Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "philately"

Voting has just started to choose the most beautiful EUROPA stamp of the year!

This year, the stamps focus on endangered national wildlife from each country, which is a really important topic to bring awareness to. Deforestation and other human activities threaten animals, fungus and plants, and according to the IUCN Red List, over 20% of species in Europe at the moment are at risk of extinction. That’s a staggering and saddening percentage. 😔 So in 2021, each country picked an endangered species to highlight, and depicted it in its own style. Here’s a small sample:

A mix of EUROPA stamps from 20201's selection, featuring endangered animal species

There’s fauna of all sizes and shapes, illustrated mostly in traditional philatelic style. This makes it hard to pick the best one, as we suspect people will inevitably vote for the cutest animals, instead of other, less photogenic ones…

What do postcrossers think? Which stamp gets your vote for best EUROPA stamp of 2021 in this year’s competition? And what do you think of your own country’s entry? We’re always super curious to hear your philatelic opinions, so go cast your vote and let us know which one you picked on the comments below!

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Have you ever helped out with a stamp appeal? We’ve highlighted a few of these initiatives before, because it’s something a lot of postcrossers are able to do — if you’ve been storing up used stamps waiting for something like this, then now’s your opportunity!

A banner reading: Support the bone cancer stamp appeal, next to the logo of the BCRT (the Queen's profile inside of a stamp

This time, new member StampLady let us know about the Bone Cancer Research Trust Stamp Appeal. The Bone Cancer Research Trust are a British charity dedicated to helping tackle primary bone cancers via research, providing information, raising awareness and offering support to those affected.

How can used stamps help, though? Well, once they reach BCRT, they sort them into categories and then sell them in bulk by weight. They get sold to collectors and dealers, and some special stamps also get sold by auction. In this way, the stamps are used to raise money by reusing all those old stamps which for many people no longer have a purpose. They’re able to use all kinds of stamps, no matter where they come from, whether they’re British stamps or from other countries, and no matter what the actual face value of the stamp is.

You can contribute any stamps you have by collecting up your stamps (they suggest cutting them out and leaving a 1cm border around them) and then once you have a bundle, you can send them to:

BCRT Stamp Appeal
20 Bowers Road
Benfleet
Essex
SS7 5PZ
UNITED KINGDOM

If you’d like to read more about the appeal, check out their info page! You can also read more about the work of the Bone Cancer Research Trust on their website.

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It’s been 15 years today since Paulo flipped the switch to turn Postcrossing on — 15 years! 🎉 Can you believe that?! We’re a little incredulous ourselves… but immensely happy and grateful for the opportunity to come on this journey that has delivered millions of postcards around the world. Who could have imagined such an unlikely adventure?!

Awhile back, we asked you guys to upload a selfie with your mailbox to our anniversary wall, and almost 1000 of you accepted the challenge and showed us your happy mailboxes. It’s such a joy to browse the gallery now, and see your smiles and the places where all the postcards land! Mailboxes and mail slots seem to come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and quite a few of you even receive your mail directly from your mail carrier’s hands at your doorstep or on your local post office. So much color and diversity of mailboxes and ways of receiving mail!

We wanted to do a little surprise with these nice photos, so we put together a video filled with smiles to share with you all:

selo postcrossing brazil

Sorry that we couldn’t put all of the photos in without making the video too long — we tried to include as many as we could. You can see all the photos on the 15 Years of Happy Mailboxes page, and the submissions will be open until the end of the month.

A big thank you to every single one of you out there, sending postcards to strangers across the world and helping make this planet a happier place — you are the stars of this celebration! 🤩 Join us in a little celebratory dance and enjoy this special day!

Before I get all weepy, let me just share some more good news: we have been working with Brazil Post on a new Postcrossing-themed stamp that is being released today! It’s a beautiful stamp by São Paulo’s illustrator Daniel Lourenço, showing 2 people connected through postcards. It’s a big, beautiful stamp (click the image to see a bigger version), and we have no doubt Brazilian postcards will look extra nice with it.

We’re so proud of the Postcrossing community in Brazil, whose persistence and dedication to their hobby resulted in this gorgeous stamp coming to life. Sadly, they cannot yet get together to celebrate the stamp launch right now… but there will be an online launch event (on Instagram and Youtube), and we’re certain postcrossers will make up for lost time when it is safe to meet in person again. Enjoy your new stamp, and we look forward to seeing it on many future postcards from Brazil 🇧🇷!

PS – Postcrossers in China 🇨🇳, if you can’t see the video above, try here.

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Ancient Postal Routes

It’s time to vote on the EUROPA stamps competition for 2020!

The theme for this year is “Ancient Postal Routes”, and it invites us to rediscover the old paths through which mail was transported in Europe. This really seems like an appropriate topic for this year, which has seen so many postal routes being disrupted… and re-invented.

Curious to know where and how did mail travel around in Europe in the past? This year’s stamps tell a tale of horseback riders, boats, pigeons, mail carriers brandishing their postal horns… and naturally lots of maps as well. There’s even one cheeky interpretation of the theme, featuring Santa Claus’s sleigh. 😜

Ancient Postal Routes - EUROPA stamps 2020

Go check out all the stamps and vote on your favorite on PostEurop’s website until September 9th!

And if you do, leave a comment below as well to let us know which one is your favorite! We think it’s going to be a tough competition this year, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Which ones do you think have good chances of winning?

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Smithsonian National Postal Museum Streetview

Have you ever been to a Postal Museum? If not, well, there’s never been a better time to start — if only from your own home!

We’ve been looking into Google Arts & Culture, and we’ve discovered that you can use it to visit places like the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, in Washington DC, and then hop straight over to the UK’s Postal Museum in London, no air travel needed!

It’s not just that you can walk around these museums via Google’s Streetview, although that’s kind of cool as well. Depending on the museum, there are also “Stories” and collections, showcasing some of the museum’s exhibitions and holdings. For example, the Museum for Communication Frankfurt has an exhibition on the birth of express mail! Check out the sealed watch which the mail-carriers had to take with them, to prove they were delivering the mail on time:

Sealed watch
Pocket watch used on the mail coach service, with lockable case, Museumsstiftung Post und Telekommunikation

In a similar vein to our previous post about the lost letters of the Brienne archive, we found an online exhibition from the Postal Museum in London on 717 letters found aboard a sunken ship, the Gairsoppa! They’ve recovered 19 bundles of undelivered letters from the ship including old Christmas cards! Wonder if there were any postcards on board…

Gairsoppachristmas
Christmas card from the Gairsoppa, The Postal Museum

If you’re interested in stamps, there’s always the Smithsonian’s Women on Stamps exhibitions, or Amelia Earhart’s stamp collection… Or how about a collection of love letters from the Mexican Archivo General de la Nación?

And of course, they have all kinds of other museums — art museums, exhibitions on Mayan graffiti, natural history collections… I think I have to say the Gairsoppa story is my favourite, so far.

Have a look, and if you find other interesting virtual exhibitions that we should check out, let us know in the comments below! 😊

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