Common Design Stamps - Introduction

Introduction:

Common Design Issue in philately refers to stamps with identical design issued by more than one country. Many newcomers are pleasantly surprised at the broad category they encompass. Their charisma makes for a very popular philatelic interest area. Below are several other related classifications:
  1. Joint Issue: These are stamps in similar intent issued by several countries. Usually they are a collaborative result between the countries involved in commemorating an event or marking co-operation. A subset of these issues has identical design and they come under the umbrella of common design category. Numerous philatelists specialize in Joint Issues and in the areas within. Quite a few catalogues and sites are dedicated to this theme.
  2. Omnibus Issue: These are stamps issued by multiple countries to commemorate the same event. The design may be identical, similar, or different. Again, the subset of these issues with identical design makes for a group in the common design class.
  3. Key type: They are stamps with identical design issued by various countries (usually colonial states). A common plate, usually depicting the “head” of a King or Monarch, was used to lay down the main design for these stamps. This main design plate was referred to as the key plate. A second plate known as the duty plate, laid down the country name and denomination. The difference between the issues can be reduced to the name of the country, currency, or color. They are entirely classified under the common design category.

Issues with significant philatelic interest:

The first ever common design issue is the design of the Crown of Great Britain and the Heraldic Flowers of United Kingdom represented in the stamps from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. These are the first stamps of these three provinces and command a premium catalog value. Even so, serious philatelists consider them remarkably affordable and they catalog in the $100 range.

The initial Joint Issue stamps were issued by Greece (Scott #412), Romania (Scott #470 & 471), Turkey (Scott #785 & 786), and Yugoslavia (Scott #140 & 141) to mark the Balkan pact between those countries that was signed into treaty in 1934. These stamps catalog for under $10.

The first ever Omnibus issues are the Vasco da Gama stamps marking the fourth centenary of his discovery of the route to India issued by Portugal (Scott #147-154) and colonies (Azores: 93-100, Macao: 67-74, Madeira: 37-44, Portuguese Africa: 1-8, Portuguese Congo: 75-98, Portuguese India: 189-196, St. Thomas and Prince Islands: 170-193, and Timor: 45-52) of 1898. The lower denomination issues of Portugal catalog for a few dollars while the last three highest denominations catalog above $30 for MNH condition. The issues of the colonies catalog for under $10 for the set.

Key type stamps were introduced in 1879 by Great Britain and its Colonies. The original intent was cost savings as the colonies demanded individual stamps. Though these stamps are relatively common their philatelic interest is exceptional. Most of these were issued during the classic period (before 1940) accounting for the superior following among collectors specializing in stamps from that period.

There exists numerous common design issues and the pace of issue has accelerated making the earlier issues much more collectible than the recent ones. A very popular common design issue among philatelists is the long-running Europa stamps issued between 1956 and 1959 by the member countries of the European Coal and Steel Community, between 1960 and 1973 by members of European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), and from 1993 onwards by members of PostEurop. However for newcomers their sheer volume can be overwhelming.

Recent popular issues with limited value and appreciation potential include issues such as the Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Birthday issues of Queen Elizabeth II, Anniversary issues of organizations like UN, UPU, UNESCO, etc. Exceptions exist too. To exemplify, the Princess Diana Welsh presentation pack (NOT the US version) of 1997 routinely goes for $50 or more.

Among older issues several Coronation, King George (KGV), Victory Sets (World War II allied nations), etc. are sought by collectors. As many of these were issued as definitive stamps and produced en masse, for a few dollars many of these can still be acquired in sets.




Last Updated: 09/2015.

6 comments :

bluemoon45`5 said...

I've been collecting since I was a kid and my grandfather gave me all of his stamps!

Callie Ivy said...

I'd love to win this. There's a sweet older man that has helped our family through a lot recently. I found out that he collects stamps, and have been given him any of my (arabic or malaysian) stamps that I would occasionally get through the mail. He'd love these.

callieivy@gmail.com

J said...

Hi,

Beautiful stamps. I have a some you might find interesting on http://www.ziggmi.com. It's my philately site I created with my dad.


Cheers,
Martin

exotic1 said...

I just love the Diana Collection. Another favorite that I have is the Judy Garland that came out a couple of years ago. Thanks for sharing so much information and having this generous giveaway~!

A Reader said...

Really nice stamps!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

wendy said...

would love to get my daughter started with this. My grandfather was a Postal Employee and collected stamps for years.

madamerkf at aol dot com

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