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.
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 few Latvian samples and I think it is because Toennjes has the contract for Latvian plates and machines.
The plates in this picture fall into two categories:
1. Mint plates that are otherwise correct.
2. Test plates with incorrect letter series.
Most of the plates in this picture are of the first category and, if they were made in Latvia, I do not understand how they escaped from there without being used although many have the official stamp on them – but not all. If anyone has any of these mint plates, let me know and we may be able to figure out if they did indeed come from the Latvian registration authorities or direct from Germany.
From the 1993 series, the red diplomatic plate, motorcycle BA 8571, 2line normal plate DE 3257 and the 2 KT plates all have the wrong letters on them. The others are correct.
From the 2004 series, all are possible letter series but some would have to be remade 1993 series registrations. All appear mint and it would be interesting to know if they have the correct security letters and lines printed in the reflective sheet. Quite a few of them have been sold on Ebay by German collectors who are regular sellers of test and sample plates from the German factory.