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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Guinea Stamp Set Honors African Development Bank

The African Development Bank makes loans and equity investments to foster the economic and social advancement of its member countries. Since it was established in 1964, the bank has financed thousands of initiatives, with an emphasis on poverty, women's roles, education and structural reforms.

In 1975 Guinea issued this special stamp set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the African Development Bank. The imperforated set shows lions and elephants with the African pipeline, a bank project. Regularly priced at $14.95, the set is available at County Stamp Center for just $11.35 with free shipping. Click the post title to order.

Contest alert! Tonight at midnight (Eastern time) is your last chance to enter to win an exotic Indonesia gemstone sheet in our monthly contest. A $18.95 value, this special 2000 edition sheet is beautifully designed and showcases some of Indonesia's most precious gems. Click the link to enter. Visit County Stamp Center's website for all your philatelic needs.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Attention Muggles! New Harry Potter Stamps Are In!

The countdown has started, bookstores are gearing up, weblogs are heating up and the excitement is building. I don't know if my niece will last another month until release of the final Harry Potter book. I expect we'll be standing in line at the bookstore well before midnight to pick up our already reserved copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so she can get the jump on her friends and find out who lives, who dies and WHAT HAPPENS!

We've started a Harry Potter stamp book together to wile away the long days until the final tome in J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popular series about the boy wizard hits the shelves. You'll find a wonderful selection of Harry Potter stamps at County Stamp Center. France has just issued the commemorative booklet shown which features a stylish portrait set of the main characters -- Harry, Hermoine and Ron. This month's featured new item, the set is only $12.91 with free shipping. Click the post title for more information and to order.

To see our complete collection of Harry Potter stamps, click the link. At County Stamp Center, you can find everything you need to start a Harry Potter stamp album of your own. We sell stamp albums and supplies too; just click the link. Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

On Memorial Day We Honor Those Who Served

This weekend will be filled with Memorial Day parades and solemn ceremonies honoring our war dead. We'll stand and salute the flag as the veterans march past. Some will be old and bent, others will struggle past in wheelchairs or on crutches, some will seem far too young.

At County Stamp Center we thank the men and women of our armed forces who protect our country and fight for freedom at home and abroad. We honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our country. They fought courageously so that we might all be free. They live on in our memories. To all, you have our enduring thanks.

Note: The first day cover pictured is of the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. All cachets are individually hand drawn, hand painted, numbered and signed by award winning artist Nirlay Kundu. Click the post title for more information.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Extended Guinea Collection Includes Mars Exploration Stamp

County Stamp Center is pleased to announce the addition of an extended collection of stamps from Guinea. A wide variety of topics is available, including this dramatic stamp commemorating Mars exploration (click the link to order). Other topics include animals, Africa, Tarzan, the Olympics, trains, space and satellites, soccer, artists, and much more. Click the post title to view our complete listing. You're sure to find a beautiful or unusual stamp to add to your collection.

Dozens of spacecraft have been launched towards Mars since the 1960s. Aimed at collecting data from the red plant in the hopes of unlocking Earth's past and shedding light on her future, probes have been launched by the US, Russia, Japan and Europe. An astounding run of bad luck including launch failures, communication gaffs and mysterious satellite disappearances led scientists to claim there was a Mars Curse. More than half of the missions launched to Mars have failed. Despite more recent success, researchers still joke about the Great Galactic Ghoul who subsists entirely on a diet of Mars probes!

Whatever your appetite, County Stamp Corner can feed it. We carry stamps and first day covers on every subject imaginable. Visit our website to browse our complete collection. Turn to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Invention Stamps Honor Man's Search for a Better Mousetrap

They start out tinkering in the garage, gradually convert the kitchen into a makeshift lab, badger their friends into becoming test subjects -- and once in a while, actually strike it rich! The life of an inventor is not for the faint-hearted. Man's quest for a better mousetrap has led to the development of a startling array of often useful and sometimes silly inventions.

Consider these actual inventions from the Invention Connection:

  • Sandwich Shop: a multi-layered plastic container with separate compartments for bread, meat, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, spread, etc. Keeps ingredients fresh until you're ready to eat. The disadvantage is you have to build your sandwich before you can eat it.
  • Fly Vac: A battery-operated, hand-held vacuum that stuns flies with mothball vapor, then sweeps them up for disposal. Suggested for restaurants and commercial establishments where swatted fly carcasses might ruin the ambiance.
  • Mirrored Oak Toilet Seat Lid: A mirror embedded into the top and/or inside of a toilet seat for guys who want to make sure they've zipped up when they're done.
  • Opti-Cool Sunshades: A do-it-yourself sunglass kit that allows you to cut special UV-reducing vinyl cling film to the shape of your eyeglasses. Just stick the film on or peel it off as needed!
Honoring some of man's most durable contraptions, Great Britain recently issued the fascinating six-stamp sheetlet shown (click the post title to order). It's one of several in a series commemorating great inventions. At County Stamp Center, you'll find other captivating stamps celebrating some of mankind's greatest inventions; just click the link. Rube Goldberg would be proud! Visit the County Stamp Center website for all your philatelic needs.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bring on the Clowns! Circus Stamps Delight Collectors

Monaco has just issued this delightful circus stamp set that captures the joy of life under the Big Top. Click the post title to order.

Thought to have its origin in Ancient Rome's Circus Maximus, the modern circus seems to have been the brain child of Briton Phillip Astley. Gathering roving performers under one tent, Astley established permanent and travelling circuses throughout Britain and Europe in the late 18th century.

Showman P.T. Barnum and his partner William Coup revolutionized the American circus. They combined traditional circus acts with sideshows that exhibited human and animal oddities like the two-headed goat and the bearded lady. The freakshow was a purely American invention of which we can all be proud! Coup was the first to use circus trains to travel between towns and the first to introduce multi-ringed circuses. Barnum later teamed with his greatest competitor, James Bailey, another legendary circus showman, to create the Barnum & Bailey Circus, billed as the Greatest Show on Earth.

County Stamp Center offers enough circus stamps to fill all three rings! Just click the link to see what our ring master has to show you. Use our convenient Quick Search feature to find stamps that feature your favorite part of the circus: clowns, elephants, lions, etc. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Stamp Issue Captures Slow-Moving Turtles

They may never win a race, but they'll always have a place in my heart. Allergies restricted our childhood pets to goldfish and the occasional turtle. We had a succession of tiny turtles who lived out their days under green plastic palm trees on molded plastic islands. We delighted in the tickling sensation as they crawled across our palms. (Yes, this was in the days before salmonella warnings.) Most fascinating were the occasional snapper and box turtles that wandered through our yard. Carefully, we'd corral them behind chicken wire fences in the garden between the porch steps and mom's lilies-of-the-valley. We delighted in dropping lettuce leaves, carrots and celery tops into the cage, watching them slowly munch away until the fateful morning when our hard-shelled friend inevitably escaped. Our turtles always seemed to have a touch of Houdini in them.

If, like me, you like turtles, you'll appreciate this 4-stamp set from Armenia. Just issued in commemoration of the World Wildlife Fund, the set features four great photos of the critters in action -- or, perhaps more accurately, inaction. Click the post title to order.

Visit the County Stamp Center website for other wonderful stamps featuring turtles and all manner of other critters. Just use our handy Quick Search feature to find exactly what you're looking for. Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shaped Stamps Add Fun to Collecting

Stamps in unusual shapes are fun. My niece and nephew particularly like stamps sheets that are specially shaped to create a scene or mimic an animal shape. County Stamp Center offers several artfully crafted sealife stamps designed to make you and the children in your life smile.

A particular favorite is the beautifully-designed, dome-shaped souvenir sheet shown above featuring dolphins in multiple poses. The Pacific Explorer sheet, issued by Samoa at the 2005 World Stamp Expo, is only $5.03 at County Stamp Center. Click the link to order.

New Caledonia came up with this unique stamp design in 2004. The 4-stamp sheetlet commemorates sea turtles, mimicking their shape. Available from County Stamp Center for just $5.99, click the link to order.

    This delightful whale sheet always makes my niece laugh. The whale seems to smile right back at you! Yours for only $4.88 at County Stamp Center, the whale sheet was issued by New Caledonia in 2004. Click the link to order.

    To find more cool and unusual stamps, click the post title. Visit County Stamp Center's website for all your philatelic needs.

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    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Honor Mom with a Favorite Stamp This Mother's Day

    Mother's Day is this weekend. You may celebrate the occasion by taking your best gal out to brunch or giving her a bouquet of posies. Jewelry is always a winner, way above more practical gifts like new slippers, note cards or (horrors!) the ultimate no no, a new vacuum. Trust me on this one, no matter how powerful, how practical, how expensive a new vacuum is, even if she's told you she wants one, Mom DOES NOT want it on Mother's Day. On Mother's Day, Mom wants to be pampered and loved and perhaps a little bit lazy.

    If you want to give Mom a thoughtful gift that lasts, give her a framed set of stamps that depict something she enjoys. It will be a gift she cherishes forever. At County Stamp Center you'll find hundreds of stamps to choose from: exotic flowers, movie stars, gorgeous hats, period costumes, Disney princesses, famous paintings, Betty Boop, great dogs, cozy cats, colorful birds, rare gems -- and all at prices you can easily afford, even if it's the Hope diamond!

    To order the 2006 Mother's Day commemorative stamp issued by Syria, click the post title. Visit the County Stamp Center website and use our unique Quick Search feature to find the perfect gift for Mom this year.

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    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Stamps Honor Dedication of Nurses

    Nurses succor the sick and tend the ill, healing, comforting and consoling. This is National Nurses Week, a nice time to say thank you to a nurse who has touched your life or the life of someone you love. A framed stamp is a unique way to express your gratitude. The stamp pictured celebrates the 140th anniversary of the International Red Cross with a portrayal of its most tireless workers -- nurses. Click the post title to order.

    Florence Nightingale was the mother of modern nursing. Born in Florence, Italy in 1820 into a wealthy British family, she was named for the city of her birth. Her decision to become a nurse shocked her family. At the time nursing was a role filled by poorer women and those of dubious reputation who followed the armies. A well-brought-up woman like Miss Nightingale was expected to marry and have children, not pursue a career, particularly one of such poor repute. But Florence felt she had a divine calling to care for the poor and indigent and became a leading advocate for improved medical care and a pioneer in modern medical techniques.

    I've always thought that nurses must have hearts that are just a bit bigger than normal. Every nurse I've ever met has had the patience of a saint, the compassion of a mother, and the stamina of Atlas. They may not carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, but they certainly carry more than their share. We at County Stamp Center salute and thank the nurses of the world and wish them well.

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    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    Togo Stamps Celebrate America's Favorite Pets

    Americans love their pets. In honor of National Pet Appreciation Week, County Stamp Center calls your attention to this great Yorkshire Terrier sheetlet from Togo. Inset against a traditional city brownstone, this stamp is one of three charming sheetlets issued by Togo celebrating our love affair with cats and dogs.

    Each stamp sheet features a darling group of cats or dogs playfully inset against a colorful cityscape. One can imagine walking along the street and spying a silky cat perched in the window of such an elegant brownstone. Or watching as dogs cavort in the nearby neighborhood park. (Click the links to order.)

    These stamps are among County Stamp Center's new expanded listings of Togo mint sets. You'll particularly want to take a look at our wide variety of Togo mint sets from the 1960-1990's. Click the post title to view our complete Togo listing.

    For more great stamps featuring your favorite pet, visit the County Stamp Center website. Use our unique Quick Search to find your favorite animal companion. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

    Saturday, May 05, 2007

    Horses Share Royal Spotlight with Queen Elizabeth at the Derby

    The Queen's visit will add another layer of pageantry to today's Kentucky Derby. Derby Days is in full swing in Louisville, Kentucky and promises to offer the United Kingdom's royal monarch a different type of pageantry than she might be used to. The Derby may be the one place in America where the Queen's usual head garb will fit right in! The traditional hats worn on Derby Day run the gamut from the sublime to the absurd!

    In the U.S. for a state visit, it will be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's first visit to the Kentucky Derby. Dedicated horse people and racing fans, the royal couple do not have a horse entered in the race, but are said to be "quite keen" to experience America's premier horse race. Usually the only "royalty" on view at the Kentucky Derby are the horses. That may not be true this year, but it's certain they'll still be center stage.

    The stamp pictured portrays some of the pageantry the Queen is used to at home. (Click the post title to order.) To view more stamps on horses, horse racing, the Queen or even hats, visit the County Stamp Center website. Use our unique Quick Search feature to find just what you're looking for. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Collection of Togo Mint Sets Just Expanded

    From trains to space exploration, from the Olympics to Boy Scouts, from Yorkies to African wildlife, the African nation of Togo issued an eclectic mix of beautifully designed stamps from the 1960s to 1990s. County Stamp Center has recently expanded its listings of Togo mint sets from that era. Visit our website to view our complete Togo mint listings. The African locomotives commemorative set shown was issued in 1984 and sells for just $9.76 at County Stamp Center.

    A tiny strip of land on Africa's west coast, Togo is a country of rolling savanna, lagoons and marshes which attract a great variety of wildlife. The area that is now Togo was part of the Slave Coast when the Portuguese exploited the populace in the 15th through 18th centuries. Briefly a German protectorate in the late 1800s, Togo was divided between France and Britain after World War I with the British half choosing annexation to Ghana. Togo gained independence from France in 1960. Primarily an agricultural state, Togo exports cocoa, coffee and cotton and is a major producer of phosphate. Its culture, wildlife, economy and people are reflected in the beautifully designed and colored commemorative stamps issued in the latter half of the 1900s -- a provocative addition to any collection.

    Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs. We offer stamps from all over the world and on every subject imaginable. Use our unique Quick Search feature to find exactly what you're looking for. We carry quality stamp collecting supplies too. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.