Monday, December 04, 2006

Joint issues

I have recently made some research on joint issues. This is a subject that I find fascinating. I have discovered that there are in fact a lot of different types of joint issues and that there is a precise classification that has been put in place by the International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors. I just would like to give here some highlights of my findings.
First of all, what is a joint issue ? A joint issue can be declared when two (or more) independent postal administrations reach an agreement to create new postage stamps with a common interest and issue them within a pre-defined timeframe.
The most common type of Joint issue is called a Twin issue : this is when both countries issue at the same time stamps with the same design (“at the same time” means that the dates of issue must not be separated by more than one week). One example is the much criticized joint issue between France and Great-Britain for the 100th anniversary of the entente cordiale. The design of the stamps is the same, France has issued the stamps on the 7th of April 2004 and Great Britain on the 6th of April.

A Joint issue is called a Siamese issue when both stamps are printed se-tenant. This is the case of the souvenir sheet issued by New Zealand and Jersey for the 80th birthday of the Queen. Each stamp being valid in its own country.

A more uncommon case is the Unique issue. This is the case when only one stamp is issued, bearing the name of both countries. Here are two examples : one between Switzerland and Liechtenstein (issued in 1995) and one between Switzerland and United nations (issued in 2004).

When both stamps have the same design but have not been issued at the same date (i.e. the dates of issue are separated by more than one week), this is called a Concerted issue. One example is this stamp commemorating the 200th anniversary of Ignacio Domeyko issued by Chile on the 11th of April 2002 and issued by Poland on the 3rd of July 2002.

There are other types of joint issues and each type is also divided into sub-type but I just wanted to give you a rough idea.

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