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Peculiar Postage: Unusual Stamps from Around the World, Part Two

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

Stamps with embedded volcanic ash, sand from Sahara dunes, and even precious crystals

A while ago, we took a look at examples of strange and noteworthy stamps from around the world. Today we have another fascinating look at some of the more peculiar, quite unusual, slightly odd and downright weird postage stamps from around the world.

Since philately and stamp collecting are somewhat specialized fields of study, this article doesn’t examine postage stamps in terms of their financial value to collectors. Instead, here is just a selection of some of the more unusual and often very strange postage stamp designs that have appeared in various countries over the years.

This Israeli stamp has a portrait of H.G. Wells and the time machine from his novel. This was part of a set featuring famous science fiction authors including Wells, Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov:

(image via)

Here’s a Paraguayan stamp printed on cedar:

(image credit: Copyright 2009 by Linn's Stamp News (www.linns.com). Used with permission.)

We’ve covered high denomination currency from Germany’s hyper-inflation period in the 1920s in previous articles here at Dark Roasted Blend, but here are some postage stamps from that time. This stamp was originally valued at 200 marks early in 1923, but had been surcharged to cost 800,000 marks later that year:

(image credit: Copyright 2009 by Linn's Stamp News (www.linns.com). Used with permission.)

The Swarovski Crystal souvenir sheet of stamps issued in Austria in 2004 is embedded with tiny Swarovski crystals:

(image credit: Heindorffhus Shoebox)

To commemorate the Davis Cup, these Russian stamps in 2003 depicting a clay tennis court contain have genuine clay particles:

(image via)

There have been a number of scented stamps around the world over the years. This UK scratch and sniff stamp, which smells of eucalyptus, was issued in 2001 for the centenary of the Nobel Prize:

(image via)

French Polynesia produced this pineapple-scented postage stamp in 2005:

(image credit: Universal Postal Union)

More scented stamps from Germany, these smelling of apple, huckleberry lemon or strawberry:

(image via)

In 2008, Finland issued the world's first transparent postage stamp (printed on plastic):

(image via)

Although this 2010 Netherlands stamp only measures 3 cm by 4 cm, it actually contains a book complete with a story:

(image via)

Also from the Netherlands, is this 2010 stamp featuring what is claimed to be the smallest and shortest film in the world. At a certain angle, the stamp has animation in which Dutch actress Carice van Houten bites someone’s finger:

(image via, click to see the whole animation)

This is the world’s first embroidered stamp, from Switzerland in 2000:

(image via)

Another embroidered stamp, issued in Micronesia for the Year of the Dragon:

(images via 1, )

From Brazil, this stamp is printed on synthetic fabric, and has invisible ink that’s luminescent under UV light:

(image credit: VietStamp)

These are also from Brazil, featuring local species of bats:

(image via)

Printed on cork, this Ecuador stamp commemorates 200 years of independence:

(image via)

Apparently the only country to issue stamps printed on tinfoil, Bolivia produced this example in 1986 celebrating the Winter Olympics, which took place in Calgary in 1988:

(image via)

This Moroccan stamp contains real sand from dunes in the Sahara Desert:

(image credit: VietStamp)

This one was printed on wood by Djibouti to celebrate a Japanese royal wedding:

(image credit: Iomoon)

The $10 postage stamp is the highest face value of stamp ever issued in Canada, so it’s perhaps fitting that it features the enormous Blue Whale. The Latin scientific name of the creature is written in micro printing and krill and a human diver can be viewed under ultraviolet light:

(image via)

Israel came up with this 15 page booklet of stamps which acts like an animated flip book:

(image via)

In 2010, Iceland issued three stamps marking the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, containing very fine grains of volcanic ash:

(image via)

Last time, we featured stamps from Bhutan containing a real CD-Rom. This stamp from North Korea, issued at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, contain an actual DVD:

(image via)

The Sami people are Arctic indigenous people living in northern Scandinavia and parts of Russia. This stamp from Finland is the same shape as the floor plan of the Sami Cultural Centre opened in early 2012:

(image via)

The New Zealand hologram stamp appeared in 1994 for the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing:

(image credit: NewZeal.com)

Also on a space theme, this aluminum stamp with fluorescent ink was issued for the Soviet Union’s Cosmonaut's Day in 1965:

(image via)

These recent United Arab Emirates stamps have a seed from the Ghaf Tree:

(image credit: SlimStamps)

In 2007, the Beatles, or rather some of their familiar album covers, were featured on these British stamps.

(images credit: John Coulthart, 2)

And finally, in another tribute to the sixties, these 2011 postage stamps feature Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation British TV shows from the 1960s - Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90:

(image credit: http://scstamps.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?products_id=4045)

These four stamps feature Thunderbirds 1, 2, 3 and 4. The sheet can apparently be viewed in a way so you can see the various crafts’ launch sequences:

(image credit: slouchingtowardsthatcham)




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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not huckleberry, it's bilberry.

Blogger Hirayuki said...

My impression is that just about everything Iceland issued in 2010 contained very fine grains of volcanic ash.

Anonymous Graciella said...

Wow, so cool. Especially love the Beatles one :)

BTW, your site is awesome. Just discovered it from a 'Best of Blogger' list. Will definitely be back again and again as there's so much to see.


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