World Stamps

Look for unissued Polish space stamp for Soyuz mission

Feb 1, 2021, 8 AM
Recent realizations for Poland’s unissued 1978 6.90-zloty Maj. Zenon Jankowski stamp range from about $125 to about $325. The unissued stamp is a good buy in the $125 to $175 price range.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

On June 27, 1978, Poland issued a set of two Maj. Miroslaw Hermaszewski stamps (Scott 2270-2271). The major-number listed stamps were inscribed “27.6.1978” (June 27, 1978), the date on which the Soviet Soyuz 30 mission launched. Minor-number listed variants (Scott 2270a-2271a) omit the date.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values both versions of the 1.50-zloty stamp in mint never-hinged condition at the catalog minimum of 25¢. The 6.90z stamp with the date is valued at 35¢, while the version without the date is valued at 65¢ in mint-never hinged condition.

Soyuz 30, which docked with the Salyut 6 space station June 29, 1978, was the only Soviet or Russian space mission crewed by a Polish cosmonaut. The other member of the crew was Belarusian cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk. Major, later colonel, Zenon Jankowski trained as a backup cosmonaut to Hermaszewski in case he was unable to fly on the mission.

Jankowski, born in Poznan, Poland, on Nov. 22, 1937, is still living. Polish postal authorities prepared a 6.90z Maj. Zenon Jankowski stamp, evidently in case he actually flew on the mission, but the stamp was not issued. Some examples of the unissued stamp have found their way into the stamp market.

The unissued stamp is noted but not listed or valued in the Scott Standard catalog.

There is demand for this stamp from collectors of Polish stamps as well as space topical collectors. Recent realizations on the online auction site eBay range from about $125 to about $325. The unissued stamp is a good buy in mint never-hinged condition in the $125 to $175 price range.

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