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June 2019


What was the “Ponzi Scheme”?



Disgraced USA financial guru Bernie Madoff is serving a 150 year prison sentence for perpetrating the biggest "Ponzi" scheme in history.  In March 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of $US65 BILLION - not million!  Mind boggling numbers.

Oddly, that matter seemed to have attracted surprisingly little press attention outside the USA at the time.  On June 29, 2009, Judge Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum sentence of 150 years in Federal prison.  Crime does NOT pay!

The often seen and often quoted word "Ponzi" isn't some technical financial jargon - it was somebody's name.  And his scheme involved UPU Stamp Reply Coupons and stamps.  I only found this out recently and it is an interesting read.  Charles Ponzi was an Italian immigrant, living in Boston during the First World War.

Ponzi, who had previously served time in a Canadian prison for forgery, stumbled upon a loophole in the global postal system regarding “Coupon Réponse International” (all UPU wording is in French) or as we know them -  International Reply Coupons, or what were more widely known as “IRC’s”.  The design sold globally for 27 years is shown nearby.  But it is updated each decade or so.                                                 


 Heart of the “Ponzi Scheme”


Ponzi found that he could buy IRC’s in countries with weak currencies, and exchange them for USA Postage stamps at a FAR higher face value than what he paid.  Many times his cost.  In fact you can do exactly the same thing today - quite legally.  Australia Post sells them for several $$s each.  However when I was in Burma last visit, they cost just a few cents each at PO’s when paying in local currency, as a fake dual exchange rate regime was in place.

The Burma (Myanmar) ones - or better still, IRC’s issued from Libya, Bolivia, Zambia or Albania etc, you can redeem at any Post Office here, and receive a mint $A3 stamp - i.e. the rate of airmail post from here, of one standard letter to Africa, Europe or South America.  That is how the system works - if a low cost foreign country sends you the IRC, you still get a $A3 stamp!

I travel an awful lot overseas, and dual exchange rates are very common.  Last time I was in Cuba and Venezuela, the black market exchange rate was about 5 or 10 times the official rate at Banks.  So if you end up with a fistful of local currency, the local Post Office would happily sell you 100 or 1000 x IRC issued by that country.  Remember in places like Cuba or Burma, the official price is very low anyway, as their postal rates are low.

Ponzi went to many of his friends in Boston with this story, and promised that he would double their investment in 90 days.  The massive arbitrage returns available from Postal Reply Coupons, he explained to them, made such incredible profits easy - and legal.  He would end up with a pile of American mint stamps that cost him a song, and they were readily saleable for cash.

Word spread quickly, and early investors were being paid out impressive returns, encouraging yet others to invest.  Word of mouth is a powerful selling tool.  The guy who got in early, and received $2,000 a few months after investing just $1,000, tells his family and workmates of the amazing deal, and assures them it is all legal, and easy to understand the logic.  


The “Ponzi” scheme was born.


By May 1920 the historical record shows that Ponzi had made $US420,000 pure profit, as an ocean wave of new investors came flooding in - probably about $US50 Million profit in 2019 dollars.  The scheme collapsed in 1921, and Ponzi spent three years in US Federal prisons, and another nine years in State prisons.  Again, as the old saying goes - “Crime Does Not Pay.” 


1920’s prison mug-shot of Prisoner Ponzi


The exact amount that Charles Ponzi bilked from his “investors”, remains unknown.  However, at the height of the scheme, he took in $US1 million in three hours according to the SEC.  In the end, he only ever actually purchased $30 worth of IRCs!  Just telling folks of his THEORY was all he needed to do - it made sense to them, and they handed over their savings.  

After his jail sentences were completed, Ponzi fled to Italy in the 1930’s.  Benito Mussolini for some reason gave him a job in the financial sector of his Government!  However, Ponzi mismanaged things so badly there, that he was forced to flee to South America - but not before taking an undisclosed amount from the Italian Treasury.  You just can’t make this stuff up!


Ponzi Died Penniless!


Fittingly perhaps, Ponzi died penniless in a charity hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 18, 1949.  Some people never learn from history.  Bernie Madoff proves that.  It was only a decade or so back that people in Spain and Portugal were duped of BILLIONS by a postage stamp investment “Ponzi” type scheme run by Afinsa, and the related Forum Filatelico.

Afinsa was the third largest trading collectibles dealer in the world, after Christie's and Sotheby's.  Some things never change.  It was a massive Ponzi/Pyramid scheme using postage stamps, that bilked approximately 400,000 unsophisticated Spanish/Portugal investors out of about 5 BILLION Euros (then $A10 Billion) when it went belly up - as all such schemes eventually do.

Lurid media reports of 10 MILLION EUROS in cash hidden in home walls being seized in police raids etc of those involved, ensured it got a LOT of press - none of it good for the stamp hobby, sadly.  I wrote extensively on this matter in mid-2006.  Police needed to guard their deserted offices as hordes of furious investors descended upon them, to try and get their money. 


“10 years without our savings”


The Spanish Prime Minister of the time went ballistic over the mess, and threatened all kinds of retribution and justice.  There are still annual huge street demonstrations there - see photo nearby.  Spanish Justice moves at snail’s pace - 13 years later a raft of long prison sentences and huge fines were handed down to the Spanish big-shots involved in these companies.

The old expression - "if it sounds too good to be true - it most probably is" always rules supreme.  Essentially these were unsophisticated people, believing a 10% p.a. type interest return could be obtained buying MODERN stamp “investments”, nominated to them by the promoters, when mainstream banks were paying just one third that interest rate.  Crazy.

Just not possible, and like all pyramid schemes of this type, the bubble bursts eventually.  SCARCE stamps will keep increasing in value.  The overpriced modern junk (valued using catalogues they owned and priced!) that Afinsa ploughed into these "investment parcels" was never worth anything like what the Bunnies paid them for it - as simple as that.  Some folks never learn.




Well known American stamp dealer/auctioneer Greg Manning was heavily caught up in the mess, as he was deeply involved in the companies, sourced much of the stock. and owned the catalogue they used to value the “Investments”!  In the usual style of all things American, he did a money deal with US regulators, and paid a fine of $US669,489, admitted no guilt, and no conviction was recorded etc.  Only in America, link here -


The end of International Reply Coupons?


Like many old traditions, the days of the International reply coupons may be numbered globally?  As far as I can determine it is only the USA who for some reason have discontinued them, but it might spread.  Rather weird the UPU does not insist they be sold at least via some bigger offices in major countries, but the USA seems to have, like many of their agreements, torn it up. 

They are still sold by most Post Administrations on earth, but have not been sold in USA post offices since early in 2013.  The USPS website advises their residents contact Canada to buy them!  It literally says to apply to -
Philatelic Customer Service, Canada Post Place, Box 90022, 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, K1V 1J8, Canada; or calling 1-800-565-4362. 


This was the most recent IRC design


International Reply Coupons issued from 1907 to 2009 are listed and valued in the Scott Specialised Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. They note in there, that a number of the US types were authorised to have postage stamps affixed by POs when rates went up, so an interesting field to collect I am sure - and not expensive at all oddly.

Given that I have been a large dealer for 40 years, I have never once bought even a basic collection of IRC, which is pretty odd seeing their obvious connection to stamps, and being included and priced in Scott etc.  A most rewarding new field for someone to embark upon, and cost is peanuts compared to most STAMP collections!


What is a "SUPERB USED" stamp?


I often get asked how does one accurately value older stamps, that are in far better than the usual condition found for that issue.  It is a very complex answer, and there is no real tried and proven formula to be honest, as many different factors are at play.  As the rest of this column will hopefully explain in a little more detail, as little is written on this subject.

My big speciality is Superb Used Kangaroos.  For 40 years I have kept the best stocks in Australia of these issues, and my 5 gradings I set up in magazine full page ads in 1980, are still the ones I use, and are regarded by many as very accurate.  No other dealer offers such a choice, and most do not have the stock to even contemplate doing so, even if they took the time to sort them apart. 

For 40 years of trading, I have used these FIVE grades for every Australian stamp issue  - 1. Spacefiller.  2. Average Used.   3. Good Used.  4. Fine Used.  5. Superb Used.  All are priced accordingly.  And unlike the totally wacky American Voodoo “Numerical Grading” nonsense, these terms are quite easy to follow!

There are truly endless factors that separate each grade.  Centering, perforations, freshness, type of cancel, heaviness (or otherwise) of that cancel, colour intensity of stamp and so on - in short “Eye Appeal” is what it all comes down to, in order to accurately sort 10 different stamps of the same SG number.

The very nearly Superb Used 5/- Kangaroo shown nearby is in stock for $A60, and I have a dozen similar copies here for $A50-$60 each.  That is HALF the price of the current Australia Post Year Album at your post office!  What will THAT be worth in 20 years?  And not so nice copies are $A20 each, so even bi-colour Kangaroos do not need to be expensive USED.  MINT hinged they are $A300.


Half the price of a PO Annual Book!


Often what I sell as “Good Used” is regarded as “Fine Used” or even “Superb Used” by others who handle less copies than myself.  Or who grade less precisely than I do.  Many dealers have just three prices for Kangaroos on their lists - “MUH”, “Mint” and “Fine Used”.  Anything on hand with a cancel on it, often magically qualifies for the latter grade, if that is all they have!

One thing you learn for sure if you deal in this area for decades, is that for every truly SUPERB postally used higher face value Kangaroo, there are generally several hundred ordinary copies floating around.  Try finding a truly SUPERB used 2/- Brown Third watermark for example.  I can sell you a “nice” looking example all day long for $A30 apiece.

I have probably 50 of those “nice” grade on hand.  And a few 100 of less than “nice” graded copies.  Yet only about four REALLY great looking examples.  This stamp does NOT exist in neat CTO from the PO Specimen packs in Second or Third watermarks, so that very handy source of supply is not available to us on this one.  To get a top end one, postally used, is TOUGH.


27 Million sold, 2/- Third Wmk Kangaroo.


Why so scarce in top grade used?   Who knows.  The ACSC tells us there were near 27 MILLION of this 2/- Brown stamp in Third Watermark sold, over 8 years.  You’d think stacks of them would still be around, and in dealer stock in top grade.  They are not, let me assure you.  Ask 20 dealers to scan you their FINEST example, and you’ll be horrified!

And bear in mind there are NINE totally different major shades recognised by the ACSC for this watermark alone in the 2/- “Brown”.  Just two of them are shown nearby.  The ACSC lists prices from $A35 to $2A000 used for these 9 shades.  So for the true collector, with an eye to top quality, you could spend several years just sourcing this stamp alone in top grade for all the 9 shades.

The Third Watermark 2/- brown was issued in 1916, in the middle of World War I.  The Germans were sinking shipping out of Britain, and the traditional source of printer ink and equipment was Germany and Austria!  So the Printer grabbed ANY ink that vaguely resembled “Brown”.  Or in the case of the 1d “Red” KGV, literally 100 different “Red” shades are recognised, for the same WWI supply issues reasons.

This kind of “Holy Grail” quest chasing all the shades in top grade used has kept many of my clients, and myself, and many other dealers, very busy for decades.  It is the “fun of the chase” factor, and the very real challenge involved.  Often not a lot of dollars are involved but boy, top grade copies of even “common” Kangaroos are of Needle in a Haystack scarcity.


1913 2/- First Wmk


These 2/- brown values were mostly used on parcels, often during WWI, and most got well and truly “clobbered” by the postal staff and the huge Parcels Branch cancels mostly used at that time in all GPOs - and/or mangled or scuffed or creased or torn in transit.  And ACSC tells us many were used on Telegrams, and hence never entered the stamp market.

Now ask me for a SUPERB used 1913 2/- Brown First Watermark Roo - and no problems.  Only 960,000 were issued of that watermark, but I can always find you a superb one like the marginal example shown nearby.  Such choice looking CTO copies are out there, and very buyable.  Many times the price of 2/- Third Watermark of course, but you CAN get these.


“Fluffy” or “Woolly” perfs.


Even the choice “VFU” collections of Roos I offer on my Rarity Page are tough to fill for a stamp like the 2/- Brown Third Watermark, as we have many factors to take into consideration.  This series often had “fluffy” or “woolly” perfs which most collectors do not like.  No WWI era access to new perforating heads ex Germany and Austria was the reason mostly.  (See the nearby photo, left hand stamp for an example of this.)

Heavy and/or smeary parcel cancels are of course the next biggest issue, as well as soiling, and scuffing from parcel use, and toning that gathers over a Century, and poor centering and fluffy or woolly ugly perfs - see photo.  See the pair of 2/- Browns nearby - SG 41 group.  The left hand one was a “trade-in” to me from a client who bought it off ebay as “fine used - neat cancel”.  I kid you not.

By my conservative grading it rates as barely level two in my 5 grade scale - i.e. “Average Used”.  He paid $A32 for it on ebay.  About treble a real stamp dealer price for that grade.  Many collectors of course are perfectly happy with such an average stamp - it has no thins or creases, and my price for that grade is about $A10.  Or one third the ebay “bargain” level.


These look the same to you?


The 2/- Brown SG 41 group stamp on the right side in photo nearby is from stock, and is in the top end of examples for this stamp in quality.  Forget about $A45 for “Fine Used” in this value, as being in the uncommon Deep Brown shade, we are talking around $A70 here.

So from the left hand stamp at $10, to the right hand stamp at $A70 we have a wide spectrum of condition - and price.  Very much like buying a used car - say a 2010 Holden Commodore.  The one-lady-owner, always garaged, low mileage car, versus the ex-Taxi with a million miles on clock from same model, is several times the price!   You ALWAYS get what you pay for in life.


Buying Used versus Mint?


And remember that no “fake” modern cancel will likely ever appear on this stamp to “improve” rusty mint copies.  In hinged mint this Third Watermark 2/- Brown stamp would be $400++ with this centering and perfs.  Even with NO GUM it would sell for around half that - or MANY times the VFU price.  So buying fine used is a no-brainer in this climate, as mint often tone and rust.

And that price differential has always been there.  My point is that no-one would likely EVER have applied a fake cancel to an unused 2/- Brown of ANY watermark.  Even a half century back, in my 1965 ACSC catalogue this “common” Third Wmk stamp was priced more than twice as much mint as used, so selling it even as “no gum” got you more than used.

My gold plated tip of the month is to buy up the 1915 2/- Brown SECOND Watermark stamp in nice USED condition.  Check your dealer's stock - I bet his few copies there (indeed, if he has one at all) all look pretty ordinary compared the one nearby, and you'll only then appreciate, just how hard truly nice examples are to locate.


SECOND Watermark VFU - a joy to behold.


So my “sleeper” from the 3 x different watermark 2/- Brown Kangaroos is the MIDDLE one issued, the “Second” Watermark, SG 29, cat £120 used.  Anything really nice you will need to pay $A300-$A350 or so for here, and put that aside with a smile.  The superb used “ARALUEN (NSW)” copy shown nearby I sold for $A350, and is as good as you will see offered anywhere on this.

Cancelled at a tiny NSW Southern Highlands town of just 200 population now, with a gold-rush history.  Cost - what 3 current “Annual Stamp Year Books” are, from your local Post Office!  Madness.  What will THEY be worth in 10 years?  An example in my “Fine Used” strict grading would also delight most collectors, and still be the best looking stamp on their page, and they are priced around $A200.

This “Second” Watermark was a single Emergency printing in the middle of WWI.  Germans sinking shipping meant the Roo watermarked paper never arrived from the UK, and in a panic in early WWI, these were issued on the totally wrongly spaced watermark paper, meant for the KGV heads issue.  So the watermarks almost always are to either side of the stamps, as KGV heads are much wider than Roos of course.


Stamp Tip Of The Month.


The 1915 Second Watermark 2/- (SG 29) is a hard stamp to find in top condition used - mint are actually relatively plentiful.  This stamp rather incredibly sells (now) for around five times more mint, than it does used.  That is absolutely absurd, and does not reflect relative scarcity whatever.  My old 1971 ACSC says that mint was worth only 3 times used.  Today it is ACSC $350 used, $1,500 hinged. (And a truly silly $8,500 “MUH” - 5½ times.)

Three times is about the correct ratio, not today's 5 multiple.  So from here, if used prices double and mint hinged stays the same, the ratios are about correct - again!  If you want my tip of this month, go and buy all the NICE used copies you can find.  Light cancels on this 2/- that have no other faults, are truly hard to find - trust me.  These seem to have creased readily due to the soft paper etc.


SG 29 - almost none recorded on postal piece.


There was just a single printing of 960,000 stamps, during a War.  Being an “un-sexy” looking pale brown, few were retained, versus the pretty bi-colour 4 high values above it.  Until 10 years back this 2/- value SG 29 had never been recorded on cover or parcel fragment - ACSC lists thus as $6,000.  I sold the FU example recently on small parcel snipping, also with 2 x 2d Greys, on the day I listed it.  Even these are rare.

The reason Penfolds Grange Hermitage red wine sells for $500 a bottle when each Vintage is released, and rough reds are always $5 a bottle, is the same as VFU stamps - some savvy folks recognise real quality - and will gladly pay for it!  Some folks enjoy filling up “Seven Seas” albums etc, for a kid or grandchild, and really only need “roughies” for that purpose, and happily pay accordingly.  Others seek only the very finest.  Both sell equally well oddly.


Ebay Dreamer Tutorial!


Everyone grades differently. Stampboards has a long “ebay dreamer” thread where totally clueless nutters list up stuff like the 1935 2d red stamp shown nearby, time and time again.  I kid you not! is something to spend an hour reading, and shaking your head at in despair, over the absolute stupidity and deception skills of many 100s of ebay sellers.  Until you read it you literally have NO idea!


Ebay version of “Fine Used”!


Parts of cheap stamps totally missing, or obliterated by truly ugly postmarks. Or totally and hopelessly mis-described or priced, and they ignore all well-meaning advice relayed to them.  The term “Bunny” is being generous in many cases!   My “Used” grading was and is very rigorous, but the fanaticism for “MUH” has pervaded this market, and used stamps of all eras have been strangely overlooked for some reason in recent years. 

And they still often are, however the extensive regumming of “MUH” stamps I’ve warned about for decades, is changing that view rapidly, as folks finally wake up to the silliness of that.  As Rod Perry posted on - when he came into the trade 50 years ago, the number of truly “MUH” £2 Roos one saw was hardly any each year, yet strangely today, you can buy as many as your Visa card can afford!


Mint £2 Roos are 25 times used.


A £2 Kangaroo cheapest Watermark used is about $600 in decent used, and a “MUH” example is TWENTY FIVE times that at $15,000 for cheapest watermark.  Madness.  So used is the only realistic collecting option for most.  Some present day dealers like Richard Juzwin started to illustrate Kangaroo used stamps in 4 grades on his widely distributed price list, that I have not seen for a few years now.  A shame. 

I have typed a dozen columns over four decades warning folks that paying a 300%-500% premium for “MUH” 100 year old stamps was mostly just lining the pockets of the re-gummers, and their MANY local shonk agents, but I was near a lone voice in the wilderness.  I still hold that view.  I have seen skilled German re-gumming that 95% of dealers could not pick, much less any collector.  Only a fool pays these silly 300%-500% premiums, unless they have GOOD provenance.


Regummed 1932 5/- Harbour Bridge.


Ebay is awash with them, and the Bunnies still buy them with gusto.  When it comes time to sell, and a REAL dealer or REAL auction looks at your folly, the tears will come.  One chap bo/ught me over his album of pre-war “MUH” stamps.  He had sourced most of them on ebay as “BAAHGEENZ” and spent just over $40,000 his records showed.  I gave him 10% of that - $4000, and sold them to a chap intact for $5000.  Seller was a not a happy chappy, but years later, the ebay sellers are long gone.

Had he bought light hinged of these exact stamps, he would have paid a quarter what he did, and they’d have looked identically nice in his album, and he would not have lost $36,000.  Or he could have bought the same stamps in Fine USED condition and saved many $1000s more, over buying even mint hinged.  In our climate it seems a no-brainer to me, AND you can afford to complete it then.

Some regums can look very convincing.  The 1932 5/- Harbour Bridge shown nearby was purchased in Europe by owner.  Fresh and clean, it would fool 99% of  readers I am sure, but is a quality regum in my view.
 I’ve seen well centered, good perfs, genuine MUH copies being offered at $1,750 these days by real local dealers.  I priced this one at more than $1,000 UNDER that level, and described it as a regum.  Offered on ebay etc, goodness knows what it would fetch.


Regumming is very prevalent.


Regumming in Germany is a business, and Germans are very good and diligent at any trade they enter into.  It is as legal as the guy who panel beats and resprays your car. They wash the gum off, and then use the same gum mix as on the originals, and use airbrushes like art retouchers, to spray on fine coatings of the gum.  The fast rough jobs, are $10 or so a stamp, and are pretty easy for an expert to pick, but even those fool most collectors.

Pay them a “DELUXE” fee of $100 or so, and they spend an hour on the stamp, and even most dealers cannot pick the end result.  In the case of the 5/- Bridge above, where there is a $1000+ difference between light hinged and unhinged - and very many $1000’s extra for higher value Roos, the financial attraction for the shonks is obvious.  Lots of Bunny buyers on ebay etc, so they get rich.


Try regumming corner copies!


Air brushing gum onto the back of a single stamp is one thing.  But a block 4, or a corner copy is quite different, as the gum spray clearly will get into all the holes, and is thus pretty easy to detect in most cases to the experienced.  Also, when regummers soak the stamp to get rid of old hinges, the margins often separate when soggy and wet.  Many savvy buyers like buying margin or corner copies on century old “MUH” stamps, as detecting regums is a breeze.

I added this 1913 1/- First Watermark Kangaroo to stock this week, which shows readers just how hard it would be to regum it, and pass experienced scrutiny.  It is MUH original gum, and was in an old glassine since being purchased at a PO 106 years ago.  Stamps like that you can sell as a dealer with total 105% confidence, and trust me - when the buyer of such pieces comes to sell, you will thank your wisdom!

Stamps that the regummers have soaked in water to remove old hinges or foxing etc, also generally lose that nice original “sheen” that flat calendared printer mill paper typically has.  Stamps like the 1/- Green have that deep original colour and surface gloss, that you will never have after immersion in water.  Small points, and experienced dealers get a gut feel for such things, but for casual collectors, very hard to spot. 


New ACSC Volumes in large format.


Copies of these 2 huge new Brusden-White ACSC catalogues have just been issued together.  In full colour for the first time, and in the new large A4/Quarto type size for the first time too.  Lots more data, and superb Dr Geoff Kellow research, and the KGVI includes all the BCOF issues of course.  All Proofs and essays and trials, and errors and imprints, and plate numbers, and the usual vast amount of ACSC data found NOWHERE else.                                       


Brand new ACSC in Colour.


These new editions supersede and update the previous 2015 editions, and all now in colour and in the new big A4 format, means tons more info is in each book. The listings have been fully revised, with some additions and corrections, and with additional illustrations, and larger ones in many cases.  Over 500 pages of superb info here.

Two different on-cover prices are now provided for every stamp - for solo usage, and for other uses of each stamp.  With prices that will often gob-smack you!  The rather common 1945 2/- CofA Kangaroo is cat $1,000 for solo use on cover etc.  THAT will surprise many.  There were many other eye-popping examples I noted when flicking through.

The relevant Postage Due issues have also been included in each volume - a HUGE plus, they were not included not in earlier Editions - and 2 x on-cover prices for all those too.  QE2 includes Australian Antarctic Territory and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands issues.  With both types of on cover prices of course.  A 1964 7/6d Captain Cook is worth $A20 used off cover, but is $A2,000 ON cover for example.

A 1964 5/- White paper Cattleman stamp is $A1,000 used on cover or parcel piece.  The pretty common 1959 9d Kangaroo is cat $A250 used solo on cover, but only $A25 if used in combination on cover.  Even the exceedingly common 3d Green QE2 of 1959 is $40 used solo on cover!  And the list goes on and on, so pretty easy to pay for themselves these books, just for the on cover usages etc.


$20 used, but $2000 left on cover!


As I have typed often - “Knowledge Is Power” and using these just ONCE, can easily pay for themselves.  Finding a solo use on cover on ebay etc, from a foreign dealer, of a very common stamp, now Cat $1,000, like the 2/- above, just once in your life, will in fact pay for these 2 books FOUR times over!  Retail is $A230 the pair, and sales are very strong already.


The covers need upgrading.


They are available singly of course for those collectors who collect one reign or the other.  Oddly I have sold a lot of sets 2, but no single volumes yet.  My only complaint is that lightweight board covers are a joke for a large A4 catalogue, as they curl and bend and hence will crease inevitably, when sitting on the desk or bookshelf.  These are not cheap books at $230, and deserve to be designed for long life.

I had dinner tonight with someone who was “Stamp News” Editor for years, Editor of the leading Seven Seas “ASC” catalogue for years, and still works in top end commercial printing, and knows this area backwards.  He advises the cost of stout board covers is literally peanuts if Brusden White used their head, and specified them.  He suggested they also be spiro-bound, at almost zero extra cost, so the large format books lie flat at all pages.  






  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)





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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



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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.

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