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There seems no logical reason to produce a 23c overprint and I've not seen or heard of a plausible explanation.
It is pure conjecture on my part but I wondered if the form the outlying post offices use to requisition stamps has the denominations of the 1995 definitive series pre-entered. If that was the case then someone at one (or more) of those post offices may have ticked the box by the 23c denomination ... hence we now have 23c overprints.
Maybe another explanation will be forthcoming in due course.
Like everyone else I'm stuck for an answer as to the need for this one but have asked the question of the bureau. I'll post the reply as/when/if I get one.
Meantime, I know it's early, but Merry Christmas & Happy New Year everyone.
There must be a possibility that someone has made an error and the 23c overprint was not required. This hasn’t happened before regarding the overprint denomination ... although it is generally accepted that the use of 63c and 81c originals was an unintentional mistake.
It is pure conjecture on my part but my enquiries have confirmed that the form the outlying post offices use to requisition stamps does have the denominations of the 1995 definitive series (including 23c) pre-entered. I wonder if someone at one (or more) of those post offices may have ticked the box relating to the 23c denomination ... hence we now have 23c overprints.
Having said that recent commemorative series have included denominations which may look a little strange but are in line with revised postage rates which took effect at the beginning of 2016 when the local VAT (purchase tax) rate applicable to stamps was reduced from 15% to 9%. Recent commemorative stamps have had denominations including 38c, 47c, 62c and $1.04 ... as well as $15!
It may be that 23c stamps were required to make up one or more of these new rates with some other stamps which were already in stock.
It will be interesting to see if any non-philatelic covers appear with the 23c stamps.
I have heard a suggestion that Post Fiji are issuing unusual denominations in order to make money from collectors. Since 23 Fijian cents is the equivalent of about 11 US cents or 9 pence Sterling, I'm not sure how collector's can honestly think that Post Fiji were looking to fleece them by issuing a 23c overprint.
If getting rich quick had been their motive then surely a $10 or even $20 overprint would have made more sense. Post Fiji could easily have justified such high denominations because they do use stamps for mail, parcels etc, etc.
I've received a number of packets from Fiji with stamps to the value of FJ$50.00 or more affixed. As far as I'm aware Post Fiji don't use counter printed lables like Australia Post, Royal Mail or many other postal authorities seem to do these days.
It is still a little bit early but I'll join Andy in wishing everyone a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The new stamps are the 40 cents on 13 cents and the 50 cents on 3 cents.
This is the first time I've had to report the 3 cents original being surcharged. Where Post Fiji found stray sheets of the 3c and 13c denomination, supplies of both having supposedly been exhausted some time previously, will probably remain a matter for conjecture.
Both have the original denomination obliterated by the usual "xxx" so it is fair to assume that the "no gap" stamp would occur at sheet position R7/10. Given that inquiries made locally in Fiji suggest strongly that only one sheet of each of these stamps was produced, the "no gap" stamps would almost certainly be unique in both cases.
As to issue dates, those are nigh on impossible to ascertain, simply because no one knows which batch of 40c overprints or which batch of 50c overprints produced them nor how long they'd been in circulation before someone spotted that they were "different".
To the best of my knowledge these are the first two new discoveries to come to light since the recent publication of the 4th Edition of the SG Western Pacific catalogue.
I have not seen examples of the actual stamps but I suspect that this overprint has been produced in house using a surcharge matrix prepared by Post Fiji's in house IT team.
If you use the link below it will take you to the same thread but with images that are viewable (at the moment anyway).
I'm currently in the process of updating the majority of the images I've used so please bear with me, it takes a while to do!
The pictures suggest that only the stamps above the gutter (i.e. rows 1-5) are affected.
The most recent lots closed yesterday. The gutter block pictured made US$ 142.50 and the block with all four stamps showing surcharge double made US$ 186.56.
These have the normal 20c overprint so this is a new variety. The 20c on 44c double overprints which I reported during 2015 were the large 20 type.
It would seem that his block must have come from a different printing to mine as the stamp at R1/1 in my block has the normal spacing.
Interesting! Someone at Post Fiji seems to have tweaked the 2c overprint matrix.
The “2c” elements of the overprint are aligned the same on the new printing, but not the “xxx”.
The new variety with narrow spacing is stamp R1/1 in the block in the attached scan (Which I am presuming comes from a newer printing as I've had my block since the 2c on 44c was first released).