High-Value Stamp Marks Queen’s 65th Anniversary of the Accession

On February 6, 1952, King George VI died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. His eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, was proclaimed queen at the age of 25.

To commemorate the event, Royal Mail today issued a new sapphire blue £5 high-denomination definitive, with an iridescent overprint featuring the legend “65th Anniversary of Accession.”

The stamp features the familiar bas-relief portrait by Arnold Machin.

Queen Elizabeth II is Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

To mark the event, in addition to the stamp, Royal Mail is offering several commemorative covers, some which include a commemorative coin. For more information, visit www.royalmail.com/personal/stamps-collectibles-gifts.

Canadian Opera Takes Spotlight With Five New Stamps

Two significant Canadian-penned operas and three talented individuals who helped to put modern Canadian opera talent on the world stage are featured on five stamps to be issued February 4.

The permanent stamps that pay the first-class domestic rate (currently 85 cents) are produced in booklets of 10 and a souvenir sheet of five.

Three stamps shine the spotlight on award-winning bass baritone Gerald Finley, internationally acclaimed soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, and late director Irving Guttman, known as the “father of opera in Western Canada.”

Two stamps honor operas: the 1967 work Louis Riel, which romanticizes the life of the legendary Métis leader while Filumena is the tale of an Italian immigrant who was the only woman to be hanged in Alberta.

As with all stamp issues in 2017, these stamps have been treated with special tagging to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial. “Canada 150” will appear along the top of the stamps when they are viewed under black light.

Little Known of Interpreter Featured on Canada’s 2017 Black History Stamp

Mathieu Da Costa — a 17th-century interpreter who is thought to be the first person of African descent to arrive in Canada — is featured on this year’s Black History stamp from Canada Post.

The domestic rate self-adhesive stamps sold in booklets of 10 are being formally issued February 1 at the start of Black History Month. The official first-day cover is canceled in Tadoussac, Quebec, where historians believe Da Costa may have come ashore.

Da Costa continues to fascinate and confound scholars. Admittedly little is known about Da Costa and there is no known portrait. From the few records that remain, historians conclude he was a free man who earned a living as an interpreter for Europeans who were trading with indigenous people in the New World. Believed to be of African or even Euro-African descent, his connection to Canada came in the year 1608 — the year Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec — when Da Costa signed a contract to work for French fur trader, explorer and governor of Acadia, Pierre Dugua de Mons.

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Royal Mail Honors David Bowie on a Set of 10 Stamps

Songwriter, performer, and music innovator David Bowie will be honored on a set of 10 commemorative stamps to be issued March 14 by Royal Mail of Great Britain.

Bowie — considered by many critics, music historians, and fans as one of the most influential musicians and performing artists of the modern era — would have been 70 on January 8, but died from cancer a year ago on January 10.

Six stamps will feature album covers: Hunky Dory; Aladdin Sane; “Heroes”; Let’s Dance; Earthling and ★ [Blackstar], which was released on the singer’s birthday, two days before he died. The arc of the vinyl album protrudes from the right hand side of each stamp.

Another four stamps will show Bowie performing on tours across four decades: The Ziggy Stardust Tour (1972); The Stage Tour (1978);The Serious Moonlight Tour (1983); and A Reality Tour (2004).

Endlessly innovative and pioneering, Bowie is widely regarded as having elevated his music to an art form. He also was a music composer and producer, writer, and actor, performing in movies (The Man Who Fell to Earth) and on Broadway (Elephant Man).

In its appreciation of Bowie after his death, USA Today used such phrases as “transformative,” “enduring chameleon,” “charismatic,” and “shape-shifter” to describe him.

This is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated an entire stamp issue to an individual music artist or cultural figure. Royal Mail has honored two other rock-era musical groups with stamps: The Beatles (2010) and Pink Floyd (2015). In addition to Bowie’s 70th birthday, the stamps coincide with the 50th anniversary of the singer’s first album.

Alongside the special stamps, first-day covers and a presentation pack, Royal Mail will offer several limited edition David Bowie souvenirs, some of which have an edition limit of just 950. Advance orders are being accepted on the Royal Mail website (royalmail.com/davidbowie). The set of six album stamps (£6.48) and four-stamp performance minisheet (£4.32) will cost approximately $13.60.

Canada UNESCO World Heritage Sites Stamps

Canada Post debuted five new UNESCO Heritage Sites definitive permanent stamps January 16 in panes of 10 and 30, a souvenir sheet, and international rate picture postal cards.

The five locations are: Dinosaur Provincial Park (AB), Mistaken Point (NL), Historic District of Old Québec (QC), L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (NL), and Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (NL).

The stamps feature some interesting tagging with the flag and Canada 150 symbol in the selvage of the sheet. The frame of the stamps have symbols that include the UNESCO building logo. An image of the stamps photographed under ultraviolet light, as seen below, shows the tagging.

[Canada Post Press Release]

Stamps showcase five UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Earth’s earliest complex large life forms, a Viking settlement and Old Québec’s well-preserved historic district are all celebrated

OTTAWA – Canadians are invited to discover the country’s early historic settlements and to envision the origins of complex organisms on this planet by new stamps depicting UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

“These sites are treasures for Canada and the world – and we hope that these stamps instill pride and arouse a sense of wonder in every Canadian,” says Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra.

Three of the stamps feature sites that are new to the multi-year series, which has celebrated all 18 sites:

• Mistaken Point (N.L.), at the southeastern tip of Newfoundland, gives us some sense of what life looked like when organisms began to get larger than microbes and complex. Embedded along this gorgeous coastline are groups of the oldest known fossils of ancient soft-bodied life forms, dating back 560 to 580 million years. These strange multi-celled organisms ranged in size from as small as a fingernail to as long as a metre and had no legs or eyes. They are believed to be the planet’s first large life forms.
• The Historic District of Old Québec (Que.), founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, is still bustling with activity, yet has maintained the integrity of essential historical buildings and spaces over more than four centuries. Fortified with walls, gates and bastions, this is the only colonial city north of Mexico to have preserved its ramparts.
• L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (N.L.), at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, contains timber-framed turf dwellings built by a Norse expedition more than 1,000 years ago. The settlement is the earliest known European presence in North America.

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