World Stamps

Is Iceland’s stamp program coming to an end?

Aug 28, 2019, 4 PM
Iceland issued three stamps July 22, 2010, with ash from the eruption the Eyjafjallajokull volcano a few months earlier embedded in the ink used for parts of the stamp design. A triangular airmail stamp showing a gyrfalcon was issued in 1930.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

Iceland’s has a long tradition of issuing interesting and innovative postage stamps, but the writing seems to be on the wall for its stamp program.

In an article in the Sept. 9 issue of Linn’s, Denise McCarty reports that Iceland’s stamp and philatelic department will close this year, according to the head of its stamp program.

Also, Iceland postal officials have reported the strong possibility that the nation will stop issuing stamps as soon as 2021.

It is hard to put into words how foolish this decision would be for a country that has remained tried-and-true to honoring its culture, history and more with its stamp program since it began issuing stamps in 1873. Stamps serve as a valuable tool for a country to showcase itself to the rest of the world.

Two of my favorite issues from Iceland represent different eras in stamp design: the 1930 triangular airmail stamp picturing a gyrfalcon (Scott C3) from the classic era, and the 2010 set of three with ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano embedded into the stamps (1206-1208) from the modern era.

I reached out to Scandinavian stamp dealer and specialist Jay Smith for his reaction to the news from Iceland. His insights are presented in a What Others are Saying column in the Sept. 9 issue.

Only time will tell what Iceland’s postal officials ultimately choose to do in the next few years. I sincerely hope that they continue to issue interesting stamps long into the future.

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