STAMPS - Booklet about stamps layout.indd by sdsdfqw21

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INDEX                                                                                         INTRODUCTION
Page 2:   Long ago...                       Page 23: CHAPTER 7                                If you thought stamp collecting was a boring
                                                     Enhancing the quality of life            pastime practised by people who had noth-
Page 4:   CHAPTER 1
                                                                                              ing better to do, you’re in for a great surprise.
          Stamp collecting – what and why   Page 26: CHAPTER 8
                                                                                              Stamp collecting has been called the hobby
                                                     Miniature works of art
Page 9:   CHAPTER 2                                                                           of kings and has been enthusiastically pur-
          Collecting classes for            Page 29: CHAPTER 9                                sued by kings, presidents, academics, scien-
          competitive collectors                     So, you want to start collecting?        tists, millionaires, schoolchildren and count-
                                                                                              less other enthusiasts all over the world.
Page 10: CHAPTER 3                          Page 31: CHAPTER 10
         Historical, rare, unique and odd            Selling your collection                  In addition to being a fascinating hobby that
                                                                                              can be enjoyed from youth right through to
Page 15: CHAPTER 4                          Page 33: CHAPTER 11
                                                                                              old age, stamps have educational value, his-
         What a “wow”                                Submit your proposal for a stamp issue
                                                                                              torical and cultural value, aesthetic value,
Page 19: CHAPTER 5                          Page 34: CHAPTER 12                               therapeutic value and investment value, to
         Educational and creative                    A personal encounter with                name but a few of its benefits.
         value of stamps                             postage stamps
                                                                                              With this booklet, we hope you’ll explore
Page 21: CHAPTER 6                          Page 36: CHAPTER 13                               with us the fascinating world of stamps.
         How to start and run a stamp                Stamping’s structures
         club for children

Before embarking on our journey of explo-       Rowland Hill, then Secretary of the South       As a result, the world’s first postage stamp,
ration, let’s look at how and why postage       Australian Commission, first came up with        the Penny Black, was issued in Britain in May
stamps came into the world.                     the idea of an adhesive stamp to indicate       1840. The stamp became known as the Pen-
                                                prepayment of postage. It was part of his       ny Black because the profile of Queen Victo-
Long ago, before there were postage stamps,
                                                proposal in 1837 to reform the British postal   ria’s head depicted on the stamp was placed
postage rates for delivery of letters in many
                                                system. The postal reforms led to a uniform     against a black background, and the stamp
countries depended on the distance travelled
                                                postal rate, the Penny Post, based on weight.   had a denomination of one penny.
and the number of sheets of paper used. Fur-
thermore, the persons who received the let-
ter or package - not the senders - had to pay
the postage when they received mail!
Before postage stamps were used, letters
were hand-stamped or postmarked with
cancellers in ink. Postmarks were first called
‘Bishop’ marks after Henry Bishop who in-
vented them. These postmarks, which indi-
cated the date on which postal items were
mailed, were first used in 1661 at the London
General Post Office.

                                                                                                                       A BRITISH STAMP DEPICTING
                                                                                                                       SIR ROWLAND HILL
           A BISHOP MARK FROM 1766,
              DATED 20 NOVEMBER

Since Britain was the first country to issue
adhesive stamps, the Universal Postal Union
(UPU) – the international regulating body -
granted it exemption from the rule that the
name of the issuing country must appear on
a stamp. Therefore, only the ruling monarch’s
head is depicted on all Britain’s stamps. Today,
it usually appears as a silhouette in a corner
of the stamp in combination with the overall
stamp design.
                                                   THE WORLD’S FIRST POSTAGE      MODERN BRITISH STAMPS DEPICTING THE REIGNING MONARCH
In South Africa, the first postage stamp, the       STAMP, BRITAIN’S PENNY BLACK
Cape Triangular, was issued on 1 September
1853 in the Cape of Good Hope, then a British
colony. The Cape Triangular was designed by
Charles Davidson Bell, a surveyor by profes-
sion who was Surveyor General of the then
Cape Colony. It had a peculiar shape that was
unique in the stamp designs of that period.
The background of the stamp featured wavy
lines coupled with short thicker vertical and
diagonal lines. The female figure represent-
                                                   PARLIAMENT IN 1910

Stamp collecting – what and why                                                                       What is philately?
Before exploring the wows and wonders of                                                              Philately encompasses stamp collecting, but
stamps, let’s get some answers to questions                                                           refers mainly to the study of postage or reve-
that will guide us along the way.                                                                     nue stamps, postmarks, stamped envelopes
                                                                                                      and postal history. This includes aspects
How did it all start?
                                                                                                      such as the history, design, production, errors
The issue of the Penny Black stamp by Great
                                                                                                      in printing and uses of stamps.
Britain in 1840, triggered the start of stamp
collecting and philately. Stamp dealers started                                                       The word ‘philately’ comes from the French
trading in stamps as early as 1850 and have       REVENUE STAMPS FROM BRITISH COLONIES                word ‘philatelie’, which, in turn, is derived
since played a vital role in supplying stamps                                                         from the Greek words ‘philos’, meaning ‘the
to collectors. Stamp catalogues, magazines        tiser, was published in 1862 in Liverpool.          love of’, and ‘atelia’ meaning ‘exemption
             and albums were available by the     Initially, collecting pursuits covered all stamp    from tax’ (which can also translate to ‘post-
               early         1860s. The world’s   types, i.e. postage and revenue stamps, as          age prepaid’).
                                first     stamp    well as postal stationery, namely postcards         Why collect stamps?
                               magazine, The      and envelopes with imprinted stamps. But it         People collect stamps for many different
                               Monthly Adver-     soon became clear that some stamps were             reasons. Some start at a young age and enjoy
                                                             much more valuable or rare than          their collections so much that it becomes a
                                                              others and therefore more sought        life-long passion. Some are spellbound by the
                                                                after by collectors. The most ex-     beauty of stamps as tiny works of art, some
                                                                    tensive collection of rarities,   love the way stamps teach them about other
                                                                       especially of Great Britain    countries of the world, some are fascinated
                                                                      and its colonies, belong to     by rare stamps and others are interested in
                                                                    the British Royal Family. The     the stories and history behind the stamps.
                                                                 collections of King Farouk of        But most of all, stamp collectors have fun
                                                               Egypt, Tsar Nicolas III of Russia      with their stamps – there is always a chal-
                                                             and King Carol of Romania were           lenge because no collection is ever really
                                                          also renowned.                              complete. New stamps are issued, old ones
                                                                                                      are discovered and research leads to new
 facts about prized collections. And, of course,        stamps issued by the postal authorities to pay         culation for several years.
 it’s a hobby the whole family or groups of             for a range of commonly used postal rates. Cur-
                                                                                                               Commemorative stamps are issued to mark
 people can enjoy together. Strangers become            rently, definitive stamps issued by some coun-
                                                                                                               a specific event, honour a prominent person
 friends when they discover that they share a           tries are denominated in words which specify
                                                                                                               or celebrate a significant event in the issu-
 passion for stamps.                                    their use, e.g. ‘standard mail’, ‘airmail postcard’,
                                                                                                               ing country’s history. They are printed in lim-
                                                        etc. The stamp designs in a definitive series usu-
 What are definitive and commemora-                                                                             ited quantities and are found in Post Office
                                                        ally reflect a particular theme peculiar to the
 tive stamps?                                                                                                  branch offices for limited periods only.
                                                        issuing country. Definitive stamps remain in cir-
 Definitive stamps are the day-to-day postage

STAMPS FROM THE 1ST REPUBLICAN   2ND DEFINITIVE, 1974                           3RD DEFINITIVE, 1977

                                               5TH DEFINITIVE, 1988

                                                                                         6TH DEFINITIVE,

 REDRAWN 6TH DEFINITIVE, 1998             7TH DEFINITIVE, 2000

What are mint stamps?                                   What are first-day covers (FDCs)?
No, they don’t taste like mint when licked!             First-day covers, or FDCs as they are also called,
Mint stamps are stamps that are still in ‘mint’         are envelopes bearing stamps that have been
condition as opposed to stamps that have                cancelled on the first day on which the stamp
been used on envelopes. This means that                 was issued. Modern first-day covers usually
they remain in their original state of issue,           bear designs that relate to the theme of the
namely unused and undamaged with its                    stamp issue.
original gum still intact (if issued with gum).
Used stamps are stamps that have been used
for their intended purpose, namely prepay-
ment of postage or other duties.

                                                        A                                                       B


                                                        C                                                       D
                                                        FIRST DAY COVERS FOR:

 What are cancellers?                                      commemorative stamps are issued, a match-                  What is a control block?
 A stamp is ‘cancelled’ with a post office                  ing commemorative canceller is usually also                Control blocks, also known as cylinder
 ‘canceller’ or ‘date stamp’ to indicate that it           designed. It indicates the date of the first day            blocks, are stamps in blocks of four or six
 has gone through the post. The canceller is               of issue and usually echoes the theme of the               taken from a corner of a sheet of stamps. The
 designed to prevent a stamp’s re-use. When                stamps.

MEDICAL OUTREACH                                                                                         CONTROL BLOCK FROM A SHEET OF STANDARD RATE STAMPS COMMEMORATING CHRISTMAS

 What are miniature sheets?                                that forms a picture or part of the overall design.        main feature of control blocks is the plate
 Postal authorities sometimes issue stamps in a            Although the stamps contained in a miniature               numbers of the applicable printing cylinder
 format that looks like a small stamp sheet con-           sheet are perforated and can be torn out to use            found in the margins.
 taining either one stamp which forms part of a            for payment of postage, miniature sheets are pri-
 larger picture or design, or more than one stamp          marily issued with collectors in mind.

What is postal stationery?                                             What are ‘joint issues’?
Postal stationery is writing material is-                              Joint stamp issues mean two or more coun-
sued by the Post Office and includes                                    tries have agreed to each issue a stamp on
postcards, aerogrammes, envelopes                                      the same date to commemorate the same
and other paper with embossed or im-                                   event. This usually takes place when the par-
printed stamps.                                                        ticular theme has special meaning for both
                                                                       countries. The stamps are often designed by
                                                                       the same artist and are similar in appearance.
                                                                       An example is South Africa’s joint issue with
                                                                       Thailand in 2003 to commemorate 10 years
                                                                       of diplomatic relations.

                                                                       THE JOINT ISSUE WITH
                                                                       THAILAND IN 2003, COMMEMORATING 10 YEARS OF DIPLO-
                                                                       MATIC RELATIONS


Collecting classes for competitive col-                   Traditional philately                                     Postal history
lectors                                                   This is the basis of all philately and concerns           This is the study of postal rates, mail routes,
While some collectors collect for their own               the nature, production, classification and use             and postal and other (e.g. censorship) mark-
pleasure, others want to display their collec-            of stamps. Postage and revenue stamps are the             ings. Most of this evidence is found on enve-
tions competitively at philatelic exhibitions.            basic components of this class. It should be              lopes, postcards, parcel wrappers and postal
For this reason, various areas of collecting              noted that the collecting of revenue stamps               stationery.
interest have been designated as classes into             was re-admitted to the traditional philately
which collections can be entered and judged               class recently. It is regarded as a growth area
at exhibitions. Most of the classes have devel-           of stamp collecting. Revenue stamps were
oped from the types of products produced                  an important part of stamp collecting at the
by postal administrations to satisfy a postal             turn of the century.
(or related) requirement.

                                                                                                                    EXAMPLES OF POSTCARDS FROM THE ANGLO-BOER/SOUTH
                                                                                                                    AFRICAN WAR, SHOWING HOW MAIL ROUTES CAN BE STUDIED

Postal stationery
Postal products imprinted with a stamp or information that shows that
postage is prepaid, e.g. stamped postcards, envelopes, registered enve-
lopes and aerogrammes.
Maximaphily and first-day covers
The collecting of maxi cards and first-day covers was very popular in the
1970s and 80s. Their appeal is in the integrated nature of the illustration
and canceller coupled with the applicable stamps.
The development of aviation has had a major impact on postal commu-
nications and postal services. In the early days, mail transport by aircraft
was both exciting and expensive. Postal administrations sometimes issued
special stamps to be used on mail transported by air. This has stimulated
collectors to specialise in collecting postage stamps and the associated
covers or special envelopes transported by air.
The conquest of space has led to the development of this collecting class.
Philatelic literature
There is a large number of publications on every aspect of stamp collect-
ing. Philatelic literature, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, magazines,
journals and catalogues, is a competition class at exhibitions. Examples of
philatelic publications are Setempe and the SA Philatelist (South Africa),
Gibbons Stamp Monthly (UK) and Linn’s Stamp News (USA).
This is an area of stamp collecting centred on the collecting of modern
postage stamps issued in the past 15 years.
                                                                                  A PAGE FROM A COLLECTION IN THE AEROPHILATELY CLASS

Thematic                                                                                                       Experimental or open classes
Thematic collecting refers to the collection             ranging from music, flowers, wildlife, sport,          Through these new classes, collectors are
of any type of philatelic material, including            artists, science, architecture and trains, to         able to develop new ways of collecting. Some
stamps, postcards and postal slogans, featu-             royalty and celebrities.                              of the new collections can contain ranges of
ring a specific theme. This can be anything                                                                     non-philatelic material that are related to the
                                                                                                               overall theme.
                                                                                                               Youth philately
                                                                                                               Youth philately is an important part of phi-
                                                                                                               lately because children are the collectors of
                                                                                                               the future. While youth philately is not an ex-
                                                                                                               hibiting class as such, young collectors can
                                                                                                               exhibit their collections competitively. Youth
                                                                                                               collections are sometimes exhibited at spe-
                                                                                                               cial youth exhibitions or at adult exhibitions
                                                                                                               as a separate division. Youth philately is ac-
                                                                                                               tively supported by most postal administra-
                                                                                                               tions. Some stamp designs and themes are
                                                                                                               specifically aimed at the youth market.
                                                                                                               The “Fédération Internationale de Philatélie”
                                                                                                               (FIP) promotes philatelic exhibitions interna-
                                                                                                               tionally by granting patronage and auspices.
                                                                                                               Visit their Internet web site at http://www.
                                                                                                      for more information.

Historical, rare, unique and odd                    Penny Black, the world’s first                                                     As many as 68 million were issued from 1840
Now that we have established where and              The Penny Black was not only the world’s                                          and an estimated 1,5 million of these survive
how stamps originated, what collecting class-       first official adhesive postage stamp, but has                                      today. Despite their ready availability, they
es and what kinds of stamps are available,          also become the world’s most well-known                                           are still in great demand by collectors.
let’s explore those that are rare or unique, or     stamp as a result. The stamp was issued in the
have earned a place in the history books.           city of Bath by Great Britain on 1 May 1840.

                                                         TH E STANLE Y GIB B ONS   B OOK OF STAM P S AND   STAM P COLLE CTING, 1990

South Africa’s first and most famous                  that it should be so different from those of     namely one penny, four pennies, six pennies
South Africa’s first stamp, the Cape Triangu-         the British postage stamps as to catch the eye   and one shilling.
lar, was issued in 1853. It was the world’s first     at a glance. The shape was unique among
                                                                                                      A South African stamp issued in 1926 featu-
triangular stamp and the first stamp issued           the stamp designs of that period.
                                                                                                      ring the same design, but with the inscrip-
by a country in Africa. Because of its excep-
                                                     The triangular stamp depicts the figure of        tions ‘South Africa’ instead of ‘Cape of Good
tional design, it is still regarded as one of the
                                                     the virgin Hope, one of three mythical sis-      Hope’ at the bottom, and ‘Postage Stamp/Four
world’s classics. It was designed by Charles
                                                     ters who represent the virtues of faith, hope    Pennies’ on the sides, should not be mistaken
Davidson Bell, Surveyor General of the Cape
                                                     and charity. She is shown holding an anchor,     for the original Cape Triangular.
Colony at the time.
                                                     the symbol of faith. It is also an appropriate
                                                                                                      In 1953, the centenary of the first Cape Tri-
In a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Gov-      symbol for the Cape of Good Hope where
                                                                                                      angular stamps was commemorated with the
ernment in London, Bell requested the in-            many a ship has anchored to replenish sup-
                                                                                                      issue of one-penny and four-penny stamps
troduction of a colonial postage stamp. He           plies along the sea route around the Cape.
                                                                                                      showing a reduced image of the original
recommended a triangular shape, suggesting           The stamps were issued in four face values,
                                                                                                      Cape Triangular. In 2003, the virgin Hope
                                                                                                      once again appeared on a South African
                                                                                                      stamp. This time, in the form of a redrawn
                                                                                                      Cape Triangular to commemorate the 150th
                                                                                                      anniversary of the original stamp. The words
                                                                                                      ‘South Africa’ appear at the bottom, with
                                                                                                      “Standard/Postage’ on the sides.
               ‘CAPE OF GOOD HOPE’

Treskilling Yellow - a rare and valuable find        a banana-shaped stamp, as well as stamps            The world’s first self-adhesive stamps
The 1858 Swedish Treskilling yellow, or three-      in the shape of                                                             Self-adhesive     stamps
skilling banco error of colour, earned its way      a crown and a                                                               are also known as
into the history books in 1996. It was sold on      set of stamps in                                                            pressure-sensitive    or
auction for 2,5 million Swiss francs, making it     the shape of an                                                             peel-and-stick stamps.
the world’s most expensive stamp. The stamp         athlete! Postage                                                            Sierra Leone, a country
was part of a set of five depicting the Swedish      stamps made of THE PACIFIC ISLAND OF TONGA                                  in West Africa, issued
                                                                          ONCE ISSUED A STAMP SHAPED
coat of arms and ranging in value from three        different materi- LIKE A BANANA                                             the world’s first self-
to 24 skillings banco. The Treskilling was a mis-   als other than                                      SIERRA LEONE ISSUED THE adhesive stamps on
print, which in its original colour was green;      paper, including embossed foil, wood, plastic          FIRST SELF-ADHESIVE  10 February 1964. This
the eight skilling was a yellow stamp.              and silver foil, have also been issued.             STAMPS ON 10 FEBRUARY
                                                                                                                                series of stamps, shaped
Only a single Treskilling yellow stamp has          An unusual stamp issue that has certainly at-                               like a map of the coun-
ever been found during the 150 years since          tracted attention is a set of seven stamps in       try, were issued to coincide with the New
Swedish stamps were first issued. The stamp          the form of mini gramophone records. Issued         York World’s Fair.
was extracted from an envelope found by a           by Bhutan in 1973, these stamps actually            South Africa’s first self-adhesive stamps were
                young collector in his grand-                       played the Bhutan national          issued in 1998. This set of five, featuring
                mother’s attic. This famous                           anthem and indigenous             South African antelopes, were issued as addi-
                stamp now even has its own                              folk songs when put on a        tions to the Sixth Definitive series.
                website, so if you want to                              record player.
                find out more, visit www.tre-
                                                                          While these musical
                                                                         stamps secured Bhutan a
Musical stamps and other oddities                                       world ‘first’, this country in                             SOUTH AFRICA’S FIRST SELF-
From time to time, postal authorities experi-       IN 1973 BHUTAN the eastern Himalayas also                                     ADHESIVE STAMPS
                                                    ISSUED A STAMP THAT
ment with innovative stamp designs in dif-          LOOKED LIKE A RE-
                                                                        managed a world ’last’. It
ferent shapes, sizes, colours and surfaces to       CORD. PUT IT ON A   only started issuing post-
attract the public’s attention. There are circu-    RECORD PLAYER AND
                                                                        age stamps in 1955, mak-
                                                    IT WOULD ACTUALLY
lar, triangular and pentagonal shapes. Tonga, a     PLAY THE BHUTANESE  ing it the last country in
group of islands in the Pacific, has even issued      NATIONAL ANTHEM!   the world to do so.
What a “wow”                                             can stamps. For example, the 1954 definitive     Birds of a feather...
South Africa is well known for its unsurpassed           issue, consisting of 14 stamps, depicted ani-   Fish, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals,
natural beauty, its rich variety of fauna (ani-          mals that are commonly found in the coun-       butterflies, moths and insects have also
mals) and flora (flowers), cultural and human              try’s many game reserves.                       found a place of pride on our stamps. How-
diversity and its fascinating history. No wonder                                                         ever, birds have been among the most popu-
                                                         Wildlife has since graced several stamp is-
our stamps are among the most beautiful in the                                                           lar with collectors. It is estimated that South
                                                         sues, both definitive and commemorative.
world and have long been rated as a thematic                                                             Africa has more than 900 bird species; and
                                                         The so-called Big Five group of animals,
collector’s dream. This leg of our journey al-                                                           some of the most beautiful among these
                                                         namely the elephant, rhino, leopard, lion
lows us to explore the ’wows’ of our beautiful
                                                         and buffalo have been especially popular
country as reflected through our stamps.
                                                         and have appeared on various issues and in
A wealth of wildlife                                     various guises. Animal tracks and the animals
Wildlife, a favourite theme among thematic               that make them is the topic of a set of ten
collectors, has appeared on many South Afri-             stamps issued in September 2006.


have appeared on our stamps. They include,              Fabulous flora                                    Our passionate past
among others, the 1974 Second Definitive is-             South Africa’s rich floral diversity is legen-    South Africa’s history has yielded heroes and
sue, the 1990 South African Birds issue, the            dary. More plant species, for example, occur     horrors, triumphs and tragedies. Many events
Sixth Definitive series, the Raptors, Migra-             within 22 000 hectares of the Table Mountain     and people that have helped to shape our
tory Species, and Water Birds issues, and the           National Park than in the whole of the British   country have been commemorated or hon-
Seventh Definitive series.                               Isles or New Zealand. Many of our fabulous       oured on our stamps.
                                                        flowers and plants have been depicted on          In 1988, the 500th anniversary of the discovery
                                                        stamps to the delight of collectors of flora      of the Cape by Bartholomew Diaz, the 300th
                                                        on stamps.                                       anniversary of the arrival of the French Hugue-
                                                        Among our most famous flowers are the dif-        nots and the 150th anniversary of the Great
                                                        ferent protea species. These have been de-       Trek were commemorated. In 1994, the inau-
                                                        picted as part of the 1961 definitives and the    guration of President Nelson Mandela was cel-
                                                        Third Definitive issue. Proteas also appear on    ebrated with a set of four stamps, and in 1997
                                                        a stamp in the 1998 Explore South Africa is-
                                                        sue and the Ecology of Table Mountain issue.
                                                        Other notable issues depicting flora include
                                                        the Second Definitives of 1974, the 1988 De-
                                                        finitives featuring succulents and the Seventh
                                                        Definitive series. Indigenous trees, heathers
                                                                                                         DISCOVERY OF THE CAPE BY BARTHOLOMEW DIAZ
                                                                             and clivias of South Af-
                                                                             rica also earned a place
                                                                             on our stamps.

                                                                                                         ARRIVAL OF THE           150TH ANNIVERSARY
the 50th anniversary of the Congress Alliance       niversary of the women’s march to the Union             of honour on our stamps, notably the South
for a Democratic South Africa was highlighted       Buildings was issued on 9 August 2006.                  African Nobel Laureates issue of 1996. Others
by means of a miniature sheet. In 1999, a stamp                                                             include Dr Chris Barnard who performed the
                                                    Wars and woes such as the Anglo-Boer/South
was issued to mark President Thabo Mbeki’s                                                                  world’s first heart transplant; Emily Hobhouse,
                                                    African War, the Bhambatha Rebellion and
inauguration, while in 2005, the 50th anniver-                                                              a British campaigner against the notorious
                                                    the Soweto Uprising have also been ob-
sary of South Africa’s Freedom Charter was                                                                  concentration camps of the Anglo-Boer War;
                                                    served through our stamps.
commemorated. A stamp marking the 50th an-                                                                  Enoch Sontonga, composer of our national
                                 FORMER PRESIDENT   People power                                            anthem Nkosi Sikel‘i Afrika; Gerard Sekoto,
                                 NELSON MANDELA     Many of our mentors, scientists, writers and            renowned artist; Mahatma Gandhi and Mark
                                                    other prominent people have earned a place              Shuttleworth – Africa’s first man in space.

                                                    STAMPS ISSUED IN HONOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA’S NOBEL LAUREATES, 1996

                                                                                                                                         ENOCH SONTONGA - COMPOSER
                                                                                                                                         OF NKOSI SIKELEL’I AFRIKA

                                                    GERARD SEKOTO’S PAINTING OF YELLOW HOUSES    EMILY HOBHOUSE       MAHATMA GANDHI
PRESIDENT,   1994                                                                      MARK SHUTTLEWORTH - AFRICA’S FIRST MAN IN SPACE
Captivating culture                                        South Africa has a rich and diverse cultural     A sporting chance
UNESCO defines heritage as “our legacy from                 heritage, which has been beautifully cap-                  South Africa is a great sporting na-
the past, what we live with today, and what                tured on various stamp issues. Examples in-                tion and sport has been an impor-
we pass on to future generations. Our cultural             clude the 1997 Year of Cultural Experiences                tant unifying force. Not only have we
and natural heritage is both irreplaceable                 issue featuring a variety of cultural objects              produced several world-class sports
sources of life and inspiration.”                          from South Africa’s different ethnic groups;               men and women, but the country
                                                           the 1996 Early South African History issue;                has also played host to some of the
                                                           the Traditional Wall Art issue of 1999 and                 world’s most prestigious sporting
                                                           the 2006 Rock Art issue. Historical buildings              events. These include the Rugby and
                                                           have been featured on various stamp issues,                Cricket World Cups and the Africa
                                                           notably the 4th Definitive set. Artworks by                 Cup of Nations Soccer tournament.
                                                           various well-known South African artists                   Soon we’ll host one of the world’s
                                                           have also graced several stamps.                           greatest events - the 2010 FIFA Soc-
                                                                                                                      cer World Cup!
RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE                                                                                                  No wonder sport as a theme features
       THE LINTON                                                                                                       prominently on numerous South Afri-
STONE ON DISPLAY                                                                                                        can stamps. A 1964 issue commemo-
                                                                                                                        rates the 75th anniversary of the SA
     MUSEUM,                                                                                                            Rugby Board; a 1996 issue highlighted
 CAPE TOWN                                                                                                              the Olympic Games in Atlanta; our
                                                                                                                        sporting heroes were honoured in
                                                                                     STAMP DESIGN SHOWING
                                                                                       THE SECTION OF THE               2001, and in 2004, different sports in
                                                                                       LINTON PANEL FROM                South Africa were celebrated with a
                                                                                      WHICH THE IMAGE ON
                                                                                                                        set of ten commemorative stamps, to
                                                                                       THE   COAT OF ARMS
                                                                                             ORIGINATED                 mention but a few.
       LINTON                                                                                                             This chapter explored only some of
                                                                                THE SOUTH AFRICAN
                                                                               COAT OF ARMS                 the many popular themes reflected on South Afri-
                                      THE IMAGE FROM THE ROCK
                                   PAINTING AS IT WAS USED ON THE
                                                                                                            can stamps - there are many more to be explored
                                    SHIELD OF THE   COAT OF ARMS                                            and discovered at your own leisure.
Educational and creative value of stamps
Thanks to the great variety of images depict-
ed on postage stamps and the wealth of in-
formation they convey, stamps are undoubt-
edly excellent educational tools. The image
on every stamp has a story to tell, a message
to convey, an emotion to evoke or a piece of
information to share.
By looking at and observing stamps, both old
and young will learn about history, religion,
sport, culture, politics, famous personalities, so-
cial events, economy and art, to mention a few.
Teachers can use stamps creatively in the
classroom and parents can keep children
busy for hours during holidays. All they will
need is a box of used stamps. Imagine how
much fun they can have with a project like
discovering South Africa through its stamps.
Groups can be given different tasks like col-
lecting stamps depicting a particular aspect
of the country. Each group can then tell the
class what they have learnt. Learners can also
write essays or poems about the themes on
stamps, especially those that relate to their
curriculum such as fauna and flora, science,
art and history. Younger groups can be given
tasks like sorting the stamps according to
themes, colours or countries.
‘Sister clubs’                                   Stamps can be fun
                                                                                                 project and to decorate a variety of objects.
The educational value of stamps can be en-       The educational, recreational and therapeutic
                                                                                                 These include ostrich eggs, gift boxes, trays,
hanced if youth stamp clubs make contact         value of stamps is not confined to using them
                                                                                                 book covers and frames for mirrors, pictures
with their counterparts in other countries.      as part of a stamp collection. Stamps can be
                                                                                                 and clocks. They can also be used to decorate
This can be based on the “sister schools” con-   used creatively in many different ways.
                                                                                                 jewellery such as bangles, necklaces and ear-
cept. Through this programme, a school in
                                                 Surplus stamps that are not required for your   rings. Stamps can even be used to ‘paint’ a work
one country forms a partnership with a ‘sis-
                                                 collection, can be used in a scrap-booking      of art as illustrated in the example below.
ter school’ elsewhere in the world. Together
they tackle certain projects as a team.
Stamp clubs can team up with a ‘sister club’
overseas. They can use the wonderful art of
letter-writing to correspond and exchange
stamps. At the same time they will learn about
each other’s cultures and customs. Names and
contact details of clubs can be found in stamp
magazines and on the Internet.



How to start and run a stamp club for            Once your club starts growing, you can ask     tainers of mixtures rather than one or two
children                                         members to tell their friends. Word of mouth   large boxes of stamps. This also provides
Many adult collectors had their first encoun-     is still the best publicity!                   opportunities to rotate material. Shoe boxes
ters with stamp collecting when they were                                                       or the lids of boxes in which A4 paper is sold
                                                 A Saturday afternoon is a good time for club
still at school. Some were introduced to the                                                    are ideal.
                                                 meetings as this is usually more convenient
world of stamps through a gift of stamps
                                                 for the children and parents than evening      Structure and organisation
or an album and others joined stamp clubs
                                                 meetings.                                      Try to set up everything for the meeting
or groups. This has often sparked a life-long
                                                                                                well in advance, like moving tables and chairs
passion for stamp collecting that opened up      Regular communication
                                                                                                to their proper positions and laying out the
a whole new world. If you are passionate         Children love to receive mail, especially
about stamps, why not start a club for young-    envelopes with colourful stamps, stick-
sters and enrich their lives considerably.       ers, or labels on them. A monthly flyer to      Make every attempt to stick to the pre-ar-
                                                 remind members of meetings will serve          ranged schedule. Parents should not have
                                                 this purpose. It also reminds them that the    to wait in the car for half an hour before
To announce the formation of a new stamp
                                                 club is still around and tells them what to    their child is ready to leave the meeting.
club for young people, a flyer can be dis-
                                                 expect at the next meeting. Try to mention     Should you run late due to unforeseen cir-
tributed at schools libraries, the post of-
                                                 as many names of children in the flyer - this   cumstances, invite parents in to observe. As-
fice, hobby shops and shopping malls in
                                                 will give them a sense of really belonging     sure parents that their child will be super-
your area. Announcements can also be pub-
                                                 to the group.                                  vised by a responsible adult at all times, and
lished in community newspapers or broad-
                                                                                                follow through.
cast on community radio stations that serve      Advance preparation
your area.                                       Plan your meeting thoroughly and pack eve-     Room set-up
                                                 rything you will need for the meeting the      The meeting room should reflect the
While clear information about where and
                                                 night before. Study the membership list in     fact that this is a stamp-collecting club.
when meetings will take place should be given
                                                 an attempt to memorise names. Make a note      Colourful posters can decorate the walls and
in the flyer, parents should also be made
                                                 of each member’s preferences or needs so       a table can be set up with some free stamp
aware of the educational, recreational, thera-
                                                 that these can be discussed. In putting to-    magazines, brochures, etc. The Philatelic Serv-
peutic and creative value of stamp collecting
                                                 gether stamp mixtures, children are more       ices of the Post Office or stamp dealers may
for their children.
                                                 inclined to go through several small con-      be able to help with posters and magazines.

(Contact them at the telephone numbers given    Maintaining interest                            mount stamps, how to examine the detail on
in Chapter 13.) Club members may also want to   The meeting hour should be broken up            a stamp through a magnifying glass, how to
help with decorating the venue; they may even   into brief segments. Introducing new mem-       identify a watermark or how to research and
be asked to design colourful posters.           bers can be followed by buy/sell/trade time     write up a collection. Many visuals should be
                                                and answering questions and queries. It is      available to illustrate points made.
Boxes with stamp mixtures can be placed
                                                always a good idea to ask a guest collector
in one corner of the room, while a buy/                                                         Subscribe free of charge to the philatelic maga-
                                                to talk about his or her specialty collection
sell/trade area can be set up in another                                                        zine Setempe issued by the Philatelic Services
                                                and answer questions. Collectors are usu-
corner. Philatelic supplies, such as magni-                                                     of the South African Post Office (contact details
                                                ally very enthusiastic about their hobby and
fying glasses, hinges, tweezers, etc. can be                                                    given in Chapter 13) and use it as a guide on
                                                more than willing to share their passion with
on display for reference purposes even if                                                       new stamp issues and other philatelic news.
                                                young collectors. This can be followed by
they are not used that day. Any visuals used
                                                a hands-on demonstration of certain tech-       Always keep in mind that a club meeting is not
for the program, can be posted on the wall
                                                niques such as the correct way to handle and    a school classroom. The idea is to have fun!
closest to the meeting place.

  Children who collect stamps know the answers to many questions in school!
Enhancing the quality of life                      Recreational and therapeutic benefits
In addition to the educational value of            In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, a hobby like
stamps, stamp collecting can also enhance          stamp collecting is like an oasis in the desert. Sitting down
the quality of life.                               with one’s stamps after a hard day’s work, can be a wonder-
                                                   ful stress buster; it calms the nerves and forces the mind
Promoting healthy families
                                                   to unwind.
Healthy families form the building blocks
of a healthy community as they provide the         But stamp collecting has many other benefits for
primary opportunity for the development of         the individual. This includes opportunities for
the individual. Shared interests and activities,   personal fulfilment, intellectual stimulation,
such as stamp collecting, are ideal ways of        self-expression, increase in assertiveness due
improving family unity and harmony. Stamp          to increased gen-
collecting is not bound by age – the whole         eral knowledge,
family, from Junior through to Grandpa, can        improvement
practise it together.                              in cognitive
A practical activity such as stamp collecting
improves quality time spent together, thus
improving communication between family
members. As a project in which everybody’s
contribution is important and where team-
                                                   and organ-
work is necessary to provide the end result,
it will also improve respect, knowledge and
understanding of each other.
Stamp collecting furthermore helps to improve
                                                   m o r e ,
family members’ general knowledge. They learn
                                                   s t a m p
about the history, culture and people of their
own country, explore foreign countries and in-
                                                   promotes so-
teract with other stamp enthusiasts.                                                                                GRANDPA TEACHING HIS
                                                   cialisation and                                                 GRANDSON ABOUT STAMPS

social interaction with other enthusiasts        other album, to those who want to research         ing ‘postage paid’ official envelope and the
through stamp clubs, stamp fairs, exhibitions    and write up a collection of select groups         distinctive window envelope bearing state-
and buying and selling.                          of stamps and related collectables for their       ments or reminders to pay. Then there’s the
                                                 own pleasure or for display purposes. Last-        eye-catching envelope in a pleasing colour
Investment potential
                                                 mentioned group often collect material of a        or design bearing stamps. Which of these
Stamps are sometimes regarded as being in-
                                                 thematic and historical nature. Here, the de-      would you rather open?
vestments, similar to “collectable” investment
                                                 mand, and therefore price, is more a function
items such as art, antiques, Persian carpets                                                        It is said that the average person takes seven
                                                 of the current interest in the field, for exam-
and even stocks and shares. Segments of the                                                         seconds to decide whether to open a letter
                                                 ple the Soccer World Cup and the Bhambatha
stamp market do have “store of value” charac-                                                       or not. Furthermore, a letter bearing a post-
                                                 Rebellion, than the “scarcity” of material.
teristics, but the primary value of stamps lie                                                      age stamp has a 50% higher chance than a
in collectors’ demands relating to collecting    Clearly, the collections of a general nature of-   letter without a stamp to be opened first or
fields and interests.                             fer little chance of investment; and those of      to be opened at all. Why? Because it is per-
                                                 a research nature often have more value in         ceived that a person actually took time and
Further, in those countries that show strong
                                                 the underlying research than the stamps. The       effort to sit down and write it.
economic growth, the demand for and the
                                                 real investment value of stamps often, there-
prices of such countries’ stamps will tend to                                                       Receiving a letter or a postcard with a stamp
                                                 fore, lies in the emotional reward that they
show greater price increases than in slower-                                                        on from a friend or loved one is sure to
                                                 are capable of generating.
growing economies. Obviously, there are                                                             make anyone feel special. Saying “I love you”
exceptions to this link. For example, there      The ‘psychology’ of a stamp                        or “Wish you were here” has much more
are collectors of Commonwealth countries         It is interesting to note the effect a stamp has   impact when handwritten in a letter than
worldwide; this demand resulted from the         on the recipient of an envelope.                   through the impersonal electronic medium
earlier colonial associations.                                                                      of e-mails.
                                                 As with stamps, envelopes are available in
Stamp collectors are not a homogeneous           a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and         When last did you have that warm, fuzzy feel-
group. They vary from those who simply           are used for various purposes. There’s the         ing from receiving an e-mail or when did you
want to keep used stamps which they re-          no-nonsense, down-to-business, prepaid             replay a telephone conversation? Letters can
move from envelopes, through to those who        business envelope; the potentially intimidat-      be kept in a special place and read over and
want to collect a copy of each in some or                                                           over to call up memories.

If you are interested to be commissioned to design stamps for the South              You can also e-mail this form with JPEG images of your work (100ppi images
African Post Office, please fill in this form and send it with A4 colour copies        not wider than 8 cm) to:
of your work to:
Philatelic Services
Attention: Thea Clemons – Design Artist
Private Bag X505
Pretoria, 0001

  Stamp design - application for South African artists only

  Name: _________________________________________________________                    Please indicate the preferred subject matter you are best in:
  Surname: ______________________________________________________                    ❏ Portraits            ❏ Landscapes               ❏ Wildlife
  Address: _______________________________________________________                   ❏ Birds / Marine life ❏ History                   ❏ Ships, cars,
  _______________________________________________________________                                                                         aeroplanes
  _______________________________________________________________                    ❏ Architecture        ❏ Fantasy                  ❏ Concepts & abstract
  ______________________________ Postal code:______________________                  ❏ Cartoons            ❏ Plants & flowers          ❏ Versatile
  Telephone: ____________________ Mobile phone: ___________________                  ❏ Other
  e-mail _________________________________________________________
                                                                                     If you work on computer, please indicate your preferred platform:
  Work style                                                                         ❏ Apple Macintosh                               ❏ Other _____________
  Please indicate your preferred medium to work in:
  ❏ Watercolour         ❏ Oils                    ❏ Acrylic                          Please indicate the application/s you prefer to work in:
  ❏ Coloured pencil ❏ Pastel (oil & powder) ❏ Pen and ink                            ❏ Adobe Illustrator ❏ Adobe Photoshop             ❏ Macromedia Freehand
  ❏ Computer                                      ❏ Other _____________              ❏ Corel Draw                                       ❏ Other ___________

Miniature works of art
Paging through a stamp album or viewing
stamps at an exhibition is like viewing mini-
ature works of art. You don’t necessarily like
all the designs, but you admire the artists’
skill and ability to convey a particular mes-
sage through composition, colour, line, tex-
ture and content.
                                                 AN EXAMPLE OF A STAMP WITH
Designing a stamp is in some ways similar        ADDITIONAL TEXT ABOUT THE
to creating any other work of art; the same      THEME OF THE STAMP

visual principles have to be considered.
However, designing a stamp has its own chal-
lenges and constraints and the designer re-
quires knowledge of certain principles that
apply to stamp design in particular.
The main purpose of a postage stamp is to
indicate the prepayment of postage. The
stamp therefore has to carry a value. This is
usually indicated by a number preceded by
the country’s currency symbol. Many early
stamp issues indicated the currency value in
words, for example ‘One Penny.’ Some recent
stamps depict standardised values in words,
for example, ‘Standard Postage’ or ‘Airmail
Postcard Rate’.
                                                                                                                   HEIN BOTHA’S ARTWORK FOR THE CENTENARY OF
The second required element is the name of                                                                         FLIGHT, SHOWING HOW ARTWORK IN DIFFERENT
                                                 SIOBHAN CUFF’S ARTWORK FOR THE “MUSIC IN SOUTH AFRICA” STAMP
the country. (As mentioned before, this does     ISSUE. IN THE FINAL PRODUCT, THE WORDS“SOUTH AFRICA” WERE HIGH-
                                                                                                                   STYLES ARE SOMETIMES COMBINED TO CREATE THE
                                                                                                                   FINAL STAMP DESIGN
                                                 LIGHTED IN GOLD FOILING

not apply to Great Britain, the only country   bination of the events to be commemorated               They should also appeal to the stamp-buying
exempted from this rule for UPU members.)      (e.g. important anniversaries, etc.), additional        public. The choice of imagery is vast, ranging
Apart from the value and the country’s         values to the current definitive and popular             from fauna and flora, landscapes, culture and
name, some additional text relating to the     demand. Artists are usually commissioned                sport, to political and historical figures, tech-
theme of the particular issue, is sometimes    and briefed to design a stamp or set of stamps          nology and architecture.
required. South Africa’s 1998 stamp showing    depicting a particular theme. Guidelines,
                                                                                                       To accommodate the required text, the back-
the words ‘Universal Declaration of Human      such as the size and format are important
                                                                                                       ground of a stamp design should not be too
Rights’ and the Millennium issue bearing the   elements to be considered by the artist. The
                                                                                                       busy. Due to its small scale, detail is easily lost.
words ‘Millennium 2000’ are examples. Text     usual shape of a stamp is a rectangle, either
                                                                                                       The artist should aim to achieve simplicity
may also relate to a statement of purpose      in ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’ format.
                                                                                                       and unity with strong and bold imagery with-
such as “postage” or “official mail”, a plate   Since stamps are ‘ambassadors’ for their coun-          out losing too much detail.
number, the name of the person portrayed,      try, the themes and imagery should ideally
the year of issue or the artist’s name.                                                                As is the case with any other work of art, colour
                                               be chosen and depicted in such a way that
                                                                                                       plays a vital role in stamp design. Bright, vi-
The choice of a topic is governed by a com-    they positively promote the country’s image.
                                                                                                       brant colours are attractive and eye-catching,
                                                                                                       but colours, especially background colours,
                                                                                       HEIN BOTHA’S    should not be too dark since the Post Office’s
                                                                                       ILLUSTRATING    date stamp may not show up against a dark
                                                                                       A TSHIVENDA     background.
                                                                                       FABLE OF HOW
                                                                                       SANKHAMBI       As stamps appear on their humble ‘gallery’ of
                                                                                       TRICKED THE
                                                                                       MONKEYS INTO
                                                                                                       an envelope or as part of a collection or ex-
                                                                                       GOING WITH      hibit, they are much more than prepayment
                                                            HIM TO EAT HONEY IN A CAVE. WHEN THEY      for postage. They are miniature works of art
                                                            REACHED THE CAVE,   SANKHAMBI SHOUTED
                                                            THAT THE ROOF OF THE CAVE WAS FALLING
                                                                                                       that tell the story of mankind: they reflect
                                                            IN.   HE TOLD THE MONKEYS TO HOLD UP THE   our beliefs, our history, our culture, concerns,
                                                            ROOF WHILE HE RAN TO FETCH SOME POLES.     and achievements. As such they should be
                                                            BUT HE NEVER RETURNED, LEAVING THE
                                                            MONKEYS BEHIND WITH OUTSTRECHED ARMS.
                                                                                                       viewed with the same respect as any fine art-
                                                            AND THIS, ACCORDING TO THE FABLE, IS HOW   work in a gallery!
                                                            THE MONKEYS GOT THEIR TALL AND SLENDER
South Africa’s philatelic artists                           Alan Ainslie, whose wildlife paintings are includ-                                    Folklore and story-telling are an important part
South Africa has produced some outstanding phil-            ed in art collections worldwide, designed several                                     of South Africa’s cultural heritage. Sophia Mazi-
atelic artists - too many to discuss within the con-        Southern African stamps. Among them are South                                         buko designed a set of colourful stamps depict-
straints of this booklet. However, some have made           Africa’s Nobel Laureates, endangered birds, a set                                     ing some of our well-known myths and legends.
their mark on a variety of stamp issues.                    of nine tourism stamps and a Christmas stamp                                          The Soweto Uprising of 1976 marked an impor-
                                                            and aerogramme.                                                                       tant turning point in our country’s history. The
AH Barritt is one of South Africa’s best known
                                                            Chris van Rooyen’s eye-catching designs for                                           25th anniversary of this event was commemo-
stamp designers. He designed no less than 448
                                                            South Africa’s Seventh Definitive issue featuring                                      rated in 2001 with a stamp designed by Ntsie
stamps, which also make him our most prolific
                                                            South African birds, butterflies, flowers and fish,                                      Lehlohonolo Moagi.
artist. His stamp designs include Beadwork (Tran-
skei), Woodcarving (Venda), Desert Sand Dunes               brighten up many envelopes that are seen every                                        Life in South Africa’s informal settlements was
(South West Africa.)                                        day. He also designed the migratory species and                                       reflected on a set of stamps designed by Jerry
                                                            raptors issues.                                                                       Lion. He also designed a stamp commemorating
The late Dick Findlay was well known for his fine
                                                            Long before Nelson Mandela became the world’s                                         the UPU Congress. The World Summit on Sustain-
paintings of birds and plants. His versatility is reflect-
                                                            most recognised icon, he was captured on film                                          able Development took place in Johannesburg
ed in the variety of artwork depicted on our stamps.
                                                            by legendary photographer, Alf Kumalo. It is                                          in 2002. This event was marked with stamps de-
These include birds of prey, water birds, medicinal
                                                            therefore fitting that some of Kumalo’s photo-                                         signed by Peter Sibanda, who was also respon-
plants, edible wild fruit, aloes, butterflies, indigenous
                                                            graphic images were used for a set of postage                                         sible for the design of the Ten Years of Freedom
trees and ferns, proteas and small mammals.
                                                            stamps issued in honour of Madiba in 2001.                                            and Christmas in Africa issues.
Cecil Skotnes and Ernst de Jong are two well-known

                                                                                                            ALAN AINSLIE, NOBEL LAUREATES, 1996
South African artists who have contributed to our

                                                                                                                                                                                                       PETER SIBANDA, CHISTMAS IN AFRICA,
                                                                                DENIS MURPHY,

                                                                                                                                                                    JERRY LION, INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS
stamp designs. Skotnes designed the 1966 Fifth
Anniversary of the Republic stamp issue and Ernst                               BIG 5, 1996
de Jong the 1974 Second Definitive issue featuring
flowers, fish and birds.
Denis Murphy, a distinguished wildlife artist, de-
                                                                                BIG 5, 12001
                                                                                ALAN AINSLIE,

signed South Africa’s Sixth Definitive series featur-
ing endangered fauna and one of South Africa’s


‘Big Five’ issues.
So, you want to start collecting?                 they receive at the office instead of throw-      you will need. You don’t have to spend a lot
Where do I begin? you may well ask. You’ve        ing them away. Stamp collectors may also be      of money – most of the items can be found
already taken the first step by reading this       approached since they often have surplus         around the house.
booklet. From here the fun starts.                stamps that they will be happy to part with.
                                                                                                   • Sorting boxes: You will need boxes or
When asked why so many different kinds of         Obtaining pen pals in other countries is         other containers for sorting your stamps.
people like stamp collecting, former Ameri-       a good way of getting stamps from those          These can easily be found at home. Marga-
can president and ardent collector, Franklin      countries. Names and addresses of pen pals       rine tubs, etc will serve the purpose.
D. Roosevelt, replied; “One reason is that        who wish to exchange stamps through the
                                                                                                   • Envelopes: You will need these to keep
the hobby of stamp collecting suits al-           mail can be found in stamp magazines.
                                                                                                   your stamps in separate categories while
most anybody - it’s very personal. You
                                                  The best way to find stamps, however, is from     you are sorting. They don’t have to be new;
fit the hobby to yourself, instead of forc-
                                                  stamp dealers. They usually have boxes full      used envelopes will serve the purpose just
ing yourself to fit rules, as with many
                                                  of stamps for beginners at very reasonable       as well.
                                                  prices. They may also be able to provide you
                                                                                                   • Tweezers: It is much easier to handle your
This means unless you want to exhibit your        with back copies of stamp magazines. You
                                                                                                   stamps with a pair of smooth, blunt-nosed
collection competitively at national or in-       can browse through their material and ask
                                                                                                   tweezers than with your fingers. Fingers may
ternational exhibitions, you don’t have to        their advice about stamp collecting. Stamp
                                                                                                   also leave marks on your stamps.
abide by specific rules. However, there are        dealers can be found at individual shops
some guidelines and tools that will help you      and offices and stamp fairs across the coun-      • A shallow dish: You can use any shallow
to take care of your stamps and to organise       try. To find out more about stamp dealers in      dish, such as a pie-dish for removing your
them in the most practical way.                   your area, you can visit the South African       stamps from envelopes.
                                                  Philatelic Dealers Association’s web site at:
Where can I find stamps?                                                                            • Scissors: Any pair of paper-cutting scis-
You can start by asking parents, uncles, aunts,                                                    sors, preferably blunt-nosed will do.
grandparents and friends to give you all the      What are the ‘tools of the trade’?
                                                                                                   • Absorbent paper: You need absorbent
stamps they have received on letters/parcels      It can be quite frustrating to start something
                                                                                                   paper like a kitchen paper towel for drying
or may have saved and do not want any-            and have to break it off in the middle be-
                                                                                                   stamps out after you have ‘floated’ them off
more. You can also ask people who work in         cause you don’t have the correct ‘tools’. The
                                                                                                   their envelopes. It must be clean and unused
offices to give you envelopes with stamps          following list provides a guideline of what
                                                                                                   – any grubbiness may discolour your stamps.
• Albums: You don’t have to buy an expen-          ration gauge, watermark detector or stamp          3. As the gum dissolves, the stamps will float
sive album to begin with. Loose-leaf albums        catalogues.                                        off the paper. Put them on a paper towel, face
are the best because pages can be added. An                                                           down. Do this carefully so that the stamp
                                                   Removing a stamp from its envelope
ordinary ring binder will serve the purpose.                                                          does not tear or crease.
                                                   It is recommended not to remove the
You can mount your stamps on graph paper
                                                   stamp from the envelope at all!!                   4. Put the sheet of stamps in a dry place overnight.
and put it in a plastic cover that is especially
made for ring binders and are available at         All stamps do not have to be removed from          5. Once the stamps are dry, they may be a bit
most book stores.                                  their envelopes, especially if the envelope        curled. Carefully place them flat between the
                                                   forms part of your collection. Envelopes that      pages of a large, heavy book to weigh them
• Stamp hinges or mounts: Never mount
                                                   are worth keeping include first-day covers or       down.
your stamps with adhesive tape or glue such
                                                   envelopes that bear special cancellers and
as a glue stick as this will damage them.                                                             6. Leave them for about three weeks until
                                                   other markings or have historical value. How-
Rather use special mounting hinges avail-                                                             they are completely flat before handling and
                                                   ever, if a stamp on its own is to be included
able from stamp dealers or bookstores. They                                                           sorting them into your collection.
                                                   in your collection, you will need to remove
secure stamps onto an album page without
                                                   it. This must be done carefully to prevent         Tips
damaging the original gum on the back of
                                                   any damage to the stamp. Some stamps, es-          • Some stamps, especially from the 19th and
the stamp.
                                                   pecially self-adhesive stamps, are difficult to     early 20th century, may be best left on the
• Magnifying glass: This is not an essen-          remove from envelopes and are best left on         envelope. They will be more valuable that
tial item. However, because stamps are tiny        the envelope.                                      way. You can ask your stamp dealer or expe-
works of art, it is fascinating to study them                                                         rienced collectors if you are unsure.
                                                   To ‘float’ stamps off paper, you will need a
closely through a magnifying glass. In this
                                                   bowl of warm water and scissors, as well as        • Be careful never to cut into the stamp it-
way, you will learn something about the
                                                   paper towels for the drying process.               self. This damages the stamp irreparably!
printing process and may discover flaws or
errors on your stamps.                             Steps                                              • Do not leave your stamps to dry near an
                                                   1. Cut the stamps off their envelopes by cutting   open window or draft; they may be blown
This is only a basic list and by no means
                                                   around the stamps. Do not cut into a stamp.        away by gusts of wind or get wet.
exhaustive. As you go along and learn more
about stamp collecting, you may find that           2. Place the cut-out in a bowl of warm water       • Keep food and drinks away from any stamp
you need additional tools such as a perfo-         (not boiling water) and wait about 10 minutes.     collection at all times.

Selling your collection                              • Are the stamps singles, pairs, blocks           ket prices at a particular time. Further, any
When one takes the emotional and recrea-               or sheets and are they complete sets            given stamp may be bought or sold above
tional element out of stamp collecting, sell-          as issued?                                      or below catalogue prices, depending upon
ing your collection is like any other business         A series starts with a low value, with each     both the ruling demand and the condition
decision: consider all your options, get multi-        following stamp increasing in value to a fi-     of the particular stamp. Condition refers to
ple opinions, and plan carefully. A few simple         nal high. If they are in large multiples, do    freshness, colour soundness, centring, gum,
questions can assist the process.                      not detach or separate them, as stamps of-      perforations and margins.
• Were substantial sums spent on                       ten have greater value as multiples.
                                                                                                       The sale price of a stamp also varies depen-
  building the collection?                             The importance of condition cannot be           ding on who trades it. Is it a retail shop
  If the answer is yes, a key determinant is           overemphasised. The tiniest tear, the small-    owner, auction or mail sale bidder, dealer at a
  how much money was spent. Other impor-               est spot or stain and the faintest crease can   stamp show, or another collector. Each seg-
  tant factors are the demand for the material         reduce a stamp to a fraction of the value it    ment of the market has its own mark-up
  and the condition.                                   would have in perfect condition.                and price structure.
• What is the condition of the material?
                                                     Calculating the value of a stamp                  Getting a professional appraisal
  This is the quality of the more valuable
                                                     collection                                        A professional appraisal by a member
  stamps in a collection, its soundness in
                                                     Stamps that have some investment value are        of the South African Stamp Dealers As-
  several respects. Are the stamps very fine
                                                     characterised by features such as a high face     sociation (SAPDA) is recommended.
  mint or used copies? Are they affixed to an
                                                     value, immaculate condition (relating to both     Members of SAPDA adhere to a code of
  envelope and are there receiving and other
                                                     the stamp’s face and the gummed back), an         conduct and can be relied on to place a fair
  postal markings.
                                                     issue date before the 1930s and fairly consist-   value on the collection. Appraisal fees vary,
  Envelopes (or covers) can have historical                                                            depending on the appraiser and on the com-
                                                     ent high catalogue values.
  value in addition to the value of the stamps at-                                                     plexity of the collection. But it is the practice
  tached to them. Historical value considers the     Prices listed in a stamp catalogue are revised    of most dealers and auctioneers to waive an
  writer or recipient, the place of origin or des-   annually and mostly do not reflect actual mar-     appraisal fee if the collection is subsequently
  tination and the date the cover was mailed.                                                          sold to them or consigned to their auctions.

Making your own inventory                          graphs of any expensive stamps in the col-      How to store your stamps...
If you have good knowledge of stamp collect-       lection, and these should be made part of       ...until you decide to dispose of them
ing, you have an edge when selling a collec-       the receipt. A time limit, in writing, should   The condition of your stamp collection
tion. Start by listing your more valuable          be placed on the sale and on the payout.        affects the final sale price because buy-
stamps and their prices. Then determine                                                            ers all seek stamps in sound condition.
                                                 • Consignment to an auction house
what percentage of catalogue the market is                                                         Postage stamps do not bring top prices
                                                   Auction offers the greatest potential for
prepared to pay at the time.                                                                       if they are torn, creased, “rusted” (toned,
                                                   the highest sale price. The customary fee to
                                                                                                   oxidised), stuck together or pasted down.
Best sale methods                                  the auction house is between 15% and 20%
                                                                                                   Therefore, you should take the following
There are several methods of sale that can         of the sale price. However, there may be
                                                                                                   storage precautions:
be considered. The most appropriate method         a wait of a few months between the time
depends on factors such as the nature of the       of submission and the date of the auction       • Keep your stamp collection in a dry place
collection, its value and the personal prefer-     sale. Some auction houses will give a cash        at moderate room temperature.
ence of the vendor, and sometimes the geo-         advance against the estimated sale price.
                                                                                                   • Avoid attics or basements, since tempera-
graphical location of the sale.
                                                 • Private treaty                                    ture, both hot and cold, or dampness dam-
• Direct sale to a dealer                          Retail dealers and auction houses often           ages stamps.
  Selling to a dealer has two advantages. The      act as agents offering collections in their
                                                                                                   • Avoid bright light. Light contains ultra
  seller receives an agreed amount of money        entirety for sale privately. Commission fees
                                                                                                     violet that can damage your stamps
  immediately and there is no fee.                 vary in line with sale complexity and price
                                                   considerations.                                 • When storing stamp albums, place them
• Consignment to a dealer
                                                                                                     in an upright position. Do not stack
  The seller can place the stamps with a         • Selling at a stamp show
                                                                                                     them one on top of another, since the
  dealer on consignment. The seller should         The collection can be offered to dealers at a
                                                                                                     weight of other books will tend to make
  ask for an itemised receipt, a minimum           local or regional stamp show. It can be sold
                                                                                                     the stamps stick.
  price and payout terms should be set. If         to the person offering the highest price.
  possible, the vendor should have photo-

Submit your proposal for a stamp issue             culture and achievements of the South            our values, culture, aspirations andachieve-
The South African Post Office prints more           African people;                                  ments.
than 380 million postage stamps a year. These
                                                   South Africa’s contribution to international   All proposals will be evaluated by an inde-
stamps reach all corners of the world. Stamps
                                                   affairs;                                       pendent committee. Successful proposals
are tiny ambassadors of our country as they
                                                                                                  will be submitted to the Minister of Commu-
reflect the beauty of our flora and fauna, the       contributions of South Africans to the
                                                                                                  nications for approval.
vibrancy of our culture, the triumphs of our       scientific, cultural and economic develop-
people, the riches of our land and significant      ment of a broader world society;               Members of the public should send their
national and international events.                                                                proposals and a detailed motivation with
                                                   different aspects of local life and values;
                                                                                                  pictures or photographs to: The Product
Members of the public are requested to
                                                   indigenous flora and fauna;                     Manager, Stamp Programme, Philatelic Serv-
submit proposals to the South African Post
                                                                                                  ices, Private Bag X505, Pretoria, 0001. Full
Office on topics they believe should be             economic activities of our people; and
                                                                                                  contact details must accompany all pro-
covered in the stamp calendar. Topics that
                                                   any other topic that reflects positivelyupon    posals.
have been covered in the past include South
African marine life, Chinese astrology, migra-
tory species, South Africa’s World Heritage
sites and music in South Africa. The Post Of-        Put your
fice commissions the design of these topics
to local artists. Each artist interprets and il-     thoughts on paper...
lustrates a topic in his or her unique way
with the end product being miniature works           write a proposal
of art.                                              for a stamp. Your
Proposals should be brief, include a short moti-     idea could become one
vation and adhere to the following criteria:
• Topics must relate directly to South Africa.
                                                     of the smallest
• Themes must be of significant national and
                                                     ambassadors of South Africa!
  international interest such as:
A personal encounter with postage                    pealing claim upon anyone. It is not alive. But   name of Prokop Divis. This name sounded so
stamps                                               this is not the case with stamps. Even though     strange that I said it repeatedly! Eventually it
(excerpts from ‘Philosophy of the Postage            on paper, stamps encounter you, there is reci-    spurred me on to find out more about what
Stamp’ by Professor Alex Antonites, Depart-          procity in the encounter. It lays claim upon      and who Prokop Divis was.
ment of Philosophy, University of Pretoria)          you in more than one way. The collector
                                                                                                       The beauty of the stamps of many countries
                                                     builds up relationships with many areas of
Postage stamps played an enormous and                                                                  deserves to be mentioned. I will never forget
                                                     his or her collection.
meaningful role in my life. I started collecting                                                       the large triangle and square stamps of Tan-
stamps in 1952 when I was in Grade III. My           Through so many enriching experiences,            nou Touva. It was a semi-independent repu-
father gave me a stamp album as a birthday           the collector seems to get lost in the world      blic in the north of China, but is now part of
(or was it Christmas?) gift and I still have and     of the stamp, but never so that he or she         Russia. The same applies to the fish stamps of
use it. Little did he realise what great gift with   completely disappears or dissolves into the       Mozambique when it was under Portuguese
such long-term good effects it would be.             world. The collector meaningfully structures      rule and the stamps of Hungary with their
                                                     space and time, because he or she wishes to       well-known phrase ‘Magyar Posta.’
Stamps are relatively small, but the worlds
                                                     understand fellow humans, in their world,
they tell us about, are huge.                                                                          What has also intrigued me over time was
                                                     their context and situation.
                                                                                                       the fact that some countries have printed
By experiencing the worlds of the stamp, the
                                                     When the collector returns to the same page       exactly the same stamps commemorating
collector is delineating him- or herself. The
                                                     in an album, it is never the same as previous     the same historical event, but with different
stamp never becomes a fixed, passive posses-
                                                     visits. An example of this are some stamps        currencies and names. For example, Britain’s
sion. It is evermore being repossessed, re-con-
                                                     of France with Victor Hugo, Jean d’ Arc and       Queen Elizabeth was honoured in June 1953.
stituted and a new relationship constituted
                                                     others. Sometimes a strange or intriguing         Nyassaland (now Malawi), Bechuanaland
between the collector and the stamp.
                                                     stamp, can fire curiosity. It can be an un-        (now Botswana), Malaya-Singapore, Kenya,
Stamps tell us a lot about the past; about the       known figure. The stamps of Czechoslovakia         Uganda and Tanganyika (now Tanzania),
good and the bad things; the evil that hap-          (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) for         Malta, British Guiana, Jamaica and others is-
pened in history.                                    example, had an historical figure with the         sued stamps with the same design depicting
                                                                                                       a young Queen Elizabeth.
An impersonal thing cannot make an ap-

I also found it fascinating when one state occu-
pied another one. The stamps used by the occu-
pied state before the occupation would still be
used, but the name of the occupying power would
be overprinted in dark, bold lettering. Sometimes
stamps of the occupying country would be used,
but with a similar overprint showing the occupied
country’s name. An example is when Britain oc-
cupied former Italian colonies, e.g. Tripolitania (Libya) ,
Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. History was also reflected
by changes in the names of a country. German stamps in
pre-World War II, were mostly Deutsches Reich. During
World War II it was changed to Gross Deutsches Reich,
meaning Great German Empire. This is comparable to Brit-
ain and Great Britain.
A past that became present and is still present to me, is
language. Since school days, the stamp world
helped me to connect to different languages.
Many languages spoke to me, including Finnish,
Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Swedish,
Hungarian - all of which I cannot speak or under-
stand - except for a few words. It is still an inex-
plicable phenomenon: stamps had the effect that
I could identify these languages on any script.
Stamp collecting in this way not only enriched
my world, but opened doors to other worlds.
Can I be more grateful to postage stamps ?
To say that stamps are very interesting is an understatement!
Stamping’s structures                                The Philatelic Federation of South                South African Stamp Dealers Associa-
We conclude our journey by introducing the           Africa (PFSA)                                     tion (SAPDA)
structures behind stamps and stamp collec-           The Philatelic Federation of South Africa is      In the late 1960s, a number of philatelic deal-
ting in South Africa.                                the umbrella body for organised philately         ers with common goals drew up a consti-
                                                     in South Africa. It was founded in 1928 as a      tution and code of conduct of what was to
Philatelic Services of the South African
                                                     body to promote stamp collecting, to stand-       become the South African Philatelic Dealers
Post Office
                                                     ardise exhibiting and judging practice within     Association (SAPDA).
By the early 1950s it had become clear to
                                                     the country and to be a unified voice on all
the South African Post Office that a specialist                                                         SAPDA’s constitution makes it clear that
                                                     matters philatelic.
branch was necessary to cater for stamp col-                                                           while the promotion of members’ interests
lector needs. This led to the establishment of its   Federation also has a youth section that is       is a basic aim, co-operation with philately’s
Philatelic Services branch in the early 1970s.       dedicated to promoting stamp collecting           “various forces” are equally important. Spe-
                                                     among our youth. It can be contacted at the       cific support activities such as arbitration,
Philatelic Services is responsible for issuing
                                                     addresses given at the end of this section.       dealing benefits and valuation support are
South Africa’s official postage stamps in line
                                                                                                       also specified. The importance of ethical be-
with an annual Stamp Issuing Programme.              Federation is affiliated to the Federation In-
                                                                                                       haviour is a cornerstone of this organisation.
This includes definitive and commemorative            ternational de Philatélie (FIP), and is an As-
issues. It also includes related items such as       sociate Member of the Federation of Inter-        Dealer details can be obtained on SAPDA’s
commemorative envelopes, special tempo-              Asian Philately (FIAP).                           web site:
rary date stamps, special permanent date
                                                     Federation liaises closely with the South Afri-   Philatelic or stamp clubs
stamps and commemorative postcards.
                                                     can Post Office and the stamp dealers body,        There are several philatelic or stamp clubs
Philatelic Services liaises closely with orga-       SAPDA, on the promotion of stamp collect-         and associations throughout South Africa.
nised philately, including the Philatelic Feder-     ing at all levels.                                For details on these, contact the Philatelic
ation of South Africa and SAPDA to promote                                                             Federation of South Africa at the address
                                                     Contact details:
philately on all levels.                                                                               given above.
                                                     The Philatelic Federation of South Af-
Contact details:                                     rica, PO Box 9248, Cinda Park 1463,
Tel: (012) 845-2814/5; Fax: (012) 804-6745;          South Africa. E-mail:
E-mail:                    Web site:
Web site:
Interesting Internet web sites about            Bibliography
stamps                                          • Setempe – various issues
• Start by doing a search using the key words
                                                • International Encyclopaedia of Stamps,
  “philately”, “postage stamps” or “stamp
                                                  Volumes 1, 2 and 3
  collecting” on your favourite Internet
  search engine                                 • The South African Stamp Colour Catalogue, 24th Edition
•        • Stamps as Artworks by Hanri de la Harpe, School of Communication Studies, Graphic
                                                  Design, North West University
                                                • Philosophy of the Postage Stamp by Professor Alex Antonites, Department of
                                                  Philosophy, University of Pretoria
                                                • The Stanley Gibbons Book of Stamps and Stamp Collecting, 1990
                                                • Mrs Connie Liebenberg for providing images of some stamps
                            paid, if
                           posted in

Philatelic Services
Private Bag X505
South Africa
Should you wish to find out more about the exciting world of South African
stamps, please complete your details below and post this card (postage paid
if posted in South Africa) to Client Services, Philatelic Services,
Private Bag X 505, PRETORIA 0001.
Alternatively you can phone our Client Services at (012) 845 2814/15, send a
fax to (012) 804-6745 or e-mail us at
First Name _______________________ Surname __________________________
Address _______________________________________________________________
__________________________________ Code ______________________________
Tel _______________________________ e-mail _____________________________
                Y   Y    Y   Y    M    M   D    D
Date of birth
                                              rican Post Office • Private Bag X505, Pretoria,
                                   e South Af                                                 0001, S
                     rvic es of th      ) 804-6745 • E-
                                                                                         • Web si     outh
          late lic Se /5 • Fax: (012                                                              te: ww Africa
      Phi         -2814                                                                        
           ) 845                                                                                     
  el: (012

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