By Donna Houseman
Monaco, Malta and Liechtenstein lead the way in the number of value changes in the recently published Vo. 4 of the 2017 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, which features more than 13,600 value changes in total.
A full line-by-line review of Malta results in 1,577 value changes. The changes in the classic period reflect increases for high-quality classic issues up to 1935. Stamps of the first issue of 1860-61 (Scott 1-2) show gains. The ½-penny buff increases from $850 unused to $900 and from $400 used to $425. Similarly, the ½d buff on bluish paper jumps from $1,300 unused to $1,400 and from $650 used to $700. Scattered changes from 1935 to the 1950s include a mix of increases and decreases. From 1960 through 2005, value changes show mostly decreases. The 1999 strip of five stamps issued for the 125th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (Scott 970) falls from $9 to $7.50 both mint and used. Values for stamps issued from 2006 to the present are stable or show increases.
The Scott editors gave Monaco a close inspection this year, which results in almost 2,800 value changes. A somewhat weaker euro against the dollar pushed most of these changes in a downward direction. The declines are concentrated among issues from the 1980s through early 2015.
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Scattered increases and decreases are among the 1,415 value changes in Liechtenstein. A softening of the Swiss franc contributes to the decreases among the stamps of this country.
A review of modern issues of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) from mid-2003 through 2012 results in almost 1,200 value changes. Here we see a stronger market that saw values increase from 10 percent to 20 percent. The 2006 Motorcycles horizontal strip of four stamps (Scott 4628) rises from $7 unused to $8.25 and from $3.50 used to $4.25.
A thorough review of Jordan up to the 1960s and back-of-the-book material results in 933 value changes. The changes reflect mostly increases throughout, with very few decreases. The £1 green and black high-denomination stamp (Scott 198) of the 1933 set (Scott 185-198) showing scenes of Jordan jumps from $600 unused to $650 and from $900 used to $950. Most of the value changes in this set are increases. Among the few decreases are the 1968 Protected Game airmail stamps (C49-C50). The 60-fils stamp slides from $11 unused to $9.50 but increases slightly in used condition, from $4.50 to $5.
Three of the four Federated States of Malaya, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, and Perak, received a thorough vetting, resulting in 430 value changes, most of which reflect increases. Some of the increases are significant. Among the Negri Sembilan issues, the 1¢ lilac and green stamp (Scott 5) of the 1895-99 set jumps from $18 unused to $25 and from $8.50 used to $11.50. In Pahang, the 1889 2¢ rose (Scott 5) soars from $9,000 unused to $12,750 and from $2,500 used to $3,250. Similar increases are found Perak. No. 3, the 1881 2¢ brown with the overprint measuring 12 millimeters to 13.5mm, increases from $190 unused to $200. The used value remains at $200. Increases also are found among Penang stamps issued in 1942 under Japanese occupation. Stamps of Straits Settlements were overprinted in red or black during the occupation.
Thirty value changes for Maldive Islands are concentrated among the early issues, up to 1950. The first set of these Indian Ocean islands (Scott 1-6) increases from $317 unused to $368 and from $566.50 used to $609.
A careful review of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania yields 229 value changes. Scattered declines are seen for modern issues, but the early classics show some robust increases. The 1921 50-rupee King George V (Scott 11) is now valued with a revenue cancel at $425.
Approximately 80 value changes, mostly decreases, are recorded in the pre-republic listings for Kosovo. Lower retail prices in the marketplace necessitated these changes. The 2006 €2 International Peace Day stamp (Scott 58) decreases from $15 mint and used to $9.
Nineteen value changes were made in Kuwait. Scott 77, the 1948-49 pair of 3-annas surcharge on a Great Britain 3-penny stamp, one without surcharge, soars from $6,250 unused to $19,000.
Thirty value changes were made to Labuan, all increases. The 1901 6¢ brown red and black postage due jumps from $52.50 unused to $57.50.
The 123 value changes recorded for Mozambique are scattered throughout the listings. Collectors of this country will be pleased to know that all of these value changes are positive.
A new 25 by 16 holes variety for a 1905 Kiauchau definitive, the $1½ black violet, enters the catalog as Scott 31a.
In Kuwait, two new color-omitted errors have been added to the 1964 Sheik Abdullah set as Nos. 230b and 232b. Both are missing the silver country name and denomination inscriptions, and are valued at $1,250. They are believed to be the only documented color-omitted errors for Kuwait.
Three new unwatermarked varieties of the Lesotho 1976 Scenes set have been added as Nos. 205a, 206a and 207a. The values for these stamps in used condition are in italics, which means that the stamps must have contemporaneous postmarks.
In Malaysia, five new errors — two color-omitted and three imperforate pairs — have been added to the listings for the 1965 Birds definitive set. The yellow-omitted 30¢ Fairy Bluebird is Scott 21b, and the scarlet-omitted 50¢ Black-naped Oriole is Scott 22c. Imperforate pairs of the 50¢ Black-naped Oriole, $2 Argus Pheasant, and $10 Banded Pitta are Scott 22b, 25a, and 27a, respectively.