World Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Canada's Year of the Horse issue incorporates embossed foil

December 27, 2013 08:08 AM

  • Canada Post will issue two Year of the Horse stamps Jan. 13 in its ongoing Lunar New Year series. This 63¢ stamp shows a red horse design. The $1.85 stamp with embossed design is pictured nearby.

  • Canada’s $1.85 Year of the Horse stamp for the international letter rate will be issued Jan. 13. The design incorporates embossed foil for the horse silhouette.

Canada continues its Lunar New Year series Jan. 13 with new stamps and souvenir sheets. Postal cards are possible as well.

All will mark the coming year of the horse, which begins Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 18, 2015.

The new issues are a 63¢ Year of the Horse stamp and a $1.85 international letter-rate stamp. Two nondenominated ($1.99) international-rate postal cards are possible, but had not been announced as of late December.

The 63¢ stamp will be issued in panes of 25 with moisture-activated adhesive.

The $1.85 international rate stamp will be issued in a souvenir sheet of one with moisture-activated adhesive, and in a self-adhesive booklet of six that is designed to fold up and fit in a wallet.

Also, for the third time, a two-stamp pane called a “Transitional Souvenir Sheet” by Canada Post will be issued. This pane will contain one of the new $1.85 stamps, and a $1.85 Year of the Snake stamp using the design from 2013.

Canada Post began its Lunar New Year series in 1997 with a 45¢ Year of the Ox stamp (Scott 1630). The first 12-year cycle was completed in 2008 with the Year of the Rat stamp and souvenir sheet (2257-58).

The second cycle began in 2009 with a new Year of the Ox stamp and souvenir sheet (Scott 2296-97).

Like the international rate souvenir sheets issued starting in 2009, the Year of the Horse souvenir sheet is in a vertical long scroll format with the stamp near the bottom of the sheet. Canada Post will also offer the souvenir sheet in uncut press sheets of 12.

The two postal cards, if issued, are likely to feature the same imprinted stamp designs as the permanent stamp and the $1.85 stamp, with enlarged versions of the designs on the picture side. The postal cards typically sell for $1.99 each.

The Year of the Horse stamp and souvenir sheet were designed by Louis Gagnon and Daniel Robitaille of the firm Paprika. The design of the 63¢ stamp shows a red silhouette of a horse set on a white background. The horse’s tail and mane are designed to flow continuously from stamp to stamp on the sheet.

The design of the $1.85 stamp features an embossed foil horse. Previous Lunar New Year stamps have incorporated small elements of foil but never for the complete design of the animal.

The Year of the Horse stamps in a pane of 25 were printed by Lowe-Martin using four-color offset lithography, varnish and embossing. The booklet of $1.85 stamps was printed using one-color offset lithography and foil stamping. The souvenir sheet of two was printed using four-color offset lithography, varnish, foil stamping and embossing. The transitional souvenir sheet was printed using seven-color lithography, two different foil stampings, and embossing.

All of the stamps were printed on Tullis Russell paper, with general tagging on all four sides.

The stamps and souvenir sheets have PVA gum and are perforated about gauge 13.

Printing quantities are 100,000 panes of 25 stamps, 150,000 self-adhesive booklet stamps, 400,000 souvenir sheets of one, and 175,000 souvenir sheets of two. Canada Post is also offering 13,000 uncut press sheets of 12 international rate souvenir sheets each.

The pane of 25 permanent stamps is Canada Post item 403908107, the booklet of six international stamps is item 413908111, the souvenir sheet of one is item 403909145, and the souvenir sheet of two is item 403908145. Item numbers were unavailable for the uncut press sheet and postal cards.

Canada Post will service 37,000 official first-day covers bearing the 63¢ stamp (Canada Post item 403908121) and 50,000 FDCs for the souvenir sheet (item 403908144). The FDCs will bear Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, postmarks.

Stamps and FDCs will be available by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre, Canada Post Corp., 75 St. Ninian St., Antigonish, NS, B2G 2R8, Canada; or by telephone from the United States and Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.

Stamp information can be found in the newsroom section of Canada Post’s web site at

Canada’s stamps and stamp products are available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557.