Monday, 8 February 2016

709. Decimal Australia's 50th Anniversary.

  Australia Post issued a single $1 gummed stamp printed in a sheet of 10 on 9 February 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of decimal currency in the country. A $20.95 "prestige booklet" was also released. The issue was designed by Melinda Coombes and lithographed by Egotrade. Rating:- ****.

  Pakistan Post issued a single stamp on 10 February 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the safe operation of Pakistan's first nuclear reactor at Pinstech in Islamabad. The issue was designed by Pinstech and lithographed by Pakistan Security Printing Corporation in Karachi. Rating:- **.

  Pos Malaysia will issue 6 new definitive stamps for Johore on 25 February 2016. The new stamps are in the designs of the current series but with new values. Additionally a RM5 miniature sheet will be issued which combines the designs of the 6 new stamps. Rating:- ****.

  Post scriptum:- the miniature sheet was issued in a perforated state as shown above although pre-issue publicity had depicted the miniature sheet as being imperforate (shown below):-

  The names of 2 Commonwealth territories are afflicted by new products recently announced by their foreign philatelic agent, Stamperija - Sierra Leone and Solomon Islands.
   The items inscribed "Sierra Leone" are stated to have been issued on 27 November 2016 in the format of 10 sheetlets, each containing 4 different "stamps", and 10 " miniature sheets" on the subjects of the World Athletics Championships held in Beijing, George Frederick Handel, Georges Bizet, Vincent Van Gogh, 2015 Chess Championships, 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Mother Theresa, Pope Benedict XVI, African lighthouses and Peter Paul Rubens. Rating:- 0.

  The items with the name of Solomon Islands printed on them are stated to have been "issued" on 30 November and take the form of the usual 10 sheetlets each of 4 different "stamps" and 10 "miniature sheets". The featured subjects are "Merry Christmas", Nobel Prize winners of 2015, the Fight against malaria, 70th anniversary of the United Nations, Salvador Dali, the Apollo space missions, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Diana Princess of Wales (some artistically poor portraits of her), the Pilgrimage to Mecca (according to Wikipedia, only 350 to 1000 Muslims live in Solomon Islands which approximates to 0.4 to 1.2% of the total population of the country so why such an issue should be released is a mystery to us all) and "The Summer Games 2016 Rio" (clearly intended to commemorate this year's Olympic Games but studiously avoiding using that name and any associated logos so as to avoid the financial costs which would be involved in doing so). I illustrate a number of the sets below so that collectors can draw their own conclusions about these products. Rating:- 0.

  For no obvious reason that I can see, apart from financial profit, Jersey Post will issue a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 9 March 2016 on the subject of King George VI (see Post scriptum below) the second part of its strange "Legacy of Queen Victoria" series. The issue was designed by True North and lithographed with additional bronze metallic ink. 
  This issue seems to be no less of a catchpenny set of products than the stuff put out by Stamperija, though of a slightly better quality. Jersey Post has more or less reduced the status of its issues to the same as that of Stamperija. It is depressing to see a once respectable issuer of stamps so reduced. Rating:- *.
  Post scriptum. Ian Billings has kindly pointed out the obvious error that these stamps feature George V rather than George VI. Sometimes no matter how many times you look at something you've written you just never notice the glaring mistake! Thank you Ian.

  While we are waiting for the above products, we can treat ourselves to a "Collectors strip" of Jersey Flag "Post and Go" "Back office" labels (not dispensed in Jersey itself but sold by the philatelic bureau and originating from kiosk B002)  with the additional inscription of "500 Years of Postal History", also in use at the Spring Stampex 2016 philatelic exhibition in London from 17 to 20 February 2016. The cost of these gems is £4.21p plus tax. Rating:- 0.

  If you don't feel satisfied that you have spent enough of your money on Jersey Post products, then you are also invited to buy a complete set of 12 different "My Occasions" sheets, each containing 20 stamps (6 sheets at the Local Letter rate and 6 sheets at the UK Letter rate) which were issued on 10 February 2016. If you want to buy all 12 sheets the cost is an astounding £148.80p (plus tax!).

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