Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game of Chess Featured on Postage Stamps

A new series of postage stamps honoring the 10th Anniversary of the Gibraltar International Chess Festival have been issued by Gibraltar Post.

The Gibraltar International Chess Festival, now one of the most prestigious open tournaments in the world, began as a much smaller event in 2003.

The games featured on the stamps have been specially chosen as representing the best of the many thousands contested in Gibraltar over the past decade. All the players shown are grandmasters. Two are . . .

Read more at: Gibraltar Stamps

Irish Postage Stamps to Mark 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy Visit and Assassination

Two stamps to honour the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy homecoming visit to Ireland and the US President's tragic death are to be issued by An Post in 2013.

An Post has received government approval for its stamp collection for 2013, which includes these two commemorative stamps to mark the historic occasion.

This move, which is billed as a 'quick, easy and cheap way' of getting . . .

Read more at: Enniscorthy Guardian

U.S. - France Joint Issue Postage Stamps Honor Musicians Edith Piaf and Miles Davis

WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service announced the joint issuance of new Forever stamps honoring two of the world’s greatest musicians, Edith Piaf and Miles Davis.

The stamps will be issued with the French postal service, La Poste in June.

“We look forward to issuing these great stamps jointly with La Poste, continuing a tradition of international celebration of stamps,” said USPS Manager, Stamp Services, Stephen Kearney.

Americans may know Edith Piaf best for her cheerful song “La Vie en Rose” (“Life in Pink”), about the experience of falling in love and seeing life through rose-colored glasses; the tune is still heard on the streets of Paris today.

Piaf’s tumultuous life got off to a stormy . . .

Read more at: usps.com

Black Heritage Stamp Honors John Johnson

CHICAGO — One of the nation’s highest honors today was presented to pioneering entrepreneur and publisher John H. Johnson who was commemorated on this year’s Black Heritage Forever Stamp by the United States Postal Service.

Johnson, the founder of Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines, is the 35th honoree in the Black Heritage stamp series. The Postal Service has . . .

Read more at: usps.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Postage Stamp Features Photo by National Geographic Photographer

Mystic - In 2006, local photographer Michael Melford was at Glacier National Park in Montana working on a story about the park for National Geographic magazine.

Standing along Logan Pass, he spotted a field of yellow glacier lilies that he wanted to shoot.

Worried that park rangers sometimes close off access to such areas to protect them, he went down to . . .

Read more at: theday.com

Artist Creates Pictures Out of Postage Stamps

When it comes to the art of creating collages, the work of this artist is first class.

In fact, John Bottomley has got the world’s most iconic celebrities licked after he created portraits of them - using only postage stamps.

The 64-year old former butler has produced pictures of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Liza Minnelli by sticking used first and second class stamps onto a canvas.

The avid stamp collector has also made up a special 2012 Olympic tribute to a . . .

Read more at: The Daily Mail

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Guide to U.S. Postage Rate Changes

On January 22, 2012 the U.S. Postal Service increased the mailing rates for certain mailing and shipping services.

Here is a guide to help you with those changes:
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First-Class one-ounce rate: From 44¢ to 45¢
First-Class two-ounce rate: From 64¢ to 65¢
First-Class three-ounce rate: From 84¢ to 85¢
Postcard rate: From 29¢ to 32¢
International Rate, Canada & Mexico: From 80¢ to 85¢
International Rate: From 98¢ to $1.05
Priority Mail®: From $4.95 to $5.15
Express Mail®: From $18.30 to $18.95
Nonmachinable surcharge rate: From 64¢ to 65¢

Weather Vane Postage Stamps Issued

Shelburne, VT — The U.S. Postal Service issued the 45-cent WeatherVanes First-Class Mail stamps in five designs available in pressure-sensitive adhesive coils of 3,000 and 10,000. The stamps are available at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724.

Each of the five designs features a photograph of eye-catching 19th century weather vanes made in the United States. All the weather vanes featured are part of . . .

Read more at: usps.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roald Dahl Postage Stamps Honor James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Others

Whether you’re a witch, a fantastic fox or just a plain old twit, you won’t need a Golden Ticket to enjoy Royal Mail’s first special stamps of 2012 – a special set paying tribute to the wonderful work of author Roald Dahl

A set of six stamps, launched on 10th January, celebrate some of Roald Dahl’s most popular stories and feature illustrations by Quentin Blake, whose iconic drawings are synonymous with Roald Dahl’s children’s classics.

One of Roald Dahl’s most famous tales, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, appears with a beaming Charlie Bucket on the 1st Class stamp. Other stamps depict much-loved favourites Fantastic Mr Fox (66p), James and the Giant Peach (68p), Matilda (76p), The Twits (£1) and The Witches (£1.10).

The 30th anniversary of The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, one of Roald Dahl’s hugely popular characters, is marked by a special sheet of four stamps all of which feature scenes from . . .

Read more at: The Royal Mail

Purple Martin Graces Stamped Envelope

First Day of Issue: January 23, 2012 Mulberry, FL 33860


A favorite backyard bird, the largest swallow in North America now perches on the Purple Martin Stamped Envelope. Two colorful illustrations depict the bird resting on a branch and flying through the air.

In the eastern U.S., purple martins live almost exclusively in backyard birdhouses. Native Americans were the first to build houses for . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Postage Stamps Celebrate the Beauty of Bonsai

First Day of Issue: January 23, 2012 Sacramento, CA 95813
With these five stamps, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the beauty of bonsai. The word “bonsai” (Japanese for “plant in a pot”) refers to the art of cultivating plants — usually trees — in trays, pots, or other containers.

Favorite bonsai plants include evergreens, maples, and azaleas, but many other trees and shrubs are also suitable.

One of the common styles of bonsai is shown on each of these five stamps. The first stamp depicts a . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Year of the Dragon

First Day of Issue: January 23, 2012 San Francisco, CA


Dragons aren’t always scary monsters. Consider the colorful creature depicted by the U.S. Postal Service in its 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp, fifth in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series! The Year of the Dragon begins on January 23, 2012, and ends on February 9, 2013.

Across many cultures, in the United States as elsewhere, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in various ways, often with . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Diamond Jubilee Postage Stamp Issued

The official Diamond Jubilee stamp available in all post offices across the country features a cameo of a photograph of Her Majesty in her royal robes and tiara, waving from the window of a carriage.

Also available is the first of six Diamond Jubilee mini-panes of four stamps issued as part of a limited edition keepsake folder.

Each keepsake folder—six in total, one for each ten-year period in The Queen's reign—houses a mini-pane of four stamps, an informative booklet pertaining to that period, plus a postcard featuring all the stamps bearing Queen Elizabeth II's image issued during each respective ten-year timeframe.

A final stamp issue will feature an engraved stamp with two portraits of The Queen, a design inspired by the famous Canadian stamp issued, in 1897, for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Collectors still speak glowingly of the 1897 stamp.

“We have witnessed . . .

Read more at: Canada Post

Postal Card Features Sailboat

First Day of Issue: January 22, 2012 Oyster Bay, NY 11771




The Postal Service highlights America’s scenic beauty with this stamped card. Whether racing along the coast or simply bobbing in harbors, sailboats add to the allure of any water view.

This impressionistic image of a moored sailboat was created by Burton Silverman, who painted the scene in . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Featured on U.S. Postage Stamp

First Day of Issue: January 20, 2012 Lancaster, PA 17601




Designed to draw attention to the wonders of the United States, this international rate stamp shows the glories of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with one of its beautiful, iconic farmsteads set amid gently rolling hills.

Known for its breathtaking rural scenery, agricultural bounty, and small towns with evocative names like Bird-in-Hand and Paradise, Lancaster County is perhaps most famous as part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The Amish, with their . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Postage Stamps Honor Dogs at Work

First Day of Issue: January 20, 2012 Merrifield, VA 22081



In today’s world, dogs are more than just best friends — frequently, they’re also superb coworkers. The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the enduring partnership between dogs and people with the Dogs at Work issuance.

This set of four stamps depicts four hard-working canines: a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field, ready to tackle the next assignment.

For thousands of years, dogs and humans have . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Postage Stamps Feature Birds of Prey

First Day of Issue: January 20, 2012 Washington, DC 20066

The U.S. Postal Service salutes five kings of the sky with the Birds of Prey stamps: the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), and northern harrier (Circus cyaneus).

These powerful birds are depicted in colorful portraits and shown from the neck up. The artwork appears against a plain, white background.

Birds of prey, also known as raptors, thrive in diverse habitats and live on every continent except Antarctica. The roughly 500 species of raptors include . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Postage Stamp Honors Baltimore Checkerspot

First Day of Issue: January 20, 2012 Baltimore, MD 21233
The official insect of the state of Maryland, the black and orange Baltimore checkerspot butterfly graces the second butterfly stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes.

Envelopes for many large cards requiring the additional postage will feature a silhouette of a butterfly to suggest the use of this stamp.

The stamp art was created on a computer, using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wedding Cake Featured on U.S. Postage Stamp



Sure to add a touch of beauty and romance to wedding correspondence, the Wedding Cake stamp, first introduced in 2009, is a timeless addition to the U.S. Postal Service’s Weddings series.

Often the centerpiece of a wedding reception, the cake has been a wedding tradition for many generations. This two-ounce stamp features a . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Postage Stamp Celebrates Glacier National Park

KALISPELL, MT — The scenes of Montana’s Glacier National Park will extend north and south of the U.S. border with the issuance of a stamp celebrating the nation’s 10th national park.

The 85-cent international price stamp, good for postage up to 1-ounce to Canada or Mexico, goes on sale at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724. The stamp also may be used for mailing 2-ounce domestic First-Class Mail.

“Throughout time, people have sought out Glacier National Park’s rugged peaks, clear waters and glacial-carved valleys, its landscape providing both resources and inspiration for those persistent enough to venture through it,” said Richard Burley, Kalispell, MT, Postmaster.

“Today, the Postal Service is proud and honored to create this lasting tribute to Glacier National Park through the issuance of this stamp.”

Burley dedicated the stamp at the . . .

Read more at: usps.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hawaiian Shirts Grace New Postage Stamps

First Day of Issue: January 19, 2012 Honolulu, HI 96820

Nothing says “Hawai‘i” or conjures casual good times like the colorful Aloha shirt, which takes its name from the Hawaiian word often used as a blessing or greeting. The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the spirit of “Aloha” with five stamps, each depicting a different shirt.

Aloha shirts are made from boldly patterned fabric showing decorative images of Hawaiian life. Two of the five classic shirts depicted in the stamp art showcase surfers and . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Royal Mail Apologizes for Rebel Leader on Postage Stamps

Royal Mail has apologised for any distress caused after some of its stamps were combined with a photograph of the late founder and leader of the Tamil Tigers.

The Sri Lanka High Commission said a front organisation for the Tigers had been able to get a stamp released with a photograph of . . .

Read more at: The Huffington Post

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Postage Stamp Honors New Mexico Statehood

First Day of Issue: January 6, 2012 Santa Fe, NM 87501


With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service honors the 100 years that have passed since January 6, 1912, when New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union. Today, New Mexico is the fifth-largest state in the U.S., known for its rich history, vibrant cultures, and stunning geographic diversity.

The stamp art shows a landscape in northern New Mexico, about 65 miles northwest of . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Multi-Colored Postage Stamps Honor Bald Eagle

First Day of Issue: January 3, 2012 Liberty, MO 64068

America’s national emblem, the majestic bald eagle is a symbol of strength and longevity. With Spectrum Eagle, the U.S. Postal Service issues six new stamps celebrating the grandeur of this magnificent bird.

The eagle’s powerful profile is depicted in white set boldly against a sequence of six varying shades of reds, yellows, greens, and blues. Each color subtly blends with the one following, resulting in a gradual spectrum from left to right across six stamps.

On June 20, 1782, an Act of Congress officially adopted the bald eagle as . . .

Read more at: Beyond the Perf

Stamp Collectors Count on Birds of Prey

The U.S. Postal Service gets well-deserved criticism for closing small post offices and running deficits. But it is also a great source of outstanding art that anyone, even children, can afford to collect. Wildlife watchers are sure to enjoy some of the new stamps scheduled to appear this year.

On Jan. 20, a new postage stamp series will feature five birds of prey: northern goshawk, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, osprey and northern harrier. Each is depicted in a colorful portrait from the neck up against a white background. These five stamps are being issued at . . .

Read more at: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Australia Issues Year of the Dragon Postage Stamp

What do Joan of Arc, Reese Witherspoon, Stephanie Gilmore and Salvador Dalí have in common? According to Chinese Astrology they were all born in the Year of the Dragon and are likely to be brave, tempestuous, powerful, wise and perfectionists.

The Dragon is considered the most enduring symbol of good fortune, and occupies a special place in the Chinese zodiac being the only mythical creature amongst 12 animals.

In Chinese astrology, the Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest and those born in that year are destined to have long, healthy and prosperous lives.

To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, Australia Post will release a Lunar New Year stamp issue featuring the revered Dragon, which depicts the Chinese legend of . . .

Read more at: Australia Post

Canada Issues Year of the Dragon Postage Stamp

Canada Post today honoured the Year of the Dragon by issuing a pair of stamps and collectibles to mark the Lunar New Year.

A dragon year is said to be a time of innovation, risk and achievement. These stamps are the fourth release in a twelve-year Lunar New Year series.

“Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world, in countries and territories with significant Chinese communities. Canada Post is proud to celebrate the occasion by issuing these popular stamps,” said Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post.

“The stamps in the Lunar New Year series are always well received by both members of the Chinese community and collectors. As in past years, these images are complex and striking, and the foil and embossing techniques are outstanding.”

The dragon on the domestic-rate PERMANENT™ stamp is fully embossed and gold foil is . . .

Read more at: Canada Post

China Scares the World with New Postage Stamp

Scores of collectors and social commentators have complained about the ferocious-looking 2012 dragon.

Some have sarcastically claimed it should be adopted as the motto of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which has recently been accused of bullying China's neighbours and unnerving the wider international community.

"Will the Foreign Ministry be sending this stamp on its gifts to its old friends or to old rivals? Does the dragon stamp suggest a peaceful 2012?" asked . . .

Read more at: The Daily Telegraph

Postage Stamp Design Includes Genuine Diamond

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year will be one to remember and, once again, Jersey Post has created a ‘first’ in stamp printing techniques and innovative design.

This is the first time that a British stamp has been adorned with a real diamond and these unique Souvenir Miniature Sheets are securely presented in a deluxe presentation box with a numbered certificate. They’re only available from the Jersey Philatelic Bureau and purely on a first come, first served basis.

The Imperial State Crown also appears on the Souvenir Miniature Sheet and is enhanced with spot embossing and translucent hot foiling.

The diamonds will only feature on the . . .

Read more at: Jersey Post

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Danny Thomas, the versatile entertainer who spent seven decades on radio, TV and film, will make a posthumous appearance on a ”forever” postage stamp in honor of the 50th anniversary of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which he founded in 1962.

The hospital ”was his absolute passion,” actress Marlo Thomas, his daughter, said. ”He lived it, he . . .

Read more at: The Jackson Sun