Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stamps Dispensing Machine - Unfriendly Quantum

I ran out of postage for local mail and decided to buy some via SingPost's stamps dispensing machine. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed at the lack of payment options when the machine displayed a message that I could only pay via NETS.

The trouble with such a payment is that the minimum payment quantum is $2. Thus I have no choice but to buy 8 stamps ($0.26 each) one shot. Makes me wonder why SingPost couldn't explore working with EZ Link cards, where surely the minimum quantum of payment can be lower. Afterall, we use EZ Link cards for bus fare payment, which has range of fares as low as $0.71.

Oh well, let me try to be positive, and perhaps take the view that now I have some more frama stamps of a new design. :) The 'Destination Singapore' tagline has a certain touristy feel somehow.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nostalgic Looking Postbox in China

Stamp collectors, by our very nature, are people who are perhaps more attracted to nostalgic looking items.

Thus recently when I was in ShangHai, this nostalgic looking postbox (信筒)caught my attention. I think the Chinese are still using such old-fashion postboxes. This post box is located at a fairly touristy location and not some old forgotten street. The post box denoted 3 collection timing (which is 1 more slot compared to Singapore Post):

1st Collection - 9:46
2nd Collection - 14:16
3rd Collection - 17: 46

Partly inspired by the postbox, I decided to mail to myself some letters from ShangHai. It took quite a while to reach my home, and the postage is actually more expensive compared to posting of international letters by SingPost. For memory sake I guess it is worth it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Singapore's New Postal Identifier Marks

Ever since Singapore liberalised the postal market, there has been a few new market players in the local scene delivering our letters and magazines.

Thus there will now be other post marks beside SingPost's post marks. that we will see on our mails. Other than SingPost, there are now these other 4 new postal operators:
  • DHL Global Mail
  • Fuji Xerox Singapore
  • SwissPost International
  • WMG
I've seen SwissPost's post marks before but not the rest. Here's how the SwissPost's postmarks look like. I'm not sure why the returned mail address is in Switzerland though, i.e. who will return the mail over such a long distance?

Other than these marks that belong solely to a postal operator, there will also be other marks which are a 'combined mark' between two operators. For example, there is this mark for WMG & SingPost 'combined'. So the mark on the left is SingPost and the mark on the right is WMG. I guess the bold 'S' means Singapore. That is interesting because all along the post marks have always belong to just 1 operator rather than 2. Historically if more than 1 operator handles the mail (e.g. international mail), each will stamp their post mark on the envelope with the date stamp. That is why some of the older (and more valuable) letters have multiple postmarks. The fun part is that the collector could trace the route that the mail took by looking at the post marks and date stamps.

Well hopefully there will be more interesting post marks rather than these 'boxy' looking rectangles in future. For the full list of new postal operators, the details are found at this IDA website.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Treskilling Yellow - Again the Most Expensive Stamp

It has been a long while since I last posted anything on this blog. I've done a re-vamp of the blog and decided that the first post shall be a post about the most expensive stamp in the world - the 3 banco Yellow Skilling.

When it was auctioned off at 1996, the price was US$4.5 million! The price now remains unknown, but if we factored in inflation of 5%, it could easily be anything above US$8.9 million now.

The story behind this rare stamp (and most expensive item by weight in this world) is an interesting one. It was found by a young boy who rummaged through his grandmother's items and discovered this odd looking stamp which was different from the rest that he saw at the local dealer. I guess the stamp errors are the ones which fetch interesting prices in world auctions.

I guess that is a good story for any beginners in stamp collecting, i.e. keep an eye lookout for anything odd in the stamps, and there will be rewards.

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