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.





2008 Beijing Olympic stamp from canada
2008 Beijing Olympic stamp from canada

Perhaps one of the reasons why Olympic stamps are so popular is because each one represents a little bit of history. Each nation can display its pride in its athletes or culture. Some nations even choose to immortalize their gold medallists on individual stamps.

As previously mentioned, commemorative Olympic stamps go back to the first modern Olympiad in Athens. One might say that the practice owes its birth to the fact that the 1896 Games were badly in need of funds (the total cost of the Games was US$448,000), and one of the ingenious ways of raising money was to issue a set of commemorative stamps (the first commemoratives in Greek history) marking the event. The stamps raised a bit more than 10% of the total cost, and this money allowed Olympic organizers to go ahead with the building of the last four sites of the Games.

This was not the last time, however, that stamps would play a major role in raising funds for an Olympics. The 1976 Montreal games were already colossally over-budget during the planning years due to errors, strikes and suspected corruption. In an effort to raise desperately needed money, on September 20th 1973, Canada issued Olympic semi postal stamps for the first time in its history. Unfortunately, stamps would never be able to raise the $1.5 billion needed to pay for these Olympics-a debt finally paid off mid-November 2006!

29 thoughts on “Collectors crave for Olympic stamps”

  1. For years, after my retirement I have been looking for a hobby, apart from reading.
    As a teenager I enjoyed collecting stamps and for the last ten years I just dumped stamps from incoming mail into a box. Three months ago I started to take the paper off the stamps from all over the world (in three boxes) and I found my new hobby.
    Arpin send me the album, catalogue, etc I needed and I am looking forward to the monthly shipment off Canadian stamps.

  2. dear sir, I am a retired business executive very much interested in collecting old and used olympic games exchange of floral indian stamps in equal number basis.pls reply.If you are from Canada I can give a reference of
    having looked after the entire purchases from India, for EATONS DEPARTMENTAL STORES OF CANADA, FROM 1975 TO 1979 AS THEIR BUYING AGENT IN INDIA. TKS. JOHN

  3. I have a large collection of gold and silver 1976 Montreal Olympic stamps. I have 5 sets in gold and 3 sets in silver and 2 in pewter….as well as various other Olympic sets in gold and silver coins. My husband is in the process of taking pictures to see if there is an interest on e-bay and organizing the sets

    I found your site through Google. Do you have any interest in my stamps and coins. My mother purchased them years ago and I have no knowledge (or interest) in them. I am only aware of what they are worth as gold per oz. and each stamp is an ounce of 24 carat gold

  4. Hello,

    I’m looking for set of 1976 Montreal Olympic silver stamps of the *water sports*. They come with the paper stamps and are presented in a box. Please let me know if you have this set and an indication of the price.

    Best regards

    • i have a silver stamp set plus the plat for the stamps was never sent to OTTAWA to be printed so it is blank make an offer thank you

    • Claude i just bought a leather binder with all of the 1976 Montreal Olympic silver coins
      and all of the envelope s with stamps,could you give me a value on the coin set plus all of the stamps.
      Thank Tommy

  5. I have a set of these silver stamps. They have tarnished some while sitting in their original case ( closed ) –
    The paper stamps are there too.

    Also have the 6 different series collection of gold, silver and bronze 1976 Montreal Olympic stamps. Also if coins are of interest, have the Olympic sets in silver and gold coins.

  6. Hello

    All I am curious if anybody knows how rare or if there is any value (other than meltdown) for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Silver Stamp Sets that were printed in error?

    The sets consist of silver 8 cent, 20 cent and 25 cent stamps. The 8 cent stamp is printed with Olympiad XX in error. The 20 cent and 25 cent are printed with Olympiad XXI which is correct in depicting the 21st summer Olympiad. The paper stamps that are in the set are all correct (Olympiad XXI).


  7. I have a set of stamps which i believe to be bronze in green velvet box of Montreal Olympics.Can anyone tell me what they might be worth as i am looking to sell.Thanks

  8. i have a 1976 silver olypic stamp set with the original coupon to get the paper stamps and was never sent to the mint make me an offer

      • I have a boxed set of three 1976 Olympic stamps (silver) – soccer, vaulting, and basketball(?). I would be happy to give them to you if you will provide a good home. Barbara

  9. I have a 1976 set of stamps in silver depicting boxing/judo/fencing. I also have the paper stamps which match them. I’d like to sell them to someone who might appreciate them as opposed to selling them for scrap.

  10. I have a collection of three 1976 Canadian Olympic gold stamps. They are 24 karat gold. I have taken them to gold buyers and have been told that they are only worth their melt down value. Is anyone interested in buying these? I’d rather not see them melted. They are very interesting and come in the original box with the paper stamps. It would be a shame to melt them!

  11. i have a full complete sheet of 1976 montreal winter olympic games the stamps are of the team membere carrying the flag into stadium in mint condition does anyone know how much they might be worth to a collector many thanks paul

  12. I have a 1976 stamp 25 cents in a green velvet box. Paid $ 27 with tax back in the olympics. What would you offer me ? I still have the bill.

  13. I have all the 1976 Olympic stamps.. I found them in my house when I moved in, and I am not a stamp collector and I am wondering where could I sell them

  14. i have lot of different stamp and i would like to sell them so i dont know how to go about that can any one tell me were to start aleast please

  15. Hello everyone just wanted to say if anybody needs stamps from all over the world as far back as 1800 hundreds I have . Lots of Canadian stamps . I maybe have the stamp ur missing

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