The most UNUSUAL stamps in the world

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tonga2
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Post by tonga2 »

Brummie, yes to both questions.

They are stamps made to look like trading cards, and they were valid for postage.

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Post by Sisophon »

[quote="tonga2"]STAMPS PRINTED ON SILK OR ARTIFICIAL SILK

China 2006 - artificial silk
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Actually all those you called artificial are AUTHENTIC,
yes, authentic silk.

The Chinese invented pulp papermaking process, before this they used cloth as paper, and silk is one of the many kinds. Silk as paper has a different making process from silk as cloth for clothes, and so the texture can be different.

I guess silk paper fabric is quite alien to you and so you consider it artificial.

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Post by MarginBlocks »

In 1990 and 1991, the USA issued two test panes of 12, 25-cent and 'F'-denominated (29-cent) stylized flag stamps manufactured on thin plastic for dispensing in bank ATM machines in the Seattle, Washington area. The pane size of ATM stamps in the USA are the same size as the currency.

The 25-cent stamps are Scott 2475 and the 'F'-stamps are Scott 2522.

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Post by tonga2 »

Thanks Mark - for those who haven't seen them - the US plastic stamps look like this:-

1990 - issued from ATM machines in pane of 12
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1991 - issued from ATM machines in pane of 12
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Post by tonga2 »

Sisophon - the silk stamps feel just like fabric/cloth and don't feel anything like paper, while the "artificial" silk stamps feel partly like fabric and partly like paper - although the Chinese dealers list them as "silk" stamps. I belong to the UNUSUAL STAMP e-group, and other members of the group have listed the Chinese stamps as artificial silk - yesterday I emailed the group asking if there were any "technical" reasons for calling the Chinese sheets "artificial" silk, but so far I have not received any answers.

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Post by tonga2 »

The most famous PLASTIC stamps are those issued by Bhutan:-

1971
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1972
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1973 - The famous record stamps from Bhutan
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And many of the 3-D stamps are also plastic, but these also come under another section which include 3-D stamps showing one image, 3-D stamps showing more than one image, and 3-D stamps showing movement (these will make another thread sometime in the future).

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Post by MarginBlocks »

tonga2 wrote:Thanks Mark - for those who haven't seen them - the US plastic stamps look like this:-
1990 - issued from ATM machines in pane of 12
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1991 - issued from ATM machines in pane of 12
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Perfect examples of what eventually became a controversial stamp issue. It was stated after these stamps were issued that they were not environmentally friendly since they were made from plastic not paper.

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Post by Sisophon »

tonga2 wrote:Sisophon - the silk stamps feel just like fabric/cloth and don't feel anything like paper, while the "artificial" silk stamps feel partly like fabric and partly like paper - although the Chinese dealers list them as "silk" stamps. I belong to the UNUSUAL STAMP e-group, and other members of the group have listed the Chinese stamps as artificial silk - yesterday I emailed the group asking if there were any "technical" reasons for calling the Chinese sheets "artificial" silk, but so far I have not received any answers.

The information I got from China Post is that it is authentic silk, not artificial.

I do not own any of those sheetlets or touched them, so it is hard for me to examine further. The silk used in Chinese painting is called "juan", it is specially treated with a kind of disulphide solution, but the final product is still a cloth-looking thing.

I suspect the China Post has something different, I mean, they may have added in something new to the silk so that the printing ink can stay on it better, and consequently gives better printing quality but then the silk texture becomes strange.

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Post by tonga2 »

Hi Sisophon - I asked members of our "unusual stamps" group what they felt was the difference between artificial silk and real silk, and one of our more knowledgeable members gave the following explanation:-

"I think the "difference" has to be determined in relation to the chemical composition of the fibers, and not the "feel". For instance, the Bhutan Thangkha "silk" stamp are actually rayon - a chemically constructed thread. Silk is a naturally occurring fiber that is chemically distinct and can't be (or has not yet been) reproduced so that a chemist could not tell the difference. I would bet that the Poland issue is not printed on true naturally occurring silk.

There is a very good analysis of this kind of thing that was published twenty years ago in a German stamp magazine, when the question arose about the East German chemical industry souvenir sheet that was printed on what the E. Germans called "dederon".The Germans analyzed this to get at whether the dederon SS was printed on a cloth fabric or not. If it wasn't woven, then it was like paper with either man made or natural fibers (usually cotton) mixed in. To get to the conclusion, the article examined natural fibers vs. man made fibers.

Ask if your inquirer can read German or not. If so, I'll be glad to dig out and scan the article from my files."

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Post by tonga2 »

CRYSTALS AND GLASS STONES AFFIXED

In 2011 Hungry issued a S/S with 6 crystals affixed around the middle of the crown, 3 blue coloured glass stones affixed around the bottom of the crown and gold foiling all around, an expensive sheet

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Post by gavin-h »

tonga2 wrote:1963 East Germany - feels a bit like silk, but is actually printed on dederon (polyamide)
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I never knew that - I just always assumed this was printed on thin "cigarette" paper. :shock:

And, quite low catalogue value considering only 1.1 million were printed :idea:

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Post by tonga2 »

LACE AFFIXED

France issued a set of 4 souvenir sheets late 2011 - the stamp in each S/S has a different type of lace attached to it

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Post by imworld »

Wow! These stamps are amazing! I really love them. Thought I would collect them myself but they might be way out of my budget.
Thank you for showing them.
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Post by tonga2 »

Thanks Imworld - actually, most of them are not expensive - all have been issued in the last 50 years or so, and can be found reasonably easily on Ebay or Delcampe. But shop around - prices vary - for instance, the Swiss lace stamp shown above can be found on Delcampe for anywhere between 3 euros and 15 euros! And I have seen the sheetlet of 4 for as low as 50 euros and as high as 220 euros!

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Post by Canada stamper »

I've had this cover with the Swiss embroidered stamp for many years now, not really part of any collection but unique enough that I held onto it...

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Thanks for all the images tonga2, a very interested read! :D
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Post by tonga2 »

Nice cover too Canada Stamper

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Post by rolcora »

1965 Sierra Leone, Scott 310-316, C53-55

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Post by rolcora »

Heart shaped stamps from France

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Post by tonga2 »

GILT FOIL

Sierra Leone 1966 gilt foil coin set
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Post by tonga2 »

GILT FOIL

Tonga 1963 gilt foil coin set
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Post by tonga2 »

GILT FOIL

Tonga 1965 overprinted gilt foil coins

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Post by tonga2 »

PALLADIUM FOIL

Wikipedia says palladium is is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slew Pallas. Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). These have similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of them.

Tonga is the only country to date to issued stamps printed on palladium.

Tonga 1967 Coronation set
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Tonga 1968 King's Birthday
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Post by Mani »

These covers are just awesome!
Always on the look for British India stamps!

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Post by rolcora »

tonga2 wrote:Yes, you are correct Lambinator - we formed a yahoo e-group a while ago (there are now 40 of us from 20 different countries) - we all collect unusual stamps and alert the group when any of us notice a new issue of some type of unusual stamp is coming up.
Are you still accepting members to this group? If yes, I would love to join. One of my interests is collecting 'odd-shaped' or 'free-form' stamps, and I do have an extensive collection of Tonga and Sierra Leone, coupled with a few other MS and sets of other countries. I only collect MNH.

After browsing this thread, I am drooling with anticipation at the prospect of collecting so much more types/varieties of stamps that I did not know existed. Joining your group would provide me with the advantage of obtaining newer issues as and when they come out.

Warm regards,
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Post by tonga2 »

Roland, I will be happy to join you to the Unusual Stamp yahoo e-group - let me have your email address and it will be done!

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Post by rolcora »

tonga2 wrote:Roland, I will be happy to join you to the Unusual Stamp yahoo e-group - let me have your email address and it will be done!
rolandaac[at]gmail.com

Thank you :D
Roland

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Post by tonga2 »

Thanks - joined you to the yahoo group, and email sent to you

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Post by Debbie66 »

What a fanastic topic, I can't believe the unusual stamps out there!


I'm just so amazed

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Post by Stewie1980 »

Netherlands issued something unusual last week in occasion for the Children's Books Week.

The first pop-up stamps in the world.
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Post by tonga2 »

Thanks Stewie1980 - certainly a nice new addition to the unusual stamp collection!

Pop-up stamps! What will they think of next??

Will probably be the very FIRST of many pop-up stamps to be issued once other countries see these!

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Post by tonga2 »

PRINTED ON STEEL FOIL

Bhutan 1969 - world's first and only stamps printed on steel foil
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Six steel souvenir sheets were also issued
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They CAN rust - so need to be kept protected from the air.

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Post by fromdownunder »

It's a lousy scan, but Sand Dunes don't deserve any better. Three-D stamps on a very thick card coated in plastic. So heavy that if you tried to use them on a letter they would move it up about 3 weight classes. All from the usual suspects = Ajman, Umm al Qiwain and one of the Yemens. Even the kids would hate these - no way to put them in an album.

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Post by ausfoo »

fromdownunder wrote: Image

Norm
How much are these plastics worth?

The Bhutan phonographs cost a lot nowadays
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Post by tonga2 »

Ausfoo, the sand dune 3-D stamps (which I don't collect) are selling on Ebay and Delcampe for anywhere between $3.00 to $6.00 for sets containing 5 or 6 stamps and around $9.00 to $10.00 for the larger sets containing 10 or 12 stamps - the above picture doesn't look like it contains any complete sets - if I was going to buy them, I would only buy them in complete sets. They are nice looking and non-collectors like looking at them, but no resale or investment value for most of them.

In fact, that's probably the case with most unusual type stamps, but the fun is in sharing them with non-collectors and enjoying seeing their reaction when they realize that stamps weren't only just printed on paper, and even a lot of collectors don't realize how many different types of unusual stamps there are out there.

For me, the enjoyment is the challenge of trying to find unusual stamps used on cover - some are almost impossible to find.

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Post by ausfoo »

tonga2 wrote:Ausfoo, the sand dune 3-D stamps (which I don't collect) are selling on Ebay and Delcampe for anywhere between $3.00 to $6.00 for sets containing 5 or 6 stamps and around $9.00 to $10.00 for the larger sets containing 10 or 12 stamps - the above picture doesn't look like it contains any complete sets - if I was going to buy them, I would only buy them in complete sets. They are nice looking and non-collectors like looking at them, but no resale or investment value for most of them.

In fact, that's probably the case with most unusual type stamps, but the fun is in sharing them with non-collectors and enjoying seeing their reaction when they realize that stamps weren't only just printed on paper, and even a lot of collectors don't realize how many different types of unusual stamps there are out there.

For me, the enjoyment is the challenge of trying to find unusual stamps used on cover - some are almost impossible to find.
I saw a dealer here selling these plastics at "50c a piece, YOUR CHOICE"
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Post by tonga2 »

Yes, 50c is a good price IF you can buy them in full sets.

If there are 6 stamps in the set, and you can buy four of them for 50c each, you still need to find the remaining two stamps from the set - it may take months to find them being offered elsewhere separately, and more than likely, the two you still need to make up the set will be more expensive when you find them.

I have seen many 50c 3-D stamps in large lots on Ebay - usually the same ones are missing to complete sets - it is likely that the cheap ones were printed in larger numbers.

But if you don't care about having complete sets, then 50c is a good buy. But remember one day you will want to sell them, and buyers may want complete sets.

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Post by tonga2 »

PRINTED ON PLASTIC

A recent find

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Post by tonga2 »

PRINTED ON CARD WITH LAMINATED WOOD EFFECT

2011 Andorra - Boscos
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It looks like cork, and feels a bit like plastic but is printed on thick paper/thin card with a laminated wood effect
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Post by tonga2 »

PRINTED ON BRONZE FOIL

There is to my knowledge only one stamp and one S/S printed wholly on bronze foil.

Paraguay 1987 Christmas
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The S/S
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In 1999 Thailand issued a S/S containing a stamp about half of which was bronze foil (the other two stamps in the sheet were similar looking but with half gold foil and half silver foil) – this is the stamp with bronze foil

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There may be other stamps with text which is bronze foiled but as such probably not considered to be so unusual as many stamps have text foiling of gold, silver, bronze, copper etc. which text forms only a very small part of the stamp.

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Post by Luceelu »

Wow! I had no idea there were so many stamps made of different materials.

This is truly a drool worthy thread!
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Post by tonga2 »

PLATINUM FOIL

Thanks Luceelu - I see you are from Canada.

Actually, Canada made a nice edition to unusual stamps printed on foil from 1998 to 2002. In each of these years, Canada issued a stamp printed on platinum foil. To date, these are the only stamps that I know of which were printed on platinum foil.

Here is the set of 5, one issued each year
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1998
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1999
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2000
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2001
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2002
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Post by Luceelu »

tonga2 wrote:PLATINUM FOIL

Thanks Luceelu - I see you are from Canada.

Actually, Canada made a nice edition to unusual stamps printed on foil from 1998 to 2002. In each of these years, Canada issued a stamp printed on platinum foil. To date, these are the only stamps that I know of which were printed on platinum foil.
Thanks for sharing these! I have a couple of the first two pictured - but had no idea they were printed on such a unique material.

Hooray for learning something new about stamps in my collection :D
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Post by tonga2 »

MAGNETIC INK

In June 2010, Italy issued a stamp in its “made it Italy” series for the Italy Steel Federation. The ink used had iron particles in it

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This stamp was quite unusual in that it can be picked up by a magnet because magnetic ink was used – magnetic ink is a petroleum-based ink blended with magnetic iron oxide particles.

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Post by Global Administrator »

Love the Iron ore particles!

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Post by tonga2 »

Aluminium Foil

Hungary was the first country to issue a stamp printed on aluminium foil. Issued in 1955, singles are common, blocks are a little less common, and imperf singles and blocks are a bit harder to find.
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Then in 1961 the USSR issued a space stamp printed on aluminium foil:-

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About 5 years ago, I asked some European dealers if they had covers showing usage of this aluminium stamp, and was told they had never seen any - since then I have seen four

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A few days after the USSR aluminium stamp was issued, it was then overprinted:-
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Covers showing usage of the overprinted stamp are very hard to find. To date, I have seen only one.

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Then in 1965 USSR issued another two space stamps printed on aluminium foil:-

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Covers showing usage are very hard to find

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In 1969 Yemen issued aluminium stamps for Apollo 11 :-

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Issued perf and imperf and S/S – never seen any covers showing usage.



In 1974 Equatorial Guinea issued three stamps commemorating the UPU Centenary:-
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In 1976 USSR issued a single stamp:-

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This actually looks like gold foil, but I have been told it is indeed printed on aluminium foil.

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In 2016 Spain issued an aluminium stamp for industry.
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In 2016 Australia issued a prestige booklet showing bridges - one pane was aluminium
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tonga2
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Post by tonga2 »

COPPER FOIL

Copper foil S/S were issued by Equatorial Guinea in 1973.

Issued very appropriately for (Coper)nicus! Three souvenir sheets were issued both perf and imperf – the imperf versions are harder to find, and differ in colour in the value tablet which is green on the imperfs.

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Rare usage on cover
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Post by tonga2 »

WORLD FIRST SELF-ADHESIVE FOIL STAMP

France issued in December 2010 what they say is the first ever self-adhesive peel off foil stamp. The stamp shows the movie Avatar

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The stamp was issued in a pack containing a sheetlet of 10 stamps.
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Usage
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Post by tonga2 »

SILVER FOIL - AFRICAN COUNTRIES

This section shows both silver foil, silver, and rigid silver stamps. It does not include the hundreds of both perf and imperf silver foil stamps issued by the various Middle East countries during the 1960’s and 1970’s and does not not include the hundreds of stamps with silver foil text. There are surprisingly few fully silver foil stamps issued by other countries, and these are reasonably easy to complete.


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Haute-Volta 1970 Christmas

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Rare usage

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Ivory Coast 1970 Tenth Anniversary of Independence

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Ivory Coast 1970 Tenth Anniversary of Independence

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Congo 1971 Scouts

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Guinee 1972 Jules Verne

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Guinee 1972 Kennedy and King

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Guinee 1972 Kennedy and Mao

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Senegal 1974 Dakar

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Mauritania 1974 Skylab

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Senegal 1976 Dakar

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Mauritania 1978 French-African Co-operation

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Ivory Coast 1980 75th Birthday President Boigny

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Greenpiece 1996 – only available in S/S


In 2005-6 The Gambia issued four sets of rigid silver stamps (similar size and thickness as a Scrabble tile) for Pope Jean-Paul

16 June 2005 – set 1
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1 Sept 2005 – set 2
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16 Jan 2006 – set 3
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16 Feb 2006 – set 4
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Post by tonga2 »

SILVER FOIL - GUYANA


Most of the silver foil stamps shown below from Guyana were also issued in sheetlets of 4 (white background with four single stamps on the sheet) and as singles in souvenir sheets (the souvenir sheets were printed on thin card with various scenes with the single silver foil stamp somewhere on the sheet) – just the single stamps are shown below.

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3815

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3817

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3819

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3821

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3823

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3825

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3827

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3829

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3831

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Guyana 1992 World Thematic Exhibition – Mi #3979

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Guyana 1992 Olympic Winners - Mi #3981

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Guyana 1992 Olympic Winners - Mi #3983

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Guyana 1992 Animals - Mi #4122

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Guyana 1992 Marine Life - Mi #4124

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Guyana 1993 Olympics - Mi #4295, 4297, 4299

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Guyana 1993 Dinosaurs - Mi #4301

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Guyana 1993 Christmas

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Guyana 1993 Christmas

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Guyana 1994 Thematics

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Guyana 1994 Year of the Dog

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Guyana 1994 Dinosaurs

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Guyana 1994 Charlie Chaplin

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Guyana 1994 Charlie Chaplin

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Guyana 1994 Woodstock

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Guyana 1994 Woodstock – this S/S is shown because the stamp shown on it is only available by getting the S/S as it was not issued as a single stamp – note the difference between the stamp on the S/S and the Woodstock stamp listed above? The stamp on the S/S has TWO birds sitting on the guitar.

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Guyana 1994 End of World War II

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Guyana 1995 Protect Our Environment – the stamp was not issued as a single, only available in the S/S

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Post by tonga2 »

SILVER FOIL - MONGOLIA


Most of the silver foil stamps shown below from Mongolia were also issued in sheetlets of 4 (white background with four single stamps on the sheet) and as singles in souvenir sheets (the souvenir sheets were printed on thin card with various scenes with the single silver foil stamp somewhere on the sheet) – just the single stamps are shown below.


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2124


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2125


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2126


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2127


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2128


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2129


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2129A


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2130


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Mongolia 1993 Mi#2130A

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