Table of Catalog Numbers

by Year of Issue


The table below shows the approximate starting number in each catalog for stamps issued each year.

Hopefully this table will be of some use to you - if someone refers to a stamp by catalog number or by year, you can quickly use this table to get an approximate idea of what year or where in the catalog it may appear.

However, there are some important limitations to the value of this table.  One important limitation is the fact that all catalogs don't number the stamps strictly in sequence of issue date - this means that where we show, for example, that Scott starts 1954 with stamp number 1689, that does not mean that there may not be occasional stamps listed before 1689 that were actually issued in 1954 (or even later!) and it also does not mean that stamps numbered after 1689 might not occasionally have an earlier issue date (although this scenario is less likely).

It is also important to realise that you can't work out the number of stamps issued in a year by simply calculating the difference in catalog numbers between the start of one year and the start of the next year.  Even after allowing for the lack of sequential numbering, different catalogs count stamps differently.  For example, Scott excludes semi-postal and air stamps from its main numbering sequence which both SG and Michel include them.  Both SG and Michel have a separate numbering sequence for "blocks" of stamps.  All three catalogs occasionally add letter suffixes to numbers so that between, eg, stamp number 50 and stamp number 51 there might be 50A, 50B, and 50C, making the simple maths a very unsimple and deceptive thing!

I have added a column showing the number of stamps issued each year, with the data taken from various sources such as dealer auctions on eBay.  There is some variation in these numbers from one source to another, and it may not be exact, but hopefully it is not too far wrong and provides a quick way of seeing the various changes in activity levels of the stamp issuing authorities.

So, with all of these limitations present, here is the table.  I hope you can still make some occasional use of it.

Note - if you are considering purchasing year sets, have a look at our page that gives year set sales price values.


Year

Scott

Stanley Gibbons

Michel

Stamps Issued

1857 1      
1858 2 1 1  
1863 11 8 9  
1864   9 9  
1865 12   12  
1866 19 18 18  
1875 26 30 24  
1883 31 38    
1884 39 47 29  
1888     40  
1889 41 50 41  
1902 55 64    
1904   81 56  
1906 71 90 62  
1908   92 64  
1909 73   71  
1912   107A    
1913 88 126 79  
1914   143 96  
1915 105 155 100  
1916 110 168 105  
1917 117 175 107  
1918 149 180 149  
1919   189    
1921 177 195 151  
1922 191 234 169  
1923 234 307 212  
1924 261 345 238  
1925 294 426 271  
1926 342 469 308  
1927 349 475 315  
1928 402 529 354  
1929 411 536 361  
1930 431 567 383  
1931 452 579 397  
1932 470 589 406  
1933 480 603 424  
1934 524 643 462  
1935 546 673 494  
1936 583 718 539  
1937 590 728 549  
1938 610 753 578  
1939 706 838 665  
1940 763 890 732  
1941 817 943 786  
1942 860 985 827  
1943 878 1004 846  
1944 920 1042 892  
1945 960 1089 940  
1946 1021 1152 1003  
1947 1091 1230 1081  
1948 1189 1330 1179  
1949 1318 1457 1309  
1950 1429 1568 1432  
1951 1537 1676 1540  
1952 1612 1747 1615  
1953 1661 1796 1644  
1954 1689 1824 1692 56
1955 1746 1880 1748 49 + 6SS
1956 1789 1929 1797 115 + 2SS
1957 1905 2045 1914 134 + 3SS
1958 2028 2168 2043 148 + 4SS
1959 2158 2300 2189 116 + 1SS
1960 2290 2409 2312 118 + 1SS
1961 2418 2523 2434 144
1962 2558 2659 2571 147 + 3SS
1963 2695 2797 2710 163 + 1SS
1964 2839 2943 2862 175 + 6SS
1965 2995 3085 3012 152 + 4SS
1966 3147 3240 3173 138 + 3SS
1967 3295 3382 3318 131 + 5SS
1968 3429 3517 3454 136 + 4SS
1969 3567 3655 3594 115 + 7SS
1970 3689 3777 3717 116 + 7SS
1971 3812 3901 3843 115 + 6SS
1972 3937 4023 3972 102 + 9SS
1973 4046 4134 4082 102 + 10SS
1974 4166 4246 4202 109 + 8SS
1975 4282 4363 4324 107 + 7SS
1976 4405 4477 4439 121 + 10SS
1977 4538 4608 4568 116 + 8SS
1978 4634 4734 4692 127 + 9SS
1979 4728 4855 4815 92 + 8SS
1980 4806 4955 4914 108 + 6SS
1981 4897 5083 5028 106 + 5SS
1982 5008 5194 5139 99 + 7SS
1983 5113 5297 5244 92 + 9SS
1984 5214 5397 5344 116 + 9SS
1985 5326 5517 5468 93 + 7SS
1986 5419 5617 5568 105 + 4SS
1987 5524 5725 5677 97 + 8SS
1988 5625 5830 5786 126 + 8SS
1989 5744 5964 5918 120 + 6SS + 7MS
1990 5851 6097 6043 113 + 5SS + 9MS
1991 5954 6215 6158 105 + 4SS + 12MS
1992 6056 6311 220 *** 77 + 3SS + 13MS
1993 6126 6387 283 89 + 3SS + 12MS
1994 6192 6457 359 52 + 1SS + 11MS
1995 6240 6507 409 83 + 3SS + 11MS
1996 6301 6573 479 63 + 5SS + 15MS
1997 6363 6644 554 82 + 4SS + 8MS
1998 6423 6718 628 78 + 3SS + 7MS
1999 6489 6800 698 82 + 4SS + 9MS
2000        

*** Note that Michel did a crazy and illogical thing.  With Russia independent again, they restarted numbering from the end of when Russia was last "independent" - even though this same numbering series was also used in the Soviet Union period.  So for Michel stamps numbered from 220 on, they can refer either to early Soviet or new independent stamps.