Stamps of 2023: Monthly Wrap-Up (January)

January not only was the start of a new year but it signaled a new focus to my stamp blogging. When attempting to cover the vast number of stamps issued in any given year, it is quite easy to become overwhelmed. Witness my failed attempts in 2020, 2021 and 2022. I made numerous but different mistakes in each of those years which ultimately led to my abandoning the year’s project. What makes 2023 different? I think, in a word, organization. I believe that I am much better organized than I was before and that I can maintain that organization even when work and life threaten to intrude.

In January, I published 33 articles on the Stamps of 2023 each focusing on the stamps released this month by a particular entity. These followed the first four articles in this series published at the end of December. In alphabetical order, here are the stamp issuers covered thus far (with the date of the original article):

Stamp Issuing EntityNumber of IssuesStamps + M/S, S/SArticle Published
Åland2630 December 2022
Algeria1123 January 2023
Andorra (French & Spanish administrations)2224 January 2023
Aruba11 M/S (3)27 January 2023
Australia120 + 1 M/S (10)17 January 2023
Austria334 January 2023
The Bahamas1411 January 2023
Belgium53 + 2 M/S (10)29 December 2022
British Virgin Islands1111 January 2023
Canada1130 January 2023
China (PRC)125 January 2023
Christmas Island124 + 5 M/S20 January 2023
Czech Republic1119 January 2023
Denmark310 + M/S (4)7 January 2023
Egypt1222 January 2023
Estonia1115 January 2023
Fiji1426 January 2023
Finland4923 January 2023
France522 + 3 M/S28 December 2023
French Polynesia1116 January 2023
Germany41319 January 2023
Guernsey16 + M/S (6)4 January 2023
Ireland1118 January 2023
Isle of Man282 January 2023
Japan22013 January 2023
Jersey210 + M/S (8)21 January 2023
Korea, South118 January 2023
Monaco569 January 2023
Mongolia22 + M/S (2)25 January 2023
Myanmar226 January 2023
Norfolk Island12 + M/S (2)12 January 2023
Slovakia32 + PC14 January 2023
Sweden318 + M/S (4)10 January 2023
Taiwan22 S/S12 January 2023
Thailand233 January 2023
Turkey1228 January 2023
United States81431 December 2022

I aim to do a better job at updating the articles, if needed. For example, I have just updated the article about Belgium’s January issues — adding images of the stamp, sheet and FDC for the Queen’s 50th Birthday issue that were unavailable at the time I wrote the article in late December as well as information and images of the Red-Knot Sandpiper definitive stamp.

I also published two articles about the Europa 2023 common theme of “Peace — The Highest Value of Humanity” — an overview with plenty of background appeared in October while Åland’s issue was covered in mid-November. I believe that most other Europa stamps will be included in their respective country’s monthly articles rather than separate ones. However, I may create an article late in the fall listing all of them in one spot.

While there will not be an article on every stamp issue for the year, my goal is to cover every single stamp-issuing entity at least once. Last year, there were postage stamps released by 215 different countries, territories or intergovernmental organizations. This number includes some entities such as Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Transnistria, Georgia, Northern Cyprus, etc. that may not be members of the Universal Postal Union but are collectible nonetheless. Of course, to cover all of these entities I do need at least basic information as to release date and clear (preferably high-resolution) artwork. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I fail to include.

At the moment, there are schedules on my Philatelic Pursuits site for 86 entities. Some of these schedules are complete through the entire year while others just include the most recent issues or those due to be released in the near future.

#Stamp Issuing EntityNumber of Issues ListedLatest Update
1Åland1331 January 2023
2Alderney431 January 2023
3Algeria131 January 2023
4Andorra (French administration)231 January 2023
5Andorra (Spanish administration)131 January 2023
6Aruba131 January 2023
7Ascension Island131 January 2023
8Australia331 January 2023
9Austria731 January 2023
10The Bahamas131 January 2023
11Bangladesh131 January 2023
12Belarus2331 January 2023
13Belgium2231 January 2023
14British Antarctic Territory131 January 2023
15British Virgin Islands131 January 2023
16Bulgaria231 January 2023
17Canada331 January 2023
18China, People’s Republic of231 January 2023
19Christmas Island131 January 2023
20Croatia1931 January 2023
21Czech Republic2631 January 2023
22Denmark331 January 2023
23Egypt131 January 2023
24Estonia2131 January 2023
25Falkland Islands131 January 2023
26Faroe Islands1231 January 2023
27Fiji131 January 2023
28Finland431 January 2023
29France1231 January 2023
30French Polynesia131 January 2023
31French Southern and Antarctic Lands1531 January 2023
32The Gambia131 January 2023
33Germany431 January 2023
34Great Britain1531 January 2023
35Grenada131 January 2023
36Guernsey1431 January 2023
37Guinea-Bissau231 January 2023
38Hong Kong731 January 2023
39Hungary231 January 2023
40India331 January 2023
41Iraq131 January 2023
42Ireland1531 January 2023
43Isle of Man231 January 2023
44Japan531 January 2023
45Jersey231 January 2023
46Korea, North131 January 2023
47Korea, South2331 January 2023
48Kyrgyzstan831 January 2023
49Latvia331 January 2023
50Lithuania1831 January 2023
51Macau931 January 2023
52Moldova1731 January 2023
53Monaco1231 January 2023
54Mongolia231 January 2023
55Myanmar231 January 2023
56The Netherlands431 January 2023
57New Zealand231 January 2023
58Norfolk Island131 January 2023
59Norway1031 January 2023
60Pakistan131 January 2023
61Paraguay131 January 2023
62The Philippines331 January 2023
63Poland1231 January 2023
64Qatar231 January 2023
65Romania431 January 2023
66Russia1531 January 2023
67Saint Pierre and Miquelon231 January 2023
68Singapore131 January 2023
69Slovakia2431 January 2023
70Slovenia2131 January 2023
71South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands131 January 2023
72Spain331 January 2023
73Sweden1031 January 2023
74Taiwan831 January 2023
75Thailand1831 January 2023
76Transnistria231 January 2023
77Tristan da Cunha131 January 2023
78Turkey1531 January 2023
79Tuvalu131 January 2023
80United Arab Emirates131 January 2023
81United Nations (Headquarters, New York)1131 January 2023
82United Nations (Offices in Geneva)1031 January 2023
83United Nations (Offices in Vienna)1031 January 2023
84United States3131 January 2023
85Uruguay131 January 2023
86Vietnam131 January 2023

Updates to these schedule pages will be done each week, probably on Fridays or Saturdays unless something else takes precedence.

As far as releases by the various agencies such as Stamperija, IGPC, etc. are concerned, at the moment I am planning to include them only on the schedule pages for a number of reasons. For example, most of these “stamps” are print-to-order and never sent to the nations whose names are printed on them. The agencies tend to bulk release them in large (HUGE!) batches throughout the year and often do not list “official” first days of issue, although they are getting a bit better on this last point. Most are geared towards new topical collectors and are vastly overpriced. While these reasons may seem like negatives, I think that each collector should make their own decision as to whether or not they want to add them. I will not create a full-fledged article for any of these entities although I may choose to illustrate a few during the year in topical listings. An example of this would be several agency clients will be included in an article gathering “stray” Year of the Rabbit issues.

Over the course of the year, there may be blog-worthy releases by local posts or private mailing companies but they will be treated on a case-by-case basis and I don’t aim to create schedule pages for these. They will be treated as Cinderellas much the same as most customer-created personalized stamps are. Genuine postage stamps that are intended to carry the mails from one place to another either within a particular country or across international borders will always take precedence here over unofficially-created material.

I suppose that while I am making mission statements as to my planned “Stamps of 2023” coverage, I should mention that I am still contemplating a video version under the Philatelic Pursuits banner. My idea is for a bi-weekly “New Issue News” report highlighting some of my favorites released during that particular time-frame. I still have a long way to go before this dream becomes a reality but I hope to devote some time to it during the “summer school break” which in Thailand occurs from April into the first part of May.

Finally, with the “reboot” of Philatelic Pursuits, I will start to post most of the philatelic content over there sometime later this month (tomorrow is too soon!). That includes all future “Stamps of 2023” articles. Once that happens, this site — Mark Joseph — will revert to items of a more personal or local nature. One of my ideas is to feature the teaching materials that I create for my lessons each week (primarily kindergarten-level flashcards) as a resource for other teachers.

Stay tuned….and if you like the stamp stuff, see you on Philatelic Pursuits!

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