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Monday, June 08, 2009

Steve Irwin Postage Stamps

All of the Crocodile Hunter fans in America and around the world will be glad to know that Australia issued a commemorative postage stamp to honor Steve Irwin.

Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert and conservationist who received worldwide fame from his television show “The Crocodile Hunter”. His vibrant personality lit up the television screen and you simply could not help be drawn into the world of wildlife as seen through the eyes of Steve Irwin. Irwin and his wife co-owned and operated the Australia Zoo which has welcomed people from around the world.

Steve Irwin died on September 4, 2006 when his chest was pierced by a stingray spine while he was snorkeling and filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef. The horrible accident and subsequent death sent shockwaves around the world.

The postage stamp was issued just before Australia’s inaugural “Steve Irwin Day” which takes place on November 15th. Along with the stamp came a New Idea magazine commemorative cover of Irwin, his 2 children and a large snake. Proceeds from the stamps went to “Wildlife Warriors”, which is Irwin’s conservation charity.

The Steve Irwin postage stamp is one of many types of memorials honoring Irwin. There is a nature park, roadways, and a national park to name a few. Steve Irwin’s legacy continues to live on through his wife and 2 children who concentrate their time on protecting wildlife and conservation too.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Ireland’s First Braille Postage Stamp

On July 7, 2006, Ireland issued their first Braille postage stamp. The 48 cent stamp marked the 30th anniversary of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The stamp features a guide dog silhouette design with the denomination of the stamp in Braille. This multicolor postage stamp was wildly popular upon its release in Ireland.

The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is the only supplier of guide dogs for vision impaired and the blind in Ireland. They also provide assistance dogs to children with Autism. These amazing dogs allow all recipients the opportunity to function fully and independently in society, thereby creating a better quality of life.

It takes approximately eight months to fully train a dog to be service provider. The most commonly used dog breeds are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador cross Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, German Shepherd cross Golden Retriever, Labra-doodle (Labrador cross Standard Poodle), and the Golden-doodle (Golden Retriever cross Standard Poodle).

All guide dogs are provided free of charge at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a result, fundraising is a crucial element to their success. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind collects used postage stamps and sells them to stamp collecting companies who in turn pays for the stamps by the pound. If you have used postage stamps that you do not need, you can send them to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Headquarters & Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork or contact the American branch of the IGDB at 212 534 8867 for more information.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Favorite Children’s Books On Postage Stamps

There is no doubt that reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn in school. I was recently asked by a teacher to come and read a story to the class on “Read Across America” day at the end of February. I began to think about what book I would read and found a fantastic one that I remembered from my own childhood. As my thoughts usually do, I began to wonder what postage stamps have been issued commemorating beloved books for children. What a fun search.

I was happy to see that the book I had chosen to read to the classroom has also been made into a commemorative postage stamp. In 2006, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp pane called “Favorite Children’s Book Animals.”

Eight cherished animal characters from fantastic children’s literature took center stage in the series. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, (1969 and 1987) and “Maisy's ABC" by Lucy Cousins, (1994 in the United Kingdom and 1995 in the United States) were jointly issued with the United Kingdom's Royal Mail in January of 2006.

Other stamps in the series include: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (1963); “Curious George Flies A Kite" by Margret and H.A. Rey (1958); “Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White (1952); “Frederick" by Leo Lionni (1967); "Olivia" by Ian Falconer ( 2000); and "Fox in Socks" by Dr. Seuss (1965).

Each of these children’s books soared to great popularity and continually remain as a favorite choice for parents and children alike. These books certainly deserved to be depicted on these 39 cent postage stamps.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Monday…

Like many other remote islands, one of the main sources of revenue is the sale of postage stamps, which are produced by the United Kingdom. There are a few sets of postage stamps issued from the island each year. The whale stamps have proven to be wildly popular over the years. The other sources of revenue for the islands come from fishing licenses, coin sales, harbor fees and an ever growing amount of tourism.

The islands are mountainous and ice and snow covered. The only land mammals that will be seen there are reindeer, which were introduced early in the 20th Century, and mice and rats. King Penguins and other penguin species call the island home. Whales and seals are also frequent visitors to the area.

Stamp Center has a new stamp category that they would like to share with everyone. This new “Strange and Unusual” category features many interesting stamps from around the world. For a limited time only, Stamp Center is offering an additional discount to customers who purchase these stamps. If you are interested in these super cute penguin postage stamps or other unusual stamps, pop over and take a look to see what is in stock.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps

I love when I find interested information that I can share with readers. These penguin stamps were issued from South Georgia which is an island that is located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This set of penguin stamps is sure to delight collectors everywhere.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory. These islands were previously governed as part of the Falkland Islands. Despite being a British territory, Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1938 and maintained a naval station there. Argentina’s claim to the islands contributed to the Falklands War in 1982, when Argentina briefly occupied the Island. To this day, the dispute over
these islands remains between Argentina and Great Britain.

South Georgia is the largest island in the group of islands. The only people to inhabit the islands are A British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists and support staff. If you are looking for a sunny destination, these are not the islands for you. The climate on the island and the surrounding water remains very cold year round so it is not very hospitable to humans.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Year Of The Ox

The second postage stamp of the New Year was issued on January 8, 2009 in New York City by the United States Postal Service. Welcome the Year of the Ox!

This Year of the Ox stamp is number two in the USPS series that will ultimately have 12 stamps issued. The Year of the Ox will begin on January 26, 2009 and run through February 13, 2010.

The 12 Chinese Animal Signs represent a cyclical concept of time that is based on the cycle of the moon. Western cultures embrace a linear concept of time based on the solar calendar. Unlike Western cultures, the Chinese New Year varies each year. It can start between late January and early February. Even though the Chinese adopted the Western calendar in 1911, the Chinese Zodiac calendar is celebrated each year with great fanfare. The Chinese animal signs also correspond to horoscopes, just like Western Zodiac signs. Most people who follow these horoscopes don’t take them seriously though.
In case you’re wondering what the positive traits of being born in The Year of the Ox, you will find that Ox people are: responsible, dependable, honest, caring, honorable, intelligent, industrious, and practical. The negative traits are: petty, inflexible, possessive, dogmatic, gullible, stubborn, critical, intolerant, and materialistic.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another Stamp That Smells

Stamp collecting has been around since the first postage stamp was invented. There are so many varieties for so many occasions. There are plenty of plain everyday stamps out on the market and ones so special that collectors will fight and pay big dollars for them. Just like the saying goes for people “there is someone for everyone”, there certainly is a market for most every type of stamp made. For some countries, stamp sales are their most valuable commodity. Collectors enable a nearly 100 percent profit for a postal administration that produces an amazing specimen.

Brazil produced a neat stamp in 1999 that had a smell of burnt wood. The stamps were part of Brazil's forest fire prevention efforts. There were four stamps in the set. They featured a burnt tree trunk, a leaf, a flower and an anteater. The stamp campaign focused its efforts on bringing awareness to the damages that will happen in a forest fire. The smell was meant to remind people of the dangers of forest fire.

This stamp brings community awareness to a new level. It would be a cool stamp to have in a collection. If the United States were to make a smelly stamp, what would you vote for it to be?

If you are looking for other Brazil postage stamps; pop on over to Stamp Center to see what we have in stock for you.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp

On March 2, 2004 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as “Dr. Seuss”. The stamp was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize winning author’s birth. The stamp was released during the “Seussentennial: A Century of Imagination” year long celebration that occurred in schools, libraries and book stores around the United States. The 37 cent postage stamp features a picture of Dr. Seuss as well as six of his favorite characters from his books.

Dr. Seuss books have thrilled young children for years. The whimsical stories, many with words that make no sense at all, make children laugh out loud. There are 44 different children’s books to his credit. All have the lovable characters and silly rhyming words.

His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, was initially rejected by 27 publishers before it was finally printed to a population who loved his new type of writing style. Interestingly enough, Dr. Seuss’ publisher had read a report on how most school children had trouble reading because they thought their books were boring. So he challenged Dr. Seuss to create a fantastic children’s book that would be exciting and fun for the kids to read. The end result of that challenge was the finished copy of “The Cat in the Hat”; which is one of the most read children’s books of all time.

You can find Dr. Seuss and other fine postage stamps at Stamp Center!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Looney Tunes Postage Stamps

Some stamp collectors collect historical stamps, and some collect stamps from specific countries, while others choose to collect the more fun loving type of stamps. The great thing about stamp collecting is that there are so many different varieties of stamps available to choose from. That is why stamp collecting is enjoyed by so many people, from so many walks of life.

This Looney Tunes stamp set was issued in 1998 by the United States Postal Service. It features the always fun loving and definitely silly characters, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. This sheet of 10 self adhesive stamps was the second set in the series issued to commemorate Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters. The set was issued in two formats. There was a perforated and an imperforated type to choose from. With both formats, there is die-cutting between the nine stamps on the left hand side of the pane.

Other stamps in the series include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, and the Porky Pig stamp sets. Fitting enough, the Porky Pig was the last set issued and had printed on the pane “That’s All Folks!”
Stamp Center has adorable Looney Tune stamps available, below book cost, to add to your collection.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Great Lakes Dunes Postage Stamps

The beautiful sand dunes that line portions of the five Great Lakes in the United States have been honored by the United States Postal Service. The stamps are the tenth installment by the USPS’s Nature of America educational series. Previous educational issues include the Sonoran Desert issued in 1999, the Pacific Coast Rain Forest in 2000, the Great Plains Prairie in 2001, the Longleaf Pine Forest in 2002, the Arctic Tundra in 2003, the Pacific Coral Reef in 2004, the Northeast Deciduous Forest in 2005, and the Southern Florida Wetlands in 2006 and Alpine Tundra issued in 2007. All of these stamps have shown just some of the amazing natural beauty that can be found in the United States.

One of the largest freshwater dune systems in the world can be found around all of our own Great Lakes. The bulk of the United States dunes can be found on the west Michigan shoreline. The dunes are a dynamic landscape that is formed when the shifting sand, wind and water work in perfect harmony. It is a playground for the young and old and should certainly be protected so that it can be enjoyed for years to come.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes in particular is showcased in this stamp collection. It receives its name by the site of the huge dune formation that resembles a sleeping bear. There are 27 different types of plant life, animals, birds and insects imbedded on the stamp sheet. The stamps show the diverse wildlife that effortlessly co-exists in the dunes.

The back of the stamp pane features a numbered key to the artwork with the corresponding list of both the scientific and common names for the 27 selected species. This makes a neat addition to any stamp collection. First day of issue postmarks are available for envelopes postmarked by December 3, 2008 from the USPS.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

1965 Abu Dhabi Falcon Stamps

Postage stamps issued from Abu Dhabi can be an interesting addition to any stamp collection. Their placement in history has a somewhat sorted past.

Abu Dhabi’s postal history had three distinct periods of time. First, Great Britain issued stamps and then Abu Dhabi issued stamps. Currently postage stamps are issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which Abu Dhabi is a member of.

Initially, each of the stamps issued for Abu Dhabi were British stamps with an overprint of “Bahrain” printed on the stamps. During the later years of Britain’s control of the postal service, both British and Abu Dhabi stamps were used together. Soon Great Britain stopped issuing their stamps and the short era of independent Abu Dhabi produced stamps began.
Many of the stamps issued by Abu Dhabi featured pictures of the Emir. In 1965, a set of three stamps of the Saker Falcon were produced. The falcon is an important symbol in Arab lands because it is used for hunting. There were only 83 stamps produced from 1964 to 1972 from Abu Dhabi.
Some of these stamps can be found at full price online. You can find these falcon stamps, considerably reduced in price by clicking here.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The American Bat Stamps

The American Bat is often feared and misunderstood. People fear that they are blood seeking frightening creatures, yet they are not. There are currently 45 bat species in North America and 950 bat species worldwide. Many species are on the endangered list.

Each October, during National Stamp Collecting month, the US Postal service issues a commemorative stamp or stamps that will appeal to young people. In 2002, the American Bat was chosen to help highlight and educate everyone on the benefits of the American Bat. The stamp ceremony was appropriately held in Austin, Texas at the bat observation area which is located at the Congress Avenue Bridge. This bridge houses the largest urban bat colony in the world. Every evening, millions of bats take flight, gobbling up between 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects.

This stamp pane consists of four different stamp designs featuring photographs of bats whose ranges include the continental United States.

I personally find bats graceful as they fly about in the evening hours. I am thankful for their skill in eating the real blood suckers….mosquitoes. Besides, they are kind of cute too!

If you would like more information on purchasing these adorable stamps, click here.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Big Bird Stamp

Who can refuse a famous giant yellow talking bird that stresses kindness? He can roller skate, ice skate, write poetry, dance, sing, and even ride a unicycle. That’s a lot of talent for a would-be six year old! He’s been everywhere, from calendars to clocks, to movies and television programs. Kids and adults just love him.

Big Bird was awarded his own postage stamp as part of the 1970’s Celebrate the Century postage stamp series. When the United States Postal Service held their nationwide contest to honor the greatest symbols in cultural America from each decade; Sesame Street was one of the 30 nominations in the Arts and Entertainment category. Both children and adults voted for their favorite choices nationwide. Sesame Street came in first place in its category and second overall for all of the stamps in the 1970’s series.

Big Bird was chosen to represent Sesame Street because of his friendly face. Big Bird always helps children feel all right about not knowing everything because he himself does not know everything, like any other six year old. Upon the stamps release, he appeared on The Today Show to thank his fans for voting for him and talk about what it feels like to be a winner.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

United States Artic Animals Stamps

I was watching one of the nature shows on cable television a couple days ago that featured many of the majestic Artic animals that exist today. Their sheer beauty and grace prompted me to do some research to find out if the United States had created postage stamps depicting these animals. I was pleasantly surprised that they indeed featured many of these beautiful creatures in 1999!

The animals featured on the stamps are the Arctic Hare, Arctic Fox, Snowy Owl, Polar Bear and the Gray Wolf. These stamps bring to life animals of the Arctic, which includes regions generally north of the Arctic Circle, in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Eurasia. They are simply stunning to look at.

I am amazed at how these Arctic animals live by their ability to adapt to bitterly cold winters. They endure strong winds and temperatures that are often 50 degrees below zero. Life can certainly be hard on the Tundra.

If you missed out on the sale of these stamps in 1999, no need to fret. These stamps are for sale at http://www.stampcenter.com/. The good news is that you can also receive a 25% discount when you purchase these stamps. Be sure to use the coupon code USSHEETS when you do your check out to receive this benefit.


Monday, November 26, 2007

101 Dalmatian Pelicans!

If you’re a fan of marine life, you’re most certainly familiar with the Dalmatian pelican. These large birds grow to be an average of 63-71 inches, with the males typically being larger than the females. With their silvery-white shaggy or curly crest and brown-black wingtips, these birds are quite beautiful.

The pelican is bred from southeastern Europe to China. In the wintertime, they are distributed from the Balkans through southeast China. Typically, they can be found in rivers, in lakes, throughout deltas, and in estuaries where there isn’t a large population of humans to bother them and disrupt their natural peace. Pelicans breed on islands or amidst high-growing vegetation.

They are quiet the aggressive creature when antagonized. If the male or female feel threatened, they will normally respond in the form of bill clattering and gaping. This is especially true if the pelican feels that its nest is being threatened.

The Dalmatian Pelican and the human race haven’t been known to get along very well. The bill of the pelican is a prized trophy of those who hunt them, and hunting them isn’t a crime due to their mass consumption of fish that local human populations harvest for profit. As well, they are known to be disturbed easily by tourists, and, because of this, they are seen as a threat to said tourists.

Capture these lone beauties the safe way, with these commemorative Albanian stamps from 1961. This may be the closest you’ll ever get to one! Purchase your set here.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Prehistoric Wonders

There’s no denying that there’s something astonishing about the idea of the gigantic lizards who once roamed the earth, millions of years ago, whose disappearance is as mysterious as the quandary of how they appeared in the first place. Some see them portrayed as blood-thirsty and tyrannical monsters; some still manage to think of them as the absolutely fascinating plastic relics of our childhood play. In any case, the recognition of these prehistoric conundrums is anything but extinct; dinosaurs are relentlessly studied and shared with humans of all ages, shapes, and sizes through museum exhibits, music, books, children’s toys, and even stamps.

The word “dinosaur” is derived from the Greek “deinos,” which translates to “terrible” or “fearsome,” and “saura,” which means “lizard” or “reptile.” Dinosaurs came about this planet approximately 230 million years ago until their abrupt extinction about 65 million years ago. In this time period, numerous different types of these creatures occupied the land, the water, and even the air. They scaled everywhere from colossal giants to little lizards that could fit in the palm of your hand, all of which fought to survive the great hunt for sustenance. No one knows for sure how or why the dinosaurs vanished, only to be doomed to exist under the earth as mind-boggling bones, for the rest of time.

Capture a glimpse of these prehistoric wonders with our eight-piece commemorative stamp set, and bring back to life the mysterious creatures that can only live on through our studies and our imaginations.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Rare Dolphin of the Arctic

Many people have heard of the sea mammal, commonly referred to as the “sea cow” (manatees are also sometimes referred to as such), but, in the minds of most, a depiction of an underwater cow with gills is blowing bubbles into the infinite abyss. The actual sea cow, however, less commonly known as the Cruciger Dolphin, does not moo. It also looks very little like a cow, with an exception for its black and white color. The white area forms a shape similar to an hourglass on the dolphin’s sides, hence it’s more common formal name, the Hourglass Dolphin.

The Cruciger Dolphin is native to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters. The name Cruciger is Latin for “cross-carrier” and is given to this dolphin for the hourglass-like design on its body, which loosely resembles a Maltese cross. This particular dolphin is rarely seen and, therefore, has very low sighting statistics. By the 1960s, only three of the Cruciger Dolphins had been reported to scientists. Likewise, to this day, the Cruciger Dolphin has had only six complete and fourteen partial specimen examined.

Be one of the lucky few to see one of these creatures of the deep, and capture this rare specimen for your stamp collection. Order your Crucigere Dolphins stamp, today!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thrills and Chills: Animals of the Ice Age

Have you ever walked outside, it was over one-hundred degrees, and you prayed for some sort of cool breeze to brush against your skin? Even the neighbor’s cat on your lawn seemed to have a miserable face about it, and cats can’t even make faces (to the best of your knowledge). Now, picture your somewhat muggy outside covered completely in snow, and that cool breeze you desperately longed for turning out to be a blistering, negative-twelve-degree gust. Ponder the idea of your neighbor’s pesky little cat being the size of the average tiger, with two gigantic, razor sharp teeth. This was what one could expect on an average day during a period of our Earth scientists call the Ice Age.

There have been many ice ages in the history of Earth, with the earliest one estimated to have occurred 2.7 – 2.3 billion years ago and the most recent one ending 10,000 years ago. In this time frame, many beasts have roamed the Earth, equipped with thick fur coats and vicious temperaments, geared towards surviving each day of their rugged lives.

When the ice ages ended, most of the mammals that journeyed the earth died out, leaving nothing but bones, fossils, and a few preserved frozen bodies to prove their existence. With this evidence, scientists and artists crafted images of wooly mammoths, cave bears, hairy rhinos, giant deer, and of course, ferocious saber-toothed tigers to brighten the imagination of modern-day people. With the Ice Age Animals collection, you can travel to that time of blistering cold and danger, but be careful; the neighbor’s cat might be little more of a threat to your birds.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

That's One Hot Doggie!

The dog days of summer are officially here. My neighbors recently adopted a handsome one-year-old Alaskan Malamute. Bred for cold weather, Storm is finding life in the hot, humid city a bit of a trial, especially when you sport a dense fur coat.

All playful puppy chasing squirrels around the yard in the cool mornings, by afternoon Storm sprawls across the porch, looking for all the world like a melted puddle of fuzz. As the day drips along, his tongue gets longer and longer until I'm sure he's going to trip over it on his way to the water dish. He lives for air conditioning! Like my teenager, Storm doesn't perk up until the sun goes down.

The catchphrase the dog days of summer dates back to the ancient Romans. They associated hot weather with Sirius, the dog star, which orbits close to the sun at this time of year. The dog pictured in our featured stamp looks like he's run a little too close the sun himself! He and his much perkier friends (they must have stayed inside in the air conditioning) grace this charming 2007 souvenir sheet from Guyana. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center.

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


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.


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 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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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bald Eagle Soars Out of Extinction

Peering through binoculars into the distance, we found the eagle's nest. It was in the middle of a blue heron rookery, one of dozens of massive twig nests perched high in the branches of a grove of swamp-washed trees. Built of sturdier stuff than the heron nests, it had a heavier, more constructed look to it. And it was bigger, like a large, shallow dish made of thick branches.

We could see a bird perched on the side of the nest but it seemed too small to be an eagle and it's head was brown, not the snowy white of the adult bald eagle. For one brief magical moment it spread and flapped its wings -- its wingspan was massive! Then it slowly folded its wings and settled back down into the nest again. We had seen a baby bald eagle. Apparently the snowy cap doesn't grow in until the bird matures in its second year. For us it was an amazing moment during our visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio.

The status of America's bald eagle has been steadily improving. When the US Fish and Wildlife Service began monitoring eagles in 1974, there were 791 pairs nationwide. Today there are 9,789 recorded pairs, a real comeback for a species in danger of extinction. This beautiful stamp issued by Liberia as part of a Wildlife Atlas of the World series shows the majestic bald eagle in all its glory. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center.

Visit the County Stamp Center website to view the complete Wildlife Atlas of the World Series. You'll be delighted by these beautifully drawn pictures of the world's most majestic beasts in their native habitats. Visit County Stamp Center for all your philatelic needs.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

CHOMP! Prehistoric Creatures Add Bite to Stamp Collecting

CHOMP! You can practically feel the powerful jaws clamping shut with a resounding snap. The prehistoric crocodile practically leaps off the page of this recently issued souvenir sheet from Peru. Click the post title to order.

Twenty million years ago, Purussaurus roamed the South American Amazon. The prehistoric crocodile's existence is know only by the massive skull fossils found in Peru. The monster croc's head was five feet long, from the back of its teeth-filled jaw to the tip of its truncated snout. One of the largest crocodile known to have existed, the giant caiman was 37 writhing feet of tail-thrashing caiman and is thought to have weighed more than 6 tons, just a tad less than the fearsome t.rex.

If you're looking for stamps of prehistoric creatures, you can find hundreds of them at County Stamp Center. Use our easy Quick Search feature to find what you're looking for by keyword. Just type in prehistoric, fossils, dinosaur, etc. to view pages of fascinating stamps. Visit the County Stamp Center website for all your philatelic needs.


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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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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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.