Click To Go Back To The Main Stamps Homepage

Welcome! -  You are visitor number   To -


February 2019


Under Face Postage Stamps.


Everyone likes to save money on ever-rising postage costs - human nature!  In Australia, ALL Decimal currency stamps with gum, issued in the past half century+ are fully valid for mailing letters and parcels, both locally and overseas.  If you can buy them for well less than face, you make a very good legal saving.

Most dealers sell it - I offer packs of $500, and $1,000 of mint full gum postage. The latter costs $750, and many small businesses and ebay sellers are pleased to save $250 totally legally.  As I often sell them full runs of PO packs, or blocks 4 etc, the receivers FAR prefer valuable stamps even when used, over a worthless PO meter imprint!  WIN-WIN all round.


Nicer used on mail than LABELS!


A little bit of juggling and sorting values and fiddling about, but for many it is well worth that, given the huge ongoing savings.  All outlined here -  Certainly EVERY reader should have a little stash of valid attractive mint Commem stamps of your own country on hand.  Common courtesy to NOT use worthless labels, or “FOREVER”, or dreary Machins etc.


Buying via Ebay is Wild West stuff.


So folks who mail a lot, can buy off established stamp dealers, who will be there next month, indeed next year - OR buy from ebay - or ScamBay, as it is often referred to lately!  Then you are trading in true Wild West conditions.  Some is stolen material, or totally forged mint stamps, or 100% illegal to use material, or simply non-existent goods very often.


These are not “MINT” stamps, you spiv.


Many spivs soak uncancelled stamps off office kiloware, and have some 10 year old kid glue those now illegal stamps onto 1000 cheap white envelopes, and offer them on Ebay as “1000 x $1 stamped envelopes - ready to mail $775”.  The Bunnies crawl all over such “wonder deals”.

One I saw was offering a $500 bunch of re-cycled no gum stamps, and calling them “MINT”.   And even more cheekily, using official Australia Post images from $1 New Issues to do it.  You did NOT get $1 + $2 stamps as shown, but 1,000 x “cleanskin” 50c!  Lots of clueless buyers for them of course.

The same Bunnies do not realise The Crimes Act of Australia offence of re-using stamps, or using cleaned off cancel stamps, falls entirely upon the END USER of the illegal material, NOT the supplier.  Drop your 1,000 envelopes into a red mail box, and you will likely have the Federal Police at your door with a Search Warrant, days later.  Guaranteed.


You will not fool the new machines!


I kid you not - Mail Centre sorting machines are pretty clever now, and prison terms have been meted out in extreme cases.  Dodgy Brothers venues like ebay and Gumtree are also of course where the folks who STEAL material from Australia Post, dump it onto the clueless.  Hoping no-one notices.  Folks DO notice of course, as we reported last year.


Stolen from printer : offered on Scambay


Stampboards highlighted some crooks who were listing up $10,000 face of mint $1 peel and stick stamps for $7,000.  Discussion here -  Sounds like a great deal right - even LPOs pay much more than that for $1 stamps!  The ebay sellers noted were ddldr2185 and jessicnas-1 and there were others -

“Hi, I am selling left over office supplies.  I have 10,000 x $1 Auspost stamps, they are brand new still on the roll - face value $10,000 - selling for $7,000.  Need them gone asap, pick up only from Melbourne.  Any reasonable offer will be considered."

Yeah right.  Both these sellers were offering stamps stolen from the stamp printers.  How do we know that?  As these morons used in their ebay descriptions, photos of large uncut wallpaper sized rolls of the $1 stamps!  See them nearby.  Eleven stamps wide, in long rolls of 10,000 units.  Seeing Australia Post only sells them in rolls of 100 or 200, all just 1 stamp wide, these were clearly STOLEN from the printer.


eBay Seller arrested by Police.


What an idiot seller duo - sell stolen stamps, and then add photos of them in an uncut format that CLEARLY had been nicked from the printer.  The stampboards thread updates us that one seller was arrested by Police, and I presume the Bunny Buyers were also getting Federal Police visitors as well - hopefully confiscating their $7,000 “Ebay BAAAHRGIN”. 


You CANNOT buy these from POs!


Naturally ebay/Paypal LOVE all this illegal stuff, as they make the same 15% commision on STOLEN stamps, as they do on the legitimate mint material shown nearby.  Did they cancel either ebay account at the time, for selling $10,000s of stamps stolen from the Federal Governent?  Of course not - ScamBay would go broke if everyone stuck to offering kosher material. 

As I type this, the accounts are still open and not suspended on Ebay.  I think you need to need to be convicted of Mass Murders in 20 countries for ebay to ever remove a juicy fee paying scammer.  Every kind of fake and dodge and shonkiness, occurs every hour on ebay, and they clearly do not care.

Selling no gum stamps that have already been through the mail is rampant on ebay Australia, and for many countries overseas.  In the UK it is big business for crooks, as Royal Mail very stupidly does not cancel most mail - very dumbly believing and stating the 4 x “U” shaped slits and self-adhesive gum will prevent re-use of un-cancelled stamps.


Royal Mail goes “Yes Minister” mode.


Royal Mail’s Fawlty Towers bumbled response to this recent court trial, was to warn CHARITIES they faced possible legal action, if they sold kiloware containing stamps that Royal Mail were now too lazy to cancel.  I kid you not.  It was almost like Sir Humphrey Appleby is writing their wacko scripts in there! 

Millions of domestic 1ST and 2ND denominated stamps arrive with no cancels, and a backroom army of crooks buy Charity Kiloware etc, to then remove them with common solvents, and offer them by the 1000 or 5000 via ScamBay to willing buyers. 
On eBay UK, searching for "unfranked" in the "UK QE2 stamps" category, you find around TWO THOUSAND listings.

Reports on the board from Brits seem to be that Royal Mail is SLOWLY starting to cancel a little more mail than in recent years, with some remarks most Christmas cards this year arrived with cancels.  The PO is learning too late, from its foolish decision not to cancel most mail.


MILLIONS of re-used stamps flogged on ebay. is the stampboards discussion where Police Prosecutors have seen the Courts jail for 2 years a UK couple who re-sold a lot of current stamps that had already been through the mail.  The court found - "The value of the amount of stamps sold was £443,244”.  The average prices of a detached house in Birmingham where they lived was only £387,500 in the past year. 

Wendy Baker, 55 and Dean Westwood, 56, both of Hengham Road, Sheldon UK, (bizarre photo nearby) had previously pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud, possessing articles for use in fraud, adapting an article for fraud, and supplying an article for fraud. They were both sentenced to two years imprisonment.


Two year prison sentence for Fraud.


The re-cycled stamps they sold on Ebay “dramatically accelerated” from initially £7,262 to £48,518 worth a month, said Ben Gow, Prosecuting for the Crown, and he stated the vast majority of the sales were to businesses and traders, and there were multiple and repeat purchases.

In passing sentence, Rachel Brand QC said the fraud had been “persistent and planned”  She added:
”You placed into circulation a huge number of washed stamps over a number of years allowing others to use them, to cheat the Royal Mail out of revenue they were entitled to.”


Best wigs £443,244.00 can buy!


Half a million quid that just one couple has defrauded Royal Mail of, and it occurs in all countries, which costs EVERY honest mail user - EVERY single person reading this article, extra money.  Why - as the many countless millions in fraud involved, when taken across each country, lessens the sum gathered by PO’s.

So, have these 2 year jail terms scared off these spivs flogging re-used stamps on ebay UK?  Of course not.  Has ebay tried to stop it occuring - of course not.  UK Ebay seller redldv has a long conga line of sales for many 1000s of them here -  Given that every new buyer will of course be henceforth supplied “under the table” at a reduced rate, hence dodging ebay fees and taxes etc, you see the size of the problem.


Gibbons “AUSTRALIA” Catalogue released.


For me the “event” of this month was the arrival today of my air freight copy of the new 2019 Stanley Gibbons “AUSTRALIA” catalogue.  The 11th Edition in fact since 2002.  Lots of big changes and price updates in here over the last Edition.

The average collector buys a new major catalogue only once every few years, as they are not inexpensive.  For many dealers and collectors, being a few years out of date is no big deal.  THIS is definitely the year to update, if you have not done so for a while! 

Retail price in Australia is a rather modest $A75, and for near 400 pages of info in full colour, that is very good value in my mind.  I sold a box of them on pre-order - more than usual, as it is the first volume since 2016.  Get yours now.


New 2019 Gibbons “AUSTRALIA” Catalogue.


If you think any dealer gets rich selling these fully imported heavy books for $A75, you know nothing about business!  Most here like it as it saves buying the huge Commonwealth book, that stops in 1970, and that contains all kinds of countries you do not need or look at, and costs 3 times this.

A “Must Have” book.  For folks who have not bought SG catalogues for a while, these new editions are now in full colour, on bright white paper.  Superb production and finish - this SG “AUSTRALIA” Stamp Catalogue 2019 is near 400 pages.

This new 11th Edition volume includes all the Colonial (“Australia State”) issues, and all the stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia, including the 1946 British Occupation Force (Japan) overprints etc.


Near 400 pages these days.


Also all booklets and booklet issues - and dies, inverted watermarks, and major plate varieties, Postage Dues etc.  And prices for on-cover copies for them all.  The new issues go to near end of 2018.  Also included are ALL issues from the Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island.

As a perfect example, of how on-cover prices can surprise, I was processing an Estate today, and a few 1930s New Guinea and Papua commercial covers were inside an album.  The 2 ordinary covers shown above are SG cat £132 - hence more than paying for this new catalogue instantly!  They sold in an hour on stampboards.


These two alone paid for the book!


This new book also covers the Pre-Independence Issues for Nauru (to 1968), New Guinea, Papua and Papua New Guinea, and the popular WWI GRI/NWPI overprints etc.  If you have not updated for a while, do so this year! 


Extensive price revisions


Prices have been extensively revised in line with the market - with many 100s of significant increases since the last edition.  Starting at SG#1s, right through.  How on earth editor Hugh Jefferies MBE and team, gets the now vast swag of Stanley Gibbons Catalogues out, is anyone’s guess.

This is Edition 11 since 2002, averaging nearly one a year, and Gibbons Catalogue Editor advises me “AUSTRALIA” is by FAR their largest selling sectional. Canada comes in at a distant #2 place.

Printed on a nice crisp fresh white paper stock.  Colour illustrations right through, very many of them on each page.  And many new varieties and listings are added this year, as well as the very many new issues and booklets etc. 

A nice crisp clean sans serif font has been used for the last few editions, and makes it so much easier to read - see sample page shown nearby.  And in recent editions the country headings are in RED - a very simple thing to do, and they really stand out.  The small things like that were overlooked for years!


Colourful and vibrant SG Catalogue.


Lots of constant plate flaws, and stamp booklets are now listed.  And lots of inverted watermarks - indeed all recorded inverted and sideways watermarks are now fully listed and priced. 

Find just a really medium one from a country like Australia and the entire book will be readily paid for MANY times!  Often stamps cat 10p each used, are cat many £1,000s each with inverted watermark.  Or £35,000 for Australia SG #1 Roo, with sideways watermark, used. 

This edition, the pricing committee have been super active in the Australasia area.  If you only buy a new SG each 5 or 10 years, this is the year to update, as there are extensive upward adjustments.  Some I saw on quick look of over 100% increases over last edition, so some SERIOUS moves!

There have been exceptional auction realisations for much of this material in the past year or two, and these price increases are simply taking that pricing reality into account, and moving the SG prices into line with what is occurring in the real world stamp marketplace.


All NSW “Sydney Views” up strongly.


The attractive 2d Sydney View shown nearby, SG #15 is now cat £21,000.  Only a few years back, full SG was way under HALF that at - £8,500, so buying quality always pays off.  And if your SG value says £8,500, you are so out of touch, for your book to be essentially meaningless. 

I do know that as a large dealer WHATEVER I offer lately in attractive nice condition Australia States issues - right from imperfs, to the last issues, sell near as fast as loaded up.  They have been under-priced for decades, and if you have any gaps, NOW is the time to fill some spaces, as they will never be cheaper.


Source States stamps CAREFULLY.


The States issues are NOT something to buy as a novice, off cowboy sources like eBay.  They are VERY often wildly misidentified - often deliberately, and/or repaired etc.  Cleaned off fiscal cancels are offered with new fake cancels as “FU” etc. 

You really are foolish if you buy such material EXCEPT from well-established dealer members of major stamp trade bodies.  There, you can get a refund in a year - or 5 years, if the material is found wanting.  Anonymous Ebay sellers can and do vanish overnight.  With YOUR money. 


Superb used imperf right? WRONG! has numerous threads exposing these ebay spivs knowingly offering cut down perforated issues as imperfs etc, and regularly offering forged perfins and overprints and errors etc as genuine.  The Bunnies hoover them up. 

The 5d Green NSW “Imperf” stamp shown nearby was sold this month on ebay (so excuse the hopeless washed out fuzzy image!) and some dope(s) assumed it was a wide margin imperf, and of course it is not, and has simply had the perforations of a cheapie cut off with scissors.  Full discussion here -


Big increases in Australian States.


These price increases are often very substantial, so any collector or dealer working on older books is costing themselves money.  All the Australia States issues have had extensive re-vamps I noticed, and what follows is a brief summary of what I noted, on a fairly quick spot check of this new edition.

NSW sets the trend with all the early Imperfs, SG 1-43 all up mint about 20% - that is serious money upticks on these already pricey classics.  SG #1 goes from
£13,000 to £16,000 etc.  Nice copies fetch terrific money at auction, and are tough to source.

Indeed looking through the new Catalogue, I see near all NSW issues up to 1870 or so, are up in price Mint, and often in used as well.  Certainly worth a careful look.  Even some of the often neglected Postage Dues NSW issues see increases.

Are all NSW imperfs up?  Well no, and there are indeed some “sleepers” lurking among early NSW, I can guarantee you that!  I was this week pricing up a superb and clean and fault free 6d Fawn Diadem, 4 margin SG 93a, with error Watermark numeral “8” and not “6”, that is shown nearby.


Gone BACKWARDS over 1998 price!


I found it on a stockcard I’d last priced in 1998.  That happens all the time here - a 3 floor house of stamps in long forgotten boxes and filing cabinets etc.  Usually 20 year old cards of Classics are now double or treble the original prices.  Anyway, when I originally priced it, SG was then SG 119a, and listed at £120.

In the new 2019 SG - 21 years on, it is listed used at £110.  Less than in 1998!  So we have a 164 year watermark error Imperforate, in superb 4 margin condition, with no faults, being placed into stock at $A95 - way less than the current PO Year Album.  Madness.  Do SG have one in stock - of course not!  These at £200-250 is more like the correct level.


                               Rises in Queensland stamp prices.


Queensland sees the very tough 2d Blue imperf SG 2, up from £16,000/£1,800 to £18,000 mint and £2,000 used.  Again, buy these ONLY from members of leading dealer bodies who offer FIRM guarantees - the spivs on eBay offer perforated 2d Blues with trimmed off perfs, as these rare stamps.  Same colour.

South Australia has the ever popular 1855 1d green SG #1 up 20% mint from
£12K from £10K, and up too is the scarce 6d SG 3 imperf, also increasing around 20% to £5,500 from £4,500.  Again the notes above apply - avoid eBay where the conmen offer trimmed off perforated copies regularly on the SA SG 1-3 as “imperfs”.

The SA 1855 1/- Violet imperforate moves up over 50% from
£26K to £40K - a heck of a leap in one edition.  Who says there is no money in better stamps!  Solid increases I saw across all areas - even the 1888 “Long Toms” are all up 10% or so, based on strong auction results - the top value £20 is now £42,000 mint.

Tasmania remains ever popular.  The earlies SG 1-18 are all up mint, often by 10% or so.  Later imperfs are often up nicely - the 1855 6d Imperf is up 25% mint to £1,500 for instance.  Be SUPER careful about “Mint” of those on eBay that have had fiscal pen cancels bleached off etc.

For VICTORIA all the “Half Lengths” seem to get increases in mint, SG #1 going from
£32K to £35K.  The Imperforate “Queen On Throne” issues are often up 25% in mint.  Again all due to strong auction results in the past year, setting new price records for these sought after issues.


Faulty and regummed - but got full SG!


Victoria 1886 “Pastel Long Toms” are up a lot mint - the £6 SG 325, up 25% to £15,000.  Again due to the mad prices paid at the Corinphila “Besancon” auction. This example shown nearby was estimated at just 2000 Francs and was invoiced at the time, for FULL then SG, $A22,500 - despite being described as: “mark removed from face of stamp, diagonal crease, and regummed”

Indeed all 4 of these pretty “Pastel” bi-colour stamps were offered - all regummed, and all sold for the same price - for about $A90,000 the quartet.  Rod Perry sold the 4 to him for $A9,000 all with no gum, so 10 times profit is never bad on that kind of large outlay.  The new SG price as can be seen, is not much more than this creased, fiddled with, and regummed copy fetched. 


WA prices not even keeping up.


Western Australia powers on strongly of course.  The SG #1, “1d Black Swan” is up both mint and used to £1,500/£300.  Always a popular Bird item.  The 4d “Inverted Frame” is of course up strongly from £140K to £180K. 

Sound high?  Well actually it is nowhere near as high as it SHOULD be of course.  The example of this stamp illustrated nearby sold for $A425,000 in mid-2018 at Corinphila in Switzerland.

That 1854 4d “Inverted Frame” has a bad 3mm paper slit above “OU”, and a vertical crease.  I suspect the SG prices had been set before that sale took place, as even full new cat
£180,000 is miles under what this defective example shown nearby, has sold for at Public Auction.


Invoiced for $A425,000, despite faults.


Western Australia sees price increases right into the 1900s.  A very popular State, and it always has very strong global demand - especially among “Bird” thematic collectors, as near all their issues depict - BIRDS! 

Don’t laugh - near all the available Western Australia 4d Swan “Inverted Frames” (worth many millions) are owned by Hong Kong doctor, Arthur Woo - who has a serious BIRDS ON STAMPS collection!

Only 14 genuine “Inverted Frame” examples are recognised, and exactly HALF of those, or 7 copies, are in Museum or Royal or Institutional collections, and are thus not buyable by modern collectors, and never will be I am sure. 

The two fakes of the Western Australia “Inverted Frame” previously widely regarded as genuine, Dr Woo also owns.  Photos of all 16 errors are here, and how to pick the fakes - 

Woo owns near all the others - I have seen them exhibited all on one page - and he may well have been the buyer of the example auctioned mid-year in Switzerland.  The buyer has not yet been disclosed, and/or made himself known. It was invoiced for 314,600 Swiss Francs, or near exactly $A425,000 at the time.


Big gains in AUSTRALIA.


Lots of price increases noted in AUSTRALIA.  Many of the major printing errors and inverted watermarks are up strongly.  The 4d Violet KGV “Line Through Four Pence” is up to £34K and £9K.  The last used one I sold years back went for a tiny fraction of that, so these have performed very well, and are not often seen offered.

Some more modest and affordable plate errors like the 1929 3d green Airmail “Long Wing To Plane” I suggested in last edition should be added, is up 20% to
£300 and £180 used.  You should have bought early!

A very easy to spot error, but almost no-one overseas knows it exists, so you might pick one up for a dollar or so in dealer stock, or on first flight covers where many of them were used - and it really is a simple and striking visual error to spot.


New plate variety added this year.


As usual, SG cleverly adds a new plate flaw or two for folks to chase.  This year I note the appearance of the “Falling Mailbag” variety on the 1931 3d Blue Kingsford Smith.  SG 122a sees it debut in listing at £120 mint and £100 used.  Why the names of errors when newly added, do not coincide with the 50 year usage here of “Plane Dropping Mailbag” mystifies me.

Later issued varieties like the 1941 1/- Lyrebird “Roller Flaw” SG 192a is up in value 20% mint or used.  All the other KGVI era “Roller Flaws” also increase in price.  The 2d red KGVI “Medal Flaw” shown nearby is £350/£130, and are worth only pennies with no flaw.  Fill those gaps soon, as these errors are not getting any more common!

Did you know the “Top Hat” flaw on the 6d Kookaburra is now cat £1,500 mint - up from £550 only a few years before?  A scarce and very popular flaw, and very seldom offered, so leaps up EVERY year.  Buy off someone foolishly using a couple of years old Catalogue to “save money”, and YOU win by £950!          


”Top Hat” to £1,500 from £550.


Were you aware that a ½d Orange Kangaroo Coil Block of 4 is now Cat in SG at £1,000 mint?  Or the “Green Mist Retouch” on the 1/- Lyrebird SG 230da is £4,500 mint and £3,250 used etc. “Knowledge Is Power” - as I have probably typed here 1,000 times!

Did you know the 1941 1/- Lyrebird, also with inverted watermark SG 192w is Cat £6,000 mint or used - but just 10p in normal used etc?  This is up by £1,000 mint and £2,000 used over last edition.  Check your duplicates.  Many are still out there to be found.

EASY to see plate varieties are great to see included.  Super specialised catalogues like the ACSC, by their very nature, are filled with 100s of pages of near impossible to see at normal size “Fly Specks” that totally do my head in - and they do my eyes in, that is for SURE!


Down with tiny “fly-speck” errors!


Stanley Gibbons have the luxury of only listing major retouches or flaws that are very easy to spot with the naked eye.  One I suggested added for the next edition, is the 1960 8d Tiger Cat “Typhoon Retouch”.  A scarce error, as it was not noticed by collectors for a couple of years after stamp was withdrawn, so in mint positional blocks is really tough.

A client has matched top right corner blocks 6 showing all of the 4 stages of this amazing and clumsy retouch - the most dramatic ever on Australia recess printed stamps - I took this scan nearby from his block.  I keep trying to swap them with him for a Roo he needs, as they would be near unique in matched mint blocks!


8d “Typhoon Retouch” coming next.


Price rises are even seen in the Postage Dues issues - the scarce 1908 20/- “With Stroke” is up to £7,500 mint and £40,000 used, but a warning, read the SG and ACSC notes.  These were ONLY issued in NSW, so the fake “Vic. Aust” cancels applied by a Melbourne dealer to toned mint stamps etc, are forgeries made to deceive.

Perforated “OS” Australia very often see increases.  The usual warning on these too, buy the scarcer ones ONLY from experienced and reputable dealers.  Near all on eBay are modern fakes cranked out by the 1,000s, as the Bunnies cannot tell, and cannot resist a ”BAAAHRGIN” - which they will regret when they sell!

In a quick perusal of the PAPUA listings I noticed some upward price tinkering, and a “HALO” flaw has now been added to the common 1d green, 1937 KGVI Coronation.  It is SG 154a, cat
£40 and £50 used.  You might pick these up for 10¢ each in the club circuit books or dealer stocks! 

The Papua “OS” official overprints appear to be up right across the board. They are NOT easy to source in complete sets, and I’d suggest you ONLY buy them thus, as chasing about for 3 or 4 missing middle values may well take you the rest of your lifetime, and odd singles are seldom offered.

Deadline here precluded me looking at a lot of later issues, but I did some spot checking, and noted some popular areas getting the same price increases in all sections of the catalogue. 


Collectors need to support SG.


Collectors are famously tight fisted with buying catalogues, but a strong and profitable SG catalogue division is ESSENTIAL for a robust and healthy world stamp market.  Many totally forget that, so do your bit, and add to their sales volume.  I have sold plenty of these new this month to help out.

If all collectors (and clubs) who actively collect this region all went out and bought this new catalogue today, that is a LARGE cash injection into SG right there.  A small cost to each collector/club for a very useful book, but a big injection to SG finances, at a crucial time.


Back to Basics at Stanley Gibbons.



Stanley Gibbons are not a Charity or Government Department, but a publicly listed business, and must make a profit.  Falling sales of these works may well see the new bean counters in place at SG decide to not print catalogues at all.  Simple as that.  And in my experience, such moves are instant, AND final, so there is no good lamenting it all after the event.

SG have now sacked their previous incompetent CEO Michael Hall, who near sent the company broke in recent years with his wacky ideas.  His foolish and disastrous acquisitions,
£10 million web follies, and Portfolio selling are all gone, and SG are now back to basics, where they were 15 years ago - selling top quality stamps and publications.

A great effort from editor Hugh Jefferies MBE, and his Catalogue team - how they get the vast swag of SG Catalogues out each year, sure beats me!  A never-ending process, and juggling, logging, and tracking all the New Issues, and new flaws and ever-changing prices etc, must be an absolute nightmare.

DO secure one - a strong SG Catalogue division is essential for the ongoing health of this hobby, and with SG’s recent fiscal problems, they truly need support.  Many readers have VERY narrow or non-existent “Big Picture” vision sadly - and I can only repeat - DO support these fine works - without them, this hobby would be in a terrible mess. 

$100 or so a year, now and again, to support the Catalogue division, is a drop in the pond to what most cheerfully spend on their stamps a year.  And a drop in the Ocean as to how the value of your stamps will DROP in an era of no new catalogues.  Think about it. 


Quite a “Chunk Of Change”!


Lots of stamp collectors also collect coins, and even if you do not, this is a pretty amazing story.  Berlin police say thieves broke into the German capital's Bode Museum in late March 2017, and made off with a massive 100 kilogram (221 pound) gold coin, worth millions in bullion melt value.

The Bode Museum Spokesman, Stefen Petersen said the thieves apparently entered through a window about 3:30 a.m, and broke into a cabinet where the "Big Maple Leaf" coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived.  A ladder was found by nearby railway tracks.  It was on loan from a collector!


A serious coin - melt value near US5 MILLION!


The three cm (over 1”) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 cms (21”) has a nominal face value of $C1 million.  But by weight alone, however, recent overseas news reports state it would be worth around $US5 million at bullion market “melt” prices on today’s rates.

In October 2007, the Million Dollar Coin was certified by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest gold coin. The coins are manufactured at the Mint's Ottawa facility, where the Mint operates world-class gold and silver refineries, securely stores gold bullion, and mints all Royal Canadian Mint gold bullion products and collector coins.

After several interested buyers came forward after that theft publicity, the Mint decided to make a very limited quantity available for sale.  To date, five of these gold bullion coins, weighing 3,215 troy ounces each, have been purchased by investors, from Canada and abroad.


A one TONNE Gold Coin.


Gold producing superpower Australia could not bear to be outdone, and in 2012 the Perth Mint produced a 1 TONNE Gold Coin (1,000 kilos) shown nearby, which in turn captured the Guinness World Records title of the world largest coin, knocking off the Canadians.  “Melt” value of the bullion inside is a reported $A50 Million

This giant “Coin” is 80cms wide and more than 12cms thick - near 5 inches for American readers.  The reverse depicts a bounding red Kangaroo as you can see bordered by the inscription “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO - 1 TONNE .9999 GOLD” and the issue year date of 2012. 

Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the obverse of the coin portrays QE2, and the monetary denomination is “1 MILLION DOLLARS”.  The coin has done some overseas roadshows to Asia and to Europe and the mind really boggles at what the insurance was on $50 million!


Alleged thieves now on trial.


The European media reported this month that the alleged Berlin thieves had been apprehended by German Police.  The four men were accused of carrying out the spectacular heist of a giant solid gold coin from a Berlin Museum, have now gone on trial.

The men stand accused of stealing the 100kg “Big Maple Leaf” from the Bode Museum after using a ladder to enter a third-floor window, smashing the bulletproof cabinet in which the coin was on display, then transporting it in a wheelbarrow and skateboard to a nearby park, and abseiling with it to a getaway vehicle.

Three of the men on trial, identified only, as per the odd German practice as Wissam R, Ahmed R, and Wayci R, are members of a Berlin crime family.  My research has revealed their surname is Remmo, and are from a Lebanese origin family, who have over 500 members living in Germany, with many ties to organised crime there, it is alleged 

The fourth accused is a security guard identified as Denis W, and a classmate of the Remmo Brothers,  who is accused of assisting the men, by providing them with “inside” information about the Museum which was vital to the plot.  The men hid their faces behind magazines with holes cut out for their eyes, as they entered the court in Berlin, and during the hearings.


Weight 100 Kilos - 3 men to lift.


The massive “coin” is believed to have been broken up, and melted down shortly after the theft, and it is felt sure it will never be recovered.  However if any of them are convicted, under German law, the value of the stolen item must be paid back to the rightful owner. OUCH.


Remmo family well known to German Police


Detectives revealed early on in the investigation that the Remmo family was part of a crime ring, well known to German Police, and whose members had carried out numerous high-profile crimes over several years, including break-ins, a bank robbery in which the bank building was blown up to hide evidence, and acts of violence in Berlin, including a murder in broad daylight.

Last summer Berlin investigators confiscated 77 properties valued at €9.3 million, which members of the Remmo family were believed to have purchased with the proceeds from various crimes.  Shotguns and large amounts of cash were also reportedly seized in the raids, that involved 300 heavily armed Police.

The German Police seemed to have taken these raids very seriously, with all officers wearing balaclavas to protect their identities, and one photo nearby is from some of those officers taking part.  Arrests were made.  German Investigators later charged 16 of the Remmo clan with money laundering.


300 heavily armed German police in raids.


The alleged thieves are part of a large “Arabic-Kurdish” family known to local authorities for its involvement in racketeering, drug smuggling and the arms trade. The Neukölln district in Berlin where they lived, has one of the highest immigrant populations in Berlin.

During the investigation into the coin robbery, prosecutors said that unknown persons had tried to destroy evidence in a vehicle believed to have been the getaway car, which had been confiscated after an illegal car rally.  The culprits gained access to a police compound where the car was parked, and sprayed fire-extinguishing foam into its interior. 


Modern technology assists the case.


However this attempt to hide or destroy evidence failed, after police found gold deposits on the car upholstery, of a purity that matched the stolen mega coin composition identically.  DNA left behind at the Museum by the burglars, and CCTV footage of them, also is said to be held by the German Police.

The trial was expected to take about 12 days, amidst a huge media presence, before a chamber of Berlin’s regional court reserved for youth crimes. Due to the ages of the three of the men, between 18 to 20 - when they allegedly carried out the heist.  The men are not in detention, which seemed odd to me at least.  If found guilty, they could face up to 10 years in jail.  The verdict is expected to be handed down on 28 March.







  as I type incessantly -  I cannot stress the importance of having a solid library.  Often the FIRST thing you look up, often pays for that book forever!  A number of wonderful new reference books have appeared recently.  In many cases buying 2 or 3 books costs around the same shipping as ONE, so do give it some thought!  Within NSW, 10 books costs the same shipping as 1 book etc!  ALL in stock now - click on each link for details.  Hint for these as GIFTS!    Glen.

“Postmarks of SA and Northern Territory” -
THREE massive Volumes for only $A199 (Stock 583HW)

Stanley Gibbons current AUSTRALIA AND STATES & PACIFICS - Near 400 pages $A80 (Stock 736EQ

Hugh Freeman "Numeral Cancellations of New South Wales" Huge hard cover $A185 (Stock736LE)

Hugh Freeman huge  “Barred Numeral Cancellations Of Victoria”  Now Full COLOUR!  (Stock 274BN)

Superb 2018 ACSC  "Australia Postal Stationery"  Catalogue - huge 484 pages colour (Stock 782DV)

ACSC New full colour catalogues for KGVI and QE2 – the BOTH huge A4 books $260 (Stock 892JC)

The Arthur Gray "KGV Reign" Collection, Superb hard bound leather Catalogue just $A65 (Stock 368WF)

"Plating Papua Lakatois" Book, 563 x A4 pages, RRP $110 - DISCOUNTED to just $A60! (Stock 432HA)

500 page ACSC New “Australia KGV Reign” catalogue in Full Colour - just  $A165 (Stock 382KX)

Stanley Gibbons superb "2019 British Commonwealth Cat" - 750 pages hardbound - $A175 (Stock 692KX)

Stanley Gibbons colour GB "CONCISE" Cat - 500 pages – NOW REDUCED $A20 to just $A65  (Stock 483KA)

HUGE  Seven Seas Stamps "Australasian Stamp Cat."   *NO* dealers have stock! $A99 (Stock 792TQ)

Hugh Freeman’s debut “NSW NUMERAL CANCELS” epic work just $A40! (Stock code 637KT)





Get my regular market update emails FREE!   Stamp gossip, price trends, record sale prices, and many one-time stamp specials, wholesale bargains,  and exciting offers and breaking philatelic news.  A mini stamp magazine in every email!   "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER".  The ONE stamp list you MUST be on,  to keep in touch with the rapidly changing world market.  One client made $65,000 profit in a few months after following my specific advice.  Sign up securely and quickly by clicking HERE  to access my automated data base.  And wiser still ADD your home AND work email, if I only have one right now.   Add a stamp friend's email address if you wish.  One short click and you are subscribed to probably the most read email list in the stamp world! 



If you would like to be notified of updates to this website, Click HERE. If have any questions,
or comments regarding my site, please email me at


Search this site

Search all my 300+ web pages! Simply type in what you are looking for. "Penny Black", "Latvia", "Imprints", "Morocco", "Fungi" "Year Books", etc! Using quotes ( " ) is more accurf used with no quotes. Search is NOT case sensitive. Tip - keep the search word singular - "Machin" yields  far more matches than "Machins" etc.



I am a Proud Member Of :

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for over 35 years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association.  (New York) 
Also Member of; Philatelic Traders' Society (London)   IFSDA (Switzerland) etc




Time and Temp in Sunny Sydney!





Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for 35+ years.

Life Member - American Stamp Dealers' Association. (ASDA - New York) Also Member - Philatelic Traders' Society
 (PTS London) and many other philatelic bodies.

ALL Postage + Insurance is extra. Visa/BankCard/MasterCard/Amex all OK, at NO fee, even for "Lay-Bys"!  All lots offered are subject to my usual Conditions of Sale, copy upon request .

Sydney's BIGGEST STAMP BUYER: Post me ANYTHING via Registered Mail for my same-day cheque.  Avoid copping the Now normal 45% Auction "Commissions" (15% Buyer + 20% Seller + GST, etc) AND their five-month delays!

 Read HERE for details.

"Lothlórien", 4 The Tor Walk, CASTLECRAG (Sydney), N.S.W. 2068 Australia

Phone 7 Days: (02) 9958-1333

PO Box 4007, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068
E-Mail: The Number #1 Web Sites:  and



Sign up AUTOMATICALLY to my world renowned bi-weekly stamp gossip mailing list!

Click here to see MANY 1000s of stamp lots for sale at low $A Nett prices

Click here for all you need to know re SELLING your stamps for SPOT CASH

Click here for the current Monthly "Internet Only" special offers - CHEAP!

Click HERE to read all my recent International stamp magazine articles.

Click here to get back to the main Homepage

Click here to ORDER on-line ANY items from ANY of my dozens of lists

Click for all info on Conditions Of Sale, Payments, Shipping, Returns &c 

Click here for the complete library of my very unusual world travels!

How to PAY me.  I accept EVERYTHING - even blankets and axes and beads!

Australia Post Annual YEAR BOOKS - massive stock - '27% off' discount offer today!

Visit my new page on RARITIES - Roos & other expensive photo items.

Stampboards where Philatelists Meet..

Instant Currency Conversion

Just click here...


E-mail me at -