Thursday, December 22, 2016

Legend in the Making: Legendary Singers of India Stamps

Update (22 Dec 2016): The last word on this story had yet to be said. India Post will release the Legendary Singers of India stamps on 31st December 2016. Sheets of 45 stamps for each singer is being sold on ePostOffice for pre-booking. This does again raise the question about commemorating the same singers with a second stamp (six out of 10). We highly recommend that the list at the end of this post must be considered for issuing stamps on India's well known singers.

Here begins another saga with recalling of Indian postage stamps from all philatelic bureaus (after Guru Granth Sahib stamps in 2005). This current one dates back to July 2015. After a meeting of the Philatelic Advisory Committee of India Post, it was announced that series of stamps would be released on singers, writers, dancers, painters and freedom fighters. The first series of stamps were to be released on legendary singers of India. The Minister along with senior department officials must have decided on a set of names of playback singers of Indian cinema to be commemorated with a set of stamps. The following ten singers were chosen:

Shamshad Begum
Manna Dey
Geeta Dutt
Bhupen Hazarika
Hemant Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Talat Mahmood
Mukesh
Mohammed Rafi
T. M. Soundararajan
BetterPhilately had reported this on 04 April 2016 (http://betterphilately.blogspot.com/2015/10/india-post-stamp-subjects-for-2016.html), while pointing out that stamps had been previously released on 6 out of 10 (highlighted in blue) personalities selected this time around. Within a few days, some other options for famous playback singers was provided on the BetterPhilately twitter feed (https://twitter.com/BetterPhilately/status/719343350193790976). Now it has been reported on Facebook that these stamps along with the miniature sheet of 10 designs have been recalled by India Post. All philatelic centers have been asked to send the stamps back to New Delhi. What led to this adhoc decision?

- Was there a realization in India Post that these stamps do not well represent all regions of India?
- Were these postage stamps released prematurely by some philatelic offices and this recall will help identify the culprits? Returns from whichever post office do not match the quantity originally sent could be easily found.
- Are there some errors in printing or logistical issues behind the release?
Stamps recalled: Legendary Singers of India (Source: Pan India Pictorial Place Cancellations Facebook Page)
We recommend this series of stamps be re-considered and the following singers be instead commemorated on Indian postage stamps:
Shamshad Begum
Manna Dey
G. M. Durrani
Mahendra Kapoor
Talat Mahmood
T. M. Soundararajan
P. B. Sreenivas

Sunday, December 18, 2016

India's XI Definitive Stamp Series - Makers of India

Update 5 on 18 Dec 2016: It's been quite a while since this post was last updated. The key points to note is that most of the stamps, except four of the planned 27 stamps have been issued and available for purchase on ePostOffice or at the local post offices. The stamps that were put on sale in the second and third quarter of 2016 are listed below along with the ones that are yet to be issued. We urge India Post to put the remaining four stamps in circulation as soon as possible, to complete this new definitive series.

Released Q2 2016 onward
Bhimsen Joshi
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Jawaharlal Nehru
Maharana Pratap
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Subhash Chandra Bose

Pending stamps
Gopinath Bordoloi
Mother (Saint) Teresa
Rabindranath Tagore
Thiruvalluvar

Update 4 on 01 Apr 2016: A lot of the definitive stamps in this series are now available across many post offices and even online at ePostOffice. Just posting an update to the grid/list below. Green indicates that the stamp has been sold at at least one post office in India. Although not technically sound, it appears to be an overall good decision to have started a new definitive stamp series. It has a much needed freshness to it. Happy Collecting!
Update 3 on 23 Jan 2016: Sharing an image for 19 of the definitive stamps for this new stamp series. Only a handful of them (8 more) remain to be seen. Some of these might be available soon. Let's go looking for these stamps on mail or in local post offices.

Update 2 on 18  Dec 2015: Here's a major overhaul of the Makers of India Stamp Series. Below is a final version of the stamp series with a total of 27 personalities and one Yoga stamp. The denominations for all the stamps is shown as well. Better Philately is most likely the first source of this information for philatelists. Happy Holidays!

A few points of note: 
1. Gopinath Bordoloi has been included in the stamp series, so have Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Thiruvalluvar. 
2. Karpuri Thakur no longer features on the final list.
3. An additional stamp on Yoga (25 Paise) will also be released along with the personality series. There was even a mention of inland letter cards or airmail letter cards with the Yoga theme as well.
4. There will be no 2 Rupees or 15 Rupees stamps in this definitive series.
5. Removed references to release dates. Neither official dates for first day of issuance are being announced nor first day covers are being provided. So, it doesn't provide a fair opportunity to know the stamp release date for this series.

Update 1: Added Bhagat Singh, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and Ram Manohar Lohia stamp date and denomination. Appears to be an odd move to release a bulk of the new stamps in 5 rupees denomination.

As a response to the less representative Builders of Modern India stamp series, a new one is being put in place. As of early December 2015, seven 5 Rupees stamps have already been released. This new list has not been put out officially, but is a guess based on news information in the last few months. Mainstream media had enjoyed a week long spectacle when the Indira and Rajiv Gandhi stamp sales were halted in July 2015. Government officials presented their case during this time and provided insight into this new stamp series as well. Three of the guesses have so far been accurate based on this list. Additional updated for first known sale date will be added as it becomes available. There will be no first day covers (FDC) or an official release date for this series of stamps, so one has to be content with approximate release dates based on first availability of the stamps in post offices.

The number of personalities, presumably to be honored with the new stamp series is more than twice the previous definitive stamp series, but appears to cover a wider range of historical figures, political, social and spiritual leaders. Although more representative it is still missing a sports personality, a representative of North-East India and and an industrialist. If given a choice, the following should be included as well:

Dhirubhai Ambani, Aurobindo, G. D. Birla, Gopinath Bordoloi, Dhyan Chand, Satish Dhawan, Tenzing Norgay, Dadasaheb Phalke, Munshi Premchand and Vikram Sarabhai.

Although, not ideal, the best way to enable a larger series of stamps could be by printing limited quantities for each personality. This would prevent from a glut of the definitive stamps in post offices and could end up adversely impacting sale of commemorative stamps as well. Many post offices tend to sell overstock commemorative stamps along with the definitive stamps to remove dead stock and also provide variety to customers. Anyways, given that the new stamp series was initiated so soon after the public discussion, a blog post for initial thoughts and a way to track progress of the Makers of India stamp series seemed appropriate.

Makers of India – Eleventh Definitive Stamp Series (2015 onward)
Issue Description
Contribution to Making India
Denomination
Mahatma Gandhi
Indian Independence
25 Paise
Subramania Bharathi
Writer & Poet
Indian Independence
50 Paise
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Indian Independence – Home Rule League
Re 1
Bhimsen Joshi
Arts & Culture (Singer)
Rs 3
Bismillah Khan
Arts & Culture (Shehnai Player)
Rs 3
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Arts & Culture (Singer)
Rs 3
Ravi Shankar
Arts & Culture (Sitar Player)
Rs 3
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Mathematics
Rs 4
Bhagat Singh
Indian Independence – Socialist Republican Association
Rs 5
Deendayal Upadhyaya
Integral Humanism
Led Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Rs 5
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Indian Constitution
Modern Buddhist Movement
Rs 5
Gopinath Bordoloi
Indian Independence
Assam Chief Minister
Rs 5
Jayaprakash Narayan
Indian Independence
Total Revolution of 1970s
Rs 5
Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian Independence
First Prime Minister
Rs 5
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Indian Independence
Second Prime Minister
Rs 5
Moulana Abul Kalam Azad
Indian Independence
First Education Minister
Rs 5
Rajendra Prasad
Indian Independence
First President of India
Rs 5
Ram Manohar Lohia
Indian Independence
Socialist Leader
Rs 5
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Indian Independence
First Home Minister/Deputy Prime Minister
Integrated 600 Small States
Rs 5
Subhash Chandra Bose
Indian Independence
Pre-Independence National Army
Rs 5
Swami Vivekananda
Indian Philosophy – Vedanta & Yoga
Rs 5
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Indian Independence
Founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Rs 5
Thiruvalluvar
Ancient Tamil Poetry & Philosophy
Rs 5
Chhatrapati Shivaji
Warrior & Ideal Rule of Maratha Empire
Rs 10
Maharana Pratap
Gallantry Warrior & Rule of Mewar Empire
Rs 10
Mother Teresa
Catholic Religious Sister
Missionaries of Charity
Rs 20
Rabindranath Tagore
Indian Independence
Indian Writing & Poetry
India’s National Anthem
Rs 50

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Papua New Guinea - India Joint Stamp Issue

Original Post: India and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are likely to issue a joint stamp issue in the next few weeks. This stamp issue was originally scheduled for release in late September, but has been delayed numerous times. This stamp issue was rescheduled for release on 22nd November, but has likely been postponed again. The new release date is not known yet.

Both the countries will commemorate their relationship on two stamps by depicting the National Birds of Papua New Guinea and India; Peacock and Bird of Paradise, respectively. Artwork for the souvenir sheet from PNG Post Office can be seen below. PNG Post will also release two stamps along with the souvenir sheet. Details from India Post are still awaited.
Papua New Guinea-India: Joint Issue
PNG Post Souvenir Sheet
Update on 24 Nov 2016: Papua New Guinea will also release individual stamps for each bird. Denomination for the peacock stamp appears to be same (K1.45), but the Bird of Paradise stamp will likely be issued in two denominations (K6.60 and K10.00). Higher denomination stamp will be on the souvenir sheet and K6.60 denomination appears to be part of the stamp set.

Update on 14 Dec 2016: This joint issue is likely postponed to 2017 or indefinitely. Papua New Guinea has taken off the stamps from its pending released for 2016 and India Post has obviously not confirmed the issue date so far. Stay tuned for more on this.

Update on 17 Dec 2016: PNG Post has posted an update on its website rescheduling the release date for this joint stamp issue to 03rd April 2017. This happens to be exactly one year after the originally planned released for April 2016. See the links below for these updates.

PNG Post - http://www.postpng.com.pg/collections/view/india-papua-new-guinea-joint-stamps
New article - http://www.thenational.com.pg/india-png-to-release-stamp/

Monday, December 5, 2016

Philatelic Passport at World Stamp Show 2016

Finally! We can now share the completed Passport from the World Stamp Show 2016. A few cancellations from the last two days were pending and thus we were unable to share the details. A blank copy of the passport was picked up from the Linns Stamp News booth on the first day of the show, stamps and cancellations applied over the course of next four days at various country, organization and stamp dealers booths. Even though the overall number of countries participating at the show was huge, many of them were represented by Herrick Stamp Company, IGPC and Stamperija. Countries that were represented by their respective postal administrations are in bold below. In another update to this post, countries represented by large stamp dealers will be identified as well. In total, our passport contains 108 different stamps/cancellations! Here's a list of the cancellations that were obtained during the stamp show, which we attended from 28th to 31st May. Leave a message if you'd like to see any specific cancellations and we can post them here.

United States
First Day of Issue Cancellations
World Stamp Show-NY2016
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
The Service Cross Medals
World Stamp Show - NY2016 - Official Passport
Pluto Explored!
View of Our Planets
Classics Forever
National Parks
Colourful Celebrations

Stamp Show Special Cancellations
The World of Stamps Day
Learning Never Ends Day
Armed Forces Day
Science Meets Stamps Day
U. S. Stamp Day
Beautiful Americas Day
United Nations Day
Children of the World Day
Topical Collecting Day

Other Sovereign Nations
Territories





Other Cancellations
American Topical Association

Linn's Stamp News Scott Catalogues

United Nations





Our Favorite Cancellations
Armenia - Austria - Germany - India - United States

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

United States 2016 Stamp Program

Update (05 Oct 2016): This should be the final update for this year. Details for all known stamp subjects have become available. USPS made minor adjustments were made for release date and locations for the last few stamp releases, which is reflected in the table below. Hopefully all readers and collectors have ordered enough stock for posting holiday mail and keepsakes for gifts. At this point, no new issues are expected for 2016, so a favorite stamp poll will be the next item to be posted on the blog. Be on the lookout. Here's wishing Happy Holidays and Happy Collecting.
Update (15 Sep 2016): Here's another update, likely the second to last for 2016. Information for all stamp issues other than print run and printer for two subjects is available. Recent additions to the release calendar for 2016 are also included here. Click on the images below to enlarge.
Update (06 Aug 2016): There have been some last minute additions to the stamp program, which are scheduled for released over next two months. Release date for Apples 1 cent stamp is now known. Stamps on Patriotic Spiral (Booklet of 10 and Coil of 10k), Holiday Window Views (Booklet of 20) and Wonder Woman (Pane of 20) have been added to the 2016 program. Patriotic Spiral will be released on 19 Aug and the other two at the ASDA show in October. The next update to the release program will be provided in late-September when details for the remaining issues will become available. Until then, enjoy collecting.
Update (16 Jul 2016): A new stamp issue, Songbirds in Snow with 4 designs (booklet of 20) is now scheduled to be released at the APS Stamp Show in Portland on 04th August. Star Trek stamps (4 designs) will be released on 02 Sep in New York City. Highlighted issues have a print run of less than 20 million stamps and it is recommended to purchase these stamps before they are sold out. Click on the images below to enlarge.
Update (11 June 2016): Stamp release dates for all of July are also available now. See below for the dates from Jan to July 2016. Release dates for only a handful of stamps are to be decided.
Updating (07 May 2016) the stamp program for most of the issues for May 2016 as well. Will be attending the World Stamp Show in New York City from 28 May onward. Will provide another update in early June. Enjoy until then!
Highlighted issues have a print run of less than 20 million stamps.

Here is the stamp issue program from January to March 2016. This will be updated as additional details are available from USPS.

Keep checking here for additional updates:
http://betterphilately.blogspot.com/2015/12/stamp-issues-for-2016.html

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stamp Issue Updates for 2016

Update (02 Oct 2016): This could be the last update for the year. A few minor adjustments were made to the stamp release dates. Another change for the Christmas (15th. c. Florentine) from 11 to 18 Oct, but the city of release remained unchanged (Washington DC). The Hanukkah stamp will now be released on 01 Nov in Boca Raton, FL and the Christmas (Nativity) stamp on 03 Nov in Washington, DC. At this point, it is believed the entire stamp program is known for the year. See the release dates for all the stamp below. Surprisingly, little to no postal stationery was released over the entire year. Signs of times to come? The other blog post with details on the stamp printing and designers will be updated soon.


Update (05 Sep 2016): Another stamp issue has been added for release this year. It's a greeting card-rate stamp in the butterfly series (sixth in the series). A 68c stamp non-machinable rate stamp on Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly will be released in 2016. Although a special rate stamp, it will remain valid 'forever' for it's intended use. No release date or place of issue has been announced yet.

Update (28 Aug 2016): CSAC and United States Postal Service have heard all your voice. A new postage stamp will be issued on 05 October to celebrate Diwali, a Hindu festival. Petitions for this stamp subject have been made for over 10 years and a decision was eagerly awaited by the Indian American community. It's a highlight for this blog because of it's focus on India Post and USPS, and because Diwali brings both the countries and it's culture together. The stamp featuring a traditional lamp called 'diya' was designed by Greg Breeding using a photograph by Sally Anderson-Bruce. William Gicker was the art director for this project. The stamp will be released  at the Indian Consulate in New York. Diwali will be celebrated on 29-30 October this year. In other news, dates for a few stamp issues have been adjusted and release locations updated as well. These updates and the high level stamp program is below. Happy Diwali and Happy Collecting!

01 Oct - Kwanzaa at Charleston, SC (Previously, 07 Oct at New York, NY)
05 Oct - Diwali at New York, NY (Previously unannounced)
11 Oct - Christmas (15th c. Florentine) at Washington, DC (Previously 07 Oct at New York, NY)
Update (06 Aug 2016): This post had not been updated in the last few months, mainly because USPS did a good job disseminating information to philatelists and there were other posts on this blog that contained new on recent stamp issues, especially the ones released during the World Stamp Show in New York. At this point, dates for all known stamps for 2016 have been announced. The last one to be announced was for the 1 cent Apples definitive stamp (12 Aug 2016 release date). Following stamp issues were added beyond the ones made known earlier. The updated stamp program is posted below as well. As mentioned earlier, the detailed version of the stamp program will be posted in another blog.

04 Aug - Songbirds in Snow (4 designs)
19 Aug - Patriotic Spiral (1 design)
06 Oct - Holiday Window Views (4 designs)
07 Oct - Wonder Woman (4 designs) - Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age & Modern Age












Here's the stamp issue program, in an easy to read set of two images (03 Apr 2016).
Moving the detailed schedule to a new post (04 Mar 2016).

Update (27 Feb 2016): Added dates for Indiana Statehood, Holiday stamps (4 issues), Jaime Escalante and Soda Fountain Favorites (to be release in Nashville, TN).
Date
Issue Description
Format
07-Jun
Indiana Statehood
Pane of 20
May
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
Pane of 10
May
NY2016 Souvenir Sheets (2 designs)
2 Panes of 12 each
May
Views of Our Planets (8 designs)
Pane of 16
May
Pluto - Explored (2 designs)
Souvenir Sheet of 4
TBD
Apples (1c)
N/A
07-Oct
Christmas (15th c. Florentine)
Pane of 20
06-Oct
Christmas (Nativity)
Pane of 20
TBD
Eid Greetings
Pane of 20
19-Feb
Grapes (5c)
Coil of 10k
06-Oct
Hanukkah
Pane of 20
TBD
Jack O'Lanterns (4 designs)
Pane of 20
13-Jul
Jaime Escalante
Pane of 20
07-Oct
Kwanzaa
Pane of 20
TBD
Pets (20 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Pickup Trucks (4 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Shirley Temple
Pane of 20
30-Jun
Soda Fountain Favorites (5 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Star Quilts (Presorted First Class, 2 designs)
Coils of 3k/10k
TBD
Star Trek (4 designs)
Pane of 20

Update (13 Feb 2016): Just separating out Q1 2016 from the remaining months. This should help keep a track of the issues until March and then add on as more first day of issue dates are available. Happy Collecting!

Date
Issue Description
Format
March?
Indiana Statehood
Pane of 20
May
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
Pane of 10
May
NY2016 Souvenir Sheets (2 designs)
2 Panes of 12 each
May
Views of Our Planets (8 designs)
Pane of 16
May
Pluto - Explored (2 designs)
Souvenir Sheet of 4
TBD
Apples (1c)
N/A
TBD
Christmas (15th c. Florentine)
Pane of 20
TBD
Christmas (Nativity)
Pane of 20
TBD
Eid Greetings
Pane of 20
19-Feb
Grapes (5c)
N/A
TBD
Hanukkah
Pane of 20
TBD
Jack O'Lanterns (4 designs)
Pane of 20
TBD
Jaime Escalante
Pane of 20
TBD
Kwanzaa
Pane of 20
TBD
Pets (20 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Pickup Trucks (4 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Shirley Temple
Pane of 20
TBD
Soda Fountain Favorites (5 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Star Quilts (Presorted First Class, 2 designs)
Coils of 3k/10k
TBD
Star Trek (4 designs)
Pane of 20

Update (30 Dec 2015 & 23 Jan 2016): USPS appears to have provided a major update to the stamp issues for 2016 a couple days ago over a call with stamp news editors. This information actually enables to move to the tabular format for stamp releases in 2016. Information for print quantity, printer, designers and city of release will be added later. Among the new subjects introduced in this recent update, quite a few (highlighted in red below) were mentioned in the Washington Post's leaked CSAC stamp list. The Grapes and Pears stamps are considered as the '5 & 10 cent low denomination designs'; Views of Our Planets could be the 'Solar System' from the CSAC list.


Date
Issue Description
Format
12-Jan
Quilled Paper Heart
Pane of 20
17-Jan
Columbia River Gorge ($22.95)
Pane of 10
17-Jan
La Cueva Del Indio ($6.45)
Pane of 10
29-Jan
Botanical Art (10 designs)
Booklets of 10 & 20
       22-Feb
The Moon (Global Forever)
Pane of 10
               29-Jan
United States Flag
Booklets of 10, 20 & Coil of 100 (SSP)
               29-Jan
United States Flag
Booklet of 10 & Coil of 100 (APU)
2-Feb
Richard Allen
Pane of 20
5-Feb
Celebrating Lunar New Year
Pane of 12
29-Mar
Sarah Vaughan
Pane of 16
March
Indiana Statehood
Pane of 20
May
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
Pane of 10
May
NY2016 Souvenir Sheets (2 designs)
2 Panes of 12 each
May
Views of Our Planets (8 designs)
Pane of 16
May
Pluto - Explored (2 designs)
Souvenir Sheet of 4
TBD
Apples (1c)
N/A
TBD
Christmas (15th c. Florentine)
Pane of 20
TBD
Christmas (Nativity)
Pane of 20
TBD
Eid Greetings
Pane of 20
TBD
Grapes (5c)
N/A
TBD
Hanukkah
Pane of 20
TBD
Jack O'Lanterns (4 designs)
Pane of 20
TBD
Jaime Escalante
Pane of 20
TBD
Kwanzaa
Pane of 20
               17-Jan
Pears (10c)
Coil of 10k
TBD
Pets (20 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Pickup Trucks (4 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Shirley Temple
Pane of 20
TBD
Soda Fountain Favorites (5 designs)
Booklet of 20
TBD
Star Quilts (Presorted First Class, 2 designs)
Coils of 3k/10k
TBD
Star Trek (4 designs)
Pane of 20

Original Post
The new year will soon be here. USPS has already announced several stamp issues. This list includes some stamp subjects from the Washington Post leaked stamp list.

Adding stamp release dates below as they are announced or confirmed.

United States Stamp Issues in 2016:
January 12 - Quilled Paper Heart
January 29 - Botanical Art (Booklet of 20)
February 02 - Richard Allen
February 05 - Year of the Monkey
March 29 - Sarah Vaughan


May - NY2016 Souvenir Sheet
May - Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
Indiana Statehood
Jaime Escalante
Pets (Booklet of 20)

Other potential subjects for 2016 (CSAC leaked list from The Post):
A Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
Barn Swallow Envelope
Biplane Stamped Card
Columbia River Gorge
Common Buckeye Butterfly
Elizabeth Taylor
Henry James
Mushrooms
NPS
Sesame Street
Skywriting
X-Ray Flowers
Yes,Virginia