The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

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Iceland issued this self-adhesive stamp on flock paper on 27 April 2017 for SEPAC (Trades and Crafts):

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The joint SEPAC stamp motif is local or typical handcraft. The Icelandic stamp features an Icelandic sweater. The pattern shown, ”Álafoss pattern no. 51”, is a very characteristic one, designed by Mrs. Astrid Ellingsen. It was probably affected by foreign knitting traditions introduced by magazines on embroidery and fashion. The Greenland national dress and Norwegian knitting patterns may also have influenced the pattern. When Icelandic women began to adopt foreign knitting patterns and work on them according to the properties of the local material, Icelandic sweaters started resembling their foreign models, but its patterns and colors were coarser. This was due to the yarn being more fragile than the spun band. Sweaters were therefore usually knitted from three threads simultaneously. This made the garment warmer and more durable. The sweater became standardized in its traditional form in the late sixties. In the seventies, it became a popular export. It became less popular in the eighties, but now it seems to have regained its former popularity, especially among foreign tourists. The sweater has its special woolen character and its roots in the culture of contemporary Icelanders are quite solid.
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Post by tonga2 »

There are now thousands of different shaped stamps issued, most are philatelic. But for Sierra Leone from 1964 to 1971, self-adhesive shaped stamps were all they had. Many philatelic covers were made, but by way of necessity during the 8 year period, some were used on commercial mail. Shown below are some of these.

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Post by tonga2 »

On 28 July 2017 Austria issued one of the most unusual and nice looking stamps ever.

The stamp is made out of thin oak and is shaped like an oak tree.

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The black sections in the tree are actually holes, just like the space between branches in a tree.

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The information below came from the Austria Post website.


”On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Austrian Federal Forestry Office, which was taken out of the national budget and re-established as a joint stock company in 1997, Austrian Post has come up with something very unusual for a stamp: a stamp in the shape of an oak tree made from real oak wood.

Oaks (lat. Quercus) are easily recognised even by lay persons thanks to their characteristic lobed leaves and their fruits. In Austria the main native varieties are the common oak and the sessile oak. In the eastern regions of our country, oaks are widespread and play an important economic role. They can reach a height of up to
40 metres and live to an age of around 1,000 years.

The wood of the oak is one of the most valuable native woods for use as a veneer. Oak is also used for parquet flooring, doors, window frames, steps and furniture. It is also particularly important for the production of wooden barrels for high-quality barrique aged wines. Acorns, the fruit of the oak, have a high starch content and are an important food source for wild animals. Oak bark is also used in medicine.

The oak has a hard, uniform, dense wood, characteristics which are ideal for pro- ducing high-quality veneers since they prevent the wood from breaking easily. Its high strength and ease of processing, together with the uniform structure and colour of the wood, make oak a popular and trendy wood for furniture making.

All of the oak stamps were made from thin sheets of veneer from oak roundwood. For this a single tree trunk was used, originating from the Austrian Federal Forestry Office’s territory in Breitenfurt in the Wienerwald. This noble oak was around 210 years old, 30 metres tall and had a diameter of 75 centimetres at chest height. It was harvested especially to make the stamps.

All of the remaining stages in the production of the first Austrian stamp made of wood were likewise undertaken by Austrian companies. The roundwood was processed by the Vienna based company rausgebrannt in collaboration with partner companies. rausgebrannt specialises in the implementation of unusual ideas and has already produced creative designs in a wide range of materials using the most up-to-date laser technology. Production of the wooden stamps was a technically challenging undertaking – wood is a living material which “works” and also changes according to the air humidity. The short drying time for the wood meant there was a risk of splitting or deformation, and the fact that the surface of the veneer is not entirely even because of the natural wood grain made full-surface printing difficult. The tree shape was punched out of the oak veneer by means of laser cutting and laser branding. For this an in-house developed process was used to ensure nice clean edges. As a result, each oak stamp is a unique item in the shape of an oak tree and with the special feel of the renewable raw material wood.”

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Post by tonga2 »

The selfie stamp

On 6 September 2017 Swiss Post issued a stamp coated with a silver film making the surface like a mirror.

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From the Swiss Post website:-

A selfie with a stamp
How can we transfer typical content from the digital world onto a stamp format? Students from Zurich University of the Arts and Swiss Post examined this question in a collaborative project entitled “Letter vs. e-mail”. Amongst the numerous design ideas, the selfie stamp by the young designer, Nicole Jara Nizcardo, ultimately came out on top. This extraordinary A Mail stamp is coated with a silver film on which the viewer’s reflection appears. The sheet of stamps with 20 selfie stamps is also presented in the shape of a tablet, creating the perfect example of the symbiosis between digital and analogue reality.”

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And from the website Focus on Swiss stamps https://www.magazine-focus-on-stamps.ch/current-issue/focus-on-stamps-3-2017/

“The versatility of this stamp knows no bounds. Anyone who looks at it sees themselves. And that's not the only unique feature of this extraordinary project.

The selfie stamp owes its existence to a cooperative venture between Swiss Post and students completing a consolidation course in visual communication at the Zurich University of the Arts. The diligent bachelor's degree students (average age 22) were briefed by project leaders on the course topic of "Letter vs. e-mail". The design process pursued by the eight teams of two and seven solo aspirants was supervised by the university's lecturers. The winning design out of the ten best submissions picked and then entered in a final round was created by Nicole Jara Vizcardo.

The young designer's concept showed how the rise of e-mail has meant that letters have become digitalized. She drew her inspiration from this and thought about how she could transfer something typical from the digital world to the format of a postage stamp. A selfie – a self-portrait taken at a specific moment and transmitted electronically – appeared the most convincing form to her. Mirroring the zeitgeist, it is – literally – a true reflection of our society.

Silver film was used to produce this unusual stamp. The sheet of special stamps shows 20 individual stamps which form a tablet that reflects the face of the observer – the perfect symbol of the symbiosis between digital and analogue reality.”

Buy a sheet of stamps and take a selfie.

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by steevh »

I read somewhere once on eBay about a 'good 4-margin copy' of a Cape triangular stamp.

That would be my candidate - sadly I can't provide a picture of this remarkable find.

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Post by FairyFoot »

That Selfie stamp is different! Bah humbug, I don't have any penpals in Switzerland :( !!
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Printed on transparent acetate

Cellulose acetate film, or safety film, is used in photography as a base material for photographic emulsions.

Spain issued in March 2017 a sheet of stamps printed on transparent acetate – like a roll of film.

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From the Spanish Post website:-

“The Málaga Film Festival has been recognising and promoting Spanish films since 1998.
It has gradually gained a name for itself on the international film festival scene, attracting a large number of actors and other celebrities from the sector every year.
The awards themselves are reproductions of the biznaga bouquet, a hand-crafted ball of jasmine flowers which has become a symbol of Málaga. They are sold on the streets of Málaga, especially in summer, when the whole city is perfumed with their unforgettable fragrance.

Once again, as part of the Spanish Cinema series, Correos is issuing a new Premium Sheet, which this year is dedicated to the festival.

What makes this issue special is that, for the first time, it has been printed on transparent acetate to look like a film frame.

The stamp design shows a boquerón [anchovy], a fish that is strongly identified with Málaga, coming out of a tin containing a reel of film, with a background in shades of blue to represent the sea.

The Premium Sheet also shows a camera projecting a beam of light, representing the famous Málaga "Farola", the lighthouse that guides ships arriving in the bay.
The design also includes a brief history of the festival, highlighting its positive influence on the cultural development of the city, which is now well-established as a centre of art and culture..

Major museums, recent urbanism and beautification initiatives, and new bars, restaurants and cultural events all make Málaga a very attractive city, receiving a multitude of visitors every year.

The new Premium Sheet, which has 15 self-sticking stamps, will be a permanent reminder of this festival and the city that has hosted it for the last twenty years.”

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Printed on wood

Three souvenir sheets printed on wood have been issued in recent months.

On 23 Aug 2016 Russia issued a limited edition (1,000 sheets) for the Kizhi museum and reserve printed on wood.

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The Kizhi Open-Air Museum was established in 1966 on the island of Kizhi with a current collection of over 53000 exhibits featuring objects of ethnography, archeology, works the Old Russian painting, modern paintings and drawings, manuscripts and printed books, documents and photographs.

The stamp on the souvenir sheet depicts the Kizhi Ensemble consisting of two churches and the bell tower built in XVIII-XIX centuries, the souvenir sheet margins bear a schematic map of the Kizhi Open-Air Museum.

1000 numbered special souvenir sheet were printed on 3-ply plywood with a thickness of 1mm and enclosed in a frame.



On 14 June 2017 Jersey issued a wooden sheet commemorating the 25th anniversary of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with support from the Darwin Initiative, has issued a special miniature sheet.

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The Miniature Sheet, which has been printed on FSC certified sycamore, shows a portrait of Charles Darwin and is the first Jersey stamp to be printed on wood.
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust was established as an international charity by naturalist and author, Gerald Durrell OBE in 1959. It has partnered with the Darwin Initiative on many occasions during the course of its conservation programme.



On 6 Aug 2017 Indonesia issued a wooden sheet in a limited edition of only 500 sheets commemorating the Bicentenary of the Bogor Botanic Gardens

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by antbrown »

Absolutely love this thread!! So many have gone on to my wants list!!!

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Nov 2017 - Austria Post issued a stamp for Christmas showing snowflakes and affixed to each stamp is a Swarovski crystal.

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Post by Global Administrator »

Bet the mail sorting machines hated those crystal ones. :mrgreen:
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On 28 September 2018, Spanish Post will issue the world's first stamp printed on RUBBER.

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The following information comes from Spanish Post website:-

"With the issue of this stamp, Correos pays a well-deserved tribute to the Rioja native Cosme García Sáez – one of Spain’s many forgotten geniuses. He was born in Logroño on 27 September 1818, to a humble family. Self-taught and with an inquiring mind, from an early age he showed great talent for mechanics and technical subjects, which years later would lead to the creation of inventions relating to weapons, printing, mail, and sailing.

He moved to Madrid at the start of the Progressive Biennium, and two years later, in 1856, presented his first three inventions: a breech-loading rifle, a portable printing press, and a mechanism “for all types of ink stamps”.

This last invention was adopted in 1857 by Correos to mark letters with the dispatch date on the front and the arrival date on the back, hence its name: 1857 or Type II dater, replacing the 1854 or Type I model. Made abroad of high-quality steel, it left a mark of two concentric circles with diameters of 19.5 and 11 millimetres. In the centre the date appears, showing the day, the first three letters of the month slanted to the left, and the last two numbers of the year. At the top of the circles, the name of the town, and below, the provincial capital are shown, and in the case of a main Post Office Administration, its rank number appears at the bottom. This type of dater was used until the late 1870s.

The sale and maintenance of around 600 dater machines from 1857 to 1861 gave Cosme García the capital he needed to continue his career as an inventor. On his visit to the main Post Office Administration of Barcelona he discovered the sea for the first time, and immediately began to develop his most famous patent: a submarine. His first model was tested in the sea off Barcelona in 1858, one year before the Ictíneo I of Narciso Monturiol.

It is only fitting that Correos should introduce an innovation in a stamp honouring an inventor; rubber is used instead of paper, and the design is in relief: the silhouette of Cosme García, a sketch of the submersible under the sea, the text and the imprint of the 1857 dater, which stands out at the right side of the effect."

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On 10 August 2018 Bhutan post issued a 4 value lenticular 3D S/S to mark the entry of Bhutan in space with .the launch of its first satellite called Bhutan 1. The satellite was sent in to space at 3.41 PM BST aboard a space X Dragon space craft.

The following pictures show the engineers and the satellite.


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The S/S is imperf and different images are seen when tilted at an angle.


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Technical details of the issue:-

Sheet size 170mm X 135mm
Printing Offset Lithography,
Lenticular
Quantity – 5000 sheets {imperf},
Printer – Cartor Security printing
Designer – Tashi wangchuk and Barun Gurung


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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by snowy12 »

Here's one from the Netherlands ,that opens into a book.
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Post by tonga2 »

Brian, there have been three stamps like this which have little books attached - Netherlands which you show, and Vatican City and Malaysia, all shown previously in this thread. Have a look at the other two.

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Embroidered fabric stamp

Austria's embroidered "Steirerhut" (Styrian hat) with lace mimic perforation to be issued on Sep 22, 2018. Face value: 6,90 euro, quantity: 140.000.

"Together with the dirndl stamp and the Alcantara leather Lederhosen stamp, the Styrian hat stamp bears witness to the importance of traditions in fashion within Austria."


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This is one of the best unusual stamps so far.


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ESTONIA 2018 S/S – “Magic Painting” – children stamp design competition.

Issued on Sept 1, 2018, Estonia released a very unusual S/S which is shown below

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If I am reading Estonian correctly via Google translate, one can use a wet paint brush and dip it in the blue section shown at the right of the S/S and then paint something else on the S/S with the blue paint which evidently comes off the S/S by the special process mentioned below in the information from the Estonian Post website and translated by Google into English.

The "usual" drawing contest involving children, this time associated with the technical surprise: an ink that can really be used

It is called "My gift to Estonia" and is the design competition for children, the best participations of which are transformed into three self-adhesive stamps, denominations of 0.65, 1.40 and 1.50 euros.

The series, issued September 1, goes beyond the obvious. In fact, for some details, it is noted: the format of the leaflet, which evokes the palette (an idea seen, for example, in Spain a year ago), but above all, due to the fact that the blue deposit on the right can be really used to paint something; just dip in a wet brush!

In order to obtain the result, the Cartor printing shop used a special ink, creating what is called "magic painting". However, at the back of the block - which was given to Indrek Ilves - there are the necessary explanations.

The proposal starts from the initiatives for the centenary of the country; hence the idea of the tender, which also involved the postal operator (called Omniva). It was organized into three age classes, up to six years, from seven to eleven, from twelve to sixteen. A total of over 850 entries have arrived; the jury selected 24, then the last choice was entrusted to the popular vote. The contributions of a kindergarten class present in Tartu, Emili Matjušenko and Ann-Elisbeth Sang stand out..

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JERSEY issued on 18 June 2018 a 3D lenticular S/S marking the 200th Anniversary of the publication of the novel of Frankenstein.

The special 3D lenticular S/S shows the creature as he is brought to life. The innovative technology allows his eyes to open and close, with electricity flashing on and off around the laboratory when the S/S is tilted at an angle.

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When tilted
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Frankenstein is a Gothic novel written by Mary Shelley (1797 - 1851), and published on 1 January 1818. Shelley travelled to Geneva in 1816 with her future husband, Percy Shelley as well as friends Lord Byron and John Polidori. Due to the dismal weather, which left the group shut in their villa, Byron suggested they hold a horror-story writing competition. After several nights of intense thought, Mary Shelley went to bed and dreamt of a young man obsessed with creating life. This led to her writing the horror story which eventually became the genre-defining novel Frankenstein.
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Portugal 2018 The Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Sheet - Diamond Affixed

On 9 July 2018 Portugal issued a special souvenir sheet with face value EUR 20 having a 1.25mm diamond affixed commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Aga Khan in Portugal.

The S/S was issued in a thick covered booklet with a certificate from the printers Cartor of France.

The booklet
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The S/S
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The Cartor certificate
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Enlargement of the stamp on the S/S with diamond affixed
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3D stamps with Laminated Prismatic Ribbed Plastic Surface

North Korea 2018 Sports

On 10 May 2018 North Korea Post issued a special set of 3D laminated stamps which show the feeling of depth when tilted.

The set was issued perf and imperf

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North Korea 2018 Praga Stamp Exhibition

For the Praga 2018 stamp show, North Korea issued a 3D plastic S/S both perf and imperf showing orchids.

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China 2018 SCO Qingdao Summit Silk sheet

On 9 June 2018 China Post issued a S/S printed on silk to commemorate the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit at Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province.

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Rock dust affixed

South Korea 2018 Must Visit Tourist Destinations

On 24 May 2018 South Korea issued a sheetlet of stamps with rock dust affixed to each stamp


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When enlarged, the rock dust can be seen easily

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The four different stamps show the breathtaking views of four mountainous national parks - the Juwangsan National Park, the Taebaeksan National Park, the Mudeungsan National Park and the Bukhansan National Park.


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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Hong Kong 2018 Inclusive Communication S/S – 3D lenticular multi-image

Issued on 7 June 2018 to promote inclusive communication

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When tilted the 3D lenticular stamp at top left in the S/S shows multiple images. Try to count how many different images there are.

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I managed to snip 5 different images – there may be more.

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Australia 2018 Israel Favourite Tree - Eucalyptus Scented Stamps

The World Stamp Championships Israel 2018 S/S issued by Australia Post on 27 May 2018 contains four $1 Flowering Gum stamps from the 2016 Love the Celebration stamp issue incorporated into a S/S.

Eucalyptus was voted Israel’s favourite tree and the S/S includes a ‘scratch and sniff’ effect, which brings out the unique fragrance of the Eucalyptus.

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Rock Dust affixed

Andorra 2018 Bridges

On 23 April 2018 Andorra issued a stamp as part of the Europa series as the year 2018 is dedicated to Bridges. The stamp shows the Pont d'Engordany bridge.


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The bridge shown on the stamp features a special printing process which includes rock dust being printed on the stamp


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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by Gillian »

Some fascinating stamps and stories in this thread, Tonga. Thank you so much for sharing your vast wealth of knowledge.


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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Thanks Gillian - quite a few people now collect unusual stamps - our Facebook group called Unusual Stamps News now has 1,900 members from many countries.

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

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Spain 2018 - Solo - Star Wars Story – 3D lenticular multi-image

On 13 April 2018 Spain issued a shaped S/S showing the space ship Millenium Falcon and with stamps featuring the Wookie Warrior Chewbacca, and the main character of the story Han Solo (earlier played by Harrison Ford and now played by Alden Ehrenreich as the younger Han Solo).

The plastic 3D lenticular multi-image S/S shows two different images when tilted.


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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by DJCMH »

The shape of the stamps may be traditional, but any stamp that has the aroma of HAM has got to fall in the "odd and unusual" category.

I wonder if the stamps are kosher/halal??? :D

Issued 21 Sept 2018 by Correos Spain
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https://www.correos.es/ss/Satellite/site/coleccion-136320203 ... ioma=en_GB
If there is one Spanish scent that awakens all our senses, it’s the aroma of Iberico ham.

A platter of Guijuelo ham and a glass of Ribera del Duero are a perfect combination for a get-together among friends or a good chat, to celebrate our successes or console us for our failures.

And the aroma of ham pervades this mini sheet with two stamps celebrating the Protected Designation of Origin of Ribera del Duero and the Protected Designation of Origin of Guijuelo.

The stamp on wine shows a grapevine toasting a glass of wine. Castile and León is fortunate to have the soil that produces one of the world’s best wines. In the archaeological site of Pintia, Padilla de Duero, there are indications that the Vaccaei people already knew and consumed wine some 2,500 years ago.

In 1982, the Ministry of Agriculture awarded the wine the Designation of Origin, approving its first regulation.

The stamp on Iberico ham shows pigs ranging freely in the countryside. Acorn-fed pigs spend their whole lives in large open spaces. This gives them their good musculature, with plenty of marbled fat.

The Iberico pig variety is known for its dark, nearly hairless hide, its long, narrow snout, and its long, slender hind legs. It has large pointed ears which usually fold over, even covering the eyes.

The "Guijuelo" Designation of Origin was granted in 1986. Although it takes its name from a town in Salamanca province, the pigs are reared and the ham is produced throughout Castile and León and in three other regions: Castilla la Mancha, Extremadura and Andalusia.

The stamp is completed by a foreground image of a slice of Iberico ham, intensely coloured and with the classic marbling, which combined with the aroma suffusing the stamp makes it good enough to eat - and it is also ham-flavoured.

Once again Correos opts for innovation in its stamps, like these ones that we can literally smell and taste.
APS #173088 Stamp Catalog Coordinator for Colnect Online Catalogue https://colnect.com/en/stamps

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Re: The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

Post by tonga2 »

Yes that's a good one DJCMH - scented stamps are one section of the different types of unusual stamps - thanks for sharing. Spain has issued quite a few unusual type stamps in recent times.

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