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lbootman
Posts: 101
I believe the 23c on 44c overprint was released on 25 October 2016. I wasn't aware of the 2c on 44c until Andy's post and I don't have a release date for that one. Does anyone else have any idea on an issue date?
2016-11-28 10:12
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jray
Posts: 71
I can't help with the dates, sorry. The 23c value is strange - it must be a make-up rate, but for what? 23c plus 81c makes the rate for an airmail letterto Zone D - maybe that's it? They have plenty of 81c stamps in stock.

John
2016-11-28 18:56
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lbootman
Posts: 101
As I understand it, overprints are produced when requests come in to the central stocks for a certain denomination that is not currently in stock.

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.
2016-11-29 14:43
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anapier
Posts: 21
Les, thanks for the info on the release date for the 23c overprint.

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.

Andy
2016-12-04 17:27
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lbootman
Posts: 101
Many people, myself included, seem to be puzzled as to why the 23c on 44c overprint was produced. Enquiries made locally in Fiji have not resulted in any explanation other than that the denomination was requested (by post offices).

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.
2016-12-09 10:51
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lbootman
Posts: 101
Two new varieties have recently been brought to my attention. Both appear to have been produced by accident as a result of including a stray sheet of a different denomination among a batch of 31c or 44c stamps used for surcharging.

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.
[Last edited by lbootman, 2017-03-17 10:47]
2017-03-17 10:36
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lbootman
Posts: 101
A new 50c on 44c, this time with XX obliterator, has been found by Doug Iams in the USA. Doug sent me a scan of a top left corner block of 4.

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.
2017-05-05 19:25
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lbootman
Posts: 101
As several members commented last Saturday at the AGM, the Stampboards.com site is having problems with images at the moment. It is not just my thread covering the Fiji Overprints that is affected!

If you use the link below it will take you to the same thread but with images that are viewable (at the moment anyway).

http://stampboards.net/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=39235&p=2997758&sid=a088cd9b91ef3f17040fc1f987de8920#p2997758

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!
2017-07-12 13:47
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lbootman
Posts: 101
An ebay seller in Fiji has been listing 20c on 44c stamps with double overprints recently.

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.
2018-03-05 10:45
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jray
Posts: 71
I have been watching Sashi's offerings with interest. He has struck lucky and found a really good variety, and there has been spirited bidding for examples of it. Maybe there are other varieties out there waiting to be discovered!

John
2018-03-26 09:56
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lbootman
Posts: 101
A friend of mine brought a positional block of the 2c on 44c that he'd bought from Shashi Patel to my attention.

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).
2018-04-09 10:45
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lbootman
Posts: 101
I've now had an opportunity to examine a NW corner block of the 2nd printing 2c on 44c. Besides the obvious variety in R1/1 the "standard" stamps are also different from the first printing as these now have 2½mm spacing as opposed to the 2¼mm spacing seen on stamps from the 1st printing.

Since sightings of 20c on 44c double overprints being listed by Shashi Patel on ebay seem to have ceased it seems more likely that only 50 of the double overprint stamps (half a sheet) exist.
2018-06-26 13:30
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lbootman
Posts: 101
I've received a report from a collector friend in the USA that the 3c on 44c has been found with watermark inverted.

Checking watermarks on later Fijian stamps is problematic, the birds and flowers set from the 1970's which exists with three different watermark layouts is notoriously difficult.

I'd never previously checked for watermarks on any of the overprints but watermarks on individual examples of the 1995 bird stamps, with or without overprint, are probably going to be difficult to identify.

I've checked a couple of marginal blocks of the 3c on 44c that I acquired at different times and those have the watermark upright.

I've also checked the Gibbons sectional catalogue and I could not see any mention in the SG listings for an inverted watermark on any of the 1995 bird stamps.

(This is a copy of a post I made on the stampboards thread back in July - Apologies for not mentioning it on PISC forum sooner, I thought I had)
2018-09-15 21:57
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jray
Posts: 71
I agree that the watermarks on the Birds and Flowers series are difficult to identify, even with marginal copies, and the Birds are also problematic. Like you, I had never heard of an inverted watermark on any of the Birds stamps and had never thought to look for them, but will now do so!
The SG catalogue editor is aware of this discovery and it will be listed in the next edition (whenever that may be).
2018-09-18 19:16
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lbootman
Posts: 101
Reported to me by a collector in the USA:

3c xx on 1c (Scott 1154) variety double overprint, one inverted already footnoted in Scott and mentioned in Bryan's book as from a single sheet.

However, there are 2 different versions. I have a single from an unknown position and a gutter pair from positions 50 & 60 (plate numbers 1A/1B) that match each other, but them there is a very different gutter block of 4 from positions 49-50 & 59-60 (plate numbers 1C/1D).

The first thing that stands out is the inverted overprint in position 50 on the gutter block is 2c XX (2 not 3, large XX not small xx, but is the expected 3c xx in position 50 on the gutter pair. Sure would love to see the normal overprint on position 51 to see if it is also 2c XX.

The other difference is the size of the 3c xx overprint (both the normal one and the inverted one) on the gutter block is larger than the other ones (regular and double examples). The c to x gap is about 0.5mm wider, the full overprint width is about 1mm wider and the height of the 3 is about 0.25mm taller (although the x's seem to be the same).

So many questions.

I am guessing they started with a 2c XX overprint matrix (presumably from a Scott 1153 printing, but I have not had a chance to compare the sizes) and somehow missed changing the denomination in position 50.

But why the double overprint?

And why has no one reported a normal single overprint with this larger 3c xx? or has no one looked hard enough?

I suppose this could be from a trial printing and I can understand how the 2c XX could be found and fixed, but would they really notice the 3c xx was larger than the original 3c xx printing and fix it so we never got any normal single overprint with this larger 3c xx?

Scan of the oddball block and comparative size images attached.
2018-10-03 11:36
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