Sunday, 30 April 2017

United States of America - Kansas

In my World envelope collection I do not just want to have envelopes from stamp-issuing countries and territories, but also from other regions. This includes the 50 states of the United States of America. This envelope comes from the state of Kansas, lying in the midwestern region of the United States. It was the 34th state, admitted in 1861.

The stamps were affixed by me and come from the Flags of our nations and Greetings series, with a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of statehood. I sent the envelope to the central post office in the capital Topeka to be postmarked. The envelope arrived back in a plastic bag that is used for damaged mail. I could not find any damages, so I assume the Postmaster put my envelope in the bag to protect it. Seeing the smudged ink on the stamps, I guess the ink was not yet completely dry when the envelope was put in the bag. Nevertheless, the postmark is from the Postmaster himself and that is fairly unique.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 20 April 2017
Date received: 26 April 2017
Number of days: 12
Envelope in collection: 17




Netherlands

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy in the northwestern part of Europe. The first postage stamps were issued in 1852. Since a few years stamps have a number that signifies the value: 1 for national letters up to 20 gr, 2 for national letters up to 50 gr and INTERNATIONAAL 1 for foreign letters up to 20 gr. Stamps in guilder values are no longer valid, but stamps in euros can still be used.

On 1 January 2017 PostNL abolished all datestamps in the country. The only way to get a stamp postmarked is just put your envelope in the letter box and send it through the normal mail. The philatelic service, now called Collect Club, sells cancelled stamps. These are stamped with a normal datestamp, so I sent an envelope to the Collect Club with a letter asking for a date stamp. Almost two weeks later I received my envelope and my letter back, not from Collect Club but from the Dutch Association of Stamp Dealers (NVPH) with a card saying they received my envelope from Collect Club and had no idea what to do with it. So I just put the envelope in the letter box and it came back the next day with a The Hague postmark.

Website of Collect Club (in Dutch only): collectclub.postnl.nl.

Date sent: 25 April 2017
Date postmark: 25 April 2017
Date received: 26 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 16




Saturday, 29 April 2017

United States of America - Arizona

In my World envelope collection I do not just want to have envelopes from stamp-issuing countries and territories, but also from other regions. This includes the 50 states of the United States of America. This envelope comes from the state of Arizona, lying in the southwestern region of the United States. It was the 48th state, admitted in 1912.

The stamps were affixed by me and come from the Flags of our nations and Greetings series, with a stamp commemorating the statehood centenary. I sent the envelope to a post office in the capital Phoenix to be postmarked. This was the first envelope from outside Europe I received back.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 20 April 2017
Date received: 25 April 2017
Number of days: 11
Envelope in collection: 15



France

The republic of France in Western Europe started to issue postage stamps in 1849. Almost all French stamps are still valid for postage. Stamps in French francs can be used at 15 eurocents per franc.
The stamp on the envelope I affixed myself is for letters to European countries. It shows Marianne, the personification of the French republic. Through the years a number of different series with Marianne have been issued.

The postmark is from the central philatelic sales point in Paris. Normally that is housed in the 'poste centrale du Louvre' at 52 rue du Louvre in the first arrondissement of Paris. In 2015 a renovation project started and the post office moved temporarily to 16 rue Étienne Marcel, 400 metres to the east. In 2018 the post office will return to its normal place and the postmark will change back to the rue du Louvre.

Website of La Poste (sells stamps of France, Andorra (French Post Office), French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and the French Southern and Antarctic Territories): boutique.laposte.fr/collectionneur.

Date sent: 5 April 2017
Date postmark: 21 April 2017
Date received: 25 April 2017
Number of days: 20
Envelope in collection: 14



United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom was the first country that issued postage stamps, back in 1840. Being the first, they do not have to put their country name on the stamps like the rest of the world. All stamps have either the portrait or the monogram of the ruling monarch.

The stamp I put on the envelope, international tariff, is part of a series of definitives that started on 5 June 1967. After being cancelled at the Trafalgar Square Post Offce the envelope was put through the normal channels and thus received a second cancellation from the machine in the Mount Pleasant mail centre.


Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 21 April 2017
Date received: 25 April 2017
Number of days: 11
Envelope in collection: 13



Friday, 28 April 2017

England

The Royal Mail issues country definitives (originally: regional definitives) for the four countries in the United Kingdom showing local motives. The first definitives for England were issued in 2001.

The stamp for the international tariff was affixed by myself. After being cancelled at the City of London Post Offce the envelope was put through the normal channels and thus received a second cancellation from the machine in the Mount Pleasant sorting centre.

Website of Royal Mail, definitives page: shop.royalmail.com/definitives.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 20 April 2017
Date received: 25 April 2017
Number of days: 11
Envelope in collection: 12



Netherlands - Stamp code

In 2014 PostNL introduced the Stamp code, a stamp in the form of a 9-digit code which you can buy direct with your mobile phone or on the website. At the start the stamp code was more expensive than a normal stamp and only available for letters up to 20 gr. Now stamp codes are available for all national and international parcels and even for registered letters at the price of a normal stamp. After buying the stamp code you have five days to post your letter or parcel.

I ordered and paid for the stamp code with my mobile phone and posted my letter the next day. The stamp code does not get a cancellation at the sorting centre, but the machine code on the envelope shows that it was put through the normal post system.

Information on the Stamp code on the website of PostNL (in Dutch only): www.postnl.nl/postzegelcode.

Date sent: 24 April 2017
Date postmark: no postmark
Date received: 25 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 11




Netherlands - Post & Go 2017 - Bussum, Collect Club

The Netherlands did not have ATM stamps for years. In January 2017 they were re-introduced at the stamp show in Hilversum (I missed that). PostNL is experimenting with selling single stamps instead of sheets of ten stamps. Selling single stamps stopped when PostNL closed the post offices and put postal desks in bookstores, supermarkets and other shops.

In January 2017, four machines were in use. Machine NL01 is used for special events, NL02 is placed in the Collect Club stamp shop in Bussum and NL03 can be found in the PostNL shop in The Hague. There is also a machine NL00. The stamps from this machine are sold through the PostNL Collect Club website and in two shops in Amersfoort.

In October 2017 the NL02 machine in Bussum was relocated to The Hague and place in The Read Shop Apon in the Theresiastraat. Half a year later it was removed from there and whas then stored at the PostNL headquarters in The Hague without being used.

Each machine contains two rolls of 1500 stamps that are printed on demand. The stamp 'butterfly' has the value 1 (letter national up to 20 gr), the stamp 'tulip' has a value of INTERNATIONAAL 1 (letter international up to 20 gr) with a printed priority label.

I bought the stamps in Bussum on 21 April 2017. Since PostNL had withdrawn all datestamps at that time, the only possibility was to put my envelopes in a letter box. The envelopes were cancelled at the sorting centre in Amsterdam.

Date sent: 21 April 2017
Date postmark: 21 April 2017
Date received: 22 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 9




Date sent: 21 April 2017
Date postmark: 21 April 2017
Date received: 22 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 10





Thursday, 27 April 2017

Netherlands - Post & Go 2017 - Den Haag, PostNL

The Netherlands did not have ATM stamps for years. In January 2017 they were re-introduced at the stamp show in Hilversum (I missed that). PostNL is experimenting with selling single stamps instead of sheets of ten stamps. Selling single stamps stopped when PostNL closed the post offices and put postal desks in bookstores, supermarkets and other shops.

In January 2017, four machines were in use. Machine NL01 is used for special events, NL02 is placed in the Collect Club stamp shop in Bussum and NL03 can be found in the PostNL shop in The Hague. There is also a machine NL00. The stamps from this machine are sold through the PostNL Collect Club website and in two shops in Amersfoort.

In October 2017 the NL02 machine in Bussum was relocated to The Hague and place in The Read Shop Apon in the Theresiastraat. Half a year later it was removed from there and whas then stored at the PostNL headquarters in The Hague without being used.

Each machine contains two rolls of 1500 stamps that are printed on demand. The stamp 'butterfly' has the value 1 (letter national up to 20 gr), the stamp 'tulip' has a value of INTERNATIONAAL 1 (letter international up to 20 gr) with a printed priority label.

I bought the stamps in The Hague on 20 April 2017. Since PostNL had withdrawn all datestamps at that time, the only possibility was to put my envelopes in a letter box.The envelopes were cancelled at the sorting centre in The Hague ('s-Gravenhage).

Date sent: 20 April 2017
Date postmark: 20 April 2017
Date received: 21 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 7




Date sent: 20 April 2017
Date postmark: 20 April 2017
Date received: 21 April 2017
Number of days: 1
Envelope in collection: 8






Belgium

Belgium is a kingdom in the northwest of Europe, issuing stamps since 1849.

The stamp for the European tariff was affixed by myself. The postmark is from the Philatelic Bureau in Mechelen and shows tweezers and a magnigying glass, essential attributes for a stamp collector. The envelope was sent back to me from Mechelen in a registered envelope. Quite a service considering the stamp only costs € 1,13.

Website of the Belgian Philatelic Service (only in Dutch and French): eshop.bpost.be/verzamelaar.

Date sent: 5 April 2017
Date postmark: 11 April 2017
Date received: 20 April 2017
Number of days: 15
Envelope in collection: 6





Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Scotland

The Royal Mail issues country definitives (originally: regional definitives) for the four countries in the United Kingdom showing local motives. The first definitives for Scotland were issued in 1958.

The stamp for the international tariff was affixed by myself. After being cancelled at the Edinburgh Post Offce the envelope was put through the normal channels and thus received a second cancellation from the machine in the Edinburgh mail centre.

Website of Royal Mail, definitives page: shop.royalmail.com/definitives.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 18 April 2017
Date received: 20 April 2017
Number of days: 6
Envelope in collection: 5



Wales

The Royal Mail issues country definitives (originally: regional definitives) for the four countries in the United Kingdom showing local motives. The first definitives for Wales were issued in 1958.

The stamp for the international tariff was affixed by myself. After being cancelled at the Cardiff Post Offce the envelope was put through the normal channels and thus received a second cancellation from the machine in the Welsh sorting centre.

Website of Royal Mail, definitives page: shop.royalmail.com/definitives.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 18 April 2017
Date received: 20 April 2017
Number of days: 6
Envelope in collection: 4



Northern Ireland

The Royal Mail issues country definitives (originally: regional definitives) for the four countries in the United Kingdom showing local motives. The first definitives for Northern Ireland were issued in 1958.
The stamp for the international tariff was affixed by myself. For some reason the stamp has also been cancelled with pen strokes.

Inside the envelope the Belfast Post Office sent me back my letter and the envelope I used to send the request. On the back of the envelope there are two more datestamps of Belfast.

Website of Royal Mail, definitives page: shop.royalmail.com/definitives.

Date sent: 14 April 2017
Date postmark: 18 April 2017
Date received: 20 April 2017
Number of days: 6
Envelope in collection: 3




Monaco

The principality of Monaco is located in the south of France on the Mediterranean coast. It is an independent country, member of the United Nations since 1993.

The stamp for the European tariff was affixed by myself. The postmark is of the Monaco Philatelic Bureau (Office des Emissions de Timbres-Poste), on the back of the envelope is a datestamp of Monte Carlo.

Website of the Monaco Philatelic Service: www.oetp-monaco.com.

Date sent: 4 April 2017
Date postmark: 15 April 2017
Date received: 19 April 2017
Number of days: 15
Envelope in collection: 2




Germany - Berlin - Sonderstempelstelle

Germany has two special centres where postmark collectors can send their request for special postmarks to: Berlin and Weiden. Each centre carries its own permanent postmark. For Berlin it shows the bear from the city coat of arms stamping a letter. The Sonderstempelstelle also has a special datestamp.

There is also a Sonderstempelstelle in Bonn, but that only deals with first day cancellations on the day of issue. Bonn has two permanent postmarks and a datestamp.

For this postmark I used the normal 90 definitive from the flower series.

Date sent: 5 April 2017
Date postmark: 10 April 2017
Date received: 13 April 2017
Number of days: 8
Envelope in collection: 1