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 Green stamps or IRC's 
  IRC's Required to return a QSL

WHAT IS A "GOOD IRC"
As a QSL manager, I receive a number of IRCS. However, many are incorrectly issued by the sender's postal system, or the sender bought them on the 'secondary market' from a QSL manager or another ham, and the IRC was incorrectly stamped. While these 'incorrectly marked' IRCs often are considered valid currency to hams, please remember that, somewhere, someone will likely attempt to cash these in at their local post office, and at that time, they may not be permitted.

While I have found that some post offices take just about any IRC (due, likely, to the lack of knowledge in general about IRCs, which also explains how they are incorrectly marked when sold in the first place!), I thought I would put this together to see if we could improve the number of 'good ircs' in the ham marketplace. Note that many QSL managers will not accept IRCS that are not correctly stamped, so you risk not having your card returned, or returned via the bureau. Check those
IRCS!!

Take a look at your IRC. First, make sure you have a 'air mail IRC', which I believe are the only ones issued via the postal systems today. You can determine this by looking at the front of the IRC..in the paragraph above the three boxes, the last three words should say "par voie aerienne". Airmail!

The IRC should be stamped by your post office ONLY in the left box (see next paragraph, however!). This box says "Empreinte de controle du pays d'origine (facultative).

The center box is intended to show the price paid for the IRC. Your post office may stamp the center box, but this should be only to indicate the price of the IRC, and should not be a 'postmark' stamp that would be used in the left box. In many countries, this amount is already printed, I suspect
that in some countries, this is left blank due to the IRC varying in cost over time. By the way, in many cases, this box is blank. I've not had a problem with this box not having any mark.

DO NOT ALLOW your post office to place any mark in the RIGHT box. This effectively cancels the IRC, as it indicates that it was exchanged for postage.

I see a LOT of IRCS. They fall into the following categories, ONLY the first is acceptable.

Correctly marked IRC, post mark in the left box, sometimes accompanied with a stamp in the center box indicating price.

IRC with NO post mark at all. This includes some countries, where the country of origin is pre-printed in the left box (for example, SUISSE, HELLAS, etc). Even with this pre-printed information, there should be a postmark over this writing.

IRC with a post mark in the *right* box. I think a lot of hams sell these as 'ham currency'. I personally don't do that, so if you send one to me, they effectively are thrown out, and I've not been able to get postage at my post office for these IRCS, so you'll get a card returned via the bureau.


73 es DX! Steve KU9C