Monday, February 8, 2016

The frenzy over the Adelaide 2016 Provisionals Continues......

Last week I blogged about the 2016 Adelaide Provisionals that were released to meet a shortage of 30c stamps in the Adelaide, Australia metro area in the days immediately after the increase in postal rates from Aus$0.70 to Aus$1.00.

Over the past week, there has been a near frenzy of activity on ebay's Australian site, with about 2 dozen complete sets of six unused and a few commercially used covers being offered by lucky owners who "hit the jackpot" out of the sheer luck of purchasing a few stamps at their local post office.  Overall the average sale price on for a set of 6 settled at around Au$1100.00 (~US$770.00) with complete se-tenant strips of six bringing around Au$1500.00 or so (~US$1150.00), given the scarcity of complete se-tenant strips.

As of tonight 8 Feb 2016 Eastern North America Time there are only a couple complete sets currently on auction at, which I think suggests that the "non-collectors" who wanted to cash in on their good fortune have now done so, and now it will be the philatelic marketplace that determines the future value of this issue.

Meanwhile, to add a further level of complexity to this issue, it now appears that the provisionals were printed on two different types of the 1994 Koala & Kangaroo CPS issue.  More information can be found reading the last couple pages of the thread dedicated to discussion of this issue at (which is really the best source of up to date information on this issue).

I am still a touch hazy on the differences between the two types of provisionals, but if I understand the discussion correctly, the difference lies in the position of the 1994 imprint date relative to the die-cut perforations on the right side of the stamps.

The more common variety (which I will call Type I) has the date very close to the right-side perforations

Type I of the Adelaide 2016 Provisional, note how close the "1994" imprint date is to the right-side perforations (image from, post by Glen Stephens)

The other variety, which I will call Type II, has the imprint date 1994 a bit more to the left, further away from the right-side perforations.

Type II of the Adelaide 2016 Provisional, note that the "1994" imprint date is a bit further from the right-side perforations than in Type I (image from, post by Glen Stephens)

So now is there not only a rare provisional issue from Australia creating quite a philatelic storm, it turns out that this provisional issue, which was only used for about three days in the Adelaide metropolitan area before new supplies of the regular 30c Crocodile definitive finally arrived in South Australia, also comes in two distinct varieties that derive from the two different types of CPS stamps used in the emergency printing.

So now the interest will shift to the philatelic community.  What direction will prices head. Is Au$1000.00 a floor or a ceiling value for a set of six mint?  What will the major stamp catalogues do - will they list the set as a full listing, highlight it in a footnote, or ignore it altogether?  The future value of this set will depend heavily on what the catalogue editors decide regarding the issue, and for now those decisions remain to be made.  It's much like waiting for the Supreme Court of the USA to issue its rulings at the end of its yearly sessions, no one knows how the judges, or in this case the editors, will decide the issue.