''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

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MargoZ
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''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by MargoZ »

new year.JPG
Happy new year! Enjoy these stamp-related news stories from over the festive season.


Stanley Gibbons bites the dust?
Reported at https://www.thetimes.co.uk

Collectors on Stanley Gibbons’ mailing list recently received an email advising them of company changes:

Despite strong growth in auctions this year and new partnerships in publications, Stanley Gibbons Group has been unable to find a solution to its long-standing historic liabilities.

The Group explored all options to resolve these liabilities however it was unable to find a satisfactory solution.
As a result, Strand Collectibles Group Ltd has bought the business and assets of Stanley Gibbons Ltd and A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd as part of a pre-pack administration process managed by Price Waterhouse Cooper on 22nd December 2023.

All operations, the senior management team, all employees, both brands, all inventory, all items on consignment for auctions and storage, and all other intellectual property and assets have transferred to the new company, Strand Collectibles Group.

Strand Collectibles Group will continue to offer auctions, dealing, private treaty, publications for stamps, coins, medals and other collectibles as before and has secured new investment to develop these services further.

Under the ownership of Strand Collectibles Group, Stanley Gibbons will continue to serve the needs of philatelists with catalogues, magazines, albums and accessories, dealing and auctions and will be launching a new digital stamp collecting experience later in the year. Our website remains the same: www.stanleygibbons.com


However, 'The Times' take on this was less upbeat with an article headlined “Stanley Gibbons collapses after buying world’s most expensive stamp.”

Stanley Gibbons went bust after taking out a £6.5 million loan to buy the world’s most expensive stamp.
The 167-year-old stamp auctioneer fell into insolvency on December 22 following its purchase of the British Guiana 1c Magenta for £6.3 million in 2021.

The stamp dealer took out an interest-free loan from its largest shareholder, Phoenix SG Limited, to finance the purchase, and then sold stakes in the stamp to outside investors.

Stanley Gibbons has hoped to recoup up to £8 million by selling 80,000 shares in the stamp online for £100 each. The group’s first tranche of sales generated revenues of £1.14 million in the year ended March 2022, and it launched a secondary marketplace to allow shareholders to trade their stakes in the “Mona Lisa of the philatelic world”.

Yet the company has now been sold as part of a fast-track insolvency process to Strand Collectibles Group after struggling to refinance the debts due to Phoenix.

Phoenix had issued lending of almost £20 million to Stanley Gibbons by the end of March 2022. The fund manager, which also owns toymaker Hornby, granted a waiver on the debt as the stamp dealership failed to meet cash flow and earnings targets tied to the facilities, but the lending was due for repayment in March 2023.

The administrators have indicated that unsecured creditors may not be paid.

Phoenix Collectibles, the parent company , is a 1 pound paid up company based in Cayman Islands, Caribbean tax haven, according to UK Company Registry, Companies House.

Follow developments in this story on Stampboards at www.tinyurl.com/SG-mess
Gibbons.jpg
guano.JPG
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A new postal era in Denmark
Reported at www.philapress.de

The Danish government and several opposition parties recently agreed to make changes to postal services that will see PostNord lose its obligation to deliver post to all of Denmark. Instead, market forces and competition will be relied on to ensure that all parts of the country can receive post.

PostNord Denmark has long been the provider of the universal postal service, and since 2020 has received compensation from the Danish state to cover the losses incurred in undertaking the universal service obligation. In 2023, the compensation is estimated to amount to Dkr150m (US$22m).

In response to the new Postal Act, PostNord, announced drastic changes from 1 January 2024, discontinuing all services that the company no longer had to offer.

First of all, there will be a sizeable increase in postage rates. In the future, the simple domestic letter may be twice as heavy (up to 100g), but will then cost 25kr (3.35 euros) and no longer 12kr. Due to the introduction of VAT liability and a related instruction from the tax authority, all stamps for domestic correspondence will become invalid as of 1 January 2024. They can be used for VAT-exempt international mail traffic until 31 December 2024.

On Jan. 2, Denmark issued stamps specifically for domestic and international use. Stamps inscribed “INDLAND” are valid on mail to addresses in Denmark, and stamps inscribed “UDLAND” are for use on letters to foreign destinations.

Most of the mailboxes in the country will be dismantled. As well as the mailboxes, the storage service will be discontinued. Newspapers and magazines will no longer be delivered, and publishers will have to switch to private providers at short notice.

Exceptions apply to mail for small islands and visually impaired people, and to international mail, for which procurement processes will be carried out. PostNord Denmark is negotiating a transitional agreement with the Danish state to ensure delivery of such items of mail until the procurement processes have been completed.
The decision will have no immediate impact on PostNord’s parcel operations in Denmark.

Although PostNord’s obligation to offer national coverage will be revoked, the transport ministry will continually monitor postal services and step in if there is not sufficient coverage. The deal means that millions of kroner of annual state support for PostNord will be cut.

See the Stampboard’s discussion at http://tinyurl.com/3tb58bp8
denmark-2024-indland-udland-stamps.jpg
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A new postal era in India
Reported at https://postandparcel.info

In early December, India passed a Post Office Bill, which repeals and replaces the colonial-era legislation of Indian Post Office Act (1898). The Bill, according to the government, will ensure the effective functioning of the Postal Department as a messenger service and as a provider of banking facilities.

The Indian Post Office Act (1898) requires Parliament nod for modification of fees charged for all services provided by postal establishments. The Post Office Bill (2023) provides flexibility to the postal department in determining the prices of its services within a highly competitive domestic courier industry and facilitates prompt responsiveness to dynamic market demands.

“This new legislation is a reflection of the way post offices and postmen have been transformed into a service-delivery institution from being merely a mail-delivery mechanism, and the post offices have been practically converted into banks,” a government spokesperson said. “ While 660 post offices were closed earlier, around 5,000 offices were opened between 2014 and 2023, and about 5,746 new ones are in the process of being opened”, he added.

The introduced legislation confers authority upon the central government to empower any officer, to intercept, open, or detain any item in the process of transmission by the Post Office. This action is taken in the interest of safeguarding the security of the State, fostering amicable relations with foreign states, maintaining public order, responding to emergencies, or ensuring public safety.

The Opposition and a number of community groups have expressed concern about Government overreach and that such free hand to officers will harm the right to privacy.

“The right of privacy is a fundamental right. I understand that security is important and you are doing it for the safety of the people but in the name of security….in which direction are we going?” an Opposition spokesperson asked.
India.jpg
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UAE outsources
Reported at www.zawya.com

Emirates Post in collaboration with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), has announced the launch of the 52nd National Day stamps designed using generative artificial intelligence.

The stamps were designed in close collaboration with MBZUAI’s Department of Computer Vision. Each stamp integrates AI technologies and serves as a digital canvas, featuring the UAE's iconic landmarks like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Burj Khalifa, and symbols that represent the nation's dedication to sustainability.

Emirates Post CEO, said, “It is a delight to present this unique commemorative stamp issuance, which depicts the narrative of our nation’s soul and aspirations through AI-technology.
UAE.JPG
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USA photo finishes
Reported at https://fox40.com

A rare image and piece of Californian history will be on sale next year at an affordable price, according to the United States Postal Service.

As part of a 16-piece stamp set of Ansel Adams images, one of his images of the Rocklin countryside will be included.

His image of a towering oak tree silhouetted by the setting sun taken as part of his Sunset City Project will be featured amongst some of Adams’ most iconic images.

This image of rural Placer County in the early 1960s is part of a 22-photo collection of the area now in the archives of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

According to USPS, this stamp set features some of Adams’ most iconic landscape images taken using his “straight photography” style that is defined by its precision and directness.

Some of the other images included in the stamp pack include Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and Adams’ highest-valued photo of The Grand Tetons and the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park.

The stamps were designed by USPS Art Director Derry Noyes.
Adams1.jpg
Adams2.jpg
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Canada courts celebrity
Reported at https://armchairmayor.ca

Donald Sutherland, star of screen and stage, a Companion of the Order of Canada, recipient of an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe winner … had his own Canada Post Stamp released recently … and he’s tickled pink about it.

“It’s the biggest thing to me,” he said from his home in Quebec. “I kept saying: ‘I’m a Canadian and now I’m a Canadian stamp.’ God damn. This is really something. In 2010 I was honoured to carry the Olympic Flag into the Opening Ceremonies and I thought that was neat … but this … wow.”

Born in New Brunswick and moved to Nova Scotia as a teen, before moving on to the University of Toronto, Sutherland later left for England, where he pursued his passion for acting. His wife of over 50 years; Francine Racette, is Quebecois and also an actor.

“The only thing that connected you, at that time in the late ’40s, early ’50s, was a letter in the post,” he said. “They became … the thread in the fabric that bound my family … and many families together. It was incredibly important. Back then a long-distance telephone call just cost too much money.”

The stamp features a formal profile of Sutherland and includes titles of some of his film projects.

Canada Post said the stamp is meant to commemorate Sutherland’s storied career as one of Canada’s … and Hollywood’s … most respected and versatile actors, which has seen him appear in more than 200 films and TV programs.

Now, he hopes people make use of the stamp.

“Buy my stamp. Buy a lot of my stamps and send letters. Send them to people. Just little postcards: ‘Hi, how are you? Donald asked me to send a stamp.”
don.jpg
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Germany goes underground
Reported at https://shop.deutschepost.de

The eighth stamp in Germany’s Subway Stations series features the impressive Westfriedhof station in Munich. The series began in April 2020.

What distinguishes Westfriedhof is its oversized lights adorned with aluminium domes that open at the bottom.

Because of its lighting design, Westfriedhof is often used by advertising agencies and the special atmosphere has also been used as a record cover. The light comes from eleven lamps, each 3.80 metres in diameter, which have luminaires in blue, red and yellow. At the western end sunlight falls in. This divides the platform into different colours. Together with the rough walls, the station is reminiscent of a cave.

The new €1.60 stamp captures the essence of Westfriedhof station. The stamp was designed by Jennifer Dengler and Bettina Walter using a photograph by Florian Schutz.
Germany.JPG
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New Zealand goes electric
Reported at https://eandt.theiet.org

Air New Zealand has purchased an electric aircraft that will carry out postal deliveries across the country from 2026.

Electric aircraft face several challenges that make their development more complex compared to traditional fossil fuel-powered aircraft, including the comparatively low energy density of batteries, which limits their potential range.

The plane, the ALIA, has flown over 480km in one flight in testing. For Air New Zealand’s initial flights, it is looking at routes of only around 150km in length. Given the shorter length of the flights, it will likely fly the ALIA at a lower altitude of 1500-3000 metres.

The aircraft weighs three tonnes, is just over 12 metres long and will fly at a speed of up to 270km an hour. A full charge of the battery is anticipated to take 40-60 minutes.

It will initially operate the aircraft as a cargo-only service in partnership with NZ Post.
New Zealand.JPG
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Saudi Arabia truncates
Reported at www.arabnews.com

A custom short address system will be rolled out to residents of newly developed Saudi communities after a deal was struck with Saudi Postal Corp.

The developer, ROSHN, is building at an unprecedented scale across Saudi Arabia with a current land bank of over 200 million sq. meters. By 2030, ROSHN will develop over 400,000 homes, as well as 1,000 kindergartens and schools, and over 700 mosques.

A ROSHN spokesperson said that signing the agreement with the corporation allowing it to adopt customized national location indicators, ensures seamless integration into Saudi Post’s systems and enhancing logistics within the new communities.

Moving away from the long, traditional form of labelling letters and packagers, the Saudi Post’s Short National Address uses a four-character code and four digits for enhanced accuracy.

A Saudi Post spokesperson said “The National Address service acts as individuals' spatial identity, aligning with global best practices.”

“It endeavours to equip customers with the ability to effortlessly conduct commercial and governmental transactions from their location. This unified and comprehensive addressing system spans across all regions and cities of the Kingdom.”
Saudi.jpg
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All you need is love (stamps)
Reported at www.dailydot.com

If you’ve ever planned a wedding, then you know it’s harder than it looks. Issues with the wedding dress, snafus with the caterer, and wedding invitation issues are just a few of the obstacles people face when trying to plan their perfect wedding.

Unfortunately for a Chicago bride, she found another hurdle when she mistakenly bought the wrong type of stamps. Samantha (@samsfox) took to TikTok to vent after she mistakenly purchased 100 sheets of standard stamps that turned out to be from the Life Magnified collection.

“ I was stressing out about what kind of stamp I needed to get for my save the dates and I started researching, because I didn’t want to buy the wrong kind of stamp.

Hoping that a USPS employee could steer her in the right direction, she decided to go to a post office to ask. “I just went into USPS, and I said, ‘Here’s the invitation. Can you please tell me what kind of stamp I need?’ She’s like, ‘Sure, you need the standard stamp.'

Happy that the solution was so easy, she went ahead and bought 100 stamps. The future bride took the sheets and left before she realized her mistake.

“I was expecting an American flag or maybe a bald eagle. No,” she explained as the video zoomed in on the Life Magnified stamp collection. “What is this? Barnacle legs? Human hair?

“Apparently they are non-refundable, so I apologize in advance for everybody that gets human hair on their invitation,” she concluded with a smile.

TikTok comments were supportive:
“My post office gave me heart stamps when they found out they were for wedding invitations."

Many also noted that you need to ask for a specific stamp so they won’t hand you something off-putting.
Others shared their own mishaps with their wedding invitations.

“My husband went and got the stamps for our invitations and he chose HOTWHEELS,” a viewer shared.

“During covid I had to use stamps with pics of breakdancers for wedding invitations because there was a shortage,” another added.
Life magnified.jpg
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2023 Xmas stamp beauty competition results

Every year Stampboarders vote on their favourite Xmas stamps from a selection from over 40 countries.
This year the top three were:

The Netherlands
Canada
Norway

Enjoy!
xmas 2023.JPG
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Re: Welcome to 2024! Stamps in the News January 2024

Post by FairyFoot »

Great read as always.

I'd love a Donald Sutherland stamp on mail to me!

I'm also looking forward to Ansel Adams too on letters.

I like the Life Magnified stamps. Good thing perhaps the wedding invitations weren't from the UK a few years back - could have had Mr Grumpy stamps applied! Or the Dad's Army stamp - "You stupid boy!" Or, later this year, Spiders!
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Re: Welcome to 2024! Stamps in the News January 2024

Post by anilkhemlani »

thanks Margo, always lovely to read about new in stamps.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! Stamps in the News January 2024

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Thanks for the first roundup of the year, Margo! Depressing seeing the full details of PostNord Denmark's travails, though. :(
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Re: Welcome to 2024! Stamps in the News January 2024

Post by bathurst stamper »

Thanks Margo.

The Norway Christmas stamp is just lovely :)
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by Leonsw »

Thanks Margo. Great stories. That Ansel Adams sheet looks amazing.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by MargoZ »

Thanks everyone - totally agree about the Ansel Adams.
Good to see that some beautiful relevant stamps are still being produced - not sure about the AI ones though ;)
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by britjag »

Another good read, Margo. Thank you.

One addition: Sutherland was so thrilled at being on a stamp he wants YOU to send him one.
If they could send me a postcard with my Canadian stamp on it to:

Donald Sutherland

General Delivery

Georgeville, QC J0B 1T0

I would be delighted. Thank you, xo Donald
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by descartes46 »

Thank you for the informative philatelic news. Wow! I thought I was an over-spender with my stamp purchases, but SG took it to a whole new level! :shock: I was at one time thinking about buying a small slice of the 1c Magenta through the SG scheme, just for the novelty of it.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by norvic »

MargoZ wrote: 07 Jan 2024 08:14 Thanks everyone - totally agree about the Ansel Adams.
Good to see that some beautiful relevant stamps are still being produced - not sure about the AI ones though ;)
I like the photo enlargement, but the photographer took photographs to be seen at a certain size - and that size was not the size of a stamp. I don't think they work so well.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by Brummie »

Love reading your 'Stamps in the News" Margo.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by MargoZ »

Ha ha Britjag - I feel it might be too forward of me to contact Donald :lol:
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by PatF »

Good morning and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for such a comprehensive introduction to 2024 Stamps. It was lovely to see the shop window of Stanley Gibbons!

This is Pat from Pretoria, South Africa. My husband and I started looking into stamp collecting a few years back. I am thrilled to have discovered Stamp Boards. I have read a few very comprehensive discussions, went down a few golden rabbit holes where everyone was so friendly, not to say highly knowledgeable.

Best wishes to everyone.
Looking forward to a year of learning more about stamps.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by MargoZ »

Welcome PatF

Glad you have joined up and are enjoying Stampboards - plenty to keep you and your husband busy here!

Happy reading and posting 8-)
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by PatF »

MargoZ wrote: 10 Jan 2024 17:41 Welcome PatF

Glad you have joined up and are enjoying Stampboards - plenty to keep you and your husband busy here!

Happy reading and posting 8-)
Thank you so very much, Margo!
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by Catweazle »

That light looking little plane for the new New Zealand Post travels doesn't look like it'll fit much mail – or parcels for that matter.

And 1500 metres in altitude is pretty low by New Zealand standards. Whakapapa Village must be about that? BUMP! :lol:

I guess it's a starting point for now that might lead to something a little more exciting in the future. But if I were an NZ Post bikkie, I'd definitely be putting my hands up for pilot training. :mrgreen: What fun – just watch out for the bumps!
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by lesbootman »

Thanks for an interesting mix of news MargoZ.

Alarming that Denmark is pretty much losing postal services. Having witnessed the dramatic downturn in regular mail volumes here in the UK, it is perhaps unsurprising.

It will be interesting to see how the change pans out.
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by shunyadragon »

As reflected in changes in Denmark there are likely radical changes in different countries worldwide. The US Postal Service is loosing money big time and rates are going up to I believe 68 cents. I would like to get more information on changes in the postal service in the major countries of the world and how and what kind of stamps will be issued in the future, like the USA.

go with the flow the river knows . . .

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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by MargoZ »

Thanks for your comments, Ben, Lesbootman and shunyadragon.

There are a lot of news stories over the past few years about how various postal services are adapting- I try to include some from time to time.

In Africa and some parts of Asia there seems to be an emphasis on developing online services, particularly banking.

Other countries are just degrading their mail services and downsizing eg Switzerland is reducing their workforce by 110 positions while offering new crypto trading and custody services in 2024
https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/ ... -jobs.html

Then there is Iceland which decided that issuing stamps was not cost effective and announced its last issue on 27. October 2020. After a hiatus of 3 year it issued an new set mid-2023:

Auroral crown and lava flow on new postage stamps from Iceland

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Icelandic stamp, Pósturinn is issuing four new stamps this year. The first Icelandic stamps, known as shilling stamps, were released in 1873.
The release date is today, August 23, 2023. For the occasion, Pósturinn has created a minisheet with four self-adhesive stamps that are each worth 50g and 100g and may be used for correspondence both inside and outside of Europe. The sheet is now available for purchase for 1950 ISK.


Will there be more? Watch this space ;)
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by polisciguy2011 »

What I find so strange about the Icelandic issue is that unless you look really closely, you'd never know that it was commemorating something philatelic!
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by shunyadragon »

Do you have a picture of the Icelandic stamp?
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

Post by Catweazle »

shunyadragon wrote: 20 Jan 2024 01:10 Do you have a picture of the Icelandic stamp?
Do you mean this one? I thought it was about nice landscapes. What's it got to do with the 150th anniversary, other than the text on the design? Am I missing something?
Iceland 2023 150th anniversary of postage stamps
Iceland 2023 150th anniversary of postage stamps
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Post by polisciguy2011 »

Catweazle wrote: 20 Jan 2024 07:07
shunyadragon wrote: 20 Jan 2024 01:10 Do you have a picture of the Icelandic stamp?
Do you mean this one? I thought it was about nice landscapes. What's it got to do with the 150th anniversary, other than the text on the design? Am I missing something?
Image
Try here for more discussion: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=87679&start=350
That's literally it. I've never been able to parse how it relates to the first issue Icelandic stamps, other than the images being quintessentially Icelandic.
-- Zach --
Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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Re: Welcome to 2024! ''Stamps in the News'' for January 2024

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'Artistic Licence'. :)
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