From the category archives:

Postage Stamp Stories

Saudi Arabia Stamps

June 14, 2015

In Hebrew, it is known as Kipat Hasela, in Arabic, Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and in English, The Dome of the Rock. It is one of the few structures in the world that commands the respect of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. And in 1979, Saudi Arabia released an unusual stamp to honor one of the world’s most […]

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Chaos for Stamp Counterfeiters

February 8, 2015

In the early years of the twentieth century, a favorite country for stamp counterfeiters to play havoc with was Albania. Born into the chaos that swept across Europe with the outbreak of World War I, Albania released its first stamps in June of 1913. They were crude overprints stamped by hand on a Turkish stamp […]

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Stamps From a Land of Corruption and Cotton

April 21, 2013

Countries don’t get more corrupt than Chad.  Or more poor. Most stamp collectors dismiss Chad as one of those faceless French Colonies that fell into philatelic disrepute with the wave of independence that swept across Africa in the 1960s. A closer look reveals a sad and fascinating story. If you were a French civil servant […]

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The Guinness Book of World Records Stamp

June 30, 2012

Take a close look at these two stamps from Switzerland. The stamp on top, which looks blurry and blotchy, is not damaged or poorly produced.  It is an aerial photograph of 11,000 gymnasts.  The gymnasts are arranged to create the image depicted on the lower stamp. The “gymnast” photograph was taken on June 22, 1996, […]

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The Last Great Laos Stamps

January 16, 2012

Laos stamps managed to hold up well through more than twenty years of war.  But by the end of 1975, when the Pathet Lao had finally overthrown the monarchy of King  Savang Vatthana, the philatelic glory days were over. These are the last stamps issued by the Kingdom of Laos, an imperf set from the […]

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A Strange Stamp from Romania

December 24, 2011

Romania issued this stamp on April 26, 1946 to honor one of its most beloved citizens, Georges Enescu. Georges Enescu was not just Romania’s most accomplished violinist.  He was a symbol of the nation’s pride, perhaps the best known Romanian of his era. He was a prodigy, studied in Vienna, and made his U.S. debut […]

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The King of Nepal, Elvis, and an American Spy

January 26, 2011

Nepal has been issuing stamps since 1881, although its stamps were only valid for postage within Nepal and neighboring India until 1959.  Three years before this, Nepal released a set of stamps to commemorate the coronation of its King and Queen. The set is curious because King Mahendra had a new bride for the coronation.  […]

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Collecting St. Pierre Miquelon Stamps

January 5, 2010

St. Pierre Miquelon… for stamp collectors it offers a heritage of bootleggers, Nazi sympathizers and fascinating postage stamps. Virtually all of the whiskey that bootleggers smuggled into America’s east coast ports from “Rumrunner’s Row” spent time in warehouses on a small group of islands located off Newfoundland.  A little known outpost of the French Empire […]

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A Historic Stamp Auction in Cairo

January 3, 2010

In February, 1954 many of the world’s stamp dealers converged on Cairo.  The military government which had ousted King Farouk two years earlier had retained the London firm of H.R. Harmer to auction off his extensive postage stamp holdings. While the frequently ill-mannered Farouk caroused in Europe, his massive holdings of stamps were put on […]

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The “Klaipeda” Overprint

January 1, 2010

You may have a tough time identifying this stamp.  Don’t feel badly,  because following World War I the Allied Powers had a tough time figuring out what to do with the country it comes from. The stamp is from Memel, originally part of Prussia but heavily Lithuanian. Following the war,  Memel was detached from Germany […]

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