Jersey’s Europa stamps mark underwater wonders
By Molly Goad
Jersey Post’s latest release, Europa: Underwater Fauna and Flora, showcases images captured along the island’s scenic coastline. The Jan. 8 release is an installment within the 2024 Europa series.
The first Europa stamps were issued in 1956, and since 1993, PostEurop has coordinated this multination series.
PostEurop advocates for the interests of European public postal operators. Each year, a thematic focus for the Europa stamps is chosen, encouraging the participating postal administrations to creatively interpret and share their perspectives, fostering awareness of the shared roots, culture, and history of Europe.
The 2024 theme, underwater fauna and flora, promises a visual journey into the vibrant and diverse aquatic life that inhabits European waters.
Jersey Post’s contribution features images skillfully captured by local underwater photographer and cold-water swimmer Nicola Miskin.
In the Jersey Post press release for the stamps, Miskin shares her experience: “Photographing underwater opened my eyes to a beautiful world. The ever-changing sea is a studio of colors, patterns, and reflections.”
Miskin’s love of underwater photography started in 2018 when she was given an underwater camera, which she used to master the art of photographing scenery while being buffeted by the currents. Harnessing the natural light from the water’s surface, her photos showcase a vibrant underwater world hidden from view around the island.
The issue contains eight different stamps in various denominations, featuring snakelocks anemone (60-penny stamp), bladder wrack (98p), common limpet (98p), compass jellyfish (£1.65), flat periwinkle (£2.15), sea lettuce (£2.95), carrageen (£3.75) and great scallop (£4.85 stamp).
Only the 98p Bladder Wrack and the £2.15 Flat Periwinkle stamps include the Europa logo. The souvenir sheet pairs these two stamps against a backdrop of velvet horn seaweed.
Bladder wrack is a common seaweed that grows between high and low water marks on rocky shores. Thriving amid the seaweeds on which it feeds, the flat periwinkle inhabits the lower regions of the shoreline.
As for the underwater fauna and flora featured on the other stamps in this issue, snakelocks anemones are found attached to rocks on the low shore and in shallow seas.
Common limpets are small conelike shells often seen firmly clamped to the side of rocks in rock pools.
The compass jellyfish, with its yellowish white hue adorned by intricate brown markings along the fringe and atop the bell, possesses a potent sting.
Sea lettuce typically appears in a vibrant green hue and is widespread across all coastlines in the United Kingdom.
Carrageen is reddish purple seaweed that grows in small branching fans on rocky shores.
Great scallops stand out due to their notable size and evenly shaped wings, setting them apart from other scallop varieties.
Other products associated with Jersey’s new stamps include a first-day cover, presentation packs, panes of 10 for the individual stamps, blocks of four, a sheet set with all of the stamps in separate panes of 10, and more.
Printed by bpost, Belgium, by offset lithography, the stamps measure 35 millimeters by 35mm, while the souvenir sheet measures 110mm by 90mm.
For more information, visit Jersey Post online.
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