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June 2018

 




Mossgreen mess worsens.

 

 

The horrible mess at mossgreen Auctions just gets worse and worse - if that were possible.  The Administrators, BDO Australia just released a report outlining their predictions of what creditors will likely receive in the future wash-up. The news is of course terrible.

Many of them will be readers here, who consigned stamps and coins to Auction there in 2017, whose goods were sold, and fully paid for by bidders, and delivered to buyers.  But the clowns running mossgreen did not pay those sums to the vendors - the real owners, but squandered it on rent, and frippery, and bonuses etc.

 

 

Best case NIL - Worst case NIL.

 

 

Those owners included Gary Watson and family who were owed about $100,000 for goods sold in the October 2017 Auction, as confirmed here by an angry Gary a few months back.  MANY other stamp vendors are in this same camp, for $100,000s more, being unsecured creditors of goods sold, and fully paid for.

Such rank and file unsecured creditors are predicted to get paid somewhere between NIL and NIL it seems.  And Jack Gringlas is likely to get between 1c and 2c on the dollar, so his $6 million “secured creditor security” ends up as being worth $60,000 to $120,000, BDO predict.  And it looks like BDO want to cunningly get in line before that pittance even. 

BDO got told by a Federal Court Judge in April they had no legal right, or Court approval, to charge their obscene $1.2 million stocktake and storage and security fees to the creditors, nor charge all vendors and consignors a $A353 “ransom” to get EACH lot back, as BDO had demanded - many in fact had paid it.

BDO cheekily appealed that decision, and later in April, a Tribunal headed by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court dismissed that appeal, hopefully meaning BDO is $ millions out of pocket, for acting like Corporate Thugs.  All the rent, and other costs for 6 months now become their own responsibility.

 



Headaches ahead for mossgreen Directors.

 

Now BDO in their report have been critical of the previous Directors, and described mossgreen as being akin to a Ponzi Scheme, “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”, etc and who essentially “engaged in insider trading” and were apparently trading whilst insolvent.  The summary of their findings is shown nearby from their report. Full detailed report here - tinyurl.com/MossgreenPonzi

 

“Directors breached Corporations Act.”

 

ABC National News reported on May 5 that: “BDO Australia alleged Mr Paul Sumner and former Mossgreen directors Jack Gringlas and Charles Leski breached several sections of the Corporations Act.  But it is only Mr Sumner who they will recommend be pursued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for potential criminal charges.”

All parties naturally claim they are innocent of all accusations, and the food fight and blame game is flying thick and fast from all sides, as can be seen here - tinyurl.com/MossgreenPonzi  As BDO have themselves acted appallingly in the eyes of many, it is a long way from being over.  Many rich lawyers ahead it seems.  Vendors - ZERO.

It all comes down to stamp auctions in this country NOT being required by LAW to have Audited Trust Accounts.  One or all of them could follow the Velvet Auctions and mossgreen path at any time, and vendors have zero legal protection and may also get ZERO for their stamps.  State Governments clearly SHOULD legislate this.

That takes time of course, and indeed it may never occur, and in the meantime, any stamp auction can join the AAVA Association, who checks that Trust Accounts for vendor monies ARE kept locked away for ONLY that purpose, and ARE audited by a professional each year etc. NONE has joined, to my knowledge.  The FIRST to do so will gain a lot of vendors.

 


NO Free Lunches out there.

 

“There is no such thing as a free lunch” is a very wise old expression.  If someone offers you a $100 banknote for only $5 you know it must be a scam correct?  MOST do, but there are vast numbers of very stupid people out there globally, as huge numbers of rich NIGERIANS can testify!

So how about folks offering $1,240 of mint full gum stamps for $36?  And others dumbly dreaming the deal is legitimate in some way.  As the rich Nigeran scammers can testify - there are some incredibly gullible people out there, and there always will be.  And the scammers make a fortune from them.

 



Seem too good to be true to you?

 

Hopefully most readers here will not join them, and with a tiny modicum of common sense you will not. Think you can buy a MUH set of 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridges for $A45 - Registered Post Free?  Wrong.  However, heaps of slick looking websites are now out there offering THOUSANDS of such stamp “bargains”.

It is simply a scam to gather credit card numbers, expiry and real names and addresses, and the phone numbers and email addresses that match them - an INCREDIBLY VALUABLE data set, in the hands of criminals. To get your wonderfully cheap set of MUH Bridges all you have to do is complete their simple online order form shown nearby.

 

Complete this, and the BARGAIN is all yours.

 

Only a total brain dead clueless MORON would imagine for one second they can buy $1,240 face value of MUH Australia stamps for $36, and scarce Kangaroos for 5% of retail, or a MUH Sydney Harbour Bridge set for $A45 etc. All Registered post free of course. 

 

You CANNOT buy at 10% of wholesale!

 

Most savvy adults in life realises "there is NO such thing as a Free Lunch."  If you see stamps offered online from reputable sellers, and the price looks OK, you can buy with some confidence.  See a vast array of stuff from a seller you have never seen before, and is a member of NO stamp trade bodies, at prices 10% of WHOLESALE, it is clearly a scam - for anyone with any brains.

The weird thing is these dopes would NOT order 1oz Gold Krugerrands, or Maple Leafs or Gold Koala coins at $100, as even the REAL DUMMIES can smell those prices are not possible for an ounce of Gold, but they will order $1,240 of mint postage for $36, and lick their chops!  Same thing.

ANYONE dumb enough to order off these spivs truly DESERVES to have their credit card cleaned out - and it will be, certainly within weeks. Their emails will also be sold to other operators of scam deals, as clearly they have ID'd themselves to be as Dumb As Dirt, and when they get a new card eventually, they'll be stupid enough to fall for the next wacko scam that these crooks dream up.

 

Even a single cell Amoeba passes on this!



 

Ordering your stamp “BARGAIN” off these sites is cheerfully handing these criminal gangs your -

Real Name,

Real residential address,

Real email address,

Real telephone number,

Real Credit card, and expiry,

Real Card security number,

Real Date of Birth, etc

tinyurl.com/StampIDscam is the stampboards discussion outlining some of the recent scammers. They do NOT own this material. They offer stamps from EVERY country you can imagine - check out the link above.

They simply steal images and wording off real dealer websites, and offer them at prices so low even a single cell Amoeba can see they are not possible - yet I bet they get 1000s of orders a month!

Ebay is no longer the exclusive home of stamp scams sadly.  MANY readers trawling the web will see these stamp offers via VERY slick looking sites. If the seller is NOT a member of the leading Stamp Dealer Bodies - be highly suspicious.

You can check member names for all the major global stamp dealer bodies quickly and surely online - PTS/ASDA/IFSDA etc, and if your Bargain seller is NOT on there, get VERY concerned. 

 

AFL Cigar card sells $10,110!

 

Strange things often happen with really left-field items, and this one shown nearby was listed recently on ebay for $19.99 start price.  It had ugly handwriting across the back, and to be honest, if I owned it, and if anyone offered me $19.99, they would have been handed it in a heartbeat!  I‘d have taken $10.

The card was included along with packs of Bonanza Australian cigars, and like most tobacco products of this era - indeed up to WW2, were often collected by the exact same folks who chased postage stamps. The GENERAL rule of thumb is that complete sets of these sport cards is the absolute key, and poor condition is a huge minus.

 


 

Poor condition shape - who cared!?

 

The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers records Will Crebbin as being born on 8th March 1869, and playing one game in 1900, and kicking no goals.  He was originally from Ballarat, and retired in 1896 before the VFL was formed, but helped out for one game in 1900 when he was an Umpire, but later continued as a player!

tinyurl.com/CardAFL has the full stampboards discussion, and more info on this early player. Unlike many eBay “Auctions” that are total scams, with the seller’s fake or “shill” bidder accounts pushing the article up to mad price heights, to defraud other real bidders, this one seems to be legitimate. So far as anyone can ever tell on ebay.  The mind boggles at anyone truly paying 5 figures for this!

 

Travel Tales From Tibet.

 

We survived the dreaded altitude sickness during our visit to Tibet in May.  Indeed this entire column is being written from there.  Communication, and researching things is not simple. Facebook, YouTube, google, IMGUR, gmail, ImageShack, leading foreign media and newspaper websites etc, are all totally banned, and 100% blocked here. 

 

Stamp gum no good? - use a gluestick!

 

Our original inward flight was aborted by pilot from landing at Lhasa due to bad weather, and we ended up back in Chengdu China, 5 hours after we boarded!  Total chaos for the next few hours, as seemingly no-one there spoke English.  So we finally arrived a day later than planned, and within an hour of arriving were climbing to top of the massive 1000 step Potala Palace, of the Dalai Lamas. 

Lhasa itself is over 2 MILES above sea level, and at my age and poor physical condition and decrepitude, I’d be totally stuffed doing that back home at sea level, in Sydney!  Most tourists arriving direct from low altitude by plane allow a day or 2 of doing nothing, to slowly acclimatise there.  We had an hour! 

Great place, and ate lots of Yak Meat, Yak dumplings, and Yak butter - it really is very widespread and cheap here. We even bought lots of Yak Milk confectionary for friends - pretty distinctive!  Mailed a few postcards from a PO and the girl there thought I was crazy for asking for neat postmarks.  Many stamps would not stick, so she whipped out a glue stick off her desk, as you can see at left! 

 




Brighten up your letters and cards!

 

The Post Office there has a pretty cool feature of a little table with about 20 different sized handstamps, and 10 red ink pads, that you can use on letters or postcards.  The wording is in Tibetan language, and some are pretty ornate designs and apparently have all kinds of “auspicious” messages on them.  All shown in the photo I took nearby.

 

Tibet “Permit” a hassle.

 

A very interesting country, and as yet not over-run by tourists by any means, indeed there are virtually no top end Hotels.   Getting the special “Tibet Permit” is a hassle, and seemingly everyone in the country wants to sight that, and or Passports, at least once!  The locals are very friendly, and very religious.  Near EVERY house flies the colourful montages of Buddhist prayer flags.

I’ve been lucky to have travelled extensively globally, and been to some super high altitude places - in Ecuador, Nepal, Peru and Bolivia etc, but nothing like this.

One day we walked up a nearby hill much higher than this marker shown here at 4,998 metres, or 16,398’ - way over 3 miles altitude. Higher than the summit of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, being a trifling 4,808 metres!

 


Margo at THREE+ miles above sea level!

 

That extreme 5,000 metre altitude really leaves you totally gasping heavily for breath, even after a 10 metre flat walk!  Lots more photos here for anyone interested -  tinyurl.com/GlenTibet    We both survived the dreaded altitude sickness I got for 3 days, after acting the fool at El Alto airport in La Paz Bolivia once, and that was just a “mere” 4,000+ metres high!

We book a private guide and driver for all these trips, as it gives you the flexibility to get to a lower altitude or different destination fast if needed.  As our time away from the stamp desk is always very limited, we always do that, and we fitted in Chengdu and 4 days in leafy Kunming as well.

There is a quite fabulous Giant Panda facility in Chengdu with over 50 of these amazing animals, looking very content and surprisingly active, in a 100 acre heavily wooded set-up.  Not a city many foreign tourists get to, but well worth a visit for anyone planning a China vacation.  Six fat “teenagers” all playing together only metres away, was something I’ll never forget seeing!

 

“KGV” ACSC now out - in COLOUR.

 

It is often claimed the Australia KGV 1d Red stamp is THE most studied stamp on this planet.  Few would disagree!  This Fifth Edition Brusden White owned ACSC has colour illustrations for the first time!  About 10 years overdue, but “better later than never” as they say.  Really lifts the overall appearance.

 


 

ACSC Edition 5 now issued.

 

Revisions and corrections have been made right throughout the catalogue, with a number of new discoveries and plate varieties added, especially in the ˝d, 3d, and 4d values.  Prices have been fully revised, with the sale of several major collections since the last edition, enabling more accurate pricing of many of the rarer pieces.

This volume does not only cover the popular KGV head issues but all the KGV Commemoratives and Definitives - the Harbour Bridges, Macarthurs, Anzacs, Sturts, and 1/- Large Lyres etc, and both 6d Kookaburra etc. It is near 500 pages thick and THAT is “bang for your buck!”
 

 

Covers all the KGV era COMMEMS too.  

 

 

I have typed this before, but it is true, and bears repeating.  Australia has THE best and most detailed stamp catalogues of any country on earth in my view.  No-one else even comes close.  There are now TEN thick and detailed books covering all issues for the Century, from 1901-2001.  All collectors should support this superb series.

The “Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue” (ACSC) edited by Dr. Geoff Kellow leads the world. Germany, the UK, and the USA produce nothing even remotely close to this set. That would surprise many readers globally I am sure, but it is very true.  Beats them hands down.                                         

 

Money VERY well spent!

 

The “Stanley Gibbons GB Specialised” few volume set is a very sick joke in comparison. They lack any kind of notes whatever as to numbers extant of the errors and varieties found or recorded, or the numbers sold or produced of the basic stamps in most cases.

Much other essential detail and constant varieties are also totally lacking, and that is a terrible shame. Even worse is the Scott “Specialised” USA which is a quite pathetic single volume, that purports to cover all USA and Territory issues from 1847 in specialised form, with all the Postal Stationery and Revenues shoehorned in as well!

Like the SG Great Britain “Specialised”, virtually no detail whatever is given by Scott as to numbers known of key pieces, and known details about them. And even the Michel German “Specialised” is nowhere remotely near as detailed as the ACSC.  And what detailed info there is, all written in technical German.

I once asked fellow Sydney dealer Manfred Junge to translate a footnote in Michel for me.  Manfred was born and raised in Germany until an adult, and obviously speaks fluent German.  Manfred simply did not have a clue what much of it said, as it was using technical language and terminology that he simply could not translate. 

I hope lots of collectors and dealers support this superb ”KGV” undertaking, and secure a copy from their favourite dealer today.  Buy this new edition, as the old one is pretty much ancient history now, with prices and listings, apart from being in dreary old monocolour.

 



Was $1,750, now $2,500 in New Book.

 

As a perfect example, I sold this stamp earlier this month.  KGV 1d Red Rough Paper Die 2, with major “Substituted Cliché” error.  Die 2 1d Reds are very scarce in mint, even with no varieties, and sell for very many $100s in ANY form.  The Die 2 with the “Substituted Cliché” (Large frame break top right frame, worn crown top, and white EGG under Emu) is incredibly scarce Mint.

This one has a clear Michael Drury “KGV Guru” clear 2010 Photo Certificate as genuine, as can be seen in photo nearby.  Fresh mint hinged, and lovely deep glowing colour.  ACSC 72Pbb(2)ja, Cat $2,500.

SG cat 471a, for non OS, Sub Cliché Die 2, rough paper is Ł2,000, and the OS version is so rare, SG do not yet even list it!  Seeing we have at least one now with a clear Certificate, have suggested to SG catalogue Editor it should be added as SG 054eia, also at Ł2,000 mint.

Would you rather be selling a stamp cat $1,750 with Certificate, or the same stamp cat $2,500?  $A750 is not chicken feed to anyone, and if you did NOT own this book you would lose out by a LOT more than the book cost - agree?  As I often type - “Knowledge IS Power”.

 

Sample page on new colour layout.

 

So the value is there even at the $A165 cost - finding just ONE half decent stamp - or a scarcer type CTO issue (which are often up as much as 500% over last edition), watermark variations, printing errors or monogram pieces etc will readily repay that outlay the first time you use it.    

 

 Most stamp dealers have stock.

 

Most leading dealers should have stock of this new catalogue as you read this - they make a skinny % profit margin, so some do not bother, but many do.  Go and track one down - you’ll be glad you did.

This actually is the FIFTH separate Edition of the “KGV” catalogue since ‘Brusden White’ took over ownership of the long standing ACSC name and all editions have improved over the previous ones.

If you have an earlier edition of the “KGV” Catalogue  - just toss it away, or keep it for historical purposes - the often massive price rises, and new information in here makes the old one pretty redundant. This new update will create a boom market for this area, and much of the new info included here has never been available in any catalogue before.

It lists the MANY different “CTO” cancels found on KGV era stamps.  I was mailing out a 3d single wmk KGV CTO a client had on his ''wants'' list - ACSC 104w.  It was very nicely centred, so I'd pencil priced it last week at full ACSC or $20. 

I happened to glance at the new book before I did the invoice, and 104w is in there at $A100 - a 500% increase over last edition.  I adjusted my invoice to read $60, and still feel that is very good value, as these are not common.

 

Some CTO KGV issues up 500%.

 

Do not own this book, and you see an $80 paper loss right there.  A stampboards member researched the new KGV book, and found 140 new varieties added.  He reports prices of existing ones were up 33% to 50% commonly for most used varieties, with much lesser % for mint copies. Lower value items, e.g. ACSC 80, 81 & 82 have 100% increase off a low base.  More detailed info here - tinyurl.com/KGVprices

 

Kudos to the ACSC Editor.

 

Dr. Geoff Kellow is an editor without par for this series of catalogues.  Meticulous and scholarly original research is evident in all volumes. The resultant TEN volume ACSC set is something all parties involved should be enormously proud of.  NO other country can boast such a complete set of 10 catalogues covering less than 100 years.  Or indeed anything even close to them.

The recent Brusden White publishers/owners will never win any awards for their marketing or promotion or innovation or communication skills, that is absolutely for CERTAIN!

They have some very curious ideas on how to run a business, but luckily that is not of my concern, or of Dr. Kellow either most likely, and these fine works stand as a permanent testament to great research.

Collectors and dealers should support these ventures by purchasing a set of them - or at least the volumes you use most. ”Knowledge IS Power” - I have typed that 100s of times in my 40 years of writing stamp columns, and a set of ACSC gives you both knowledge AND power ... trust me!

For those who buy these, do not forget to complement your ACSC “KGV” with the truly superb hard bound deep “Leather” grained cover A4 size Arthur Gray “KGV” Auction sale catalogue, for way under half this price!  It cost $A100 plus post from the Auction when released, and became an instant collector reference book piece. 

 

Buy the 2 x KGV together perhaps?

 

I bought a few brand new pristine copies from a dealer colleague at a great price, so am offering for just $A75 POSTED within Australia, and not much more overseas. (Stock Code 368WF)  When they are gone, they are gone forever. The Gray sale saw an amazing 100% clearance, and invoiced at over $A4 million - a record for ANY Australian stamp auction.

 

The essential companion to the ACSC Cat.

 

My copies also have the full detailed prices realised list inside - obtainable nowhere else these days.  I have sold the similar quality Arthur Gray Kangaroos” auction catalogue for $A200 each, many times, and those are now all gone - and these “KGV” are a great buy at that price, while stock lasts.

tinyurl.com/GraysKGV  has many more pix of the content, and all ordering details on these. The ELEVEN page detailed Dr. Kellow preface article in the KGV sale cat outlined above, is worth getting the book for - alone!  A Coffee Table stamp classic. This same collection won heaps of Large Golds - globally.  Easily the finest ever formed.

A huge 270 x large A4 pages, and weight is 1.5 kgs or 3.3 lbs, and the best stamp auction catalogue you'll ever see.  A KGV reference book in its own right.  Without doubt THE finest Auction sale catalogue ever printed in this country (pretty much globally really) - more of a perpetual Australia KGV Heads and Commemoratives Handbook actually.

 

 

 

  

 

                                   

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