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Monday, June 22, 2009

Having More Fun With Postage Stamp Errors

Last week I had so much fun finding postage stamps from around the world that had errors on them. I thought I would share a couple more with you. Leave a comment if you have a good one that you would like showcased and I will do my best to post information about it.

The top postage stamp will likely be more tricky to figure out the problem. It was issued by Saudi Arabia in 1949 and was never corrected. This plane looks correct…or does it? Can you figure out the problem? The picture appears to be one of a commercial aircraft. The first “jet” aircraft was developed in Germany in 1931. It was not until 1943 that the first jet fighter aircraft went into service. It was not until the early 1950’s that commercial jet airplanes began production. Perhaps Saudi Arabia had a vision into the future with this commercial jet postage
stamp. Technically, this airplane should have had propellers and not jet engines.

I laughed when I saw the lower postage stamp above. It was issued by Monaco and features America’s beloved President Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who was an avid postage stamp collector, appears to be admiring his postage stamp collection in this picture. Can you spot the trouble? Look closely at Roosevelt’s left hand. He is sporting one too many fingers. I count five fingers and one thumb. Oops! The stamp was issued in 1947. It was never corrected or reissued by Monaco.

Don’t forget to check out the many fun postage stamps that are available at Stamp Center today!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Having Fun With Postage Stamp Errors

Throughout the history of postage stamp releases there have certainly been some printing errors. Some are glaring and spotted by the public immediately. Some have been more subtle and far more difficult to find. One of America’s most famous postage stamp errors that most everyone knows about is the Inverted Jenny. In that stamp, during the printing process the airplane was printed flying upside down. If you are lucky enough to own the Inverted Jenny, it certainly is a great find. In today’s stamp printing, it is far more difficult for a stamp to pass through the process without an error being caught. If you find a stamp with an error, hang on to it as it will likely we worth more than your average stamp.

The brown postage stamp above was issued by Guadeloupe. At first glance, you might not see the mistakes from the artist. This stamp was printed in 1946 and was never corrected or reissued. Can you figure out what the problem is? If you look closely, the camels in the front of the design are missing an important feature…a couple of legs!

The red colored postage stamp above looks pretty simple and serene. It was originally issued by Fiji in 1938 and then reissued with the corrected version in 1940. Can you see the problem? The original stamp features an outrigger canoe that is under full sail. Experienced sailors will attest that a boat cannot be in full sail without a crew! In the second version of the stamp, one crewmember was added to the picture.

Stamp Center has postage stamps available from all around the world. You are sure to find something special to add to your collection.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Postage Stamps – The Choices Are Endless Part I Of II

People have been collecting things most likely since the beginning of time. A quick internet search and you will find that what some people view as strange to collect; others are passionate about their favorite items. As diverse as people are, so are their collections. You can find people who collect mugs, buttons, cookie jars, toys, traffic signs, air sick bags, candy wrappers, and of course postage stamps, to name a few. Postage stamps are by far the most collected item around the world. They can show a bit of history and often times tell a story of their origin.
They are fun, easy to obtain, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on this hobby.

Unlike some collectibles, there are many choices available when it comes to stamp collecting. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be wondering where to begin your collection. Should you pick stamps with flowers, presidents, animals, foreign releases, domestic releases, or would you like to dabble in a little bit of everything? Should I only buy cancelled stamps or would un-cancelled stamps be a better value? One of the greatest things about collecting postage stamps is that the possibilities are endless. You can buy stamps from Stamp Dealers, online, from postal authorities, or from other collectors.

Stamp collectors love to show their wonderful stamp finds. There are many stamp collectors clubs that get together to share information, buy or trade stamps, and see what other great finds their fellow collectors have found.

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

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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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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CD ROM Postage Stamp - Bhutan

Bhutan is a small nation that is sandwiched between India and China. It has only been producing postage stamps since 1962 when it released its first international postage stamp. With many interesting postage stamps under their belt, they are known for their colorful, creative and collectible stamps around the world.

In 2008, Bhutan once again released a postage stamp like no other. The first ever CD ROM postage stamp was created to show the world what Bhutan has accomplished during the past 100 years. The stamp set commemorates some of Bhutan’s most historic events on postage stamps as well as on video. The 100th anniversary of the monarchy, the coronation of the 5th King of Bhutan, the evolution of Bhutan’s democracy and the eventual signing of a new constitution, are all showcased for the world to see on the stamps and the video set. These postage stamps are mini-CDs that fit into a self adhesive envelope. When affixed to a larger envelope, the CD stamp can be used as postage. Definitely worth collecting!
Postage stamps remain the primary source of revenue for Bhutan. The revenues generated have helped build the nations infrastructure.

If you would like to add this very interesting CD ROM postage stamp or other stamps from Bhutan, contact Stamp Center today.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Roller Coaster Postage Stamp

Today I thought it would be fun to run several internet searches on various obscure objects to see if a postage stamp had ever been issued depicting such object. One of the searches that I completed was “roller coaster postage stamp”.

After an extensive search, I only found one postage stamp, issued by a country that showcases a roller coaster. They can be found at “make your own stamps” website. Oddly enough, the stamp I found is a new stamp issued from Sweden on May 14, 2009.

The stamp features the Balder roller coaster which is located at the Liseberg amusement park. This wooden roller coaster opened in 2003 and has been voted “Best Wooden Tracked Roller Coaster” in the world two times since its opening. The stamp set includes 4 stamps that feature architectural wonders in Sweden. Along with the roller coaster stamps there is the Turning Torso (a twisted building in Sweden), the Kaknäs Tower in Stockholm, and the Lugnet ski jump which is 52 meters high.

Loving roller coasters like I do, I am feeling a bit slighted that there are no other roller coaster postage stamps. Do any of our readers know if any other roller coaster has ever been depicted on a postage stamp? Feel free to leave a comment if you know of any.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Friday…

The Concorde…It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty which combined the production skills of the British Aircraft Corporation and Aérospatiale. The first flight was in 1969, but it did not enter service until 1976. The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airline that amazed the world. It flew for 27 years before retiring in 2003.

K2 Telephone Kiosk …Truly a symbol of England, these classic bright red telephone boxes stood out on street corners throughout the United Kingdom from their inception in 1926. Despite their current reduction in numbers, you can still find them on current and ex-British Colonies around the world.

Polypropylene Chair…These chairs are resistant to fatigue and can be found it public buildings around the world. Robin Day was the inventor of these chairs. It is estimated that most everyone in the world has sat on one of these creations at some point in their life.

Penguin Books…Penguin books is a British publisher that was founded in 1935. This stamp featured Edward Young’s book jacket design which was instantly recognizable by the trademark orange and black penguin emblem.

London Underground Map…The London Underground postage stamp features Harry Beck’s easy to understand design which was originally based on an electrical wiring diagram.

The Routemaster Bus…The Routemaster Bus is a double-decker bus that was built in England in 1954. The Routemaster can still be found touring the streets of London. The buses are currently out of production, but there are approximately 1000 still in existence.

Stamp Center has these fantastic British Design Classics postage stamps and Prestige Booklets in stock for you.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part I Of II

In January of 2009, Great Britain issued a set of 10 postage stamps that depict “Design Classics” that represent Great Britain. In researching these postage stamps I found that the people of England either love them or hate them. Some say that these stamps are simple and don’t really represent designs that should be considered “classic” in Great Britain. Others seem to love the simplicity of these 1st class stamps and recognize them as iconic figures of the not so distant past and present. Personally, I like them!

The set includes the following postage stamps…

The Supermarine Spitfire…This British single seat fighter aircraft was used by the Royal Air Force during World War II and throughout the 1950’s. The classic elliptical wing design allowed the plane to fly at higher speeds and was a favorite among pilots at the time.

The Mini Skirt…The mini skirt was a defining fashion symbol in the 1960’s. Considered daring at the time, the mini skirt transformed the typical conservative women’s fashion into a spicy international fashion trend. The mini skirt continues to be a popular fashion choice today among females around the world.

The Mini – The original “Mini” is considered an icon of the 1960’s. The car allowed for 80% of the cars spacious floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage. This is a stark difference to the Mini that is currently being produced. Current owners would not likely want to change the upgrades to their Mini as it is considered much safer and offers great human comforts. In 1999, the Mini was voted as the second most influential car of the 20th Century…behind the Ford Model T. Besides, they are really fun to drive!

Anglepoise Lamp…Who has not owned one of these lamps in their lifetime? Despite what was originally thought about this lamp, it was not designed to resemble a human arm. The original patent for the lamp was granted in 1932 for British car designer George Carwardine. You can easily find these lamps in stores around the world; which earned it a spot as a top British accomplishment.

Please come back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Paying for a stamp can be tricky endeavor when you are new to collecting. It is wise to check out the “Scott Catalogue” for the most up to date information about postage stamps and their values. The books are issued each year and depict interesting and valuable information about what each stamp is worth. In 2008, there were six large volumes of the book. You can also find it available in DVD and printable CD formats.

Old postage stamps can be found via internet websites, stamp shows, auction sites, other collectors and Stamp Dealers. When buying from someone you do not know, always remember to get information in writing as to what you are purchasing. Reputable Stamp Dealers are a great source to buy stamps from. They not only have a good supply of stamps to choose from, but they have a wealth of knowledge to share with you.

New postage stamps that originate in the United States can be found at USPS.com. If a stamp is in high demand, you usually can find them available at a Stamp Dealer.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited a stamp collection from a relative, it would be a good idea to find out how much the collection is worth before you decide what you are going to do with it. An experienced Stamp Dealer will be able to accurately appraise the collection. Depending on what is in the collection, a Stamp Dealer may even want to purchase the collection themselves. Knowledge is power so you definitely want to know what you are dealing with before you decide to keep or sell the collection.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part I Of II

The art of stamp collecting has been around basically since postage stamps were created. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be asking yourself some of these questions…

"Which stamps should I collect?”

“How much should I pay for a stamp?”

“Where do I find old postage stamps?”

“Where can I buy new postage stamps?

“What do I do with Grandpa’s stamp collection now that he is gone?

Stamp collecting has evolved since the Great Britain released its first adhesive postage stamp in 1840. There are literally thousands of different stamps to choose from that are issued from almost every nation in the world. The good news is that most stamps are very reasonably priced for collectors. New stamp collectors can decide to keep their collecting focus on a particular type of stamp or a stamp that comes from a specific country or region. Perhaps you like stamps with the faces of world leaders or you prefer ones with pretty flowers instead. Maybe you want to focus your stamp collection on cartoons or stamps from specific regions of the world. The choices are endless and deciding what you want for your collection is such great fun! Beginners could decide to buy stamps in bulk to see what types of stamps they are actually interested in before they pick a specific type.

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

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Monday…

Interestingly enough, while researching different Bee Gees postage stamps available from around the world, I found information that there are “illegal postage stamp issues” in circulation for the Bee Gees as well as other celebrities, political figures, paintings, vehicles, etc. The following is information provided by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE (REP.) “Thirteen miniature sheets in the same format each containing four postage stamps each featuring a different picture of the celebrities in question, either alone or with other people. The
name of each celebrity or group is inscribed at the top of each sheet, namely AC/DC, The Backstreet Boys, The Bee Gees, The Beatles, The Doors, Freddie Mercury, KISS, Madonna, Metallica, Queen and the Rolling Stones. Each postage stamp on each miniature sheet is inscribed with a value of 100 F, the year 2002 or 2003 and the logo of the Rotary
organization. There are various depictions of the celebrities or groups in the margins of each miniature sheet.” Apparently these postage stamps are not valid and were not issued by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE so buyer beware!
The Bee Gees record sales are estimated to be well over $200 million dollars which makes them one of the best selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Stamp Center has cool Bee Gees postage stamps in stock from the Ivory Coast and Benin. Stop by soon and see what stamps we have for you.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part I Of II

The Bee Gees were born on the Isle of Man to English parents. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb spent 40 years recording their three part tight musical harmony and are known throughout the world for their musical endeavors. They are best known for their performances of soft rock music during the 1960’s and 1970’s and were huge stars of the Disco era in the 1970’s.

The Isle of Man issued souvenir sheets to commemorate the musical efforts of the Bee Gees in 1999. These interesting stamps featured a circular stamp within a circular sheet which looked just like a compact disk does. The stamp sheets feature several pictures of the Bee Gees from 1978 on one sheet and from 1998 on the other depicting great moments in their career. The stamps were first launched in London and then in New York City. These New York stamp release ceremony can be found on YouTube. It was filmed in New York City because the Bee Gees were not able to travel to the Isle of Man due to concert obligations. There are eight stamps issued in the set, each one themed around a specific Bee Gee song.

Proceeds from the sales of the stamps were given to the McMillian Cancer Support which is a charity in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. McMillian’s primary objective is to reach and improve the lives of everyone who is living with Cancer. The group provides information, support centers, mobile centers and is greatly regarded in the United Kingdom.

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

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Barack Obama Stamps Have International Appeal

Stamp collectors may find these stamps interesting, no matter which side of the political spectrum you align yourself with.

Although you must wait a while for the United States postage stamps to be issued, we can usually count on the international community to supply certain stamps that would create great interest, to be released at a much faster rate. Stamp Center has several postage stamps available that honor President Barack Obama. These beautiful stamps have been issued by the following Nation’s:

Sierra Leone
St. Vincent/Canouan
St. Vincent/Union
St. Vincent/Bequia
St. Vincent – a couple of different ones to choose from
Grenada Grenadines
Some of the stamps issued include the White House or the Capitol as a backdrop and others feature the Presidential seal as a backdrop. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin. The United States is represented well on many of these stamps as they showcase “Old Glory” waving in the background. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin.

The stamps issued from Tanzania have one in the set that includes Michelle Obama, the Presidents wife. The stamp issued from St. Vincent/Union features a background of people holding signs from either the inauguration or perhaps an Obama rally. I wonder if those people even know that they are issued on an official postage stamp. Unless they are collectors and have looked, it is doubtful!

Please stop by Stamp Center and check out all of the Barack Obama postage stamps that are currently available.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Paul McCartney Happy Memories Postage Stamps

In July of 2002, the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish Sea, released a delightful set of postage stamps designed by musician, Sir Paul McCartney. McCartney was approached to design the limited edition postage stamps once the stamp bureau found out that he had made visits with his family to the island when he was a child.

The resulting postage stamps feature simple floral designs that are similar to ones that are used in McCartney’s favorite charity…Adopt A Minefield. The charity was founded in Great Britain in 1990 and has raised over $17 million to clear landmines in 126 villages in the war torn countries of Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique and Vietnam. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the stamps went to support the charity.

There were six stamps in the series and only 170,000 stamps issued. The stamp sets also feature six black and white photographs of Paul McCartney with his signature at the bottom of each photo.

If you are interested in purchasing the Paul McCartney Happy Memories postage stamps, visit Stamp Center today.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 World Stamp Exhibition

First the actual Olympics and now the “Olympics of stamp collecting” is gracing the land of China. Beginning on April 10th and running through April 16, 2009, the 2009 World Stamp Exhibition is the place to be to see top philatelic issues from around the globe.

Over 110 countries and regions have brought together more than 3,200 valuable framed stamp collections to be viewed by the public. The entries will also be appraised by world class leaders of philately. More than sixty international stamp experts will review the entries and eight medals will be awarded before the end of the Exhibition. An unprecedented amount of attendees will have their chance on the bidding of rare stamps at the auction as well.

Of the 3,200 framed entries, 80 frames of world renowned stamps are on display. The British royal family has even sent their prized Penny Black which was issued in 1840. It was the first adhesive postage stamp to ever be issued in the world. Also on public display for the first time are stamps collected by the China National Post and Postage Stamp Museum.

There are 24 special Peony stamps issued from various nations to commemorate the Luoyang Peony Festival. China has released 60 commemorative envelopes especially designed for the Exhibition.

The World Stamp Exhibition travels to a new location each year. Expect to see the 2010 World Stamp Exhibition in South Africa.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from the post on Wednesday…

The YMCA was formed in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1851. The YMCA has an interesting connection to early postage stamp history. During the United States Civil War, many soldiers did not have stamps to use on their mail that they were sending home. When the Post Office received these letters, they were sent to the “Dead Letter Office” because most of the letters did not have a return address on the envelope.

When the YMCA found out that many letters were not being delivered home, they decided to help out the soldiers. The YMCA left unused postage stamps at various Post Offices with instructions for postal clerks to use the stamps on any soldier’s mail that arrived without a stamp or was short the amount of postage that was required to mail the envelope to its intended destination. When a stamp was used on the envelope, a special label was applied to the front of the letter so that the recipient knew that the YMCA had supplied the stamp. This label also let people know of the YMCA’s need for monetary donations to carry on its charitable work around the United States.

YMCA fans will be glad to know that Stamp Center has several YMCA postage stamps issued from Malta, Peru, Aruba, New Zealand and Canada available to add to their stamp collection.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part I Of II

The Young Men’s Christian Association; otherwise know as the “YMCA” or the “Y” for short; was founded in London, England on June 6, 1844. Originally the group was formed in response to the unhealthy social conditions arising at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The YMCA helped men put Christian principles into practice during their daily lives. In the mid 1800’s, many men arrived in London to find work. Upon their arrival, many workers found the living and working conditions unsafe. The YMCA was formed to give these men a choice between life on the streets and a life of prayer and Bible study. The thing that made the YMCA stand out in the 1800’s (and continues today) is that it did not matter what religion or social class you originated from. All men were treated equal in the eyes of the YMCA. Eventually, the same premise spread to include women and children of all races, religions and nationalities.

Over the years, many countries have issued commemorative postage stamps to honor the YMCA. India issued a stamp to celebrate the 350+ YMCA’s sites that are spread out over most of the major cities, towns and villages around the country. Peru issued a stamp to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the YMCA. Aruba issued a commemorative stamp that features roller skating and basketball for their YMCA 50th Anniversary. New Zealand issued their YMCA
commemorative postage stamp along side of the Lion’s International and Rotary Club stamps. Canada issued their four million commemorative stamps in 2001 to celebrate the YMCA’s 150th Anniversary.

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

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Nemo Postage Stamps

Stamp collecting is such a great hobby. I love when stamps are created to spark interest in children so that they too will fall in love with philately.

On April 3, 2008, the Taiwan Post released postage stamps depicting characters from the wildly popular Disney children’s movie “Finding Nemo.” These stamps are adorable and I am sure that many adults have scrambled to obtain them along with the kiddies. The United States Postal Service has done a fantastic job of showcasing Disney stamps over the years. It’s only a matter of time before we will see these adorable characters affixed to American envelopes as well.

The animated movie “Finding Nemo” was made in 2003 in a joint effort by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. The wildly successful film received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and sales of the film have grossed over $864 million worldwide. Finding Nemo remains as the best selling DVD of all time with over 40 million copies sold. To further honor the film, the American Film Institute named Finding Nemo the 10th greatest American
Animated film ever made.

These Taiwan postage stamps feature Nemo, the young clownfish which is the star of the movie; Dory, the nutty blue tang; Bubbles, the yellow tang; Tad, a long nosed butterfly fish; Squirt, a green sea turtle; Sheldon, a sea horse; Peach, the starfish; Pearl, a flapjack octopus; and a school of sea turtles.

There are two souvenir sheets in the set, both with wonderful animated underwater details depicted. These stamps are interesting because there are both circular and rectangular shapes in the souvenir set.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Wednesday…

John Denver used his music celebrity to draw focus on issues that were near and dear to his heart. His philanthropic involvements included serving as a member of the Presidential Commission on World Domestic Hunger. He was one of the five founders of The Hunger Project which is an organization that is committed to end chronic hunger in the world. He was awarded the Presidential “World Without Hunger Award” for his efforts. Denver also provided support to other organizations like The National Wildlife Federation, The Cousteau Society, Save the Children, and Friends of the Earth and the Human/Dolphin Foundation.

In the United States, there is a group that is requesting that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee consider issuing a commemorative postage stamp honoring John Denver. If you are interested in supporting this effort, send your request to:

USPS Stamp Development
Attn: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
1735 N Lynn St. Ste 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

John Denver died tragically on October 12, 1997 when the aircraft that he was piloting crashed off of the California coast. It would be nice to see the United States issue a stamp for this amazing singer that was loved the world over.

John Denver fans will be happy to know that Stamp Center has some very nice John Denver souvenir postage stamps that were issued by Nevis and Tanzania available and ready to ship.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part I Of II

John Denver, otherwise known as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., was born on December 31, 1943. Born in Roswell, New Mexico, he spent the majority of his childhood bouncing from state to state due to his father’s military assignments. Moving constantly did not suit Denver’s introverted personality well and he eventually discovered that he could make friends by singing and playing the guitar. At the age of 20, John headed to California to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician.

John soon adopted the surname “Denver” because he loved Colorado and “Deutschendorf” did not fit on any marquee well. After his arrival to California in 1964, he joined the Mitchell Trio which was a folk group that performed in clubs around Los Angeles.

In 1969 Denver began his solo career and cut his first album called “Rhymes and Reasons.” The album featured Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” which was later recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary with great fanfare. RCA, Denver’s recording company, did not promote his album with a tour, but Denver decided to take his show on the road himself and performed his music in as many cities as he could throughout the Midwest. Selling his albums along the way convinced RCA that he did indeed have fans who were interested in hearing more of his music. Denver went on to author and sing many musical hits such as “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Sunshine on My Shoulders”, “Rocky Mountain High” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”, all of which awarded him great accolades in the music world.

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

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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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Friday, March 20, 2009

Stamps Worth Millions Taken Away

Jim Ford, a stamp collector from Scotland, is mourning the loss of his precious stamp collection. The collection was originally started by his grandfather when he was a boy. The first stamps obtained were from letters from family members and friends who were scattered around the world. After his grandfather’s death, his uncle inherited the extensive stamp collection. Being confined to a wheelchair because of Multiple Sclerosis afforded him quite a bit of time to add to the already large collection of stamps from around the globe.

Ford, who collected stamps as a child, eventually inherited the collection. After an accident in 2001 left him disabled, he put his focus on expanding his collection. The collection feathered many valuable postage stamps. According to Mr. Ford, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC wanted to display the 36 “Washington Pinks” that were in his collection because they covered the Civil War years. The stamps were on correspondence between a soldier in battle and his fiancée. The Smithsonian had tentatively valued these particular stamps at around £18 million.

After a gas leak at Ford's home, the collection was packed up and put outside on the porch for a few hours during the cleanup. Council workers were arranged to pick up the old damaged furniture from the back of the home, but took the postage stamps instead. The stamps are now lost forever, despite his calls to have his collection returned.

Included in the mistaken stamp pickup were 840 Penny Blacks which are estimated to be valued between £1900 and £5000 each, the 36 Washington Pinks and dozens of Penny Blues. According to Ford, there was also a strip of three very rare stamps which were valued at £155,000. The good news is that he still has 11,000 stamps left in his collection, but none as valuable as the ones that were taken that terrible day.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Silver Dart Takes Flight

February 23, 1909 was a spectacular day in Canadian aviation history. It was on this frosty day that The Silver Dart first took flight about thirty feet above the Canadian ice covered basin. This historical experiment marked the first controlled powered flight in Canada and the British Empire. On February 23, 2009, Canada celebrated this amazing accomplishment by issuing a postage stamp honoring The Silver Dart.

The Silver Dart, otherwise known as Aerodrome #4 was the brain child of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and his team at the Aerial Experiment Association. The Association team consisted of members from both the United States and Canada who were dedicated to developing aircraft. The Silver Dart was originally designed and built in New York. After successfully taking flight several times in New York, it was dismantled and shipped to Nova Scotia to mark the first
Canadian flight.

Despite it’s flying successes in the US and Canada, the Canadian Army was not impressed by the idea of aircraft being used in warfare. At the time, they thought that aircraft would never be a useful tool in combat. Eventually the Association was allowed onto a military base to showcase The Silver Dart. Unfortunately, the tiny two inch wheels on the aircraft performed very poorly on the sandy runway. Sadly, on only its fifth flight, The Silver Dart crashed on landing when one wheel struck a berm on the ground. This was the last flight ever for The Silver Dart.

Be sure to check out Stamp Center for great Canadian stamps.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting A Piece Of The Rock

In America, when I think of “Gibraltar”, I remember the Prudential Insurance Company’s advertising theme slogan that was sung “Get a piece of the rock!” In 2002, the country Gibraltar offered just that, a piece of the actual rock. These unusual postage stamps join the growing list as one of the most interesting postage stamps of all time.

These stamps allowed you to own a piece of this amazing natural landmark by purchasing postage stamps. There were four stamps in the set. Each postage stamp is embellished with finely pulverized pieces of limestone rock dust that was bored out of the center of the Rock of Gibraltar. They were the first postage stamps ever to be produced with actual rock.

Gibraltar is rich in history dating from 711 A.D. There are traces of cave occupation which date back 40,000 years. Gibraltar is a self governing British colony that is only 2 ¼ square miles. It sits on the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates the Atlantic from the Mediterranean, and Europe from Africa. It has its own currency, radio station, newspaper, television station, naval and military troops, airport, and postage stamps.

Gibraltar is well known for their beautiful stamp sets. If you are interested in fantastic stamps issued from Gibraltar, come see what Stamp Center has to offer.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Prince Rainier III is quoted as saying that stamps are “The best ambassador of a country.” Prince Rainier continued to add stamps and covers to the Royal collection throughout his years of reign. Each stamp in the collection is in chronological order and specifically classified. There are three main time periods that Prince Rainier’s collection maintains.
Les Precurseurs, otherwise known as the “Forerunners”, contains stamps that date back to 1641. This section also contains French and Sardinian postmarks used in Monaco and Menton. Those postmarks were issued prior to 1885 when Monaco began issuing their own postage stamps.

“Les Modernes”, otherwise known as the “Modern” section, dates back to 1921 and up through current day issues. Prince Rainier III and Prince Louis II postage stamps are stored in this set as well as many other commemorative stamps.

“Les Classiques”, otherwise known as the “Classics” feature issues issues of Monegasque stamps from 1885 to 1921 covering the reigns of Charles III and Albert I.

Many of the postage stamps that are in Prince Rainier’s collection can also be found at The Museum of Coins and Stamps in Monaco. The Prince founded the museum to allow the public to become more acquainted with philately. According to the Monaco’s official website, “The Rare Stamp Room is the high point of the Museum where priceless items are on display, including a « strip of 5 Charles III 5 franc stamps » and an envelope sent from Menton on 12th April 1851 with one of the first issues of the Sardinian stamp that was then used in the Principality.

Prince Rainier died on April 6, 2005. Stamp Center has the Prince Rainier III souvenir sheet as well as other beautiful postage stamps issued from Monaco in stock and ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part I Of II

Prince Rainier, who served as the longest reigning Monarch, is touted as having one of the finest stamp collections of all time.

In 1917, Prince Albert I of Monaco bought a collection from the late Reverent G.G. Barber, who was an English Pastor who took up residence in Monaco. In this collection there were many philatelic rarities which included stamps cancelled from 1851 to 1885. It also included the first Monaco stamps that were issued with the head of Prince Charles III in 1885.

The collection expanded when Prince Louis II bought a set of mint first issues of the reign of Charles III and of Albert I from renowned collector, Albin Harnish. In 1937, Prince Louis II created the Monaco Philatelic Bureau and Post Office, which supplied and housed all of the Monaco philatelic issues.

Inheriting the stamp collection upon his accession to the throne in 1949, H.S.H. the Prince Rainier III kept the tradition of collecting stamps for the Royal Family a top priority. He searched and then added various vintage stamps that had been previously missing. He took an active role choosing the subjects, colors, sizes and formats of all stamps that were to be issued from Monaco. In fact, a Monegasque stamp could not be issued until it was officially approved by the Prince himself.

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

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Monday, March 09, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from Friday…

There are a couple of interesting things you should know about this stamp set. There were two stamps issued to celebrate the Entente Cordiale. Both France and England released the exact same stamps simultaneously. The stamps feature designs that are abstract paintings by one French artist (Sonia Delaunay 1855-1979) and one British artist (Sir Terry Frost 1915-2003). In small print in the upper left corner is the caption “Entente Cordiale 1904-2004.”

Apparently when the Royal Mail unveiled the stamps at the press briefing, the people in attendance were not pleased with these stamps. In the May issue of “Scott Stamp Monthly”, James Mackay described how the press release was going smoothly and then “all Hell broke loose.”

The renowned British philatelic journalist, Otto Hornung, denounced them as “meaningless and caption-less travesties.” Another journalist on the scene, Peter Jennings” denounced the stamps by calling them “crap”. The journalists thought that other art pieces would be more appropriate and more recognizable for the citizens of both countries.

I find it interesting that President Sarkozy holds these stamps in such high regard. I guess if the Queen of England gave some stamps to me, I would feel the same way though!

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Friday, March 06, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part I Of II

On Wednesday I wrote about how President Sarkozy of France has taken up the hobby of stamp collecting. As previously reported, one of his prize possessions is the Entente Cordiale postage stamps given to him by Queen Elizabeth last year. The stamps were originally issued by Great Britain in April of 2004.

The Entente Cordial postage stamps were issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an agreement between France and Britain that settled the colonial disputes between them. This agreement eventually led to an alliance between the two nations.
Britain and France share a rich history of war and peace. It was not until 1898 that the two powerful countries, who continued to seek expansion, ended up in the same location. The French wanted to increase their influence in Sudan as part of their expansion from West Africa. The British were expanding their territory from Egypt to the south. Both countries had troops arrive at Marchand, Fashoda, and Kitchener at the same time. It was decided that rather than fight for territory, British, Egyptian and French flags would all be flown together from the fort. This unprecedented agreement ended the colonial rivalry, and was officially signed on April 8, 1904.

Please check back Monday for the conclusion to the story.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When Philately And A Presidency Collide

When do stamp collecting and politics appear in the same newspaper article? When the President of France decides to take up this fantastic hobby!

President Sarkozy, who has been known to be unpredictable and have a hot temper in the past, is enjoying his new found love…stamp collecting. This wife, Carla Bruni reports that she is glad that he has taken up such a calming activity as well.

His new passion is even being fueled by the upper echelon of political society. At a visit to Windsor Castle last year, Queen Elizabeth gave President Sarkozy a set issued by the Royal Mail in 2004. These stamps were issued to celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale (Sarkozy’s now prize possessions) and many new stamp releases from Great Britain were supplied personally by the Queen. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, gave him a leather album filled with postage stamps as well. Other heads of state are jumping on the band wagon and sharing their stamps too. His collection to date is already quite extensive. I guess this is just another bonus given to a seated President. I wonder what Barack Obama will have in store for Sarkozy in the future.

President Sarkozy is now sponsoring a newly formed stamp club called the Elysee Philatelist Club, which is named after his official residence.

Other famed heads of state stamp collectors include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, King George V, Prince Albert, and Tzar Nicholas III of Russia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco and King Carol II of Romania II, to name a few.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UEFA Europass 2008 Postage Stamp

Football is one of the most popular sports in many countries around the world. We American’s refer to it as soccer though.

In 2008, the Austrian Post Office issued an amazing stamp to promote the UEFA EURO 2008 soccer tournament. UEFA EURO 2008 was held in June of 2008 and was the largest sporting event ever held in Austria. There was quite a bit of hype about this particular stamp as it was seemingly a one-of-a-kind concept.

At the time, experts in the philatelic world considered the stamp to be a fantastic creation. The stamp featured the normally 69 cm ball shrunk down to a mere 36 mm. The amazing thing about the stamp was that it was created by using the original material as the UEFA European Championship soccer ball. The synthetic mix with polyurethane was interesting to say the least. The stamp promoted Adidas as well.

Collectors and previous non-collectors clamored to pick up one of the 490,000 stamps that were released. At the time, the head of philately at the Austrian Post Office said “Altogether, the Europass stamp is our most sophisticated stamp in terms of typography and fabric.”
There were many attempts to perfect the stamp prior to releasing it to the public. The stamps had to endure special printing methods because it was made of plastic and not paper. The stamp production cost almost 20 times the price of normal postage stamps.

Sadly, there was one major problem that arose with these postage stamps…they would not stick to envelopes! As a result, large numbers of the stamps had to be withdrawn and replaced.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Stamps For Prince William’s 21st Birthday

Great Britain’s Royal Family is no stranger to having postage stamps issued in their honor. In fact, there have been stamps issued for family members since the beginning of their postage history. You can find various stamps with their image issued from many countries around the globe.

In 2003, Great Britain announced that they would issue a special commemorative stamp for Prince William’s 21st birthday. There were four stamps in the series with varying values. They were the first ever to be released in celebration of a Royal birthday. The Royal Mail printed 20 million of these princely postage stamps, which were quickly a best seller.

Critics have wondered if issuing these commemorative stamps were really a noteworthy event or if the Royal Mail was using Prince William as a way to make money from collectors and fans. Regardless of their motives, these stamps soared in popularity, not only in Great Britain, but around the world. The public could not get enough of these little images of the very popular Prince. Japan, Germany and the United States in particular, all clamored to get their hands on these stamps as well.

Prince William is the son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. He is next in line to the throne after his father. Check out the many Prince William postage stamps from around the world available at Stamp Center.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Canadian Recording Artists Postage Stamp

Stamp collecting traditionalists may cringe at the fact that Canada has now joined the small amount of nations that depict living people on postage stamps. I must say though, that I love these stamps! The stamps feature Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Anka and Joni Mitchell. These living Canadian musical icons still perform around the world today.

The stamp design was inspired by L.P. covers of each artist. Each stamp is actually square and features a photo of the artist at the height of their popularity. Additionally, each stamp features distinctive font types that depict the era.

The printing process was complex on these stamps. There is under-printing in metallic silver ink and then over-printing of the remaining colors. According to the Canada Post, the end result is a “lustrous sheen to the artists’ portraits, and lends a ‘platinum album’ feel to the shiny, disc-shaped stamp booklets and souvenir sheet.” The end result is a cool set that looks like a shiny compact disk.

I think these stamps are great! What a wonderful tribute to these talented performers. Stamp Center has these stamps in stock listed in their “Best Sellers of 2008” category. If you are looking for a wonderful addition to your collection, pick up the Canadian Recording Artists Postage Stamps today!

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Could There Really Be Another One In Existence? Part II Of II

Continuing on from the post on Friday…

Cong fought in many battles in Laos and Cambodia and served in the military until 1973. During his battles, Cong was comforted by the stamps he was collecting from the battle field. He carried his collection in a nylon bag in his pocket. He was known for picking up stray envelopes from fallen soldiers who were both friend and foe. His commanders even gave him permission to take stamps from the enemy’s documents.

After Cong returned home in 1975, he was saddened to find that his remaining family members had lost his original stamp collection which had contained stamps from 147 countries. Being an avid collector, he began his collection again from the stamps he had collected in battle.

Cong currently has thousands of stamps in his collection. Most are Vietnamese stamps and many were issued during the war. In Cong’s current collection there is one orange stamp with an image of Queen Victoria and a price of 1 penny. Along the side it says “Post Office” and along the other it says “Mauritius”. Cong says that he was given the stamp in 1951 or 1952 while on business in Cambodia. He believes that this stamp is another very rare example of one of the first postage stamps ever produced. Experts have yet to confirm or deny his claim, but if it is the stamp he claims, it surely is the find of a lifetime.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Could There Really Be Another One In Existence? Part I Of II

Any serious stamp collector dreams of the day when they find a stamp that is so rare that people will beg to just be in the same room that it is in. Sometimes these treasures become family heirlooms and other times you will find them on the auction circuit bringing in a great deal of money.

One such collector in Vietnam may be the second proud owner of the Queen Victoria Orange that was published in Mauritius in 1847. Until today, it was believed that there was only one stamp of its kind in the entire world. That particular stamp was last sold at auction in 1993 for an amazing $1,072,260.

The collector, Le Phi Cong began collecting stamps with his school chums when he was in third grade. He is now 82 years old. Cong was a dedicated soldier until he returned home in 1945 after Vietnam fell to the French. In 1946, Cong soon found himself joining the resistance war and headed back into battle. Participating in war, did not squash his desire to continue to collect postage stamps.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion to this story.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

New Zealand’s Hokitika Wildfoods Festival Stamp Set

There is an interesting event on the south side of New Zealand each year called the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. This yearly festival has been running for the past 20 years and draws crowds of 15,000+ people who want to experience eating strange food that cannot be found in the local grocery store.

The festival has become a premier event in Westland, New Zealand. Each year new wild foods are introduced. One of the weirdest was the wasp larvae ice cream. Like any good festival, local entertainment abounds, ranging from bands and solo singers to mimes and dancers. The festival has been awarded the “Most Unique Event in New Zealand” and the winner of the “New Zealand Tourism Award.” The untamed wilderness of Westland boasts glaciers, national parks,
lakes, rivers, wildlife and a rainforest.

To honor this crazy festival in 2005, New Zealand issued Europa stamps that could make your stomach churn. This special stamp booklet features West Coast Possum Pate, sheep’s testicles (that are an apparent delicacy), and worms. The stamp booklet also features actual award winning recipes so you can make your own strange food concoctions at home. The strange stamp set also features pictures of the festival participants having a blast and animal stickers.
If you are looking to add these strange Hokitika Wildfood stamps to your collection, Stamp Center has them in stock for you in their new “Strange and Unusual” category section.

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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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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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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Postage Helps Spread The Cheer

No bah hum bug here! With the holiday season in full swing, I thought it would be fun to showcase some of the beautiful postage stamps that represent this special time of year. Christmas stamps can be likely be found by every country that celebrates Christmas. They range from the religious variety (Madonna and Child) to the festive variety (trees and wreath types) to the cartoon type variety (Santa and Snowmen).

One of the funny postage stamps that I love comes from Antigua in 2006. It pictures Santa in his red and white bathing suit. Santa is enjoying his time on the beach in Antigua while being surrounded by presents. He is even wearing some cool Santa shades! Maybe this is where Santa hangs out while the elves are making all those gifts.

Of course in the United States, you are not just limited to Christmas stamps during the holiday season. You will usually find stamps representing Hanukkah, Kwanza and EID (Muslim holiday) at post offices around the country.
Be sure to check out Stamp Center for this Antigua stamp and all of your Christmas postage stamp needs.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Pay More For A Stamp Than You Should?

So why would anyone pay more for a postage stamp than they should. This entry is not about being ripped off by some unscrupulous stamp seller. It is however, about semi postal stamps.

A semi postal stamp is a stamp that is issued to raise money for some sort of charitable cause. The cost of the stamp is inflated above the cost of the normal postage stamp. Sometimes these types of stamp show the normal postage rate, but consumers pay a higher rate to help support the cause. Other times, a stamp will show two denominations that are joined with a plus sign. Purchasing these types of stamps is completely voluntary.

The first occurrence of a semi postal stamp was issued to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in Victoria and New South Wales. These 1897 stamps were sold for 12 times the face value of the actual postage.

In Switzerland and Belgium, stamp collectors prefer collecting semi postal stamps over regular postage stamps. Most of the time, these type of stamps out-sell regular stamps with the public as well.

The first semi-postal stamp was issued in the United States in 1998. This stamp helped support and bring awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Valuable Stamp That Had No Value Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday….

The stamp could be used for sending a free inland letter or postcard on the day the shares of the Dutch Post would officially be introduced at The Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The translation of the words on the paper that the stamp was mounted onto were: “This postage stamp is worth 80 cents on the day that PTT Post will be quoted at the Stock Exchage. On that day this little jewel will be valid for inland letters and cards up to 20 grams. Here you are!”

On June 29, 1998, the PPT finally appeared in the stock market. The “O” postage was only good for that one days mailing. Oddly enough, the stamp was not widely used by the public. There was only a small amount that ended up circulating through the mail system. Perhaps with having to wait 5 months to use the stamp, many people lost their “free stamp”. Perhaps people only regarded the original catalog packet as a form of junk mail and threw them out.

It is estimated that there were around 3,750,000 stamps printed and mailed to patrons.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Valuable Stamp That Had No Value Part I Of II

Here’s a fun and interesting story about a special little stamp from the Netherlands.
The Dutch postal service was owned by the government up until 1989. In 1989, PPT Netherland (Post, Telegraaf, Telefoon) became independent from the government. After a while, the decision was made to separate into two separate entities (mail and phone serves). It was also the intention to bring the postal service to the stock market. PPT Post soon became the first mail company in the world to be listed on any stock market.

In an effort to bring attention to this landmark event, officials decided to offer something special to their customers. It was customary for the Post to send a catalog out to all patrons each January showing what services were offered, as well as the respective costs involved. In January of 1998, the people of the Netherlands received a special gift from the Post.
Inside of their usual catalog there was a very nice stamp addition. The stamp was adorned with a picture of diamonds with a red velvet like background. The jewels were in the shape of a “zero” on the stamp.

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

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Friday, October 24, 2008

La Befana Canadian Postage Stamp

There is a stamp in Canada that was issued for Christmas, but reminds me more of Halloween each time I see it. The stamp features “La Befana”, who was a kind hearted witch in Italian folklore.

Legend has it that La Befana was sweeping her floors when the Three Wise Men stopped by her home and asked her if she knew where the Christ child was. She did not know, but she invited the Three Wise men to stay the night with her. The next day she was invited to join them in their search for baby Jesus, but La Befana declined their invitation because she was too busy cleaning. Later she changed her mind and wanted to see the baby. Despite her extensive searching, she unfortunately was not able to find the Wise Men or baby Jesus.

The legend states that she travels around the world, via a broomstick, up and down chimneys on Christmas Eve searching for Baby Jesus. Along the way, she leaves gifts in stockings for the “holy child” in each home she visits. There are several other similar types of stories about La Befana and her Santa Clause like travels and gift giving adventures.

This Canadian postage stamp shows La Befana flying on her broom stick. It is comprised of seven different colors.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Halley's Comet - Gonga/Niuafou'ou

Halley’s Comet is the most well known comet of all periodic comets. It currently is seen about every 75 years from earth. This comet is the only short period comet that is visible to the naked eye. Halley’ Comet made its last visit to our solar system in 1986. Astronomers and lay people alike wait anxiously for its next pass over in the year 2061.

Here are some interesting facts about Halley’s Comet…

The earliest recorded history of the comet began in China in 240 BC. There is speculation by theologians that the comet explains the Star of Bethlehem as depicted in the Bible. In the year 837 the comet soared the closest to the earth’s surface than it ever has before. The comet made the trip to our solar system in 1835, the year of Mark Twain’s birth. He later went on to write about how he came in with the comet and would leave with the comet when it returns again. Halley’s Comet’s next return was in 1910. Mark Twain died the day after its arrival.

Stamps have a fantastic way of telling a story or showing a brief snapshot of history. Tonga/Niuafou'ou produced a fantastic collection of stamps in 1986 that celebrated the return of Halley’s Comet. To purchase these beautiful and rare special issue stamps at a reduced price, check out this website.

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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, October 08, 2008

Take A Great Big Whiff

The great thing about stamp collecting is that you can collect whatever sparks your interest. Scratch and sniff stamps are some of the stamps that I find the most fun and interesting to collect.

The first scented stamp was released by Bhutan in 1973. It featured six stamps in the series, all with a beautiful rose scent. During the production of the stamps, each stamp was perfumed to smell like a rose by soaking in rose essence. Each stamp smelled like the rose that was depicted on the individual stamp.

The scratch and sniff technology has been around for quite some time (since the 1940’s). You might be wondering how scents are captured onto the actual stamps. The process is called Micro-encapsulation. Tiny particles (essence) are surrounded by a microscopic coating. When the surface is scratched on a stamp, only a few scented particles are released at a time. The scent will last easily for 5 years if not longer depending on the amount of scratching done
to the stamp.

Since the successful launch of the scented stamp in Bhutan, many other countries have released their own scented stamps. Flowers are by far the most popular scented stamp produced.
Keep a watch out for more scented stamp news that will be coming soon. Click here to view an amazing array of stamps and stamp collecting products.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Blue Mauritius On Display

Stamp collectors from around the world experienced a special treat at the WIPA Vienna International Postage Stamp Exhibition 2008 that was held in Austria last week. The legendary Blue Mauritius was on display for the world to see.

It arrived in grand style at the Schwechat Airport with security agents surrounding it. It is one of the most valuable and rarest postage stamps in existence today.
The Blue Mauritius was printed in 1847 and has a face value of two pennies. It was printed on the British Colony of Mauritius, which is an island that is located in the Indian Ocean. The Blue Mauritius is so valuable because it was one of the first stamps authorized by any British colonial government. Initially the stamp had the words “Post Office” printed on the edge of the stamp. Later versions of the stamp had the word “Post Paid” printed on the edge of the stamp.

The stamp has proven to increase in value as the years have gone by. There were initially 500 stamps printed, but there are only a couple known to currently be in existence. The last time this stamp was at auction, it sold for $3,829,500. It remains as the most expensive single Philatelic item that has ever been sold.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Fab Four...Beatles Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday.

This stamp issue consists of six self-adhesive stamps plus a souvenir sheet containing four stamps with water-activated gum. Each stamp has a stack of albums that are slightly askew. You can see just a small portion of the album covers just below the top album cover. It’s a pretty cool effect.

There are six album covers shown on the stamps. They are in chronological order as they were released. The albums are With The Beatles, Help, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, and Let It Be.

The four first class stamps do not have any domination and lie in the middle of some fun Beatles memorabilia items. There are buttons, records, a lunchbox and a toy guitar among other things on the souvenir sheet. The presentation pocket has a clear plastic pocket that features an identical picture as the souvenir sheet. When you place the souvenir sheet inside of the plastic pocket, it overlays the picture below. The pictures almost line up perfectly.
These stamps are sure to delight any Beatles fan. If you would like to pick up these wonderful Beatle’s stamps, follow this link.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

The Fab Four...Beatles Postage Stamps Part I Of II

Just like with the United States Postal Service, Great Britain has rules as to who and what can appear on postage stamps. Previously, only members of the Royal Family were honored with their own postage stamps. There have always been other types of stamps issued, but none of non family members. Times certainly have changed and a few years ago, so did the Royal Mail’s criteria for issuing stamps commemorative stamps. They are now issuing stamps with famous people, both deceased and alive, on some postage stamps. Of course the Queen’s head still appears on all postage stamps coming out of England.

The Beatles is one group that has been had a stamp issued commemorating their accomplishments. It should be noted that the stamps were issued because “their achievement is the focus of the design rather than their image.”

The Beatles are by far the most popular musical group to ever come out of England. Their fan base stretches around the globe. Interestingly enough, these beautiful stamps were issued in January of 2007 to commemorate the initial meeting of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1957. They serve to honor the cultural contribution to the British as well as the music they provided all around the world.

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

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Britain's Air Display Stamps Part II of II

In continuation to the post from Wednesday.

Parachutist, Robert Wyndham, is also honored with a stamp. His popularity from wing walking was fueled by the fact that he completed these dangerous stunts despite only having one arm.

The last stamp in the series features one of the many air races from the early 1900’s. Manufactures would showcase their designs at airshows and races would ensue. This stamp features William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse winning the race. He then went on to be the first pilot to win the Victoria Cross which is the highest military decoration that can be awarded for valor “in the face of the enemy”.

The 100 Years of Aviation Smilers Sheet has an amazing background that feature labeled aviation photographs that were taken from air displays over the past 100 years. There are 20 first class stamps of the Red Arrows in flight in the sheet.

The Royal Mail also produced an exclusive first day cover for the Smilers Sheet that was sold in sets of 4.These stamps would make a great addition to any stamp collection. Click here to purchase a wide variety of stamps that were issued from Great Britain.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Britain's Air Display Stamps Part I Of II

These new stamps are super cool! They were released in England on July 17, 2008. The six stamps featured in the series are sure to delight flight enthusiasts and stamp collectors from around the world.

The Red Arrows from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is honored on two of the stamps in the series. One stamp shows the airplanes using their trademark red and blue vapors painting the sky and the other shows a young boy watching as seven planes fly in formation overhead. The Red Arrows were formed in 1964 when the Royal Air Force combined all of their aerobatic teams into one single unit. They perform their amazing synchronized feats around
the world.

Another stamp honors the Royal Air Force Falcons which is the famous parachute team from the RAF. Each branch of the service has their own parachute regiment in England. The Falcons are famous for performing their freefalling and canopy maneuvers at speeds of up to 180 mph.

Cold War airplanes, The Avro Vulcan Protype and Avro 707’s, are also included in this stamp issue. These Royal Air Force V shaped bombers served as a nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The planes have been out of service since 1984.

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

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Canada's Lifesaving Society 1908-2008 Stamp

The wildly popular American television show, Baywatch, brought life guarding and life saving techniques into the mainstream. But lifeguarding is far more than beautiful tans and buffed bodies.

Canada is celebrating the centennial mark of Canada’s Lifesaving Society by issuing a new domestic rate postage stamp. Canada’s Lifesaving Society trains more than 500,000 young people to be lifeguards each year. This new postage stamp shows scenes of lifeguards in action.

Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in Canada and the United States. Most deaths are preventable and occur by non-swimmers when no lifeguard is present.
Canada’s Lifesaving Society’s primary goal is to increase public awareness about water safety and prevent drowning and water related injuries. This new stamp recognizes the importance of lifeguards and was released during the National Drowning Awareness Week.

There are three pictures on this stamp. The woman in the foreground represents all of the Canadians trained in Lifesaving Society programs each year. There are two action photos as well. One is of a lifeguard plunging into open water to make a rescue and the other is of a lifeguard performing CPR on an accident victim.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Official Worldwide Postage Stamp Collection for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad

China has done an amazing job hosting the Olympics this year. There have been many creative and interesting programs put in place that will be hard to beat when the Summer Olympics roll around four years from now.

For the first time ever, for any Olympic Games, there is a special stamp collection available to collectors worldwide. This rare souvenir set is a complete collection of all the postage stamps made for the Olympic Games (prior to the games). The collection has been put together by the China National Philatelic Corporation with approval by International Olympic Committee, and Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The stamp set is titled the “Official Worldwide Postage Stamp Collection for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad”. The stamp collection is a compilation of more than 120 countries’ postages stamps made especially to honor the Beijing Olympics Games. This joint stamp collection truly shows how countries can come together in good spirit and games.

This set is the only stamp set to ever experience this much international participation. There are only 30,000 sets that will be issued world wide. Each set comes in 4 volumes. The price is $4,257 and can be obtained in post offices around China. If you are interested in purchasing this collectors item, call (8610) 65103556 for more information.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Beijing Olympic Stamps

My parents instilled me a love for the Olympic Games, especially the summer Olympics. With the games in Beijing this year, I find myself staying up late, rooting for Team USA, being in awe of the amazing talents showcased from each nation and keeping track of the medals that were won by all. Simply put, it’s just plain fun to watch all of the athletes compete in these competitions. That being said, I thought I would showcase some of the wonderful stamps being offered to honor the Beijing Olympic Games.

In true Olympic host style, China released their initial stamps to commemorate Olympic venues, well before the games began. There are a total of six philatelic products that showcase the China Agricultural University Gymnasium, The Laoshan Velodrome, the National Indoor Stadium, the Peking University Gymnasium, the National Aquatics Center, and the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. There was an additional stamp issued to commemorate the National Stadium as well.
China also issued a series of stamps that commemorates both the Olympics and the Year of the Rat together. The stamps are titled “Olympic Year in China”. This is the 29th Olympiad and China skillfully integrated the 12 letters of “Olympic Games” with the 12 symbolic animals represented in the Chinese lunar calendar in a joint stamp design. Very cleaver!

Check back here for more Olympic stamp issue information.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Barbados Marine Life Stamps (1985)

People who love the sea are sure to enjoy stamps from Barbados. These stamps depict glorious sea creatures that represent some of what the waters and coral reefs off of the coast of Barbados has to offer.

Some people think that Barbados is located in the Caribbean Sea, but it is actually located just east of it, in the western Atlantic Ocean. Barbados is a tropical island that tourists flock to year round. The constant trade-winds help keep the island a mild temperature that everyone enjoys. The best time to visit the island is from November through May (to avoid the rainy season).

A few countries inhabited Barbados before the British Empire arrived on the island. Interesting enough, when the British arrived, the island was inhabited only by the feral pigs that were descended from those left behind by the Portuguese years before.

Barbados has been an independent nation since 1966, but Elizabeth II is the Queen of Barbados, as head of state. Because of their location, they are usually spared the experience of hurricanes, but typically receive them about every 26 years.

Regardless of what happened in the past, touring Bardados remains one of life’s most beautiful adventures to be had. The exquisite shorelines, marine life and beautiful landscape that slope’s to the sea are all breathtaking.

There are 16 beautiful marine life stamps in this collection. Click here for more information on how to purchase these lovely stamps.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Japanese Peace Bell Stamp

The Japanese Peace Bell was created 1952. The bell was created as a way to remind people around the world of the pure value of worldwide peace. In 1954, it was given as a gift to the United Nations, from the Japanese people.

Interestingly enough, the bell was cast from coins that were donated by the delegates of 60 nations who participated in the Thirteenth General Conference of the United Nation Associations that was held in Paris, France in 1951, as well as coins and metals donated from individuals. This truly is a symbol of peace from many lands.

The Japanese Peace Bell of the United Nations is located in New York City at the UN Headquarters. It is housed in a Japanese cypress wooden structure. The base stone of the structure was donated by Israel as a symbol of their commitment to world peace. In inscription on the bell says “Long Live Absolute World Peace”. The bell is traditionally run only two times per year. It will toll on the first day of Spring and on every opening day of the United Nations General Assembly’s yearly session, which is in September.

A stamp series was issued in 1970 to commemorate the Japanese Peace Bell. Click here to purchase sets of 3 or 6, or the Souvenir Card of the Japanese Peace Bell stamp that was issued by the United Nations.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Malaysia's New Stamp Release

Malaysia issued today a new stamp that will honor His Royal Highness Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'-adzam on Monday, July 14, 2008. He has served as Sultan since 1958. A grand celebration called the Golden Jubilee will follow on July 15th. Celebrations and the release of the stamps will commemorate his 50 year reign of the state of Kedah.

Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'-adzam was first elected as Deputy King and then King two times before becoming their Sultan. He is currently the 4th longest reigning head of state worldwide. He holds the title of the twenty-eighth Sultan of Kedah. The title of Sultan is an Islamic title. It is used as a title of certain Muslim rulers who lack dependence of any higher ruler.

The stamps are available in sheets of 22. The stamps come in three different designs. One stamp depicts Kedah as an agricultural state, where the rice paddy is the main source of income, resulting in Kedah being known as the National Rice Bowl. One stamp depicts the old Office of the State Secretary with a water fountain in the background that was built before the 25 year Jubilee. The last one is an illustration of modern-day Alor Star. There are limited edition folders that include first day covers and a set of stamps available.

If you are interested in purchasing these stamps, contact: http://www.pos.com/, or call 03-2275 6569 for more information about these stamps.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Memin Pinguin Stamps Racist Or Not Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Wednesday.

Interest in the stamps was spurred because of the criticism from the United States government, American Hispanics and African Americans. Sales of the stamps immediately soared. Within days, all of the stamps were sold out in Mexico. They immediately began appearing on Internet auction sites for many times their face value. As a result of the newly sparked interest in Mexico, the original comic books were then reissued.

The Mexican government and citizens alike took great offense to the United States because of the denouncement of these stamps and viewed the criticism as a personal attack on Mexico itself.

Just this week, new Memin Pinguin comic books have appeared at Wal-Mart stores in Houston, Texas. A patron spotted them on the shelf and demanded that they be removed immediately. This one store did, but others have not yet. Only time and public outcry will decide the fate of these comic books. Even though these stamps were released two years ago, the wounds are clearly still raw and controversial.

It’s up to each individual person to decide if these stamps are indeed racist.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Memin Pinguin Stamps Racist Or Not Part I Of II

In June of 2005, the Mexican Postal Service (SEPOMEX) issued a series of five stamps that featured a character named Memin Pinguin. Memin is a fictional character from Mexico that has been popular since 1943.

Once the stamps were released in Mexico, there was quite a bit of controversy, all the way to the United States White House. Many people, especially Americans immediately cried racism because of these stamps. The stamps depict an exaggerated Cuban-Mexican black child cartoon character with features that also resemble a monkey.

The stamps were issued as part of the History of Mexican Comics series. Memin Pinguin has been a popular Mexican comic book character since being created. He is so popular in Mexico that he has been interviewed by many magazine publications. He is also considered one of the most famous members of the Mexican Scout Association. Coinciding with the stamps release date, Memin was included on the Scouts June 1995 magazine cover.

Racism charges stem from the very unflattering manner in which Memin and his mother are drawn. In the comic books, he is often referred to as Negro and is at times kicked by lighter skinned people. This style of drawing has its roots in American minstrel and blackface shows, which would be considered highly offensive in this day and age if
they still existed.

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

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Prince Caspian Stamps

New stamps out of New Zealand are sure to delight the Chronicles of Narnia fans. New Zealand is celebrating it’s place as an amazing filmmaking location for both Chronicle movies to date; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The next movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is set to be filmed in Mexico.
In these stamps, there is a set of four Prince Caspian stamps and covers that depict Peter, Susan, Caspian and Pevensies on the beach.

Those purchasing the Prince Caspian stamp issue will enjoy five first day covers. One cover features the four stamps in the set and the others feature miniature sets that depict Prince Caspian, Queen Susan, High King Peter and the four Pevensie children. Each main character is shown in various Prince Caspian locations that are simply stunning.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels that were written for children. The books were written from 1949 to 1954 by C.S. Lewis. They have been translated into 41 languages and over 100 million copies have been sold worldwide. Narnia is a place where animals talk, good battles evil and magic is commonplace.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh That Sweet Chocolate Smell

Certainly one of the sweetest smelling stamps of all time came from Switzerland. The stamps were produced to mark the 100 year anniversary of Chocosuisse, which is the association of chocolate makers and importers.

These special chocolate scented commemorative stamps were released in May of 2001 and enjoyed wide popularity by the buying public and collectors alike. The stamps were sold in blocks of four or fifteen with paper that was designed to look like the foil wrapping on a candy bar. A light rub of a finger activates the special coating that in turn
will release the sweet aroma.

Initially the idea was to have the stamps not only smelling like chocolate, but also tasting like chocolate. Since extensive licking could destroy the stamp, and quite frankly, is not very hygienic, the tasting portion of the stamp idea was thrown out. People were left with just the sweet smells of chocolate that were sure to leave you wanting more. The scent was purely artificial and stored in millions of minute pellets that were held on by a slim layer of
varnish. (Now that does not sound very tasty at all!)

I am an avid chocolate fan. I would love to own some of these special stamps!

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Stamp Auction

Do you have an extra million dollars lying around? If so, there is an auction coming up in New York City that you might be interested in. The entire collection is estimated to be worth $5 million!

The Islander Collection auction will feature a historic collection of early South American postage stamps from the 1800’s. There are more than 300 rare stamps in the collection. Most stamps are from the 1840’s and 1850’s. The stamps originate in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. The stamps have been displayed at international exhibitions for decades. This is the first time that the collection has been gathered together in its entirety.

Brazilian stamps that are nicknamed the “Bull’s Eyes” will be sold as well as the most famous and valuable item in Brazilian philately, which is called the “Pack Strip”. The strip has two 30-reis and one 60-reis stamps joined together. They are estimated to sell for $1 million plus for just these stamps. A stamp from Argentina, that is the only surviving one-peso head to foot pair of stamps, which are printed upside down to each other, will also be for sale. There are many more treasures to be had in this auction.

The auction will be held on June 5 and 6th. Visit www.SiegelAuctions.com for more information. Bids will be taken both online and in person. The owner of the collection is a retired professor of economics. He lives outside of the United States and as of now, wants to remain anonymous. It will be fun to see how much the stamps actually go for. That’s a lot of dough!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Canadian Braille Guide Dog Stamp

The new Canadian Braille Guide Dog stamp has been a huge selling success! There were 3.5 million copies that were sold across Canada in the first four days that they were available to the public. The bad news is that in Canada, once stamps are sold out, they are no longer available. They do not reprint stamps like they do in other countries. The pace of the stamp’s selling set record for the Canada Post. So now we have an instant collector’s item to search for.

The 52 cent stamp has the denomination in both Braille and print, which is a first for Canada. They were sold in booklets of 10. Opening sales began on April 21st to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Association for the Blind.

The dogs photographed came from the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides training facility. Ten dogs were photographed with a total of 8 pictures used for the campaign. There were 100 images of each dog submitted for approval by the committee, which I am sure was no easy feat to accomplish.

An interesting bit of information is that the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind collects used postage stamps to raise funds for their organization. They collect special issues, foreign stamps and commemorative stamps. They do not collect regular every day stamps however. If you would like to donate any stamps to this worthy organization, send them to:

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind
National Office and Training Centre
PO Box 280
4120 Rideau Valley Drive N
Manotick, Ontario
K4M 1A3

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Monday, May 12, 2008

British Cathedral Stamps – New Release

After facing criticism in 2006 about the lack of a Christian theme on its Christmas stamps, the Royal Mail will be releasing a fantastic set of stamps tomorrow, May 13, 2008. These new stamps feature ten amazingly detailed photographs of the most famous cathedrals throughout The United Kingdom. Each stamp depicts interior pictures in black and white and perfectly shows how grand these fine structures are. Buyers will experience a first hand view of the high alter in each of these great cathedrals.

The Lichfield, Belfast, Gloucester, Westminster, St David's and St Magnus Cathedrals are featured in this stamp series.

Lichfield Cathedral is the only English cathedral with three spires which are called “the Ladies of the Vale”. This Gothic cathedral was begun in 1195. The Belfast Cathedral, located in Northern Ireland, was built around a parish church. There is only one window left of the original structure. There is a 100 meter stainless steel spire that was added in 2007. The Gloucester Cathedral was built in the 11th century. There is a 14th century stained glass window with what is believed to be the earliest image of golf ever depicted. St. David’s Cathedral is located at the most westerly point in the British Isles. The Westminster Cathedral (not to be confused with Westminster Abbey) began being built in 1895 and opened its doors in 1903, but work on the interior mosaics still continues to this day. St. Magnus Cathedral is located in the Orkney Islands and begun in 1137.

There is a four stamp mini-sheet set that will also be issued to mark the 300th anniversary of the completion of the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Viewing these stamps will take you back in history, hundreds of years ago. Simply spectacular!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

St. Helena - 1934 Centenary Issue

Saint Helena is located in the South Atlantic, near the island, Tristan de Cunha. Saint Helena is best known for being the place of exile of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1815 through 1821.

Unlike Tristan de Cunha (see post from last Friday and Monday), St Helena welcomes and encourages visitors to their beautiful island. There are approximately 4,000 residents of the island. There currently is no airport, so arrival is difficult and can only be obtained via fishing boat or ship. They do have a port-of-call, unlike their neighboring island. There are several hotels and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

Tourism is very important to island residents and is heavily based around the past imprisonment of Napoleon. Island residents believe that they have the best museum of Napoleon in the entire world. There are two national parks with rare flora, several of which can only be found on St. Helena. Mostly, the economy is suffering and St. Helena is largely supported by England.

St. Helena has produced its own postage stamps for years. Stamp sales are one of the main sources of income for the island. From the Post Office and Philatelic Bureau Bureau, “Stamp Advisory Committee meets regularly to ensure that issues of stamps incorporate designs of an historical, geographical, economical, constitutional or thematic nature which is of the interest to the stamp collector.” To purchase a set of 10 rare and amazing 1943 Centenary Issue stamps from St. Helena, or other stamps from St. Helena, visit www.stampcenter.com for more information.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

San Marino Anti-Discrimination Stamp

The small country, San Marino is a landlocked enclave, completely surrounded by Italy in the Apennine Mountains. It is a democratic multiparty republic. Their total population is approximately 25,000 residents. Their principal economic revenues are from tourism, electronics, banking, farming and light manufacturing. Like all other countries, the government makes most of its revenue from taxes and customs. However, San Marino is known for selling their coins and postage stamps to collectors around the globe.

According to the United States Department of State, San Marino has taken measures to assure the public of their intentions of fairness and equality to all citizens and visitors to their county. This tiny country is fighting discrimination with the issue of a new stamp.

This beautiful stamp has a picture of a female which stands to represent the Republic of San Marino. On her head you will find the three towers with the three feathers. There are oak and laurel leaves on her clothing. You will find the woman holding a scale with a nude woman and a nude man on either side. This signifies the principle of equality between women and men. This stamp depicts that women and men are equal in all aspects of work, law, skin color, disability, religious choices and sexual preference.

San Marino is a member of the Small European Postal Administration Cooperation. Members must have a small market of more than 50% of its philatelic customers living outside of their respective country in order to maintain membership.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Introducing Extended Albania Stamp Listings

County Stamp Center has just added extensive new listings for Albania issued between 1925 and 1989. Covering a wide range of popular topics, the stamps feature colorful folk costumes, dance and art as well as ancient through modern history. Communist Party and revolutionary stamps are prominent, reflecting Albania's 50-year history as a communist state. Click here to view the complete listing of 338 philatelic products from Albania.

Located in the Balkans of Southeastern Europe between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the Republic of Albania has often been swept along in the path of invading empires. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans have all left their mark -- and ruins. Albania was first settled in the Stone Age, its favorable climate and geographic location drawing Paleolithic man. Marauding armies later used it as an outpost as they moved through Europe expanding their empires. In 1200 BC Albania was settled by the Illyrians who brought culture and civilization to the western Balkans. Descendants of Neolithic man, their kingdom of Illyria followed much of the border of modern Albania.

It was during its years under Turkish rule as part of the Ottoman Empire, that most Albanians converted to Islam. The Turks were routed from Albanian soil during the second Balkan War, and in 1925 President Ahmet Zagu crowned himself King Zog I. His family's reign was short-lived when the Germans overran Albania early in World War II. The communists gained control of the country after the war. It was not until the 1996 general elections that communism was definitively defeated.

County Stamp Center is one of a select international group of foreign stamp new issuers. We carry a most extensive collection of foreign stamps. Visit our website to view our comprehensive collections. County Stamp Center puts the stamp world at your fingertips.


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.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Vampire" Moths Put the Bite on Summer

Colorful butterflies and moths flitting about the garden are one of summer's joys. Not so if you live in Finland. Vampire moths have invaded the usually chilly country, sinking their "fangs" into unsuspecting nature-lovers.

The steadily warming climate has changed the migration path of a species of moth that feeds on human blood, driving it north into Scandinavia. There have been nearly 200 signings of calyptra thalictri, the skin-piercing blood-sucker. The unusual behavior was first documented in Russia last summer. Only male moths suck blood, but both males and females can use their wicked "fangs" to pierce fruit and suck tears from large animals like elk and cows.

An unsettling thought, particularly given the beauty of butterflies and moths. Who knew some of them had a little "bite" underneath that glamorous facade! Fortunately, you have nothing to fear from the colorful African butterfly stamps shown. Issued by St. Thomas, the lovely 9-stamp sheetlet will make a delightful addition to any collection. Click the post title to order from County Stamp Center, and visit our website for all your philatelic needs.

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