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Worldwide/(All) : List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
10 Dec 2015
01:56:02am
WARNING: Collecting the world seriously is an insane thing to pursue!
My goal is to get as close to 99% of completion for any country of the world. 100% completion is impossible for many countries so I needed settle for the next best option.99%
I have need lists for most countries and I consider them my most important collecting tool in reaching my goal. I keep percentages of completion figures on each country need list but did not have a list just for percentages of completion for each country. So today I started putting one together and got most of the major countries added to the list.
Does anyone else have such a list? As you can see most have reached my goal or are getting close. Still a lot of work to do though At Wits End
For anyone interested see list below:

Completion percentages of major countries for major numbers (as per Scott) of regular issues, unless otherwise noted.

MISC
U.S. 98% thru 1990, 91% 19th century
Canada 98.7% thru 1990
Egypt 97.4% thru 1970
India 98.9% thru 1974,
Australia 95.4% thru 1986
Israel Complete thru 1992

Western Europe/Scandia
Austria 99.6%, Semi Postals 99.2% thru 1986
Belgium 100% thru 1970, Semi Postals 98% thru 1976
Denmark 98.2% thru 1982
Finland 96% thru 1962
France 99.3%%, semis 98.6% thru 1977
Germany 99.8%, Semis 99.6% thru 1988
Great Britain 97.3% thru 1999
Greece 98% thru 1976
Greenland 98% thru 1980
Italy 99.5% thru 1980, Air 99% thru1973
Liechtenstein 97.6% thru 1977
Luxembourg 99.2% , semis 97.6% thru 1984
Monaco 100%, semis 90% thru 1963
Netherlandns 99.3%, semis 99.2% thru 1987
Norway 98.3% thru 1982
Portugal 99.5%, BOB 92% thru 1982
Sweden 96.6% thru 1982
Switzerland 96%, semis 99% thru 1978
Vatican City 99% thru 1979

Eastern Europe
Bulgaria 99.5% thru 1940
Czechoslovakia 98.7% thru 1950
DDR 97.8% thru 1982
Hungary 100%, semis 100% thru 1949
Latvia 97% thru 1940
Poland 96.8% thru 1954
Romania 97% thru 1952
Russia 99.4% thru 1990
Croatia 99% thru 1945

Latin America
Argentina 97.4% thru 1969
Bolivia 98.3% thru 1960
Brazil 99% thru 1980
Chile 98.55 thru 1972
Colombia 89.3% thru 1962
Costa Rica 94.3% thru 1983
Guatemala 99.3% thru 1973
Paraguay 94.7 thru1970
Peru 94.5% thru 1970
Uruguay 97.3% thru 1970
Venezueala 99% thru 1970

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
10 Dec 2015
07:13:59am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Very impressive, Mitch! I would imagine that, for completeness, your collection must rank very near the top among all collectors.

It would be disingenuous of me, however, to say I envy you, as my pleasure in the hobby is undiminished by the relatively small size of my collection. Just as you enjoy the pursuit of your goal, so do I enjoy mine: to accumulate more "stuff" before I die than I possibly need!




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smauggie
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10 Dec 2015
08:39:38am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I am sure that most Costa Ricans would balk at being told they were part of South America. Winking

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philb
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10 Dec 2015
09:11:31am

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Like Mitch i consider myself a serious collector...that being said,completion has never been my primary goal,many times a few attractive stamps on a page works for me !Happy

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Jansimon
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10 Dec 2015
09:25:42am

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

There is only one country in my collection worth mentioning in percentages of completion that are close to yours:
Netherlands New Guinea: 97.6% complete (not counting varieties in UNTEA overprints)
I have not made other calculations, but think many other "main" countries are in the 70-90% region. Almost all countries fail the usual suspects (the really expensive stamps).

In general, I look at the list in amazement and wonder a. if you are not getting bored now that almost everything is complete (time for a new hobby?) b. how large the investment in order to get here has been and c. how many meters of shelf space is needed to house all these stamps...

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scb
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Collecting the world 1840 to date - one stamp at a time!
10 Dec 2015
09:26:12am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I've been building/maintaining such a list for the past 15 years or so. The current version of the list can be seen on my blog (under My Collection).

It is lots of work, but definitely as much fun as collecting itself and a labor of love.

My percentages are naturally much lower than yours, but hopefully I've got a good number of years to build up.

-k-

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philb
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10 Dec 2015
09:29:49am

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Space is a problem..we only have so many walls...i do know more than one collector who has added on a stamproom !

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philatelia
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10 Dec 2015
10:29:36am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

WOW WOW WOW!!! Very impressive! I feel like doing one of those Wayne's world "I'm not worthy" bows! Applause Applause Applause



I'm only close with just one collection - I am only missing one Ireland stamp used (not counting the really recent issues). I've been squirreling away a few of my pennies from my sales here hoping to find a nice used copy of that elusive seahorse one of these days. The challenge has been finding one with a genuine postally used cancel. Now the challenge widens to include plate varieties, paste up coils, forerunners and essays, booklet panes, and perfins. It is all so much fun, though! When you actually fill an empty space - wow what a great feeling! Only another collector can possibly understand.

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michael78651
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10 Dec 2015
10:45:18am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I had thought of doing that. It wouldn't be too difficult with my inventory sheets. Just haven't gotten around to it. Unlike you, I do not have cutoff dates for my collection, so that would make keeping such a statistic (for me) more work than I would like to do.

For world wide collectors, it is relatively easy to achieve high percentages of completion for years up to around 1990. After that the material gets harder to find. However, I am starting to find stamps from the 1990s up to 2010 coming onto the market with more regularity. I think some people were holding onto these stamps, but most of the stamps are not appreciating in value, so they are selling them now.

Also, eastern Europe is flooded with newer issues, and buying year sets from those countries is not that costly, and often is very inexpensive. Remember that because of this, along with a strong USA dollar, you should not be surprised as catalog values continue to decline.

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philatelia
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10 Dec 2015
11:33:39am
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Just curious - do you worldwide collectors have a preference for mint or used?

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philb
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10 Dec 2015
01:22:45pm

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

For me, postally used by far !

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michael78651
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10 Dec 2015
02:04:14pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

For me, MNH whenever possible. I'll take used if the unused price takes a mortgage to buy the stamp. Most of my used come from collection/accumulations that I buy. I'll put them in my album if I don't have the stamp. No need to leave a space empty! Those will eventually get replaced by MNH, or unused in many cases for older stamps where MNH is difficult to find.

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philb
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10 Dec 2015
03:01:10pm

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I am going to start listing mint never hinged..i find most of the stamps i sell are postally used !Sad

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
10 Dec 2015
07:15:14pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I think I've just always enjoyed making lists. This one gives me an idea of how close I am to reaching my goal. Most of these countries I do collect past the dates noted, however after these dates my interest usually diminishes and have yet to concentrate on those later years. I would be quite happy to collect just up to 1940 or 1950 as I really do not care much for the stamps issued since. Really the only reason I collect later years is to give me something to do while looking for those elusive stamps of earlier times. I collect mint or used because I figured early on that limiting myself would make my goal impossible. For me I just go for the nicest looking copy I can get of any stamp, mint being preferable. I am constantly upgrading stamps I have because I'm normally purchasing parts of collections. .

Bobby, Thanks, knowing how much time and effort put into it, I think it has to be one of the largest. However, no one could know. I've thought about it of course and thought it would be in the top 200 private collections but I now think it would probably be much lower, perhaps 30 or less. My biggest handicap is minimal funds to work with. I've had some extra money in the past but for the last several years have been operating around the poverty level. Every spare nickel goes into stamps. This being said I hope it gives others hope that they can put together a respectable collection with limited funds, but it requires sacrificing other toys. I should see a couple rather large inheritances in the future at which time I plan to fill some more holes and work on British Empire, time will tell. I have no need of envy as I envy myself, I didn't think I would ever get this far.

Jamison, Thanks! No, I'm not getting bored there are still many countries that are far from my goal. I'm getting close to 200K investment over the last 30 years. I don't keep many albums on shelves, most of my albums are in three 4 drawer fire safes. If you want to do the math, I have around 150 volumes with an average thickness of 2 1/2".

SCB, I have looked at your list a few times over the years. You seem to like making lists even more than I. You're still young and hopefully have a lot of collecting years to go. So just keep pounding a way at it.

Philatelia,,,, Thanks as well. Ireland is a country I never spent much time on until about a year ago. I manged to get all of the early definitives with overprints and most of the issues between 1940 and 1975. But haven't yet got a single Sea horse so the collection is a long way from completing being only 90%

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GeoStamper
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Steve
11 Dec 2015
11:51:46pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

This reminds me of a discussion, probably in Linn's, from my youth. Seems that there was a common pursuit for "Virtual Worldwide Completeness." Everyone seemed to agree that the definition of such a term was elusive, but they also agreed that there was really only one commercial album set to get you there. I don't recall which set that was. Possibly Scott Specialized? I could barely afford "Virtual US Incompleteness," let alone even think about trying to get every issue ever printed. Happy

I find it humorous that the word "virtual" meant almost the opposite in the 1970's as it does today: "nearly" or "almost" vs. "not real." Since my return to collecting, I have not run across anyone making such a claim or even such an intended pursuit.

My goal is to fill the Scott International up through Part IV. I thought I would stop and take inventory this past summer, but I'm still filling spaces right and left (used with sharp cancels whenever possible). I've only been at it for two years, and work keeps getting in the way, so if I had to guess I would say probably around 10%, but I could be way off. Maybe I'll inventory next summer...

-Steve

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philb
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12 Dec 2015
11:40:47am

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re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

For a while i was keeping all gasoline receipts for the car and truck in the storage compartments..sheeves with a clothespin. lets see did i spend 37 or 40 bucks last week? Then one day my wife asked why i was doing that...and i shucked them all..free at last !Happy

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jkjblue
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30 Dec 2015
03:50:53pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Quote:

"Collecting the world seriously is an insane thing to pursue!"



Mitch- your pursuit of the entire world and the level of completion you have obtained is astounding. Cool

Although I have been interested in stamps since childhood, I really only began semi-seriously collecting the 1840-1940 (-1952 British Commonwealth) world five years ago. I currently have 42,000+ out of 83,000 Scott catalogue possibilities for the era. Not too bad. Happy

Perhaps if I had started 30 years ago, I would be approaching a high level of completion, but I am happy with what is now a "representative" collection.

And I need to thank you for a piece of advice you gave several years ago- put together a want/need list. I have done so, and it has made the pursuit of additions to my WW classical era collection much easier. !! Cool

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
30 Dec 2015
04:14:26pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

When you collect 1840 to date, things get a little less precise, and I think percentage of completion based on time period is probably a better tactic. For me, I'll have a high percentage of completion for the classic period, from 1941 to around 1980 I'll have a very high percentage, and then a moderate to low (some countries will be in the high to very high range) for the years after that, depending on the country. But, I'm working on it!

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
30 Dec 2015
05:42:27pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

Jim, Thanks much for the kudos! Sounds like you are doing great in your level of completion for only working on it seriously for five years. With your level of devotion to the hobby I have no doubt you will reach a very high level of completion for most countries, if you are allowed the years to work on it. I'm glad you found my advice worth taking as regards need lists. Of course they take a lot of time to do but I can't imagine not having them and making much progress. Being able to quickly search for stamps you need is key in getting those high numbers of completion.

As far as completion goes I was happy to complete the regular issues of Berlin from start to finish this last weekend by adding 9N33. I only need a few post 1982 semi postals to complete the "country". Frank S. was a big help in our recent trading for many of later issues. My biggest addition was the top key item (9nb3a below) for Berlin that I added a couple of months ago. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get it, which of course would not make completion possible.
Image Not Found

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
30 Dec 2015
08:13:26pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

"Completion" depends on personal preferences. Some argue that completion means collecting all of the major catalog numbers, not both the majors and minors.

That in itself is problematic as Scott often swaps a stamp catalog number from major to minor or vice versa. Or worse, Scott sometimes splits out stamps into more sub-categories and makes them all major numbers, like the Portuguese Ceres issues that we recently discussed elsewhere.

Since I use a conglomeration of album pages (Scott Specialty, Scott International, Steiner) I pretty much get full coverage of all Scott major numbers (and non-Scott listed), plus many minor numbers. It's a quick glance to estimate how complete I am in a country by looking at the numbers of spaces with and without stamps.

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
30 Dec 2015
11:02:07pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

My figures are based on Scott major numbers, one needs to draw the line somewhere and what better than the most obvious place. I consider sub numbers as gravy. However I do collect most of them especially when it comes to color variants, watermarks and different perfs. I do not add all sub numbers to my needlists or usually actively seek them out. Most are added when found in lots that come my way. This is where getting an accurate count of stamps becomes difficult without actually counting each stamp. If it were not for the sub numbers all one would have to do is subtract the number of needed stamps from those issued, while also noting missing numbers and more newly added major numbers that are followed by a capital letter. At least 90% of my collection is on Scott Specialty pages. The older pages carried many of the sub numbers while later printed pages show very few. I add sub numbers to an existing page when there is room. If not I use Steiner formats and cut and paste spaces where needed to make additional pages. A year or so ago I started remaking early pages of countries because the Specialty pages were getting overcrowded. It's a process that may never be completed as needs often change.

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michael78651
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30 Dec 2015
11:35:28pm
re: List for percentages of completion of countries World Wide

I'm very similar to you. If an album pages has a space for the stamp, it's on my want list. I used to add the minors when I ran across them. However, the number of pages that I had just simply ballooned too much for the storage space I have. I went ahead and started reducing the minor numbers by dropping most of those from the 19th century. I then pushed it further to pre-WWII. I then took one more step by dropping the minor numbered souvenir sheets that contained the exact same stamps are the regular sheet stamps. When I was finished with that reduction in stamps, I had disposed of over 700 album pages.

How well has that held? Mixed results. Where it has held most steadfastly is with the minor numbered souvenir sheets, and the 19th century. Yet even now I have been adding many minor numbered souvenir sheets to my albums, especially if I like them, or they come in year sets, and I have free album page space for the. Why not use the blank space at the bottom of a page? I am scope creeping the early 20th century minor numbers again. Like you, they just keep showing up in lots.

Oh well.

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