I was looking for a new sideline collection. I didn't really want to look at a whole new country (especially one with expensive "classic era" stamps). I thought about a thematic collection, but wanted something finite so I wasn't going to be forever chasing new issues. I was unsure what to do for a while, but then I started looking through some odds and ends sitting in some long-ignored stockbook and it dawned on me - I had several issues from the year 2000 from a trip I took, so they were to be the first pieces of the new sideline.
Looking through the various volumes of Stanley Gibbons' "Stamps Of The World" there looked to be enough issues during the year to make it an interesting challenge, with nothing too expensive, although I did find an Argentinian Express Service stamp out of the main catalogue sequence catalogued at £50, and some of the long agency sets are in that sort of area if you add up all the Miniature Sheets too. (Although if SG ever get around to cataloguing the overprints from Benin, these will probably be way out of my budget).
I borrowed all 6 volumes in turn from our wonderful local libraries, and put together a spreadsheet of every issue listed. I was expecting about 8000 stamps but the eventual number was close to double that. Oh well, in for a penny... A "sideline" was turning into quite a large project!
Some points I noted immediately
So, after a couple of years, I have about 25% of the stamps (all in unmounted mint condition). I've bought some year sets (France, Germany, Poland, USA) online and a lot more items piecemeal, online, in stamp shops or at Stampex etc. Oh, and I've set another target - to do as much as I can for a lot less than £1 per stamp. If I come across any in nicely used condition, or in presentation packs, gutter pairs or on FDCs, I'd keep them, but the primary focus is the UM singles.
Below, each country is linked to a specific page. On that page is a list of issues made by that country in 2000, with stamps I have shown in green. Then follows a scan of those items as they sit in my collection. The scan quality of most of these isn't that great at the moment, but I will improve that over time - so far I'm up to about El Salvador in getting decent scans loaded.
* indicates that no stamps are listed for that country in the most recent "Stamps of the World" that I have seen, or that SG haven't reached 2000 in that country's listing yet.
Note: I have used the word "country" as a synonym for "stamp issuing entity". I am well aware that some of the above aren't countries by any regular definition.
I don't really expect to "complete" this collection. There's an awful lot of stamps out there, some of which may be hard to source at a reasonable cost, and to be frank, I'm not getting any younger. Some countries' output doesn't inspire me to get them all either. It's bad enough to see listed over 400 items purporting to come from Antigua, but for another 200, mostly older issues, to be also overprinted for Barbuda takes the biscuit. A representative item or two may well do. The first target is to get at least one item from each country (220 so far), and see how we go from there.
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The thumbnail images on this page come from www.stampworld.com and will be replaced by my own images when time permits. Any images on individual country pages are already my scans of items in my possession.