New Issues 2017: Part Eight

Update on new issues in recent weeks.

A set of four stamps plus miniature sheet (Railway Stations), Death Centenary of Francis Ledwidge (poet) and Birth Centenary of Jack Lynch (politician).


Posted in Stamps | Tagged | 2 Comments

Stamp & Postcard Fair

Stamp & Postcard Fair in Belfast yesterday.

Not a good day for Stamps but a great day for Postcards. I picked up four  Irish “golden age” postcards from the early 1900s.

But I also got NINETY used modern postcards from several different countries. Really happy that I got some “new” countries…Malawi, Gambia, Seychelles and Ecuador.

A good day.

Posted in Stamp Fairs | Tagged | 2 Comments

New Issues 2017: Part Seven

A new stamp to commemorate the Women’s Rugby World Cup was issued on 13th July. The event takes place in Ireland.


The single stamp features Niamh Briggs, captain of the Irish team. I bought the mint stamps and First Day Cover at the Philatelic Bureau in Dublin yesterday. Stamps which I posted to myself should arrive in the early part of next week.

The 2017 programme published in January did not feature this stamp. It was added to the programme about a month ago.

Posted in Stamps | Tagged | Leave a comment

General Update

As we have now passed the mid-point of 2017, this seems like a good time to review the year so far.

This year is a big year for me. I am now 65 years old and I can travel FREE to and from any part of Ireland. This travel is now the big thing in my social life but it is related to my various “collecting” activities.

Irish Stamps…well there are two aspects. Keeping up with New Issues is easier as there is no travel expenses involved in any journey to the Philatelic Counter in Dublin. And this means that I can post the new stamps from any town or village in the Republic of Ireland, again no travel cost is involved.

Wants List…I have surprised myself that I have not been more active in finding and buying stamps from my Wants List. It’s hard to come up with one reason but obviously there is some expense involved and I think these purchases are best made after “shopping around” or best made at annual events such as Stampa (the National Exhibition in October). There is no great hurry. But I think that there is a part of me that believes having a Wants List is a key part of being a Collector.

Stamp Fairs…I am now a regular visitor to monthly Collector Fairs in Belfast. But information on Fairs outside Belfast and especially in the Republic of Ireland is not good. Yes, there is a website which advises location and date but not much information so that I can judge if a (free) trip to a “Car Boot Sale” in Dublin or Cork is worthwhile.

World Stamps…I have concentrated on Irish stamps for over forty years. This means that my “World Collection” is not as big as it should be. It also means that it is unbalanced. I am trying to deal with this by setting up a spread sheet which shows the number of stamps I have from every stamp producing nation AND a target t achieve by 31st December 2017.

There are 193 countries in United Nations and with Taiwan, Vatican, Palestine, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, the ridiculous Sovereign Military Order of Malta and United Nations is a neat total of 200. There are also of course colonies about which I am largely indifferent. At Fairs and by Trade, I have been adding stamps on a regular basis and in some cases, for example, USA, Japan, Thailand and Austria, I have already exceeded the 2017 targets. These are of course worthless stamps bought for pennies. There is always an imbalance. Some countries, Australia, New Zealand are easy to get but used stamps from Baltic States, ex-USSR states, ex-Yugoslavia, South East Asia, South American, Pacific Islands and ex-French colonies in Africa are more difficult to get.

Trade/Exchange…recent experience has been mixed as a lot of people want Ireland stamps and I suppose Ireland is middle-ranking in terms of being easy and hard to get. But disproportionately offers of trade and exchange come from people in countries (eg Germany, USA, Australia) which are relatively easy to get. The whole point is that Trade/Exchange should be the cheapest form of adding to a collection but I have found myself actually buying duplicate Irish stamps so that potential traders will not be disappointed. I am not interested enough in mint new issues from countries to make it worthwhile to trade Irish new issues.

Modern Irish Postcards…I have nearly 2,000 unposted cards. This started as collecting souvenirs from trips going back to the 1970s. Postcards date quickly. Buildings, cars, fashions, people …and cards need updated. In 2017, it seems that the traditional market-leader, John Hinde, has been taken over and the cards on racks at gift shops seem more limited in range. It is probably due to all tourists owning camera-phones. Certainly I have been disappointed over the past coup;e of months.

Vintage Postcards…There is a “golden age” (say 1900-1922) when postcards were used in much the same way that we use “text messages” today. From an Irish perspective, the added interest is that this is a period which is pre-independence and the postmarks will be in English. I now have around 130. They can be picked up easily at Fairs but there is the complication that people who mainly postcard collectors are interested in subject matter (eg Saint Patricks Day or Humour or Location) and the publisher. This can mean that prices are variable. As most of the cards I have bought are at Belfast Fairs, then there is an imbalance. I have a lot of postmarks from County Antrim and County Down.

Foreign Postcards…I have long preferred these to be unwritten and unposted. And this remains the case with USA (I have about 900). But now I prefer cards to be posted. I LIKE snail mail (as it is unfairly called) because it is a great civilising factor in the world. I have posted cards from around 75 nations.

Irish Coins…well not much progress. I have about 90% of all pre-decimal (1928-1970) and decimal (1971-2001) coins. Some of the missing coins would be impossible to buy but I really need to make a list of some coins that are at least possible. This interest in Coins is very secondary to Stamps and Postcards. It stems largely from 2002, when Ireland adapted the Euro and all Irish coins became historic.

USA Coins…an interest that stems largely from my only visit to USA (Texas in 2013). Again this is largely about coins that are in circulation. Condition is not an issue for me and American coins can be picked up at flea markets. While “date” is important, I am not overly fixated on the “P”, “S” and “D” inscription which denotes that a coin originated in the Philadelphia, San Francisco or Denver mint. I particularly like the States Quarters series and some of my American friends hold these coins for me.

There is very little to report about my other collecting interests, Bubble Gum cards, Cigarette cards, Phonecards, Football Autographs etc.

The big news seems to be the way that this Blog has taken off in the last month. I do not know why but I am getting a lot of visitors. Yesterday I had visitors from 17 different nations. Thank you.




Posted in Administration | 3 Comments

New Issues 2017: Part Six

Recent Irish issues. Centenary of Lions Club International, Centenary of Battle of Messines Ridge and 150th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas F Meagher.


I do not usually buy First Day Covers but I bought two of Meagher. I also designed some postcards which also have the “first day” postmark. Meagher is one of my heroes. In 1848, he introduced the Flag (then Orange, White and Green) which was destined to become the (Green, White and Orange) National Flag of Ireland. It is modelled on the French Flag.

Meagher was sentenced to death but it was commuted to Transportation to Australia. he escaped to New York City and in the American Civil War, he became a General in the Union Army. He was the Commanding Officer of the Irish Brigade.

After the Civil War, he was Governor of the Montana Territory. He died in 1867. his body was never found but it is most likely that he fell overboard from a boat at Fort Benton. There is speculation that he might have been murdered by Confederate sympathisers or British agents from Canada.


Posted in Stamps | Tagged | Leave a comment

Recent Stamp Trades: Feedback

A few weeks ago, I placed an advert in a “Trade and Exchange” message board.

I offered 50 Irish duplicates in exchange for 50 stamps from any  other country. I posted scans of about 220 Irish duplicates on this Blog.

The response was overwhelming. I received 38 requests for exchange. There is no way that I could deal with ALL of the requests. As I had multiple copies of several duplicates, I could only deal with about eight requests. I am sorry that I had to disappoint so many people but I dealt with the requests strictly in the order that I received them.

So I have now sent off Irish duplicates to about eight of the first fourteen requests I received. Around six people did not follow up so I allocated their place to the next available person.

I have now received three packages of stamps from these people…all from United States.

I can maybe still facilitate another two or three people. I have actually bought some more duplicates.

As well as being potentially “social”, trading duplicates is an ideal way for the average collector of World stamps to build a collection. It is NOT a good thing for a serious collector.

I am in the position of being an adult collector of Irish stamps but very much a schoolboy collector of world stamps. As I have often said, when I become too serious about my Ireland stamps, then I lose the childish enthusiasm that I had when I first collected stamps in the early 1960s.

I exchange on a 1×1 basis. I will not exchange on the basis of a catalogue value in Gibbons, Michel or Scott. Collectors tend to rate the catalogue value of their own stamps as higher than the catalogue value of other peoples stamps. I have no intention of treating the friendly exchange of duplicate stamps as a business. It is just fun and mutually beneficial. I do not intend to exploit anyone and I do not intend to be exploited by anyone.

Stuff happens. Mail goes astray. I can live with the possibility that some mail may not reach me. And I assume trading partners can live with the possibility that my mail may not reach them.

If I receive stamps from seven of the eight people, to whom I have sent stamps…I will be pleased.

The POSITIVE is that I will have some world stamps at a minimal cost (ie postage).

Two NEGATIVES. One ….the cost of postage was a little more than I expected. And two..the 38 people who contacted me were from about 20 different countries but perhaps I should have chosen more widely. In an attempt to be “fair”, I opted to trade with the first eight (it turned out to be eight of the first fourteen) but this was not a very diverse group as it meant four trades with USA (although one had sent Germany stamps which was great).

Next time…and there WILL be a next time, I will try and establish trades in people in countries that are not well represented in my albums…the Balkans, Middle East, South America and French-speaking nations in Africa.

Posted in Stamps | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Irish Duplicates Scanned

I have agreed to trade stamps with several people. The duplicates scanned are available for exchange.

UPDATE ….Some of these stamps have now been selected and sent. Please check availability with me before sending your stamps to me.












The people who I have contacted by email may select up to 50 stamps from these scans. Hopefully I will be able to facilitate all or most of them.


Posted in Stamps | Tagged | Leave a comment