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Another catalog season is upon us as we continue the journey of the 151-year history of the Scott catalogs. The 2020 volumes are the 176th edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Vol. 4A includes listings for countries of the world J through L. Listings for countries of the world beginning with the letter M can be found in Vol. 4B.
Frequent users of the catalogs may notice a new look for the covers. Highlighted are single stamps from a postal entity found in that catalog. The Vol. 4A catalog shows the Japan 2014 80-yen Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossoms stamp (Scott 3645b), one of a set of five.
A thorough review of Kiribati yielded about 60 value changes. Overall, a mix of increases and decreases was seen. One issue that increased in value, from $14 to $16.60 in unused and used condition, is the 1994 Whales set of eight (Scott 623-630).
Approximately 2,000 value changes were made for the stamps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Some increases and decreases in the period of 1946 to 1957 were noted. The 1948 50-chon Worker and Factory stamp (Scott 11) increased from $1,000 to $1250 in used condition, and the 50ch Flag and Map stamp (13) increased from $450 to $800 used. An overprinted 6-won North Korean Flag stamp (Scott 76) increased from $1,500 to $1,750 in unused and used condition. The stamps of 1958 through 1975 showed slight value increases, while the stamps of 1984 through 1998 generally decreased in value.
Slightly more than 2,100 value changes were recorded for Kuwait. Almost without exception, values are up — significantly so in some cases. In the classic period, several of the overprinted 1939 definitives with the elongated “T” (Scott 53a, 54a, 55a and 56b) move up modestly. Fairly typical among more modern postage issues is the 1965 Falcon set of 8 (291-298), which advances from $47.50 to $56.65 in mint condition, and from $8.05 used to $9.25. More robust gains are evident for stamps issued during the past decade. The 2005 Flags and Emblems set of six (1610-1615) climbs from $38 mint and used in 2019 to $50 both ways this year.
Luxembourg’s two 2017 Europa Castles stamps (Scott 1466-1467), which were withdrawn from sale because the country name was inadvertently omitted from each, increased in value from $3.75 to $25 mint and used. The values are given in italics.
According to postal officials in Luxembourg, the mistake “happened during the printing file exchange between the graphic designer and the printer.” They added that the omission “was only noticed when a big part of the stamp issue had already been sold to the public.”
Even though the country name is missing, the design clearly shows “Bpost,” the security printer of Belgium’s post office, and “B. Carter,” the designer of the stamp.
Editorial enhancements for Vol. 4A
A handful of perforation varieties were added to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea listings. Be sure to review the Number Additions, Deletions & Changes list for the specific minor numbers that were added.
Four different emergency surcharges on stamps issued in 2002 also were added to the DPRK listings (Scott 4259A-4259D). These are surcharges of four different issues from the previous decade.
Frequent users of the catalogs may notice a new look for the covers. Highlighted are single stamps from a postal entity found in that catalog. The Vol. 4B catalog shows the Monaco 1955 50-franc USS Nautilus and Jules Verne stamp (Scott 349).
There is quite a bit of market activity for the stamps of Macao, and the more than 1,000 value changes reflect that. Stamps from the years 1930 through 1950 generally saw increases. A set of six 2-pataca stamps featuring characters from the novel Dream of the Red Mansion, by Cao Xuequin (Scott 969-974), increased in value from $3.60 in unused and used condition to $6.50 both ways this year. The souvenir sheet from this set (975a) also increased from $2.25 to $4.25 unused and used. A number of stamps issued after the year 2000 increased in value, and we will continue to monitor this time period closely in future volumes.
Our review of Malawi returned 405 value changes. Increases predominate, with more substantial jumps seen for stamps issued from 2000 through 2012. Values generally hold steady for 1970s and early 1980s issues. Selected topicals showed some gains. The 1975 Birds set of 13 (Scott 233-245) takes wing, moving up from $52.50 mint to $70.65. Also taking a large jump is the 2010 National Animals sheet of five (752), which jumps from $3.75 mint and used last year to $25 both ways in the 2020 catalog.
Approximately 1,700 value changes were made for the stamps of Mexico. Used values for stamps after 1990 to the present were carefully evaluated. For the most part, values increased for commemoratives, but other issues also saw gains. The 2005 Minerals sheet of 25 commemorative stamps (Scott 2474) increased in value from $32.50 to $40 in unused and used condition.
Almost 2,400 value changes were recorded for Mongolia. The most substantial increase was for the 1953 3-tugrik Choibalsan and Sukhe Bator stamp (Scott 114), which moved from $20 to $400 in unused condition.
For Montserrat this year, the editors’ focus was on modern issues, which yielded more than 550 value changes. Most of these were in the modern (1946-2008) postage listings. Modest declines predominated, with scattered increases seen for stamps from 2003-08. Typical was the 2008 Endangered Species sheet of six (Scott 1202), which moved up $1 in mint and used condition: from $11 to $12. In general, the market for modern Montserrat is steady, with dealer stocks reasonably complete into the mid-2000s. Stocks of more recent issues, from 2008 to the present, are more limited.
Editorial enhancements for Vol. 4B
An unused value was added for the first time for the Macao 1913 10-avos dull blue King Carlos stamp overprinted “Republica” (Scott 198A). The new value is $19,500. Previously it was only listed in used condition.
A perforation variety was added for the Mexico 2005 6.50-peso Forests stamp (Scott 2418b), part of the Conservation definitive (regular-issue) series. The new variety has perforations that are gauge 13x14. The main listing is gauge 13x13¼ (2418), and another listed variety is gauge 14x13 (2418a).
Several values were added to the Mongolia 1941 set of stamps handstamped with new denominations. Scott 74C is valued at $900 unused and $120 used, and Scott 74D is valued at $125 unused. These were previously listed with dashes. Most of the stamps from this set still have dashes for values because they trade very infrequently.
And lastly, we encourage you to pay special attention to the Number Additions, Deletions & Changes found on page 891 in this volume. We also suggest reading the catalog introduction, which includes an abundance of useful information.
Best wishes in your stamp collecting pursuits!
Released July 2019.
Includes new stamp listings through the May 2019 Linn's Stamp News Monthly Catalogue Update.
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