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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Heart of a Wildcat Beats in Every Cute Kitty!

They may seduce you with their deep-throated purr as they wind around your ankles begging for a scratch behind the ears, but today's furry felines are descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat of fabled ferocity.

"House cats -- which include fancy breeds and feral cats -- those cats all form a genetic group that is virtually indistinguishable from ones in the Middle East," said cancer researcher Stephen O'Brien whose paper on the subject recently appeared in the journal Science. Researchers study cats as a model of certain human genetic diseases and to assist in species preservation.

Which means that Fluffy and Muffin are the direct genetic descendants of the ferocious lybica wildcat that was first domesticated in the Middle East 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. As farmers began to grow grains, wild cats moved out of the jungle to hunt rodents attracted to the fields and storage sites. Over time, a relationship developed between the cats and farmers. The earliest archaeological evidence of humans and cats living together dates to 9,500 years ago in Cyprus.

Displaying a whimsical playfulness, just like its subjects, this wonderful souvenir sheet from St. Thomas showcases nine varieties of domestic cats. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center for only $15.86. Visit our website. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finland Showcases Fabulous Faberge Egg

With the dog days of summer nearly upon us, the icy days of winter hold a certain appeal. This gorgeous souvenir sheet, The Imperial Winter Egg by Carl Faberge, showcases one of the famous artist's most stunning decorative eggs. Embossed silver ice crystals frost across the surface of a crystal egg perched atop an icy mountain. Open the egg to reveal the delicate blooms of spring yet to come. This 2006 Finnish souvenir sheet, enhanced with exquisite gold and silver embossing, captures the magnificence of Faberge's masterpiece. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center.

Faberge eggs are know the world over for their exquisite beauty and detailed craftsmanship. Created by Russian jeweller Peter Carl Faberge, the imperial eggs were crafted from gold and silver and encrusted with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other precious stones. The first imperial egg was commissioned in 1885 by Czar Alexander III as an annual gift for his wife Maria. Faberge was appointed the court goldsmith the same year. Czar Nicholas II continued the practice, ordering annual Faberge eggs for both his mother and wife, Alexandra, until his overthrow and death in 1917. Faberge fled Russia during the October Revolution of 1917, travelling first to Finland, then later to Germany and finally Switzerland where he lived until his death in 1920.

Through stamps you can travel the world, delve into history and acquire the unattainable (who could afford a Faberge egg these days?). Whatever your interests, you'll find a wealth of fascinating stamps at County Stamp Center. Visit our website. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Regal Falcon Stamp Set Available at Special Price

County Stamp Center's featured item this month is this regal falcon set issued by Abu Dhabi in 1965. With a Scott Catalog value of over $90, this dramatic three-stamp set is regularly priced at just $59 when you buy from County Stamp Center. However, for a limited time, we are selling this marvelous issue for the special price of only $47 with free shipping. Click the post title to order.

The majestic falcon is a species of raptors named for the scythe-like shape of the bird's wings. Their thin tapered wings allow them to change direction quickly and fly at high speeds. Peregrine falcons are the fastest creature on Earth, able to attain speeds of over 200 mph during a hunting dive.

The sport of falconry -- training falcons to pursue and hunt game -- is believed to have originated in the Middle East where it dates back the the first century B.C. The time, space and money necessary to train a falcon made it a status symbol of the noble and wealthy. Besides the Middle East, falconry was avidly practiced in early China, ancient Greece and Rome and later in medieval Europe, feudal Japan and czarist Russia. Falconry is practiced today in 48 countries worldwide primarily by hobbyists.

Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

June New Issues Have Arrived at County Stamp Center

The June new issues have just arrived at County Stamp Center. Among my favorites is this 9-stamp parrots sheetlet from Surinam. Nine different parrots are stunningly portrayed in gorgeous full color and striking photographic detail. Our featured new item, you can add this exciting parrot sheetlet to your collection for just $12.67 at County Stamp Center -- and we'll pay the shipping. Click the post title to view all nine extraordinary issues and to order.

The arrival of each month's new issues is always an exciting time at County Stamp Center. It's like Christmas every month of the year! We're always anxious to get the newest stamps from around the world posted and out to you as soon as possible. If you sign up for County Stamp Center's email newsletter, each month we'll send you a link to the latest issues as well as information about special offers and prices. It's easy to sign up, just visit our website and enter your name and email address in the space on the right-hand column. Click here to preview this month's new issues.

County Stamp Center also offers new issue service so you won't miss a single stamp important to your collection. Let us know your special requirements and we will automatically reserve mint stamps and souvenir sheets for your collection. We can also fulfill special requests for booklets, inscription blocks, plate blocks, gutter pairs or any special stamp configuration you desire. If you have a special request, County Stamp Center will make every effort to meet your specific needs. For more information on our new issue services, click here.

Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Mania Grows With Release of Final Book

Have you finished it yet? That seems to be the question on the tip of every Harry Potter fan's tongue this weekend. Children and their parents are closeted inside, furiously reading to find out what happens to Harry and his wizardly friends. Who lives? Who dies? Will our hero vanquish the evil Lord Voldemort? We'll never tell, we're only on page 389!

J.K. Rowling's incredibly popular Harry Potter series came to a close with the long-awaited release this weekend of the final tome, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Book stores and libraries sponsored Harry Potter festivals in cities across the country. Main Streets were transformed into Diagon Alley and Hogswarts' Great Hall. Fans roamed in wizardly attire, eagerly awaiting the midnight hour when they could finally buy the book. Pages were turning before would-be Muggles had even left the store.

Hailed by speed-reading reviewers as a wild, satisfying ride, the book nicely ties up myriad plot lines from the previous six books in the series. With more than 325 million copies of the first six Potter books sold worldwide, the final volume is expected to break first-day sales records.

County Stamp Center has a wonderful collection of Harry Potter stamps to please Muggles of all ages. Frame your favorites to commemorate the most amazing pop culture event of the past decade. Australia has just issued this wonderful deluxe souvenir sheet featuring Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The 10-stamp set makes a dramatic addition to any collection. Click the post title to order.

View County Stamp Center's complete collection of Harry Potter stamps and order your favorites at our always low prices. Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tonga Niuafo'ou Mint Sets Now Available

County Stamp Center has just added extensive new listings for the South Pacific island of Tonga Niuafo'ou. An island with a rich philatelic history, Niuafo'ou, which means new coconut, is the northerly most island in the kingdom of Tonga. An active volcano, historic lava flows cut off the island's natural harbor, isolating it from all but the occasional passing ship.

Niuafo'ou was nicknamed Tin Can Island for its unique system of mail delivery. With no safe harbors where ships could dock, mail was sealed in a biscuit tin and thrown overboard by passing ships. Strong native swimmers would retrieve the tin and carry the mail to shore. An early trader acting as postmaster, Walter Quensell, stamped the mail with unique colorful marks which are now highly valued by collectors. In 1983 the Tongan government took over the tradition and began issuing special Niuafo'ou stamps.

Our new listing includes many popular topics, including sea life, navigation and Pacific mail delivery. Click the post title to browse our complete Tonga Niuafo'ou listing. The colorful, three-stamp commemorative shown is from the island's 1998 International Year of the Ocean series. Click here to order from County Stamp Center for the low price of only $1.60.

Visit our website. County Stamp Center has thousands of stamps on every imaginable subject. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rotary International Marks 100+ Years of Service

Serving the world for just over a century, Rotary International is an international organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service around the world, building goodwill and peace in the process. Approximately 1.2 million strong, Rotarians are active in more than 200 countries.

The recipient of numerous Rotary International projects, Kenya celebrated the organization's centennial by issuing this four-value stamp set in 2005. Colorfully drawn, each stamp depicts a different aspect of Rotary service; click the post title to order from County Stamp Center.

The world's first service club, Rotary International grew from a small group of Chicago, Illinois professionals to encompass the globe by 1921. The Rotary Club of Chicago was initiated on February 23, 1905 by attorney Paul Harris who wanted to recapture the helpful small town spirit of his youth. The group's name comes from the early practice of rotating meetings at members' offices. Initially a professional organization, Rotarians soon started pooling resources to provide hands-on help to communities in need. Service Above Self became the organization's motto and guiding principle.

Visit the County Stamp Center website to view thousands of stamps on every imaginable subject. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fascinating Reptiles Featured on New Surinam Issue

They sit there staring with their little beady eyes, still as a rock, blending into the scenery as they warm themselves in the sun. You almost forget they're there until suddenly they snap or jerk or fork out an amazingly long tongue to catch some hapless insect that wandered into range. Reptiles are fascinating creatures.

While reptiles can be found on every continent except Antarctica, they are most prolific in the warmer climates of the tropics and subtropics. Referred to as cold-blooded or ectothermic, reptiles generate little body heat. To regulate their internal temperature, they must alternately gather and lose heat from the environment.

Since they don't need food to create body warmth, reptiles can survive on less food than comparably-sized mammals. Thick-skinned, with few exceptions, reptiles are covered by scales. Most are egg-laying and provide substantial initial care of their hatchlings.

Surinam has just issued this amazing 12-stamp collection of reptiles. Highly detailed full-color photographs practically leap off the page. Among the featured reptiles are toothy crocodiles, hooded iguanas, a variety of sea and land turtles and a number of lizards. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center for the low price of only $10.29.

Visit the County Stamp Center website for all your philatelic needs. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wecome to County Stamp Center. Take a Minute to Get to Know Us and See What We Can Do for You

County Stamp Center has been around for a while, but you may be new to our site and wonder who we are. County Stamp Center is well known in the stamp collecting business and has a stellar reputation with our customers and peers for the quality and scope of our product, our integrity as a dealer, our superior customer service, and our discounted prices.

County Stamp Center is a new issue stamp dealer offering a full range of services to collectors:
  • We provide stamp collection values from all over the world.
  • We sell new issue foreign stamps. In fact, we are one of a very select international group of foreign stamp new issuers.
  • We find, sell and appraise foreign stamps.
  • We find difficult to obtain stamps, rare stamps, topicals, classics, etc. We can find whatever you need to complete and organize your stamp collection.
  • We perform professional appraisals of stamp collections.
  • We buy stamps and collections, paying top dollar for unusual, rare and hard to find stamps.
  • We sell quality stamp collecting and display supplies.

Visit the County Stamp Center website to peruse our vast collection of more than 40,000 issues. You'll discover that it's easy to find what you're looking for at County Stamp Center.

  • You can search for stamps by category, key word or Scotts catalog number. Use our unique Quick Search feature in the upper right corner of our website to find stamps fast.
  • Sign up for our monthly eNewsletter. You'll get fast access to all the new issues and be invited to take advantage of bargain prices on specially featured stamps. Just enter your email address and name in the space in the right-hand column of our home page.
  • Enter our monthly contest to win free prizes.
  • Order supplies and display albums for your collections.
  • For great savings frequent our eBay auction.
  • Keep your collections up-to-date by registering for our handy subscription service. We'll automatically reserve new issues for you so you don't miss a single new stamp in your field of interest.
  • Contact our buyer to sell your collection or individual stamps.
  • We offer appraisal services on collections of all sizes, big and small.
  • Earn money by becoming a County stamp Center affiliate. Click here to learn more.

County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips. Visit our website today.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the World Named

With the exception of the pyramids at Giza, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are so much dust blowing in the wind. The most amazing manmade architectural constructions of antiquity, the seven wonders once regaled Greek sightseers. (You can still read their graffiti near the pyramids in Egypt!)

While other seven wonders lists have appeared over time, the classic Mediterranean sights selected by the ancient Greeks are revered as the traditional Wonders of the World. Time, fire and earthquakes have demolished the storied Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the immense Colossus of Rhodes, the towering Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the others. Only the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt, built from 2650 to 2500 BC, remains standing today.

Over the centuries, other feats of human engineering have been awarded World Wonders status, including Stonehenge, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. More recently the American Society of Civil Engineers compiled a list of modern wonders that include the Channel Tunnel under the Strait of Dover, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Panama Canal.

The search for the recently released New Seven Wonders of the World was initiated in 2001 by the Swiss New Open World Corporation. From a list of 200 monuments, 21 finalists were announced in January 2006 and put to a global internet vote. While some may argue with the selections -- Stonehenge and the Easter Island monoliths didn't make the cut -- the seven new sites chosen are truly deserving of man's admiration. In deference to its inclusion in the original list of Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids at Giza are included again as an honorary, eighth, wonder.

The winners are:
  • Colosseum in Italy
  • Taj Mahal in India
  • Petra in Jordan
  • Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil
  • Manchu Picchu in Peru
  • Pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico
  • Great Wall of China
  • Pyramids at Giza in Egypt
At County Stamp Center you can find stamps commemorating many of the Seven Wonders of the World. The stunning stamp of the Taj Mahal (above left) was issued in 2005 by India (click here to order). The ethereal depiction of the Great Wall of China (above right) was issued in 2005 by the People's Republic of China (click here to order).

County Stamp Center is among a select international group of foreign stamp new issuers. For US stamp collectors, we are your first source for foreign stamps. We can help you find the issue you need for your collection or appraise and sell your foreign stamps. Visit our website for complete details and to view our extensive collection of foreign stamps. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Textured Stamps Highlight Lunar New Year Animals

County Stamp Center's featured new item this month is this unique Lunar New Year sheetlet from Hong Kong. Wonderfully designed, the four-set sheet features the animals of the Lunar New Year. Whimsically portrayed, each animal stands out against bright background colors on specially textured "flocked" paper. We're offering free shipping on this very special issue. You can purchase it for only $36.56 at County Stamp Center; click the post title to order.

The Chinese lunar calendar is a complicated combination of astrology, astronomy and philosophy that has historically been used to predict the future. The 60-year cycle combines five earth elements -- wood, fire, earth, metal and water -- with a cycle of 12 earthly branches represented by animal zodiac signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each 60-year cycle always starts with Wood Rat and ends with Water Pig. The emphasis of Yin (the snake) which occurs in odd numbered years and Yang (the dragon) occurring in even numbered years adds further complications. The current cycle began in the year 1984.

Chinese legend has it that the zodiac animals and their order were decided by a race across a river and through a woods to the throne of the Jade Emperor. Devious and wily, the rat took advantage of the other animals to reach the throne first. The lazy pig was last after stopping to lunch and take a nap. Their performances during the race to the Jade Emperor are used to define the characteristics of each zodiac animal. Read the entire fascinating legend on Wikipedia. Click this link, then scroll down to Zodiac Origin Stories.

Visit the County Stamp Center website for all your philatelic needs.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

New May Issues Now Available at County Stamp Center

The May new issues are now available at County Stamp Center. Click the post title to view all 285 new stamps! There's tremendous variety in this newly issued batch. Among my favorites is this three-stamp series on shipwrecks from Australia. The drawings have the look of sailor's scrimshaw. In the early 1800s sailors used crude sailing needles to carve elaborate pictures into whale teeth or bone. Candle black, soot or tobacco juice were rubbed into the engravings to give them definition.

If you don't already get our newsletter, you could be missing out on some great specials and bargains. Sign up today. It's easy. Just go to the County Stamp Center website and enter your name and email address in the yellow boxes at the bottom of the right-hand column. Every month we'll send you an email newsletter with easy links to the newest issues, special offers, free shipping items and featured stamps.

You can also enter our monthly drawing. This month's prize is a new 32-page Lindner stock book, a $29 value. Click here to enter. Contest ends at midnight Eastern time on July 31, 2007.

You'll find everything you need for your stamp collecting hobby on the County Stamp Center website. We carry thousands of stamps from the newest issues to popular classics to oddities and rarities and everything in between! We also carry a nice selection supplies at excellent prices, including quality binders, books and albums. Come to County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Birthday America!

Today we celebrate our nation's birthday. Just 231 and still going strong! Not bad for a country that, back at its beginning, was considered a misguided upstart with little hope of survival. But if America is anything, it is the land of opportunity where anyone can, like Horatio Alger, pull himself up by his bootstraps and make something of himself! It's the American dream, the promise of hope and opportunity that continues to draw to our shores the weak, the poor and the persecuted.

In tribute to America and all she stands for, France presented the magnificent statue Liberty Enlightening the World to the United States in 1886 to commemorate our nation's centennial. The most recognized icon of the United States, the statue stands on Liberty Island at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor, welcoming visitors, immigrants and Americans returning to our shores. Issued by France, the stamp shown is a magnificent portrayal of Lady Liberty in all her grandeur. Available at County Stamp Center for just $2.71, click the post title to order.

Crafted from copper by French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, the underlying structure of the sculpture was engineered by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower. The Statue of Liberty's typical green color is caused by the natural oxidation of the copper. Her seven point spiked crown represents the world's seven seas and continents. In her left hand she holds a stone tablet bearing the date of our nation's birth, July 4, 1776. In her right hand she holds aloft a flaming torch signifying enlightenment. The flame is covered in gold leaf. At 151 feet 1 inch tall standing atop a 154-foot foundation, Lady Liberty towers above the ships that ply the harbor beneath her gaze.

Lest we forget what America represents to the world, today particularly, we should remember the words of Emma Lazarus' poem, The New Colossus. Written in 1883, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the statue's pedestal in 1903.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

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