31 May 2023
This year the Europa theme is the wish for peaceful coexistence. In this special column on European stamps Michael Burzan looks back on a similar range of stamps issued in 1995 as the continent reflected on the end of the Second World War.
The 1995 vintage of European postal community stamps had the motto ‘Peace and Freedom’ as its theme, on the occasion of the 50th year since the end of the Second World War.
At that time, 50 countries circulated their philatelic contributions in a varied design. Albania and Turkish Cyprus also added miniature sheets. Several issues of that peaceful theme can still be found today for low prices; complete year sets can be found without major surcharges.
When comparing catalogue values in detail with Michel’s CEPT volume of 2002, one can find a number of climbers.
- Gibraltar’s pair of sheetlets with se-tenants (Mi 710-713) went from €17 to €25.
- Guernsey and the Isle of Man each have four euros more for their sheetlets of ten.
- Latvia’s Mi 414-415 in sheetlets with reverse pairs now show €40 instead of €30
- Slovenia’s sheetlets with Mi 110-111 in four se-tenants is also one of the scarcer ascenders at €18 instead of €9.50.
Leandra Honegger offered an interesting Swiss first day version in 2023 under collector’s sheets: the official leaflet of the PTT with the 1995 Europa stamps, including the original drawing of a dove and signature of the designer and artist Hans Erni (SBK/Zumstein 880-881, 120 Swiss francs).
- The booklet pair with Iceland’s Mi 826-827 went up from €30 to €35
- Moldova’s paintings trio Mi 164-166 climbed from €5 to €12 in the set and tenfold in sheets of ten.
- Germany’s sheetlets of ten Mi 1790-1791 are also listed at €36 instead of €32; although some would be happy to achieve the former postal price of 30 marks corresponding to €15. The 100pf Mi 1790I with plate flaw ‘black slash on the left shoulder of the middle man’ from field 9 of a partial issue, mint or cancelled can be found around €10.
The biggest climber in the standard varieties Europa 1995 in the Michel catalogue was the latecomer of the Croatian Post Mostar under Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mi 26 of issue date 28 December after a copper engraving with Christ on the cross was valued 20 years ago at €2.40 and last appeared at €24, on FDC from €3.50 to €24.
The somewhat higher rate for cancelled seems justified, as the stamp was only valid for postage until the end of 1998. For complete sheets of 30, €200 up to 395 were asked on Delcampe, for stamp booklets with strips of six €47.50 up to almost €90. Today €40 is the valuation for a used corner margin block of four. Beware, the stamp is missing in many collection offers!
One of the most expensive error specialities of that vintage is Austria’s impressive portrait, Mi 2157 F as a misprint without red of the value 7 Schilling (‘S 7’ lower left and right). In 2002 the inconspicuous variety was valued at €1,200, more recently at €1,800.