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Monday Morning Brief | India issued the world’s first round stamp in ...

May 22, 2017 08:00 AM

Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty provides the answer, and along the way reviews the fun side of round stamps, from Austria’s 2008 issue made from soccer ball material to the forthcoming 2017 Have a Ball! stamps from the United States Postal Service that feel like the sports balls they depict.

Full Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for May 22, 2017.

Eight upcoming stamps from the United States Postal Service are shaped like round sports balls and feel like them as well. The eight stamps will be issued June 14 at the 117th U.S. Open Championship in Hartford, Wisconsin.

These Have a Ball! stamps picture a football, volleyball, soccer ball, golf ball, baseball, basketball, tennis ball, and kickball.

The Postal Service reports that a special coating was applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process that gives them a texture that mimics certain parts of the balls, such as the stitching on the baseball, the dimples of a golf ball, the seams of a tennis ball, and textured panels of soccer and volleyballs.

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As for the other three stamps, the Postal Service says that they feature the different raised patterns of the football, basketball and kickball.

Both round stamps and textured stamps have been around for a while. In fact, the first round stamps were issued in 1852, just a dozen years after the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840.

These 1852 round stamps are not only considered the first stamps of India, but all of Asia as well. They were issued for the Scinde District, which is now in Pakistan, and are nicknamed the Scinde Dawk stamps. The word dawk refers to an earlier postal system of runners.

The first of these stamps, the ½-anna red, is an embossed wafer similar to sealing wax. One of the great rarities of India, the few surviving examples of this stamp sell for thousands of dollars.

Texture can be more difficult to pin down because it is not as easily defined when it comes to stamp production as is the shape of a stamp.

But an early example of a texture that was used to create a special effect that matches the stamp subject is found on a set of stamps issued by Bhutan in 1968. The stamps picture paintings and mimic the artist’s brushstrokes.

In 1973, this small kingdom in the Himalaya Mountains issued a round stamp printed on plastic that looked and felt like a vinyl record and could play recordings as well.

And coming back around to sports, an Austrian stamp issued in 2008 is very similar to the new Have a Ball! stamps from the United States.

The Austrian stamp is round, pictures a soccer ball, and was printed using the same materials used in the manufacture of these balls.

For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott catalogs, I’m Denise McCarty. Keep up on the latest stamp news by following Linn’s Stamp News on Facebook and Twitter.