Thursday, December 28, 2006

The joy of topical stamp collecting

There are some great moments of joy when you are a topical stamp collector : this is when you discover, while browsing the “new issues” section of your favorite philatelic newspaper, a new stamp that falls into your topic for collection. Each time it happens to me, I feel thrilled and I start thinking of what will be the easiest/quickest/cheapest way to finally get this stamp :

Buying it directly from the post office that issued it : first I have to check if the concerned post office has a website, and that they do sell stamps on line. But even if both conditions are met, there could be a big obstacle : the shipment cost. Sometimes the cost to get the stamp is much higher that the price of the stamp itself… So I use this solution only if there are a significant amount of stamps in the set, or if there are some very interesting philatelic item (such as FDC, booklet, collector sheet etc) that you can hardly find somewhere else.

Another alternative is to check on Ebay. Usually, very quickly after the stamp has been issued you can already find it on Ebay. But this is not always the cheapest way, far from that…

Another solution (my preferred one, to be honest) is to check my list of philatelic contacts in the world to see if I know someone in this country to propose an exchange. This worked very well at several occasions. This is the advantage of being member of international philatelic associations. This solution is surely the cheapest one but may be not the quickest.

If these solutions did not work, I check the new issues service proposed by some French stamp dealers. Again, not a very cheap solution.

And then, if finally it did not work, I take note of the reference of the stamp in my notebook. I’ll search for it regularly, until I can satisfy my desire!

My last acquisition is this stamp from Slovenia. I found it in one philatelic newspaper (I almost did not see that there was a frog on it the first tile I saw it!) and I could easily get it from a contact in Slovenia.
This stamp was issued the 22nd of September 2006. it belongs to a set of two stamps about Flora. This one pictures floating water moss (Salvinia natans).

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