Now we come to the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. When the various countries gained independence at the collapse of the Soviet Union, all re-plated with their own distinct styles between 1992 and 1996. Nearly all these countries suffered from an excess of mint unused plates going straight from the factory in Germany to collectors in Germany. These were then sold on as the genuine article. Just about all the mint first series after independence plates in collections are samples and they have never been to the country they represent. About half of the samples are of test designs and are wrong, the test design having never been adopted.
There is no such thing as a correct design mint plate that has come from the actual country it is made for as the FSU countries are very strict about not letting any plates out of their hands.
Moral: Mint German made FSU plates are always samples and often of the wrong design.
There are diplomatic and private vehicles samples from the first German batches of plates supplied to Azerbaijan. Only the early plates were made on German machines and after maybe only two years, French machines started to be used for most series of plates. The plates in this photo are just some of the many German samples in collections and all have come direct from Germany with most being slightly wrong.
The diplomatic samples are various different versions where they were trying different sizes and various locations of the letters AZ. There are a couple of different die sets used also. The red on white diplomatic plate is just a fantasy design and nothing like it was ever used.
With the private vehicle samples, there are several of each of the registrations, most have area codes or letters on them that were never used on real plates and some have the wrong style of flag on them. There are probably about 50 such samples in total in collections. This is just a few of them.
The easy way to tell if it is an unused sample is from looking at the back of the plate. Some sellers have put holes in the plates and the holes look used.