Of all the topical themes of philately, it would seem that none is more popular than the Olympics. Starting in 1896, with the beginning of the modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Olympic stamps were issued to mark the event. Olympic philately has been so well received through the years that the International Olympic Committee even awards gold, silver, and bronze medals to the countries with the best stamp for a particular Olympics. In 2004, the gold «prix Olympia» was awarded to Portugal, the silver to the Ukraine, and the bronze to Australia.
To hinge or not to hinge…
Many stamp enthusiasts may wonder whether or not it is better to use a hinge to mount a stamp in their album or not. Hopefully this article will be useful in helping you make the right decision.
A Philatelic Murder Mystery
For many, collecting stamps is an interesting and creative hobby. History records however, that a passion for stamps has overcome certain individuals’ reason and self-control. One notable example is the stunning murder of Gaston Leroux in Paris, France back in 1892.
Ferrary – His Legendary Collection!
The most complete stamp collection ever assembled was done so by Philip Ferrary de La Renotière. He was born in 1850 in the Hôtel Matignon in Paris, France. He was born into the aristocracy, his father and mother being a Duke and Duchess respectively. However, he eventually gave up his titles after his father died, asking to be simply called «Ferrary».
Canada Post and the Inverted Lighthouse Stamp
In 1907, the lighthouse at Pachena Point in British Columbia was constructed, and first lit in 1909. It was built after a ship, the Valencia, shipwrecked on its shores. The wreck was one of the worst in maritime history, and earned the waters that it went down in the name «Graveyard of the Pacific».
Learning About the «Graf Zeppelin» Stamps
First of all, let’s discuss aerophilately. This is an area of philately which focuses on the study of airmail stamps, in other words, stamps which were used in the transport of mail by air. There are many different facets of airmail. For example: balloon mail, zeppelin mail, rocket mail, fixed-wing aircraft mail. This article will concentrate on zeppelin mail.
The Sneaky $5 Moose!
Nobody wants to find out that they have spent hard earned money on a fake stamp. In an effort to prevent counterfeiters from easily producing certain stamps, on December 19th, 2003, Canada Post issued a high-value definitive, the $5 Moose (Canada #1693), with certain security features.
The Greatest Stamp Forger of All Time!
While we do not want to condone the practice of forging stamps, it is however interesting to learn the story of Jean de Sperati, the greatest stamp forger of all times! De Sperati (1884-1957) was born in Pisa, Italy, but grew up in France. His family was in the printing business, and he became a printer and engraver, eventually becoming a master forger of stamps.
Fakes and Forgeries – How to Spot Them!
Just as the design and fabrication of postage stamps is an art, one might say that the forging and faking of them is as well. Familiarising ourselves with the different methods employed can help to not be fooled by them. Here are a few ways counterfeiters go about altering stamps.
Fakes and Forgeries – Beware!
|Real or fake? At top is the unique genuine British Guiana Penny Magenta, and on the bottom is a very similar stamp described by experts as a forgery.|
As with any object of value, stamps attract the attention of some dishonest individuals. Just like in the world of currency and of fine art, one has to be on the lookout for forgeries and fakes. In fact, only twenty years after the issuing of the first stamp in 1840 did the first forgery appear. It is probably every collector’s greatest nightmare to discover that a well-loved and valuable stamp is actually a fake.