Friday, October 29, 2010

Heritage of Pahang Souvenir Cover - 25 Oct 2010 (Part 2)

For Part 2 of this article, shown above are FDCs cancelled on 25 Oct 2010, with Counter Postmark from Kelana Jaya, Puchong Jaya and Jalan Semangat, PJ post office. I called this as souvenir cover due to the date is not FDI. For the last cover, it bear both 24 and 25 Oct cancellations (front and back). I don't know how we named this cover. This is the confusing part for collectors. I did it to record this issuing scenario. 

Worth to mention that Puchong Jaya post office opened on 24 Oct, the FDI cancellation provided on Sunday. Nevertheless, it still sell FDC on Monday to cater for those who cannot make it on actual day, but the cancellation is strictly on 25 Oct with Counter postmark, which I am fully agreed.

The only setback is cancel using counter postmark is very hard to get a perfect clear cancellation. Therefore, if you plan to do it, better have more than one in case the first one is not completely clear or satisfy you. Another thing to mention is the stamps for this issue is unusually large. Overall, it is an interesting journey to make these covers.

Heritage of Pahang First Day Cover - 24 Oct 2010 (Part 1)

Pos Malaysia issued a set of new postage stamp - "Heritage of Pahang" on the 24 Oct 2010. It was fall on Sunday. Hence, only selected post shop will open on Sunday for FDC servicing. That is those located in shopping mall, hypermarket such as Tesco, Giant, etc that open 7 days a week.

For those post office that is closed on Sunday, the stamps only officially sold on Monday and the FDC postmark was backdated. This create an interesting scenario where your FDC rightfully should be cancelled on the actual release date, not the next day. In order to captured this special scenario, collectors that purchased the FDC on Monday, i.e. 25 Oct 10, can mail their FDC to get the 25 Oct cancellation or request to cancel the FDC over the counter with the normal circular postmark (if you don't want to mail it). In addition, have the backdated FDC postmark cancellation. I do not know how you define this type of cover (with 2 dates postmarks), but certainly it create lot of confusion among collectors. It is best Pos Malaysia can avoid such issuing plan in the future. (this happen due to in conjunction with sultan's 80th birthday) .  

Beside having 2 different dates cancellation on the FDC, if you purchased it on the 25 Oct (Monday), you also got the opportunity to create a Souvenir Cover for this issue. That is only service with the normal circulate cancellation on 25 Oct. I will show these 2 type of configurations in my following posting.

The first FDC shown above is the FDI (First Day of Issue) cancellation, with Official Pictorial Postmark from "Kelana Jaya" post office (for non-Malaysian collectors, FYI, only the post office name is change, the pictorial remain the same on the postmark. Other large post offices servicing pictorial cancellation are of course the GPO in each state, KLCC, Kelana, Jaya and few more). 

The 2nd one is the normal circular First Day of Issue postmark from ordinary post office. I serviced this from "Jalan Semangat, PJ" post office. I particularly love these circular FDI cancellation, even it is plain. I believe FDC with these cancellation is much less than the pictorial one. Especially for those small and remote post offices. 

I am not keen on Malaysian royalty stamps (in fact is my least favorite), I brought few of these FDCs for the purpose of recording the above date events.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Post and Go" Birds ATM Stamp - UK

Royal Mail released a well anticipated Birds pictorial ATM stamps on 17 Sep 2010. The FDC is affixed with pre-printed 1st Class stamps. The stamps shown in this cover are the first in the series of "Post and Go", features six birds commonly seen in UK gardens.

I am not the expert in "Variable Value Stamps", so I will not touch on the technicality of the printed labels and also do not have access to the self service machine to experience the purchase. Nevertheless, this FDC added nicely to my birds thematic collections. You can obtain more information from British Philatelic Bulletin, there are details highlight on the design of the stamps, description of each bird and the technical information. There are also plenty of UK's blog articulating this issue.

Some brief history of ATM stamps highlighted on the FDC information card:
Post Office Limited first trialled a new generation of self service postage machine in 2008. New machine manufactured by Wincor Nixdorf were installed in approximately 80 Crown Offices. The initial design used for the self-adhesive stamps, which are overprinted with the postage on demand, featured the profile of the Queen created by Arnold Machin and used on UK definitive stamps.

British Philatelic Bulletin

Bulletin is an important source of information for collectors. Among many bulletin published by the postal authority around the world, British Philatelic Bulletin is regarded as one of the longest history and highest in quality and contents. This bulletin is not Free of Charge, you can subscribe with a reasonable costs, i.e. £1.20 per issue (approximately RM6) on a monthly basis. The above shown is the latest edition, covering coming issue of Christmas stamps and more. Of course the contents are mainly in UK philately, if you are into British stamps, I recommend you to get a copy. World wide airmail subscription is £17.95 per year (approximately RM90). 

You can order it online at Royal Mail Shop. The link below:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

US Postmark

Recently received postally used stamps from USA.  

Self Faded Malaysia ATM (Variable Value) Stamps?

ATM gradually faded, period stored approximately 1 year (from 30 Dec 09).

Newly purchased ATM to show the original condition of the label (21 Oct 10).

I purchased the top two ATM labels when PAM (Postal Automated Machine) was launched end last year in GPO, KL. I am not very sure what is the actual reasons that promote the fading of the label. I stored 2 sets separately in the small packet, one pack together with the "Printed Receipt" generated by the PAM machine (which is a thermal paper similar to fax paper). Another one without the receipt. 

The pack without the receipt that intact with the labels still in good condition, whereas the other was not. I strongly believe it was due to the thermal paper. Not on UV light, humidity, acid on paper or improper storage. The printing of the thermal receipt paper faded badly as the labels.

Some countries used high quality paper for printing "Variable Value" stamps (ATM), which it can withstand longer period without conservation. I am not sure the quality of paper that Pos Malaysia used. Time will proof this and definitely it can't last forever like stamp as the printing mechanism is different. 

I'm tempting to keep the receipt as a proof of purchased, where it clearly described the transaction date, time, branch Id, machine Id, quantity and amount paid. I shouldn't keep it together with the labels. I worry this small receipt will lost. So I packed it together. Bad decision, only realized after 1 year.

For ATM collectors, it is advisable you keep the thermal receipt far far away, if you intend to keep them for future reference. For sample receipt, you can read my article written last year at below:

Anyway, I am not fancy on ATM stamps, I'm not chasing the new machine implemented at which post office, or for the error and varieties. I wasted almost RM30 on my initial purchased. To avoid total lost, I try to use it for normal mailing. But high value like RM1 or RM2 is almost hard to find opportunity to post locally.

On the last part of this posting, I share some of my own observation of the design of these label. In my opinion, I find it not too practical due to the size are too large to be pasted on the small cover. The design shouldn't have "Circular Postmark" image printed onto the label. This make the mailing processing staffs confuse whether to cancel the label or not. I did a study on this, out of 10 covers I posted back to myself, there are 30% of it is not cancelled. If you used together with conventional stamp, the staff only cancelled the stamp but not the ATM label. Further education and awareness are needed within the Pos Malaysia staffs or perhaps change the design to avoid public reuse the label and causing revenue lost.

Lastly, the design look very plain, if pictorial motif is apply, these labels will be more interesting and colorful. My next article will show you the Royal Mail UK recent released on "Post and Go" birds pictorial ATM labels. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Singapore Postmark

Clear postmark cancellation. C 4 mean Counter 4.

Battersea Cats and Dogs Home - UK FDC (Issued 11 Mar 10)

Royal Mail released this stamps on 11 Mar 10. Commemorate the "Battersea Home" for Lost and Starving Dogs and Cats. A charity aims to provide needs for the animals, reunites lost dogs and cats with their owners. All the 10 stamps illustrated the rehomed and rescued dogs and cats by "Battersea Home". They are Boris, Pixie, Casey, Tigger, Herbie, Leonard and etc. The denomination is 1st Local (for domestic mail), printed in a setenant strip of 10 stamps. The stamp is simply adorable and lovely. Is a good addition to your Animal Thematic Collections.

Royal Mail First Day Cover (FDC) is printed with personalized address. There is no delivery charges for FDC send worldwide (save your shipping costs, thus, no need to buy from a dealer). Please note that you can not order FDC after the released date. You can order online at Royal Mail Shop at

The latest issued was on 12 Oct 10, "Winnie the Pooh", another great addition for Cartoon Thematic collector. And the next coming issue is on 2 Nov 10, "Christmas with Wallace and Gromit". 

In the next posting, I will show you how to register to receive Royal Mail periodicals, this is very useful for beginner who want to read more on the stamp issuing subjects, not merely collect the stamps and need not worry on missing any future issues by opening a deposit account and buy direct from Royal Mail UK instead of paying premium to eBay sellers or stamp dealers.