The Country With 1 ATM and 900 Different Stamps

November 22, 2014

Collectors with a fondness for the French Colonies enjoy the stamps of Wallis and Futuna, a small group of volcanic islands in the South Pacific between Samoa and Fiji. The territory’s first stamps were released in 1920 and were on sale for eight years.  They were overprints of the long running New Caledonia stamps of […]

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Is This The World’s Most Beautiful Post Office?

November 15, 2014

The Post Office in Algiers, known as La Grande Poste d’Alger, is a stunning building. The post office was built in 1910 and was designed by a pair of French architects who blended Moorish, Algerian, and Andalusian styles. If you went into this post office to buy stamps when it first opened, you would have […]

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Horror Outside The Stamp Show

May 24, 2014

For three days in September of 1943, stamp collectors in Zagreb temporarily set aside their war torn lives and enjoyed Croatia’s Third Philatelic Exhibition. The event had been postponed for a week because of uncertainties in Zagreb triggered by the surrender of Italy, Croatia’s Axis ally, on September 8th.  But under the leadership of the […]

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France Stamps Move At Their Own Pleasant Pace

April 26, 2014

Sometimes things don’t unfold as quickly in the world of stamps as you might expect, and you can find two examples of this with French stamps. The Eiffel Tower had to wait for its fiftieth anniversary to appear on a stamp.  Funds raised by the release of the 1939 semi-postal were used to help pay […]

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Europa Stamps For Collectors

October 21, 2013

On September 15, 1956, Elvis Presley had just finished recording his second album. New York Yankees Pitcher Whitey Ford was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. And in post offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, the very first Europa stamps were put on sale. In 1957, common design Europa stamps were […]

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Mauritania Stamps Go Looking For Foreign Aid

August 26, 2013

Stamps from Mauritania have always portrayed some controversial characters. In 1974, the Islamic Republic released this stamp commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Vladimir Lenin. This stamp is an imperf, issued without perforations.  Imperf, or imperforate stamps, are prized by many stamp collectors for their unique appearance.  This particular stamp comes from the […]

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France Stamps and The Mystery of Marianne

August 14, 2013

Marianne has now graced hundreds of French stamps.  She appears on coils, die cut self-adhesive stamps, even souvenir sheets. Over the years her image has been shaped to reflect her times, but her presence for the past seventy years has been a constant. As the national symbol of France, a woman who captures the qualities […]

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The Nation’s Founder Who Vanished From Its Stamps

July 20, 2013

The complexion of a nation’s stamps can change in a hurry.  When governments fall and heroes are forgotten, or worse, stamps are fairly reliable beacons of who’s in favor and who’s not. The stamps of Czechoslovakia provide a perfect example of this. On August 18, 1945, the government issued a set of stamps depicting soldiers […]

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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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Liechtenstein Stamp Collecting

February 11, 2013

One of the pleasures of stamp collecting is how seductively our hobby leads us down roads we never thought we would take. Years ago, I became so fascinated with Liechtenstein stamps that I literally went down that road, visiting Liechtenstein twice. It is stunning beautiful. It is also intriguing, particularly when you consider how a […]

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