By Donna Houseman
If you are a regular user of the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940, you might have noticed that in the past several editions of the catalog the Scott editors have made a concerted effort to expand the listings of classic stamps by perforation varieties; paper varieties; surcharge and overprint types and colors; and according to a variety of multiples, including blocks of four and strips of three.
When the 2017 Scott Classic Specialized catalog is published in November of this year, collectors will notice that several stamp sets throughout the catalog have been reorganized to allow for more expanded listings.
For example, when you receive your catalog, look at Jordan, a country located in the Middle East between Iraq and Israel, northwest of Saudia Arabia. Jordan was a former Turkish territory that was mandated to Great Britain following World War I.
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Until 1927, Jordan’s stamps consisted of overprinted issues of Palestine and Hejaz, a region of Saudi Arabia.
The basic Palestine stamps used for overprinting were inscribed “EEF” and were perforated gauge 14 or gauge 15 by 14. Until now, the Scott listings inadequately distinguished between the two perforation varieties. The overprints in question include Jordan Scott 1-63.
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The listings for these overprints are now expanded into separate sets of major numbers and minor numbers for stamps that are perf 15 by 14 and those that are perf 14.
Where different overprint types are known, the types are now listed and illustrated.
The Scott editors give much thought and consideration before reorganizing listings in the catalog. The wheels at Scott sometimes grind slowly, because renumbering listings, while ultimately a positive improvement, can frustrate collectors who subsequently find their album pages out of date or at the very least find it necessary to renumber the stamps in their collection.
For this reason, the Scott editors must weigh the usefulness of reorganizing and renumbering sets of stamps with the impact it will have on collectors.
Also taken into consideration is the time it takes to complete such a reorganization. We have a small staff of editors, and reorganizing listings in a thoughtful manner can take many hours.
While the editors may dream of reorganizing in a single season listings similar to the Jordan stamps, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when we begin unraveling the listings.
We renumber and reoganize listings only when it makes sense to do so.
In each volume of the Scott catalogs, we include a Number Additions, Deletions & Changes list. We encourage catalog users to pay close attention to this list when using the catalog.