I started this first day of the mid-month of 2021 going through my usual sources in search of newly-announced stamps to add to this site’s schedule pages. The first piece of news I read was of the loss of yet another postal service, less than a year after Iceland Post ceased issuing stamps and shutdown its philatelic division, Postphil. The latest casualty came on 22 May when Mozambique’s government announced that it has decided to abolish the state owned postal service, Correios de Mocambique. While the country of Mozambique has had a long postal history, in recent years the stamp-issuing duties were given over to the much-despised Stamperija agency (which recently changed its name to Stampera). While the deluge of pieces of paper bearing the name of Mozambique with designs completely unrelated to the nation and never getting anyewhere near the continent of Africa will not be missed, the announcement leaves the future of the postal service’s employees and of normal mail delivery very much in doubt.
On a happier note, I also added two new stamp-issuing territories to the list which is always a cause for celebration. One of these, however, is a little suspect as it may be entirely bogus or, at best, a personalized sheet. It features a single stamp portraying Dorje Chang Buddha III bearing the name of the Solomon Islands, a former client of another of the offensive agencies, Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation (IGPC). There have been a few stamps and sheets portraying this self-appointed Buddhist leader, all from agencies rather than in-country postal administrations. This Solomon Islands stamp, in a sheet of 20, was only recently announced and yet bears a supposed “issue date” of 19 January.
Why supposed? One of the many reasons I dislike stamps from agency clients, other than the sheer number of issues they constantly unleash onto the stamp-buying market, are that issue dates are completely suspect. For example, several territories have issued miniature sheets marking the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh with a purported first day of issue listed as 9 April. This is the day the prince died; to add insult to injury, the designs depict scenes from his funeral which, of course, occurred somewhat later.
The second new entity added to my schedule pages is much more legitimate and its postal history contains a couple of the rarest stamps around in the 1847 Post Office One Penny Orange and Two Penny Blue. That, of course, is Mauritius and I am happy to report that they have announced four new stamps for later this year — one each in August, September, October, and December with actual dates to be determined later. While you wait, check out their online shop for some non-stamp items. I particularly like the ship postcards and the t-shirts bearing the aforementioned 1847 stamps.
Of course, this all started me thinking about the countries and territories that have not yet released stamps in the first five months of 2021, nor have they (yet) announced any plans to do so later in the year. There are still 41 of these, which seems like a fairly high number to me. Several of these issued stamps in 2020; it has been a while longer since the last stamps from several of these places. Thus, I hereby present the first installment of “No Stamps Issued”, a list that I hope will dwindle to almost nothingness as we approach the end of 2021. The list includes the date of the most recent stamp releases from each entity.
- Aitutaki (20 May 2020)
- Aruba (30 November 2020)
- Bahrain (15 December 2020)
- Belize (09 November 2020)
- Brunei (20 October 2020)
- Cambodia (15 December 2020)
- Cape Verde (18 October 2020)
- Cayman Islands (18 November 2020)
- Chile (17 December 2020)
- Cook Islands (20 May 2020)
- Dominica (18 November 2020)
- Ecuador (26 December 2019)
- El Salvador (9 March 2020)
- Guatemala (16 December 2020)
- Ivory Coast (10 September 2020)
- Jamaica (7 September 2020)
- Kenya (2 October 2020)
- Libya (17 February 2020)
- Malawi (unknown – early 2020)
- Maldives (23 July 2020)
- Mozambique (15 September 2020); see report above
- Nauru (19 August 2020)
- Nicaragua (29 February 2020)
- Niuafo’ou (4 May 2020)
- Northern Cyprus (19 November 2020)
- Palau (7 August 2020)
- Palestinian Authority (18 November 2020)
- Penrhyn (8 May 2020)
- Peru (17 April 2020)
- Pitcairn Islands (28 February 2020)
- Rarotonga (8 May 2020)
- Senegal (20 July 2020)
- Sierra Leone (31 August 2020)
- Sint Maarten (1 July 2020)
- South Sudan (21 July 2020)
- Tanzania (18 January 2020 with a few unknown dates)
- Tokelau (4 November 2020)
- Trinidad and Tobago (1 July 2020)
- Turkmenistan (12 December 2020)
- Uganda (December 2020)
- Vanuatu (25 January 2020)
Note that several of these were clients of agencies so they may yet dump a few stamps on us very soon (Maldives, for example, released more than 500 individual stamps — most of them in miniature sheets of four and souvenir sheets — in the first seven months of 2020 but has been quiet since; I don’t even want to try and count how many Sierra Leone ended up with but it was more than a thousand). It could also mean that they have severed ties with their agencies. Also, several of the territories listed either issued a single stamp in all of last year or released everything on a single date (Cambodia, for example, waited until mid-December to issue 52 stamps all with local themes as they are not agency clients).
This leaves some 183 active stamp-issuing entities that have either released stamps in the first five months of 2021 or have announced stamps to be released later in the year. Is anybody interested in collecting at least one stamp from each of these? If the current shutdown ends and I start receiving a salary once again, I am thinking about attempting to collect a stamp from each place that issues them next year, 2022. Can it be done?