Monday, December 22, 2014

We wanted to pass along a THEFT ALERT from the American Philatelic Society.  They sent out an email alert to dealer members and we wanted to post it so that others could see it. The text of the email from the APS is as follows:

Stamp Theft alert shared for Lawrence Clement: 

Stolen collection of World War ll German occupation  stamps, p to z countries and  Japan/Japanese occupation stamps.  There are many Burma occupation stamps with the peacock overprint including 1N1-3, 1N29 (2 copies), 1N45-6, 1NO1, etc.   The stamps are on hanger pages with 3/4 inch white tape with black letters containing descriptive information on 90% of the stamps.

Each single or set has a small  white slip of paper next to it with the Scott cat. # and cat. value for items  above about  $20. The collection was in a dark blue three ring binder with a label on the spine: "WORLD WAR II GERMANY P_- Z/ JAPAN" in 24 point letters, Helsinki bold type.

The collection was taken at the Quality Sunday Stampshow at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel,1700 So. Harbor Bl., Anaheim, CA 92802. The show is run by Steve Pattillo of P.O. Box 604, Fullerton, CA 92836, phone 888-995-0548, Cell 714-379-0752. Pattillo is aware of this theft and helped I.D. the thief.

The collection was taken from the table of dealer Claude Abraham who witnessed the thief  remove the blue binder, but Abram thought the binder belonged to the thief. Mr. Abraham will testify. the thief is thought to be Steve Park or Pang of Upland , CA, late 40, s, 5' 7" tall,  175 lbs, a Korean who speaks little English and at many stamp shows is with his wife Susa  Park (Pang), 5' 5" tall, 180-200 lbs, Caucasian who speaks English.

The theft occurred on 12-21-14 at about 9:45 am and was reported to the Anaheim Police  that afternoon, report # 14-765-1974, phone 714-765-1974. reported value $10,000 - 11,000.. Many thanks for your help!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why should I join a Specialty Society or Study Group?

Philately has been a life-long passion for me, but only in the last 10-15 years have I clearly understood the value of joining a specialty stamp society or study group.  These societies provide an invaluable amount of information for the specialty collector.  The leadership of these groups is usually poised to help out eager collectors further their knowledge in a specific area. Having started out as a Latin American & Canal Zone collector and now a full-time dealer with similar specialties, I have joined groups such as the Nicaragua Study Group, COPAPHIL, SOCORICO and Canal Zone Study Group.  Not only have these groups been a source for furthering my knowledge in these areas, but they have provided avenues for creating long-lasting friendships with fellow members.

With the expansion of online resources, acquiring and sharing information has become much easier.  Many of these specialty societies have websites that provide general information, news about new findings, updates on auctions run by the societies and much more.  Some of them even offer back-issues of the society newsletter archived as PDF documents.

Here is a brief overview of each of the societies the I have found most helpful:

COPAPHIL - The Colombia-Panama Philatelic Study Group (founded in 1983)
This is a comprehensive resource for both Panamanian and Colombian philately
A sample of their newsletter, COPACARTA, can be viewed here: COPACARTA Volume 27
To join follow this link: Membership

Canal Zone Study Group - (founded in 1952)
This society is the go-to resource for all things Canal Zone
A sample of their newsletter,  The Canal Zone Philatelist, can be viewed here: CZP Issue 161
To join follow this link: Membership

Nicaragua Study Group - (founded in 1990)
This small society is an excellent resource for all aspects of Nicaraguan philately
No current website
For membership information contact Michael Schreiber at

SOCORICO - The Society for Costa Rica Collectors (founded in 1960)
An international group of collectors interested in the study of the stamps and postal history of Costa Rica
A sample of their newsletter,  The Oxcart, can be viewed here: Oxcart #175
To join follow this link: Membership

The yearly membership fees for these societies are a real bargain too!

I hope you'll take a minute out and check these groups out.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Interesting Varieties from Santander Colombia

There are many interesting varieties present in Colombian stamps, particularly in the early 1900s.  

The following are graphical representations of some of these.

Provisional Surcharges of 1907 on Stamps of 1904:

This stamp was printed in sheets of twenty-eight and subsequently the surcharge was applied in 1907.  There are many varieties.  See below for a partial list of noted, consistent plating varieties.


There are 3 different font types and combinations.  They differ not only in the "UN", but also in the "Cvo" - examples of these different types can be found at the following positions:

Position 1  -  Tall, thin letters, wide "UN" ; small bold "Cvo"
Position 6  -  Antique appearing "UN" ;  "Cvo" with very large "C", not in bold
Position 7  -  Tall, thin letters, small serifs, narrow "UN" ; "Cvo" with very large "C", not in bold
Position 18 - "NU" for "UN" Error
Position 22 - "C" of "Cvo" with flattening at left

This stamp was printed in sheets of twenty-eight and subsequently the surcharge was applied in 1907.  There are many varieties.  See below for a partial list of noted, consistent plating varieties.

                                                  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Position 9  -  Cantavos instead of Centavos
Position 20  -  Centavas instead of Centavos

Scott #37 - 1/2c Surcharge on 50c Rose Revenue Stamp:

This stamp was printed in sheets of twenty and subsequently the surcharge was applied in 1907.  There are many varieties.  See below for a partial list of noted, consistent plating varieties. 

Position 2   - Top of "S" in Santander on the Surcharge is filled in.
Position 5   - "Cocreos" instead of "Correos"
Position 8   - "Provisional" in Narrow, tall and thin font.  Tail on 2nd "n" in "Santander"
Position 12 -  No period after "Provisional".  Tail on 1st "n" in "Santander"
Position 16 -  No period after "Provisional",  Tail on "n" in "Provisional"
Position 20 -  Tail on "n" in "Provisional", "Corceos" instead of "Correos"

Stay tuned for more plating varieties from Santander.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

This is why I love Philately!

Hours of enjoyment come from this hobby, even when you are a dealer.  Last evening I was breaking down a collection from El Salvador and came upon a very interesting stamp.  I came upon a series of official stamps that had two examples of one denomination.  The stamp is Scott #O331, a 12c brown National Palace issue, with "OFICIAL" overprinted diagonally.  The collector indicated that the second was a darker color shade variety.  I looked at it and it also appeared to be at first glance just a darker version of the brown color.  

However, after closer inspection, the stamp on the right appeared slightly blurry.  Under a 10x lupe it appeared to be a double entry; a double impression of the entire stamp. This is where modern technology takes this hobby to a different level.  Under the high resolution scanner you can see so much more detail, and then share those details instantly with specialist colleagues around the globe within minutes.

Take a look at the high resolution images below and notice the striking double impression, particularly in the image showing "U.P.U." just below "EL SALVADOR" at the top of the stamp.

It turns out that the original stamps of this National Palace series had a very interesting printing process.  The Palace (vignette) on the original type was in black while the border was printed in different colors (an example is seen below).  The very interesting printing process was described very elegantly by Joe Hahn in El Salvador Filatelico - El Faro, Year III, Number 3. 

Normally when printing a bi-color stamp there would be two plates; one for the first color and one for the second.  

This issue, though, used only one plate.  The two color printing as achieved by applying ink to the frame and using chalk to block out the vignette.  After the frame was printed, the reverse process was used to print the vignette.  Definitely not a perfect process resulting in portions of each having traces of ink of the second color.  See the doubling of the words "PALACIO NACIONAL" below...  Also, look at the edges of the palace itself.  While the majority of the palace is in black, the edges show some green.

It's a fascinating hobby... isn't it?

My sincere thanks to my dear friend and colleague Ivan Zelaya from El Salvador who provided me with the interesting literature surrounding the printing process.