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Saturday, December 03, 2011

New AFA Catalogues from Denmark

I received an early Christmas "present" today.

As a specialist collector, I depend on fairly specialized literature to help me better understand and identify the stamps in my collections. Today, I received the new 2012 AFA Denmark catalogue. Along with it, I also got a copy of the 2008 AFA specialized catalogue-- the last time this catalogue (typically released every 6-7 years) was published.

As I perused the new books, it struck me as interesting how there is much talk about how the stamp collecting hobby is "shrinking," and yet... these two catalogues are both about twice the size they were in my early days of collecting, when I was a kid.

The AFA catalogues are a must, if you're a serious collector of Denmark. The Swedish Facit catalogue will get you a long way-- AFA gets into more detail. Although they are published in Danish, and the pricing is listed in Danish kroner, they are well illustrated and easy to use. The specialized catalogue-- now in color and over 900 pages thick-- offers one of the most thorough listings of constant varieties on Danish stamps. The Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Danish West Indies are also covered.

Of course, at a little over US$200.00 (including postage from Denmark) for the two books, these are not for the faint of heart. Which is also why I only invest in new editions every 4-5 years.

Since the catalogues are Danish, I feel that they also offer a more accurate reflection of the current pricing of Danish stamps. Of course-- like all catalogues-- "full catalogue price" is a rarity for any stamp, however, the AFA catalogues offer a fairly accurate picture of the "relative" rarity of different stamps, and is especially useful when it comes to newer stamps. For example, the 2012 Denmark catalogue now includes pricing for stamps on cover up until 1995, and some of the prices accurately reflect that finding certain higher values genuinely used on cover can be extremely difficult. For example, some of the high value painting stamps-- postally used on cover-- might set you back $25-30, even though the stamps are barely 20 years old. Don't believe me? Try finding a NON-first day cover!

Anyway, I was happy to see these new additions to my philatelic library.

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