World Stamps

New Seasons of Scott Base stamps from Ross Dependency feature thermochromic ink

Oct 29, 2020, 9 AM
Four new Ross Dependency stamps issued Oct. 7 by New Zealand Post feature heat-sensitive ink in the black background. When the stamps are warmed, a seasonal photograph taken at Scott Base is revealed. Shown is the souvenir sheet featuring the four Seasons of Scott Base stamps. The stamps were also issued separately in sheets of 25.

By Charles Snee

On Oct. 7 New Zealand Post issued four stamps and a souvenir sheet for Ross Dependency that highlight the winter, spring, summer and autumn seasons at Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research facility located on Ross Island in Ross Dependency.

The new issue is titled “Seasons of Scott Base.” Each of the four stamps (denominated $1.40, $2.70, $3.50 and $4) was printed in sheets of 25. The four stamps are also se-tenant (side-by-side) in a souvenir sheet.

Each stamp features a stylized fingerprint set against a black background. Below the fingerprint is the word “touch.” Heat-sensitive (thermochromic) ink was used to print the background.

In its announcement for the stamps, New Zealand Post said, “Thermochromic ink has been applied to these stamps, giving them a majority black finish, with a transparent fingerprint offering a glimpse beneath the darkness. The viewer must warm the stamp to reveal the magic of the Antarctic seasons.”

When warmed, each stamp reveals a different seasonal photograph of Scott Base. The photos were taken by Jonny Harrison, who works as an electrician on the base.

A winter scene featuring the Aurora Australis, or southern lights, is shown on the $1.40 stamp. Harrison’s picture of a spring sunrise at the base is on the $2.70 stamp.

The $3.50 stamp illustrates a summer sunset, and an autumn scene is featured on the $4 stamp.

Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica that is administered by New Zealand. New Zealand began issuing stamps for Ross Dependency in 1957.

Ross Dependency stamps have been issued annually showing wildlife, historic exploration, science research, ships and landscape scenes.

For those stamp collectors who are looking for a country that can be completed on a modest budget, Ross Dependency is an excellent choice.

The Seasons of Scott Base stamps and souvenir sheet are available on the New Zealand Post website.

For additional information contact New Zealand Post, Private Bag 3001, Whanganui 4541, New Zealand.

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