Thursday, November 20, 2008

4th World Urban Forum, Nanjing 2008

When I attended the Asia Pacific Housing Minister's Meeting in Tehran in March, each of us delegates was given special commemorative stamps. So I was not surprised when I opened my bag when I attended the 4th World Urban Forum in Nanjing, I found a commemorative album with stamps, first day cover and two miniature sheets. Three of them are all related to the Urban Forum but one of them is not. The second miniature sheet was an older 2005 miniature sheet which was commemorating Admiral Zheng when he set sail for his seven voyages in the early 15th century from Nanjing. Here are all four of the philatelic items:-

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World's Most Expensive Stamp

New York, 4th October 2008 - A stamp issued by the U.S. post office in 1868 sold for $1,035,000 in an auction at Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City. The amount includes a 15% buyer's premium. The stamp was purchased by a collector who bid anonymously over the telephone.

The million-dollar price was paid for a 3-cent "B Grill" stamp, which was printed in 1868 with an embossed pattern in the paper. Collectors are said to prize these "grilled" stamps and only four copies of the "B Grill" are known. The stamp was sold during a three-day auction of more than 1,100 stamps owned by Perry B. Hansen, a mid-western banker.

"Collectors who want rare stamps don't seem fazed by the chaos in the financial markets. We had four bidders on the B Grill over $600,000, and the stamp has a current book value of only $250,000," said Scott R. Trepel, president of Siegel Auction Galleries.

Last year a rare Inverted "Jenny" stamp was sold at Siegel Auction Galleries for $977,500.00.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

China's Olympics Currency Notes

I got a lot of currency notes from China but the one that I wanted was a modern one - the 10 yuan Olympics souvenir. I could not get that note. I found out that only 6,000,000 was printed and you would have thought that would be plenty. Apparently not. Distributed nationwide, each city only get a few thousand pieces. In Nanjing, only 3,000 pieces were released there. So there is no way I could get it unless I want to pay big money for it. It cost at least US$300 each.

The AP said when it first released the news, only the Olympics could bump Mao Zedong, the founding leader of communist China, off a Chinese banknote. To commemorate the Beijing Olympics, China's central bank is issuing a new 10-yuan note, according to a report by Monday's official Xinhua News Agency. The note is worth $1.45, the starting price for a taxi ride in the capital. Mao is gone from the note, replaced by a sketch of the new National Stadium — the Bird's Nest — and the emblem of the Beijing Games, according to the report. Both are set against the backdrop of the Temple of Heaven, one of Beijing's iconic sites. The back of the note features a statue of a Greek discus-thrower and the year 2008 written in Arabic script. The bank said it will issue 6 million notes beginning Tuesday, a tiny distribution meant almost as a souvenir. The new note is slightly larger than the ordinary 10-yuan note, which will continue to circulate.

I did manage the get the next best which are the Hong Kong $20 and Macao 20 Patacas issued by the Bank of China.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

China's New Millennium Note 2000

This was the newest issued noted of China for the new 21st century. This was issued on 28th Novembe 2000. It is a polymer note. On the front can be seen a rising dragon of the nine dragon wall in Beijing, a laser mark on the right and a transparent window with the logo of Temple of Heaven. On the reverse is the China Century Temple.

I managed to get this note for 360 Yuan when I was in China. I don't know what the market value is really but I thought 360 was a reasonable figure. That works out to be around B$75.

What I really wanted to get was the Olympics 10 Yuan. On ebay that is currently traded at about US$300 which I thought was a little steep.