🇻🇬 In Blog 879 I reported that the postal service of the British Virgin Islands had issued 2 extraordinarily high face value stamps to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. This was a great shock for collectors particularly as the territory's postal service has long had a very conservative new issue policy and that the stamps were coming from the superb Creative Direction/Pobjoy Stamps stable. There were suspicions that either these items were intended to be used for fiscal purposes or that the values were not what was intended to be applied to them.
It has now been made clear that these stamps were ordered by the British Virgin Islands government for use as Revenue stamps (though it may have been preferable if the inscription "Revenue" had been part of the design). The BVI government has stated that the intent of the high values was to "satisfy our needs, locally, here in the BVI, and not for money making on the international market". I believe
therefore that these stamps were fully justified for use as fiscal stamps but if the main purpose of their issue had been indicated on the stamps themselves then collectors may have been able to judge for themselves as to whether they should buy them to include them in their collection of postage stamps (actually I think that I would still have bought them even if postal usage is secondary to their fiscal role). What does seem clear is that they were issued with a practical purpose in mind rather than as a means of making a quick and large financial gain at the expense of stamp collectors. This is all very reassuring to collectors.
BVI is planning three new issues during 2017 and these are expected to include their normal range of low values as well as some extremely low values (4c, 5c) which are needed to might local service needs. I think we can all heave a sigh of relief that the forces of philatelic good are still considering collectors whilst working in the service of their postal administration clients.
🇨🇾 Cyprus Post issued a set of 4 stamps on the subject of "Wild Flowers of Cyprus" on 16 February 2017. The attractive set was designed by Melani Efstathiadou and lithographed by Veridos Matsoukis SA Greece. Rating:- *****.
The 2017 "Refugee stamp" reprint was also released on 16 February 2017 with the date "2017" printed on it. Rating:- ***.
🇬🇬 The Guernsey Post Lighthouses "Post and Go" stamps which were sold from kiosk GG01 at Spring Stampex 2017 are also being sold in the Envoy House post office in St. Peter Port in Guernsey itself and have the added inscription "Envoy House". They are being dispensed from kiosk GG02:-
🇵🇰 Pakistan Post has issued a pair of stamps to commemorate the holding of the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organistation) Summit in Islamabad. This was the 13th summit meeting of the group and took place on 1 March 2017 which I presume was the date of issue of the stamps. The designs feature the flags of the participating countries - Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Rating:- ***.
🇸🇱 The latest paraphilatelic products to emanate from the notorious Stamperija include a set of 10 sheetlets, each containing 4 different "stamps", and 10 accompanying miniature sheets with the name of Sierra Leone printed on them. They are all broadly on the subject of art - specifically - the American impressionists, the Renaissance, Edgar Degas, Baroque, the Dutch golden age, Russian artists, 40th anniversary of the Pompidou Centre, Cubism, Realism and Impressionism. One of the subsets is depicted below and all the other subsets are similar in format. It is far too tiresome to reproduce illustrations of all 10 subsets. Of course none of these products has any relevance in subject matter to Sierra Leone. The "date of issue" is stated to have been 30 January 2017. Rating:- 0.