Nicknames for Errors in Stamps - An Introduction

Errors, Freaks, and Oddities (EFOs) have an enormous appeal in philately and some even qualify as gems.

Error stamps can be categorized as
  1. True Errors – occurs when one or more production steps are missed in certain production runs for a particular stamp. Examples include missing colors, missing perforations, multiple printings, and incorrect design orientations. In general, stamps with errors are generally command a much higher premium than the same in perfect condition and,
  2. Design Errors – are stamps with incorrect design including erroneous facts, language errors, and other design problems.
Freaks are an odd design for one or more stamps that result from a random problem in the production process. Examples include mis-cuts, color shifts, and/or faint colors, missing perforations and/or faint perforations, etc. Generally, the more unique the occurrence the more higher prized the freak becomes.

Oddities are stamps unusual in other respects. Examples comprise of unusual, misspelled, or inverted cancels, plate variations from worn-out areas in the printing plate or other causes, etc.

Below are nicknames for some of the most famous stamps with errors:



TermExplanationSample
Gronchi Rosa - ItalyItalian stamp released April 3, 1961 with an error in the map showing Peru – the border with Ecuador is incorrectly mapped.
Inverted Head 4 Annas - IndiaFirst issue of India – October 13, 1854 – The head in the first few sheets of printing was shows inverted – this error made the stamp scarce & famous
Inverted Jenny - USAA US 24c stamp issued May 10, 1918 with the airplane (Curtiss JN-4) in the center of the design inverted. Only one sheet of 100 is known to have this error
Inverted Swan - Western AustraliaA 4p Western Australia stamp issued in 1855 with an invert error – the frame is inverted and so the design appears inverted
Post Office – Mauritius1d and 2d stamps of 1847 (~500 copies each), so named because of the wording “Post Office” in place of “Post Paid”.
Treskilling Yellow - SwedenAn 1855 stamp with a color error that holds the record for auction sale price – only one copy is known to exist


Last Updated: 09/2015.

Solid State Netbook Computers – Best Values & Review

This is a follow-up update on the review performed late last year on the best laptops and netbooks. Solid state netbook computers were not part of that evaluation as at that time they were priced slightly higher. Currently, their price range match well with their hard-disk equivalents.

Having less movable parts makes solid state netbooks travel-friendly over standard netbooks employing a hard-drive. They also score higher in portability in home environments where a laptop can be found perched just about anywhere and is a draw for students too.

Acer and Asus are the primary manufacturers of Netbook computers with solid state storage option. HP has an offering in this category. Below is a comparison of the flagship solid state products from these manufacturers.

Best Value Solid State Netbooks:


Feature/ProductAcer Aspire One AOA110-1995Asus Eee PC 901HP Mini 1115NRDell Vostro A90
Thumbnail















Best Price$296.99 (white only)$279.99 (pearl white only)$299.99$379
ProcessorIntel Atom 1.6 GHz Processor 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHzIntel Atom 1.6 GHz Processor 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHzIntel Atom 1.6 GHz Processor 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHzIntel Atom 1.6 GHz Processor 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHz
Memory1 GB DDR2 SDRAM , 2 GB Max1 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 2 GB Max.1 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 2 GB Max.1 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 2 GB Max.
Solid State Storage in place of a hard drive8 GB NAND Drive, 8 GB SD card included for use in dedicated memory card slot (SD & MMC).12 GB SD memory in dedicated memory card slot (SD & MMC)16 GB solid-state flash memory (NAND) storage16 GB solid-state flash memory (NAND) storage
Additional Storage Option(s)Multi-format expansion slot - Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card.20 GB Asus online storage.Memory Card Slot (SD & MMC)Memory Card Slot (SD & MMC)
Battery3-cell – rated for up to 2.5 hours6-cell – rated for up to 6 hours3-cell – rated for up to 2.5 hours4-cell – rated for up to 5 hours
Weight2.5 pounds2.43 pounds2.23 pounds2.36 pounds
Dimension9.8 (W) x 6.7 (D) x 1.14 (H)8.86 (W) x 6.90 (D) x 0.89 - 1.54 (H)10.3 (W) x 6.56 (D) x 0.99 (H) 9.13 (W) x 6.77 (D) x 1.15 (H)
Other Feature Summary3 USB 2.0 ports; 1 VGA, 1 Microphone, 1 headphone, AC Adapter.3 USB 2.0 ports; 1 VGA, 1 Microphone, 1 headphone, AC Adapter.2 USB 2.0 ports; 1 Microphone, 1 headphone, AC Adapter.3 USB 2.0 ports; 1 Microphone, 1 headphone, AC Adapter, optional bluetooth, security cable.


The common features applicable to all of the models described are:
  • Windows XP Home pre-installed
  • WI-FI Wireless Card.
  • Graphics Media Accelerator Chipset.
  • Wireless 802.11b/g card.
  • 10Base-T/100Base-TX Fast Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector
  • Webcam.
  • 8.9” Display.
  • 1-year warranty.
The table below compares the Intel Atom 270 processor used in all the three solid state Netbooks in this review with the Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Mobile Processor T3200 which is a popular processor used in many laptops:


ProcessorTypeL1 CacheL2 CacheClock SpeedSystem BusOthers
Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Mobile Processor T3200Dual Core64 KB1MB 1.6 GHz533 MHzDual Core true parallel processing enabled. Execute Disable Bit Virus Deterrent Technology and Intel Speedstep Power Management Technology Built In.
Intel Atom 1.6 GHz Processor 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHzSingle Core32KB instruction & 24KB data cache.512 KB L2 Cache1.6 GHz533 MHzEnhanced Intel® SpeedStep Technology, Low Thermal Design Power, Power Optimized Front Side Bus.



Summary:

These Solid State Netbooks are priced on the average around $200 lower than the best value priced Laptops/Notebooks. The processors in these devices are less powerful with limited upgrade possibilities. Pricing, size, and weight all being lower makes Solid State Netbooks a good choice for students, frugal families, folks with an external LCD monitor/keyboard/mouse environment in place, and frequent travelers willing to forgo a little performance. The intended mobility of the machine should be assessed ahead of a purchase as these companies also offer a hard drive version of these products with larger storage but can be flimsier in the event of a hard fall. They are priced almost similar for the comparable features as discussed in our review.

Asus Eee PC 1000 as a higher end option. The major differences compared to the Asus Eee PC 901 are the following:
  1. Linux preinstalled in place of Windows XP home edition,
  2. More Storage – 40 GB solid state in place of 12 GB.
  3. 10.2” LCD screen in place of 8.9” LCD screen.
  4. 6-cell battery rated for 8 hours in place of 6-cell battery rated for up to 6 hours
The above features make it a strong offering at roughly $100 premium over Asus Eee PC 901.

CTL IL1 7-inch Laptop is an alternative in the lower price range (~$200). The unproven Via C7-M 1 GHz Processor, relatively unknown manufacturer, and the 7” screen makes it a hard choice to recommend.


Overall, our pick for the best value among solid state netbooks is the Asus Eee PC 901. The new HP Mini 1115NR is a competitive model but their Flash drives are known to fail quickly. The Acer Aspire One is not as feature-rich as the ASUS. The Dell Vostro A90 is new and as such is unproven. Also, the price compared to the feature-set make it a notch below the competition in terms of overall value. Intel’s Atom chip performs well with Windows XP, which comes preinstalled. With the ASUS, there is also an option to purchase the Linux version of the product for the same price. The approximate $300 pricing is an outstanding value for the full-fledged features it offers. This choice is well suited especially for those that are already setup with an external LCD monitor/keyboard/mouse. As a laptop alternative, there is a matter of getting used to the smaller screen-size and keyboard. Compared to the performance of laptops/notebooks, the processing power and RAM limitations are the major differences, but on Windows XP, with an upgrade to a 2 GB RAM, the setup would amply suffice for most users.

Last Updated: 6/2009.

Stamp Collecting - Nicknames

Our last week’s post focused on common terms applicable to variety/types of stamps available. There are also numerous terms used for specific stamps – usually famous ones because of their rarity or due to an error. Below is our list of the most common among them that should allow any budding philatelist to stand his ground in a “bourse”:



Nick NameDescriptionSample
5 Kings - Greece1963 Greek stamp depicting the five kings - King George I, King Constantine I, King Alexander, King George II, King Paul.

Admirals - Canada, New Zealand, & RhodesiaDepicts King George V of Great Britain in naval attire.

Bantams - South AfricaMidget stamps released by South Africa as a cost-control measure during WW II

Basel Dove - SwitzerlandFirst tri-color stamp ever issued. Issue Date: September 30, 1854

Bluenose - CanadaCanadian postage stamp of 1929 depicting the Schooner Bluenose.

Bull’s Eye - BrazilFirst three stamps of Brazil. Third stamp of the world by a country after the Penny Black & Penny Blue.

Cape Triangles - Cape of Good HopeCape of Good Hope triangular stamps issued between 1853 and 1864. The 1861 one penny vermilion and four penny blue have color errors in some (one penny in blue and four penny in vermilion) making those rare and very valuable. Also called Woodblocks.

Chalon Head – CanadaIssued first by Canada in 1851 followed by many other colonies between 1853 and 1870 portraying Queen Victoria’s portrait by Alfred Edward Chalon. The New Zealand issues are also known as Full Faces.

Cottonreel - 1c Magenta - British GuianaOnly one copy known to exist. Issued in 1856, the stamp features a sailing ship in black on magenta paper

Cowries - UgandaA typewriter made stamp issued in March 1895 on very thin paper – only a few copies survived but forgeries are plenty

Milbury – United StatesIssued by the postmaster of Milbury, MA in 1847. It is a 5c stamp depicting George Washington. The stamps issued prior to the issue of general US stamps are called Postmaster issues.









Missionaries - HawaiiFirst postage stamps of the Kingdom of Hawaii issue between 1851 and 1852.

Penny Black - United KingdomWorld’s first postage stamp issued by a country – Issue Date: First May, 1840.

Penny Red – United Kingdom1841 stamp that was issued till 1879 – imperfs & minor variations exist but the stamps are relatively plentiful.

Penny Blue – United KingdomAn unissued postage stamp of Britain made December 1840.









Two Pence Blue – United KingdomA rarer stamp than the penny black issued May 1840 – 2nd postage stamp issued by a country.









Perot Provisional - BermudaFirst stamps of Bermuda – only 11 copies are known to exist









Red Mercury - AustriaAustrian newspaper stamp issued 1856 and replaced in 1858

Scinde Dawk - India1852 stamp issued in the province of Sindh

Z Grill – USA1868 1c stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin with the “Z” grill variety pressed onto the stamp – only two known copies – most valuable US stamp at $3M.




Last Updated: 09/2015.

Common Stamp Collecting Terms - An Introduction

Philatelic glossary is an extremely packed one that entire books are devoted to explaining them. This post focuses on some of the frequent terms that apply to a variety/types of stamps. Below is our list:



TermExplanationSample
Album Weed A forged stamp












Back of the book (BOB)special stamps such as officials, revenue, postage dues, etc. that are listed in the back of stamp catalogues.












BackstampA post mark applied to the back cover by the post office while the mail is in transit.












BilingualsStamps with inscriptions in two languages


Bisect/Trisect/Quadrisect etc. (aka Fractional Usages)A stamp perforated into two or more parts (authorized by postal service) that represent part of the face value of the original stamp. Used by postal agencies during temporary shortages of common lower-denominated stamps. Only has additional value when it is cancelled and in cover.













Blind PerforationsStamps with light perforations that has the perforated paper still left in tact












BogusA worthless stamp –stamps created for non-existent countries, countries with no postal addministrations, etc.












Canceled-to-order (CTOs)Stamps issued by certain governments as a means of revenue in large quantities in full sheets with a pre-cancel or the cancellation imprinted as part of the production process. These are usually sold to dealers at a large discount to face value and usually has minimal collectible value.













ChangelingA stamp whose color has changed due to exposure to sunlight or chemicals












CinderellaA label that looks like a stamp












ClassicAny stamp issued between 1840 and 1940


CommemorativesStamps with a commemorative design issued in limited quantities compared to Definitives (see below)


Copyright BlockA block of stamps with copyright notice in margin












CounterfeitA forged stamp intended to deceive postal authorities












Cross Gutter BlockA block of stamps containing the intersection of vertical and horizontal gutters.












Cut-to-shapeA non-rectangular stamp












DefinitivesStamps issued in large quantities for an extended period of time


Dummy StampsStamps produced by postal departments for training and/or testing purposes. Usually have inscriptions indicating the status












EuropaStamps with “Europa” inscription representing European Unity through participation in the Conference of European Postal & Telecommunication (CEPT) association.


FakeA regular stamp altered in some way to make it appear more valuable












First Day Cover (FDC)An envelope with a cancelled stamp sold by philatelic bureaus on the day of issue. In many countries including the US, FDCs can be bought in a range of date as opposed to just on the day of issue.












ForerunnerA postage stamp from another region/country used in a location not issuing regular stamps












FramaA stamp auto-produced by vending machines












Hologram/3D stamp Stamps that appear three-dimensional












ImperforateStamps without perforations (holes that separate one stamp from the next one in a block issued by the post office












Line Pair (LP)Two stamps with a line of ink separating them












Never Hinged (NH)A stamp without hinge marks in the back












Newspaper stampstamps issued for prepayment of mailing rates for newspapers and other periodicals












Non DenominatedStamps with no face value inscription












ObliterationsOverprint on a stamp intentionally intended to deface the design












Occupation IssuesA stamp issued for use in an occupied territory


OfficialStamps issued specifically for use by government authorities


Omnibus or Joint IssuesA design/subject depicted in stamps from two or more postal administrations celebrating a common theme












OverprintsStamps that have overprints on top of their original design.


Par AvionStamps imprinted with ‘Par Avion’ – French for mail transported by air












PerfinsStamps perforated through the face with initials or other symbols












Plate BlockA set of stamps with margin showing plate number joined together












Plate Number Coil (PNC)A stamp with plate number printed on it.


Postage DueA stamp issued to collect unpaid postage


PrecancelsStamps cancelled by postal authority (for collectors) before use in mail












Presort StampA stamp discounted compared to first-class postage rates for use in business mailers












ProofsTrial impressions from pre-production runs












RegionalStamps issued for a specific region of the postal entity


ReissueA stamp issued again after it was no longer being issued












RemaindersIssues remaining with the postal authority after it is no longer sold – these are sometimes sold at a big discount to face value to dealers with a pre-cancellation.












ReplicasReproductions of stamps (made for collectors – not suitable for postage)












ReprintA stamp printed from the original plate for official purposes. Usually identified from the original issues by some mark.













Revenue or Fiscal StampStamps issued as proof of payment for certain taxes (not valid for postage)












Se-tenantStamps joined together that differ in design, value, or surcharge


Self-adhesivesStamps with pressure sensitive adhesives.












Semipostals & Charity StampsStamps with a surcharge added as support for charitable or other causes


Souvenir SheetA sheet of stamps with a commemorative design embellishment


Space FillerA stamp in poor condition












Special StampsA third classification in addition to Definitive and Commemorative for stamps that are issued in large quantities compared to commemoratives but not for an indefinite period of time as with definitive usually signifying holiday season (Christmas) and/or religious/political themes.


SpecimensStamps with a “SPECIMEN” overprint. These are distributed for identification & publicity purposes.












Speculative IssueStamps issued for collectors. Two or more stamps joined together with one stamp’s design inverted compared to the others.













TriptychA se-tenant strip of three stamps together forming one design












SurchargeAn overprint that changes the value of the original issue












Used vs UnusedA stamp that has been used in mail as opposed to a mint unused stamp












Wing MarginStamps with selvage attached usually on one side















Many countries also maintain an indigenous set of philatelic terms and nicknames for specific stamps that apply to their region.

Last Updated: 09/2015.

Kids Video Game Software and Consoles – An Introduction for Frugal Families

A good number of kids are introduced to video games through computers at home or at school. Ample sites allow kids to have fun with games for free. Several computer games are available for free download. In fact, some of these games are comparable or even better than commercial games available in a CD or as a download. The best sites for K-6 kids leaning towards educational and commercial-free content are:

  • Arcademic Skill Builders: An outstanding site by ALTEC (Advanced Learning Technologies project at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning). Their offerings compare well with most computer games that commercial companies have been able to market.
  • PBS Kids: - Another outstanding site from PBS (Public Broadcasting Services). This site gives commercial software game manufacturers a run for their money.
These two sites provide user-friendly, outstanding content that is commercial free as well as free of links to other products or sites.

Many other sites exist that have similar content, but they mostly lack one or more of the above criteria. Despite excellent games, computer video games lack the key ability to offer entertainment that can be appreciated at its full potential with just a keyboard and a mouse. This explains why game consoles & accessories are an industry in itself. Portability is a big problem when the computer serves as the video game gadget for kids. Hand-held games and Console-based games exploit on this weakness and below is a discussion on them.

Outside of the Internet and certain down-loadable freeware games, free options are hard to come by in the hand-held games arena. The best option for frugal folks tip-toeing into this ring is Console TV games. They are all-in-one products with an integrated joystick and audio-video cable along with a set of games. There are no upgrade options, but the games are both functional and fun thus making it a good bargain. Pricing make it elementary - sometimes closeout deals can be obtained on these for as little as $5. Below is a list of the best options in TV games:


ProductJakks Pacific Ultimotion Swing Zone Sports Motion Controller Video GameJakks - Disney TV GameActivision 10 in 1 TV Game
Jakks Atari Classics 10 In 1 TV Games
Thumbnail



















List Price$74.99$25$25$25
Best Price$34.99$19.99$19.99$19.99
Battery4 x AA4 x AA4 x AA4 x AA
GamesBowling, tennis, baseball, golf and footballSimba & the Tree of Trials, Donald's Golf Tournament, Aladdin and the 5 Gems of Agrabah, Stitch's Search for Paradise, and Timon to the RescuePitfall, Atlantis, River Raid, Spider Fighter, Crackpots, Freeway, Tennis, Boxing, Ice Hockey, and Grand Prix.Centipede, Asteroids, Missile Command, Circus, Yar’s Revenge, Breakout, Gravitar, Realsports Volleyball, Pong, and Adventure.
CommentsAt less than one-tenth the cost of the Nintendo Wii, this is a good alternative with all accessories included.Aladdin (a hunt to get 5 gems and save the princess) and Stitch (Escaping from a cave) are excellent. Simba (like Tetris) and Timon (building pathway) are also good. River Raid is an excellent game. A fallback to the 70s era, nevertheless provides good entertainment.Another fallback to state of the art Atari 2600 – these games are excellent replicas.

Many kids never get enthralled enough to ask for the premium products among consoles (Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, and Microsoft Xbox) and hand-held devices (Nintendo DS, Sony PSP). These products do provide excellent graphics, doubles as a media player, has expansion slots, and a large array of packaged video games “produced” by the console manufacturers themselves and by other 3rd party developers. In addition to the premium price for the console; the real sticker-shock comes in the form of pricing for the individual games - they start at around $25 per game!

Before making a sizable investment in any of the premium consoles, a careful evaluation of its merit should be undertaken. This industry can offer endless hours of entertainment and it is easy to get obsessed with it. Parents need to realize that the premium consoles have the potential to squander away a significant amount of time and hence should instill a disciplined approach.


Last Updated: 01/2015.


Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Great Benefit with a few caveats!

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allows for setting money aside from before-tax paycheck for use with health and dependent care expenses. This benefit provides a potential to save on taxes, as the money reserved for this purpose is not taxed.

There are two kinds of accounts – one for medical and one for dependent care (daycare) expenses. IRS restricts the maximum amount allowed in each category. For a dependent care FSA, the maximum contribution limit varies between $3000 and $6000 based on one’s tax-filing status (married filing joint vs single, head of household) and the number of dependents. For healthcare FSA, there is no IRS limit per se, but plan administrators and/or employers put a ceiling on this ranging from $2500 to $5000.

The tax benefits also differ largely between dependent and health care FSAs. With dependent care FSA, opting for the dependent care tax credit instead of the dependent care FSA is better in numerous instances – to calculate the exact savings or deficits, please refer to the comparison tables at MHM Resources LLC. Even with the likely savings possible when opting for dependent care FSA, the “use it or lose it” rule makes it prudent to opt out, unless those savings are significant. "Use it or lose it" refers to the IRS rule that states that Employees who elect a Dependent Care FSA in a calendar year must incur and use the money by December 31st of the year the election is made.

For a healthcare FSA, the tax benefits are much more straightforward –there is no medical expenses tax credit and the medical expenses deductible only applies to expenses over 7.5% of gross income and that too only if the choice is to deduct expenses as opposed to taking the standard deductible –this combination makes it unlikely that you will benefit by not opting for the medical FSA. The trick however is in deciding how much amount to contribute. The “use it or lose it” rule is more of a problem with healthcare FSA’s as it is much more harder to predict expenses accurately – the general rule of thumb is to lean more on the conservative side when deciding on the contribution amount to reduce the risk of losing part of your contribution.

Our experience:

We have opted for both the dependent care and healthcare FSA’s whenever we were eligible. By being conservative in the contribution amounts chosen and by diligently keeping all receipts, we have been successful in claiming the entire contribution so far. The conservative strategy however is not ideal because we miss out on taxes we cannot claim on some of our expenses because of our low contribution.

Over the years, we have dealt with several FSA administrators including Blue Cross, Cigna, Aetna, and Loomis. In our opinion, the requirements for claiming expenses have become more rigid over the years. Just last year Loomis made it really tough to claim many of the routine expenses:
  • It was mandatory that we submit itemized bills for all doctor’s visits where earlier standard receipts from the office sufficed. Calls to the doctor’s office and follow-up calls were required on our part to ensure our claims qualified, and
  • Many bills were rejected the first time around on the grounds that the expenses were not allowed per IRS Publication 502. Further conversations were necessary to point out that the expenses incurred were not among those listed under exclusions in the publication.
  • Turnaround time was much longer than specified.

Caveats:

  1. Expenses that are not allowed – For healthcare FSA, IRS publication 502 lists the expenses that are not allowed including cosmetic surgery, health club dues, etc. For dependent care FSA, one can only claim expenses only for qualified dependents as defined by the exemptions on your federal income taxes.
  2. Documentation and Deadlines – The documentation for the expenses incurred that is submitted as claims vary widely based on the FSA administrator and sometimes there can be extremely stringent rules. It is best to test the waters earlier in the year to avoid a scramble as the deadline approaches. The deadline for submitting claims is usually set to March 31 of the following year.
  3. Tax ID Number – Provider Tax ID Number is required for all receipts when submitting dependent care expenses. Not all service providers include this required information in their standard receipts and can be a hassle.
  4. Conflict of Interest Issues – FSA administrator service vary widely depending on the service provider and their contract with one’s employer. The worst-case conflict of interest occurs when the contract calls for the FSA administrator to absorb the unclaimed amount. Unfortunately, then it is in their best interest to reject as many claims as possible. Usually, the funds are placed in a trust or are controlled by the employer. But, smaller employers do not have much bargaining power leaving a possibility that the agreement can be unfair to the employee. ,
  5. Dependent care FSA administrators sometimes state that a dependent care FSA can be used in conjunction with the child and dependent care credit. What they omit to mention is that doing so will not result in any additional savings since the cap for the maximum expenses claimable still applies and the same expenses cannot be claimed twice.

Summary:

It is clear that due diligence is required on our part and the benefits need to be evaluated carefully before signing up. Service levels vary widely depending on the FSA administrator and their contract with your employer. Also, there are several caveats to be considered. Even so, in most instances the tax benefits far outweigh the hassles involved.


Related Posts:
  1. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Great Benefit with a few caveats!.
  2. Writing Covered Calls against Employer Stock Plan Shares (ESPP, Restricted Stock, and Stock Options) – A Primer.
  3. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and 401K Retirement Plan Annual Enrollment and Contribution Review.
  4. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) - Immediate Selling Strategy.
  5. Realizing Long-Term Capital Gains With Stock Based Compensation.
  6. Stock Based Compensation Tax Optimization Strategies.

Last Updated: 01/2011. 

Country Identification of Contemporary Stamps - An Introduction

For novice collectors identifying the country of origin for a stamp can be confusing. Some countries have the country name inscribed in the national language or have their name in their official language spelled out in English. Adding more perplexity is the fact that many countries have undergone name transformations over the years for political and/or other reasons and resulting in different names being inscribed in stamps from different periods for the same country.

The list below focuses on contemporary stamps that have country name inscriptions in a language other than English. The most common example is listed when there are multiple designs. Future posts on country profiles will look at older issues that have other inscriptions:


Country Name (click for link to philatelic bureau)Flag (Click for location info in google maps)Stamp Sample (Click for purchase options on eBay)Identification Hints
AzerbaijanInscription reads ‘AZӘRBAYCAN’
BelgiumInscription reads ‘BELGIË-BELGIQUE’ or ‘BELGIQUE-BELGIË’
Bosnia HerzegovinaInscription reads ‘Republika Bosna Hercegovina’
Bosnia Herzegovina (Croat)











Inscription reads same as above
Bosnia Herzegovina (Serb)























BrazilInscription reads ‘Brasil’
Cape VerdeInscription reads ‘CABO VERDE’
Central African RepublicInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE’
ChadInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE DU TCHAD’
Comoro IslandsInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE FEDERALE ISLAMIQUE DES COMORES’
People’s Republic of CongoInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE DU CONGO’
CroatiaInscription reads ‘HRVATSKA’
Czech RepublicInscription reads ‘ČESKĂ REPUBLIKA’
DenmarkInscription reads ‘DANMARK’
Dominican RepublicInscription reads ‘REPUBLICA DOMINICANA’
Equitorial GuineaInscription reads ‘REPǓBLICA DE GUINEA EQUITORIAL’
EstoniaInscription reads ‘EESTI’
Faroe IslandsInscription reads ‘FØROYAR’
French PolynesiaInscription reads ‘POLYNESIE FRANCAISE’
French Southern Antartic TerritoryInscription reads ‘TERRES AUSTRALES ET ANTARCTIQUES FRANCAISES’
GabonInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE GABONAISE’
GermanyInscription reads ‘DEUTSCHLAND’
Great BritainHead instead of inscription.
GreeceInscription reads ‘HELLAS’
GreenlandInscription reads ‘GRØNLAND’
GuineaInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE’
Guinea-BissauInscription reads ‘GUINÉ-BISSAU’
HaitiInscription reads ‘RÉPUBLIQUE D´HAITI’
HungaryInscription reads ‘MAGYARORZÁG’
IrelandInscription reads ‘ÉIRE’
ItalyInscription reads ‘ITALIA’
Ivory CoastInscription reads ‘RÉPUBLIQUE DÉ CÓTE D´IVOIRE’
JapanInscription reads ‘NIPPON’
LaosInscription reads ‘LAO PDR’
LatviaInscription reads ‘LATVIJA’
LebanonInscription reads ‘LIBAN’
LithuaniaInscription reads ‘LIETUVA’
MacaoInscription reads ‘MACAU’
MacedoniaInscription reads ‘MAKEДOHИJA’
Malagasy























Inscription reads ‘MADAGASIKARA’
MauritaniaInscription reads ‘RÉPUBLIQUE ISLAMIQUE DE MAURITANIE’
MoroccoInscription reads ‘ROYAUME DU MAROC’
MozambiqueInscription reads ‘MOÇAMBIQUE’
Netherlands-AntillesInscription reads ‘Netherlandse Antillen’
New CaledoniaInscription reads ‘NOUVELLE-CALEDONIE’
Northern CyprusInscription reads ‘KUZEY KIBRIS’
North KoreaInscription reads ‘DPR KOREA’
NorwayInscription reads ‘NORGE’
PhilippinesInscription reads ‘PILIPINAS’
PolandInscription reads ‘POLSKA’
RussiaInscription reads ‘ROSSIJA’
Saudi ArabiaInscription reads ‘SR’
SerbiaInscription reads ‘CPБИJA’
SlovakiaInscription reads ‘SLOVENSKO’
SloveniaInscription reads ‘SLOVENIJA’
South KoreaInscription reads ‘KOREA’
SpainInscription reads ‘ESPAŃA’
St. Pierre MiquelonInscription reads ‘SPM’
St. Thomas & Prince IslandsInscription reads ‘S.TOMÉ PRÍNCIPE’
SurinamInscription reads ‘SURINAME’
SwedenInscription reads ‘SVERIGE’
SwitzerlandInscription reads ‘HELVETIA’
Togo











Inscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE TOGOLAISE’
TunisiaInscription reads ‘REPUBLIQUE TUNISIENNE’
TurkeyInscription reads ‘TÜRKÍYE’
UkraineInscription reads ‘UKRAINA’
Vatican CityInscription reads ‘VATICANO’
Wallis & FatunaInscription reads ‘WALLIS et FUTUNA’



Last Updated: 09/2015.

Labels

401k ( 15 ) Abad Turtle Beach ( 1 ) Abrams Capital Management ( 5 ) Acoustic Electric Guitars ( 1 ) Acoustic Guitars ( 1 ) ACT ( 1 ) Activist ( 4 ) Address Change ( 2 ) Advanced Placement ( 4 ) air asia ( 2 ) airlines ( 2 ) Akre Capital Management ( 18 ) Alex Roepers ( 5 ) AP ( 4 ) apartments ( 2 ) Appaloosa ( 15 ) ARIUS ( 1 ) Arlington Value Capital ( 3 ) Atlantic Investment Management ( 5 ) Ayemenem ( 1 ) Bangalore ( 3 ) Bangkok ( 2 ) Bannerghatta National Park ( 1 ) barbuda ( 2 ) Battery Park ( 1 ) Baupost ( 2 ) Baupost Group ( 17 ) bay area ( 2 ) BDCs ( 3 ) Benjamin Graham ( 2 ) Benjamin Graham Model ( 2 ) Berijam Lake ( 2 ) Berkshire Hathaway ( 30 ) best sites ( 9 ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( 13 ) Bill Ackman ( 19 ) Bill Gates ( 14 ) Blue Ridge Capital ( 13 ) Blum Capital Partners ( 12 ) books ( 4 ) Boone Pickens ( 2 ) BP Capital Management ( 2 ) Brave Warrior ( 3 ) Brave Warrior Advisors ( 12 ) british honduras ( 2 ) Bruce Berkowitz ( 19 ) Bruce Fund ( 12 ) Camcorders ( 3 ) canada ( 4 ) cancun ( 3 ) CANROYs ( 7 ) Cantillon ( 12 ) carl icahn ( 9 ) Carl Ichan ( 8 ) casino ( 3 ) Casio ( 2 ) CBRE ( 2 ) CEF ( 2 ) Charles Akre ( 15 ) Charlie Munger ( 14 ) Chase Coleman ( 13 ) Chou Associates ( 18 ) Christmas gifts ( 7 ) Christopher H. Browne ( 7 ) Chuck Akre ( 13 ) Cisco ( 2 ) Class Action Settlements ( 2 ) CLEP ( 1 ) Coatue Management ( 13 ) Cochin ( 2 ) coin collecting ( 266 ) collectibles ( 266 ) Consumer Product Reviews ( 29 ) cook islands ( 2 ) coonoor ( 2 ) Covered Calls ( 2 ) credai ( 4 ) Daily Journal ( 14 ) Dalal Street ( 8 ) Dan Loeb ( 10 ) DAT ( 1 ) David Abrams ( 5 ) David Einhorn ( 22 ) David Swensen ( 17 ) David Tepper ( 15 ) David Winters ( 15 ) DCF ( 2 ) Digital Piano ( 3 ) Dinakar Singh ( 13 ) Donald Yacktman ( 10 ) dry bulk shipping ( 2 ) Duquesne ( 18 ) Education ( 37 ) Edward Lampert ( 14 ) Egerton Capital ( 13 ) Egypt ( 3 ) Elementary Education ( 10 ) Elementary School Textbooks ( 5 ) eReaders ( 2 ) Eric Mindich ( 13 ) ESL Investments ( 9 ) ESPP ( 6 ) ETF ( 2 ) ETN ( 2 ) Eton Park ( 13 ) Everyday Musings ( 58 ) Exam Prep ( 7 ) Exiting the rat race - how to? ( 19 ) EXPLORE ( 1 ) Fair Value Estimates ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial Holdings ( 14 ) Fairholme ( 19 ) Fairpointe ( 13 ) Family Office ( 5 ) FD Laddering ( 1 ) Financial Independence ( 93 ) Fisher Asset Management ( 10 ) Flash Camcorders ( 3 ) flat ( 4 ) flats ( 2 ) Flip ( 3 ) Francis Chou ( 18 ) free ( 17 ) frugal ( 3 ) Frugal Living ( 34 ) Fund Holdings ( 758 ) futures ( 2 ) FVE ( 2 ) gambling ( 3 ) garmin ( 2 ) Genting ( 2 ) george soros ( 21 ) giveaway ( 15 ) Glenn Greenberg ( 16 ) Glenview Capital ( 10 ) GMAT ( 1 ) Google ( 2 ) Gotham Asset Management ( 7 ) gps ( 5 ) GRE ( 1 ) Greenlight Capital ( 22 ) Guitars ( 3 ) Half Marathon ( 2 ) Hawaii ( 2 ) Hedge Funds ( 777 ) HELOC ( 1 ) High School Education ( 7 ) High School Textbooks ( 6 ) HOA ( 3 ) hobby ( 17 ) holiday shopping ( 7 ) Holidays ( 3 ) Holyland ( 11 ) Home Improvement ( 2 ) home ownership ( 5 ) Homes ( 18 ) Homeschool ( 18 ) Houses ( 2 ) Housing ( 3 ) Hykon ( 2 ) Ian Cumming ( 15 ) Icahn Enterprises ( 6 ) india real estate ( 5 ) Infinuvo ( 6 ) Insurance ( 2 ) invesco ( 17 ) investing strategies ( 2 ) Investment Portfolio ( 94 ) Investment Research ( 10 ) Investments ( 7 ) iRobot ( 5 ) Irving Kahn ( 10 ) israel ( 5 ) Jason Maynard ( 10 ) Jefferies ( 2 ) Jeffrey Bruce ( 13 ) Jeffrey Ubben ( 12 ) Jerusalem ( 2 ) Jim Chanos ( 13 ) Joel Greenblatt ( 7 ) John Armitage ( 13 ) John Griffin ( 13 ) John Paulson ( 17 ) Joho Capital ( 15 ) Jordan ( 3 ) Joseph Steinberg ( 9 ) Julian Robertson ( 4 ) Kahn Brothers ( 10 ) Kakkanad ( 4 ) Kanyakumari ( 2 ) Kawai ( 2 ) Ken Fisher ( 10 ) kerala real estate ( 5 ) Kids ( 49 ) Kids Yamaha ( 3 ) Kindle ( 2 ) kochi ( 8 ) Kodaikanal ( 2 ) Korg ( 2 ) Kraft ( 2 ) Kuala Lumpur ( 2 ) KWA ( 2 ) Kynikos ( 13 ) laptop ( 5 ) Larry Robbins ( 10 ) Las Vegas ( 2 ) Leon Cooperman ( 14 ) Leucadia ( 2 ) Leucadia National ( 13 ) Lone Pine Capital ( 9 ) long ( 6 ) long call ( 2 ) long puts ( 3 ) Lou Simpson ( 15 ) LSAT ( 1 ) Mahabalipuram ( 2 ) Malaysia ( 3 ) Marathon ( 2 ) Mark McGoldrick ( 10 ) Markel ( 14 ) Mason Hawkins ( 4 ) MCAT ( 1 ) Melinda Gates ( 7 ) memorabilia ( 266 ) MFP Investors ( 13 ) Michael Dell ( 15 ) Michael Price ( 13 ) Middle School Education ( 4 ) Middle School Textbooks ( 3 ) Mini Notebook ( 3 ) MODUS ( 1 ) Mohnish Pabrai ( 21 ) mortgage ( 2 ) Mount Kellett ( 10 ) MSD Capital ( 15 ) Music ( 6 ) Mutual Funds ( 5 ) mysore ( 2 ) Nelson Peltz ( 9 ) Netbook ( 4 ) Notebook ( 3 ) numismatics ( 266 ) O-Duster ( 1 ) Oahu ( 2 ) offers ( 2 ) Ole Andreas Halvorsen ( 10 ) Omega Advisors ( 14 ) online tax ( 4 ) ooty ( 2 ) Options ( 4 ) Pabrai Fund ( 17 ) passive income ( 7 ) pattaya ( 2 ) Paulson & Company ( 7 ) Paulson and Company ( 9 ) PEG ( 2 ) Pershing Square ( 19 ) Phil Fisher ( 5 ) philately ( 283 ) Philippe Laffont ( 13 ) Piano ( 9 ) PLAN Test ( 1 ) portfolio ( 4 ) Prem Watsa ( 17 ) product reviews ( 13 ) Property Taxes ( 2 ) PSAT ( 1 ) R2I ( 24 ) R2I Finances ( 3 ) R2I Housing ( 5 ) Raising Kids ( 41 ) Rat Race ( 15 ) RBS Partners ( 12 ) reading ( 5 ) real estate ( 6 ) Reducing Expenses ( 2 ) REIT ( 3 ) Retirement Portfolio ( 9 ) Reviews ( 81 ) Richard C. Blum ( 12 ) Robert Bruce ( 13 ) Robert Karr ( 15 ) Robotic Vacuum ( 4 ) Roland ( 2 ) Roomba ( 10 ) schooling ( 2 ) Sears ( 9 ) seeking alpha ( 2 ) Services - Reviews ( 33 ) Seth Klarman ( 19 ) Shipping ( 5 ) Shopping ( 3 ) short ( 5 ) short calls ( 2 ) short put ( 2 ) short puts ( 2 ) short selling ( 7 ) Ski ( 5 ) Sled ( 4 ) Solar Stocks ( 13 ) Soros Fund Management ( 14 ) Southeastern Asset Management ( 4 ) Southwest ( 2 ) spin-offs ( 2 ) SQ Advisors ( 15 ) stamp collecting ( 283 ) Stanley Druckenmiller ( 18 ) Statue of Liberty ( 2 ) Stephen Mandel ( 9 ) Stock Analysis ( 84 ) Stock Investments ( 4 ) Stock Portfolio Updates ( 6 ) stocks ( 3 ) summer ( 2 ) tax ( 6 ) TaxAct ( 3 ) TaxCut ( 1 ) Teacher's Editions ( 5 ) Technology ( 4 ) Test Prep ( 11 ) Thailand ( 3 ) Thekkady ( 2 ) theme park ( 2 ) Third Point ( 10 ) Thomas Gayner ( 14 ) Thyra Zerhusen ( 13 ) Tiger Cub ( 28 ) Tiger Global ( 14 ) Tiger Management ( 12 ) Time Square ( 2 ) TOEFL ( 1 ) TPG-Axon ( 13 ) Travel ( 278 ) Travel Reviews ( 82 ) Trian Fund Holdings ( 9 ) trip report ( 21 ) TurboTax ( 3 ) Tweedy Browne ( 10 ) Vacations ( 28 ) value investing ( 12 ) ValueAct ( 5 ) ValueAct Holdings ( 6 ) Vancouver ( 2 ) Video ( 3 ) Viking Global ( 10 ) Wallace Weitz ( 10 ) Warren Buffett ( 30 ) Wayanad ( 4 ) Weitz Investment Management ( 9 ) wilbur ross ( 17 ) William Von Mueffling ( 12 ) Wintergreen Advisors ( 15 ) Yacktman Asset Management ( 10 ) Yale Endowment ( 17 ) Yale University ( 7 ) Yamaha ( 7 ) YDP ( 1 ) YPG ( 1 )