Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Expertising your Gandhi Stamps - Part I

This is in regards to India 1948 Gandhi Service Provisionals and Specimen set with/without the folder. I do get a query once in a while as to "Why" and "how" one would go about gettting it done.

I will break this up in two parts due to constraints on my personal time.

What exactly is "expertising"?
Expertising is a process in which the expertising agency or individual will examine, investigate and authenticate your philatelic material. If found genuine, they will issue something called "Certificate Of Authenticity" with a serial number.

What purpose does it serve?
For one, if you are doing this as an investment, it will increase the value of the collection and second if you are planning to purchase one and if the stamp is not certified genuine, then you could put this as a pre-condition for sale to go through. Most dealers will oblige. Also if you plan to sell your high catalog value stamps it's always a "no brainer" to have one done.

What's Gandhi stamps got to do with expertising?
There are quite a few forgeries of India 1948 Service Provisionals in existance. The service provisionals are stamps with the word "Service" overprinted on 1948 Gandhi stamps. These were printed in such low numbers that they have become the most valuable Gandhi Philatelic material to have in one's collection.

In the case of India's 1948 Rs10 Gandhi Service Overprint, it's in the top 30 rarest stamps of british common wealth. It currently is at number 4 position. It's practically unobtainable for an average collector. Follow the price below or click here.


To review the forgeries and authentic stamps, review my exhibit on expoent or click on the links below.
Page 10 One Half Anna Examples
Page 11 There Half Annas and Twelve Annas Example

General notes on buying Service Provisionals
1. First rule of the thumb is never buy any Gandhi Service Provisionals without a so called certificate of autheniticity. Especially for "3 half anna" and "12 anna" stamps.

2. A total of 16,500 stamps of "One Half Anna" were overprinted with "Service". You could buy "used on paper" for less than $100 USD on ebay. They are widely available, if you are a true Gandhi collector then get your hands on a copy today. Do not remove the stamp from the paper, you will in most certainty not only damage it but at the same time reduce the value of the stamp.

More next time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FAKE 1948 India Mahatma Gandhi FDC with 10 Rupees stamp are selling like hot cake.!!

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

By now you all knows what's going in Gandhi's collection. You have seen lot of FAKE material selling on auctions sites.

Following are some of the FAKE items we are aware off.

1) Fake Pictorial Postmark Cancel To make collection unique or money.!!
2) Fake Postcards Just to make little money.!!
3) Fake seller (pretending from different country or trying to outbid .!!)
4) FAKE Error Stamp (to make money!!)
5) ??????

But recently I saw FAKE (Facsimiles) Mahatma Gandhi's 1948 FDC with 10 Rupees stamps which are even fetching high prices. Seller is selling as FAKE cover and it still getting good money from it.

It's interesting to study this kind of FAKE covers and start thinking what else is possible in today's world.!!

Seller is mentioning about this FAKE cover while selling!! Following is what he/she is telling to buyer.

"I am selling off my entire collection of fakes, forgeries and facsimiles. You are bidding on the facsimile (fake cover) shown below. The stamps on the cover are fully perforated allowing for a three-dimensional appearance. As per ebay guidelines the back is indelibly marked and is also shown below. "

Following are some of the covers.

So now please go and look your collection that you don't have this kind of FDC's or Stamps.!! and if you buy 1948 Gandhi stamp than please open it as soon as you get it and then make sure it is not FAKE because it is very hard to make a difference. Seller did excellent job in making this. At first look I was also misguided.!!

I bought 1 set of stamps for $5 to see how it looks and I am amazed.!!! Now I think sky is the limit for FAKE creators.!!

Here everything is FAKE including cover, stamp and cancellation.!! Only thing real is seller Truth's about the cover while selling, same way like one of the Gandhiji's Principle "TRUTH".

Again thanks for reading and  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi at Indipex

Dear Gandhi Philatelists,

Further to Mr.Ketan Patel’s blog-post about Gandhi exhibits and issues at Indipex, I am presenting here a first-hand account of Gandhi related Philatelic activity at Indipex. I attended the show on all 7 days, and will try to give you a complete picture of Gandhi Philately at Indipex under various heads.

a) Khadi Stamp:

Probably the most-awaited Gandhi philatelic item in recent times, the special commemorative Khadi Stamp went on sale on day 1 (12th February 2011) after HE Pratibha Patil, the President of India, released it in the morning.

The stamp, as part of a miniature sheet and of denomination Rs.100, was sold in a Presentation pack for Rs.250. Both these amounts were mentioned on the pack. No FDC or Information brochure was separately issued, though a commemorative postmark was available.

The stamp design and the entire Miniature sheet are very appealing. This was the first time a Gandhiji was honoured Philatelically on a stamp made of cloth. Bhutan has earlier issued a plastic material based stamp on the Mahatma in 1972 (http://gandhistamps.com/Bhutan.htm)

There was frentic activity at the sale counter, with people lining up in long queues to get their hands on the Khadi stamp. Indiapost streamlined the sales by creating 3 counters – one for cash sales, one for payment based on bookings made online, and the 3rd for delivery of prepaid bookings. Those paying at counter 2 had to then queue up again in counter 3 to collect their packs.

As no FDC was issued, a dealer had prepared 1000 FDCs for this issue keeping the size of the Miniature Sheet in mind. The blank FDCs were being sold for Rs.200. Many collectors were content with pasting the Khadi stamp on the Presentation pack itself and getting it FDCancelled there, as the pack is an official issue.

All in all, the Khadi stamp was definitely one of the highlights of the grand Indipex show, and the Bapu proved that he is still a huge draw in Philatelic circles!

Other country Gandhi issues:

1) Bangladesh:

Bangladesh utilized the occasion of Indipex to come out with a set of 3 commemorative stamps on Gandhiji. These stamps depict his time in the East Bengal region (Noakhali, etc.), now in Bangladesh. The 3 stamps were being sold for Rs.50, and the miniature sheet, which has 2 sets of the same stamps, for Rs.100.

The Gandhi stamps sold like hot cakes, but it still seemed that the postal authorities had lot of stocks left with them! The case of the FDC was not such, and the limited number that they had brought with them were sold out on day 1/2.

On 15th February (Day 4), the Bangladesh stall started issuing a stall-date cancellation with Gandhiji as the artwork. To capitalize on the unavailability of the FDCs, an enterprising dealer printed a set of 3 covers and placed his bag in close proximity to the stall. Collectors were seen purchasing these covers (for Rs.50 each, so set of 3 for Rs.150), then purchasing the Bangladesh stamps, and affixing the stall-cancellation on the covers. Interestingly, the covers had no connection to the Bangladesh issue. It had some pictures of Gandhi stamps and coins, and could be thus used as a multipurpose cover. Why there was so much interest in them is beyond my understanding!

Collectors were also seen to be purchasing the Rs.5 Indipex exhibition common special cover and using that to get the Bangladesh Gandhi stamps + Special cancellation.

2) IGPC issues:

IGPC, the stamp-issuing authority for a group of countries, came out with a bouquet of Gandhi issues from countries like Antigua, St.Vincent, Tuvalu, etc.

b) Mahatma Gandhi Exhibits:

There were a total of 6 Gandhi collections exhibited, one under the Traditional category, while the other exhibits were under the Thematic category.

It was quite a learning experience for me going through these exhibits in detail. I found many interesting and unique items on display. Some which I can recall are:

1) Rs.10 Service – 3 examples among these 6 exhibits!

2) Colour Trials and Artist Proof of Morocco issue

3) GB Artist Proof and Imperf

4) 1948 1.5 Annas President Camp PO – 3 varieties

5) Communal Harmony slogan in Urdu

and many more. But the Pièce de résistance was undoubtedly the IndiaPost frames under the Court of Honour Section. Complete Service sheets of all the 4 stamps of the 1948 Memorial issue were on display, as were the colour trials of the same. It was a delight and visual treat for any Gandhi Philatelist!

c) Sale of Gandhi material:

Gandhi material featured prominently among the sales at Indipex. Starting from the Khadi stamp, there was never a dearth in sales. The 1948 Memorial FDC reached unimaginable heights of being sold at over Rs.1.25 lakh at the auction held during the exhibition. Other 1948 material was also being sold at sky-high prices.

Cristoph Gaertner Auctions, which occupied 2 stalls at Indipex, has a lot of rare Gandhi stuff lined up for its forthcoming sale.

A foreign dealer had brought huge quantities of fake/Cinderella Gandhi issues of Davaar Island and Sanda Island. The former set of 3 Gold-foil stamps was priced at Rs.150, with the higher value completing the set for Rs.1200. The Sanda Island Picture changing “stamp block of 4” was sold for Rs.40. Good volumes of both these were sold, despite the fact that none of them have any postal validity or genuineness! In fact, the dealer was at a loss of words when asked where exactly the 2 places were located!

d) Press Coverage:

There were a lot of newspaper articles preceding Indipex, and they mostly focused on the Centenary of the 1st Airmail. On the inaugural day (12th February 2011), Mint, the Business Daily of Hindustan Times and the exclusive partner of Wall Street Journal (WSJ), carried a cover story about Philately. They covered 3 collectors across India, and I feature among them for my Gandhi collection. You can read it online at:


Also, on 30th January 2011 (Bapu’s Martyrdom Day), Times of India did a story on Gandhi Philately featuring my collection. It can be read online on my site:


Thanks, and please do share your experiences at Indipex related to Gandhi Philately with us.

Nikhil Mundra
19th March 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

50th Anniversary USA Champions of Liberty Mahatma Gandhi Stamp

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

Now I am moving away from FAKE Gandhi Philatelic material and writing about 50th Anniversary of world's 5th Gandhi Stamp and 2nd country in world to issue this stamp.

USA was 2nd country in world to issue Mahatma Gandhi stamp after India. On January 26th 1961 USA issued 120 million 4 cents stamp & 40 million 8 cents honoring Mahatma Gandhi with other Champions of Liberty series stamps.

On January 26th 2011, it was 50th Anniversary of USA Gandhi Stamp.

Because of large quantity you will see this stamps on lot of used covers such as Missile launch, Navy covers, Army covers, Airport opening, FFC etc which makes it very interesting for collectors. Also sometimes you can find this stamps on Paquebot covers, RPO etc.

Mahatma Gandhi 4 Cents stamp block:

Mahatma Gandhi 8 Cents stamp block:




Ceremony Folder

Unofficial Souvenir Sheet

I know lot of collectors forgot about this event. But I did not.!!

Wait to see my REAL/Genuine/Authentic work.!!

Ketankumar Patel.

Update:- Click this link to see 50th Anniversary USA Champions of Liberty Mahatma Gandhi Stamp.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Indipex 2011 Bangladesh Gandhi Pictorial Postmark Cancellation

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

===== Update 5/9/11 & 6/4/2011 ===========================================


This is not FAKE. Bangladesh Post confirm with me.

Also I bought max card directly from Bangladesh seller and he also used Mahatma Gandhi stamp on the shipping cover.

Recently I saw Bangladesh Mahatma Gandhi Stamp and Pictorial Postmark Cancel of Mahatma Gandhi. I had also written in Indipex 2011 and Mahatma Gandhi blog post.

After doing some more research on this it looks like this is not officially issued by Bangladesh Postal Service. It might be private rubber stamp!!!

Reason for this assumption is that Pictorial Postmark Cancel is only in English. I checked other Bangladesh Postmark Cancel and it has English as well as native Bangladesh Language.

So not sure why they don't want to use their native language on this particular cancellation of Mahatma Gandhi.!! Mahatma Gandhi was also famous for knowing multiple languagues and can write also. 1948 India Mahatma Gandhi stamps were printed with 3 languagues English, Hindi and Urdu.!!

Also no where it is mentioned on Bangladesh postal service website. I also send them email twice but no response from them.

If someone has more information about this then please comment so all Gandhi Collectors are aware of this.

If I will find more information about this pictorial cancel and it is Genuine than I will change my blog post.

Until no satisfying proof it is Fake to me. I am not sure what you think!!

( I got email reply from Bangladesh Post about this stamp and pictorial postmark and as per them they issued this during Indipex 2011) SO this is NOT FAKE>

You can checkout yourself by looking following FDC and Pictorial cancel.


BTW: If you are seller on ebay or delcampe and if you have more info then please let me know so I can update this blog and also buy it from you.

========= My email to 5 different Postmaster of Bangladesh Postal Service ========

I got contact info from Bangladesh Postal Service Website. Check this link for their contact.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: xxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 2:40 PM
Subject: question regarding recently Bangladesh Gandhi stamp, pictorial cancel & fdc selling on ebay.
To: epost1@bttb.net.bd, ep6001@bttb.net.bd, ep4001@bttb.net.bd, ep3001@bttb.net.bd, ep7400@bttb.net.bd

Hello Postmaster,

Recently I saw Gandhi stamp from Bangladesh and also Gandhi Pictorial Cancellation(rubber stamp). Attach is copy of that cancellation & stamp. Please look at the attachment so you get idea what I am talking about.

I need your help to confirm that this are officially issued by Bangladesh Postal Service.

Reason for this is that lot of people are trying to sell this kind stuff on ebay and try to cheat collector and make huge amount of profit and destroying hobby. Someone from Germany tried this kind of acitivity and I worked with Germany Postal Service and Local Stamp Club members to find out that it was a fake postmark and no one bought that kind of cancel. You can read about this on my blog. You can read this by click following url.


Let me know if any questions or concerns.

Awaiting for reply.

Again thanks for reading this blog post and  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi exhibits at Indipex 2011.

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

Congratulations to all 5 exhibitors of Mahatma Gandhi at Indipex 2011 exhibition in New Delhi, India.

Following are the names of the exhibitor and their exhibit topic.

Rajesh Bhura--------------->Mahatma Gandhi 'The Man of the Millennium'
Surendra Goel-------------->World Mahatma Gandhi
Anil Kumar Reddy--------->Mahatma Gandhi
Pradip Jain------------------>Mahatma Gandhi (Traditional)
Kishore Jhunjhunwalla---->Mahatma Gandhi - The Man of The Millenium

If you have web link of your exhibit than please share with us so all Gandhi Collectors around the world can see your hard work like Maulik Thakkar & R.V.Rajan online exhibit display.

You can see Maulik's & Rajan's exhibit by clicking following URL.

Maulik's 1948 Gandhi Exhibit

Mr. Rajan's Exhibit You will find multiple exhibit here so please look at all. Best Gandhi Philately website.!!

If you have any more information about Gandhi Exhibit at Indipex 2011 then please let us know so we can update this blog post. Also correct me if any information is incorrect.

Again Thanks to all 5 exhibitors of Mahatma Gandhi at Indipex 2011.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Surprised price of 1948 Gandhi FDC with single stamp of 1 1/2 anna & 3 1/2 anna.!!!!!!!!

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

Recently I was surprised when 1948 single stamp Mahatma Gandhi FDC was sold for more than 50 dollars.!!

Seller: Mumbaistamps2 (1600+ feedback on ebay since Jul-22-05 from UAE )
Buyer: fredbettin (35000+ feedback on ebay, Member since: Oct-21-98 Location:USA)
Date Sold: 2/8/2011
Price: US $ 51.00 !!!!!!!!!!

Now my question is why buyer's are paying this much money. It is cancelled from Calcutta which is not even hard to find like from Nepal or Pondicherry etc. I can only see this is mailed to USA (so what) and also I don't see any arrival postmark cancel from USA.

So Why??

Also buyer of this cover has very high feedback and I see he is regular seller of Gandhi philatelic material on ebay. (Even I bought 1948 item once from this ebay seller/buyer (fredbettin)).

Seller: mumbaistamps2
Buyer: Superstamp1 (Member since: Jul-19-04,From: United Kingdom)
Description: 1948 INDIA MAHATMA GANDHI 1 1/2 ANNA ON FDC (#280624118876)
Date Sold: 2/8/11
Sold for: US $52.!!!!!!!!!!

1 1/2 Anna is not even mailed to USA.!!!

If anyone know why buyer are willing to pay this much price than please let us know by commenting on this blog post.

Or this is again Surprised in Gandhi Philatelic material.!!!!!!!

Ketankumar Patel.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do you think Gandhi stamps or philatelic materials will burn you? Gandhi stamp price is declining.!! Part -4 Morrocco Gandhi FDC

Hello Gandhi Collectors,

Recently I was reading that after Indipex 2011 there is lot of interest in Mahatma Gandhi stamps collection. Lot of new collector want to start Gandhi thematic collection. So I am sharing my experience which may be helpful to new Gandhi collectors or even other stamp collectors.

Do you think Gandhi stamps or philatelic materials will burn you? You decide after reading this blog post.

Recently in Feb 2011 Morocco/Maroc Gandhi FDC was sold for 10 euros. So I was looking past purchase of Maroc Gandhi FDC on delcampe and I was surprised how much price is reduced in 3-4 years. (Thanks Delcampe for making this possible,otherwise I will not able to what happen in past.!!)

Following are screen shots from delcampe which will give you idea how Maroc Gandhi FDC was sold in last 2-3 years.

SOLD FOR 10 EUROS ON 2-13-2011


SOLD FOR 18 EUROS ON 2-27-2009
BUYER IS ME VXVM.!! NO OTHER BIDDER.!! One of my early purchase from Delcampe.!

SOLD FOR 21 EUROS ON 12-7-2008.
Check following link and look in feedback.

SAME BUYER WHO WAS BIDDING AGAINST ME WHEN I WAS TRYING TO GET CAMEROUN FDC and then used other id "khel10ka" and did not paid to seller. More details can be found by clicking following link.(copy and paste in browser). Interesting to read if you have not read before.!!

My 1st year experience of collecting GANDHI philatelic material.

SOLD FOR 32 EUROS ON 24 July 2008
Buyer is Gandhicollector.

SOLD FOR 39 EUROS in May 2008 (Fixed Price option)
Buyer is Brownblackcherry.

SOLD FOR 40 EUROS in March 2008

You can see after my purchase this seller stop selling or buying using this account because I studied this seller and learned HOW TO INCREASE PRICE OF GANDHI PHILATELIC MATERIAL.!!

You can also do some study by looking to feedback of this seller.

Delcampe link of DKKPHILA

If you are collecting Gandhi thematic collection for more than 7 years than I think you will be not get burned. But I think if you are entering in this hobby like me than I think you will be.

So now you have to decide wheather Gandhi Stamps/Philatelic materials will burn you if you are new collector or even you are pro?

Will you buy it from ebay or delcampe or from dealers and start Gandhi collection.!!?

Let us know your thoughts by writing comments on this.


Further Reading:-
1) Gandhi Stamp value declining.
2) Pricing Study on Gandhi FDC - Part 1