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Re: Official currencies

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  • L. A. Nadybal
    RE: Pre-Euro Andorra... Both FF & Pta were official currencies. Banks issued statements in either currency in which you held an account, and provided the
    Message 1 of 80 , Jul 1, 2009
      RE: Pre-Euro Andorra...
      Both FF & Pta were official currencies.

      Banks issued statements in either currency in which you held an account, and provided the exchange rate to the other (and later, between the "home currency" you chose and the Euro).

      Shops priced in both currencies.

      French post offices sold French stamps issued for Andorra in FF but accepted Pta at "unofficial" prices (convenience rates) based on a fictional set rate of exchange that accommodated the cost for the French to change the Pta to FF for their accounts. Spanish POs in Andorra generally accepted only Pta for Andorran stamps the Spanish issued. In the Spanish main PO in Andorra la Vella, I was able to use FF, but on the same basis as I described for the French POs. I was not able to buy stamps in Spanish POs outside of the capital (i.e, at Ordino, etc.) except by using Pta. Ordinary mail sent from POs in Andorra to Andorran addresses don't need stamps, so all the above was only for international mail sand special services for domestic mail like Registration, etc. Each country put stamp machines around Andorra, and you had to use the right country's coins.

      Money transfers made at POs had to be done for domestic transfers in either currency, and paid out in the same currency. If you processed an international payment, naturally an international fee would apply, an the payee at a PO from the "other country" would be treated as international and exchange rates would apply as well as international rates/charges.

      Telephone booths - you had to watch out for what coins they would take. Later, telephone cards had to be used. You could buy them in shops for either currency.

      To pay government bills (taxes, etc.,) the government kept exchange rates set and payments were credited in either currency at the set exchange rate. How often it changed, or in which currency the government kept its books is something I don't know.

      I have an almost complete collection of Andorran stamps and many covers from different eras. A study of which postal service offered the cheapest rates for various services at particular times is really interesting. Early on, one was permitted to use Spanish stamps at Spanish post offices in Andorra.

      There is still an official use for Francs in Andorra - at the post offices - because French Franc denominated stamps issued for Andorra can still be used on mail, even though the postal rates are all in Euros now - there has to be a mechanism in place for the post office clerks to be able to know if the FFr stamps on an envelope are enough in Euro equivalents to meet the postage cost (you can use both FFr and Euro stamps on the same envelope, if you want). Must be a pain in the neck for the clerks, but it makes for good postal history. That doesn't work like that any more if want to try that with Spanish stamps issued for Andorra. Why Pta are still quoted for Andorra is a mystery - except perhaps to calculate the Euro equal for people turning in old currency - but for that purpose, the rates all over Europe to the Euro are still in place in order to retire old currency and stamps. Most countries set a time limit for the exchanges, but not all.

      If you mistakenly drop a letter with Spanish-Andorra stamps in a French PO mail box in Andorra (or v.v.),it won't get cancelled (except perhaps by mistake) - the two postal systems quietly send these to their partner system, where they get cancelled and forwarded.

      Regards

      Len













      --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "George H" <geoh88@...> wrote:
      >
      > Good Day, Len,
      >
      > All good information, right on target.
      >
      > You mention Andorra before the Euro, which is exactly one of my interests. I am curious about a situation where all sources which I have found state that both the peseta and franc were used interchangably.
      >
      > But, how were government billings done? Only in pesetas, or only in francs? And during any time period when the peseta and franc were floating against each other, there would be room for currency arbitrage.
      >
      > Anyone with knowledge of pre-Euro Andorra?
      >
      > George
      >
      >
      > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "L. A. Nadybal" <lnadybal@> wrote:
      > >
      > > George,
      > >
      > > I'm like Dallen - but my view is you have to decide what the term "official currency" means to you.... i.e., "legal tender" for commercial transactions, accounting currency (like the ECU was), trade currency (like Maria Theresa Thalers). Some countries use other countries' currencies as "legal tender", and still have their own monetary units in place - i.e., Bhutan has the Ngultrum and made Indian Rupees legal tender). Andorra had Pesetas and French Francs side by side and no monetary unit of its own (even though the Spanish Bishop of Urguel, the sovereign co-prince, issued Diners or something like that. Luxembourg had the Franc before the Euro - but let two entities (one public one private) issue them. Were they "two currencies"? Gibraltar has the Gibraltar Pound but UK Pounds are legal tender there, too (and trade only at two different prices).
      > > Len
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "George H" <geoh88@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Greetings to everyone:
      > > >
      > > > I have a few questions regarding the official currency of some independent countries and dependencies.
      > > >
      > > > Do any of our Borderpoint members have knowledge on this topic?
      > > >
      > > > Or can anyone refer me to some other group regarding this topic?
      > > >
      > > > Thank you in advance for any assistance.
      > > >
      > > > George
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • L. A. Nadybal
      Oh. Then go to www.linns.com - you can get a $11/yr subscription to the Scott Monthly Stamp Journal on-line editoin - it s the only US based publication that
      Message 80 of 80 , Jul 7, 2009
        Oh.

        Then go to www.linns.com - you can get a $11/yr subscription to the Scott Monthly Stamp Journal on-line editoin - it's the only US based publication that lists all the worlds new stamps as they come out.... what it lists go into the Scott annual stamp catalogs at the end of each year. The catalog is a monstrous, annually issued 6 volume $300+ affair that is supplemented by a single specialized volume for the US related areas.

        Len



        --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "kubana2005" <kubana2005@...> wrote:
        >
        > I was referring more to current stamps (e.g. check out all stamps produced in Hungary in 2006). Nevertheless, thanks for your link.
        >
        > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "L. A. Nadybal" <lnadybal@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Try this site for postal wars:
        > >
        > > http://home.pages.at/dietbeck/postkrieg/postkrieg_english.htm
        > >
        > > If you google the German google at www.google.de, and search for "Poskrieg", you'll find lots of stuff on postal wars.
        > >
        > > Lundy is a private island in the Bristol Channel. There's no British post office there, so the owner issued "cinderella stamps" (postal labels) and charged visitors who wanted their mail carried to the "mainland". He had to affix his Lundy stamps on the left side of the mail matter, and leave space for the British stamps he had to buy and affix in the upper right, when he remailed the post to the final destinations. In philately, we call these "locals" when the service really existed that the stamps seem to identify. In countries where competition with the state governmental post exists, these may also issue "locals", but that's a little different, because these legally compete with the state, but services like Lundy's were an adjunct, to serve places the post office didn't. The most famous one in the US was Rattlesnake Island local post in Lake Erie. It mirrored the service from Lundy, except that a For Trimotor plane flew the mail - in Lundy it was a small boat that was used.
        > >
        > > Te SMOM is another different matter - it issues "locals" but has concluded postal agreements between itself as a government and governments and postal services of other countries - so springs beyond the concept of "local" service and does so under its limited sovereignty. Lundy has no sovereign rights - it's part of the UK.
        > >
        > > Regards
        > >
        > > Len
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "kubana2005" <kubana2005@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Len, thanks for your explanation. Do you know any website with shows stamps catalogs with pictures? I know many stamp catalog websites, but non show pictures.
        > > >
        > > > Another interesting stamp issues are Lundy and SMOM. Serbia and Montenegro stamps had both Dinar and Euro currency on them.
        > > >
        > > > Is anybody here collecting vehicle license plates? They are also nice for geography/boundary enthusiasts.
        > > >
        > > > Alex
        > > >
        > > > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "L. A. Nadybal" <lnadybal@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > On the surface it would seem to me you'd have an interest in maps on stamps and the theme of territorial disputes reflect in stamp designs.
        > > > > People also specialize in envelopes with evidence of postal wars - where a country blots out the stamp designs of other countries when they don't agree with what is pictured. The DDR (East Germany) did that a lot. For instance the US issued two stamps to honor Ernst Reuter as mayor of Berlin, in the US stamp series called "Champions of Liberty". The East Germans either returned all mail with those stamps affixed (stamping on them a note saying "violates government policy" or similar), or they took a marker or label and blotted it out or covered the stamp.
        > > > >
        > > > > Len
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "kubana2005" <kubana2005@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > One of the reasons why I stopped collecting stamps is because I didn't know what to specialize in. I found it rather hard just to drop a stamp if it doesn't fit in what I specialize.
        > > > > > What do you specialize in stamps collecting?
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Alex
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, Dallen Timothy <Dallen.Timothy@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > What Len is saying about the politics of stamps is why I collect stamps.
        > > > > > > Postage stamps are among the most revealing icons or symbols of
        > > > > > > nationalism and tell a great deal about sovereignty, the formation of
        > > > > > > states, overlapping jurisdictions, etc. The breakup of Yugoslavia can
        > > > > > > easily be tracked with postage stamps. Right after independence Slovenia
        > > > > > > issued stamps. The same goes with Croatia. However, in Bosnia and
        > > > > > > Herzegovina, there were several different issuing agencies, depending on
        > > > > > > one's ethnicity, or better yet, where one lived. So, during the
        > > > > > > mid-1990s there were Croatian stamps and Croatian Bosnian stamps. There
        > > > > > > were also official Bosnia Herzegovina Stamps, and there were also Srbska
        > > > > > > Republika stamps, and the list could go on. When a new country becomes
        > > > > > > independent, or declares independence, stamps are usually the first
        > > > > > > material objects (other than flags and border stations) they establish,
        > > > > > > because it demonstrates to the world their separateness. Stamps are very
        > > > > > > good evidence of border changes, sovereignty, etc.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Len also mentioned the fact that new countries usually allow the
        > > > > > > predecessor stamps to circulate for a while during transition periods.
        > > > > > > When the USSR dissolved, I was in the midst of corresponding with a guy
        > > > > > > from Turkmenistan. We wrote back and forth every few weeks. In the
        > > > > > > beginning, all of his stamps were USSR, then a few weeks after
        > > > > > > Turkmenistan's independence, the envelopes had a mix of USSR and
        > > > > > > Turkmenistan stamps. After about a year, his envelopes only had
        > > > > > > Turkmenistan stamps.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Dallen
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
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