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Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "philately"

Dia dhuit — or hello from Ireland! 🇮🇪

We have good news coming from the North Atlantic today: An Post is getting ready to release a lovely new Postcrossing stamp tomorrow, on October 5th! Irish artist Cathy Dineen did the illustration for Design HQ, who created the stamp. It features postcards being passed from person to person. Have a look: Postcrossing StampIE Isn’t it just gorgeous? 😍 Cathy did a wonderful job of capturing the connections that the project sparks as well as its diversity on this small format. And the launch is just days before World Post Day takes place, which is a nice bonus too.

The stamps will be available throughout the country and on An Post’s online shop… but if you’re in Ireland or can make it to Dublin in the weekend, there will be a large meetup on October 7th! Attendees will be able to visit the General Post Office’s museum and check out the Witnessing History exhibition too. More details can be found on this forum thread.

Hurray for beautiful stamps that honour Postcrossing and its community!

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Many of you might not remember we used to have polls on the site, a looooong time ago. The last time we ran a poll on Postcrossing was back in 2011… and we seem to have forgotten all about them. Paulo stumbled on the code for polls recently and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it still works! So we decided to run a poll about something that has been intriguing us for a while: people’s preferences on the stamp types and how they adhere to postcards. Are self-adhesive stamps (that you peel off a sheet) better than stamps on gummed paper (that you lick)? Does it even matter?

But first, a bit of postal history: can you name the first stamp ever made? And who was its creator?

If your answer was Penny Black and Sir Rowland Hill, you’d be correct on all counts! In its 1837 pamphlet, Sir Rowland Hill called for “low and uniform rates” according to weight (rather than distance) and proposed the concept of stamps: a piece of paper “covered at the back with a glutinous wash”. The first gums were called cement and consisted of a mixture of potato starch, wheat starch and acacia gum. The idea “stuck”, and quickly spread from the UK to the rest of the world.

In 1964, 124 years after the release of the Penny Black, the first self-adhesive stamp was created by an unlikely country… Sierra Leone! That’s right — this African nation was the first one to give it a try, followed by a Christmas stamp from the USA ten years later… and many other countries after that.

If you’re curious to learn more about these themes, check out the Wikipedia page for Postage Stamp gum.

So back to our poll — 8495 postcrossers responded to it over the past week, and these were the results: Lick or stick?

Looks like things are more or less evenly divided! Though a large number of postcrossers doesn’t seem to have a preference, from those that do prefer a type of stamps, the choice of the majority seems to be self-adhesive stamps. That surprised me, as I expected postal lovers to prefer the traditional ones… but I can definitely understand that licking might not be for everyone and adhesive stamps can be more practical.

What about you? Which camp are you on, and why?

And last but not least, running a poll was fun! If you have ideas of other interesting polls that we could make, please share them in the comments. We’ll try not to let another 6 years go by until we run the next poll! 😅

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Now that Eurovision is behind us, it’s time to vote for another popular European contest… the EUROPA stamps of the year!

EUROPA stamps 2017

The theme for 2017 is “Castles”, which might sound a bit boring at first, but wait until you see all the stamps! While some countries’ entries are very literal and spotlight their own fortifications or Unesco Heritage sites, others have taken a more lyrical approach to the subject, featuring sand, ice castles, or legendary castles from their countries’ tales…

So go cast your vote… and then leave a comment below, letting us know which country wins your heart this year! 🏰

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It’s only February yet, and we’re already reporting the second Postcrossing-themed stamp being issued this year… 2017 is off to a fantastic start!   

So ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to announce that in just 2 days, Romania will join the ranks of the countries which have issued a Postcrossing stamp. They may have less than 1500 postcrossers there, but their unwavering enthusiasm for the project convinced their post office this was a good idea — and we’re glad for their fierceness! We’re especially thankful to Mihnea (aka MihneaR) whose persistence and commitment to this idea in every step of the way were crucial in bringing this new stamp to life.

Have a look at their new stamp, which will be published on February 24th:

Romanian Postcrossing stamp

We bet it’ll look pretty cool on all their postcards! 😀

The new stamp sheet (and accompanying FDC) will be available from Friday on Romfilatelia's shops in Bucharest, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara or online, on the WOPA website. Romanian Postcrossing stamp

To celebrate the stamp issue, Romanian postcrossers are organising a couple of meetups in Bucharest this Friday and Saturday, and planning to send lots of postcards with the new stamp. Do join them, if you’re in the area!

And if you’re not in Romania, keep an eye on your mailbox — your next postcards from there might feature their shiny new stamp!

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Good news, everyone! We’re super excited about this upcoming exhibition curated by the Singapore Philatelic Museum, which features one of our favourite series ever… HARRY POTTER!!

Since the first book came out in 1997, J.K. Rowling's young wizard and his friends have been hugely popular all around the world, influencing a generation of readers. Postal operators have also joined in celebrating the series, which are naturally featured in plenty of stamps as well as postcards and fan art… which is where YOU come in. The SPM is looking for your collections and postcards, to feature on their next exhibition! 😀

Harry Potter exhibition

If you’re a collector of Harry Potter postcards or postal stationery and would like to showcase your collection in the exhibition, please contact Mishelle (the curator) at SPM179807@gmail.com by August 10th.

But you don’t need to be a collector to participate! As is tradition, the museum is also calling all postcrossers to send in their themed postcards to them. So grab a Harry Potter card and share something with the visitors! For instance, what do you like about the series? Who’s your favourite character, or what’s your favourite scene or quote? Do tell! Here’s the address:

The exhibition is already on display, so this activity is closed.

If your card arrives before August 21st and includes your address, you’ll receive a postcard back! :) Sadly, the reply won’t be a Harry Potter card, due to licensing fees, but the postcards of the museum never disappoint.

The Harry Potter exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum is scheduled to open in November, and stay on until July 2017. Now if only we had a magic spell to teleport us there…

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