Sunday, December 12

The ‘PURI’ confusion

For a philatelist, every rarity and confusion in the field of philately is an opportunity to collect. The latest confusion and the buzzing news among philatelic fraternity in India is over a set of miniature stamps on ‘Rath Yatra Puri’. This simple ‘Golden Border’ miniature has become a bomb that has explored across every philatelic community in this nation.

The set of printing marks popularly called ‘Traffic Lights’ have become the main culprits of the story. The different formations of these ‘Traffic Lights’ on the postal-released miniatures has thrown the collection into confusion. Various India Post philatelic bureaus stared to distribute Rath Yatra Puri miniatures that carried ‘Traffic Lights’ at varying locations on miniature sheets. Then, adding to the above confusion, the most ‘notorious’ of them appeared: two types of miniatures with a blank space either on the left or on the right. Hence, it became necessary for a collector to collect all the six combinations together with the common ‘Golden Border’ miniature to get to a full set. As far as the postal authorities are concerned, it is still debatable if they themselves thought of this complex formation of a set through these variations in printing and guillotining.

Nearly early a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit a stamp exhibition. To my surprise, I noted a stamp dealer offering two full sets of ‘Rath Yatra Puri’ miniatures for sale. At that time, the issue of these sets had not matured and their rarity was still not so popular. There was voice that prompted me to stay with this dealer and close the purchase. Together with a friend of mine, I closed the purchase of these miniatures. Little did I realise then that I was buying a collectable item that would explode in value and style all across India.      

The ‘PURI’ confusion still rages on. One thing for sure is that, two types of ‘blank space’ miniatures in this collection has become extremely rare... almost impossible to collect. 1000s of stamp collectors are waiting to complete their collection with this miniature. By the way, I got a phone call from the dealer who had sold his two full sets of collections to me. He requested if it was possible to sell them back to him. He is willing to pay me five times the price he had charged.