[Updated] LGBT Rights on Stamps

Although it’s been a while since LGBT rights advocacy made it into mainstream culture, it took a little longer until awareness about these rights made it into stamps. But once the precedent was set, it seems that there’s a fair portion of stamps devoted to the topic in recent years. Basically, we are talking about the period between 2010 and 2020 – but more, more LGBT-themed stamps are sure to come, making this topic a new topical interest for collectors worldwide! Below you can find in chronological order the stamps of this history-in-the-making. I chose to exclude the stamps devoted to allegedly LGBT or openly LGBT personalities on stamps, but focus on the stamps related to human rights, events, and commemorations related to the LGBT communities worldwide.


The first LGBT-themed stamp I know of was issued in 2010 by the Austrian Post.


It was issued to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Rainbow Parade in Vienna.

Continue reading “[Updated] LGBT Rights on Stamps”

A Short Illustrated History of Cryptostamps

Welcome to this short illustrated history of cryptostamps. It’s short because so far not many cryptostamps were issued, but also because it does not seem to me the craze of cryptostamps really caught on. Future will have to convince the eager non-believer in me, but for the time being it’s fair to assume postal administrations will not bulk up on this geeky topical interest too much in the future.

What are crpytostamps?

First off, is it cryptostamp, or crpyto-stamp? Its novelty effect for me is showcased perfectly by the fact it’s often written with a hyphen. Remember the time we were writing e-mail instead of email? All newly coined words come out as hybrids and it’s only speaker community acceptance that gives the verdict, whether the coinage will stay with us as a linguistic stampe, or will replace completely the trite stamp, or will vanish forever and not be remembered by anyone.

What is a cryptostamp after all? A crpyotstamp is a stamp with a fancy design, loads of security elements, virtual currency trading options, and to top it all, with a twin virtual stamp associated to it through a secure connection.

Fancy design: for sure, as you will see below, crpytostamp design is inclusive of all high-tech offset printing findings. There are film printings, inlays, engravings, biodegradable latex scratchcards, credit-card shaped plastic bases, cutoffs, you name it. Packaging comes as an extra – some come in sleek holders and presentation packs.

Pictured above an Austrian crpytostamp. It is sold in a plastic holder similar to creditcard holders and a carton presentation pack.
Continue reading “A Short Illustrated History of Cryptostamps”

2020 Stamp Releases from United Nations

I am truly honored to host on my blog a post that was made possible through the kindness of United Nations Postal Administrations, featuring the latest releases from the three offices of the Postal Administration, from New York, Geneva, and Vienna.

Order the latest UN Stamps directly from the official website here. Stay updated on new releases by browsing the Fascination magazine – issued quarterly in English, German, French and Italian. *.pdf versions thereof can be browsed online or downloaded from here.

We are all in this together

2020 brought in our lives disruption and uncertainty, but also stricter reconsideration of the way we interact and togetherness, implicitly or explicitly, in ways we thought already impossible. In an effort to restore our hope in humanity, many postal administrations issued stamps to COVID-19 awareness, opening a new topical interest for collectors worldwide. Under the heading We are all in this together (dubbed in French as: Réagissons ensemble; and in German: Gemeinsam sind wir stark), UN Postal Administration issued on Aug-11, 2020 6 stamps (2 per issuing office in New York, Geneva and Vienna) to raise awareness about the new normal.

The stamps are available as stamp sheets, singles, and a minisheet combining the 6 issues of the three postal administrations. First day covers featuring additional graphics and first day of issue stamps are also available. Rorie Katz designed the minisheet, while Chiara Fiori provided the additional illustration.

Pictured above, the minisheet combining the 6 stamp issued, each representing a different facet of the COVID-19 response: pesonal hygiene, myth-busting, social distancing, goodwill, symptom recognition, and solidarity.

World Heritage – Russian Federation

World heritage sites recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) are not a first presence on United Nations stamps. Russian Federation sites recognized by UNESCO as world heritage are pictured in the 6-stamp issue from United Nations from Sep-11, 2020.

Pictured above: Kremlin and Red Square; Moscow; Novodevichy Convent, Historic Complex of the Kazan Kremlin; Lake Baikal; Kizhi Pogost; Saint Petersburg.

Seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations

On United Nations Day (Nov-24), United Nations Postal Administration issued three stamp minisheets to celebrate this very notable landmark in the life of United Nations: its seventy-fifth anniversary. Also a website was launched un.org/un75, where, under the title Shaping our Future Together, you can read more about initiatives, but also find meaningful ways to participate in them.

The three minisheets feature an excellent design, rendered very prominent by the text block quote from António Guterres, UN Secretary-General: The vision and values of the Charter of the United Nations, which was adopted 75 years ago, stand the test of time. The United Nations works as one for the benefit of all – for peace, sustainable development, justice, and human rights.

Pictured above, the three minisheets issued by the three offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

United Nations Crypto-Stamps

Since 2018, UN takes pride in its Strategy on New Technologies, aimed at defining how UN will support the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain and robotics in a way prone to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In an effort to embody this agenda, the UN Postal Administration issues for the first time in its existence crypto-stamps on 24-Nov, 2020, running on an Ethernet blockchain. Knowing this is still a novelty item, and its use needs to be handled with care, the UN Stamps are complemented by a new website, unstamps.org/crypto, where users can buy, activate, and/or trade their crypto-stamps. Of course, as crypto-stamps have made it clear since they entered our lives, there’s a redeemable virtual copy of each stamp, which you can obtain via the activation process described on the dedicated website.

The crypto-stamps are in a novel, credit-sized format and are self-adhesive. To ensure security, codes are hidden under scratchcard bands made from biodegradable latex. A total of 90,000 stamps was issued (30,000 per issuing authority); however the variations which are possible amount to 51 – as each stamp apears in as much as 17 varieties each, each variety being associated to one of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the press release from 24-Nov, 2020 equal quantities have been provided from each sustainable goal variety.

Pictured above, the three issues of the first-ever crypto-stamps (dubbed in French as timbre-crypto; and in German: Krypto-Briefmarke) from the UN Postal Administration.

tamps featured in post: 21; Period: contemporary (2020); Michel Catalog numbers and prices: not available at the time of publishing Availability: available for purchase from the official website unstamps.org.

Limited Time Only – 20% off on online subscriptions for Michel Catalog

Here’s some awesome news! For a limited time, you can benefit from a very generous -20% off on online subscriptions for Michel Catalog. Just use the coupon code below on checkout.

About Michel Online catalog

By far the most authoritative and complete online catalog for stamps, Michel Online boasts today:

  • More than 800,000 worldwide stamps cataloged
  • 2mil accurate and independent price listings
  • 400,000 high-quality pictures of the stamps
  • Includes the full searchable contents of more than 20 print catalogs (and, unlike print catalogs, does not become outdated)
  • English-language interface
  • Easy-search by country, region, issue, year of issue, year from-year to, color, topic, catalog no., face value
  • Weekly updates of the database
  • Available worldwide
  • Easy payments via credit card or PayPal
Continue reading “Limited Time Only – 20% off on online subscriptions for Michel Catalog”

Michel Circus Catalog 2020 – The Circus Is in Town [Review]

Again an incredible release from Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH – the first ever to my knowledge stamp catalog covering worldwide circus on stamps releases! The authoritative team that brings you the authoritative Michel Catalog for 110 years now leans in an attentive ear in the conversations in philatelic milieus and recognizes that thematic collections are the new black – so alongside regional catalogs, more and more thematic ones are being released.

AboutMichel Catalog – Circus – WorldwideOrder directly from here. | 1st issue, available since 11.09.2020 | 156 pages | paperback | 12k price notices| 1600 color illustrations| stamps until the second quarter of 2020 cataloged | German language | Check out also the awesome Michel Online Catalog here.

Continue reading “Michel Circus Catalog 2020 – The Circus Is in Town [Review]”

Commonwealth Red Cross Centennial Stamps

I don’t know about you, but I like Commonwealth stamps. I think they are particularly interesting in that they teach us about the state of affairs in the British overseas empire as if taking a snapshot of the territories which were still under British rule at the time and at the same time they show an awesome organization (at least if we were to judge the postal system) of the said empire.

I have written before about Commonwealth stamps – more specifically about the 1953 Coronation stamps; and I think alongside Coronation, the Freedom from Hunger campaign and the Red Cross Centennial are some of the most interesting Commonwealth stamps.

The Commonewealth Red Cross Centennial stamps were all issued on 02-Sep, 1963, with two exceptions (the South Arabian Federation issued the stamps later on 25-Nov, 1963 and Tristan da Cunha issued the stamps on 01-Feb, 1964). But just imagine the logistic process of releasing simultaneously in so many territories in times that were not by far as reachable and in a world that for sure did not boast the mobility we now enjoy.

Each of the releases is made of 2 stamps with similar design – one in violet blue and one in anthracite black and feature for their most part the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II and the red cross. Few varieties from the common design are noticeable; for instance the New Hebrides and South Arabian Federation releases do not feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II at all (with the New Hebrides issue featuring in addition the note ‘RF’ for République française (English: French Republic); and the Tonga issue showing the effigy of Queen Salote Tupou III instead of Queen Elizabeth II. Also of note is the fact that the South Arabian Federation stamps are no. 1 and 2 respectively in catalog numbers, being the first issues of the territory.

Pictured above the releases of: Antigua; Acension; Bahamas; Basutoland; Betchuanaland Protectorate; Bermuda; British Guyana; British Honduras; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Dominica; Falkland Islands; Federation of South Arabia; Fiji; Gambia; Gibraltar; Gilbert & Ellice Islands; Grenanda.

Continue reading “Commonwealth Red Cross Centennial Stamps”

[Ended – Contest] Win a 2019 Belgium Millennial Minisheet

I don’t know about you, but I lived with the misconception that millennials are actually born with the new millennium, while in fact those born in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s are Generation Z. To be a millennial, your birth year should be roughly 1981 to 1996.

Also, if you are a millennial, you’re not the odd man out. Millennials represent a fair share of the world’s workforce. In world population numbers, they have just recently been outnumbered, still topping high at approx. 31% of the world population, but 1% short of representing the largest cohort, which now is proudly owned by Generation Z.

There are many myths and facts surrounding the Millennials and by the time of reading this article you must have heard your share of it: that they are tech-savvy to the point of being glued to smartphones, that they are self-centered and strongly reliant on their parents. That they ultimately are so empowered and well-represented across all scalables of the society that they drive a lot of (positive) change in the world.

What you might have not known is that they are also the first and best educated workforce of the world, taking in the previous decades’ efforts to provide free education in an always growing array of topics. Like most educated people, they are more prone to angst (ok, the self-centered bit also plays a part here). They killed the fun in some products (one internet claim is that Millennials killed mayo. I’m not joking) but also are fairly conservative otherwise. They like to read more in print than in digital format, which sounds weird until you realize a digital book still costs the same as a printed one, even if it doesn’t use any paper, requires no storage and no dispatching. But that’s a different story. Millennials are less the home owner type and also are known to marry late (but paradoxically still manage to lead in divorce demographics).

What for sure is known only by few – millennials have just recently been philatelically validated. Yes, they get their own stamps. And I don’t mean this in an underground, secret society kind of way, but out in the open: a whole minisheet of stamps that unveils to you, distrusting philatelist, nothing more and nothing less than The Anatomy of a Millennial.

It’s not a phantasy product, but a real minisheet issued on 17.06.2019 by the Belgian post. It is designed by Chrostin and sums up what being a millennial is in 5 stamps: conscious do-gooder, passion=work, contemporary romanticist, no place like home, digital native.

It actually looks pretty impressive, don’t you think?

Contest time!

I am offering one minisheet in mint for free. If you want to get it, here’s what you want to do:

Write a comment in the post below about the first time you heard the word millennial. The comment should be here and not on social media (although the post is going to be made available elsewhere, I just take into account the comments posted under this blogpost.

Ask your friends to vote up your comment.

I will check this post until 15.09.2020 and award the minisheet to the commenter gathering the most likes.

Good to know:

Use a real email address when you comment, otherwise I won’t be able to get in touch with you.

If you win, you will need to provide a real name and a real address to send to (it’s an obvious one, but last years on the internet taught me to not consider anything obvious anymore).

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New Releases from Greenland Post on Stamps

This post was made possible through the kindness of Post Greenland – the postal authorities from Greenland.

You can browse for new stamps releases and shop on the website. Additionally you can subscribe to the Greenland Collector – the subscription magazine for collectors of Greenland stamps!

Old Greenlandic banknotes (Issue #3, 21.06.2019)

For the third issue of Old Greenlandic banknotes, a series commenced in 2017, Greenland Post chose two banknotes issued in 1953. Original material from the Denmark National Bank, as well as the National Museum in Copenhagen and Post Greenland’s archives in Nuuk was used for inspiration by artist Bertil Skov Jørgensen.

The issue comprises 2 stamps, issued both as standalone and souvenir sheets.

The first stamp of the series, issued 21.06.2019
Continue reading “New Releases from Greenland Post on Stamps”

2018/2019 Releases of Slovak Post on Stamps

It is with great joy that I am writing the following article, made possible by the amability of Slovenská Pošta (Slovak Post). From the very beginning, I have to come out as a big fan of Slovak philately. Whether we are talking about the careful and artful engraving of the stamps, continuing with pride the Czechoslovak Post tradition, or about the tasteful choice of topics, I am always pleasantly surprised by Slovak stamps.

Official website: https://www.posta.sk/en (Available in Slovak and English) | Philately website: https://www.pofis.sk/en/catalog/products You can read more about the history behind each stamp issue, or order individual or bulk stamps directly from the website.

Continue reading “2018/2019 Releases of Slovak Post on Stamps”

2018 Releases of Macedonian Post on Stamps

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Македонска Пошта (Macedonian Post), the postal services of the Republic of North Macedonia. On posta.com.mk you can find more about their stamp releases in English, Macedonian, and Albanian. Thank you for the awesome gift of the stamps and first day covers issued in 2018!

Jan-10: The 550th Anniversary of the Death of Skanderbeg

Continue reading “2018 Releases of Macedonian Post on Stamps”