I just got my new (2023) Scott Classic catalog (1840-1940) and was going through my Switzerland to update the values in my inventory from the 2012 catalog. Generally the values increased about 15-20% but the air mails lost in value around 18.5%. It is what it is. When I got to the postage dues there was a significant expansion of listings. The 2012 catalog does not include pictures to identify the inverted frame types and, two 2 sections and one color (Ultra) for J1-J14. And the J15-J34 has only 3 sections and 2 colors (Blue-green, Olive-green) for the remainder. I did have a 2015 Swiss catalog so I was able to identify the inverted frame varieties. I have my special Swiss collection mounted on Steiner pages and thought I was done. Hah! Not likely. Now in the 2023 catalog there is a hugely expanded listing for the dues with red numbers. This is 19 sections long whereas the 2012 catalog only has 4 sections. To make matters worse (from the standpoint for the collector identification) the color options are blue-green, pale-green, light-green, olive green, yellow-green, light olive-green, dark olive-green, brownish-olive, greenish-olive, not to mention bright grey-olive along with Red and Bright Red for the value numbers. Whew!!! How can the average collector like me hope to identify those color variations? Interesting as well to note, it seems that the previous Scott number of J6b is now listed as J6d.
In summary my overall pre 1941 Swiss gained right around 19% but the airs lost 18.5% and the blue dues (J1-J14) lost over 50%. J7b went from $175 to $23. I still need to wrap my head around the green shades of J15-J34. So that is for another time. Cheers and have fun. Wolf-==-
In my opinion there is absolutely no need to feel the need to collect what a catalog lists.
I feel this is especially true when a catalog starts making listings based upon colors since color is 100% subject and so dependent upon ambient lighting (which they never define). Additionally, I think that catalog publishers pull color names out of their butts and there is no consistent color naming convention across the entire hobby (either over time or between different catalogs.
But adding new listings each year makes for additional catalog, album, and album pages sales. Don
Whether you have SBK or Zumstein, you should have either a table or lists of colors by printing dates. With that, you should be able to start sorting by dates, going back and forth between printing dates and postmark dates. Nothing helps see colors and shades like having a bunch of them in front of you.
(At the risk of stating the obvious, a postmark from 1888 will rule out a bunch of possible colors from later printings. You can almost always trust a postmark date, but keep in mind the slight but ever-present possibility of an inverted date slug. Not much risk with 1888, but 1901 can "become" 1910, and vice versa.)
The ability to sort your stamps by printing dates is a feature, not a bug. As Don says, you shouldn't feel compelled to have to get each one, but, you also shouldn't feel bad if you decide to try. More knowledge is rarely a bad thing.
Hmmm. What are your Standing Helvetias like if you're following Scott? Zumstein is clearer in being able to separate those issues, and also separates the green postage dues into 9 issues. And while more recent Scott vol. 4s give pictures of the 2 types and inverted frames for each, those are clear as mud to me. Plus no mention is made of the same types and inverted frames for the green stamps.
Even that basic listing is condensed, since Die Portomarken der Schweiz by Hermann Ritter, published by Zumstein, [EDIT] divides the numeral postage dues into 34 issues. I never thought Switzerland could take you down the rabbit hole but there you go.
Per Cjd, since the style of cancellation of these was typically SOTN or nearly so, you can use the cancel dates to match up with the colors which correspond to the different issues. Now, did Scott borrow/swipe Zumstein listings? If so, they would have borrowed/stolen the dates of issue which are ranges under the Zumstein catalog. And the ranges are for the different dates of issue for each value. The Swiss PO couldn't just change issues on January 1 of any year, unfortunately.
Even though issue dates are unclear in Scott (essentially by Ritter) older issues likely never overlapped following issues since these weren't postage stamps saved by collectors for 60+ years like with US commemoratives.
If greenlighted, look for a Big Blue article on the subject in the near future. Otherwise, I'll post the information here. Hopefully, I can see a 2023 Scott vol. 4 in the meantime.
Quote: Ritter ... divides just the greens into 34 issues.
I might rethink that "more knowledge..." comment.
Quote: older issues likely never overlapped following issues since these weren't postage stamps saved by collectors
That is a point worth remembering. I imagine that there are smaller post offices where they might stretch a bit, but it makes sense to me that common strikes are likely to be on contemporaneous stamps.
But there is also "replay value" in going back through what you have and more-accurately identifying them, even if you don't feel the need to add to them.
The only person who can say that you have to try to get them all, is you.
Not everyone is going to want to try to drill down on the printings, and that's okay, too.
By the way, the new details in Scott are going to be in the Classic Specialized catalogue. I'm quite sure that the basic Scott won't have this information (though I no longer buy the basic Scott volumes and I'm only making an educated guess).
Quote: I'm quite sure that the basic Scott won't have this information
I would hope not, but it depends on who is in the chair that decides such things over at Scott. As hinted in the OP, c.2014, Scott added the two frame types and inverted frames (albeit with small letter designations, i.e. "a" numbers) following the basic set, although fully listed as if they were major numbers. It's as overly complicated like the Standing Helvetia numbering madness. Meanwhile, inverted/upright frame listings for Denmark and DWI are still small letter varieties listed behind each major number.
I hope to give some ammo for collectors to decide how far they want to go with the green postage dues. After all, the relatively common last olive green issue with the second oval "watermark" has all the different values possible except for the 3c value. At the same time, can we convince Scott from overreaching with a general catalog that can never be all things to all people and can never be complete?