From The Scott Editors — By Donna Houseman
The 2018 edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Scott catalogs. The title pages of this volume and other volumes in the 2018 Scott Standard catalog state that this is the 174th edition of the catalogs (and it is). In September 1868, John Walter Scott published his first stamp catalog. The catalog, titled A Descriptive Catalogue of America and Foreign Postage Stamps, Issued from 1840 to Date, is considered to be the first Scott stamp catalog.
The Scott catalog has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a 24-page bound pamphlet. The Scott Standard catalog lists more than 700,000 stamps from more than 600 stamp-issuing entities. Because the catalog volumes had grown so large that they were literally bursting at the seams, each 2018 Scott Standard catalog has been split into two volumes, A and B.
More than 150 value changes in Cambodia reflect more increases than decreases. The changes are mostly among key issues. The souvenir sheets of one from the 1951-52 issue (Scott 15a, 16a, and 17a) each increase from $50 mint to $55. The 1974 4th Anniversary of the Republic set (321-323) jumps from $30.50 mint in the 2017 Scott Standard catalog to $36.50 in the 2018 edition. The value for the used set increases from $10 to $13.
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Almost 350 value changes were made among the classic issues of China. Value changes for stamps from 1878 through the early 1900s reflect a strong market, with many increases in values, some substantial. The 1897 10-cent-on-12c (Scott 45) soars from $35,000 unused to $50,000, and from $2,750 used to $2,850.
The early issues of the Republic of China (Taiwan) show a general uptick in values in the 2018 Vol. 2A catalog. The $2 Allegory of Election souvenir sheet of 1951 (1041) rises from $550 unused to $575, and from $350 used to $400. Numerous increases are found among the stamps issued under Japanese occupation.
The issues of the People’s Republic of China continue to show strength, but the stamps no longer are setting record prices. Overall values are slipping, except for values of great rarities. Decreases occur among the Cultural Revolution issues.
The very scarce withdrawn 1968 8-fen The Whole Country is Red stamp (Scott 999A) advances from $125,000 mint to $135,000, but falls from $90,000 used to $80,000. The popular 1980 8f Year of the Monkey stamp (1586) sees a slight decrease in value in mint condition, from $1,800 to $1,750. The value is in italics to denote an item that can be difficult to value accurately.
Scarcer stamps of Cilicia show increases. Thirty-nine value changes were made. Many of these changes occur among the inverted overprint and double overprint varieties.
The 1919 2-para red lilac with inverted overprint (2a) moves from $17.50 both unused and used to $20 both ways, and the double overprint variety of this stamp (2b) increases from $27.50 unused and used to $30 both ways.
Among the 147 value changes in Costa Rica, all reflect increases, some more substantial than others. The 1889 5-centimo orange in an imperforate pair (Scott 27a) soars from $250 used to $750. The value is in italics to denote that this is an item that can be difficult to value accurately. The same is true of the horizontal pair, imperforate between (27b), which increases from $150 unused to $350.
A value of $500 has been added for a used example of the 1889 10c red brown in a vertical or horizontal pair, imperforate between (28a).
The 1,000-colon souvenir sheet (672) in the 2015 Coral Reefs of Cahuita National Park set jumps from $3.75 mint and used to $5 both ways. The 500col sheet of two (671) remains at $3.75 both mint and used.
Scattered increases were made throughout Cape Verde.
A sprinkling of increases can be found among the many decreases for Corfu stamps. The 1941 never-hinged set of postal tax stamps (Scott NRA1-NRA3) increases slightly, from $65 to $67.50.
The 60 value changes among the issues of Cuba reflect scattered increases and decreases.
A mix of increases and decreases occur among the more than 90 values changes in Ceylon.
A full line-by-line review of Cook Islands results in more than 1,400 value changes. Many decreases in values reflect a weak New Zealand dollar and a slow market. The increases occur among the classic stamps. The first-issue 1½-penny violet on toned paper (Scott 2) increases slightly, from $47.50 unused to $50, as does the stamp on white paper (6).
A few increases are seen among the New Zealand postal fiscal stamps of 1931-32 overprinted in blue or red. The £1 pink of this set (Scott 83) moves from $105 unused to $125, and from $190 used to $200. Many decreases occur among issues from 1970 onward. The 1974 50¢ souvenir sheet (377) issued for the 10th British Commonwealth Games drops from $2.60 both mint and used to $1.25 both ways.
Various notes and footnotes have been clarified or expanded throughout the catalog to further explain complicated listings, and other notes have been screened carefully to ensure accuracy.
An ongoing Scott project to include listings for complete booklets among the Canada listings continues this year. The 2016 Vol. 2 included the booklets from 1995 to the present. In the 2017 catalog, these booklet listings were expanded to include the 1992-1994 booklets, Nos. 1403b to 1536A. The 2018 Vol. 2A expands the listings even further, adding values for complete booklets from 1900-1935 (77b through 219a).
Detailed notes of explanation also are included. Expect further expansions in future years, first up to Queen Elizabeth II, then filling in up to Scott 1403b, where the modern complete booklet listings start.
A warning has been added to the listings of Canada’s 2006 Flag Over Landscape booklet pane of six (2193b), advising collectors to beware of fake examples that have been found hand cut from printer’s waste.
Epirus received a thorough review in Vol. 2B of the 2018 Scott Standard catalog, with more than 140 value changes showing a mix of increases and decreases. The 1914 5-drachma-on-50-piaster surcharged stamp of 1914 (Scott 4D) goes from $115 unused to $125, and from $120 used to $135.
Mostly increases are found among the value changes for stamps of East Africa and Uganda Protectorates. Many of the changes reflect jumps of 10 percent to 15 percent.
Overall, values for Cyrenaica stamps are down 15 percent to 25 percent.
Among the changes in Far Eastern Republic, the 1920 2-kopeck green (Scott 2) moves from $10 both unused and used to $15 both ways.
Falkland Islands Scott 3, the 1878 6-penny green Queen Victoria stamp, jumps from $110 unused to $125.
A thorough vetting of Faroe Islands results in more than 1,300 value changes. The changes reflect a weaker market, with mostly decreases across the board. Scott 5, the 1940 50-ore-on-5o with black surcharge, drops from $300 to $275 unused.
Increases can be found among the classic stamps of Fiji. The value for the 1874 2-cent-on-1-penny blue (Scott 21) in used condition jumps from $315 to $340. The 2d green (41) from the 1878-90 series moves upward, from $32.50 both unused and used to $40 both ways.
Among the value changes in Funchal, the administrative district in the Madeira island group in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Africa, most of the changes reflect increases in values. The 1893 300-reis King Carlos stamp increases from $75 unused to $80. The used value remains at $55.
The 1897 500r King Carlos stamp (34) rises from $9 unused to $10. The used value remains unchanged, at $2.40.
The strong dollar, against a weak euro and pound, has not been kind to the stamps of Europe. This is particularly noticeable in the value changes for France this year, where a soft market is reflected in numerous decreases among the almost 4,900 value changes. A few increases are sprinkled throughout. The 2006 Marianne stamps (type of 2005) in sheets of 15 show significant gains. Scott 3211 jumps from $50 both mint and used to $70 both ways, while No. 3211N soars from $100 mint to $250.
An imperforate-between pair of Egypt’s 1866 2-piaster yellow is now listed as Scott 4f.
Among the Fernando Po listings, an 1894 10-centavo dark brown King Alfonso XIII stamp has been added as major number 17A. The new listing is valued at $30 unused and at $5 used. Scott 17 is the 10c dark violet King Alfonso XIII stamp issued in 1896.
In Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, footnotes were added or expanded to include formats and values for recent issues of the Czech Republic that were printed in sheets that also include decorative labels. Se-tenant pairs from such sheets that include a single stamp plus a label are popular among collectors and typically sell for a modest premium above the value for a single stamp. Where appropriate, the complete sheets also are valued in a footnote.
In 1995, Fiji issued a set of colorful definitive (regular-issue) stamps depicting birds native to that country. Beginning in 2007, Fiji postal authorities began surcharging stocks of the Birds definitives to meet new postal rates. The surcharges, applied using typography, feature new denominations and various combinations of uppercase and lowercase groupings of the letter “x” over the original denominations.
For the past decade, many surcharge varieties of these popular stamps have been listed in the Scott catalog. For the 2018 edition, there are three new major numbers and seven minor numbers. Various new surcharge error varieties that have come to light during the past year are now described and valued in footnotes.
Among the changes to the Epirus listings, a double impression with one impression inverted of the 1914 2-drachma orange and blue stamp is now listed as Scott 21a and is valued at $1,000 unused. A double impression of the 5d dark green and blue from the same set is now listed as Scott 22a. This variety is valued at $1,000 used.
New images have been added to Reunion, a French department located in the Indian Ocean, improving the listings substantially.