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Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "stamps"

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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Good news, everyone! We’re happy to announce that Russia, the country with the largest number of Postcrossing members, is releasing a themed stamp to commemorate the project on January 27th!

The 23 ruble stamp was designed by O. Shushlebina, measures 37×37 mm and comes in sheets of 9 stamps. Here’s what it will look like:

I <3 Postcrossing!

Quite nice, isn’t it? I think you can guess what it says, even if you don’t know much Russian! :)

To celebrate the occasion, three postcrossers in Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Moscow decided to hold a lottery to offer 60 lucky members the chance to receive a postcard with this stamp and the first day cancellation mark! If you’d like to participate on this giveaway, just leave a comment below saying you’d like to receive one. We’ll draw 60 names by the end of the week, and send your addresses to the members who are going to write you a postcard.

You might find a surprise postcard on your mailbox in a few weeks! :)

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Hurray! The Guernsey Postcrossing stamp has just launched today and is now making its way around the world to many happy mailboxes!

Guernsey Post Postcrossing stamp! intro

In order to celebrate the event, postcrossers from the island and abroad got together today to send their first cards with the shiny new stamp. Guernsey Post kindly prepared a room for the eager postcrossers, who wrote and stamped to their heart’s content…

Guernsey Post Postcrossing stamp launch

… and ate the delicious cake a talented baker at the post office did for us! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Guernsey Post Postcrossing cake

The local newspaper and TV channel were also in attendance, and so we hope that a few islanders will find out about the project in the media tomorrow and decide to join!

Michael and the stamp

And here’s Michael (aka GIBSONMS) with the stamp! Michael was the enthusiastic postcrosser who approached Guernsey Post with the idea for a stamp.

Our big thank you to him for his initiative and to Dawn Gallienne at Guernsey Post, for deeming Postcrossing worthy of this honor. We really appreciate it!

It was a great day! Happy Postcrossing, everyone! :)


PS – If you’re interested, the stamp, postcard, and postcard+stamp+cancellation mark combos can be purchased online at the Guernsey Stamps website.

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Yes, you read that right! With the Queen’s royal approval, the tiny island of Guernsey will be the fourth country (or in this case, special territory) to launch its own Postcrossing stamp!

Why Guernsey, you might ask? Well, it’s all thanks to Michael (aka GIBSONMS)! One day, Michael decided to get in touch with a few postal services and make the case for a Postcrossing stamp as a way to spread the word about the project. He was really enthusiastic and persistent, and what do you know… it worked! :)

So ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to announce that on May 28th, a new Postcrossing stamp will be born! Here’s what it will look like:

Guernsey Postcrossing Stamp!

Fun, right? It was designed by Guernsey Post’s marketing team, and it depicts an outline of the island of Guernsey with a smiley face, giving the thumbs up to Postcrossing! It will be available online on the Guernsey Stamps page from May 28th onwards, and also on the local post offices.

No matter how many Postcrossing stamps are born, it’s still a great honor for us to see them come to life. How many websites do you know that can boast this? :) So we’d like to give our heartfelt thank you to Dawn Gallienne at Guernsey Post for believing in the project – and especially to Michael, for his dedication!

By the way, we’re preparing a Postcrossing meeting in St. Peter Port, on the launch day, so that all postcrossers can come together and send postcards with the new stamp. It’ll take place on the main Post Office (Envoy House, La Vrangue) at 2pm – do get in touch on the forum, if you’re planning to attend. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there! :)

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Hurray! The Belarusian Postcrossing stamp was officially launched and is now out and about! While we haven’t set our eyes on a real specimen yet, postcrossers of all ages met at Minsk’s post office yesterday to use the first stamps and maxicards. Victor sent us some photos of the event:

Belarus stamp launchBelarus stamp launchBelarus stamp launchBelarus stamp launchBelarus stamp launch

Brilliant! Victor tells us hundreds of cards were signed and sent, and lots of mailboxes all around the world will be happy soon! :)

Happy Postcrossing!

PS – If you’re curious, you can see many more photos here.

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