logic. The bottom line, however, is that a fourth coil stamp was issued and sold to the general public without prior notification to collectors and only with after-the-fact explanations.

All publicity leading up to the issue of the 3-coil-stamp set pictured horizontal coil stamps with vertical perforations (i.e. perforations on the left and right). Those three stamps were issued.

In addition, there exists an "error" stamp: The Ladybug VERTICAL coil stamp with horizontal perforations (i.e. perforations on the top and bottom). This is the fourth -- unannounced coil stamp.

In Swedish, the name for a ladybug is nyckelpigor.

All of this would be just an interesting story, except that Sweden Post distributed and sold all the vertical coil "error" stamps to the general public, through "our sales shops (like supermarkets, gasoline stations etc)." before collectors knew that they existed. The "sales shops" are probably similar to the "contract stations" that the USPS has in stores and other commercial locations.

An official with Sweden Post explained to me, in English: "The stamp had horizontal perforation when we started to printed [sic]. It was just the initially printed stamps that have this perforation. All stamps of this perforation variant have been distributed to our sales shops (like supermarkets, gasoline stations etc). We have nothing of this version left here so we cannot supply you with those stamps. The vertical perforation is the only version that you can order from us. The reason why we changed the perforation from horizontal to vertical is for practical reasons: a customer who uses more than one stamp on a letter etc shall be able to put the amount of ladybug stamps needed [with the design positioned upright] without tearing each stamp a part [sic] before affixing on a card, letter etc." A few weeks after the issue, Sweden Post Stamps publicly announced that the stamp existed, but stated that they could not supply it to collectors.

Based on the efforts of my correspondents "on the ground" in Sweden to attempt to locate these stamps; the "sales shops" were mostly sold out within days or perhaps a few weeks, for ordinary use on letters. Even some major, well-connected dealers in Sweden did not know about this stamp when I asked/informed them of it!

This is "MAJOR-NUMBER" STAMP that will have a place in every stamp album (including Scott) and a "major number" in every stamp catalog (including Scott). (I have provided an example to Scott for their listing; they were not aware of it when they prepared their initial listing in their Monthly. Unfortunately, despite my suggestion, they do not feel it is practical to give me the opportunity to review their Scandinavian new-stamp listings before publication.)

From a factual, historical aspect, there may be more to this story. While I comprehend the explanation I received, it does not explain the situation to my complete satisfaction. While I have absolutely no proof and am only stating my theory / guess.... what I think really happened is:

Unlike the other coil stamps in the set and unlike virtually all other modern Swedish coil stamps, the Ladybug stamp is square. It would be extremely easy for even the highly skilled folks at Sweden Post's printing works to accidentally turn the design 90 degrees when placing the square stamp images on the printing plate. That one error could cause the cascade of events that followed. When the supposed error was discovered after thousands [quantity yet unknown] of stamps are printed and thousands of dollars had been spent on printing plates and paper, etc., a privatized, for-profit organization such as Sweden Post might find it difficult to simply destroy all those otherwise-useful stamps. After all, they would still stick to an envelope, so what is the big deal... I suspect that reaction from stamp collectors was the last thing on their mind.

In any case, my theory continues by proposing that due to the total number of stamps required and wear of the printing plates, multiple printing plates were needed. As the next set(s) of plates were made, the supposed error was rectified and the stamp became the horizontal coil (i.e. vertical perforations) as pictured in the original announcements.

The last element to be considered in my theory is how/why these "error" vertical coil (i.e. horizontal perforations) stamps ended up at the "sales shops". If I were in charge of distribution logistics for Sweden Post, I would always assume that a catastrophe would occur tomorrow. My plan would be to always first distribute to the most central, important, locations. I would want to be sure that the stamps were in the Stockholm, Malmö, and Göteborg distribution centers before I worried about availability in the gas stations of the sparsely populated Arctic region. Furthermore, it might be awkward for Sweden Post regular post office staff to explain having stamps at post offices that looked different than the announcement pictures and the posters likely on the walls in the post offices. On the other hand, at a gas station, I doubt most people would interrogate the clerk about why the stamps were different -- if the buyer even noticed the difference! Thus, one must ask oneself if the "error" stamps were intentionally "buried" at the "sales shops". I doubt we will ever really know.

Again, I remind you that my theory is only that -- a theory, a guess.

On the positive side, I will always be quick to say that my friends at Sweden Post get it right 99.99% of the time -- much more often than have most other post offices, including the USPS!


Okay, back to what is most important to us stamp collectors: How to obtain this "error" stamp!

My hard-working correspondents in Sweden have managed to locate some of the "error" stamps. I thank them for their efforts!

You may have noticed that I rarely emphasize the investment potential of stamps. I believe that enjoyment and learning from our hobby should come first and that if, as a result of our knowledge, we make a bit of money when we sell our collection, all the better. However, there are times when an obvious-to-me opportunity is staring us in the face and I would be negligent if I did not express my opinion.

This "error" stamp is a plain, regular stamp. It is a "major number" stamp that will be sought by all collectors of Sweden and many thematic collectors as well. It was absolutely not created for collectors -- in fact just the opposite. It was distributed to the public in a way that resulted in the fewest possible stamps being purchased by collectors and the fastest consumption for use on letters. It is possible that the canceled stamps will be much more common than the mint stamps (which is not always the case these days). Lastly, supplies in the Swedish market appear to be very limited; some usually-well-stocked dealers do not have any to offer and some others may not even know about it yet.

In my opinion, the virtually unavoidable result is that this stamp will significantly increase in value. It will take a couple of years before "average" collectors realize they did not receive the stamp from their new issue supplier -- they will only discover this fact when they buy a 2009 catalog or receive their album supplements for the 2008 stamps. By then, remaining supplies will have evaporated.

This stamp is denominated "Brev Inkrikes" (domestic letter) and not with a numerical amount, thus the face value "utility" will perpetually rise. This greatly reduces downside risk of investing. Furthermore, over time, stamps so denominated have been consumed for postage at a higher rate than numerically denominated stamps. (This can be seen in a comparison of Facit values for the different types of denominated stamps.)

I can't tell you -- and it would be inappropriate for me to try -- if this stamp will "only" double in value or if it could triple or quadruple, or ??? It is starting out at such a low price level that, as a percentage/yield, there is much more upside potential than if it was a $25 item at the start.

However, I am very confident that demand for this stamp will explode over the next couple of years. In the modern era of the Scandinavian stamp market, I can't think of any stamp with the issue circumstances of this stamp.

I am also quite sure that I will need to buy quantities this stamp in the future and thus I will maintain a register of those clients who purchase quantities of this stamp and inform them of the price I can pay when I need to resupply. That is not a guarantee to buy them back, but the reality is that I will need to buy stamps to fill the orders of my clients!

My supply is very limited. My correspondents in Sweden are beating the bushes to find more, so I am hopeful that I will be able to meet the demand for at least a little while. If I do sell out temporarily, I will maintain backorders as long as there is a reasonable possibility of resupply. Naturally, the prices are subject to change, thus please act quickly.







   
Back Number and Tail-of-Roll Asterisk

Vertical Coil Leader Band
THE COIL STAMPS

Swedish coil stamps are currently issued in rolls of 100. These Insect stamps have a self-adhesive (on a paper wrapper, not on the stamps!) leader band, however, there is no ending/tail band; the 100th stamp's tail perforations are usually trimmed roughly. The reverse of every 10th stamp bears a back number in blue. The 100th stamp bears an "*" (asterisk) in blue.

Dating back to the 1920s, collectors in Sweden have had a custom of collecting coils in 5-strips. Because the back numbers occur on every 10th stamp, the 5-strips can be with or without back number.

The attention paid to the "error" stamp may well overshadow the regularly issued Ladybug (and the other two) horizontal coil stamp with vertical perforations. I would not be surprised if the "normal" stamps sell out quickly for use on letters and that they quickly becomes hard to find. Because the initial cost is so much lower, they may have an even better investment potential, though perhaps not as "sexy" a story.




   
THE SOUVENIR SHEET AND THE PERFORATED-4-SIDE STAMP

With all the fuss over the "error" coil stamp, the souvenir sheet will likely be overlooked. And that could easily result in it having excellent investment potential as well.

The perforated-4-side stamps from the souvenir sheet will surely be shown as "major numbers" in some catalogs and albums. There will be a demand for those single stamps -- and the only place to get them is from the souvenir sheet.

However, the souvenir sheet itself has great potential. Just look at it! People who don't collect Sweden or Ladybugs will want it! In the last few years, Sweden has been issuing one or two such souvenir sheets per year. Because they were a new format, acceptance was slow, but now they are being included in more albums and catalogs. (Scott seems to be inconsistent in how they have listed them and in my opinion is dithering about what to do, with logic that does not make sense to me.) So far, these types of souvenir sheets have appreciated in value, some significantly. There do not seem to be large stocks of them available once they are sold out at the post office.

Cylinder & Serial Numbers: As with all the recent souvenir sheets, some bear cylinder numbers (1 or 2) and serial or counting (the Swedes call it "KN") numbers -- printed right on the face of the souvenir sheet. Both can occur on the same souvenir sheet, however, not all combinations seem to exist and distribution of the combinations that do exist seems to be irregular, resulting in some being scarcer. Collectors have taken an interest in these, but so far they only command modest price premiums to reflect the work of locating specific types.

On this issue, the cylinder numbers are in the lower left and the serial number is in the lower right.

So far I have only recorded Cylinder #1+KN and Cylinder #2 (w/o KN). If you purchase these, I will send others if and when I find them (in the order of the date of original purchase).

If you are generally interested in collecting these markings, please let me know. I will be happy to send previous issues on approval (let me know of any you already have) and to send future s/s as they are issued.

[Click on images to see large version in new window; the new window may be under the current window (and the current window you are reading may then be hidden under the new window that opens).]
   
Cylinder #1 + KN and Cylinder #2 (w/o KN)


AVAILABILITY AND PRICES

Due to the fast-moving nature of this situation, strong demand, and limited supplies, please note the following details:

Supplies are limited, in some cases extremely limited. Unless otherwise noted, all items were in stock at the time of writing. If an item is temporarily unavailable, you will be notified and will have the option to wait for resupply or to cancel that portion of your order. Prices are subject to change at any time. If a price changes between the time you placed your order and the item can be resupplied/shipped you will be notified and will have the option to cancel your order.

Advance payment by credit card (MasterCard or Visa) reduces bookkeeping and is thus preferred. However, items may be sent on open account to clients who have already established credit. Otherwise items will be held for 10 days awaiting receipt of advance payment by check or money order. Checks from clients who have not yet established credit may be cleared prior to shipment. Prices in U.S. Dollars.

Shipping: Orders within the U.S. over $40 are shipped postpaid. Orders of $40 and less and orders to other countries are subject to shipping and handling charges.

At this moment, most of the USED stamps are NOT in stock. Resupply is expected soon. If resupply has not arrived at the time your order is received, the items that are available will be shipped now and the rest when available, unless you request otherwise.


THE "ERROR" VERTICAL COIL LADYBUG STAMP:

Description NH VF USED VF
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: SINGLE STAMP (without back number)

6.00

Quantity

6.00

Quantity

The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: SINGLE STAMP with back number

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for all the back number items has been much greater than anticipated and it is extremely difficult to meet the demand.

12.00

Quantity

12.00

Quantity

The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: PAIR (without back number)

12.00

Quantity

12.00

Quantity

The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: 5-STRIP (without back number)

30.00

Quantity

30.00

Quantity

The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: 5-STRIP with back number

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for all the back number items has been much greater than anticipated and it is extremely difficult to meet the demand.

38.00

Quantity

38.00

Quantity

The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: 5-STRIP from end of coil, with Asterisk back number

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for this item has far exceeded the supply (only one per coil roll).

70.00

Quantity

---
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: Coil Leader Band (NO stamps)

8.00

Quantity

---
Investment Offerings:
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: FULL, INTACT COIL ROLL OF 100 STAMPS. NH VF.

575.00

Quantity

---
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: Investment lot of 10 STAMPS. NH VF (without back numbers)

58.00

Quantity

---
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: Investment lot of 50 STAMPS. NH VF (may or may not include some back numbers)

282.00

Quantity

---
The "Error" Vertical Coil Ladybug Stamp: Investment lot of 100 STAMPS. NH VF (may or may not include some back numbers)

550.00

Quantity

---


THE REGULARLY ISSUED COIL STAMPS:

Description NH VF USED VF
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SINGLE STAMP SET (without back number)

4.90

Quantity

4.90

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SINGLE STAMP SET with back numbers

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for all the back number items has been much greater than anticipated and it is extremely difficult to meet the demand, even on the "regular" issue.

12.00

Quantity

12.00

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SET OF PAIRS (without back numbers)

9.80

Quantity

9.80

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SET OF 5-STRIPS (without back numbers)

24.50

Quantity

24.50

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SET OF 5-STRIPS with back numbers

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for all the back number items has been much greater than anticipated and it is extremely difficult to meet the demand, even on the "regular" issue.

31.50

Quantity

31.50

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) SET OF 5-STRIPS from end of coil, with Asterisk back number

Note as of May 1, 2008: Demand for this item has far exceeded the supply (only one per coil roll).

50.00

Quantity

---
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations): Set of Three Coil Leader Bands (NO stamps)

This item currently out of stock; waiting for resupply. Please go ahead and order to maintain priority for shipping.

7.00

Quantity

---
The Official FDC: The three regular horizontal coil stamps plus the single perforated-4-side stamp. Already hard to find.

This item currently out of stock; waiting for resupply. Please go ahead and order to maintain priority for shipping.
---

10.50

Quantity

Investment Offerings:
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations): Set of Three FULL, INTACT COIL ROLLS OF 100 STAMPS. NH VF.

This item currently out of stock; waiting for resupply. Please go ahead and order to maintain priority for shipping.

417.00

Quantity

---
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) Set of Three: Investment lot of 10 STAMPS. NH VF (without back numbers)

44.00

Quantity

---
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) Set of Three: Investment lot of 50 STAMPS. NH VF (may or may not include some back numbers)

208.00

Quantity

---
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) Set of Three: Investment lot of 100 STAMPS. NH VF (may or may not include some back numbers)

390.00

Quantity

---
Singles from the regular coil set:
The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) BEE single stamp.

Pairs, 5-Strips, back numbers, etc., and quantities are available at prices similar (relative) to above sets. For exact pricing, please email your request.

1.60

Quantity

1.60

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) ANT single stamp.

Pairs, 5-Strips, back numbers, etc., and quantities are available at prices similar (relative) to above sets. For exact pricing, please email your request.

1.70

Quantity

1.70

Quantity

The Regular Horizontal Coil (vertical perforations) LADYBUG single stamp.

Pairs, 5-Strips, back numbers, etc., and quantities are available at prices similar (relative) to above sets. For exact pricing, please email your request.

2.00

Quantity

2.00

Quantity



THE SOUVENIR SHEET AND PERFORATED-4-SIDE STAMP:

Description NH VF USED VF
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet (without numbers)

13.50

Quantity

13.50

Quantity

NOTE as of May 1, 2008: The following four items (souvenir sheets with cylinder numbers and/or cylinder numbers plus serial/counting numbers) have proved to be in much stronger demand and much harder to obtain replacement supply than originally expected. These items are probably on waiting lists, but please place your order now if you are interested; if you don't place your order, there is little hope!

NOTE as of May 1, 2008: The Cylinder #1 (only) and the Cylinder #2 + Serial number have JUST BEEN DISCOVERED BY ME; the "experts" in Sweden have yet to see any examples! If you wish to have these items, please order as soon as possible, but please also expect that they are already on waiting lists.
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet with Cylinder #1 only

20.50

Quantity

---
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet with Cylinder #1 and Serial Number

20.50

Quantity

---
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet with Cylinder #2 only

20.50

Quantity

---
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet (without numbers) with Cylinder #2 and Serial Number

20.50

Quantity

---
The Ladybug Perforated-4-Side Single from the souvenir sheet.

2.50

Quantity

2.50

Quantity

The Ladybug Perforated-4-Side Block of Four from the souvenir sheet.

10.00

Quantity

10.00

Quantity

Investment Offerings:
The Ladybug Souvenir Sheet (without numbers): Investment Lot of 10.

125.00

Quantity

---
2.  Special Offers: Collections & Albums -- Great Buys Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 

I am constantly buying large and small Scandinavian, U.S., and Worldwide collections. If you are considering getting into a new area and would like a "starter collection" (whether small or large), let me know about your interest. Also, if you are seeking used binders or used empty albums to match what you currently have, again, let me know. In the process of buying Scandinavian collections, many of my long-time clients (or their estates) ask that I assist in selling the non-Scandinavian portion of their collections. If there is something you are looking for, just let me know. Take a look at the current listings on the web site (but if you don't see your interest listed, please inquire -- most have not been listed on the web site yet).

I guarantee your satisfaction. Each item is one of a kind; orders will be filled in order of receipt. Payment by MasterCard or Visa suggested, but I will hold items for 10 days pending receipt of your check or money order if you prefer.

Useful Links:
Scandinavian Collections
U.S. and World (Non-Scandinavian) Collections
Used Albums & Binders

Scandinavia: Thousands of Stamps and Covers!
U.S. Individual Stamps: Great Items at Great Prices!
World Individual Stamps: Great Items at Great Prices!

SCANDINAVIAN COLLECTIONS

For more, see: Scandinavian Collections
 
WORLDWIDE COLLECTIONS

For more, see: U.S. and Worldwide Collections
 
ALBUMS & SUPPLIES

For more, see: Scandinavian, U.S., and Worldwide Albums and Supplies
For new Stender Albums, see: Stender Albums
 
3.  Used and One-of-a-kind Philatelic Literature Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 

Most of these books are one-of-a-kind, thus be sure to order early. This is just a tiny glimpse of the used books available. Please take a look at the complete Literature Specials price list -- it has much more to offer. I welcome your want list for any Scandinavian books you are seeking. "New" books will be in brand-new condition. "Used" books will be used, though in attractive and serviceable condition; these books may contain minor owner's marks and have typical wear, but any significant defects will be noted in the description. Most "used" books are in much better condition than you might think; many are pristine.

For more, see: Scandinavian & Worldwide Literature Specials Table of Contents.
 

FEATURED SPECIAL

 
FINLAND
Mourning Stamp
Russification Protest
Limited Offer!
Order Now!

Appeared in 1900 as a protest of the Russification of Finnish stamp designs; the requirement that Russian looking stamp designs had to be used for all mail starting in 1901. All such forms of protest were banned and confiscated.
(Normally $12.00)
NH VF Single $10.00


Other related items also available.



FEATURED SPECIAL

 
SWEDEN
Official Blackprint
1856/1862 Local Stamp
Very Limited Supply!
Order Now!

Official blackprint/reprint made in 1930 to aid in study of the printing plate. Ungummed on thick card, as issued. Seldom offered.
Single $12.00
Pair $22.00
Block $40.00


Other reprints also available.



FEATURED SPECIAL

 
Rare ICELAND 1911
CHRISTMAS SEAL
World Classic Seal Design
Very Limited Supply!
Order Now!

Seldom offered and rarely at such a low price! A once-in-a-lifetime purchase allows me to share the savings with you.
NH VF normally $60.00!
NH VF Only $36.00!


(A few others $18-$48.
1904 and 1905 also available.)



FEATURED SPECIAL

 
DANISH "STAMP COINS"
From World War II
Only a few available!
Order Now!

SET OF TWO.
Only $16.00!
IN STOCK!



FEATURED SPECIAL
 
SWEDISH LADYBUG VERTICAL COIL "ERROR"
Limited Supply!
Order Now!

Unplanned Vertical Coil "Error" Stamp.
IN STOCK!



SPECIAL OFFERS!
GREAT VALUES!
Updated 25 April 2017

Scandinavia:
  Philatelic Literature
  Collections
  Used Albums

U.S. Stamps:
   NH, Mint, and Used at great prices.
  Collections

World Stamps:
   Better stamps at great prices.
  Collections
 
SCANDINAVIAN PRICE LISTS BY POSTAL MAIL
Over 100 pages of price lists are available by postal mail. While these will eventually also be available on the web, I am not quite there yet. Request your copy of the printed price lists today.
SCANDINAVIAN PRICE LISTS ON THE WEB Take a look at my specific country price lists and topic price lists on the web.
Approvals are the best way to add to your collection.
If you prefer to examine stamps and compare them to your collection, before you purchase, you will very much enjoy my approval service. Send your want list today.
Stender Scandinavian Stamp Albums
Albums made in Scandinavia, by Scandinavians make the most sense. Well designed and attractive, these extremely price competitive albums will make a great home for your collection. See the complete price list.
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