insightsPostal tax stamps paid postage while raising funds
July 31, 2015 12:27 AMOver time, some nations have instituted mandatory taxes on letters and packages. The amount of the tax has been small, but considering the volume of mail within the nations that collect postal taxes, the result could be a tidy sum. The taxes on mail were often (but not always) paid through the purchase of a postal tax stamp, which was required to be affixed to the letter or parcel being mailed.
insightsAs Liberia grew to nationhood, it needed stamps
July 30, 2015 08:37 PMLiberia’s battles with Ebola virus disease have claimed worldwide media attention since early 2014. It may seem frivolous to focus on the unfortunate country’s stamps, but the EVD epidemic seems to have abated, and you might find yourself curious about this remote country and its philatelic history.
newsHoodoo Re-Do: New Canada Post Dinosaur Provincial Park stamp
July 28, 2015 11:32 AMCanada Post issued a new stamp Aug. 21 to replace the withdrawn $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamp that had an incorrectly identified image. The original stamp was issued July 3 in Canada Post’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites series and withdrawn shortly thereafter, along with other products with the design mistake.
insightsFranklin’s flagship ‘Erebus’ joins Canadian philatelic fleet of discovery
July 28, 2015 09:16 AMWith no fewer than four different varieties issued Aug. 8, John Franklin’s HMS Erebus, the flagship of his 1845 voyage in search of the Northwest Passage, becomes the most commemorated ship of any Canadian explorer, although the expedition he commanded was anything but a success.
newsGreat Britain to feature bees from different regions on new stamps
July 27, 2015 07:00 PMRoyal Mail will issue 10 stamps Aug. 18 featuring seven species of bees from different parts of the United Kingdom. Four of the stamps are se-tenant (side-by-side) in a souvenir sheet, and the other six were printed separately in sheets of 50 (sold as panes of 25 in most postal outlets).
insightsTelegraph clock code system used on British datestamps in late 19th century
July 25, 2015 02:08 PMSpeed is of the essence of any postal service. The dramatic admonition written by the sender on the letter from the court of Queen Elizabeth I sent in 1598 shown here urges “Hast Hast Post Haste,” encouraging speedy delivery.
newsLighthouses of Australia, three European countries on new stamps
July 24, 2015 01:53 PMLighthouses of Australia, Croatia, Norway and Poland are pictured on new sets of stamps. Australia Post issued four se-tenant (side-by-side) stamps July 7 to commemorate 100 years of the commonwealth, or national, management of lighthouses.
insightsAustralia’s marsupial definitives are uncommonly fun and interesting
July 23, 2015 12:06 AMCommon stamps are called that because they are, well, common, except for when they’re not. A case in point is a group of definitive (regular-issue) stamps produced by Australia Post from 1959-62. The six Australia Native Animals stamps are a subset of a larger group of definitive stamps issued during the same time frame.
newsCanada’s coldest case closed: Franklin’s flagship found on stamps Aug. 6
July 22, 2015 12:08 AMIn a special ceremony July 22 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in the historic port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Post unveiled stamps commemorating John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 search for the Northwest Passage and the discovery in September 2014 of the sunken remains of his expedition’s flagship HMS Erebus.
insightsCosta Rica’s 1905 1-centimo overprint poses some collecting challenges
July 21, 2015 11:06 AMBy the end of 1905, Costa Rican postal authorities found that they were running short of 1-centimo stamps, even though 200,000 of the current 1c stamp (Scott 45) already had been printed by Waterlow & Sons. The 1c stamp pictures Costa Rican national hero Juan Santamaria.
insightsDominican Republic invert errors are hot
July 20, 2015 03:23 PMThe Dominican Republic, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, is the second largest Caribbean nation in both area and population, Cuba being the largest. The island was discovered by Columbus on his first voyage, and the capital, Santo Domingo, is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
insightsBNAPS spreads the good word about Canada and its philatelic wonders
July 17, 2015 10:41 AMAmong the riches of our stamp hobby is its remarkable literature. This ranges from weekly publications such as Linn’s, to which many contribute, to authoritative handbooks that a dogged scholar creates through years of research, to catalogs that are quite literally the work of generations.
insightsNotable and beautiful: The 1933 airmail semipostal stamps of Latvia
July 16, 2015 01:34 PMEverything about a set of four airmail semipostal stamps issued by Latvia in 1933 is notable. They were a new type of back-of-the-book stamp that still is seldom seen — one that combined the still new (in 1933) rage for aviation with charitable intentions to create the category known as airmail semipostal stamps.
insightsAre those stamps in your collection real or bogus issues?
July 15, 2015 07:15 PMEvery once in a while it is fun to buy a big stamp mixture or even an entire collection. And, having done so, you may find that the most fun is in finding mysterious stamps you may have never seen before, and then spending time with a catalog to unravel the mysteries.
newsBird stamps from Slovenia; Spain honors world’s large stamp mosaic
July 15, 2015 05:56 PMFive recent stamps from Slovenia not only picture birds, they also spell out the word “Posta” when placed horizontally in order of denomination. Posta Slovenije (Slovenia’s post office) issued these self-adhesive definitive (regular-issue) stamps May 29.
blogSeveral recent new issues feature cats
July 15, 2015 08:29 AMOne of the more popular topics that people collect is cats. One of the reasons I have been a bit delayed in my postings is our cat, Tabitha, needed some medical attention. She and her adopted brother, Conrad, have been inseparable since the day we brought them home together. Tabitha, at this moment, is sitting on my shoulder overlooking my work so I felt compelled to write about some cat new issues.
newsStamps from the Netherlands feature simple physics experiments
July 08, 2015 01:11 PMPhysics experiments that children can perform at home are illustrated on five stamps from the Netherlands. Called Discover Science, the stamps were issued July 20 in panes of 10 (two of each design) in collaboration with the Science Center Nemo, a hands-on interactive science and technology museum in Amsterdam.
newsHoodoo Snafu: Canada to scrap and replace $1.20 Dinosaur Park in UNESCO Heritage Site issue
July 07, 2015 08:12 AMIn a July 3 story that broke the very day they were issued, one of five new stamps celebrating UNESCO World Heritage Sites was found to have the wrong image. Canada Post will answer critics by withdrawing and shredding the stamps, and issuing a new stamp with an accurate image.
insightsAustria produced the world’s first newspaper stamps
July 02, 2015 01:08 PMThe first newspaper in Austria was published in 1605, and for many years newspaper publishers paid postal fees, in cash, to mail copies of their publications. Writing in The Collectors Club Philatelist of January 1951, Edwin Mueller suggested that the first postage stamp of the Austrian monarchy, issued in 1850, prompted the idea of a similar adhesive stamp to prepay newspaper postal fees.
newsNetherlands stamp celebrates Battle of Waterloo bicentennial
July 02, 2015 12:18 AMThe Netherlands’ PostNL issued a single stamp June 22 marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The nondenominated international-rate stamp shows a portrait of the Prince of Orange, later King William II.
insightsPeople’s Republic of China early issues remain strong
July 02, 2015 11:32 AMhe China market is definitely weaker than it has been in recent years. Many People’s Republic of China sets that used to sell for nearly 100 percent of Scott catalog value are now selling for around 50 percent of catalog value. A speculative bubble in the China stock market has been draining Chinese investors away from stamps. This stock market seems to have overcome some of the mistrust once held by many Chinese investors, and is drawing a lot of investor money away from stamps and coins.
newsLiechtenstein, Germany panoramas featured on new pairs of stamps
July 02, 2015 09:31 AMPanoramic views of nature are shown across three recent pairs of stamps. Two of these se-tenant (side-by-side) pairs were issued by Liechtenstein June 9, the first in a Nature Reserves series. Germany issued the third pair July 1, continuing a series called Germany’s Most Beautiful Panoramas.
insightsA shoe-shopping expedition on postage stamps
July 01, 2015 12:26 AMIf you agree with the maxim “you can never have too many shoes,” you may want to start examining postage stamps for the variety of footwear found there. A good place to begin on a philatelic shoe-hunting expedition is Belgium’s 2008 commemorative honoring the National Footwear Museum (Scott 2337). The museum is located in Izegem, a former shoemaking center.
insightsNepal is in the headlines, and in our stamp albums
July 01, 2015 11:27 AMOn April 25 of this year, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in Southeast Asia experienced a devastating earthquake that took the lives of more than 8,000 people. An aftershock on May 12 led to further death and destruction. How many people who watched the news reports of these devastating events knew where Nepal is and what the country is like? Those of us who are worldwide stamp collectors have an advantage, because we have learned global geography from our stamps.