Collectors crave for Olympic stamps

First Olympic theme on stamp from Greece
First Olympic theme on stamp from Greece

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.

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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.

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