How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

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How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

A conversation in another part of the forum got me to wondering: how often do you update your reference library?

Does it vary based on general vs specialized literature? Do you do it piecemeal, or do you save up and update everything all at once in one big purchase?

For me, I tend to update my general reference literature pretty infrequently; things like the Scott Catalogs A-Z (regrettably what US dealers almost to a man insist on using, compared to SG) or my SG Vol 1 tend to go quite a few years between updates, since I'm not a general worldwide collector and haven't focused on the British Commonwealth since I was much younger.

But I tend to update my Yvert et Tellier (for classic France) every other year or so, and I'm vigorous in updating my Michel catalogs for some of my more specialized German collections.

And I'm almost forced to update my Sassone catalogs every couple years because I collect SMOM issues, and they are the only catalogue printer I have found that can be relied upon to cover new issues there.

And since every new thread needs a picture, here's the (IMO) very handsome 2023 edition of the basic Yvert et Tellier catalogue for France:
51tdp5+1ajL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_.jpg
-- Zach --
Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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Re: How often do you update your reference library?

Post by Kainnikanada »

A moot question if you are a specialized collector!

Contingent on how often one's reference publications are updated/revised. We, as collectors, have no control over their decisions. Cost of books/monographs/society subscriptions never trump their inherent value.
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Re: How often do you update your reference library?

Post by bathurst stamper »

Kainnikanada wrote: 15 Jun 2023 09:33 A moot question if you are a specialized collector!
Indeed it is, particularly when you're the one writing the monographs.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by kuikka »

I'm opportunistic. As a world wide collector who also like to collect all the variants should they come by, it is not financially an option for me to keep all my catalogues up to date. Some of my catalogues are literally 100 years old as they may be the only ones I have listing some exotic material (that has been left out from later editions).

My world wide Michel set (19 volumes, some split into two books) is something between 10 and 15 years old and mostly serves me well. Nowadays stamps are used less and new issues requiring new catalogues are not coming by that often. My catalogues for Finland and some larger countries are newer, partially because I ran more often into new stamps from those countries.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Global Admin »

Annual catalogues are now getting very expensive, and I can understand folks only doing that each few years. 8-)

After all Scott and SG and Michel only make minor changes each year. :!:

When a totally new edition appears after 20 years, with many FIVE HUNDRED % increases, well that is the time to think about things!

Loaded these up this week, and have sold several cartons already. :lol: :lol:

Image

Image


*** HOT OFF THE PRESS!! *** Be the first in your city to own one! ACSC Federation Era, Aust. States Catalogue - a massive 352 x large A4 pages, and now all in FULL COLOUR. Far thicker than the huge recent 'KGV' Volume even. This is THE hottest area of collecting here - these are all truly 'AUSTRALIAN' stamps, being issued after Federation in 1901. This new edition updates the debut 2004 section, that was included in the 'Kangaroos 4th edition', and is in the new full colour, large page, A4 format.

I routinely got $150 for that 20-year-old book, as it was the ONLY source of this info. All the listings and prices have been extensively revised, many with massive price increases of up to 400%, and with many new discoveries and finds being listed and priced. Further archival information has been included, and numerous new illustrations and listings have been added. Have pre-sold 23 copies! Adding in 1 or more of the other TEN x ACSC Volumes, generally adds zero, or very little extra mail cost - see all 10 vols listed here - www.tinyurl.com/SetACSC

Numbers printed and sold are included where known, of EACH printing, and perf and watermark change - an invaluable resource. Proofs and essays, and all official CTOs, and all SPECIMENS - Imperforates and part perforates are listed and priced here, as are all known constant plate varieties, sheet sizes are given, watermark inverts etc, monograms and imperfs shades, and ALL official perfins etc. All perforation variants are listed and priced, and ON COVER PRICES are given - a goldmine area for collectors and re-sellers.

ONE medium find, just once in your life, will pay for this book. Totally re-numbered - using the old version is now a disaster! These are HUGE - near 1.5 kilo, (over 3lbs) so a 'parcel' for postage purposes. I mail in special rigid book mailing boxes, not flimsy padded bags that often ding and dent the book in transit etc. And best of all I use superb VFU intelligent and unusual franking, protected when cancelled UNDER PLASTIC - worth far more retail fine used, than you pay in shipping cost! Only about $US120 at $A185 - Stock 385BJ
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by InTheGreatKhansTent »

I'm currently working with a 2008 complete set of Scott's Catalogs and I realize that I really need to update it soon. I usually borrow from the library, but with work sending me on trips at short notice and since I live alone, I have to time my borrowing pretty well when there is downtime at the office.

I think 15 years is a big gap to have but I'm not quite in the position to drop $115 on a set of two or even $99 for one. However, having a old version is a downside since I collect World Wide, often times used, so I can't document the newer ones (post-2008) instantly and have to wait till I get time to borrow the catalogs.

I'm always on the hunt for the newer versions, I got my 2008 at a local library sale for $15 for the complete set, but I can't find any local branch selling them here nor can I find it in our many used bookstores here in my area of Texas.

I think Digital is cheaper, but I don't really like reading on the computer I need a physical copy in my hands so the search continues haha.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Catweazle »

A great question!

Actually this question brings to mind another recent thread around here, which questions your first priority in this hobby: passion or $£€¥ values? In other words, are your catalogues simply used for identifying stamps (year of issue, other stamps in that set, type e.t.c.) or for determining current up-to-date catalogue values and market trends? Do you plan on selling or buying, especially mid to higher end stuff, in which case the value is obviously important and as many folks here say, one stamp find may easily pay for the reference itself!

The answer will also differ from collector to collector, and, for that matter, may well be somewhat different for collectors and philatelists depending on your interests or how far you plan to go in your philatelic research. Facit, for example, has some excellent articles and extensive research included in their Nordic catalogues which receive, I believe, annual updates to include previously unpublished stuff. Recently they published a new catalogue which features all these additional articles published across their usual catalogues.

For me, I update the ACSC Kangaroos each time it's published (hey, when's the next one due?) which is not every year anyway.

My Facit Nordic catalogues are more for identifying stamps but then they are recent purchases so I have no need to update yet from the 2022 versions until I sort out the philatelic mess currently spewed across my desk! :mrgreen:

SG British Commonwealth? I have the 2018 version, which is aging fast - my, how time flies! - so it's probably due for an update.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Catweazle wrote: 09 Jul 2023 01:27 A great question!

Actually this question brings to mind another recent thread around here, which questions your first priority in this hobby: passion or $£€¥ values? In other words, are your catalogues simply used for identifying stamps (year of issue, other stamps in that set, type e.t.c.) or for determining current up-to-date catalogue values and market trends? Do you plan on selling or buying, especially mid to higher end stuff, in which case the value is obviously important and as many folks here say, one stamp find may easily pay for the reference itself!

The answer will also differ from collector to collector, and, for that matter, may well be somewhat different for collectors and philatelists depending on your interests or how far you plan to go in your philatelic research. Facit, for example, has some excellent articles and extensive research included in their Nordic catalogues which receive, I believe, annual updates to include previously unpublished stuff. Recently they published a new catalogue which features all these additional articles published across their usual catalogues.

For me, I update the ACSC Kangaroos each time it's published (hey, when's the next one due?) which is not every year anyway.

My Facit Nordic catalogues are more for identifying stamps but then they are recent purchases so I have no need to update yet from the 2022 versions until I sort out the philatelic mess currently spewed across my desk! :mrgreen:

SG British Commonwealth? I have the 2018 version, which is aging fast - my, how time flies! - so it's probably due for an update.
For me, I normally use my Scott set for identification purposes, but I realized recently that I need to update my insurance valuation, and they want a more current valuation than the 2007 and 2008 mixed volumes I'm using. :lol: They seemed okay with a couple years out of date, but "old enough to have their own driver's permit" is out of the question. For the most part, I don't have a lot of high-end material, except for some of the German material covered in the next paragraph.

Facit is definitely one I update annually, for the reasons you specified, however! Same goes for the Michel catalogues for Germany and the German specialized editions; that is probably the country that (unexpectedly, but that's another story for another thread) became the one I am most keen on having "complete," so the added information on new issues comes in quite handy, along with any research updates on classic material.

This is where most of my "high-end" material lies, largely thanks to some very lucky purchases and my grandfather's collection of prewar Europe, some of which got certs and/or signed (a must for expensive German material if you ever want to think about resale), so the updated catalogs make a huge difference for me.


InTheGreatKhansTent wrote: 08 Jul 2023 17:02
I'm currently working with a 2008 complete set of Scott's Catalogs and I realize that I really need to update it soon. I usually borrow from the library, but with work sending me on trips at short notice and since I live alone, I have to time my borrowing pretty well when there is downtime at the office.

I think 15 years is a big gap to have but I'm not quite in the position to drop $115 on a set of two or even $99 for one. However, having a old version is a downside since I collect World Wide, often times used, so I can't document the newer ones (post-2008) instantly and have to wait till I get time to borrow the catalogs.

I'm always on the hunt for the newer versions, I got my 2008 at a local library sale for $15 for the complete set, but I can't find any local branch selling them here nor can I find it in our many used bookstores here in my area of Texas.

I think Digital is cheaper, but I don't really like reading on the computer I need a physical copy in my hands so the search continues haha.

It took some doing, but I managed to cobble together a 2020 set for ~$40 a volume, used, by checking Amazon, eBay. and AbeBooks with regularity. Still a massive outlay over time if you are a worldwide collector, but it's a significant savings over buying the new ones.

And unfortunately, Scott is no longer anywhere near cheaper in digital format for those of us based in the US ever since they switched to a subscription model. Last I checked, each volume cost about the same in digital as in print, but if you ever stop subscribing, you lose access to it. :evil:
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Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Catweazle »

polisciguy2011 wrote: 09 Jul 2023 14:08 And unfortunately, Scott is no longer anywhere near cheaper in digital format for those of us based in the US ever since they switched to a subscription model. Last I checked, each volume cost about the same in digital as in print, but if you ever stop subscribing, you lose access to it. :evil:
Print screen? :lol:
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Smokietoon36+ »

Hello,

Stanley Gibbons Germany every edition which is about 3/5 years
Michel spezialised every few years or see bargain to get earlier.
Other odd books when see bargain or if can get ebook version to more mobile.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Catweazle wrote: 09 Jul 2023 15:38
polisciguy2011 wrote: 09 Jul 2023 14:08 And unfortunately, Scott is no longer anywhere near cheaper in digital format for those of us based in the US ever since they switched to a subscription model. Last I checked, each volume cost about the same in digital as in print, but if you ever stop subscribing, you lose access to it. :evil:
Print screen? :lol:
Oh now that's too clever by half!

What's next, crypto-catalogues? :lol:
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Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Chris76 »

Hi,

I am not too concerned having the latest issue of a certain catalogue. There is good online sources to see the new issues of stamps and its catalogue number.

I do prefer physical catalogues. Also find it easier to use but maybe that is just my unability to fully adept to the modern age 😂

I have the following catalogues and I updated them if I find a good used one for ‘cheap’.

Michel Deutschland 2021/2022
Michel Luxemburg Spezial 2022/2023
Michel Mittel-Europa 2015
Michel Nord-Europa 2015/2016
Michel Südwest-Europa 2015

Done away a lot of catalogues last year as I try to focus on some areas rather than collecting ‘everything ‘.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by stampmogul »

For a wide-ranging collection, the cost of owning adequate catalogues to cover them all is prohibitive to all but the wealthy.

Just to chose the most serious collection (be it a country, theme or cover) & purchase the best catalogue published.
For secondary country collections there are a few 0n-line catalogues that show every stamp issued in simplified format.

Where you need to check perfs, papers etc, owning a cat a few years old may fulfill your requirements & it is often possible to buy such references at a fraction of the cost of getting a current year book.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by DJCMH »

I have subscriptions to Michel Online and Yvert online so they all get updated as new volumes of their general worldwide catalogues come out. (Yvert also includes the latest Timbers De France volume)

I fortuitously bought the Scott 2021 catalogue digital versions, the last year one could buy a digital copy and keep permanently. The new Scott buy digital at almost full price to hardcopy and only get access for one year is, frankly, monopolistic behavior on Scott's part. The only volume I might buy in future hardcopy is a new Classic Specialized 1840-1940 should Scott decide to pull the plug on access to the 2021 digital in the future.

I updated my Michel Deutschland Special to the 2022 edition when it went on sale.

I do need to update my US specialized, my current copy is 2017. However, the new edition no longer carries the proofs and essays - they are being spun off into a new catalogue.

Gibbons I have copies of all the regional catalogs bar independent Africa. I bought a 2023 1840-1970 Commonwealth to update the important parts of the various regional Commonwealth catalogues I have which are mainly mid-2010s editions.

Among my other national specialized catalogues, only one I will probably update in the next year is my Facit Norden Classic era.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Debotmad »

polisciguy2011 wrote: 15 Jun 2023 07:44 A conversation in another part of the forum got me to wondering: how often do you update your reference library?

Does it vary based on general vs specialized literature? Do you do it piecemeal, or do you save up and update everything all at once in one big purchase?

For me, I tend to update my general reference literature pretty infrequently; things like the Scott Catalogs A-Z (regrettably what US dealers almost to a man insist on using, compared to SG) or my SG Vol 1 tend to go quite a few years between updates, since I'm not a general worldwide collector and haven't focused on the British Commonwealth since I was much younger.

But I tend to update my Yvert et Tellier (for classic France) every other year or so, and I'm vigorous in updating my Michel catalogs for some of my more specialized German collections.

And I'm almost forced to update my Sassone catalogs every couple years because I collect SMOM issues, and they are the only catalogue printer I have found that can be relied upon to cover new issues there.

And since every new thread needs a picture, here's the (IMO) very handsome 2023 edition of the basic Yvert et Tellier catalogue for France:

Image
I recently got some 2020-2023 Scott Catalogs used from Amazon for $15~ a book, which is crazy cheap compared to the new prices! Might be a good place to take a peek - It seems there were a lot of libraries shedding copies.I am not familiar with any other the other brands (yet) but it seemed like a good start!
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by moondog0 »

All My Scott Catalogues are from 2015 to 2017. I really don't need to update them because I can usually find the newer stamps on the Colnect site. Same with stamps not listed in the Scott catalogue (such as SMOM, buying an expensive Sassone catalogue for them makes no sense for me.)

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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

moondog0 wrote: 23 Oct 2023 05:05 All My Scott Catalogues are from 2015 to 2017. I really don't need to update them because I can usually find the newer stamps on the Colnect site. Same with stamps not listed in the Scott catalogue (such as SMOM, buying an expensive Sassone catalogue for them makes no sense for me.)

T :)
I probably should have clarified in my original post that I need the Sassone for multiple collecting interests, not just Sassone. I could never justify the import price if it was just SMOM, personally!
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by moondog0 »

Yes, you are right police man.
A Sassone catalogue will come in handy for all Italy area stamps. I'm sure they go into great detail for specialists.
But seeing how they are the only catalogue with listings for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta stamps, I once contemplated getting one for myself until I realized that they were listed on the Colnect site.

I seem to update my Scott catalogues every 20 years or so. My older catalogues are from 2000, and I have still older ones from the 1980's.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Number-O-Ne »

moondog0 wrote: 23 Oct 2023 23:49 Yes, you are right police man.
A Sassone catalogue will come in handy for all Italy area stamps. I'm sure they go into great detail for specialists.
But seeing how they are the only catalogue with listings for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta stamps, I once contemplated getting one for myself until I realized that they were listed on the Colnect site.

I seem to update my Scott catalogues every 20 years or so. My older catalogues are from 2000, and I have still older ones from the 1980's.
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This year SMOM is part of the Sassone volume 3, which is a lot cheaper to buy than the full set. Naturally, nothing beats free ;)
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by King Tut »

Today :D . Arrived late this afternoon.
2023 SG SOTW catalogue
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by PetCin88 »

Every 3-5 years
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by ejansen2k »

Like many here I am always on the lookout to expand my reference library in specialized areas but I only speak and read English, so am limited to catalogs in the English language. I have a mid-60's set of Minkus and a 90's set of Stanley Gibbons as well as a couple dozen specialized catalogs (Guatemala, China, Japan, etc etc all mid-century 1900's)
I use Scott 2010 to catalogue (mark up) my collection with the intent to use EZ-Stamp as an online resource once I retire and have the time.
I have a 2021 set of Scott to use when value items that I intend to sell.

I would like to go to on-line version of Scott in 3-5 years.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by DJCMH »

ejansen2k wrote: 30 Oct 2023 08:58 I would like to go to on-line version of Scott in 3-5 years.
Be aware that starting with the 2022 editions, Scott digital versions only give you specific access to the volume you buy for so long as that years edition remains the current edition. Once a new edition of that volume is released, you have to repurchase the new year's edition to continue to have access to that volume. For a complete set you have to pay US$549.99 PER YEAR

In comparison, the comparable offerings by Michel are € 237.60-297.60 (michel offers two levels witu nore bells and whistles in the latter) while Yvert the last I looked was under € 200/year.

Frankly what Scott offers is way overpriced for the use by most collectors, who generally do not buy new sets of catalogues every year.

I just thank my lucky stars I got my digital set with the 2021 edition, which for now is still accessible to those who bought that years edition. Frankly at this point if they end access to the 2021s at some point, I will likely forego buying new editions of the full set except for the classic specialized, which I feel is worth updating every few years because of the constant adding of new specialized content. I have subscription to Scott stamp monthly so new issued are covered. For the rest I'll look one for used editions a few years old.
Last edited by DJCMH on 06 Nov 2023 19:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by DJCMH »

stampmogul wrote: 04 Oct 2023 19:58 For a wide-ranging collection, the cost of owning adequate catalogues to cover them all is prohibitive to all but the wealthy.
Sorry but as a worldwide collector with a penchant for collecting varieties I will disagree with this statement.

I am not among the very wealthy ( by income definitions for the USA I am in the lower end of middle-class). However I have spent a good deal on acquiring hard copy and digital versions to build a specialized catalogue library that now covers most of the world with national specialized catalogues and take up almost four three-bay bookshelves each a meter wide. Just glance in my more recent posts in the My Stamps Catalogue Library thread in this forum to see my holdings (which probably need updating)

Why? Because as Glen rightly says KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. All it takes is finding a few variants listed in a national specialized calatogue not listed in any of the big four publishers global catalogues laying dormant and unrecognized in a dealer's online listings and you have paid for the original investment cost of the catalogue.

Yes they are an upfront investment that cuts into the money one may have for buying stamps at the time of purchase, but the ability to recoup that cost is almost ensured if used regularly when shopping for new additions to your collection in the years and decades to come.

And anyone collecting just one or two countries, this I would argue is doubly so. Collecting Italy without Sassone, Spain without Edifil, Japan without the JSCA, Australia without Brusden-White and instead only collecting to what one of the big 4 publishers list in their worldwide catalogues only gives you half the story as to what exists. Yes many are not in English, but Google translate is your friend and with consistent used the basic terminology does become familiar enough to make out the basic jist for most languages
Last edited by DJCMH on 06 Nov 2023 19:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

DJCMH wrote: 06 Nov 2023 19:14
ejansen2k wrote: 30 Oct 2023 08:58 I would like to go to on-line version of Scott in 3-5 years.
Be aware that starting with the 2022 editions, Scott digital versions only give you specific access to the volume you buy for so long as that years edition remains the current edition. Once a new edition of that volume is released, you have to repurchase the new year's edition to continue to have access to that volume. For a complete set you have to pay US$549.99 PER YEAR

In comparison, the comparable offerings by Michel are € 237.60-297.60 (michel offers two levels witu nore bells and whistles in the latter) while Yvert the last I looked was under € 200/year.

Frankly what Scott offers is way overpriced for the use by most collectors, who generally do not buy new sets of catalogues every year.

I just thank my lucky stars I got my digital set with the 2021 edition, which for now is still accessible to those who bought that years edition. Frankly at this point if they end access to the 2021s at some point, I will likely forego buying new editions of the full set except for the classic specialized, which I feel is worth updating every few years because of the constant adding of new specialized content. I have subscription to Scott stamp monthly so new issued are covered. For the rest I'll look one for used editions a few years old.
Completely agreed. But until US-based dealers learn to use the specialized catalogues and/or the standard SG/Michel/YT pricing for the countries those are strongest in, we're stuck with Scott. :/

For now, I'll just stick to buying secondhand a few years out of date; their digital program offers me nothing, especially as a non new issue collector.
-- Zach --
Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by Catweazle »

On my 2022 Facit, what's this 'free' gift they advertise?
DSC_2094.JPG
It came wrapped in plastic the day I bought it, a few months after issue from NordFrim, but nothing inside fell out and I've only just noticed it on the front cover there!
Collecting Stamps & Postal History of Molokai | Polar Regions in WWII | Chatham Islands | Lord Howe Island | Greenland et hoc genus omne
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Re: How often do you update your stamp related reference library?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

No idea where mine went, but I seem to recall it was a canceled souvenir sheet of some kind? Really flip through the pages, unlike Yvert, Facit has a habit of sticking things in the middle.
-- Zach --
Collecting Interests: Benelux, Scandinavia, German area, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Italy, Spain, Israel, France/Colonies
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