Saturday, November 07, 2015

2015 year coming (first half of it):

As I'm still under influence of 2014 year, I can not to mention that someone in Post of Montenegro, simply say, don't have clue what is TOPICAL in Philately!

But, let's start:

1-2015 Art in Montenegro:

Feb. 5, 2015: two value in set, one can be included in Historical Building and second in Museum Artifact - hardly that it can be selected as ART in Montenegro!

2-2015 Monastery OSTROG:

March 12, 2015: One that I admire well! Even that I'm not religious man, that I'm not in any religion, one that I never visited! I admire it for other people testimonies, and for role that it have in history!
Artist still made poor job, as to take one photo from spot, and made one home work, nothing more than that!

3-2015 Flamingo:

March 12, 2015: You really think that Flamingo is "bird of nation"?
No, it is not, as Flamingo can be spotted seasonally in just one place in whole Montenegro. But, someone decided to include it as important to be on Montenegro post stamp!

4-2015 EUROPA issue:

April 16, 2015: It is common in year to issue this topic, and this year it was "Children's Toys", so Post of Montenegro made also!
Nice? Not so, as still they use "hard" color in design!

5-2015 Cetinje mentioning:

May 5, 2015: One issue that can be put on postage stamp, as CETINJE is very old city, and have big role in history! Stamp is too small for picture that they put on, so You will need big lens to enjoy in old picture and see all detail on it!

6-2015 Kite Surfing:

May 8, 2015: this issue have name "Tourism" - can You imagine it?
Put it under name of sport, it will be fine! If You made "Tourism" topic, made stamp that will show us tourism sites, beach, mountain, spa, hotels.....

7-2015: Nature - Tree:

May 13, 2015: It is put under name "Environment Protection", and stamp will show us one very old tree, half alive, so we will think that it is one very-very old tree, which is alive thanks to good environment situation in Montenegro! In principle, good one design.

8-2015: Euro-Basket Championship:

May 22, 2015: Sport event that was really important for Montenegro, as other countries also made this issue. But again, artist fail in all aspect of design! Using olive oil, than hard red/orange in combination - overall feeling of this issue is so dark, so confusing!!!

2014/2015 RED Cross and Postage Due:

As I don't know exactly date of issue, this seven stamp will be here show, just as is.
It is postage due, which was obligatory on all mail delivered between specific time, little bit is confusing that this stamps don't have written value, so public actually don't know how much to pay.
There is name as :Red Cross day", "Red Cross Week", "Fight TBC Week", all in prosper to collect little bit income for Red Cross Organization!

2014 till end of...

Terrible time go on, and almost full year, I was unable to find reliable supplier of new issues from this tinny country! As Post of Montenegro philatelic section go to be very unreliable, I was pressed to search for another person that can handle my orders, at one time, in first half of 2014, there was one very nice person in Montenegro, who actually made great job. To health problems of her, and loss of job, she was unable to continue, so I was left in between nothing and searching.

To my luck, one collector come with possibility to handle my need, but it resulted in higher fees on new issues, more expensive come shipping fees and percentage for every shipment go up in price.

So what we can see on market, is not so nice to hear, as new issue will be more costly.
Just to remind, that Montenegro have some 620 000 citizens, and printing quantity of each issue come around 20-30 000, so this "small" quantity, actually made very "stable" selling price of any issue from Montenegro. Even more than that, it can be main factor (small quantity), in forming sales price.
What I see on Michel catalog, that most new issues are priced on double+ price, on some web auction, same items will reach 3x face value (even more if taking also shipping cost per item), than, probability that this is good area to collect are great!

Here it is from continue from previous post, as stamp go:

9-2014 World Cup:

April 9, 2014 date, set of one stamp and one m/s, with combined face value of 1.90 euro
all in green (Army) color, which I hate, because design and artist, still continue to apply this far-end scale of color! There is or green or black, red....., no "between" colors used!

10-2014 Radio-Telegraph:

July 20, 2014, what to say? Nothing! If it is home work for pupil, I will give some 75-80 grade, no more than that! Why? because FDC are very poorly made, with stamp attached, cancel applied and it is all job made!

11-2014 King Nikola will:

July 27, 2014, what an great importance for Montenegro! Last will of King! King is alive - long live for King! Hy man, are we live in which century? There is no more important cause to celebrate? Just last will of King?

12-2014 Hotel Lokanda:

Sept. 5, 2014, someone know this hotel? No? I also never hear about it! Even that 150 years of existence deserve to be mentioned, I don't think that it need to be on postage stamp!

13-2014 Personalities:

Nov. 8, 2014: Mihailo Lalic, writer, good one, and deserve to be on postage stamp. problem come as he work and made all his life in Yugoslavia!!!! So that his roots come from Montenegro, "modern" politician take his work as Montenegrin writer! How much it can be correct, I really don't know!

14-2014 Joy of Europe:

Oct. 22, 2014 - I still want to cry! Basic elements are here, children drawing, as usually in this topic. But! On stamp You will see Montenegrin folklore, dance of Montenegro, with people custom on, over this go some "stars"!!!!! Which stars? European one! Something as GREAT REICH over Montenegrin people! GREAT to loss own identity!

15-2014 Cultural Heritage:

Nov. 12, 2014: Aha, let's see what we have here?! Set of three value, in total face value of 2.05 euro!
Still not so big face value (for west countries), but, if we take in consideration that medium salary in Montenegro is between 400 and 800 euro, than we come to conclusion that it is still very high face value!
What they wish to show us as Cultural Heritage? First value (0.30) come to celebrate painter Anastas Bocaric. I really never hear about him, but why they put him in cultural heritage, and not in prominent persons?
Second issue (0.80 euro), are for Orlov Krs' (Eagle's Rock, in local translation), here I can say, that many overseas collectors that use translator online will see one direct translation as "Eagle's Rubble"!
What is important here is mausoleum of Bishop Danilo. This one can be included in "History" topic, but if they prefer it as cultural heritage, so let it be!
Last third value (0.95 euro) are old archaeological site "SVAC'"!

16-2014 Danilovgrad Library:

Nov. 17, 2014: Someone translated it as Reading Room in Danilovgrad! As fact, back 125 years, there was no Library at all! There was one small room in home, where newspaper will be put on table, and educated people will come to drink coffee, and read newspaper. One nice cultural heritage I can say!

17-2014 Gymnasium:

Nov. 28, 2014: Actually name was translated as General High School, but before 150 years, there was not high, middle or other school - there was GYMNASIUM! (What You think, artist use Google translator?).

18-2014 Stamp Day:

Dec. 15, 2014 - Stamp Day topic will lead us to imagine stamp design that will show some artist toys, cancel, post office or something related to STAMP!
Actually, we receive portrait of one women, which was actually first woman (female) post officer!
So, to which topic You will include this issue?

That is all for 2014 year!
Something that we will remember as continuing in "old way" of making things happen!
Nothing to comment, nothing to be proud of, and nothing that we can say are changed in producing postage stamp!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Beginning of end or...?

Montenegro Philately:
Beginning of End or…?

So, what reason for this "terrible" name of article?
Reason is very good, as one, at first glance, simple advertisement for "Special Offer" come across my desk.
At simple reading, it is one good offer, but if we go little bit to analyze this offer, we will see slightly another picture.
Let's start from beginning:

I read this "Special Offer" in one Journal from leader company in Philately (based in Europe), where offered are (as written in Journal): "…first 4 sets, the first 8 sheets with tab, the first 4 souvenir sheets, inclusive the special imperforated first booklet pane…" (no offered cover for this booklet).

Nice advertisement, with small resolution picture of material. Till now, nothing unusual, as we know many-and-many of this kind offerings in our hobby. Then I read next sentence: "…limited edition of 5 000 copies…"!

Huh, let's analyze it:
First 4 set are:

1) "Flag and Coat of Arm" 2005 year, set of 4 value, Michel #100-103,
Scott #123-126, MR # 177-180, print run 500 000 copies.

2) "EUROPA – Gastronomy" 2005 year, Michel # 104-105, Scott # 127-128, MR # 181-182, print run: 2 different sheets of 8 stamp+gutter on middle, 5 000 sheets (40 000 sets):

3) "50 year of EUROPA issues", 2006 year, Michel #108-111, Scott # 129a-d, MR # 187-190, a print run 2 000 numbered sheets of 16 stamps + 4 gutters on middle (total 8 000 sets):

4) "Winter Olympic Turin", 2006 year, Michel # 112-113, Scott # 131-132, MR # 196-197, print run of two different sheets of * stamp + gutter on middle 4 000 sheets (total 32 000 sets):

So, all is fine with offer, except that "…5 000 copies limited edition…" which sound very attractive, but don't stand in fact, as it is NOT CLEARLY explained if it is talking about stock available in seller hand, or as print run in Montenegro Post! For ordinary collectors, who don't goes and search for printing quantity information for each issue wanted to obtain, this is not so important, because he/she want to buy something as offered "limited edition"!

As I'm one of people who like to research, I see that it is not so "limited edition", because original print run from 500 00/40 000/8 000/32 000 quantity sets printed, it is correct when talking about booklet pane and sheets of 8+1 gutter (5 000 quantity print), wherein offer are not stated, that all (usually) booklet panes have cover included, and in this case, there is no cover included!

Then, we come across one information, connected to "50 year of EUROPA issues", which are initially printed in 505 000 souvenir sheets (Michel # Bl. 3, Scott # 130, MR # 3) – this issue are printed in huge quantity (505 000), from this 500 000 are sold to dealer in Spain, later revoked (problematic financial transaction as reason), revoked material was removed or destroyed, rest of 5 000 quantity was sold inside country to the post offices and standing order collectors.
Question is, how to offer for sale, "…limited edition…", as we see that it is not so limited, and there where it is indeed limited to 5 000 copies, most are out of hand for dealers! Probability that exist much more quantity in dealers hands than officially claimed?

Analyzing catalog prices, I see that it is very correctly stated in offer, as 451.00 Euros total catalog value, which seller have in first offering price of 135.00 Euro (30% Michel catalog value), and now in this "Special Offer" for 81.00 Euro asking price (18% Michel catalog value).

What face value say? So, not so big profit, as face value for all material offered are 88.00 Euro, selling in first offering for 135.00 Euro (65% up of face value), and in second offering of 81.00 Euro (7.00 Euro less than total face value), which is still with profit, as we know, that Post of Montenegro give great discount on higher quantity ordered/purchased (range from 5% to 30% discount on total balance sheet, depending on quantity purchased).
So, to summarize, that value of Montenegro stamps are going slowly down, as time go on! If it is just result of dealers dumping stock after 10 years of keeping it in stock, or as inactivity on market, as collectors are not willing to obtain material from this small country by so high asking prices?

My personal opinion is, that Post of Montenegro made one great mistake, as Croatia made, and go with Spain dealer to some problematic adventure, which resulted in mistrust and in high market prices for new issues offered in first ten year.
Now when we take in account, that service to standing order holder from Montenegro Post are very-very slow, with administrative barriers (selling postage stamp in Montenegro to the foreign address, are treated as export, which mean, proper paper work must include every shipment, with custom declaration involved, no matter of quantity ordered) which slow delivery time and involve additional dues as shipping cost which are very high.

All this "problems" made collectors to abandon interest for Montenegro postage stamp, so also dealers, who keep some bigger quantity in stock, after this 10 years keeping material in store, now go, and sell it out.

If it will have effect on market, just time will say, as now, I don't see any price drop on any internet sale, and my personal stock are very low, as I don't keep quantity in stock, but this "special offer" made one really good opportunity to buy low and avoid high catalog value. We will see reaction from Michel catalog 2015 edition, which comes out in next few months.

Friday, July 11, 2014

2014 - Starting with:

1-2014 "Art through centuries":

How it someone can call "Art" I don't know, but as is, Post of Montenegro decide to show us 2 value in set, that show us medieval tombstones and laces. Probably it is "Art" in some way, but postage stamp production and design are also art, and on this two stamps, I don't have feeling of any kind of ART! It is still one color full of paper, with some image that is hardly recognizable as "laces", and "tombstones" can be understand from picture, as just one brink near the road (in focus), how to made so low quality work, and be tolerated by managers I really don't know.
Issue come out at Jan. 31, 2014, set of 2 value, total 1.25 euro, but, if You will try to buy it on eBay or other web shop, prepare some 3 or 4 time of face value in cash.

2-2014 "Winter Olympics":

Here we come from extreme to extreme. Second issue in this year, and almost no color on stamps, except salvage on printing sheet that have this "dark blue" color. Stamp alone are 75% blank, and that what is left need to show us ski sport, logo of Sochi Winter Game, and it is all what we can see. Issue come to market on Feb. 17, 2014. One stamp of 0.95 euro face value, as I see - prepare around 3 to 4 time more money when You will purchase it on-line. 

3-2014 "Diocese of Bar City":

In principle, not bad design if You think by "other" way, because at first glance, on stamp You will see number 925, You will probably mix it with face value that is nowhere to see. But if You will see more carefully, You will find it (face value) also on the corner. Than there is one "half" seal (what author wish to sat with half seal I really don't know), and next come to Your eye some kind of ornament on the stamp. As I say, not bad, if You don't examine it from more close range.
Come to the market on Feb. 27, 2014, single stamp of 0.30 euro face value.

4-2014 "Flora":

What to say about? Nothing! I saw many-many better design of this one, where You actually hide image of stamp from people! Throw color on piece of paper and call it postage stamp. Why to made so ugly stamp, I really don't understand. It is like "sniper focus on target" feeling. So, here we have one stamp with mushroom, and second with flower. Both of are very eye catching in nature, but on this stamp it is not so!
Two stamp in set, with face value of all together 1.25 euro. No, You will not find it by face value.
Come to the public on March, 14, 2014.

5-2014 "EUROPA":

Finally one nice design come out from this country! And it is just if You look at stamp alone, because if You focus on gutter inside sheet of 8 stamp, You will find there one gutter showing us what? Really, what is is on the middle of sheet? I will think about "Zombie", "Dead Body", or "Aliens" - but not one proud Montenegrin that hold music instrument in hands!
Because this drawing of gutter, I will prefer just m/s that is really worth to obtain and keep in collection.
Issued on April 18, 2014 as single stamp of 0.95 euro face value.

6-2014 "Grahovac Church":

I will call it as church on the middle of night, just to explain how it is designed!
No too much to say! 150 years of battle with Turks on the place that is called Grahovac, and talking about church that was build on the place where army commander Hussein Pasha have own tent! It is really important place, not on the battlefield to erect church, but on the place where one Turk have a tent! 
Issued on May 9, 2014, face value of  0.30 euro, but this time, it is made also in sheet of 20, plus FDC and CM.

7-2014 "Tourism":

Tell me alone how to recognize on this stamp that it is "Tourism" places? Here we have two stamp, where I can see just one "peak" or "stone" and one "bay" with some yachts inside in distance that hardly I can recognize it!
Full with nice blue color! Nice to have in collection? No! But, all depend of Philatelist taste!
Two stamp in set, low face value of 0.70 euro per set.
Come to the public on May 14, 2014.

8-2014 "Tree":

It is under name of "Nature Protection", where Montenegro can be protected in all around, because nature in this country are intact (mostly), and this tree (Pines) are some kind of symbol  of all people of Montenegro. design catch really nice moment, showing us places where this tree are, highly up on mountain! Nice design, but not best! Face value little bit high of 0.95 euro, for single stamp. Come to the market on May 23, 2014.

Friday, January 31, 2014

2013 - End of the year

Finally I have all from 2013 year. today arrived last two issues and I'm really sad, because Post of Montenegro still have this unattractive design. Let's hope that something (to better) will change in 2014.

15-2013 "Historical Heritage":

Come to the public at Nov. 12, 2013, with two stamp in set. One stamp is for Elena of Savoy, fifth daughter of King Nikola and Queen Milena. one simple portrait of same, some kind of sad face, what is need to made this design I really don't know. No better picture of person that is important for Montenegro history? Second stamp will tell us about old town of Bar, that have very long history of 2500 years. That what we see from stamp, will show us one map, that will not lead us straight to know about what is talking. As is - is, two stamp will take from us 0.70 euro face value, probably on the market You will be asked to pay 20% more.

16-2013 "Stamp Day":

Can You tell me what is that on stamp? Circus? Clown? Roses? Stamps?
Probably all together mixed in one confused way, that no art lower will understand. I can say just - too complicated that can fit to the topical of "stamp day" - sorry, I don't have love for this issue.
Single stamp, day Dec. 15, 2013 - 0.30 euro to pay. Probably just sheet of 20 stamp will be hard to obtain, but single stamp will be very available on some web auctions.

That is it for 2013 year, not something attractive in whole year, and still weak service from central post office in Podgorica (Titograd), thanks for really great person in Kotor Post Office that help us with speed delivery of new issues.
Hope that something will improve in the future, because I still don't have (because post of Montenegro didn't have it at all) any new design  of IRC, or any Aerogramme, post card or any other post stationery from this country.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Montenegro - Crna Gora, 2013 (still not all):

12-2013 "Aviation - 100 year":

As this year, few countries made this topical, I have privilege to compare just three countries, and have so bad feeling when talking Montenegro issue. Are this people, who decide to go out with such naive, simple, not attractive design, really thinking that it is the way to promote own country with stamp as this?

There, I have in stock issue from Serbia and Israel. Compare it with Montenegro, and say which one You will buy! Montenegro made one simple "sketch" of airplane on one stamp, and Serbia go with booklet format of six perfectly made stamp, Israel go with three postage stamp, that have design far above art. More than that, Israel made also booklet option, and one expensive printing sheet edition! All with intention of celebrating 100 yr of aviation in the own country, and it is not "just" day - it is very important event for any serious country!

Single stamp, Sep. 5, 2013,  0.30 euro face value, sheet format of 20 stamps.

13-2013 "National Hero Lj. Cupic":

If Montenegro Post want to celebrate JUST 100 year of birth for this person, design is "in frame". But because this person made some event, left an great mark on Yugoslavia (Montenegro) hard time during WWII, this issue need much-much more artist design and public attention. Here is talking about hero, that stand "death row" with smile on the face till last second of his life. Making enemy soldier so desperate, that story about him go for long time, till today around!

Again, one stamp in, low face value of 0.30 euro, date of issue Oct. 10, 2013, sheet of 20.

14-2013 "Joy of Europe":

I have feeling that "artist idea" in design power is going empty, as year come to the end!
Nice topic, that come on market every year, "Joy of Europe" mean, "Joy of Young", joy of children - and probably it need to be one nice design, that adult person will "at first glance" understand that here is talking about youth, about young people, about health future of nation.
From design that we have now, I see one nice children drawing, that will push You to think about some kind of "dream" to fly own life in the dark sky!

What to say? Nothing! I keep silent!

Again one stamp here, in sheet of 8 + 1 gutter, now with much higher face value of 0.95 euro.
Issued on Oct. 22, 2013.

Postage Due 2013:

As usually, every few months gov't will collect some money to support cause of Red Cross and anti-TBC fighting. Even that I think, that it need to be basic obligation of gov't alone, there is practice, to collect revenue from public that send and use post service. On every mail, at the specific time period, must be attached one stamp whole week. Single stamp have face value of 0.25 euro, that is not small amount to pay! And no dealer will give it less than 1.00 euro per single.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Montenegro - Crna Gora - next in this year:

5-2013 EUROPA - Postal Vehicles:

This single stamp, of really high face value (for Montenegro standard), 0.95 euro for single stamp!
What to say!? Just - bad as can be! What is that "artist expression" of  "splashed color" on FDC and on stamp design alone! I understand art as basic, and expression as my graphic design education that I have, but when we talk about design of postage stamp, we can not simply made one "avantgarde" design and what ordinary people and collectors will understand - it is not artist problem!

I personally think, that artist wish to "splash color" on EUROPA (in indirect way of expression), what other reason can be to made such "naive" work!

As is - is, single stamp, on market April 19, 2013, worth to buy? You decide!

6-2013 "125 year of Property Code":

Again one unnecessary issue! It is nice to celebrate 125 year of something, I don't say no, but to celebrate some "General Property Code" is very strange by my opinion!
There is lot of other "happening" that make much bigger mark on Montenegro, and this "Property Code" - is something that can be on margin of history, not forgotten, but also not so big significance that deserve postage stamp!
Single stamp, come on market on May 10, 2013, low face value of 0.30 euro, that will hardly go up with catalog value any time soon!

7-2013 "Tourism":

To cry? No, not worth it! See what they made! One set of two green stamp! With picture of "hiking" and "Biking" - I really wish to see who will go hiking on Montenegro mountain! This who will do it will be called avanturist and not tourist! All around is in green color, (US$ in mind?), and worst of all, it come out in booklet format too! Booklet? All but not booklet - because cover of same are two time size of stamp that need to be inside cover, properly attached on cover - we don't have it all!

Now, You will need in collection two stamp like set + booklet, that will cost You by face value of 1.40 euro, and printing sheet of 20 that 99% of collectors will avoid!

Set come on market on May 14, 2013 - nothing to say "great"!

8-2013 "Olive Tree":

Issue come on market at may 23, 2013, with still "green color" in use, all of this are in green color! Understand that olive come in this color, but when I look on stamp, hardly that I can understand about what is here talking! Too confusing design, FDC as simple as can be!
Low face value of 0.30 euro, can be single satisfaction for collectors!

9-2013 "Sport":

You know, at first glance, I say "Fine - Finally" but, I calm down quickly! Issue come on market at June 7, 2013 with two stamp in set, where I see big name EUROBASKET! We know that there in Slovenia is happening Championship in Basketball, and nice that Montenegro issue stamp to celebrate this, but to mix one issue with second stamp in, and topic of second stamp is Football Club of Lovcen - hey guy, what is that now? 
design is more or less right, but - don't mix it together, we all know what that mean for topical collectors!

10-2013 "Edict of Milan":

Here it come one very-very important happening in history of all SLAVENS on the Balkan, and Montenegro come to with one single stamp celebrating this history! Single stamp come on market at June 26, 2013 - again low face value of 0.30 euro, with very simple, but sympathetic design. Probably not so attractive like Serbian issue for this 1700 years of Edict of Milan (where is on year 313 allowed to Christian to freely preach religion), but still nice! 

11-2013 "Ship - Seamanship":

When we made stamp with topic of "Seamanship" or "Ship", we want at first sight to see "Ship" on stamp, but Post of Montenegro didn't think this way! They made one stamp, that can be included in "Persons on Stamp" topic and not in this "Navigation" or "Ship" topic!
Here we have one statue of person, and on background of design we have navigation instrument and book of captain - what is that! If not FDC design, where we can clearly understand that this issue have "Navy" connection (ship on it), we will be in very dire situation to miss this issue in collection!
Nothing more I can say! Issue come on market at June 28, 2013 with low face value of 0.30 euro.